Vietnam Traveller

Vietnam Traveller

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VietNOM! As you slink from old-world Hanoi to ancient Hue and on to pretty Hoi An, beachy Nha Trang and bustling Ho Chi Minh… you will quickly realise that the Vietnamese know a thing or two about delicious food. Pho, bahn mi, rice paper, oh my!

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Vietnam Traveller
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  • Travel the length of Vietnam with a small group of like minded travellers your own age and an expert leader to make sure you get the best out of your time in each destination.
  • Limestone karsts and mysterious caves - Halong Bay feels a world away from the world we live in. Many other tour groups just visit for the day - we stay overnight on the boat.
  • It's not just boring hotels on this trip where you could be anywhere in the world. We mix it up with overnight trains and of course our night on board in Halong Bay.
  • Where better to enjoy loads of free time than in the coastal city of Nha Trang, which features irresistable beaches, crazy-good snorkelling and even mud baths! Here's what you have in store for you: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/nha-trang-vietnam/
  • There's great food wherever you go in Vietnam, but combine sumptuous snacks with cycling in the surrounding countryside and you will see why we love Hoi An. Check it out: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/5-awesome-things-hoi-vietnam/


Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Essential Trip Information a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. This adventure kicks off with a group meeting at 6 pm. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. At the meeting have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Because this trip doesn’t spend much time in Hanoi, why not arrive a day or two early to see the sights? Check out your reflection in beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, wander along shaded boulevards or relax in a public park with some delicious street food (spring rolls inside rice paper rolls, anyone?). Museum-wise, why not visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serene Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum. If you can't decide, let one of our Urban Adventures decide for you! Check them out here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/hanoi-tours. After meeting your group, get to know each other by pulling up a stool streetside and grabbing a fresh Beer Hoi.
Day 2 - Halong Bay
Travel by private minibus (approximately 4 hours) to the awesome World Heritage site of Halong Bay. This secluded harbour has something like 2,000 little limestone islands. And the water is one pretty green scene. It's one of Vietnam's most 'scenic' places, so get that camera ready. You'll jump on a boat and cruise the bay so you can take it all in. You'll explore some of the awesome caves in the area and fill up with both lunch and dinner onboard. What's on the menu? Seafood of course. Enjoy optional kayaking or swimming from Ti Top Beach in the warmer months. Once you settle into junk boat life you won't want to go anywhere – so spend the night rocking away on the waters of Halong Bay (with the waves and maybe a spot of karaoke).
Day 3 - Halong Bay - Overnight Train
Wake up to the beautiful scenes of the bay, and maybe appreciate it with some optional tai chi on the deck. Enjoy breakfast prepared by your crew, then cruise back to port around midday. Take a bus back to Hanoi (approximately 4 hours). Then take your overnight train bound for Hue (approximately 12 hours).
Day 4 - Hue
Arrive in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You have today free to explore. You could easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace that's enclosed within it. Perhaps jump on board a ‘Dragon Boat’ and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda. You could also check out Dong Ba Market, which offers locally made goods, fresh produce and some tasty, tasty street food. This is a good place to try the grub that Emperor Nguyen used to feast on (banh khoai royal rice cake – can you taste the royalty?). If you like being on two wheels then maybe cycle out to one of the Royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (one of the most excellent remaining examples of its kind), or set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.
Day 5 - Hoi An
Continue along the coast to Hoi An by private vehicle (approximately 3 hours). Once in Hoi An, your leader will take you on a walking tour of this unique town which has been influenced over the years by Europe, China, Vietnam and Japan. The town was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and its old-school flavour is written all over its architecture. For a small town, it's pretty lively in places. In others, it's chilled out. The tour will take you down the streets that are being restored and look a lot like they did 100 years ago or more. You'll check out a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum for a bit of variety. There are Urban Adventures here in your free time too - check them out here and ask your leader to help you book: https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/Hoi-An-tours
Day 6 - Hoi An
Enjoy a free day in Hoi An. Maybe wander to the Central Market and browse the paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors, so if you’ve been wearing the same shirt every day and it's starting to smell like coriander, why not hit one of the same-day tailors and get yourself something new? Or, if you're still feeling adventurous, hire a bicycle and tour the surrounding countryside (this is one of the best ways to experience rural Vietnam).
Day 7 - Hoi An - Overnight Train
Lucky you – it's another free day! You could take a trip out to the My Son temples (World Heritage-listed beauties that reflect the rich cultural traditions of the Cham civilisation), hop on a cruise along the Thu Bon River and or get beachy with a trip to the nearby Cua Dai Beach. Afterwards, board your next overnight train. This one's to Nha Trang (approximately 8 hours).
Day 8 - Nha Trang
transfer to your hotel. As it's early we may not be able to check in right away, but there's always a cafe selling Vietnamese coffee nearby to perk us up. We will have shared use hotel rooms before regular check in. Nha Trang is one of Vietnam's most popular beach side cities. In recent years it has ended up on every Chinese and Russian tourist's bucket list, which means that you'll see plenty of other travellers around town. Still, Nha Trang's sandy palm-lined beach and island-dotted bay make an idyllic picture. Spend your days here soaking up the sun on the beach, exploring the local markets or checking out the ancient Cham Towers nearby. Make sure you try some of the excellent seafood restaurants - you are right by the sea after all! There are Urban Adventures available here too. Check them out here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/Nha-Trang-tours. Your leader can help you to book.
Day 9 - Nha Trang - Overnight Train
Don't get so relaxed from your chilled time in Nha Trang (lazing in a deck chair, swimming or perhaps taking a mud bath) that you forget that tonight it's back on the train for one last ride (approximately 7 hours). You are pretty much an expert on this now!
Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City very, very early (approx. 4am) and transfer to your hotel. There are shared hotel rooms available this morning if you would like to freshen up before check in time this afternoon and you'll be definitely needing another highly addictive coffee. Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterised by a vast array of sights and sounds, and is a fascinating blend of old and new. The huge number of people rushing about their daily lives in Vietnam's largest city gives it a dynamic atmosphere and the French influence is evident in food here as everywhere in Vietnam. For your free time this city has a vast array of sights and sounds to explore: ancient pagodas and cathedrals sit squarely up against the former Presidential Palace, historic Dong Khoi Street (the Rue Catinat from Graham Greene's novel, The Quiet American) and the bustling markets of Ben Thanh and Cholon (Chinatown). Many travellers choose to visit the Reunification Palace or War Remnants Museum here. Maybe join your newest and best travel buddies for a celebratory meal and drink tonight on Pham Ngu Lao Street.
Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City
Your trips comes to an end today. There are no planned activities, and you can depart at any time. As you only have limited time here it is well worth booking additional nights to explore. If you don't want to explore on your own, consider booking one of our Urban Adventures before your arrive through your leader (https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/ho-chi-minh-city-tours) which include the popular Cu Chi Tunnels.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


Hotel (6 nights),Overnight boat (1 night),Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)


Boat,Private bus,Private vehicle,Overnight sleeper train