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Best of Vietnam
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From the intensity of Ho Chi Minh City's streets to spectacular rice terraces, travel the length of Vietnam and savour its natural, cultural, and historical delights. Meet the Hmong people and other minority villagers on a hilltribe excursion and sail into the photographic possibilities of beautiful Halong Bay. With the services of a CEO and your accommodation and transport taken care of, this trip offers great value as it introduces the region’s main sights, providing plenty of flexibility so you can experience an adventure you'll never forget.

  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AVBV/126487
  • Starts: Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Finishes: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
You will Visit
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City

Itinerary

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Day 1: Hanoi

Arrive at any time.
Arrive in bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As passengers will be arriving at various times today, there are no planned activities. Take a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter, visit Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum.

Please note that most nationalities requires a visa to enter Vietnam, please double check this with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy.

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Day 2: Hanoi/Lào Cai

Enjoy the water puppets show. Opt to visit Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and stilt house, Hoa Lo Prison and the Temple of Literature. Overnight train to Lao Cai.
Explore the city during the day and in the evening attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre before boarding our overnight train to Lao Cai, en route to Sapa.

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Day 3: Lào Cai/Sa Pá

Arrive in Sapa. Hilltribe village visit at Ta Phin, trek and homestay. Traditional meals with a local family.
After arriving in Lao Cai in the morning, we transfer to Sapa. An afternoon excursion takes us to the village of Ta Phin, before returning to Sapa in the early evening.

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Day 4: Sa Pá

Hilltribe village visit, trek and homestay. Traditional meals with a local family.
Take a moderate trek through the Muong Hoa River valley. Stop at Lao Chai village for lunch and on to the Ta Vinh village for a homestay.

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Day 5: Sa Pá/Hanoi

Return to Sapa after breakfast with host family. Transfer back to Hanoi.
After breakfast, say goodbye to the host family and walk to a nearby village where we board a bus to take us back to Sapa and then onward to Hanoi for the night.

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Day 6: Hanoi/Ha Long

Drive to Halong Bay for an overnight cruise on a junk boat which includes a seafood meal. Visit caves or an island lookout.
Our private bus takes us to Bai Chay harbour, our entry point to Halong Bay. Our sailing junk takes you to some islands and caves. You could enjoy an evening drink on the deck beneath the stars.

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Day 7: Ha Long/Huế

Breakfast aboard our junk boat. Return to Hanoi for free time before an overnight train to Hue.
After an early lunch on board the boat we head back to Hanoi. You have enough time for shopping or further sightseeing until our overnight train to Hue.

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Day 8: Huế

Included tour of Tien Mu Pagoda and the Royal Tombs. Optional tour of the countryside.
We arrive early into Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. After checking in to our hotel, we have a tour of Hue, visiting the wonderful seven storey high Tien Mu Pagoda and also an imperial tomb of one of Vietnam's former emperors.

In the evening, you have the chance to try some local Hue specialties such as banh khoai (Hue savoury pancakes), and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). You might want to wash it all down with a Hue beer. Yum!

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Day 9: Huế/Hoi An

Travel the scenic Hai Van Pass (weather permitting) on the way to Hoi An.
This morning we'll start our day touring the wonderful ruins of the Imperial Citadel, from where Vietnam was once ruled.

In the late morning we begin our drive to Hoi An. After crossing over the Hai Van Pass, with fantastic views in all directions, we will arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon for our three-night stay.

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Day 10: Hoi An

Enjoy a noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project. Afterwards enjoy free time, options include a cooking class, shopping at the tailors, riverboat cruise, bike riding, beach time or My Son ruins.

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Day 11: Hoi An

Use a full free day to explore more of this charming town.

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Day 12: Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City and opt to take a bike tour of the city, visit the Reunification Palace, Thien Hau, or the Giac Vien pagodas.
Drive to Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that was once the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country's commercial center.

The afternoon is free to explore the city.

