Enjoy a breathtaking journey through scenic Vietnam's beautiful vistas.

Travel to Vietnam and journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City on one of the most fascinating train journeys on earth - aboard the Reunification Express. Out of service for most of the 20th century due to war, the re-establishment of the rail link in 1975 symbolised unity between the Vietnamese people. This trip through Vietnam is far more than just an ordinary rail journey. Chugging along, there's plenty of stops to explore: Vietnam's stately capital Hanoi, the natural wonder of Halong Bay, majestic Hue, charming Hoi An, the beaches and islands of Nha Trang and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City. Experience the scenic, historical, cultural and culinary highlights on this trip through Vietnam. 'All aboard' for a ride you'll never forget!

Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Countries
Vietnam
Themes
Explorer
Code
TVSR
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
295kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Step back in time in Hoi An
  • Dive into the sparkling waters at Nha Trang
  • Learn about the Vietnam War at War Remnants Museum
  • Visit Vietnam's imperial Hue
  • Explore the evocative Old Quarter of Vietnam's capital, Hanoi
  • Set sail on Halong Bay
  • Ride the Reunification Express

Itinerary

Arrive in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi, and get lost in the whirl of colour, commotion and horn-blowing traffic. Visit the mausoleum of the father of modern Vietnam and end the day at a water puppet show.
This morning we visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which includes the One Pillar Pagoda and the Ho Chi Minh Museum.
This afternoon is free to explore on your own before witnessing the marvel of the Water Puppets this evening.
Have breakfast with the kids at the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation before leaving the frenetic pace of city life behind to visit one of Vietnam's most breathtaking spots, Halong Bay. Spend the evening being rocked to sleep by the boat bobbing on the water.
Return to Hanoi by bus (approx 4 hrs), stopping at Dong Trieu Factory to watch locals working on the traditional art of ceramics.

Free time in Hanoi until taking the overnight train to Hue.
As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and is a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings.
On arrival we transfer to our hotel. The rest of the morning is free. After lunch we will pay a visit to the Hue Imperial Citadel.
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As passengers on the back of motorbikes we visit all the key sights, including:

The Forbidden Purple City which was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war.

Next is a visit to Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It's an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. One of the most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk who in 1963 drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime.

We then enjoy a boat cruise on the Perfume River for about 40 minutes before getting back on our motorbikes and riding to our special lunch stop in a nunnery.

After lunch we visit the royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its central lake set amid a grove of frangipani and pine trees, before heading back to Hue.
Travelling by bus, head south through coastal rice paddies before traversing the spectacularly mountainous Hai Van Pass. After a brief visit to the beautiful China Beach (known officially as My Khe Beach), arrive at Hoi An (135 km/approx. 4 hours).
Declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An is being beautifully restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South-East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago and it retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it.

On arrival, your tour leader will take you on an orientation walk around the Ancient Town, so you can get your bearings.

A sightseeing pass is included in your tour for you to visit the major sights of the town as you wish.
Today is a free day for optional activities. Perhaps take a boat cruise down the Thu Bon River, or take a bicycle tour around the countryside. There’s also a day trip to the stunning ruins of My Son, the centuries-old Hindu temples.
Today is a free day for optional activities. You’ll have time to see the beautiful Chinese shophouses, enjoy the busy market, visit Cua Dai Beach, browse the array of art galleries or to pick up any items from the tailor.
Transfer to Danang and board the SE1 day train to Nha Trang (approx 10 hrs). Although long, it's an interesting journey - a chance to check out the stunning countryside, as well as befriend local travellers.
Arrive in Nha Trang this evening and check into our hotel for the night.
Once referred to as the 'Cannes of the Orient', Nha Trang's sandy palm-lined beach and island-dotted bay still make an idyllic picture, and a cosmopolitan feel prevails in the town itself.

A highlight for many travellers is our boat trip amongst the islands. From the main boat, we take basket boats to shore and visit a fishing village, snorkel in the turquoise waters, enjoy a seafood buffet lunch, and pass the afternoon lazing in deck chairs or swimming.
A full free day to spend in Nha Trang. Perhaps treat yourself and soak in natural mud bath, at one of the nearby spas. Or venture to the Po Nagar Cham Tower, dating from 817 AD, which is still an active place of worship.

Tonight we depart by the overnight train to Ho Chi Minh City departing late in the evening.
Enjoy a guided bus tour through Ho Chi Minh City. Visit the War Remnants Museum to learn about the sobering past of the Vietnam War. Later, take a rowboat along the Mekong Delta and be amazed at the magnitude of South-East Asia’s ‘rice bowl’. Learn about the production of longan honey from a family of beekeepers and observe the inner workings of rural life. End the adventure back in the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, perhaps take an option day trip to the cramped Cu Chi Tunnels if time permits.
Head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board the boat to Ben Tre to see coconut candy factory and sample the local candies for which this region is famous. Take the opportunity to take a tuk-tuk around this remote village with a stop to sample tropical fruits, and to see a honey farm, and learn more about local rural life. Then visit a nearby restaurant in the heart of the delta, where you can sample some of the regional specialties such as the famous elephant-ear fish.

After lunch, board sampans (small rowing boats) and paddle past the many water coconut trees that populate the Mekong Delta. Boarding our main private boat, cruise through more major waterways, arriving in My Tho town. Here our bus awaits to take us back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Your trip ends after breakfast today. There are no activities included so you are free to depart at any time.
For those who are staying on longer and want to explore Ho Chi Minh City further, check out our Urban Adventure day trips.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
Transport
Boat, Overnight sleeper train, Private Bus, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train
Accommodation
Hotel (11 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Hanoi - Blue Dragon breakfast
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
  • Hanoi - Water puppet show
  • HCMC - Mekong Delta day trip including Coconut Candy Factory and Village Tuk Tuk tour
  • HCMC - War Remnants Museum
  • Hoi An - Ancient town orientation walk and entrance
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
  • Hue - Motorbike trip including lunch
  • Hue - Perfume River boat ride
  • Hue - Royal tomb
  • Nha Trang - Basket boat ride
  • Nha Trang - Full day boat trip to Hon Mun Island
  • Nha Trang - Hon Mun Island swimming and snorkelling

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Reviews

Our Scenic Vietnam trips score an average of 4.92 out of 5 based on 187 reviews in the last year.

Scenic Vietnam , January 2016

Scenic Vietnam , January 2016