From south to north, Vietnam is a kaleidoscope of wonderful people and picturesque landscapes. Imagine learning the mysteries of the Viet Minh in Ho Chi Minh City or exploring the beautiful lakes and boulevards of Hanoi - and what better way to get to know the locals than to be their guests at a local Mekong Delta guesthouse, or to eat breakfast the local way in Hue? Experience historical temples, visit Vietnam's spectacular coastline, enjoy delicious banquets and explore lively cities - all with a touch of comfort - on this 15-day Classic Vietnam tour.

NEW UPDATES FOR 2019
This trip will visit Phan Rang instead of Nha Trang.

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Save a space on your 2019 trip with only a £50 deposit until 31 August 2018.

Terms & Conditions

Start
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Destination
Vietnam
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
TVKT
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Take a comprehensive trip through this South East Asian hotspot. The trip takes you from south to north, to the must-see tourists sites as well a a little off the beaten track.

  • This is a Comfort style trip, which means slightly higher standard hotels and a few more inclusions and meals than on most Original style itineraries. We also fly between some distant destinations to make the most of our time together.

  • We spend a night in a locally run guesthouse on the Mekong Delta - often a highlight for many of our travellers for its insight into local life.

  • Spend time on the coast in the popular seaside resort town of Nha Trang where you have time to stroll the sandy beaches and head out on the water to snorkel.

  • Discover just why Halong Bay is so popular as you spend the night on a boat among the evocative karst landscape and indulge in a feast of fresh seafood.

  • Sample local food wherever you go, from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, street snacks at markets, coconut candy and tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta, and a special breakfast at KOTO restaurant.

Is this trip right for you?

  • We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including an overnight train from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang (approx 8 hours). Compartments are on a mixed gender basis and you may be sharing with locals or travellers from other groups. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog post here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight...

  • While the pace is generally easy, there is some walking involved on this trip, with walking tours in the downtown areas of each city, as well as a walk in the caves at Halong Bay.

  • At the guesthouse in the Mekong Delta, we stay in more basic accommodation than other destinations on the trip. Amenities are shared and may have cold water only.

  • We include a trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels - an incredible insight into life during the war. Going inside the tunnels is optional as it can be a little claustrophobic for those who don’t like small spaces.

  • 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 the year you are looking to travel to see what to expect - this website might be useful: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/vietnam/weather-in-vietnam

  • If you are looking for a shorter trip in Comfort style that takes in all the major highlights of Vietnam you might like to consider our Treasures of Vietnam (TVKB) itinerary.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019

Xin chao! Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. You can arrive at any time during the day as there is free time until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader.

Ho Chi Minh City has a dynamic atmosphere and a French influence. If you arrive early perhaps head to Pham Ngu Lao Street to see the local open-aired market or visit Vinh Nghiem Pagoda.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An arrival transfer is included. In order to book this service please provide your booking agent with your flight details at least 2 weeks prior to your departure.
Start the day with a buffet breakfast at KOTO Restaurant, which is one of our Intrepid Foundation supported programs that teaches vulnerable young people hospitality skills. Next, travel by private vehicle to Cai Be (approx 3 hours). Here you’ll board a boat to explore the canals of the Mekong Delta. The Delta is known as ‘Vietnam’s rice bowl’ for its abundance of rice paddies, fruit and flower orchards. During the boat trip, you’ll stop to sample some of the fresh tropical fruit and visit some cottage industries in the area. round sunset you’ll make your way to your local guesthouse to spend a night and enjoy a meal of local specialties.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - KOTO breakfast
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your guesthouse is managed by local hosts, with simple twin and double rooms. Bedding and mosquito nets are supplied. Bathroom facilities may be shared, and may only have cold water available.
Return to Ho Chi Minh City and take a walking tour. Experience the hustle and bustle of former Saigon and explore some of the city's more interesting sights such as the War Remnants Museum and Reunification Palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make a day trip to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. This former Viet Cong stronghold provides an insight into the resourcefulness and tenacity of the Vietnamese people, and offers a glimpse of what like was like during the war. This evening, board our overnight train to Nha Trang (approx 8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There are shared hotel rooms available this afternoon before your overnight train journey. There is one room for up to to 4 members of the group. Single supplements do not apply to day use rooms.