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Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City/Mekong Delta

Mekong Delta visit, boat ride and visit to traditional candy factories. Enjoy a local homestay and dinner with a Vietnamese family.

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Day 14: Mekong Delta/Ho Chi Minh City

Option to visit War Remnants Museum, Colonial Quarter, or Ben Thanh Market.
This morning we enjoy an included breakfast before taking a boat and bus to return to Ho Chi Minh City. We will arrive in this sprawling city by midday for your chance to explore the many sites you did not get to see earlier.

Spend our final night as a group reminiscing over our journey through Vietnam over an optional dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner you may want to enjoy a cocktail while viewing the city traffic from above at the iconic Rex Hotel.

15

Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City

Depart at any time.
After breakfast on Day 15, the tour ends and you are free to depart at any time.

Some may continue traveling west through Cambodia with G Adventures. If you are interested in ongoing travel in Cambodia and Thailand have a look at the following trip on our website:

Cambodia Experience
http://www.gadventures.com/trips/cambodia-experience/AVCW/2012/

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • G Adventures for Good: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An Local Living: Ta Vinh Homestay, Sa Pá Local Living: Mekong Homestay
    • Water puppet show (Hanoi)
    • Sapa excursion to hilltribe villages
    • Halong Bay entrance
    • Halong Bay boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
    • Imperial Citadel and Tomb guide and entrance
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts), sleeper trains (2 nts), junk boat (1 nt), basic family homestays (2 nts)
    • 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Train, local bus, air-con bus, boat, cyclo, plane, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Explore vibrant streets of Hanoi
  • Trek through hilltribe villages of Sapa
  • Cruise magical Halong Bay
  • Shop in quaint Hoi An
  • Experience a Mekong Delta homestay


Reviews (30)
Nola B Posted on: 

This trip by far exceeded anything I thought it would be. It was great to meet people from around the world and to have enough freedom in each place to do what you liked but with just enough structure to make it hassle free.

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Gary S Posted on: 

Aparna was awesome. Very professional and made everyone feel welcome and part of the group. Accomodations were great, especially in Halong Bay on the Junk.

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Jannafer R Posted on: 

A wide range of activities, an excellent tour guide, beautiful scenery, wonderful people, overall a fabulous trip!

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Rodney M Posted on: 

Great Fun. Very Very Interesting & informative. Great bunch of people (including our tour leader). Really enjoyed the whole experience and cant wait to go on another trip soon.

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Asher S Posted on: 

Incredible tour-saw so much and did so much in such a short space of time!

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Riccardo D Posted on: 

Extremely impressed by the overall organization and by the spotless experience. I was expecting only a partially organized tour with some sort of guide to act mainly as point of reference. With my great surprise instead the tour was planed to the slightest detail and the guide was hyper efficient and extremely helpful. I would have never expected such a 'spotless service'

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Sunniva Eileen M Posted on: 

I think this was a very good trip and I am glad to have experienced that considering I had a very bad trip in Thailand with G Adventure. This trip in Vietnam was very good, we had an excellent guide and good program!

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Jytte J Posted on: 

It was an incredible trip! Nice easy pace and plenty of time to shop and take in the culture.

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Lucille Q Posted on: 

It was a delightful, well-organized trip.

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Karen K Posted on: 

I had an awesome time. Loved that it was a small group. That was the biggest selling point for me.

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Josephine S Posted on: 

I joined this tour with an open mind, not really sure what we were in for, so were suitably impressed with the whole tour...It was fabulous. Great team, excellent guide and wonderful interaction with Vietnam. Brilliant!!!

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Josephine S Posted on: 

Wonderful combination of sights sounds and experiences!

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Travis M Posted on: 

Overall impression was one of good food, good friends, great places and an excellant tour guide.

