The Globetrotting Teacher

Tour Review: Intrepid Travel Vietnam Express Southbound

Traveling in Vietnam with Intrepid Travel on their Vietnam Express Southbound 10-day tour is everything that’s terrific and transformative about travel.

This was my 2nd Intrepid tour, completely different from the incredible  Okavango Experience , but just as unforgettable, educational, gratifying, and culturally immersive in a way that is unique to Vietnam and the travelers and guide I was lucky enough to explore and experience with.

In this guide, I’ll not only share my complete review of my time with Intrepid Travel in Vietnam, but I’ll also do my best to explain the intangibles about why small group travel with Intrepid is so special.

Spoiler Alert! If you’re considering the  Intrepid Travel Vietnam Express Southbound  tour, don’t hesitate. Book it and go with an open heart and curious mind for a not-to-be-forgotten trip!

hanoi Vietnam Tea

This 10-day Vietnam Express Southbound tour starts in the north, in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi, and ends in Ho Chi Minh City in the south. 

In between, the tour itinerary takes you to popular spots in Vietnam including Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An, and the Mekong Delta. And, in a way that’s unique to Intrepid, you not only see those must-see sights but also learn about the country’s history, culture, and experience local daily life.

It’s that last part about the local culture, daily life, and the people you meet along the way that’ll flash through your mind long after your trip to Vietnam is done.

What Happens While Traveling in Vietnam with Intrepid

It would be easy to share a list of all the popular sights and activities you’ll see and do while in Vietnam with Intrepid. But I’d be leaving out so many moments that make this trip so much more than just another Vietnam sightseeing trip!

When you travel with Intrepid, you get to mix must-see sights, off-the-beaten-path stops, and interactions with locals you wouldn’t be able to have otherwise had you traveled independently.

Intrepid’s Vietnam Express Southbound Itinerary

No doubt if you’re considering this tour, you’ve read through the day-by-day itinerary on Intrepid’s website. I’ve put together this video to show how memorable just these highlights are all by themselves.

But, there are so many other unforgettable moments you don’t see in the trip outline. These moments are unique to your group and your guide but give a glimpse of how amazing it is to travel with a company like Intrepid that wholeheartedly believes in the powerful impact of authentic local experiences. What You Don’t See

I purposefully didn’t include activities I did outside of the tour. However, if you look at the Intrepid itinerary, you’ll notice the first day doesn’t start until 6 pm and the last day is open for the group to do independent activities or depart as warranted by their travel plans.

I took these opportunities to see more of Vietnam. Before the 6 pm meeting on Day 1, I joined the Urban Adventures Hanoi Morning Highlights Tour and then used the afternoon to wander independently and visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex and Stilt House. It was great to have this time to do some sightseeing in Hanoi.

On the last day, I went with Urban Adventures to tour the Cu Chi Tunnels just outside Ho Chi Minh City…an absolute must! The tunnels and how they were built and used are utterly fascinating. Back in the city just after midday, I independently visited Independence Palace and did some more shopping at the Ben Thanh Market.

Practical Details

If you’ve never traveled with a tour before or with Intrepid, you’re probably wondering about some of the logistics, as well as who you’ll be traveling with.

Before You Go:

Intrepid requires travel insurance for all travelers no matter which tour it is.  World Nomads  provides travel insurance for all types of trips, travelers, and budgets.

Vietnam requires U.S. residents to get a Visa to enter the country. Luckily, it’s an easy process that can be done online. You can apply for one at the  Vietnam e-Visa web portal . You have to upload a photo of yourself and pay $25. After that, it takes about 3 business days to get your e-Visa. It’s valid for a single entry 30-day Vietnam Visa.

Southeast Asia has a hot, humid climate. And, countries like Vietnam also dress conservatively. This combination means you want lightweight, loose-fitting clothing with enough skin coverage. Moisture-wicking fabric is also great for travel because when you want to wash it out, it dries quickly.

Specifically for this Intrepid Vietnam tour, pack a  sleep sheet  (or an old sheet you can use and leave behind to lighten your bag) and this  compressible pillow  for the train from Hanoi to Hue like I did. I slept comfortably on a clean sheet! And, what I love about that pillow is it packs down small but expands to be nearly the size of a regular pillow. (I took it on my other incredible Intrepid trip to camp in the  Okavango Delta , too!)

On the Trip:

Who is the guide.

Hue Vietnam Intrepid Guide

Intrepid hires and works with guides who are locals that live in and are experts on the places visited on the tour itinerary. By doing so, it’s a win-win for you, the traveler, and the local community.

First, some of the money you pay for the tour pays these guides. Enough said, right? No matter where we are from, we all know how empowering and impactful a job is for the individual, their families, and communities.

Along with this, you, the traveler, get a guide with first-hand cultural and location-based knowledge who inevitably opens doors for an immersive, authentic look at daily life.

Nam was the guide for our group and not only could he talk about the history of a specific temple or make sure the group allowed enough time to get from one place to another, but he also recommended local places to eat, showed us how to smoke that bamboo tube pipe you see people passing in Hanoi, and stopped in the countryside at a burial site to explain more about the rituals and beliefs Vietnamese have about death and their ancestors.

Who travels with Intrepid?

Mekong Delta Vietnam

From 20s-70s, hailing from all over the world, Intrepid travelers are adventurous travel-lovers who welcome authentic experiences no matter where they are.

Both of my Intrepid groups have been a perfect blend of exactly that combination. There have been Americans, Aussies, Europeans, and Canadians traveling solo, as a couple, with friends, or as a family whether for a first-time out-of-college travel experience or celebrating a 30-year wedding anniversary.

The best part is they’re all travel lovers who are ready to explore! And, if you’re lucky like I’ve been, you’ll come away with travel memories and lasting friendships.

What are the accommodations like?

Hue Vietnam Hotel

Intrepid has different types of tours, Basix, Original, and Comfort. This Vietnam Express Southbound tour is Original. Hotels are typically comfortable 3-star hotels for this type of tour.

All the hotels from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh were modern with relatively spacious rooms located conveniently in each city so we could walk to restaurants, shops, markets, and popular sights. Not all Intrepid tours stay at the same hotels but for reference, this is  the hotel  our group stayed at in Hue.

The one exception was in Hoi An, where the hotel was a 10-minute walk outside the old town and more of a 2-star hotel compared to the others where we stayed.

This  Vietnam Express Southbound tour  has 2 nights not spent in hotels, too.

In Ha Long Bay, we slept on our own junk boat. Each of us had our own cabins with ensuite bathrooms, fans, and air conditioning. Since I was traveling on my own, I had a cabin with 2 twin beds. On the main deck, there was an enclosed dining room, with outdoor deck seating at both ends of the boat.

HalongBayCabin

We also took an overnight train from Hanoi to Hue. Intrepid books “First Class” cabins but it’s important to understand trains in Vietnam are not like the sleeper trains you might find in Europe, for example. We had private cabins for only our group but each cabin has 2 sets of bunks, sleeping 4 people in each. I shared with 3 other girls in the group and slept comfortably. The bathroom is shared among the car occupants.

HanoiTrainCabin

I did bring my own sleeping sheet and used my travel pillow and  recommend you do the same . I loved waking up early to watch the Vietnamese countryside fly by from my window.

How does the group travel?

For the majority of the time, you’ll travel by private, air-conditioned van arranged by Intrepid. We did also take the boat out for the day and night onto Ha Long Bay, the train to Hue, and a short flight to get from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh. We flew on SkyTeam Alliance member, Vietnam Airlines.

What happens for meals?

HueVietnamMeal

Expect some of the best food ever! Not just with the included meals, but also because you have a local guide at your disposal who can recommend the best places to eat depending on what you want or need to meet any dietary restrictions. I’m a vegetarian and never lacked for anything delicious to eat.

Breakfasts are included in the tour, and typically part of the hotel breakfasts which offered complete western and Vietnamese breakfast foods. A few lunches and dinners throughout the 10 days are part of the tour, as well.

On the first night in Hanoi, our group had a delicious first meal together at KOTO, a restaurant partnered with the Intrepid Foundation. (If you didn’t know, Intrepid is a B Corp, which means they’ve committed to be a force for good and to put purpose before profit.) KOTO is a program that trains disadvantaged kids in hospitality and culinary skills.

Lunch and dinner were included on the Ha Long Bay cruise. We had a feast of local specialties that were prepared onboard with more than enough to satisfy our whole group. I’m a vegetarian and the group also had a few picky eaters, as well as someone who needed gluten-free meals. All of us were accommodated.

We had an incredible (all vegetarian!) lunch at a Buddhist monastery. I wish I could go back and get more cooked banyan fruit! 

The tour also included another feast lunch at a house restaurant in the Mekong Delta. 

Should You Book the Vietnam Express Southbound Tour with Intrepid? 

hanoi vietnam daily life

If you’ve read and watched this far,  Intrepid’s Vietnam Express Southbound tour  is calling your name!

This tour is right for you if you want to spend time sightseeing in Vietnam, but you also have a genuine curiosity about the Vietnamese people, culture, and daily life.

You’ll absolutely love this tour if you want a mix of group time, where the logistics are taken care of, and free time, when you can explore or relax as you want.

And you’ll definitely want to join in if you enjoy meeting other travel-lovers from around the world who are just as game as you to experience new things, taste new foods, and let the transformative power of travel expand their minds and hearts.

What questions do you have about traveling on the Vietnam Express Southbound tour with Intrepid?

Like this post? Please share it on social media using the share buttons below.

Disclosure: I was a guest of Intrepid Travel all opinions are my own…Easy to do when Intrepid makes travel so unforgettable!

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2 thoughts on “tour review: intrepid travel vietnam express southbound”.

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Loved reading this review. Answered every single question I had. Thank you 🙂

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Thanks so much for reading, Barbara. I’m glad the review was helpful!

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Traveling in Vietnam with Intrepid Travel

Home » Asia » Vietnam » Traveling in Vietnam with Intrepid Travel

When I first began planning my trip to Southeast Asia , I was going to do it all on my own; make all my own arrangements for transportation, book all my own hotels, and figure out all the best stuff to see using my good friend Google. I was going to start in Vietnam, and then spend some time in Thailand.

But, the more I tried to plan, the more stressed out I got about tackling Vietnam on my own – especially considering it would be my first time traveling solo in Southeast Asia .

Sampan boat ride in the Mekong Delta

It wasn't that I was afraid of Vietnam (or worried about traveling there as an American ) – I was nervous about all the little details; getting on the right buses, not getting ripped off by cab drivers, finding decent hotels in all the places I wanted to visit…

Vietnam is not quite as developed as Thailand; there IS tourism infrastructure there, but it isn't quite as easy to navigate as Thailand.

