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Best of Vietnam

20 Days | The ultimate south to north adventure tour of Vietnam

4.9 out of 5 based on 36 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
USD $2,300
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Experience quintessential Vietnam on this comprehensive trip from south to north. Travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and experience dynamic cities, tranquil backwaters, imperial ruins, faded colonial elegance and picture-perfect landscapes dotted with reminders of the past. Explore the narrow cobbled streets of Hoi An’s Old Town, encounter local tribes on a hike in the mountains of Da Bac and whizz through the back streets of Hue as you uncover the very best of Vietnam.

Trip overview

Map of Best Of Vietnam 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 12
Trip code
TVST
This trip generates 56.12 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
  • Experience local life during homestays in the Mekong Delta and Da Bac. Get to know local families, participate in their activities and enjoy a homestyle meal.
  • Travel to both popular and lesser-known destinations in Vietnam, including tourist hotspots like Halong Bay and hidden gems such as Da Bac
  • See Vietnam through an exciting mix of transport, including motorbike, sampan, junk-style boat, bus and train
  • Visit the mind-boggling Phong Nha and Thien Duong Caves. These labyrinthine systems were used to shelter civilians during the Vietnam/American War
  • Spend a day in Hue, touring the city's sights on a motorbike and eating lunch at a serene nunnery
  • Relax in the turquoise waters at Nha Trang and discover local fisherman's life on a boat trip.

Is this trip right for you?
  • During this trip, there will be several long days of travelling and you'll be sitting on a bus for many hours at a time. However, road trips often have the best views, and most private buses feature wi-fi
  • 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 here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight.
  • This trip involves a lot of walking - on city walking tours, the hike in Da Bac and during included activities. While being on your feet can be a bit tiring, this is the best way to truly get under the skin of a place
  • You'll be spending two nights with local families on this trip, where the accommodation is shared and basic. But this is a great opportunity to connect with the local people (and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals!). Read more about the experiences here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/community-based-tourism-vietnam/
  • Vietnam has an incredibly diverse climate influenced by both tropical monsoons and its range of altitudes and latitudes. Temperatures can vary from a brisk 4°C (39°F) in the northern mountains during winter to a sweltering and humid 36°C (97°F) in Ho Chi Minh City during the middle of the dry season. Please check the weather for the time of year you're travelling in order to pack appropriate clothing - this page may be useful: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/vietnam/weather-in-vietnam

Itinerary

Map of Best Of Vietnam including Vietnam

Inclusions

Meals

17 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

Boat, Overnight sleeper train, Private minibus, Taxi, Train

Accommodation

Homestay (3 nights), Hotel (13 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (2 night)

Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • Mekong Delta - Sightseeing Tour
  • Mekong Delta - Guesthouse Dinner
  • Dalat - Garden visit
  • Nha Trang - Nha Trang Bay Boat trip
  • Nha Trang Bay - Island hopping, Fishing Villages & Snorkelling
  • 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
  • Quang Tri - Vinh Moc Tunnels
  • Quang Tri - Hien Luong Bridge
  • Phong Nha Ke-Bang NP - Thien Duong (Paradise Cave)
  • Phong Nha Ke-Bang National Park - Phong Nha Cave
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Da Bac - Sung cave and village tour
  • Da Bac - Homestay Dinner
  • Da Bac - Homestay Lunch
  • Hanoi - Vun Art center visit
  • Da Bac - Da Bia Lunch
  • Da Bac - Sung village to Da Bia hike
  • Hanoi - Water puppet show
  • Halong Bay - Dinner on Boat
  • Halong Bay - Lunch on Boat
Add on activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - A O show - VND1050000
  • Hoi An - Private Hoi An: Boat & Bike with Local Dinner Experience Urban Adventure - USD85
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD44
  • Hoi An - Private Hoi An: My Son Discovery - USD77
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND50000
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND70000
  • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
  • Hanoi - Street Food Experience Urban Adventure - USD40

Dates and 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 train 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.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes days 3, 16 (homestays), days 8, 14 (overnight trains), and Days 18 (overnight boat) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

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 36 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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Jaqueline · Traveled December 2023
Our guide Huyen was excellent. She knew a lot and spoke passionately about her country. I learned a lot about the culture and its people. She absolutely made my vacation the highlight of 2023. We traveled like a little family. I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone, who wants to get a first impression of Vietnam. She was the BEST guide.
Review submitted 28 Dec 2023

Ian · Traveled November 2023
This, our first trip with Intrepid, was nothing short of excellent and exceeded all of our expectations. From busy cities to tourist beaches , hillside villages, historical and religious sites this trip had it all - What an amazing experience! And we haven't even mentioned the overnight train trips or the floods that necessitated a change of hotel in Hue. Now can you imagine someone being able to manage all of this and still look after and join in with our fun group? Well our group guide was Ha, and in 30 years of travelling she is the best we have ever come across - quite simply the best! Thank you Ha. A fantastic group of like minded travelers made this a trip to remember.
Review submitted 28 Nov 2023

Susan · Traveled November 2023
I had the time if my life on the Best of Vietnam group tour. I saw amazing places, some of which were off the main tourist trail. I also learned a lot about the country and it's people. This was my first solo trip and it has given me the confidence to do more in future!
Review submitted 27 Nov 2023

Susan · Traveled October 2023
Intrepid promised The Best of Vietnam, and I’m pretty sure that’s what we got! A brilliant itinerary, a great mix of culture, adventure, and nature. A vast array of well arranged accomodation styles and transport modes. Lots of fantastic inclusions but also plenty of time to do your own exploring. Jay was an absolutely incredible guide who gave 110% to make sure we had a brilliant Vietnamese experience. Mot, hai, ba, yo 🍻
Review submitted 23 Oct 2023

Warren · Traveled September 2023
Good and relatively comprehensive introduction to Vietnam's history, geography, culture and people. Definitely a physically challenging trip (though ultimately rewarding).
Review submitted 06 Oct 2023
Best of Vietnam
From
USD $2,300