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Meredith P Posted on: 

Really enjoyed the whole tour, well thought out, varied activities and most interesting sites selected for guided visits

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Margaret M Posted on: 

I really enjoyed my time in Vietnam. Having travelled independently in the past being in a tour group was different, but offered enough free time to do things on my own or with a few others in the group.

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Thomas M Posted on: 

this is the best so far......and everything went well without a hitch. we are actually signing for another tour as soon as we could get the 5% discount.

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Deborah Louise T Posted on: 

The tour was amazing. We not only went to tourist areas but also more local spots.

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Kim L Posted on: 

The trip was well organized and ran smoothly as we travelled from destination to destination. Food and accommodation were generally very good.

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Doris B Posted on: 

This was our first G Adventures tour and we would highly recommend the experience to anyone.

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William M Posted on: 

I was a bit nervous about 'going a tour' as I had always travelled independently, but it was my first time in Asia and I was very happy with the tour. I felt I saw a lot of things and gained local insights I would otherwise not have had access to. The tour was a mix of planned and optional activities and there was plenty of time for independent sightseeing.

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Theresa B Posted on: 

Just returned from the splendid "Best of Vietnam" tour from Jan 4-18. It was full of exotic experiences, including both high adventure and tranquil moments. We met the locals, visited monuments, learned history, viewed sublime vistas, and most of all got to know the Vietnamese culture. This was all facilitated by our wonderful guide, Dat Le. He orchestrated the trip in his meticulous style, yet provided us with enough freedom to make it exciting. He introduced us to a couple of highlights I hadn't anticipated a) several modes of transportation through the trip and b) the delectable food. All in all, a 10 out of 10 vacation, with a group of travellers who were 100% excellent.

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Daniel W Posted on: 

The overall tour was very good, very in depth and covered all the main areas of Vietnam. It was quite impressive.

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John E Posted on: 

The more we look back on the trip, the more we realize how awesome it was. Getting our photos back helped as well. We covered a lot of ground in a little time but our goal was to see as much as we could in two weeks - so glad we followed it with nine days on the beaches in Thailand. I have to say, it wasn't what we expected, but not in a bad way. It takes a long time to recuperate after thirty years of war. I'm glad we saw it now - before it becomes too westernized (though some traffic manners would be nice!) The trip was so diverse and we did some things out of our comfort zone, which is always a good thing.

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Barbara H Posted on: 

It was a wonderful way for a single person to travel. I would definitely recommend G Adventures to my friends and family.

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Neil W Posted on: 

I enjoyed the tour from start to end. Unlike many tours you were not stuck to your guide and group at all times. There was lots of free time to enjoy your holiday alone but the guide and group where always there when we wanted to socialise.

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Margaret S Posted on: 

Fantastic times in so many different locales. Homestays a highlight. Wonderful food everywhere. So much history learned from our guide.

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Theresa R Posted on: 

Our tour guide, Ha Hien Hoai, G Adventures tour leader, was EXCELLENT! Was a warm human being, so attentive and caring and made each one of us feel special. He certainly knew his country and gave us so many details. Our trekking days were so incredible with his expertise. The hotels were wonderful, the food and restaurants all wonderful, the people, transportation, nothing but wonderful memories. I would recommend this tour to everyone who wants to experience Vietnam.

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Robin S Posted on: 

We were lucky to have such a good leader. We are in our sixties and were slightly anxious about some of the walking but, Lap -our tour leader, was very supportive at all times. We did things we had not thought we would be able to manage and enjoyed it.

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Lea H Posted on: 

The tour was well organized and thoughtfully provided with attention to details and individual needs.

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Maree M Posted on: 

The Best of Vietnam tour was an amazing journey into the lives, culture and customs of a very beautiful country & its people. The diversity that we experienced in the different locations that we visited was awe inspiring. From the mountain tribes in Sapa to the city lifestyle in Saigon, I was constantly amazed. I have so much admiration for this small country & its people, having a long history of war & violence, yet still they smile & make travellers feel very welcome.

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