In the end, I decided that the stress of going solo in Vietnam might make it hard for me to truly enjoy the experience. And so I decided to look at other options.

Lanterns in Hoi An, Vietnam

I've worked with Intrepid Travel in the past (in Eastern Europe , in Central America , and in the Greek Islands ), and so I began browsing their offerings in Southeast Asia. This is actually where the company began operating tours 25 years ago, and so I knew whatever I found would be top-notch. Twenty-five years, after all, is a lot of time to practice and make improvements.

Originally, I was only going to visit Vietnam and Thailand. But then I stumbled upon a tour encompassing both Vietnam and Cambodia that ended in Bangkok, Thailand – “ The Best of Vietnam and Cambodia .” It sounded perfect, and I told myself that NOT visiting Cambodia (and the Angkor Temples) while I was already in the area would be silly.

So I got in touch with Intrepid, and within a few weeks was booked on a tour for the first couple of weeks of my Southeast Asia trip. My stress levels instantly lowered.

The tour, it turned out, was actually TWO tours connected in the middle – one in Vietnam and one in Cambodia. And so I've decided to review them separately, since I had two different guides and two somewhat different experiences.

Vietnam Express Southbound tour

The Vietnam portion of this tour was the “ Vietnam Express Southbound ” trip, beginning in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City (where I then met up with the connected Cambodia trip). Here's a look at this tour:

Before you go

If you're wondering what to pack for a trip like this, check out my Southeast Asia packing list . Must-have items (in my opinion) include light layers, comfortable sandals , and a sleep sheet .

Intrepid requires you to have travel insurance for the entirety of your trip. You may be covered under your regular insurance plan, but if you're not, I recommend buying coverage through World Nomads . They offer the most affordable basic travel insurance out there.

When visiting Vietnam, you likely will also need a visa. And a Vietnam visa is something you have to prepare for, by either getting it before you leave or applying to get a visa on arrival. Check out this info on getting a  Vietnam visa for US citizens . It walks you through the different options for obtaining your Vietnam visa.

Saigon City Hall

Where will you go?

Over the span of 10 days, we visited quite a few destinations on this Vietnam tour:

  • Ha Long Bay
  • Saigon ( Ho Chi Minh City )
  • Mekong Delta

Limestone karsts in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

We also had opportunities to get out of the cities on half-day trips, usually visiting markets or cycling through the countryside.

Who will you travel with?

The travelers in my group hailed from Australia, the U.S., the UK, and Chile, with ages ranging from 20 to 60+. There was a family traveling together from England, young couples from Australia, and a handful of solo travelers, too.

This is a pretty typical mix for an Intrepid group, in my experience. And, as always when traveling with Intrepid, our group was small – only 13 people.

Cooking class in Hoi An

I've never had a “bad” group on an Intrepid tour; they have all been good for the most part. But this group? This one was especially fantastic. Despite the age differences and the fact that we all came from different parts of the world, we all got along ridiculously well.

Everyone always seemed to be up for just about anything, whether it was singing karaoke on a boat in Ha Long Bay, dressing up in Hue, or going on death-defying bike tours in Hanoi . We had SO much fun, and the group definitely helped me enjoy the trip more.

Royal Banquet dinner in Hue, Vietnam

Who is the guide?

Our tour leader, a tiny, high-energy local by the name of Hai, was equally as fantastic. He was a great leader in the sense that he took care of all the little details of our trip flawlessly. We were never delayed, and we were always well-informed about where we were going and what we needed to bring (like breakfast on our overnight train ride, or something to cover up with for visiting temples in Hue).

He was also incredibly knowledgable about Vietnam in general, and was almost always able to answer any questions we had.

Market in Hoi An, Vietnam

I also never felt like he was pressuring us to book optional extras or buy things at the various tourist stops we made. He was just a happy guy that you genuinely enjoyed being around, whether you were stuck on a train for 12 hours or laughing at his antics at a local club.

It's so true that a guide can make or break a tour like this. In this instance, Hai absolutely made the trip, and I think everyone in the group would agree. We were spoiled by the fact that Hai knew so much and that he had such a fun personality.

He also was very conscious about what Intrepid stands for as a tour company, which I always take note of.

How will you travel?

The majority of travel on this tour was done via private mini bus. This made the hours in-transit quite comfortable, and made it easy for all of us to chat and get to know one another.

We also took one overnight train (from Hanoi to Hue) and one short flight (from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City).

Vietnam overnight train

I will make a note for anyone planning to book this tour in the future that the local trains in Vietnam are definitely NOT fancy. We were booked into “first class” cabins, which meant 4 beds in each room.

The train cars (and the sheets) were not particularly clean, and we may or may not have had some rodent residents in our train car… My advice is to just accept this as part of the adventure, and perhaps make sure you have a sleep sheet with you.

Where will you stay?

This trip is an Intrepid “Original” style of trip, which means 2/3-star tourist class accommodation. If you are traveling solo, you’ll be sharing a room with at least one other person unless you pay the single supplement fee (which I did for this trip, since it was extremely affordable).

I'm used to traveling this way – usually mid-range hotels that are not disgusting, but also not super fancy.

On this tour, however, I think we were all quite impressed with the class of hotels we stayed in. None of them were huge chain hotels, but all were clean, comfortable, and usually came with free wifi. And some of them were downright beautiful, like the Phu Thinh Boutique Resort and Spa in Hoi An.

Phu Thinh Boutique Resort and Spa in Hoi An, Vietnam

Note that accommodations on this trip also include that overnight train mentioned above, as well as one night on a boat in Ha Long Bay. The “junk boat” we slept on in the Bay was far from junky, though – it was full of character with decent-sized rooms with ensuite toilets and showers.

What will you eat in Vietnam?

Traveling through Vietnam, you of course will eat lots of yummy Vietnamese food! Our tour leader was really good about offering to plan group dinners for us, or giving out personal recommendations on good places to eat if we wanted to do our own thing.

He also would stop at roadside stands for us to have a quick lunch of pho (noodle soup) right alongside the locals.

Bowl of Pho in Vietnam

My favorite Vietnamese dishes included beef pho, spring rolls (especially the fresh ones), and Cao lầu (a regional specialty in Hoi An, pictured below).

Cao lầu in Hoi An

What will you do on this Vietnam tour?

Activities that are included in the price of this trip include:

  • An overnight cruise at Ha Long Bay
  • Guided tours around Hue (including to royal tombs, the Imperial Citadel, and the Thien Mu Pagoda)
  • Cruise down the Perfume River in Hue
  • Visit to the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City
  • A day trip to the Mekong Delta from HCMC

Ha Long Bay Sunset

This trip also included tons of optional activities. Some of these included:

  • Kayaking at Ha Long Bay
  • Bike tours in Hanoi, Hue, and Hoi An (mostly in the countryside)
  • A “royal banquet” dinner in Hue
  • A cooking class in Hoi An
  • A trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City
  • A water puppet show in HCMC

Ha Long Bay kayaking

The optional activities were always just that: optional . However, our group generally signed up for anything and everything.

Vietnam countryside

Despite a fairly full schedule, we still found ourselves with a decent amount of free time. Usually we would either relax, or divide up into smaller groups to do things.

I went to a local market with an Aussie couple in Hue, wandered around to see the sights with a small group of people in Ho Chi Minh City (like the Reunification Palace and all the Tet decorations), and even took a night off from the group to meet up with some friends in Hoi An.

Any downsides?

Overall, this was a really great tour. The only downsides I can think of are that it could be longer (another night in Hanoi and perhaps an extra one in Hoi An for people who want to get some things custom-tailored would be great) and the price could perhaps be raised in order to just include a lot of those “optional” activities.

Those activities add up – it would probably feel like less of a strain on the wallet if more of them were just automatically included in the price of the trip, even if that meant raising the price $100 or so.

Cycling in Vietnam

Would I recommend this Vietnam tour?

DEFINITELY. I loved this tour, my group, and Vietnam in general. Thanks to the mix of cities and countryside, I feel like I really got a good taste of the country. Having a local guide allowed me to understand Vietnam a lot better, and also have a lot of great local interactions that I know I probably wouldn't have had if I had been traveling solo.

Overall, it's a trip that I have very fond memories from, and one that I would recommend to anyone wanting to visit Vietnam without having to worry about any of the details.

In the end, this turned out to be the perfect introduction to Southeast Asia for me.

Book this Vietnam tour for yourself!

Street scene in Hoi An, Vietnam

If you want to read more about this tour, here are some posts to check out:

  • Ha Long Bay: Just as Incredible as You've Heard
  • Of Kumquat Trees and Death Wishes: Cycling in Hanoi
  • Exploring the Imperial City of Hue, Vietnam
  • There's Something About Hoi An
  • Central Vietnam By Bike: Rice Paddies and Smiles
  • In Photos: Markets in Vietnam
  • An American in Vietnam
  • A Day in the Mekong Delta
  • Celebrating Tet in Vietnam

If you'd like to book this same tour, check it out here .

Vietnam Express Southbound tour

*Note: I did receive a complimentary tour of Vietnam and Cambodia from Intrepid Travel. As always, though, opinions are completely my own.

Would you ever consider a tour like this in Vietnam?

Pin it for later:

Best Vietnam tour

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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I love, love, love your website! It is so great to find a travel blog from someone who balances travel with a full time job AND goes on organized tours sometimes. (I think so many new travelers – myself included – use them! I wish more people wrote about their experiences.)

Anyway, I am really close to booking the same tour you did in Vietnam and just have some questions based on your experience.

First, you mention a lot of optional bike rides on your trip, which look gorgeous but unfortunately I don’t ride a bike. (Big into hiking, just never learned to ride.) I can usually entertain myself well enough, but do you think I will feel really left out from the group based on your experience? Did everyone from your group go on all the optional bike rides?

Second, did you take anti-malarial tablets? It seems like some people do and some don’t due to the side effects.

Thanks and keep up the great work!

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Hi Julie! I actually love going on organized tours as a solo traveler, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! 🙂

As for your questions, all the bike rides were optional and not everyone in our group went on every ride. I’m sure if you let your guide know that you don’t ride a bike, he/she could come up with an alternative activity for you if you don’t want to figure things out on your own.

And no, I didn’t take any anti-malarials in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam, they’re really only recommended if you’re going to super rural areas, and nowhere you go on this tour poses any high risk.

Thanks so much! Can’t wait to hear about your future adventures on the blog!

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Thank you for your quick response! Thanks for letting me know about the dramamine – I was wondering if I would need it on the train. Good point – only one night! Thanks for reassuring me.

I mean, you might not need the Dramamine. But my motto is always “better safe than sorry” when it comes to motion sickness, so I’d probably just take it if you’re concerned!

