HomeToursAsia Tours 〉Vietnam

Explore Vietnam


Get a taste of adventure over 11 days in Vietnam. This escapade from north to south takes you from French-influenced Hanoi to heaving Ho Chi Minh City on a journey that balances local guidance with freedom to explore independently. Discover the countryside around Hue by bicycle, kayak between limestone karsts off the coast of Cat Ba Island and chill out in Ninh Binh. Let an expert local leader show you around this vivacious nation so you can see the real Vietnam.

11 days, from

$777

per person

GROUP SIZE

16 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: TVRR
Style: Basix
Theme: Explorer

Details

Countries Visited:  Vietnam
Accommodation: Hotel (8 nights), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)
Transportation: Boat , Overnight sleeper train , Private minibus
Included Meals:

  • 1 lunches

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

  • Lan Ha Bay is a beautiful enclave of green waters and strange rock formations. Explore them by boat and kayak, then spend the night on nearby Cat Ba Island.

  • Take a walking tour through the Old Town of Hoi An, where the city looks exactly like it did over a century ago.

  • Travel to the UNESCO protected Ninh Binh, often referred to as ‘Ha Long Bay on land’, with its winding river etched between towering limestone mountains. Plus, get a chance to explore 10th century Hoa Lu – the temple of King Dinh and King Le.

  • Enjoy a cycling tour where you’ll discover Ninh Binh in a fresh way that gets your blood pumping and takes you off the beaten track – explore Hoa Lu – the temple of King Dinh and King Le along the way.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you happen to arrive early, take the day at your own pace and wander the Old Quarter admiring the city’s French-colonial architecture and manicured parks, or simply enjoy some street food.

Day 2: Hanoi

Enjoy a free day in Hanoi today. Perhaps check out one of the city’s museums, like the Museum of Ethnology which offers an insight into the different ethnic groups and cultures in Vietnam, or the Fine Arts Museum which houses a collection of more than 2000 pieces, some dating back to the 11th century. Alternatively, you might like to wander the grounds of the Temple of Literature, a historical complex in Hanoi. Tonight, you might like to meet up with some of your fellow travellers and try out a local dish like pho or Bahn Mi – enjoy!

Day 3: Cat Ba

An early start is necessary to get the most out of your day. Take a 7.30 am bus ride and ferry transfer to the steep karsts and tiny beaches of Cat Ba Island, arriving before midday – you’ll have a quick stop to stretch your legs en route. The largest of all the islands in World Heritage-listed Halong Bay, charming Cat Ba will be your base for exploring the limestone cliffs and turquoise water that defines this area. Get acquainted with this stunning spot with an afternoon cruise around the bay, enjoying lunch on the boat while floating past the karsts covered in emerald-green foliage. Later, get closer to the water and explore on a kayak, perhaps stopping at one of Cat Ba’s many beaches for a swim. Stay overnight on Cat Ba Island and enjoy the sunset with a cold beer.

Day 4: Ninh Binh

Today, you’ll travel to the UNESCO protected Ninh Binh. A naturally beautiful area, often referred to as ‘Ha Long Bay on land’, with its winding river etched between towering limestone mountains. Today, you’ll enjoy a cycling tour where you’ll discover Ninh Binh in a fresh way that gets your blood pumping and takes you off the beaten track. You’ll get a chance to explore Hoa Lu – the temple of King Dinh and King Le which were built in the 10th century and dedicated to two the two kings of Vietnam. The ancient citadel once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of this once glorious capital of the Vietnam.

Day 5: Ninh Binh – Overnight train

Today, you’ll have a free day to explore Ninh Binh at your leisure. You might like to hike to Mua Cave – located underneath Mua Mountain, this culturally significant and naturally beautiful spot is well worth the visit. If hiking doesn’t take your fancy, a boat trip to Trang An might be just the thing to fill your day. A series of limestone mountains, some 250 million years old, tower over lakes, caves and valleys below. After a day of activities of your own choosing, you’ll meet with your group in the evening to take an overnight train to Hue.

Day 6: Hue

As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and is a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings. Packed with historic monuments, Hue is also perfectly located to explore the surrounding countryside, which features stunning scenery, quaint villages and the peaceful Tam Giang Lagoon. The bustling Dong Ba Market offers a plethora of goods and foods to see and sample, and it's a good place to try some of the specialities that graced the Nguyen emperors' banquet tables, such as the banh khoai – a royal rice cake. Here you have a free day, which you could easily spend exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace enclosed within. Perhaps jump on board a dragon boat and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda, or cycle out to one of the Royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc. Otherwise, set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.

Day 7: Hoi An

Continue on your journey and travel to the World Heritage-listed town of Hoi An, where on arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk around town. The city was a major trading port with the west from the 17th century onwards, and has various architectural influences from Europe, China and Vietnam. Today, the city is being restored and looks exactly like it did over a century ago. The rest of the day is free for you to do some optional activities or soak up the ambience of the place. You may like to wander Hoi An Market and the street stalls selling paintings, woodwork, ceramics, lanterns and much more. It’s also famous for its talented tailors who can make beautiful items to order within 24 hours, so be sure to check that out!

Day 8: Hoi An

Enjoy a free day to further explore Hoi An. Perhaps take a cruise up the Thu Bon River or learn the secrets of cooking delicious Vietnamese dishes. Visit some of the main art galleries or simply wander around the beautifully restored Chinese shop houses. There’s also the option of cycling around the surrounding countryside – a truly relaxing way to get off the beaten track and see rural Vietnam up close. Your leader will be able to suggest activities to help you get the most out of your time.

Day 9: Hoi An – Overnight Train

Make the most out of another free day in Hoi An. Perhaps do some of the activities you couldn’t fit into your schedule over the past couple of days, or go pick up your fresh threads from the tailors. There’s also Cua Dai Beach nearby – the perfect place to rest up before continuing on your way. This evening, board another overnight train bound for Ho Chi Minh. Remember, it’s always a good idea to have some snacks and a book on hand.

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City very early this morning and transfer to your hotel. Today you’ll have plenty of free time to explore Vietnam’s largest city. Ho Chi Minh City has a busy atmosphere and many French influences. In your free time, it’s recommended to visit the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. There’s also the historic Dong Khoi Street, and the chaotic markets of Ben Thanh and Cholon (Chinatown). Ho Chi Minh City has a different style of cuisine to its northern counterpart Hanoi, so be sure to get out for restaurant meals and street food with your travel crew. Your group leader knows all the best people in the right places, so they’ll know of some delectable places to eat, for any budget.

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City

With no planned activities today, you can depart at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s internal check-out times. As we don’t spend much time in Ho Chi Minh City on this tour, why not stay a few extra days to make the most of your time here? You could take a day trip to the renowned Cu Chi Tunnels, where you can witness the strategic underground labyrinth that helped the locals during the Vietnam war. Ask your leader for more recommendations or book in on an Urban Adventure. Find out more at https://www.urbanadventures.com/ho-chi-minh-city/products. If you would like to spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).