Days
15
Price from
$3,040USD

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 on a Mekong Delta homestay. 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 Vietnam journey.


Start
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Country
Vietnam
Style
Independent Journeys
Code
PAVVJ
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1, Max 4

Why we love this trip

  • This is an 'independent' version of one of Peregrine's most popular trips. Enjoy your own exclusive departure, with the flexibility to chose your start date.

  • Discover Vietnam's astounding histories, both modern and ancient, from the Cu Chi war tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City to the Chinese and Japanese architectural marvels of Hoi An

  • A Mekong homestay and Cai Bei floating market visit gets you up close and personal with life on the legendary Delta

  • The splendour of Vietnam's waterways doesn't stop there – enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch and snorkelling trip in Nha Trang and a candle lit dinner in Halong Bay

  • Peel back the curtain on traditional Vietnamese water puppetry as a fifth-generation puppeteer shows you around his small-scale family theatre

  • With three included internal flights, there's less time spent travelling and more time experiencing your destinations

Is this trip right for you?

  • On this Independent Journey you will have expert local guides in each destination. You will be unescorted for flights and vehicle transfers between destinations, however all the arrangements will be taken care of and your local guide will meet you at your hotel.

  • Your homestay will be more basic than your other accommodation. While homestays can vary, be prepared for camp beds with mosquito nets in a dormitory style with shared facilities. However, most travellers find that this experience with locals is a real highlight

  • There is a fair amount of walking involved, with included walking tours in the downtown areas of each city, as well as in the caves in Halong Bay.

  • On the included boat trip from Nha Trang, you will ride in a small basket boat, with the opportunity for snorkelling. Let you leader know if you have any concerns about water-based activities.

  • Temperatures in Vietnam vary greatly between South and North. While there's no one 'best time of year to go', it's best to check the seasonal patterns on Peregrine's country information page to gauge the weather.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 May 2016 - 31 December 2016

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City where you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. There are no activities planned until you meet your local guide this evening (who will be collecting your travel Insurance details and next of kin information). If you have time, get out and acquaint yourself with the city beforehand. Otherwise, this evening enjoy a welcome dinner at one of the city's excellent eateries.
Accommodation
  • Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Sit down to a leisurely buffet breakfast at KOTO this morning. This restaurant is designed to give disadvantaged youth an education in hospitality. Then you'll drive south to Cai Be for a boat cruise along the intricate and beautiful waterways of the Mekong Delta. En route you'll stop and visit an orchard and sample some local tropical fruit, and visit some local cottage industries. As the sun starts to drop, continue to your homestay, your place of rest tonight. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home-cooked meal of local specialties.