Hi Amanda. I have arrived at your blog as my daughter and I were researching tours to do in Vietnam. I love EVERYTHING you have posted here. All of it is very informative and helpful. This summer, I will be joining my 23 year-old daughter in Vietnam who is spending two month travelling through Europe and Southeast Asia. We booked the Intrepid Southbound trip. Although I consider myself a traveler (Europe and U.S.), this will be my first to SE Asia. At 52, I am not as adventuresome as I used to be. After reading a blog post on Intrepid Journal, I’m worried about whether I can handle the overnight train trip ( I take dramamine for motion sickness and use the bathroom frequently). Do you have any advice to make me less anxious? Thank you!

Hey Whitney! You two will have a great time! This is a really good tour, and if you talk to your tour leader about your concerns, he/she should be able to give you some reassurance. The train trip isn’t really all that bad. Take your Dramamine and make sure you get a bottom bunk in case you have to get up during the night. And I would just bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer for the train restroom, which probably won’t be as clean as you’re used to! It’s only one night, though!

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Great post! My 15YO daughter and I are taking the same Southbound trip with Intrepid next month (Feb. 2018). My daughter is adopted fro Vietnam (Saigon) and we haven’t been back since 2002 so it’s an extra special trip for us. Sounds like you had a GREAT time, and we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about Intrepid.

Happy travelling, and thanks again fro the fun post!

I definitely had a great time and hope you guys do, too!

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I’m a bit late to the party, but in case anyone is googling and finds this useful- look very carefully through the trip notes to see about luggage- we took rucksacks to Sri Lanka as we figured that would be best but the luggage was rarely carried by us (!) and a wheeled bag would have been fine. We’re looking to book a different trip this time though and we’ll definitely need rucksacks as it specifically says you’ll be carrying your own bags a lot of the time. Enjoy!

With Intrepid tours you almost always are responsible for carrying your own bag. 🙂

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Hey, just stumbled across your blog, looking for some reviews and suggestions. I’ve booked onto Intrepid’s Real Food Adventure – Vietnam, starting in Hanoi, going south to HCMC. Then onto the Cambodian Traveller tour, finishing up with a bite-sized break in Bangkok. I’ve been to Thailand twice before but as a tourist. This time, it’s my first time travelling solo, so thought it would be far safer, and more organised to go with Intrepid, who have a great reputation. The one thing I wanted answered has already been referred to earlier in the comments; luggage!! Rucksack or suitcase? It seems there’s a mix. I was just worried about space when in the overnight train, on the boat in Ha Long Bay, and in the homestay. Have been researching wheeled backpacks, which come very highly recommended by seasoned travellers, but with an equally high price tag.. so I may just either bite the bullet and go for a decent sized rucksack (50 litres for a 3.5 week trip?) or get a wheeled duffle bag. Otherwise, am so excited. Only 17 days to go, but who’s counting!!

That’s going to be a great trip! (And yes, a great option for a solo traveler!)

I used a 44-liter backpack for this trip, but definitely could have gotten away with rolling luggage (some others on the tour had normal suitcases). My favorite all-around bag is the Osprey Sojourn (60L), which has wheels AND removable backpack straps. It’s pricier, but is actually on sale on Amazon right now! You can check it out here: http://amzn.to/2aBlrBO

As Seen On

Vietnam Tours & Vacations

People sitting and talking with a local at a homestay in Sapa, Vietnam

Vietnamese food is where it’s at.

Wherever we travel, it’s the flavours we remember best. A crusty bánh mì or streetside pho, seafood cù lao hotpots and (scarily addictive) coffee with condensed milk. Vietnam tours are tasty, plain and simple. We won’t just drop you in Halong Bay and call it a day. Our local leaders will introduce you to rice farmers in Sapa and fishermen on the Mekong Delta. They’ll guide you through the Cu Chi Tunnels, take you to the best beaches and on a street food crawl through Ho Chi Minh City. Our stomach’s rumbling already... 

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We also travel to

Vietnam at a glance, capital city.

Approximately 98 million

(GMT+07:00) Bangkok, Hanoi, Jakarta

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type C (European 2-pin)

Learn more about Vietnam

History and government, early history.

Vietnam has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Archaeological finds suggest that structured societies existed as early as the 1st millennium BC. Early society was mostly feudal and agriculture-based, with various dynasties overseeing different parts of Vietnam until the Chinese invasion of 111 BC, which saw the societies of Vietnam and China intertwined. Various Chinese dynasties dominated the area for hundreds of years, although revolts finally led to Vietnam gaining self-autonomy in 905. By 938, this period of Chinese imperial domination came to a close and Vietnam entered into an age of independence.

Recent history

During the 19th century, Vietnam came under the influence of French colonizers, who assumed control of Vietnam after the Sino-French War of 1884 and 1885. French Indochina was formed in 1887, and included parts of Vietnam, Cambodia and, later on, Laos. Although the French managed to suppress internal movements towards independence for many years, their control was finally relinquished in 1954 when Vietnamese forces overcame the French during the first Indochina War. Following this war, Vietnam was divided, with separate forces ruling the north (led by Ho Chi Minh) and the south (led by Ngo Dinh Diem, with support from the United States). 

The second Indochina War created wide-scale devastation and turmoil for the people of Vietnam, leading to mass migration to other parts of the world as asylum seekers tried to escape the conflict. More recently, Vietnam has benefited from the free market economy set up in 1986. Vietnam's economy continues to expand, with agriculture and industry providing the backbone and the tourism sector also contributing. Although many Vietnamese people live below the poverty line, there have been widespread improvements in literacy and health, which hopefully will continue to improve.

Geography and environment

Occupying a long, thin part of the Indochinese peninsula, Vietnam shares borders with China , Laos and Cambodia . Much of Vietnam's terrain is mountainous, particularly the north and central highland regions. Although people still choose to live in the densely forested highland regions, most of Vietnam's population is concentrated in the cities of the low-lying areas, where infrastructure is more easily built and the land is fertile. One of the 12 great rivers of the world, the Mekong, runs through Vietnam and has been responsible for wide-scale flooding. A system of canals and levees has been quite successful in redistributing the water during monsoons, and has helped to alleviate flooding in the Mekong Delta and surrounding areas.

Vietnam has a nice mix of interesting markets and small shops, with handicrafts, art and clothing among the best picks.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Vietnam

1. Tailored clothing

Hoi An is one of the best places in the world to get tailor-made clothing at a great price. Find a tailor, choose your fabric, get measured and return later to collect your custom-made fashion.

2. Hilltribe handicrafts

Some of Vietnam's hilltribe people make excellent woven bags, clothing and jewellery which make meaningful souvenirs for friends back home.

As one of the world's largest coffee exporters, Vietnamese coffee is among the world's best. If you’re a coffee fan, why not take a little taste of Vietnam home with you.

4. Lacquerware

The time-consuming, intensive process of creating Vietnamese lacquer art results in a beautiful, smooth and polished finish that adorns everything from bowls to paintings and jewellery boxes. While not the cheapest of souvenirs, authentic lacquer art is worth spending a bit more on.

Culture and customs

Vietnam's ancient culture can be traced back centuries and over the years has been influenced in different ways by the Chinese, Khmer, French and American cultures. For most Vietnamese people, connection to family and community is paramount - whether they are from rural villages or living in fast-paced cities.

Most festivals and holidays are spent with the extended family - participating in rituals, feasting on special foods, giving symbolic gifts and paying respects to ancestors. Most Vietnamese people practice a form of religion that is an interesting mix of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, although there are also a large number of practising Catholics living in Vietnam.

Having endured the hardship that the Vietnam War brought in the 1960s and 1970s, most Vietnamese people are keen to get on with life, living with a sense of optimism and humility.

Similar destinations

Thinking about a trip to Vietnam but still browsing other destinations? Or, maybe you've already been and are looking for somewhere similar?

Cambodia vs Vietnam

Thailand vs Vietnam

Top 10 iconic landscapes of Vietnam

1. hạlong bay.

There's nothing quite like Halong Bay first thing in the morning. As the mists clear, hundreds of huge karst towers appear, looming high above the boat. In the soft morning light, it's like waking up in a watercolour painting of a mythical land. Float along the waters of Halong Bay on our 2 day Junk Cruise.

Jam-packed with imperial sites, Hue is one for the history buffs. Explore the Citadel with its ruined Forbidden Purple City before embracing your inner emperor and taking a dragon boat cruise down the Perfume River. Walk the historic streets of Hue on our 11 day Explore Vietnam tour.

3. Ho Chi Minh City

Still known as Saigon to most, HCMC is a city on the go. It's fast-paced, exciting and full of amazing sites. Temples and markets collide with churches and skyscrapers for a heady mix of traditional, colonial and modern. Explore Ho Chi Minh City's jam-packed streets on our 10 day Vietnam Express Southbound tour.

Motorbikes piled high with people, produce and even animals zip through the streets. It's crazy and haphazard and somehow it works. The best way to take it all in is from a rooftop cafe. Order an extra strong coffee and watch the chaos unfold below. Get lost in the beautiful Hanoi on our 10 day Vietnam Express Northbound tour.

This shoppers' paradise is home to more boot makers, tailors and handicrafts than you could visit in a lifetime. While you wait for your suit to be made, hire a bicycle and explore the Old Town - the streets are blissfully car-free. Shop 'til you drop on our 8 day Premium Vietnam tour or on our 8 day Treasures of vietnam tour.

Head to the hills and see the colourful villages of Vietnam's minority groups - the Zay, and the Blue and Black H'mong. The area is remote so the best way to experience it is on an overnight trek, spending the night as a guest of a local family. Escape to the hills on our 5 day Sapa Adventure or on our 11 day Vietnam: Hike, Bike & Kayak tour.

7. Mekong Delta

This massive area of floating markets, emerald rice paddies and lush islands is home to some of the friendliest people on earth. Take a boat trip to one of the sleepy islands to get a front-row view of life on the Delta, and meet the people who call it home. Adventure through the Mekong Delta on our 2 day Farmstay .

Further reading

Vietnam travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Do I need a visa to travel to Vietnam?

Most nationalities are required to obtain a tourist visa in advance to travel to Vietnam. When obtaining your visa you should allow 3 weeks for processing with your nearest embassy or consulate, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Please check with your embassy or consulate for further requirements.

Some nationalities are exempt from visas for a stay of a maximum of 15 days, including British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes). This exemption is based upon meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. If you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance (please contact your relevant Consulate or Embassy). Please also check the requirements if you plan to re-enter Vietnam.

An eVisa is available for some nationalities including passport holders from Australia, France, Ireland, Italy, Canada and the United States of America, valid for a single entry of a maximum of 30 days stay in Vietnam. Learn more about the eVisa on the immigration website .

