Vietnam Trails

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Discover Vietnam's many gems, from buzzing Saigon to quaint Hoi An to stately Hanoi and magnificent Halong Bay. Top this off with an adventure to visit the terraced fields and hilltribes of Sapa, a sea of verdant scenery.

Places Visited

Australia - Saigon (3N) - Hoi An (3N) - Hue (1N) - Hanoi (2N) - Overnight Train (2N) - Sapa (2N) - Halong Bay (1N) - Australia

Days 1: Fly to Saigon
Fly with Vietnam Airlines to Saigon, Vietnam’s most evocative and largest city. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture. Darwin passengers may depart two days earlier.
Days 1: Fly to Saigon
Day 2: Discover Saigon
Confront the reality of guerrilla warfare at the astonishing Cu Chi Tunnels, afterwards return to Saigon. Seamlessly blending past and present, Saigon is both a treasure trove of cultural sights and the city that is driving Vietnam towards a bright future. Experience Vietnam’s colonial past at Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. Also visit the Reunification Palace and the chilling War Remnants Museum. Finish up browsing for bargains at the lively Ben Thanh Market.
Day 2: Discover Saigon
Day 3: Mekong Delta
Journey to Ben Tre to take a cruise on the Mekong. Paddle through the maze of palm-lined canals and get a glimpse of daily life on the Mekong Delta. Return to Saigon.
Day 3: Mekong Delta
Day 4: Journey to Hoi An
Fly to Danang and transfer to Hoi An stopping en route at the Marble Mountains. This afternoon take a walking tour of charming Hoi An – a wonderfully laidback and wilfully traditional place, whose streets are a delight to wander. Visit an old merchant’s house, the elaborate Japanese Covered Bridge and the bustling market.
Day 4: Journey to Hoi An
Day 5: Hoi An Cooking Class
Purchase fresh ingredients at the market for a cookery class at a local restaurant, consuming your creations for lunch. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure to further explore this delightful town.
Day 5: Hoi An Cooking Class
Day 6: Hoi An
Enjoy a day at leisure to further explore this idyllic town. Perhaps savour a relaxing coffee and take a stroll through the streets of Hoi An.
Day 6: Hoi An
Day 7: Imperial Hue
Leave Hoi An for Hue, taking a scenic route over the Hai Van Pass. The epitome of Vietnam’s dynastic past, Hue is a dignified and scholarly city. Visit the imposing Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City. The magnificent centrepiece of the Royal Empire, the citadel was extensively damaged during the Vietnam War.
Day 7: Imperial Hue
Day 8: Royal Tombs
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Tomb of Minh Mang, a complex of 40 monuments set in surroundings of gardens and pools. Continue to the Thien Mu Pagoda before taking a cruise on the Perfume River. Fly to Hanoi.
Day 8: Royal Tombs
Day 9: Explore Hanoi
Sightseeing today includes a wander through the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, where you’ll pass Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and visit the Stilt House set in the gardens of the Presidential Palace. Also visit One Pillar Pagoda and the Confucian Temple of Literature. End the day’s explorations with a thrilling cyclo tour through the Old Quarter and enjoy a traditional water puppet show. Board your overnight train to Lao Cai.
Day 9: Explore Hanoi
Days 10-11: Sapa
On arrival in Lao Cai, transfer to Sapa. Spend the next two days discovering this verdant and beautiful area of rolling hills and rice terraces with some light hiking through the surrounding valleys and villages.
Days 10-11: Sapa
Day 12: Hilltribes
This morning is at leisure before an afternoon hike to visit more of the local hilltribes. Board the overnight train to Hanoi.
Day 12: Hilltribes
Days 13-14: Cruise Halong Bay
Drive to Halong Bay where you will spend two days aboard a traditionally-designed junk cruising amongst magnificent karst peaks on the tranquil green waters of Halong Bay. Stay overnight on the boat before returning to Hanoi where you will spend the night.
Days 13-14: Cruise Halong Bay
Day 15: Depart Hanoi
The remainder of the day is at your leisure before you are transferred to Hanoi airport to board your overnight flight to Australia. Due to flight schedules, Perth passengers will arrive home on Day 15.
Day 15: Depart Hanoi
Day 16: Arrive Australia
Arrive home today.
Day 16: Arrive Australia

Tour prices are per person, twin share

2016

2017

Additional Price Information:

Please note the Tour Dossier listed is applicable for 2015 departures.
Single Hotel Room and Junk Boat Cabin Option from $880
Single Rail Compartment Option from $560
Land Only (Saigon to Hanoi) 15 days from $3,323 pp (includes tipping)
Darwin passengers may require a stopover in Singapore at an additional cost
Passengers departing Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra will fly with Virgin Australia to connect with Vietnam Airlines departing Sydney or Melbourne
Above prices include airline fuel surcharge and tipping. Subject to change
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 1300 318 203. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel. Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visa in the price of our tour for Australian passport holders. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. It’s a good idea to check call costs with hotel staff or your local guide before making calls, as this can be expensive. A service charge may also be involved. To call Australia – the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 61, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. 
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular in Vietnam and you will find high quality coverage. Vietnam has active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have wifi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Vietnam is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.

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Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 1300 318 203 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.


Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those who have a reasonable amount of time available and who are interested in seeing the main sights and cities of Vietnam. This tour is also suitable for those looking for a slightly more active tour as there will be long walks in Sapa. This tour includes a Halong Bay overnight junk boat cruise.

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