Notes: The sleeping arrangement is a dormitory-style room with single camp beds. Bedding and mosquito nets are supplied. Keep in mind that the bathrooms are very simple and will only have cold water available. We do rotate the homestays to share business around, so amenities may vary slightly. While accommodation tonight is basic, typically our travellers find that the experience of seeing life in a local community is more than worthwhile.
Accommodation
  • Mekong Delta Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mekong Delta - Sightseeing tour including cottage industries
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is an early start, as after breakfast you will be taken to visit the bustling Cai Be floating market, a place awash with colour and activity. Mingle with the locals and browse the stalls at this delightfully unconventional bazaar. You will then return to Ho Chi Minh City for a walking tour around the city. You'll visit Reunification Palace, the War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral. Admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings along the way, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall).
Accommodation
  • Millennium Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning after breakfast it's time for a half-day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels, an extensive underground network (some 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong. They contained hospitals, dwellings and schools and were used extensively for refuge and storage, as well as being a military base. As you explore this extraordinary labyrinth you will learn more about its history and the 1968 Tet Offensive. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the underground life must have been like. Note that this will be hot and can be a little claustrophobic. Later this afternoon, fly to Nha Trang (approximately 1.5 hours). You will meet your new local guide at your hotel, who will be able to suggest options for activities and dinner this evening.
Accommodation
  • Stella Maris Nha Trang Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With palm trees, white sandy beaches and a hip cosmopolitan atmosphere, Nha Trang is often referred to as the Cannes of the Orient. Venture out on a boat to explore the nearby islands today. From the main boat, you will take basket boats to shore and visit a fishing village. There's also the chance to snorkel in the pristine water, feast on a fresh included seafood buffet lunch and enjoy the sunshine on the deck of the boat.
Accommodation
  • Stella Maris Nha Trang Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip including lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a short flight to Danang (approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes). From here you will embark on a short minibus ride to Hoi An (approximately 1 hour). Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures. With its charming low tiled houses and tranquil feel, this is a delightful town to walk around. You'll notice a distinctly Chinese appearance here, with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small lanes. You will meet your Hoi An guide at your hotel.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel Hoi An or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
A morning walking tour today takes you to a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. Afterwards, sit down to a delicious lunch with the group. This afternoon you are free to make the most of Hoi An and its surrounding areas. Your expert local guide will be able to help with suggestions for extra activities in Hoi An.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel Hoi An or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This afternoon at 3pm, cycle through the verdant countryside surrounding Hoi an before taking a boat trip on the Thu Bon River. Enjoy a sunset barbecue from an island on the river as you watch the to see the sunset over picturesque Hoi An.
Before this activity, the day is yours to spend as you please. Hoi An is renowned for its specialist tailors, so perhaps take this opportunity to get some clothing made from some unique local fabrics. If you feel like getting active, a lovely beach is located just nearby and is easily accessible by bicyle (these are easily rented). Or take a tour to My Son Cham to explore the ruins dating back to the 4th century. You might like to visit a local workshop to learn how to make your own rice paper. A Vietnamese cooking class too is a great way to familiarise yourself with some age-old culinary techniques, not to mentioning feasting on the fruits of your own labour.
Accommodation
  • Atlas Hotel Hoi An or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
This afternoon you will join with other travellers on a Boat and Bike Urban Adventure.
Depart beautiful Hoi An today for Hue, the former imperial capital and hub of Vietnam's historic past. En route pass through the Hai Van Pass – a scenic mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. You will also make a stop at this beach to stroll the shore. Arrive in Hue and discover its eclectic mix of frenetic streets and peaceful beauty. Meet your Hue local guide, and in the afternoon you will visit the Imperial Citadel, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost completely destroyed during the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, but its humble, foliage-covered ruins remain a testament to its proud history. Here you'll gain some insight into the horrific damage endured during the war.
Accommodation
  • Cherish Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a boat cruise on the Perfume River before visiting the Thien Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue. The Pagoda is an active Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1601. You will also enjoy lunch at a local nunnery or monastery. This not only allows you to sample some of Hue’s famed vegetarian food, but also offers a chance to learn about Vietnamese Buddhism. You will also visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees.
Accommodation
  • Cherish Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Royal tomb
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Fly from Hue to Hanoi today (approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes). Your departure will mostly likely be in the morning, but can vary a little. Your Hanoi local guide will meet you at your hotel. You will be taken through the ancient '36 streets' and discover an amazing selection of shops that sell everything from souvenirs to exquisite silk clothing, jewellery and beautifully embroidered tablecloths. This afternoon, sit down to a water puppet performance. Your host Liem invites you into his home, a veritable small-scale theatre that continues a long running family tradition, passed down from generation to generation. Witness not only the show itself but gain an behind-the-scenes insight into how the puppets are made and animated. Liem is only too happy to discuss the history and development of this age-old cultural practice.
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. In your free time, the Vietnam Fine Arts museum is well worth a visit. Walking is a great way to explore the city, with fun shopping and many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes. You'll see that this enchanting northern capital can be quieter than its southern counterpart.
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum - VND80000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave your luggage at the hotel and pack an overnight bag as you drive to Ha Long Bay (approximately 3 hours). Take in glorious views of this World Heritage-listed beauty and its spectacular limestone islands. You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) and board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood is also available). A candle-lit dinner on the deck of the boat, weather permitting, is a truly memorable experience, as the views at sunset are stunning. You'll also visit a cave in the area, and there's the the chance to do some kayaking (optional and at extra cost). During the warmer months your leader will discuss the option for swimming from Ti Top Island. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially incredible.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Our wooden junk-style boat has twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning. Due to the limited cabins on board our smaller vessel, the single supplement is excluded for tonight, and accommodation will be on a twin-share basis.

Swimming in the bay from the boats is not permitted.
In the morning, sail back to the port, disembark and then take a bus back to Hanoi (approximately 4 hours). Arriving back in the capital, there will be free time to wander around and enjoy some of the city’s attractions you may have missed the first time. You can shop on Hang Gai Street or perhaps enjoy some afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel. In the evening, enjoy a final dinner in a Hanoi restaurant,
Accommodation
  • Lan Vien Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle - USD88
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Village Discovery by Bike - USD33
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your independent journey comes to an end after breakfast today.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private vehicle, Taxi

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (12nts), Overnight boat (1 nt), Homestay (1 nt)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Mekong Delta - Sightseeing tour including cottage industries
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip including lunch
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
  • Hue - Royal tomb
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
2. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and excludes nights 2 (Mekong Delta homestay) and 13 (Halong Bay boat) where you will be in shared accommodation.
3. Passport Details: 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.

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.