Evisas take up to 3 days to be processed. You will need a clear electronic copy of your passport data page and passport photo, and to make a non-refundable payment as outlined on the immigration website. Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.

If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: Intrepid Vietnam 5th floor HiPT Building, 152 Thuy Khue Street, Thuy Khue, Tay Ho, Hanoi, Ph +84 4 3715 0996.

Most nationalities do not require a letter of invitation for Vietnam but if you do need one, please contact your sales agent for more information.

Is tipping customary in Vietnam?

Tipping isn't mandatory or customary in Vietnam, but a tip of spare change or another small amount would be appreciated by restaurants, drivers and other service workers, especially if the service has been particularly good .

What is the internet access like in Vietnam?

Internet access is widely available in tourist areas and big cities, which have many internet cafes. Internet access is less frequent in rural and remote areas.

Can I use my cell phone while in Vietnam?

You'll be able to use your cell phone in most urban areas of Vietnam, although remote and mountainous areas may not have network coverage. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your phone while in Vietnam.

What are the toilets like in Vietnam?

You'll have to adjust to different standards of hygiene and sanitation while travelling in Vietnam. The standard toilet is of the squat variety and this may take some getting used to, although western-style toilets can be found in large hotels and some tourist areas.

What will it cost for a…?

The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong. Here's what you can expect to pay for a:

  • Quick city bus ride = 5,000 VND-9,000VND
  • Local-style coffee at a cafe = 20,000-30,000 VND
  • Bowl of pho from street stall = 20,000-70,000 VND
  • Dinner at a simple restaurant = 100,000-250,000 VND
  • Dinner at an up-market restaurant = 300,000+ VND

Can I drink the tap water in Vietnam?

Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Vietnam. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead. Ask your leader where filtered water can be found; some hotels we stay in may have drinking water available. It's also advisable to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit and vegetables before eating.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Vietnam?

Major credit cards are widely accepted by large shops, hotels and restaurants in Vietnam. However, they may not be accepted by smaller vendors such as small family restaurants, market stalls or in remote towns and rural areas. Make sure you carry enough cash for purchases, since credit cards aren't always an option everywhere in Vietnam.

What is ATM access like in Vietnam?

ATMs are found widely throughout Vietnam, so withdrawing cash shouldn't be problematic in most areas. Some smaller villages and rural areas may not have ATM access, so prepare for this before venturing too far from a city or major town.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling?

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

What public holidays are celebrated in Vietnam?

Public holidays celebrated in Vietnam include:

  • 1 Jan: New Year's Day
  • 21 Jan: Tết (Vietnamese New Year)
  • 21 Apr: Gio to Hung Vuong Day
  • 30 Apr: Reunification Day
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 2 Sep: National Day

Please note,  Vietnam public holidays may vary.

What festivals are celebrated in Vietnam?

The major festivals celebrated in Vietnam are Tết (Vietnamese Lunar New Year, February), Reunification Day (30 April), National Day (2 September) and Tet Trung Thu (Mid-Autumn Festival, late September).

When is the best time to visit Vietnam?

The most popular times to visit Vietnam are spring (February-April) and autumn (September-December) but because of the huge variations in latitude and altitude, there is no one best time to go to Vietnam. It’s a good destination all year.

What's the weather like in Vietnam?

Vietnam has an incredibly diverse tropical climate, and temperatures vary from 4°C (39°F) in Sapa in winter to humid 36°C (97°F) days in Saigon in the middle of the dry season. The monsoons bring heavy rain to the south, and a cooler winter to the north depending on when you plan to tour Vietnam.

What are the best things to eat in Vietnam?

Traditional Vietnamese food is typified by its use of fresh herbs and vegetables and its wide regional variance. Vietnamese food is influenced by its Chinese and Khmer neighbours and echoes French colonization. Some of the best things to eat in Vietnam are noodle soups (pho, bun mam, bun bo hue), bread rolls (banh mi), savoury pancakes (banh xeo) and fresh tropical fruits. 

What are the best things to drink in Vietnam?

Our list of best things to drink in Vietnam includes ice coffee, fruit smoothies, fresh coconut juice straight from a freshly cracked green coconut, sugar cane juice, local beers and artisan rice wine.

What to wear in Vietnam?

While the tropical climate lends itself to layered, breathable clothing all year round, if you are taking a tour in the North, cold winters mean you might need to bring a fleece or jacket.

What kinds of transport will I be using in Vietnam?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun. Depending on which trip you're on while in Vietnam, you may find yourself travelling by:

  • Overnight sleeper train

Travelling aboard an overnight sleeper train is a fun way to journey through Vietnam. Interact with other passengers or sit by a window and watch the world go by.

Curious? Click here read more about what to expect on an overnight train.

Take time to wave to locals as you cycle at a leisurely pace past rice paddies and through simple villages in rural Vietnam

These 3 wheeled vehicles are a great way to zip around the sights.

What kinds of accommodation will I have in Vietnam?

Travelling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavour to provide travellers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.  When travelling with us in Vietnam you may find yourself staying in a:

  • Overnight boat

Sleeping aboard a boat on Halong Bay is a quintessential Vietnamese experience to be savoured. Slip into relaxation mode as you take in stunning views of the surrounding limestone karst scenery.

Get acquainted with the Vietnamese way of life while on a memorable home stay. Be exposed to new languages, cuisine and customs while making friends with your hosts and neighbours.

Is Vietnam a LGBTQIA-friendly destination?

The LGBQTIA+ community is gradually gaining recognition in Vietnam, with gay pride parades becoming a regular occurrence and a lift on same-sex marriage bans in 2015. With that said, Vietnam is still a conservative culture and many still hide their sexuality from their families. Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have some gay-friendly bars and events. It's generally recommended that both gay and straight couples resist showing public displays of affection.  

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting  Equaldex  or  ILGA  before you travel.

Does my trip to Vietnam support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to Vietnam directly support our foundation partners, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, Vun Art and WildAct .

Blue Dragon Children's Foundation is helping disadvantaged youth in Vietnam, fighting the causes of human trafficking and (where possible) reuniting homeless or trafficked children with their families. Donations from our trips help their team of social workers, psychologists, teachers, and lawyers to offer individualized support to every child rescued. 

Find out more or make a donation

Vun Art empowers people with disabilities in Vietnam through vocational training and employment opportunities. They teach traditional folk painting using recycled materials which provides job opportunities, helps to preserve the ancient artform and cares for the local environment all at once. Donations from our trips support Vun Art's capacity-building programs for people with disabilities, including trainees' allowance, transportation, and equipment.  

WildAct protects migratory birds of Vietnam and reduces illegal hunting by educating local communities about the importance of conservation. Donations from our trips help WildAct run educational programs to stop the illegal hunting of threatened migratory birds through knowledge-sharing in local communities.  

Is Vietnam accessible for travellers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible , regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Despite having a high population of people with disabilities, accessible infrastructure and facilities are still limited in Vietnam. Chaotic traffic and pavements blocked by parked motorbikes and street stalls, uneven footpaths and high curbs add to the challenges of getting around for travellers with mobility or vision disabilities. Most entrances to hotels, shops, restaurants and tourist sites will have steps and many doorways will not be able to accommodate wheelchairs wider than 60cm. Some sights and destinations will not be fully accessible (ie. Ha Long Bay boats, Cu Chi Tunnels) but other places such as Hoi An are flat and much more wheelchair-friendly. There are likely to be situations where travellers with disabilities may need to rely on local people to help. Taxis are readily available and an affordable way to get around for travellers who are not confident in exploring independently on foot.

How do I stay safe and healthy while travelling?

From Australia?

Go to:  https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From Canada?

Go to:  https://travel.gc.ca/

From the UK?

Go to:  https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From the US?

Go to:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

What is it like travelling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or you’re about to embark on your first trip, travelling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), travelling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Vietnam Luxury Travel Holidays Family Tours Vietnam

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Khai Dinh Tomb

Vietnam Express Tour - 10 Days

Vietnam Express, a luxury tour of Vietnam with classic itinerary, engages our travellers into an experience of authentic Vietnam from Saigon to Hanoi for 10 days, 9 nights. The tour is completely handled by an experienced Vietnam-based tour operator with knowledgeable tour guides.

Vietnam Tour Overview

The pace of the tour is easy. Our destinations are the major tourist highlights of Vietnam including 3 World Heritage Sites. The photos displayed on our website are all candid ones taken by Paradissa's travel team on our trips in the country in decades!

The tour activities include: hands-on cooking class, fine-dining dinner cruising, culture-exploring, history-touring, walking, river cruising, sea junk cruising. Paradissa's selection of accommodations include luxury 4 star standard hotels and resorts which are centrally located at each city. Some of the meals are included for our travellers to sample the typical cuisine of each region of Vietnam.

Our local tour guide at each city provides the travellers with first hand and in-depth knowledge of his/her hometown. For a group of more than 10 people, we’ll have a tour guide taking care of the group throughout Viet Nam.

The Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Hotels : 4* hotel in Sai Gon, Hoi An, Hue and Ha Noi.

{Inclusions English-speaking guide; Transportation + air tickets within Vietnam as indicated on the tour program; Private cabin on a shared-junk cruise on Ha Long Bay; Tourist boats for cruise on the Perfume River in Hue as indicated on the tour program; Accommodation on twin-shared basis as indicated on the tour program; Meals as indicated on the tour program: B= Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner; All admission fees during the guided times as indicated on the tour program;} {Exclusions Insurance of any types; International airfares and airport taxes; Drinks or personal expenses; Others not clearly specified in the inclusions}

Detailed itinerary

Day1 ( friday ) arrive in ho chi minh city (saigon) (dinner cruise).

Paradissa Travel driver and tour guide will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel, which is a luxury property in the heart of the business district of Saigon. The rest of the day is free. In the evening, we’ll head out for a fine-dining dinner cruise on the Saigon River. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Traffic near the Ben Thanh Market in central Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam

Day2 ( Saturday ) Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)

Breakfast at the hotel. Travel for 70 km to Cu Chi once famous for the legendary tunnel system which at the height stretched over 250 km. In Cu Chi, you will have to tour these tunnels of 3 levels yourself by crawling in the narrow tunnels. We’ll be surprised to find out how people made these tunnels and how life of the local people was during the Second Indochina War. After exploring Cu Chi Tunnel, we travel back to Sai Gon and enjoy free time at leisure. Lunch at a local restaurant and dinner is on our own. Overnight in Saigon.

Day3 ( Sunday ) Ho Chi Minh City - Da Nang - Hoi An (VN 324: 1120 - 1230) (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. You have free time at leisure until Paradis sa tour guide and driver call at your hotel and transfer you back to the airport for the flight to Da Nang. Arriving at Da Nang Airport, meet our local tour guide and travel to Hoi An Old Town. We’ll tour the Marble Mountains en route.

