18 to 29s Intrepid | Essential Vietnam

VietNOM! As you slink from old-world Hanoi to ancient Hue and on to pretty Hoi An via beachy Phan Rang and finally bustling Ho Chi Minh City, you'll quickly realise that the Vietnamese know a thing or two about delicious food. Pho, bahn mi, rice paper, oh my!

Theme

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We have a vast range of other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more!
  • Highlights

    • A little touch of France here, a little bit of China there - and all in Vietnam! Chill out in the cultural mixed bag of Hoi An. Hit up the local beach, cycle through rice paddies or get some sweet threads tailor-made
    • Balance on a tiny streetside stool in Hanoi's Old Quarter, soaking up the buzzy vibes and watching motorbikes zoom past
    • This trip includes overnight sleeper trains, which are a truly unique experience. This is a great way to rub shoulders with the locals and to squeeze a bit of local knowledge out of them.
    • Vietnam is the perfect destination for first-time travellers. Here's why: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/vietnam-first-time-travellers/
    • Who'd have thought green seas and giant mossy rocks could be so pretty? Kayaking on Lan Ha Bay is bliss.
  • What's Included

    Meals

    1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

    Transport

    Boat , Overnight sleeper train , Private vehicle

    Accommodation

    Hotel (7 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

    Included Activities

    • Cat Ba Island - Boat trip on Lan Ha Bay
    • Cat Ba Island - Kayaking
    • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Pricing

      • Start Date
      • End Date
      • Price
      • Availability
      • Start Date:8 Dec 19
      • End Date:18 Dec 19
      • Price:$1,145
      • Availability:On Request
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      • Start Date:15 Dec 19
      • End Date:25 Dec 19
      • Price:$1,170
      • Availability:5 spaces
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      • Start Date:22 Dec 19
      • End Date:1 Jan 20
      • Price:$956
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,125. Now only $956 for this departure

      • Start Date:29 Dec 19
      • End Date:8 Jan 20
      • Price:$973
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,145. Now only $973 for this departure

      • Start Date:5 Jan 20
      • End Date:15 Jan 20
      • Price:$1,265
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:8 Jan 20
      • End Date:18 Jan 20
      • Price:$1,240
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:26 Jan 20
      • End Date:5 Feb 20
      • Price:$1,265
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:7 Feb 20
      • End Date:17 Feb 20
      • Price:$1,240
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:16 Feb 20
      • End Date:26 Feb 20
      • Price:$1,200
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:1 Mar 20
      • End Date:11 Mar 20
      • Price:$1,195
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:8 Mar 20
      • End Date:18 Mar 20
      • Price:$1,195
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:15 Mar 20
      • End Date:25 Mar 20
      • Price:$1,195
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:29 Mar 20
      • End Date:8 Apr 20
      • Price:$1,265
      • Availability:5 spaces
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      • Start Date:5 Apr 20
      • End Date:15 Apr 20
      • Price:$1,195
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:12 Apr 20
      • End Date:22 Apr 20
      • Price:$1,195
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:26 Apr 20
      • End Date:6 May 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:1 May 20
      • End Date:11 May 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:24 May 20
      • End Date:3 Jun 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:7 Jun 20
      • End Date:17 Jun 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 Jun 20
      • End Date:24 Jun 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:21 Jun 20
      • End Date:1 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:26 Jun 20
      • End Date:6 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:3 Jul 20
      • End Date:13 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:5 Jul 20
      • End Date:15 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:10 Jul 20
      • End Date:20 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:12 Jul 20
      • End Date:22 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:19 Jul 20
      • End Date:29 Jul 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:26 Jul 20
      • End Date:5 Aug 20
      • Price:$1,120
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:2 Aug 20
      • End Date:12 Aug 20
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,120. Now only $1,008 for this departure

      • Start Date:9 Aug 20
      • End Date:19 Aug 20
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:23 Aug 20
      • End Date:2 Sep 20
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,120. Now only $1,008 for this departure

      • Start Date:30 Aug 20
      • End Date:9 Sep 20
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,120. Now only $1,008 for this departure

      • Start Date:6 Sep 20
      • End Date:16 Sep 20
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,120. Now only $1,008 for this departure

      • Start Date:13 Sep 20
      • End Date:23 Sep 20
      • Price:$1,035
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,150. Now only $1,035 for this departure

      • Start Date:18 Sep 20
      • End Date:28 Sep 20
      • Price:$1,035
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      • Start Date:20 Sep 20
      • End Date:30 Sep 20
      • Price:$1,076
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,195. Now only $1,076 for this departure

      • Start Date:27 Sep 20
      • End Date:7 Oct 20
      • Price:$1,076
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,195. Now only $1,076 for this departure

