Vietnam Express Northbound

10 Days | Discover the sights and bites of Vietnam’s backstreets from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

4.9 out of 5 based on 265 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
AUD $1,645
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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.

Trip overview

Map of Vietnam Express Northbound including Vietnam
Start
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Vietnam
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
TVSQ
This trip generates 78.66 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • 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 Ha Long 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, including 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 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.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Vun Art. Donations help them empower people with disabilities in Vietnam by providing vocational training and employment opportunities.

Is this trip right for you?
  • We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including on overnight trains. Accommodation and amenities are shared and basic, but the experience of rubbing shoulders with the locals makes it all worthwhile. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog post intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight.
  • The sightseeing tour by motorbike in Hue is great fun with bikes driven safely by professionals (and helmets provided), but alternative transport can be arranged for those who would prefer not to travel by motorbike.
  • Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. We recommend checking online for what the typical temperatures will be at the time of year you are looking to travel. This page might be useful: intrepidtravel.com/vietnam/weather-in-vietnam
  • Some travellers find the pace of this trip quite fast as we are covering a lot of destinations in a short amount of time. If you would like a more relaxed pace with more time to explore, you might like to consider a longer trip, or additional days in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • This itinerary also runs in reverse direction, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, see trip code TVSF on our website.
  • You may also want to check out our Best of Cambodia & Vietnam (TKSKC) if you have longer time to explore in the region. https://www.intrepidtravel.com/vietnam/best-cambodia-vietnam-127028

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Vietnam Express Northbound including Vietnam

Inclusions

Meals

8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Motorbike

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Activities
  • Mekong Delta - Mekong Delta Day Trip & Village Tuk-Tuk Tour
  • Mekong Delta - Lunch
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Hue - Imperial City Full Day Tour
  • Hue - Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike
  • Hue - Motorbike Tour Lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Halong Bay - Overnight Boat Cruise
  • Hanoi - KOTO dinner
  • Halong Bay - The Green Life Visit
Add on activities
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham tour (entrance fee, guide and transport included) - USD45
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD37
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike with Sunset BBQ Urban Adventure - USD54
  • Halong Bay - Kayaking Tour - VND250000
  • Hanoi - Street Food Experience Urban Adventure - USD35
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Day 6 (Sleeper Train) and Day 8 (Overnight Boat) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
Rooms booked only for day use are also excluded.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train and flight tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
3. This trip includes a domestic flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum of 20 kilograms, plus up to 7 kilograms carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check-in.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 265 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Will · Traveled November 2023
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. From Ho Chi Minh all the way to Hanoi. Hoi A was my favourite city. I’ll definitely book a tour again in the future
Review submitted 25 Nov 2023

Janet · Traveled November 2023
Excellent introduction to Vietnam. This country has so much to offer and it never stops giving. Friendly people, amazing food and scenery. Learnt a huge amount throughout the trip. So much more to do and would consider returning.
Review submitted 21 Nov 2023

Saqibur · Traveled November 2023
Highly recommended trip, fast pace - covering many of the key areas in Vietnam in a close time frame.
Review submitted 14 Nov 2023

Mary Anne · Traveled November 2023
The organised tour is great. Our tour guide was very helpful, happy, kind and considerate. The optional incursions are excellent.
Review submitted 13 Nov 2023

Chantal · Traveled November 2023
The trip was above my expectations, each day was amazing. Would recommend 100 % for all ages
Review submitted 13 Nov 2023
Vietnam Express Northbound
From
AUD $1,645