The Marble Mountains are 5 mountains which represent the 5 Elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. There are caves and Buddhist pagodas built into caves visited by the local pilgrims. Right close to the Marble Mountains are the Stone-Carving Village and the famous Non Nuoc Beach which served as an R&R base for US Servicemen and war reporters in the past. Lunch is at a local restaurant in Da Nang.

The Non Nuoc Beach at Da Nang Vietnam

Arriving in Hoi An, we’ll have an oriented walking tour of Hoi An ancient town which was busy with trade back a few centuries ago. Walking in the narrow streets flanked by old merchant houses we can imagine the hustling and bustling time when the town was filled up with merchants and goods from around the world. We’ll visit some old merchant houses, a Chinese Congregational Hall, Hoi An Museum, and the famous Japanese covered-bridge. Dinner is at local restaurant in the heart of the Old Town. Overnight in Hoi An.

Hoi An Thu Bon River at night

Day4 ( Monday ) Hoi An Cooking Class/Free Afternoon (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. 0800 A.M Start at our meeting cafe and proceed to a local market for acquiring the cooking materials. Then, if weather permitting, have a boat trip to the cooking school. At the class, well-known dishes of Vietnamese cuisine are introduced, and our chef provides demonstrations on the dishes that we learn today. After that, we make the dishes ourselves and have the pleasure of trying our own cooked food in the end. We also have brief demonstrations on Vietnamese-styled food decorations. Transfer back to town concluding our cooking class tour.

Have free time in the afternoon. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day5 ( Tuesday ) Hoi An - Hue (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. We check out of the hotel in the morning. Our journey brings us through the scenic countryside of the Central Region of Vietnam to Hue Imperial City. We’ll stop at the Lang Co Beach with fine white sand beaches against the green mountain backdrop and the Hai Van Pass which offers 360 degrees of breathtaking mountain and sea.

Arriving in Hue, we’ll tour Hue Imperial Citadel and the Dong Ba exotic market on the Perfume River Bank. Lunch is at a local restaurant with Hue fine cuisine. Dinner is with sensational royal cuisine of Hue. For Hue, Paradissa has selected a boutique luxury riverside hotel and with convenient location for your touring of Hue. Overnight in Hue.

A weathered gate inside Hue Imperial City

Each of the royal tombs was designed by the king himself and the architecture of each tomb shows a lot about the king and the context of Vietnam at the time. Many tombs were constructed, completed and used by the king when they were still in reign. The royal tombs of Hue are definitely the fine pieces of arts.

Hue was the capital city of Vietnam from 1802 - 1945. Hue is a charming imperial city with combination of the young and the old. The Perfume River bisects the city into the northern and southern parts. To the north is the ancient citadel surrounded by moats which was home to the royal court of Vietnam in the 19th century. Visiting the ancient citadel you can visit the Palace where the king lived, the quarter for the royal family and concubines, the royal library….Lots of damages during the war are still found here though. To the south is where hotels and fine dining restaurants are located.

Hue is no doubt the city of harmony with the encircling green mountains, the meandering rivers, the architecture nestled in trees….Everything of Hue seems to be just in the right place and in perfect harmony. To the western side of the city is where the royal tombs are found. The Vietnamese kings thought that the west is the direction of sunset and permanent rest. That was why they built different royal tombs in the western part of Hue city. Here the kings would rest permanently in complete peace and tranquility.

Hue Tu Duc Tomb

Day6 ( Wednesday ) Hue (B/L/Dinner Cruise)

Breakfast at the hotel. We start with a cruise on the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda, then we’ll explore by bus the royal tombs of King Tu Duc, King Khai Dinh and King Minh Mang. We’ll also visit the tranquil Tu Hieu Pagoda and the Royal Arena. Lunch is at a local restaurant and fine-dining dinner cruise on the Perfume River. Overnight in Hue.

The Perfume River in Hue Vietnam

Day7 ( Thursday ) Hue - Ha Noi (VN 240: 0830 - 0940) (B/L/D)

Breakfast at the hotel. We check out of the hotel and travel to Hue Airport for the flight to Ha Noi. Arriving at Ha Noi Airport, meet Paradissa tour guide at the airport and travel to the city. Upon arrival at the city, we’ll tour the Temple of Literature, Ngoc Son Temple and the Old Quarter. Our lunch is at a local restaurant.

Khue Van Pavilion, Temple of Literature in Hanoi Vietnam

In the afternoon, we’ll have a tour of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (from outside), the Presidential Palace, the One-Pillar Pagoda. Then we’ll travel to our hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at our own pace. Dinner is at a local restaurant with charming colonial atmosphere. Overnight in Ha Noi.

The The Huc Bridge on Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

Day8 ( Friday ) Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay Junk Cruise (B/L/D)

Halong Bay Vietnam

Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed on board our luxury junk and treated with wine and fresh local seafood. As our junk starts cruising further into the tranquility of Ha Long Bay amid the towering mountain cliffs and on the emerald green water, you'll have relaxing time combining the fine taste of the wine and the freshness of Ha Long Bay. During the cruise, we'll stop for visiting the amazing Sung Sot cave and the Ti Tov white sand beach before anchoring for the night. Overnight on board the junk in the wild of Ha Long Bay.

Day9 ( Saturday ) Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi (B/L/D)

After breakfast on board, we'll take a little sampan to visit a secret lagoon of Ha Long Bay while the surrounding mountains are just waking up. After that our cruise takes us further into the Bay of Bai Tu Long travelling past the Human Head Island, the Turtle Island, and the Duck Islet... to the studio site where the famous Indochine film was shot.

A sail boat on Halong Bay Vietnam

After the last delectable feast on board for lunch, our junk travels back to the harbor for disembarkation at 12.00 A.M. We rejoin our bus and travel our way back to Ha Noi. Upon arrival, we check into our hotel and enjoy free time to do you last shopping. Our group farewell dinner is at a local restaurant. Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day10 ( Sunday ) Depart Ha Noi (B)

Breakfast at the hotel. Our driver and tour guide will call at your hotel again and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. Time to bid farewell to the country of sweet smiles. We trust you had a wonderful vacation in Vietnam with Paradissa Travel.

Related Links

  • Tour of Vietnam Highlights - 12 Days
  • Taste Vietnam Tour - 8 Days

Rice terraces at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai

Vietnam Travel Guide

  • Arts & Entertainment in Vietnam
  • Ba Ria - Vung Tau
  • Battlefields in Vietnam
  • Buon Ma Thuot
  • Cat Ba Island
  • Con Dao Islands
  • Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Dangers & Annoyances in Vietnam
  • Dong Van District, Ha Giang Travel Guide
  • Festivals & Events in Vietnam
  • Food & Drinks in Vietnam
  • Geography of Vietnam
  • Guide to National Parks in Vietnam
  • History of Vietnam
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • How to Travel To Vietnam
  • Languages in Vietnam
  • Long Hai, Ba Ria Vung Tau
  • Mekong Delta
  • Money & Banks in Vietnam
  • My Son Cham Ruins
  • North East of Vietnam
  • North West of Vietnam
  • Passports & Visas for Vietnam
  • Perfume Pagoda
  • Phan Thiet Mui Ne
  • Phu Quoc Island
  • Post & Communications in Vietnam
  • Public Holidays in Vietnam 2024
  • Religion & Ideology in Vietnam
  • Shopping in Vietnam
  • State & Law in Vietnam
  • Thai Nguyen
  • Thua Thien - Hue
  • Transport in Vietnam
  • Travel Activities in Vietnam, Things to do in Vietnam
  • Travel Check List for Vietnam
  • Travel Facts for Vietnam
  • Travel Health for Vietnam
  • Tuyen Quang
  • Vietnam Economy
  • Vietnam Health Declaration
  • Vietnam Travel Guide, What to see in Vietnam
  • Vietnam Travel Tips and Advice
  • Vietnamese People & Population
  • Vietnamese Society & Conduct
  • Weather and Climate in Vietnam, Best time to visit Vietnam

Vietnam Holidays

Vietnam Luxury Vacations

  • Cozy Vietnam Tour - 8 Days
  • Elegant Vietnam Holidays - 15 Days
  • Idyllic Vietnam Tour - 16 Days
  • Vietnam Cooking Tour - 11 Days
  • Vietnam Land and Island Holidays - 10 Days

vietnam express tour

Vietnam Family Holidays

  • Da Lat Romantic Holidays - 3 Days
  • Family Holidays at Pu Luong Nature Reserve - 2 Days
  • Family Holidays in the Highlights of North Vietnam - 9 Days
  • Family Holidays through Spectra of South Vietnam - 4 Days
  • Family Tour to Ba Be and Ha Giang – 5 Days

Hoi An at night

Vietnam Tours

  • Pristine Vietnam Tour - 16 Days
  • Tour of Vietnam by Train - 15 Days
  • Vietnam Discovery Tour - 12 Days

Cat Tien National Park

Vietnam Bird-Watching Tours

  • Bird-Watching Tour at Xuan Thuy National Park - 2 Days
  • Tour of Vietnam Highlights and Birds – 15 Days
  • Vietnam Birding Tour - 15 Days
  • Birding Tour at Cuc Phuong National Park - 4 Days
  • Bird Watching Tour at Cat Tien National Park - 4 Days

Tam Dao National Park

Vietnam Trekking Tours

  • Trekking Tour Through Cao Bang Geopark - 5 Days
  • Hiking Tour Hang Kia – Mai Chau – 2 Days
  • Trekking Tour in Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang) - 3 Days
  • Trekking Tour Bach Moc Luong Tu (Ky Quan San Mountain) - 5 Days
  • Tam Dao National Park Hiking Tour - 2 Days

Eliane 2 (Hill A1), Dien Bien Phu Battle

Vietnam Battlefield Tours

  • Battlefield Tour: Hue – DMZ – Hamburger Hill – 3 Days
  • Nui Dat Long Tan Battle Tour - 1 Day
  • History Tour of the First Indochina War - 14 Days
  • Historical Tour of Indochina War Prelude - 7 Days
  • Dien Bien Phu Battle Tour - 3 Days

Hmong girls at Can Cau dominical market

Vietnam Photography Tours

  • Rice Terraces at Mu Cang Chai Photo Tour - 3 Days
  • Photography Tour of Vietnam's Rice Terraces and Ethnic Markets - 5 Days
  • Photo Tour of Vietnam Far North's People and Landscape - 5 Days
  • Photography Tour of Rice Terraces of Hoang Su Phi (Ha Giang) – 3 Days
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Vietnam express northbound.

