“Be enchanted by Vietnam!”
On the Indochinese Peninsula sits the hilly, verdant, and densely forested country of Vietnam. Begin your adventure in the capital city, Hanoi. This is a place with a culture as beautiful as its history is complex and often tragic. Though the outside world was let in only recently, the cities now surge with noise and bustle. This is a place to submerge yourself in daily life before escaping to the natural world. Away from the city, explore the enchanting Pu Luong Nature Reserve and boat the lesser known and equally beautiful neighbour of Halong Bay: Bai Tu Long Bay. Visit the ancient town of Hoi An and contrast it with the hubbub of Ho Chi Minh. This is a trip that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Your tour guides take sustainability very seriously. You will see this in the way they collect trash wherever possible to create a cleaner and more beautiful environment and to set a good example. Your group size will be limited to 10 so that they can effectively guide you on how best to treat the environment and your hosts. Small numbers also allow for your food to be provided locally and sustainably. Your hosts will cook for you, giving you a taste of traditional Vietnamese fare. Your money will go to local people to support a livelihood in tourism rather than more destructive industries. In return for learning about the delicious local food and the beautiful culture, the guides will encourage conversations with locals about maintaining clean, healthy environments.
You will stay with locals in homestays and guest houses run by local people. Learn about Vietnam as locals see it and feel the warmth and hospitality of the culture. Homestays work in rotation through the villages since this shares the wealth and experience throughout the whole village.
Chao Ban and welcome to Hanoi! Meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel for check-in. You will have some time to relax and settle in after your flight. If you arrive early enough you are free to explore the city and absorb some of the atmosphere of this beautiful bustling city.
You will likely want an early night on your first day after all your travels, especially as you will be starting bright and early on day 2. Leave the hotel at 8 am for a short transfer by car outside of the main hubbub of the city and into the stunning surrounding countryside. This morning will be an introduction to village life, its customs, and traditions. Walk and cycle along the streets, visiting local markets, old houses, temples, and communal houses on the way. To whet your appetite, you will have a cooking demonstration at one of the local family homes. In the afternoon, set out from Dong Ngoc on your bikes. You will be mostly riding along rural lanes, through the surrounding villages to Lien Mac, a beautiful area of immaculately tended vegetables and flowers. Here, you will have a chance to admire the colourful fields and talk to locals about their traditional farming methods. Take another route back to Lien Mac, stop at your homestay for a refreshing drink and to bid farewell to your hosts before you catch the van back to Hanoi for the night.
Wake up ready to depart your hotel at 8 am for a transfer to Mai Chau. This four-hour drive will reveal the beauty of the densely treed countryside surrounding. Arriving in Poom Coom village in Mai Chau, you will take a short walk to meet the local ethnic Thai people before you sit down to lunch. At 1 pm, you will take a car transfer to the start of your afternoon hike through the stunning Pu Long nature reserve. The trek is intermediate level and will require some walking up hills but as you will see when you reach the top, the panoramas of this landscape make it well worth it! In the late afternoon, you will arrive at the traditional stilt homestay. Take a shower and rest if you wish before your traditional meal with the homestay family.
If you are up to waking up early today, you will have a chance to see the bustle of the town as locals prepare for the day’s activities. Have breakfast at 7, and stroll around the village, soaking up the atmosphere. If you feel like walking a little further, venture along the paddy field to find yourself surrounded by the majesty of nature. The tour van will collect you and take your group to a lovely lunch spot. The ride back to Hanoi is a gentle way to enjoy panoramas of the glorious landscape. You will reach the city at around 5 pm to check-in at the hotel and have the evening at your leisure.
Today, you will find yourself surrounded by breath-taking beauty in the iconic landscape of Bai Tu Long Bay. This is the less well-known cousin of Ha Long. Arrive at the port around noon to board your next set of lodgings. Move into your cabin and have a quick trip briefing. Lunch will be fresh, local seafood on deck…such luxury! As you eat, cruise peacefully among huge limestone cliffs clothed in verdant trees. Stop for a swim and visit the mysterious cave here. Your guides will take you to a hidden treasure: a secluded island beach, where you can relax amongst the beauty. If you’re feeling more adventurous or lying on white sand isn’t your thing, take out a kayak and continue to explore the bay. Later, return to the main boat in time to watch one of the most incredible sunsets of your life while enjoying another meal of fresh seafood.
Early-risers will have an extraordinarily beautiful sunrise to enjoy in the utter tranquillity of the bay. Have breakfast on board before the locals of the bay take you out in rowboats to show you their favourite spots. Return to the boat for lunch as you slowly cruise back the port. After lunch, hit the road back to Hanoi, arriving at around 5.30 pm. You will transfer to Noi Bai airport for an evening flight to Da Nang. On arrival, meet your next guide and take a transfer to your hotel. Have dinner at or nearby to the hotel and overnight in Hoi An.
Meet at 8 am for a short transfer to the boat docks. You will boat out to a little fishing village. Here, you will get to see the way life has gone on for many years by the water. See the way tools are prepared, then head out on a short basket boat ride before lunch. After you have eaten, take some bikes out along the serene country roads, through paddy fields of rice, coconut, and corn to get to the main town of Hoi An. You will have an afternoon of sightseeing. End the day around 5 pm, when you will head back to the hotel to rest and enjoy some dinner.
After breakfast at the hotel, take a transfer to the airport in Da Nang for a midday flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to check in. In the afternoon, you will get to see the bustle of the city through the eyes of a local. Explore the vibrant Cho Lon market, a hidden Chinese Pagoda, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Central Post Office, and the City Hall. You will be dropped off at the hotel around 5:30 pm.
Get ready for a busy day! Head from the hotel at 8 am on a drive toward the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival in Ben Tre, you will step into a boat and glide down twisting branches of the Mekong and into its peaceful canals. Visit a brick kiln and coconut shell husking workshop to see the unique forms of industry in the area. Continue your boat trip down waterways to visit a coconut candy workshop. This candy is what Ben Tre is famous for! Next, head to a local market and take part in a workshop making sleeping mats, celebrating an old tradition of hand-weaving different types of mat. See what life is like for the locals by exploring the idyllic island by bike or Lambretta Triporteur (an old, traditional 1960s tricycle from South Vietnam). Whichever you choose, you will be carried around coconut palms, bitter melon or cucumber farms, and to the house of a local farmer, where you will break for lunch. In the afternoon, take a wander through the coconut farms and fruit orchards of the village and enjoy the local hand-rowed Sampan, slowly cruising under the canopy of water coconut palms along the canals. Your boat will collect you later in the afternoon to cruise back to Ben Tre town. Head back to Ho Chi Minh City around 5 pm. Have some dinner and get a good night’s sleep.
Breakfast at the hotel. If you have a later flight, take some time in the morning to have a last explore of Ho Chi Minh and absorb its incredible atmosphere. Take a transfer to the airport and fly home.
- The price shown is a 'from' price per person
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- Price is based on double occupancy. A single supplement applies
- 80% refund available until 30 days prior to check-in; 50% refund available 15 days prior to check-in; 25% refund available 6 days prior to check-in; within 5 days of check-in there will be no refund
- Entrance fees and activity fees
- Some meals
- Local bike
- Some meals
- International Airfare
- Drinks and snacks outside of the included meals
- Personal expenses