Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay - for a geographically compact country, Vietnam sure has some hot spots. The Vietnam Experience is for those who want a bit more time than the average traveller. Picture yourself relishing the rice region of Mekong Delta by taking a traditional boat through floating markets & local fruit farms.
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh city, formerly known as Saigon. This is one of Asia's most exhilarating cities, steeped in grand history and post-Vietnam war memories. This evening you'll meet your travel comrades and explore the Ben Thanh markets, offering the freshest traditional Bánh mì, Pho and Bia hơi. Oh yes, this is the right way to get the Vietnam party started.
It's goodbye busy city and hello river life today as we make for the Mekong Delta for an extra special overnight experience you won't be forgetting fast.
Travelling down the river on local sampans, peace and tranquillity will be at an all time high. This afternoon we'll spend our time getting a serious learning fix by visiting a local tea garden and seeing the floating markets, learning about local industries along the river and the way of life here and meet some of the friendliest people on earth. Definitely one to give us all the local feels, topped off with a night at our Mekong Guesthouse.
After an early breakfast we'll make our way back to Ho Chi Minh, detouring past the staggering 250-kilometres of tunnels that make up the Viet Cong’s Cu Chi.See traps, hidden doors & some of the 250kms of tunnels that Vietnamese resistance fighters dug by hand, and even go down into the skinny tunnels to experience them first hand in this look into Vietnam's staggering past.
Back in the addictive mayhem of Vietnam's biggest city you will have free time to carry on your explorations. Continuing to eat your way through Vietnam's culinary highlights would be one wise to use your time (we think).
With some traditional R'n'R on our afternoon agenda, the morning can be used to put on our discovering boots. We'll dabble in history and religion before taking flight to a coastal town overlooking the South China Sea.
Golden sand beaches, turquoise oceans, water sports galore - this is Nha Trang. This afternoon why not book in for a mineral mud bath and hot thermal spring experience before heading out to dinner with your crew. Ah, the good life.
Good news - we're kicking it in Nha Trang for another night. Have a massage, sign up for the optional cruise, or just hang on the beach saving your energy for seaside bar fun as the sun sets.
Catch you later Nha Trang and hello Hoi An.
Get your bearings with a guided tour through the Old Quarter, and fall deeply in love with this perfect spot. Japanese Bridge, French Colonial vibes and brightly coloured buildings are endlessly charming. You'll be feeling hungry no doubt, so tonight we'll bet we can tempt you with our optional Vietnamese cooking class to get your cooking skills on form and show off to your friends back home. With our expert chef leading the charge, you'll soon be feeling like a bit of an expert. Armed with new skills, ask your Trip Manager about where to head for a night out with the group.
A short drive from Hoi An are the famous Marble Mountains, a collection of 5 peaks that represent the 5 Elements in Vietnamese folk lore – metal, wood, earth, fire and water. Our local guide would be delighted to take us on a tour through the Thuy Son caves and grottos which are home to some of the most beautiful and intricate stone carvings in the area. The Marble Mountains were also the hiding place of the US Forces during the Vietnam Conflict and even a military hospital! Hear about the history while taking in panoramic views and later, kick back at An Bang Beach before heading back to Hoi An for more Free Time Addons.
Though we'll have grown content with Hoi An life, this morning the show must go on. After all, the former imperial town of Hue has invited us over, and we'd be foolish to turn it down.
Intricately decorated pavilions, lotus flower ponds, and colourful artworks mark our first sightseeing venture in Hue. Totally in awe of Tu Duc Mausoleum, we move on to the 7-story Thien Mu Pagoda & learn of the horrific history of the Hue Buddhist massacre as well as taking in a cyclo ride to see the city from a whole new angle.
Today we fly out of Hue in the direction of Vietnam's time capsule capital. A trio of influences and filled with romance, 2-nights here will see us utterly smitten.
With an epic fusion of French, Chinese & Vietnamese influence, you'll be nothing short of ecstatic as we check-in to our Hanoi hotel, right in the middle of the bustling Old Quarter. Our time will be spent weaving through a maze of 36 trading streets filled with colourful goods for sale, and unwinding in the walled gardens of the Temple of Literature. Later, we'll roam Parisian-style boulevards and maybe dine on a nom ngo sen lotus-stem salad, dau chien ron fried tofu & a few bia hoi beers.
After a Hanoi history 101 lesson we move on to Halong Bay where a night on a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site awaits.
A drive through stunning scenery will evoke plenty of 'oh wow's, but it only gets better as we board our home for the night, a Chinese-style junk boat in Halong Bay. Feel the serenity kicking in immediately as we drift the limestone island seas of the Gulf of Tonkin. We will pass hidden lagoons, thick forests & dreamy grottos, & stop to explore the Sung Sot Caves. A fresh seafood dinner and sunset at our docking spot will polish off a wonderful daypacked with No Regrets moments and simply unforgettable experiences.
Today will be all about the leisurely vibes as we wake up to breakfast and a grotto swim - quite possibly being joined by some monkey shaped friends. Make the most of your time on the junk boat & kayak your way around Halong Bay - the views don't get much better than this.
After cruising back to Hanoi we find ourselves enjoying our final night together on tour. Save the choir of tears for tomorrow - this evening is all about making the most of your free time and staying positive. The quirky world-famous water puppet performance in Red River Delta makes for the perfect send off, should you fancy opting for something a bit different.
Enjoy one final breakfast with the squad this morning before the trip wraps up. Hug it out and make plans to reunite sometime soon - Latin America, perhaps?
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Trip Name: Vietnam Experience
Duration: 12 Days
From Price: $2,106
Supplier Tour ID: 169.372A/211746
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