Go behind the scenes of Vietnam’s hot-spots on a small-group adventure that avoids the tourists. From the fast-paced hub of Ho Chi Minh City to the charming capital of Hanoi, experience the beautiful landscapes, history-soaked monuments and all the delicious cuisine in between as you traverse the country from South to North like a local. Paddle through the waterways of the Mekong Delta in a sampan, explore remote villages via tuk-tuk, cruise through the waters of Ha Long Bay on a traditional boat, wander the car-free streets of Hoi An on foot and discover the imperial icons of Hue from the back of a motorbike – and with the guidance of your expert local leader, you’ll discover secrets to this Southeast Asian gem that you simply won’t find in a guidebook.

10 days, from

16 people max Traveling in a small group people gets you closer to your travel companions, your destination and its culture. Grab a few friends, then grab a few more, and if you get 10 friends together you’ll be traveling in an exclusive small group with a local leader and an incredible itinerary. Traveling in a small group people gets you closer to your travel companions, your destination and its culture. Grab a few friends, then grab a few more, and if you get 10 friends together you’ll be traveling in an exclusive small group with a local leader and an incredible itinerary.

ACTIVITY LEVEL

vietnam express tour

Countries Visited:  Vietnam Accommodation:  Hotel (7 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night) Transportation: Boat , Overnight sleeper train , Plane , Private minibus , Private vehicle , Taxi , Motorbike Included Meals:

  • 8 breakfasts

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 16

See the very best that Vietnam has to offer in just 10 days as you traverse the country from bottom to top with a small group of up to 15 new friends.

Visit some of the must-see sights with your group such as a walking tour in Hoi An and the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, as well as plenty of free time to make your own discoveries.

Spend an unforgettable night on a boat in Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s most remarkable natural wonders, and visit a centre dedicated to turning the bay’s discarded trash into beautiful, handcrafted items.

Sample local food wherever you go: a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, lunch at a Buddhist nunnery, coconut candy in the Mekong Delta, and a final dinner at KOTO restaurant – oh, and did we mention the street food?

Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in Vietnam.

Show Full Itinerary

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. As this trip doesn’t spend much time in Ho Chi Minh City, why not arrive a day or two early to see the sights? We’ll be happy to book some additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Ho Chi Minh City has a dynamic atmosphere and a French influence. Perhaps head to Pham Ngu Lao Street to see the local open-aired market, visit Vinh Nghiem Pagoda or take an Urban Adventure with an expert local guide. After the meeting, why not get to know your fellow travellers and the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine over an optional group dinner.

Today you'll travel south by private minibus (approximately 3 hours) and spend the day exploring the Mekong Delta. On arrival, board a private boat and traverse the intricate waterways – soak up the tranquil surrounds and admire the breathtaking views as you float through this fertile landscape, often referred to as ‘the rice bowl of Vietnam’. Disembark at Ben Tre and visit the coconut gardens, stopping at a local home to sample tropical fruits and coconut jams before paddling in sampans (small rowing boats). Take a tuk-tuk tour around the villages, learning about rural life and how the locals make their living. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the delta, sampling regional specialties such as the famous elephant ear fish. Then it’s back to the boat to cruise the delta’s major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier. After the cruise, return via bus to Ho Chi Minh City.

This morning, say goodbye to Ho Chi Minh City and fly north to Danang (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes). From here you’ll take a 45-minute bus ride to Hoi An, with the five spectacular peaks of the Marble Mountains as a backdrop. Once in Hoi An, your leader will take you on a walking tour of this unique town, influenced over the years by Europe, China and Vietnam. The town was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and the outside influences can be seen all over its architecture, with pagodas and assembly halls found across the town. For a small place it has a liveliness alongside its charm and serenity. The tour will take you down the streets that are being restored and look much like they did over a century ago. Past low tiled buildings, you'll take in a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.

Enjoy a free day in the World Heritage-listed Hoi An. You may like to wander the Central Market and the street stalls selling paintings, woodwork, ceramics, lanterns and much more. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors who can make beautiful items to order within a few hours. For those still feeling adventurous, why not hire a bicycle and tour the surrounding countryside? This is one of the best ways to get an insight into rural Vietnam. Other optional activities include a day trip to My Son Cham, an elaborate World Heritage-listed temple that reflects the rich cultural traditions of the Cham civilisation, a cruise along the Thu Bon River and a trip to the nearby Cua Dai Beach.

Leave Hoi An today and journey across the dramatic Hai Van Pass, a sometimes bumpy but incredibly scenic stretch of highway with views of Lang Co Beach. Make a quick photo stop enroute then continue to your destination of Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam (approximately 5 hours including stops). Hue contains the treasures of Vietnam’s royal history and has an interesting blend of bustling streets and tranquil settings. Join your leader for a tour of the Imperial Citadel – this fortress houses the Imperial City and the citadel-within-a-citadel, the Forbidden Purple City. This icon was almost completely destroyed during the Vietnam/American War, and the ruins and holes left by bombs are a reminder of the destruction that was caused. In your free time you might like to visit Dong Ba Market, which offers locally made goods, fresh produce and tantalising street food.

Today’s adventure will be on the back of a motorbike. You’ll have your own driver who will take you first on a drive around the Imperial Citadel, then to the Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue. This site dates back to 1601 and is still an active Buddhist monastery. Here you’ll also see the car left by a monk who set himself alight to protest the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime. Ride to a special lunch spot at a convent or Buddhist monastery for a delicious vegetarian feast, then drive to the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, set amid a lake, frangipani bushes and pine trees. In the evening, board an overnight train to Hanoi (approximately 12 hours).

Arrive in Hanoi early in the morning and transfer to your hotel. Vietnam’s capital is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, public parks and beautiful Old Quarter. As an emerging city in South East Asia, Hanoi has an attractive contrast of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and a labyrinth of ancient streets. Later in the day, take a walking tour through the city where you’ll see Ho Chi Minh’s former stilt house and other icons such as the Temple of Literature. In your free time, perhaps stop by the ’36 Streets’ of the historic Old Quarter, head to the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, or visit the Fine Arts Museum. This museum plays a crucial role in maintaining and promoting the cultural heritage of Vietnam’s ethnic communities.

Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours). This is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful places, a secluded bay of emerald waters flecked with limestone islands and caves. Here you’ll go on a cruise to explore Surprise Cave and surrounding rock formations, and in the warmer months perhaps go kayaking or opt for a swim from Ti Top Island. Access to Surprise Cave is via staircases. Once inside the cave the pathways are a little uneven and slippery. On board your ship, there’ll be a dining room and bar on board where you’ll enjoy your meals, including fresh seafood for lunch and dinner. Spend the night on board the boat beneath a sky alive with starlight.

Wake up on the waters of Halong Bay, and before you leave the memorable scenery behind, it’s time for one last stop. The Green Life Centre are committed to turning Halong Bay’s trash into treasure by collecting discarded items and skilfully turning them into beautiful handicrafts. Meet the team behind this important cause and learn how to transform rubbish into a useful and reusable bag. After your visit, return by bus to Hanoi (approximately 3.5 hours). Arrive in Hanoi late this afternoon and enjoy some free time to explore Hanoi's sights or do some last-minute shopping. Otherwise, why not relax at a cafe or stop for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) at one of the microbars in the Old Quarter? Tonight there will be a farewell dinner to enjoy with the group at KOTO restaurant, an organisation that supports disadvantaged youth with careers in the hospitality industry.

Today your exploration of Vietnam comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day however you may consider continuing your adventure with a short tour such as ‘Hanoi Street Food by Night’ or ‘Village Discovery by Bike’ with our partners Urban Adventures (see urbanadventures.com for more information). Alternatively, perhaps visit the Hoa Lo Prison aka the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ which was used for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. There’s also the Museum of Ethnology with its fascinating indoor and outdoor exhibits. We’ll be happy to book some additional accommodation for you (subject to availability), just ask at the time of booking.

10 days, from $1,087

to book call 1-844-205-6226

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Vietnam Express Southbound

vietnam express tour

Vietnam Express Southbound Discover the essence of captivating Vietnam on this ten-day tour through backstreets, villages, cities and waterways. Trace the east coast on this fast-paced adventure and take in World Heritage-listed landscapes and towns, feel the buzz of bustling cities and fuel yourself with banh mi and condensed milk coffee. As lively as it is lovely, Vietnam can seem an intimidating place to travel, but our local leaders will guide you to the best street food (and tell you how to order it), introduce you to fishermen on the Mekong Delta and give you the inside scoop on the best tailors in Hoi An. This is an adventure full of life, colour and flavour that introduces you to the highlights of this fascinating nation.

  • Hanoi – KOTO dinner
  • Halong Bay – Overnight Boat Cruise
  • Halong Bay – Cave entry
  • Halong Bay – The Green Life Visit
  • Hue – Imperial City entrance and guided visit
  • Hue – Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
  • Hue – Highlights & back streets by motorbike
  • Hue – Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue – Motorbike Tour Lunch
  • Hoi An – Old Town walking tour
  • Ho Chi Minh City – War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City – City tour
  • Mekong Delta – Mekong Delta Day Trip & Village Tuk-Tuk Tour
  • Mekong Delta – Lunch
  • Fall in love with Vietnam one bite at a time, from pho, slurped on a busy street corner to a vegetarian feast in a Buddhist nunnery.
  • Sail through Halong Bay’s limestone karsts and island caves, visit a centre that turns the bay’s discarded trash into treasures and spend the night checking out the stars on an overnight cruise.
  • Travel like a local on a motorbike tour, riding pillion and taking in the historical pagodas, bridges and villages of Hue.
  • Embrace a slower pace during a private boat tour of the Mekong Delta and meet local craftspeople in the villages that line the river’s myriad waterways.
  • Wander through the remarkably well-preserved streets of Hoi An’s Old Town on a guided tour, where elegant wooden buildings line the canals.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, WildAct. Donations help them run educational programs that aim to stop the illegal hunting of threatened migratory birds in Vietnam.

The Mekong is a river in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,909 km (3,050 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 475 km3 (114 cu mi) of water annually.

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  • Vietnamese language : Learn some words in Vietnamese and get in touch with the locals.
  • Vacation : Sail the magical Ha Long Bay and stay overnight on your own private Island.
  • Package tour : Explore the bustling Ho Chi Minh City and venture through the historic Vinh Moc Tunnels.
  • Thailand : While in Southeast Asia, visit also the stunning Thailand and its islands.
  • Southern Vietnam : Head into Hanoi for exotic foods and fresh beer and haggle in the floating markets.
  • Northern Vietnam : Take a tour to the Cat Cat village and explore green terraced hills and visit the local villages.
  • Hanoi : Discover marvelous lakes and architecture in Hanoi.
  • Hoi An : Take a walking tour and explore bustling street markets.
  • Holiday : Learn the hidden secrets of Hue’s temples and stargaze as you sail through spectacular Ha Long Bay.
  • Ho Chi Minh City : Discover this beatiful and historic city.
  • Beach : Relax on the Vietnamese beaches and enjoy amazing scenery.
  • Family : Discover hidden gems in Hanoi's mazed old town and explore the villages around Hoi An by bike.
  • Cycling tours : Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and admire the lush panorama of the Mai Chau valley.
  • Hiking tours : Walk through the streets of Hanoi and explore spectacular Halong Bay.
  • Food tours : Learn about the Vietnamese cuisine and enjoy a bicycle tour of herb gardens.
  • Adventure tours : Chase fireflies in the Mekong Delta during a home stay.