      • Start Date:4 Oct 20
      • End Date:14 Oct 20
      • Price:$1,076
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:11 Oct 20
      • End Date:21 Oct 20
      • Price:$1,076
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      • Start Date:18 Oct 20
      • End Date:28 Oct 20
      • Price:$1,076
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      • Start Date:25 Oct 20
      • End Date:4 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,076
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:1 Nov 20
      • End Date:11 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,076
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      • Start Date:8 Nov 20
      • End Date:18 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,076
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      • Start Date:13 Nov 20
      • End Date:23 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,076
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      • Start Date:15 Nov 20
      • End Date:25 Nov 20
      • Price:$1,076
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:22 Nov 20
      • End Date:2 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,240. Now only $1,116 for this departure

      • Start Date:29 Nov 20
      • End Date:9 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,240. Now only $1,116 for this departure

      • Start Date:6 Dec 20
      • End Date:16 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:9 Dec 20
      • End Date:19 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,240. Now only $1,116 for this departure

      • Start Date:13 Dec 20
      • End Date:23 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:18 Dec 20
      • End Date:28 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,240
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:20 Dec 20
      • End Date:30 Dec 20
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,240. Now only $1,116 for this departure

      • Start Date:23 Dec 20
      • End Date:2 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,116
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:27 Dec 20
      • End Date:6 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,138
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:30 Dec 20
      • End Date:9 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,138
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:3 Jan 21
      • End Date:13 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Book now and receive a discount. Was $1,120. Now only $1,008 for this departure

      • Start Date:7 Jan 21
      • End Date:17 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:10 Jan 21
      • End Date:20 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 Jan 21
      • End Date:24 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:17 Jan 21
      • End Date:27 Jan 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:24 Jan 21
      • End Date:3 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:28 Jan 21
      • End Date:7 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:31 Jan 21
      • End Date:10 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:4 Feb 21
      • End Date:14 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:7 Feb 21
      • End Date:17 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:11 Feb 21
      • End Date:21 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 Feb 21
      • End Date:24 Feb 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:21 Feb 21
      • End Date:3 Mar 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:28 Feb 21
      • End Date:10 Mar 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:7 Mar 21
      • End Date:17 Mar 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:14 Mar 21
      • End Date:24 Mar 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:21 Mar 21
      • End Date:31 Mar 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:25 Mar 21
      • End Date:4 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:28 Mar 21
      • End Date:7 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:1 Apr 21
      • End Date:11 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:4 Apr 21
      • End Date:14 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:11 Apr 21
      • End Date:21 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:18 Apr 21
      • End Date:28 Apr 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:25 Apr 21
      • End Date:5 May 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:9 May 21
      • End Date:19 May 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:23 May 21
      • End Date:2 Jun 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:30 May 21
      • End Date:9 Jun 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:6 Jun 21
      • End Date:16 Jun 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:13 Jun 21
      • End Date:23 Jun 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:20 Jun 21
      • End Date:30 Jun 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:27 Jun 21
      • End Date:7 Jul 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:4 Jul 21
      • End Date:14 Jul 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:11 Jul 21
      • End Date:21 Jul 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:18 Jul 21
      • End Date:28 Jul 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:22 Jul 21
      • End Date:1 Aug 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:25 Jul 21
      • End Date:4 Aug 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:1 Aug 21
      • End Date:11 Aug 21
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      • Start Date:8 Aug 21
      • End Date:18 Aug 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:15 Aug 21
      • End Date:25 Aug 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:22 Aug 21
      • End Date:1 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:29 Aug 21
      • End Date:8 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:5 Sep 21
      • End Date:15 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:12 Sep 21
      • End Date:22 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:19 Sep 21
      • End Date:29 Sep 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:26 Sep 21
      • End Date:6 Oct 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:3 Oct 21
      • End Date:13 Oct 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:10 Oct 21
      • End Date:20 Oct 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:17 Oct 21
      • End Date:27 Oct 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:24 Oct 21
      • End Date:3 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:31 Oct 21
      • End Date:10 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:4 Nov 21
      • End Date:14 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:7 Nov 21
      • End Date:17 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:14 Nov 21
      • End Date:24 Nov 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:21 Nov 21
      • End Date:1 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:28 Nov 21
      • End Date:8 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:2 Dec 21
      • End Date:12 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:5 Dec 21
      • End Date:15 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
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      • Start Date:9 Dec 21
      • End Date:19 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:12 Dec 21
      • End Date:22 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:16 Dec 21
      • End Date:26 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:19 Dec 21
      • End Date:29 Dec 21
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:26 Dec 21
      • End Date:5 Jan 22
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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      • Start Date:30 Dec 21
      • End Date:9 Jan 22
      • Price:$1,008
      • Availability:7+ Available
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  • Itinerary

    Day - 1

    Location: Hanoi - Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. This adventure kicks off with a group meeting at 6 pm. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe arrive a day early so you're able to attend. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. At the meeting have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Because this trip doesn’t spend much time in Hanoi, why not arrive a day or two early to see the sights? Check out your reflection in beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, wander along shaded boulevards or relax in a public park with some delicious street food (spring rolls inside rice paper rolls, anyone?). Museum-wise, why not visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serene Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum. Tonight, maybe grab a streetside stool and a fresh bia hoi and watch the motorbikes zoom by with your new mates.

