Classic Vietnam

Trip Code: TVKT

Why we love it

Friendly faces will make you feel right at home in this country, and experiences like staying in a locally run guesthouse in the Mekong Delta will give you a real taste for local life., Discover the bustling centres of Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City – buzzing with personality these cities are a fascinating mix of ancient culture and glistening new-age cityscapes, and you’ll get the chance to visit all the most iconic spots., You’ll take a culinary journey to discover the mouth-watering, achingly fresh delights of Vietnam. From slurping traditional Bun Bo Hue, to digging into a vegetarian feast at a local nunnery, to enjoying a home-cooked lunch with locals in Ninh Binh – your tastebuds won’t be the same again., Be treated to an overnight stay on a traditional junk sailing boat in Halong Bay – wake up and feel like you’re still in a dream, surrounded by the incredible limestone karsts and turquoise waters of this magical place., Visit a restaurant with a difference and enjoy a special lunch at KOTO restaurant – an Intrepid Foundation supported program that teaches disadvantaged youth hospitality skills.

Is this trip right for me?

While the pace is generally easy, there is some walking involved on this trip, with walking tours in the downtown areas of each city, as well as a walk in the caves at Halong Bay.

At the guesthouse in the Mekong Delta, we stay in more basic accommodation than other destinations on the trip. Amenities are shared and may have cold water only.

Lunar New Year is an annual festival that runs for several days. This is a fascinating and rewarding time to see the country, however you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many locals are travelling around the country. Please consider this when selecting your travel dates. You’ll find dates and further information in the ‘Climate and seasonal information’ section of the Essential Trip Information.

Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. We recommend checking online for what the typical temperatures will be at the time of the year you are looking to travel to see what to expect - this page might be useful: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/vietnam/weather-in-vietnam

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 3 (Guesthouse) and Day 13 (Boat) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
3. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train and flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.
4. This trip includes domestic flights as indicated on the trip map. The luggage allowance is 20kg for check in luggage and 7kg for carry on.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you., INTERNAL FLIGHT LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE:
Checked luggage allowance is a maximum 20kg, with up to 7kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges can be paid directly to the airline at check-in., LOCAL DRESS:
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

Physical rating

 
2

Joining your group

Acnos Grand Hotel (formerly Le Duy Grand Hotel), 82 Cach Mang Thang Tam Vo Thi Sau Ward, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM, Phone: +84 2839303089

Le Duy Grand Hotel is centrally located in Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel features a restaurant, 24-hour reception, an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi. All rooms include a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.

Alternate Joining Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
30 Mar 2024 (TVKT240330)
Acnos Hotel (formerly Le Duy Hotel)
18 Nguyen Thi Nghia Ben Thanh Ward
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
700000
VIETNAM
Phone: +84 2839252090
Fax: 84 0839252194
For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
02 Mar 2024 (TVKT240302)
14 Mar 2024 (TVKT240314)
16 Mar 2024 (TVKT240316)
Calista Saigon Hotel
247-249 Ly Tu Trong

Ben Thanh Ward
District 1

Ho Chi Minh City
VIETNAM
For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
05 Mar 2024 (TVKT240305)
09 Mar 2024 (TVKT240309)
18 Mar 2024 (TVKT240318)
23 Mar 2024 (TVKT240323)
25 Mar 2024 (TVKT240325)
Avanti hotel
186 - 188 Le Thanh Ton
Ben Thanh Ward
Dist 1
Ho Chi Minh City
VIETNAM
For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
07 Mar 2024 (TVKT240307)
21 Mar 2024 (TVKT240321)
Aristo Hotel
3A Vo Van Tan St
District 3
Ho Chi Minh City
VIETNAM
Phone: +84 2862682555
For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
12 Mar 2024 (TVKT240312)
Aquari Hotel
9A-9B Thi Sach Str.
Ben Nghe Ward District 1 Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City
VIETNAM
Phone: +84 28 3829 2828

Joining instructions

Please make sure that you provide your flight details no later than 14 days before departure to book your arrival transfer with us.

For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met outside Ho Chi Minh Airport by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact our local office on the number in the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section.

Finishing your trip

Lenid Hotel, 54 Tho Nhuom, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, VIETNAM, Phone: +84 2438566699

Alternate Finish Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this finish point.
05 Mar 2024 (TVKT240305)
07 Mar 2024 (TVKT240307)
12 Mar 2024 (TVKT240312)
15 Mar 2024 (TVKT240315)
18 Mar 2024 (TVKT240318)
25 Mar 2024 (TVKT240325)
28 Mar 2024 (TVKT240328)
Foreign Relations Hotel
33C Pham Ngu Lao
Hoan Kiem
Hanoi
VIETNAM

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 14

Lunches included: 6

Dinners included: 4

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

INCLUDED BREAKFASTS:
At hotels you’ll often have a buffet with choices of Vietnamese and Western food. At homestays you will have more basic breakfasts of local foods, eggs, bread, jam, tea and coffee. Take away breakfasts for early starts may be very simple such as a piece of fruit and a bread roll.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS:
Check out this guide to eating in Vietnam for vegan, vegetarian, gluten & peanut free travellers: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vegan-vegetarian-gluten-free-vietnam/

FOOD ALLERGIES:
Travelling in South East Asia with a food allergy? We have some advice for you here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/travelling-food-allergies-south-east-asia/

Climate & seasonal information

TET
8 - 14 February 2024, 28 January - 3 February 2025
Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling around the country. Although we do our best to run trips during Tet as per the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or order of destinations visited. Due to the high demand on tickets at this time, flights and overnight trains may on occasion need to be replaced with day buses. We will aim to communicate any known changes prior to your departure.

WEATHER IN VIETNAM
The most popular times to visit Vietnam are spring (February-April) and autumn (September-December) but because of the huge variations in latitude and altitude, there is no one best time to go to Vietnam. Temperatures vary from 4°C (39°F) in Sapa in winter to humid 36°C (97°F) days in Saigon in the middle of the dry season. The monsoons bring heavy rain to the south, and a cooler winter to the north. It’s a good destination all year.

WET SEASON
Flooding is common across Vietnam during rainy season (June-December) and could also lead to landslides. Typhoons are also common during this period. During these months there may be disruptions to transport and some activities or destinations may need to be changed as a result at short notice.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +30 697 800 6335 

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +84 90 311 7770

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation

VIETNAM FLIGHTS:
Please provide your exact name (including middle name) as per passport 45 days prior to your trip's departure date for flight tickets to be issued. Internal flights will be on the following safety audited airlines: Pacific Airlines, Vietjet or Vietnam Airlines.

UNACCOMPANIED FLIGHTS:
During peak travel times your group may be required to travel on different flights at different times of the day, and you may be unaccompanied on the internal flight. In this case you will be assisted by additional tour escorts on departure and arrival.