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Explore Vietnam

Immerse yourself in the incredibly vibrant culture of Vietnam with this 13-day introduction to some of its greatest highlights. Spend a night on a traditional junk boat in stunning Halong Bay, roam the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An, trek through hilltribe villages to gain a glimpse of traditional rural life, and enjoy a cyclo ride through the heart of bustling Hanoi. Rediscover what a real adventure should feel like as you make your way through Vietnam.

  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: AVHNG/155244
  • Starts: Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Finishes: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
You will Visit
  • Hanoi
  • Ho Chi Minh City

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Hanoi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.

02

Day 2: Hanoi/Mai Châu

Start your day off right with breakfast at Hoa Sua, a non-profit training restaurant for underprivileged Hanoi youth. Help yourself to some yummy cuisine while helping others. We then travel to the lush Mai Chau Valley and enjoy a countryside walk through rice paddies and local Villages.
Continue to the lush Mai Chau Valley where we stay in a rural lodge, the perfect base for exploration, hiking and learning about Vietnam's ethnic hill tribes.

03

Day 3: Mai Châu

Enjoy free time to explore the valley. Options include cycling in the countryside, cooking class, relaxing or kayaking.

04

Day 4: Mai Châu/Hanoi

Return to Hanoi to explore Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and go on a cyclo tour of the Old Quarter.

05

Day 5: Hanoi/Ha Long

Transfer to Halong Bay and spend the night on a traditional junk boat surrounded by turquoise waters, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the calm waters. Cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay, a more secluded section of this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
Board a junk boat, our home for the evening. This traditional wooden sailing boat offers a unique way of navigating the lime karsts of Halong Bay with all the comforts of a motorized, floating hotel. The boat crew will prepare an included seafood lunch and dinner to feast on.

All cabins are twin share and have an en-suite bathroom. The boat features an enclosed dining and sitting area and of course plenty of outside deck space to enjoy your beautiful surroundings.

06

Day 6: Ha Long/Huế

Continue to cruise around the Bay and explore the Thien Canh Son cave with our local guide. Have an early lunch on board before returning to land and heading back to Hanoi to catch our short flight to Hue.

07

Day 7: Huế

Visit the ancient walled Citadel containing the former Imperial Palace. Take a trip into the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place of former emperors, visiting one of the most impressive royal tombs. Opt to explore Hue like the locals on a motorbike taxi, visiting local shops and a Convent for lunch.
Hue is the gateway to the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and remains one of Vietnam's major tourist attractions. This quiet city is widely known for the magnificent architecture of its citadel, royal tombs, pagodas, and temples built under the Nguyen dynasty on the lush banks of the Perfume River.

08

Day 8: Huế/Hoi An

Enjoy a scenic drive to Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site and take a walking tour of the ancient town. Also visit the Lifestart Foundation and learn how to make a traditional lantern from one of the beneficiaries of this program. Supported by Planeterra, this project helps local Vietnamese with chronic disabilities gain sustainable employment.
Depart Hue for the scenic journey to Hoi An, via the Hai Van Pass, an incredibly scenic and mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views of Lang Co Beach. Hoi An itself is a charming small town 30km (19 mi) south of Danang.

09

Day 9: Hoi An

Enjoy the Oodles of Noodles market visit, street food experience and cooking class at a G Adventures-supported culinary training school. Visit the local markets with two students and their trainer to learn about and taste noodles, and then return to the school to cook lunch with the students.

10

Day 10: Hoi An

The day is free for optional activities of your choice.
During your time in Hoi An, you may like to visit a local tailor and be fitted for some very reasonably priced clothes. Alternatively, you can organize an optional day tour to My Son, a major Cham site around one hour outside of Hoi An. These historical ruins are now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Or opt to spend the day by the pool or head to the nearby Cua Dai beach, a bike ride away.

11

Day 11: Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City

Flight to Ho Chi Minh CIty. Opt to take a cyclo tour and visit the markets and shops.
Discover the infectious energy of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's biggest city. Formerly known as Saigon, it was once the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country's commercial center.

During your free time you can take a tour by cyclo (rickshaw) to various sights around town. See Notre Dame Cathedral, Gustav Eiffel's Post Office, the Opera House, Rex Hotel, and town hall. Or you may wish to visit the War Remnants Museum or the Reunification Palace.

12

Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City

Visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, legendary for the vital part they played during the Vietnam War.

13

Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Breakfast at Hoa Sua, Hanoi National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Traditional Lantern Experience, Hoi An National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Oodles of Noodles Local Market Excursion, Hoi An G Adventures for Good: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An
    • Arrival transfer
    • Visit Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
    • Cyclo tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter
    • Overnight on a junk boat on Halong Bay
    • Guided tour of Emperor's Tomb and Imperial Citadel Hue
    • Walking tour of Hoi An Old Town
    • Guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels
    • Internal flights
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (9 nts), junk boat (1 nt), lodge (2 nt)
    • 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
    Transport
    • Bus, boat, cyclo, plane, walking
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Learn to cook oodles of noodles at a G Adventures-supported youth-training school
  • Cruise along Halong Bay in a traditional junk boat
  • Learn how to make a traditional lantern in the lantern capital of Vietnam
  • Step back into history at the Cu Chi Tunnels and Hanoi Hilton
  • Enjoy lunch at Hoa Sua (a training restaurant for disadvantaged youth)