     

    Day - 2

    Location: Cat Ba Island - Travel by bus and ferry (approximately 3.5 hours) to Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay. With thousands of little limestone islands scattered around, this area is one of those quintessential Vietnamese scenes in which bright green water is dotted with traditional junk boats and limestone karsts. Take a cruise around Lan Ha Bay with lunch on the boat, then get up close and personal with this other-worldly landscape by kayak. Stay overnight on Cat Ba Island and enjoy a dip at one of the beaches and a cold beer. 

     

    Day - 3

    Location: Hanoi - Overnight Train - Wake up to the purr-fect scenes of Cat Ba and the bay and enjoy some free time at the beach. Go for a swim, kick back with a book or take a long, romantic stroll along the sand which will probably be neither long (it's an island) nor romantic (it's morning and mornings are not romantic). In the afternoon, head back to Hanoi and jump on the overnight train to Hue (approximately 12 hours). This may be your first time on an overnight train in Asia and trust us, the first time is always special. It's an experience.

     

    Day - 4

    Location: Hue - Arrive in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You have today free to explore. You could easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace that's enclosed within it. Perhaps jump on board a Dragon Boat and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda. You could also check out Dong Ba Market, which offers locally made goods, fresh produce and some tasty, tasty street food. This is a good place to try the grub that Emperor Nguyen used to feast on (banh khoai royal rice cake – can you taste the royalty?). If you like being on two wheels then maybe cycle out to one of the royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (one of the most excellent remaining examples of its kind), or set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.

     

    Day - 5

    Location: Hoi An - Continue along the coast to Hoi An by private bus (approximately 3 hours). Once in Hoi An, your leader will take you on a walking tour of this unique town which has been influenced over the years by Europe, China, Vietnam and Japan. The town was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and its old-school flavour is written all over its architecture. For a small town, it's pretty lively in places. In others, it's chilled out. The tour will take you down the streets that are being restored and look a lot like they did 100 years ago or more. You'll check out a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.

     

    Day - 6

    Location: Hoi An - Enjoy a free day in Hoi An. Maybe wander to the Central Market and browse the paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors, so if you’ve been wearing the same shirt every day and it's starting to smell like coriander, why not hit one of the same-day tailors and get yourself something new? Or, if you're still feeling adventurous, hire a bicycle and tour the surrounding countryside (this is one of the best ways to experience rural Vietnam).

     

    Day - 7

    Location: Hoi An - Overnight Train - Lucky you – it's another free day in paradise. You could take a trip out to the My Son temples (World Heritage-listed beauties that reflect the rich cultural traditions of the Cham civilisation), hop on a cruise along the Thu Bon River and or get beachy with a trip to the nearby Cua Dai Beach. Afterwards, board your next overnight train. This one's to Phan Rang, a great beach town on the central coast (approximately 8 hours).

     

    Day - 8

    Location: Phan Rang - Arrive in Phan Rang early this morning for two full days of relaxation. With arguably the best weather in Vietnam, Phan Rang is a low-key coastal city where swimming, snorkelling and seafood take priority. It's vibe is more beach beers than beach bars, so slow down and take it easy because this is meant to be a holiday, isn't it?

     

    Day - 9

    Location: Phan Rang - Overnight Train - Whoa, whoa, whoa. Don't chill too much, there's one last overnight train to catch tonight. Swap the deck chair for a bunk bed and buckle up (metaphorically) for the seven-hour journey to Ho Chi Minh City.

     

    Day - 10

    Location: Ho Chi Minh City - Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City very early (approx. 4am) and transfer to your hotel. Then leave your gear in a day room at the hotel. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a whirl of sights and sounds. A blend of old and new, East and West, if you will. You can still see the French influence in the top-notch baguettes and coffee on offer. Compared to the north the food is spicier, sweeter and more varied. Much of city life happens on the streets, which are lined with shops, stalls and vendors whose wares are spread on the footpath – everything from soup to sophisticated electronics. Your leader will take you on a walk through the city to point out the best places and sites. Then you have some free time this afternoon. Well worth the visit are the Reunification Palace and War Remants Museum. Maybe join your newest and best travel buddies for a celebratory meal and drink tonight on Pham Ngu Lao Street.

     

    Day - 11

    Location: Ho Chi Minh City - Your trips comes to an end today. There are no planned activities, and you can depart at any time. As you only have limited time here it is well worth booking additional nights to explore. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an interesting day trip nearby - ask your leader to book you an Urban Adventure to visit.

     

    Essential Vietnam
*Terms and Conditions
Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Prices are per person share twin based on best available tour price, inclusive of all discounts unless otherwise stated. Prices are subject to currency fluctuations and are based on cash or cheque. Tour deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions may apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry.
HLO Ref# 12081
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