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"We were a bit nervous upon joining the tour but as it turned out, we had a splendid experince in Vietnam and the best holiday we've ever had. There were a great bunch of people on the tour but what made the trip memorable was our tour guide. Tan made everyone fell like we were one big family and he loves his country by telling us all about it. We are already planning our next Intrepid Tour."
"I had a memorable first time experience in Vietnam. I was unsure what to expect since it was my first time to travel overseas. The tour guide was lovely and had a great knowledge of the country. The accommodations were of good quality and were always clean. I would recommend intrepid and the Vietnam discovery to anyone who likes to travel."

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vietnam express tour

  • Vietnam Express Northbound 10 Days

Vietnam Express Northbound

Departure Date

Maximum Seats

What's Included?

Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay

Start in Ho Chi Minh City and end in Hanoi! With the Active tour Vietnam Express Northbound, you have a 10 days tour package taking you through Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and 4 other destinations in Vietnam. Vietnam Express Northbound includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Tour Overview

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

vietnam express tour

Day 2: Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City

vietnam express tour

Day 3: Hoi An

vietnam express tour

Day 4: Hoi An

vietnam express tour

Day 6: Hue - Overnight Train

Day 7: Hanoi

vietnam express tour

Day 8: Halong Bay

vietnam express tour

Day 9: Hanoi

vietnam express tour

Day 10: Hanoi

vietnam express tour

Day 1: Vietnam Intro Begins!

Day 2: Mekong Delta - Cai Be floating market (B/L/-)

vietnam express tour

Day 3: Free time in the morning - Cu Chi Tunnels - Da Nang - Hoi An (B/-/-) - by flight - 1 hour

vietnam express tour

Day 4: Hoi An City Tour in the morning (B/-/-)

Day 5: Hoi An Foodie tour - My Son Sanctuary (B/L/-)

Day 6: Hoi An - Free day (B/-/-)

Day 7: Hoi An - Da Nang - Ha Noi City Tour (B/L/-) - by flight - 1 hour

Day 8: Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay (B/L/D)

vietnam express tour

Day 9: Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi (B/L/-)

vietnam express tour

Day 10: Ha Noi - Departure (B/-/-)

PRICES & INCLUDES

* From prices subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. We include all flights as detailed within the trip summary for each tour. From the moment you land in the starting city to the moment you are transferred to the airport in the end city, all transport arrangements are taken care of by us. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. If you book with TUI an additional 3% fee applies to credit card or charge card payments .

* all tens hotel accommodation. * Breakfast daily & All lunches & Dinners. * All transfers and transport in modern air-conditioned vehicles. * Boat trips  and Halong Bay. * 2 domestic flights. * Sightseeing as specified * Expert Vietnamese local guides throughout.

  • Hotel EARLY check in & LATE check out
  • Peak season surcharge & compulsory dinner at the hotel (if any)
  • International flights with taxes
  • Visa or Passport Fees
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips, laundry and gratuities
  • Meals not marked on itinerary, and water during meals

Children Policy

  • The rate for children applicable for one child sharing a twin or double cabin with two adults
  • For infant (<04 years old): FOC except domestic ticket cost
  • 04 – 11 years old without bed: 50% adult rate
  • 04 – 11 years old with extra bed: 75% adult rate
  • 04 – 11 years old in twin share: 90% adult rate

Responsible Travel

TUI practices a thorough, realistic Responsible Travel Policy, full details of which can be found in our website – Click here.

Travel Facts

Vietnam Travel Facts

Q & A : Before You Go

Q & a – before you go.

What is included in the price of my holiday? When is the best time to travel to Vietnam? Do the Vietnamese harbour grudges against Westerners because of the Vietnam War? Will I encounter lots of poverty and squalor travelling through Vietnam? What kinds of transport are used on tour? What type of restaurants and food will be available on tour? What is not included in the price of my holiday? Am I best to book early? When do I have to pay the balance of my tour? What is the difference between tour type? What does it mean if I book a ‘ Guaranteed Hotel ‘? How will I know what activities are happening on the tour? How do I keep my valuables safe? Are the tour itineraries subject to change? How much luggage can I take? How do I get to the cruiser in Halong Bay if i only do cruise trip? When can I board the internatinal flights and domestic flights? Can I bring visitors on the tour? Is Vietnam Tour right for honeymooners? Are there non-smoking rooms at Hotel? Are there different classes of service on tour? Will I get bored or feel confined? What if I have medication? Can I book a disabled Hotel? Are there laundry services in any Hotel? Am I likely to become seasick? Will I need a tuxedo? How do I pay for my purchases on tour? What about tipping? What are my dining options? What if I’m on a special diet? What if I am celebrating my anniversary/birthday? Do I have to participate in the cruise line’s organized activities? Are most tour package suitable for children? What’s available to do in the evenings? Can we keep in touch with the outside world? How do I pay for purchases in remote area as Sapa mountain or villages? What is there to do in highland regions or villages? Do I have to get on tour at every places which tour program show out? Do I need a passport, visa or vaccinations? What types of travellers nomally meet when touring in Vietnam? If I am travelling alone, how will I meet people and have fun? Do I need Travel Insurance? What should not I pack? When will I receive my documentation? Can I reserve my Hotel? How many formal evenings are there on a tour package? How do I amend or cancel my tour booking? Is there a credit card charge? What is your registered address?

……………………………………………………………………

What is included in the price of my holiday? Your holiday will include accommodation , meals, guide , transport, entrance fees and most of the entertainment while touring.

When is the best time to travel to Vietnam? All year is fine. Travellers should note that Vietnam is especially hot and humid (highs of 35 – 38 degrees) between June and September and Hanoi and the north tends to be cool (15 – 20 degrees) and often misty in December, January and February. The wet season (May to October) does not usually obstruct travel as rain is normally confined to an hour or two each day. The wet season is the hottest and most humid period of the year. Central Vietnam may experience unstable weather in October and November.

Do the Vietnamese harbour grudges against Westerners because of the Vietnam War? Remarkably, the Vietnamese are some of the most friendly and hospitable people in Asia. Travellers to Vietnam are overwhelmed by the warmth and hospitality of the people.

Will I encounter lots of poverty and squalor travelling through Vietnam? Vietnam is one of the poorest countries in Asia. This is not so apparent to travellers as food is plentifully available and business is now thriving. Travellers will encounter beggars in the cities and will also likely be confronted by some poverty. These are all part of the experience of Vietnam. The more powerful image of the Vietnamese is of a positive people committed to improving their lives and advancing their country.

What kinds of transport are used on tour? For road journeys, air conditioned coasters or mini buses are used. These are modern, spacious, comfortable, well maintained, safe vehicles – perfect for small group travel. In cities, towns and villages we use a combination of cyclos (Vietnamese tri-shaw), boats, bicycles (optional) and our own two feet. Some tours include domestic flights on Vietnam Airlines. Most flights are on modern Airbus 320 or Fokker 70 planes. Some tours also include rail trips.

What type of restaurants and food will be available on tour? Vietnamese cuisine is diverse and tasty and one of the many highlights of a visit to the country. We therefore usually eat at quality Vietnamese restaurants – serving a selection of seafood, chicken, beef, pork and vegetable dishes. Some travellers prefer a mixture of International (Western) and Vietnamese food while touring. In Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi there is a generous array of international cuisine, while in most provincial areas the choice is more limited. Breakfast is included each day on our tours and is usually a mix of western buffet and continental style. Vegetarians will find a good selection of fresh foods available

What is not included in the price of my holiday? The price will not include organised any excursions show out on tour program, carbonated soft drinks or alcoholic beverages (unless an ‘All inclusive’ package is purchased), photographs, gratuities (these are included in the cost on some tour packages, please enquire for details), medical services, casino expenditures, spa and beauty treatments or other miscellaneous items you have purchase on tour.

Am I best to book early? It is never too early to begin planning your holiday. Booking early is generally your best assurance of obtaining the arrangements and accommodation of your choice, especially if you are planning a holiday in the peak season or over Christmas and New Year.

When do I have to pay the balance of my tour? Once you have paid you deposit then you can relax and start looking forward to your holiday, your remaining balance due date is then 60days before departure.

What is the difference between any tour type? There are no much difference between any tour’ type , Most packages have a best service runing by our conditions, except Accommodation by customers request,

What does it mean if I book a Guaranteed Hotel ? This would mean that you are not booking a specific Hotel’s room number, but you are guaranteed a room of the grade that you are wanting to book, or higher.

How will I know what activities are happening on the tour? Your program will provide a detailed schedule of events for that day including locations and times.

How do I keep my valuables safe? Most Hotels are now fitted with safes but otherwise there are boxes in the pursers office.

Are the tour itineraries subject to change? Yes, all tour itineraries are subject to change. With guest safety as the number one priority for the tours, on the rare occasions that weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances may occur, it may cause a change in the original itinerary. In these circumstances, the guide will do everything within their power to guide an alternate option or we will set an other option to you.

How much luggage can I take? There are no restrictions on how much luggage you can take ontour, , however you should consider the size of your bag.

How do I get to the Cruiser in Halong Bay if i only take cruise trip? They will escort you to the transfer shuttle that goes from your place to the port and back again after the cruise. Most cruise packages offer these services for an additional cost to passengers providing their own way.

When can I board the international flight and domestic flight ? Passengers must be at Airport no later than 2hours prior to departure with internation flights and 1hour with domestic flights.

Can I bring visitors on the tour? For safety and security reasons, no visitors will be allowed on joining with .

Is Vietnam Tour right for honeymooners? Without a doubt! Vietnam Holiday offers an atmosphere that’s just right for romance… cosy dinners for two, strolling on beach at sunset, drinking at opening hotel’ room at the night (even under the stars). Most packages provide special services — and breakfast in bed. Also, some packages offer special programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows.

Are there non-smoking rooms at Hotel? Virtually all Hotels have smoking and non-smoking rooms. In fact, many dining rooms, and even some entire restaurants, are now totally smoke-free, reflecting passenger requests. If you want your dining table in a non-smoking area, please advise the restaurant manager when coming.

Are there different classes of service ontour? Today’s Vietnam tour packge are “one class”. The Tour are available to everyone joining with.

