- 15 Days
- 15 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,685
Goway's 15 Day Scenic Vietnam travels to exotic Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City
Travel by train on the Reunification Express and really get to know Vietnam’s major attractions with stops in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.
Starting in the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, with its French-colonial influences, visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum and former home as well as enjoy a performance of the unique water puppet show. From here, head to the beautiful limestone karsts on a boat trip in stunning Halong Bay after which take an overnight train to Hue, with its ancient history. Discover the Forbidden City palace complex and the former Emperors of Vietnam’s tombs plus enjoy a cruise on the Perfume River. A little further south, you will visit the fishing village of Lang Co and then continue to Hoi An, with its distinct charm and character where you will step back in time. After this, have a stay in one of Vietnam’s premier resorts, Nha Trang before finishing your tour in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon which will show you the major development of Vietnam’s efforts to be part of today’s world. While here, you will visit the Mekong delta with its unique countryside and riverside quaint villages.
- 15 Days
- 15 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 1,685
Itinerary View Trip Map
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which includes the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Museum. Take a city tour through the ancient '36 Streets' to discover an amazing selection of shops selling everything from souvenirs to exquisite silk clothing, beautifully embroidered tablecloths and CDs. Then take in a performance of the famous water puppet theatre.
Hanoi to Halong Bay
Enjoy breakfast with the children of the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay (approx 4 hrs). Halong Bay is a breathtaking secluded harbour with 2,000 limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of Bac Bo Gulf. One of Vietnam's most scenic regions, this area of about 1,500 sq km is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos, created over thousands of years by waves and wind.
Board our private boat and cruise among the dramatic limestone peaks. There's an opportunity to swim in the famed South China Sea (known locally as the East Sea), as well as to explore caves filled with stunning stalactites and stalagmites. Spend a peaceful night on board, beneath a night sky alive with stars. Our sailing junk has twin-share cabins that have air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar where we enjoy a sumptuous lunch and dinner.
Halong Bay to Hanoi to Hue
Return to Hanoi by bus (approx 4 hrs), stopping at Dong Trieu Factory to watch locals working on the traditional art of ceramics. Back in Hanoi there's a chance for more exploration. You can head back to the Old Quarter for a traditional meal of pho or stock up on freshly baked baguettes for the trip ahead.
Board an overnight train bound for Hue. Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are an adventure experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Sleeper trains typically have four berth compartments (occasionally six berth depending on seasonal variations), which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers take the opportunity to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure.
As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and is a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings. Visit the Imperial Citadel, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war.
Enjoy a dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River. The trip includes a visit to Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It's an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. One of the most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk who, in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime. We also visit one of the royal tombs, that of Emperor Tu Duc, with its central lake set amid a grove of frangipani and pine trees, or what many believe to be the most majestic of all the royal tombs, Minh Mang. The bustling Dong Ba Market offers a plethora of goods and foods to see and sample, and it's a good place to try some of the specialities that graced the Nguyen emperors' banquet tables, such as the banh khoai, a royal rice cake.
There's time to enjoy optional activities or explore on your own.
Travelling by bus, head south through coastal rice paddies before traversing the spectacularly mountainous Hai Van Pass. After a brief visit to the beautiful China Beach (known officially as My Khe Beach), arrive at Hoi An (approx. 4 hours).
Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An is being beautifully restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South-East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago and it retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it. It's also a shopping mecca -- with much to browse and buy. Choose from original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery, lanterns and more. Hoi An has also become famous for its tailoring, with a great variety of fabrics and tailors to choose from. Bring your favourite piece of clothing or even just a picture, and you'll be able to have it copied. On arrival, your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk around the Ancient Town, so you can get your bearings.
You have time here to explore the beautifully restored and preserved Chinese shop houses, enjoy the vibrant and busy market, visit Cua Dai Beach, cycle to the rice fields and browse the array of art galleries.
Transfer to Danang and board a day train to Nha Trang (approx 10 hrs). Although long, it's an interesting journey - a chance to check out the stunning countryside, as well as befriend local travellers. Once referred to as the 'Cannes of the Orient', Nha Trang's sandy palm-lined beach and island-dotted bay still make an idyllic picture, and a cosmopolitan feel prevails in the town itself.
A highlight for many travellers is our boat trip amongst the islands. From the main boat, we take basket boats to shore and visit a fishing village, snorkel in the turquoise waters, enjoy a seafood buffet, and pass the afternoon lazing in deck chairs or swimming.
Take an overnight train bound for Ho Chi Minh City.
Ho Chi Minh City
Upon our early arrival into Ho Chi Minh, we check into our day rooms; these will be shared with your fellow passengers until our own rooms are available at check-in time. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterized by a vast array of sights and sounds, and is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. 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 the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer. Much of city life takes place on the busy streets lined with shops, stalls and vendors, who have their wares spread out on the footpath and sell everything from soup to sophisticated electronics. Experience the hustle and bustle of old Saigon on a city tour and explore some of the city's more interesting sights, including the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace.
Ho Chi Minh City
Head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board the boat to Ben Tre to see coconut candy factory and sample the local candies for which this region is famous. Take the opportunity to take a tuk-tuk around this remote village with a stop to sample tropical fruits and learn more about local rural life. Then visit a nearby restaurant in the heart of the delta, where you can sample some of the regional specialities such as the famous elephant-ear fish.
After lunch, board sampans (small rowing boats) and paddle past the many water coconut trees that populate the Mekong Delta. Boarding our main private boat, cruise through more major waterways, arriving in My Tho town. Here our bus awaits to take us back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Visit the famous Cu Chi tunnels. This former Viet Cong stronghold provides an insight into the resourcefulness and tenacity of the Vietnamese people, as well as a unique sense of what underground life was like during the American War.
Depart Ho Chi Minh City
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Select Wednesdays and Saturdays
Hotel (11 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights), 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner, transportation in boat, overnight sleeper train, private bus, private minibus, private vehicle, taxi, train and following sightseeing:
- Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
- Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
- Hanoi - Water puppet show
- HCMC - Mekong Delta day trip
- Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
- Hoi An - Ancient town
- Hue - Imperial citadel
- Hue - Motorbike trip including lunch
- Hue - Perfume River boat ride
- Hue - Royal tomb
Riverside Impression Homestay Villa or similar (3 nts), Overnight sleeper train (2 nts), Family Inn Saigon Hotel or similar (2 nts), Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel or similar (2 nts), Thanh Noi Hotel or similar (2 nts), BIDV Hotel Nha Trang or similar (2 nts), Overnight boat (1 nt)
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.
Travel insurance, gratuities, items of a personal nature and drinks.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
*Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share in low season. Subject to availability.
30 Dec 2017