Sleeper trains typically have four-berth compartments (occasionally six berths depending on the season), which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided (although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet). Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but you may like to stock up on some food supplies before departure.
Arrive in Nha Trang and transfer to your hotel. Nha Trang has become particularly popular in the past few years due to its beautiful beaches. Enjoy a free day in Nha Trang. Perhaps you’d like to soak up the sun on the sand, or make an optional visit to the nearby Po Nagar Cham Towers. This archaeological site dates back to the middle ages and is dedicated to the indigenous goddess Yan Po Nagar.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nha Trang - Mud baths - VND280000
  • Nha Trang - Po Nagar Cham Tower - VND22000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Prior to standard hotel check in this morning, shared day use rooms are provided with one room for up to 4 members of the group. Single Supplement does not apply to day use rooms.
Today you’ll go on a boat trip to some of the nearby islands and visit a fishing village. You’ll also have plenty of free time to go swimming and snorkelling as well as be treated to a seafood buffet onboard.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hon Mun Island - Snorkelling
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a short flight to Danang and then travel by minibus for around an hour to Hoi An. The rest of the day is free for you to do some optional activities or soak up the ambiance of the place. You may like to wander the markets 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your leader will take you on a walk around the Old Town today. The city was a major trading port with the west from the 17th century onwards, and has a various architectural influences from Europe, China and Vietnam. Today the city is being restored and some areas look very much like it did over a century ago.
The afternoon is free. You can rent a bicycle and take a trip out to the nearby beach. There’s also an optional Urban Adventure including a countryside bike ride and finishing up with a cruise along the Thu Bon River.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD28
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure - USD51
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy a free day in Hoi An.

If you can muster an early rise this morning, head to the local produce market to watch animated shoppers haggling over fresh fish, spices and vegetables. Your leader can help you arrange an optional Vietnamese cooking course. Perhaps visit the ruins of My Son, Vietnam's most important Cham site. Set in a verdant valley, surrounded by hills and overlooked by the massive Cat's Tooth Mountain, the elaborate World Heritage-listed temples here reflect the rich cultural traditions of the Cham civilisation that flourished in this region between the 4th and 12th century.

Make the most of your last day in Hoi An by doing any activities you couldn’t fit into your schedule yesterday.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue on your journey today and drive over the spectacular Hai Van Pass, an incredibly scenic and mountainous stretch of highway with views of Lang Co Beach. Make a stop at beautiful Lang Co for an optional lunch. Arrive in Hue, Vietnam’s former Imperial capital. Here you’ll visit the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City which was almost entirely destroyed by bomb blasts during the war.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Imperial Citadel
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a cruise along the Perfume River after breakfast. You’ll stop off at the Thien Mu Pagoda, and see an active Buddhist monastery dating back to 1601. One of the most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk who set himself alight to protest against the treatment of Buddhists. You’ll also visit one of the royal tombs, that of Emperor Tu Duc, with its lake, frangipani and pine trees. Stop at a monastery or nunnery for lunch - a great insight into the unique traditions and food of Vietnamese Buddhism.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Royal tomb
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Perfume River Cruises may not be available during festival season. During these times you’ll travel by land to reach the activities.
Fly from Hue to Vietnam’s charming capital of Hanoi. This afternoon, take a half-day tour of Hanoi that captures the beauty and the history of the laid-back, tree-lined capital. You’ll visit major sights including the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda. You’ll also pass by the Hoan Kiem Lake and enter the ’36 Streets’ of the historic Old Quarter. Today we also enjoy a unique water-puppet performance hosted by a family, who are experts in this art form.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private minibus for around 4 hours to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay. This is one of Vietnam’s most beautiful places, a bay of emerald waters flecked with sandstone islands and caves. Go on a cruise to explore the rock formations and caves and in the warmer months perhaps go kayaking out on the bay. You’ll spend the night on the boat with twin-share cabins, air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar where you’ll enjoy all of your meals, including a seafood buffet meal.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
We recommend leaving your main luggage in Hanoi and packing a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking.

Kayaking & swimming is restricted to designated zones within the bay.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage. To ensure all Intrepid travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group. Or your group may be split across different vessels, in which case an Intrepid group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.
Drive back to Hanoi. Along the way, you’ll stop at Dong Trieu Factory to watch locals creating ceramic art pieces. If you have some free time this afternoon, you may like to visit the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. This Museum plays a crucial role in maintaining and promoting the cultural heritage of Vietnam’s ethnic communities. Enjoy a final dinner with your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND180000
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Boat, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private Bus, Private vehicle, Taxi

Accommodation

Guesthouse (1 night), Hotel (11 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (1 night)

Included activities

  • Ho Chi Minh City - KOTO breakfast
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Hon Mun Island - Snorkelling
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Hue - Imperial Citadel
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Royal tomb
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Tour
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport), for internal flights and train tickets.Ticketing 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 a new ticket.
2. We include some day use rooms on Days 4 & 5 which will be shared with other members of the group.
3. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
4. A Single Supplement to have your own room is bookable on this trip, subject to availability, and excludes Day 2 (Guesthouse), Day 4 (Overnight train) and Day 13 (Overnight boat) where you will be in shared accommodation.
5. This trip includes a domestic flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum 20kg, with up to 7kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check-in.

NEW UPDATES FOR 2019
This trip will visit Phan Rang instead of Nha Trang.

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.

Reviews

Our Classic Vietnam trips score an average of 4.88 out of 5 based on 266 reviews in the last year.

Classic Vietnam, July 2018

Anna Grove

Classic Vietnam, July 2018

Charmaine Botes