Will I get bored or feel confined? It’s not likely. Most tour packages are a good organize and it usually takes a couple of days to fully explore the different options available on destinations. You can rest by setting down on Beach and enjoin drink during sunbathing or chatting or learning Vietnamese language with your guide ! In addition to the activities on tour, you also have the opportunity to explore new and exciting destinations

What if I have medication? Please carry any medication in its original bottle. It is recommended that medications be carried in your pocket or purse so they will be available when needed because checked luggage may not be accessible at all times. If you are using any prescription drugs, vitamins, or other medication on a regular basis, you should bring an adequate supply since they may not be readily available check in the airport or hotel.

Can I book a disabled hotel? As we are currently unable to check this information online, we would advise that you use our contact within this site, or call one of our tour specialists on +84 962301448  or mail to : [email protected] and they will be able to assist you.

Are there laundry services in any Hotel? Almost all hotels have laundry facilities and many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Many hotels also have self-service launderettes.

Am I likely to become seasick? Seasickness is not common on larger cruise boats during on some Cruise trip in Halong Bay or Mekong Delta or with Flights as they are equipped with stabilizers designed to minimize the feeling of movement. If you should feel queasy, medicine is available from your guide steward. If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to consider consulting your doctor prior to departure.

Will I need a tuxedo? Many TUI Travel now have a more relaxed and casual approach to dress throughout the tour – while on others, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. You do not have to buy a tuxedo just for the Vietnam Tour, as even on the most formal of Restaurants, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest of occasions. Also, many hotels offer tuxedo rental services.

How do I pay for my purchases on tour? For your convenience, an account will be set up for you when you on tour and purchases will be billed automatically to your credit card. It is easy way to pay by a cash. Please ask the your guide for help Do I have to participate in the package’s organized activities? It is up to you! You can try everything – the choice is yours!

What about tipping? On many Hotelrs gratuities are now included, if this is not the case you should reward great service. Some operators will add gratuities to your on accomodation account, which cannot be pre-paid and are to be settled at the end of your stay.

What are my dining options? Most tour packages offer Open Seating in the main dining room. Dining preferences may be requested at the time of the booking. Your seating and table assignment will be confirmed at arrival. Either seating will enable you to see all shows and experience everything your hotel has to offer. As an alternative to traditional seatings, most tour packages now offer “freestyle” dining. This option provides guests with the flexibility to dine when they wish. You may also choose your dinner companions and request specific tables rather than being assigned to a particular time and table for the duration of the restaurant. For your convenience, in addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight drink, many hotels also offer complimentary room service. Low-fat and vegetarian options are often available.

What if I’m on a special diet? Please advise on any special dietary requirements at the time of booking, as special meals are available to accommodate different dietary needs.

What if I am celebrating my anniversary/birthday? Package tours love to celebrate with you, so if you are celebrating a special occasion on tour, we can add that information to your reservation in advance.

Are most the tour package suitable for children? Most package tours have developed supervised programs for children due to the increase in families choosing to tour. Most tours are happy to accept families (some package do have exclusions and this will be detailed in the relevant brochures) infants are carried from the age of 6 months onwards on most tours, but in some cases this is 1 year. These programs are designed to give your children a chance to go swimming, play sports, and get to know other children on the destination, while giving you an opportunity for some worry free rest and relaxation. Some children may be too young to participate in certain programs. Each package will have its own range of facilities for your children.

What’s available to do in the evenings? Nightly activities are just as exciting as during the day. Test your tongue with wine in cool breeze under star at Hotel or Resort on Coastal area , maybe stay out for a nice drink at evening clubs in cities.

Can we keep in touch with the outside world? Yes – very easily. Most hotels in destinations have televisions in the living rooms plus a daily newsletter with headlines. Phone work well on Vietnam…

How do I pay for purchases in remote place as Sapa mountain or villages? Most shops accept major credit cards. Some place have ATMs; however, they may not always be in service and fees are involved.

What is there to do in highland regions or villages? There is something to do for everyone. Each place offers a unique experience where you can explore on your own, an organized excursions from the tour packages are go shopping, relax on the beach or take in some historical sites.

Do I have to get on tour at every place which program show out? Not if you don’t want to. You are more than welcome to stay at the hotel and relax or participate in some of the organized activities.

Do I need a passport, visa or vaccinations? All travellers must have a passport with at least 6 months validity after your return date,

What type of travellers nomally meet when touring in Vietnam? Vietnam is becoming more and more popular destination for visitor all the time. It appeals to a very wide mix of young and old, couples, families and singles. Travellers like the good things in life, but are generally friendly, sociable individuals eager to experience new things. You are sure to find like-minded people on tour.

If I am travelling alone, how will I meet people and have fun? It could not be easier to meet people in any destinations. . You might also want to consider joining a larger table for dinner in order to get to know more of your fellow voyagers. On- tour activities like sightseeing are a great way to make new friends. .

Do I need Travel Insurance? Yes, Sure you really need it, do it before you go

What should not I pack? Obviously there are certain items that shouldn’t be packed in your luggage for safety reasons. Details of the items that cannot be carried in baggage on flights can be found on the back of your flight tickets. The Merchant Airport Act also prohibits the carrying of certain items on the flights without prior authorisation from the relevant supplier, including : All firearms and ammunition, sporting weapons, replica firearms and explosives of any kind. Knives and other sharp bladed weapons. Flammable substances (petrol, methylated spirits, paint thinners etc). Items containing incapacitating substances that could be used to maim or disable. Any other item made, adapted or intended for use as an offensive weapon.

When will I receive my documentation? You will first receive a confirmation for your cruise within 6 days. Then approx 30 days before travel you will receive your tickets and voucher.

Can I reserve my hotel? Yes, but only if the desired hotel’s room type/grade is available, and this is sometimes done at a charge. Hotel locations are illustrated in travel document.

How many formal evenings are there on a tour package? There are usually formal every evenings , for which the men are required to wear a suit.

How do I amend or cancel my tour booking? If you need to make any amendments to/ or cancel your booking, please call one of our aftersales team on +84 962301448  or mail to : [email protected] and they will be able to assist you.

Is there a credit card charge? A 3% credit card charge applies to all credit card payments up to a maximum of US$ 50 per transaction (current rate which is subject to change).

What is your registered address? Our registered address is Eurowindown River Park Dong Hoi Street Dong Anh Hanoi Vietnam

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  • Hanoi -  The city of Hanoi stands as a historic tribute to this nation's rich history, with buildings dating back close to a thousand years.
  • Hoi An - This small town hosts charming historic houses and pagodas.
  • Ha Long Bay - Here, you will see traditional native villages and even a floating fishing village that will give you insight into Vietnam's rich culture.
  • Cu Chi Tunnels - These were successfully used by the North Vietnamese army during the War of Independence to secretly gain access to South Vietnam territory.
  • Thanh Chuong Viet Palace - Here, in the former residence & studio of renowned artist Thanh Chuong, you will see art and sculptures from throughout Vietnam's history, including the Dinh, Ly, and Tran dynasties.
  • Cai Be Floating Market - Here you will see an exciting market that you can explore by boat, in which artisans make candy and rice paper, among other products.
  • Snorkeling -  The idyllic beaches at Cham Island & Nha Trang Bay are home to a colorful array of tropical fish that have made this coral reef their home.

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  • The Vietmanese language spelling of Vietnam is two with words: Việt Nam
  • The Mekong River is not only home to many of our most popular southeast Asia cruises, but also serves as one of the most important waterways throughout the country, helping keep the plains fertile and connecting much of the population to the sea.
  • Vietnamese cuisine is a burst of flavors, from sweet to salty to even bitter and sour. 
  • Home to some 16% of the world's species, it is one of the most biodiverse places on earth.
  • With about 7.5 million residents, Ho Chi Minh City houses just under 10 percent of Vietnam's 92 million-person population.
  • Both soccer and table tennis are popular sports throughout Vietnam.
  • Thanks to the natural irrigation and swamplands of provided by the Mekong and Red Rivers, Vietnam is ideal for the harvest of rice.
  • Vietnam has a surprisingly high literacy rate of around 94%.
  • The five golden stars on the Vietnamese flag symbolize farmers, workers, intellectuals, youth and soldiers. 
  • Hoi An has been a functioning trading port for over 500 years.

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Tech layoff wave spreads to Vietnam

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Southern property market sees villa, townhouse prices crash

Vietnam tourism needs better destination management: singaporean expert.

Vietnam tourism needs better destination management: Singaporean expert

"Vietnam is best positioned in Southeast Asia for tourism industry development," said Honorary President of the Singapore Institute of Tourism Management Wong Soon-hwa at a conference in Hanoi on Monday.

Wong stated that Vietnam has a large land area of more than 331,000 square kilometers and a large population of nearly 100 million people, creating abundant human resources for the tourism service industry.

"Vietnam is a safe destination thanks to its stable political situation, which is always a top priority for foreign investors," he added.

Vietnam also possesses many natural resources, rich heritage, and cuisine that is loved by tourists, according to Wong.

Recently, the Vietnamese government also relaxed visa policies by offering three-month tourist visas for citizens from all countries and extending visa-free stays to 45 days for some major tourism markets including Japan, South Korea and Western European economies.

However, Vietnam is still not the top tourist attraction in the region and is lagging behind both Thailand and Malaysia.

In the first 10 months of the year, Vietnam welcomed 10 million international visitors while Thailand received more than 21.5 million.

Wong said it is necessary for Vietnam's tourism industry to better manage destinations.

Sustainability and balancing the quality and quantity of tourists is the key for managing a destination, he posited.

Wong said Singapore's Sentosa island is much smaller than Phu Quoc but welcomes more than 20 million visitors each year. That figure includes a significant number of domestic tourists.

Vietnam can also learn from Sentosa's development model to improve the quality of domestic destinations, according to Wong.

The government needs to provide infrastructure, human resources and a quick approval process so investors can get started, he said. In addition, the government should widely publicize investment plans as well as completion time so that investors know what the government is doing, Wong argued.

Every destination needs to attract both domestic and international tourists, he continued, adding that Disneyland or Paris could survive on international visitors alone.

When developing tourism, Vietnam needs to think about the needs of domestic tourists, Wong said.

The total number of international visitors to Vietnam in the first ten months of 2023 reached nearly 10 million, exceeding the initial target of 8 million for the whole year.

The country served 98.7 million domestic travelers during the period.

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    The Vietnam portion of this tour was the "Vietnam Express Southbound" trip, beginning in Hanoi and ending in Ho Chi Minh City (where I then met up with the connected Cambodia trip). Here's a look at this tour: Before you go. If you're wondering what to pack for a trip like this, check out my Southeast Asia packing list.

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