13 days

Ready, Set, Pho - Family Adventure

Ready, Set, Pho - Family Adventure

'Junk' boat cruise among the limestone karsts of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay

Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi

Cu Chi Tunnels - the underground network of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong

The tailors and market traders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An

The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon

Trip rating
  • A tradition handed down over thousands of years, Vietnamese puppetry, and particularly water puppetry, is a spectacle not to be missed. Skilful puppeteers are able to manipulate the puppets – some of which have separate mechanisms for their hands, wrists elbows and shoulders – whilst they move them across the water. With this intricate detail, the performers can make the puppets swim, fish, sword fight, row a boat, jump and even kick a ball. 

    Why we love it

    • This two week family adventure takes you to experience the sheer excitement of Vietnam.
    • You visit busy cities, scenic bays and river deltas for a fantastic mix of things to see and do which will keep the whole family entertained.
    • Mixing with the friendly Vietnamese, you discover a fascinating country and of course some great food.
    • Highlights include exploring by cyclo (rickshaw), a water puppet show in Hanoi, boat trips to fantastic islands with great beaches, ancient pagodas and temples, and wonderful markets.

    Itinerary

    Day 1-2 - Hanoi

    • Welcome to Hanoi, the Paris of the Orient. A city of lush parks, tree lined streets, and French colonial old-world charm.
    • Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. There will be a group meeting at 6pm where you will meet your group leader the rest of the family group.
    • When you awake on Day 2, you will be taken for breakfast at KOTO restaurant, a project dedicated to providing street kids with hospitality training, so they can find gainful employment down the track.
    • Next on your list is a cyclo tour through the Old Quarter, where you will discover amazing silver, silks, embroidery and galleries. The street names in the area dictate what is sold there, for example – Silk Street, Rice Street, and Boiled Fish Street!
    • This evening you will be treated to a water puppet show - a theatre form unique to Vietnam, especially Hanoi.
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Halong Bay

    • You will depart Hanoi today, and travel by road to the coast, where craggy and spectacularly formed islands rising from crystal clear water awaits you.
    • Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam's most impressive scenic sights. The view of sailing junks navigating over 3000 limestone islands with rocky outcrops is nothing short of spectacular.
    • You will board a boat for an exploration of the bay, as well as spending a night on board.
    • You will visit one cave in the area and, in the warmer months, you can enjoy a swim.
    • Conditions may be somewhat more communal compared to the usual hotel setting, but spending a night on the bay is such a wonderful experience. If the weather is obliging, the views at sunset are especially incredible.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Da Nang

    • You will return to Hanoi today (approx 3.5 hours), before boarding an overnight train to Da Nang.
    • Conditions on the train will be basic - but it's a great travel experience where you can mix with local people. The trains typically have four or six-berth soft sleeper compartments, a sheet, pillow and blanket are provided (you may prefer to bring your own sheet sleeping bag, but you are not required to).
    • You may be sharing with passengers from outside the group, or of the opposite sex.
    • Most trains will have a dining cart, but you may prefer to stock up on fresh produce to enjoy on the train.
    Breakfast

    Day 5-6 - Hue

    • Your destination today is Hue, the last imperial capital of Vietnam (1802-1945) and also one of its cultural centres. Upon arrival, you will freshen up before enjoying a tour of the city and its surroundings.
    • The royal mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc and the beautiful Thien Mu Pagoda are not to be missed. You will enjoy these from a guided cruise down the Perfume River, which will also offer you a taste of the tranquil countryside.
    • You will also have the chance to uncover the ornate and beautiful tombs of the Nguyen emperors, which are scattered among the traditional houses of local farmers. This adventure captures the classic Vietnamese scenery of rice paddies, swaying palms and farmers in straw hats. The tombs themselves are filled with statues, pavilions, a temples and beautiful gardens.
    Breakfast

    Day 7-9 - Hoi An

    • Travelling south by bus you will climb over the spectacular Hai Van Pass – a beautiful place abounding with souvenir-laden hawkers. The pass enjoys expansive views that are not to be missed. Approximately four hours after leaving Hue, you'll arrive in Hoi An - Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced over the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets.
    • In centuries gone by, before the river silted up, Hoi An was a bustling port. Today it is a delightful backwater town with an air of liveliness about it. The tranquility and charm of Hoi An, coupled with its low tiled houses, makes it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam.
    • It is a consistent favourite among travellers and guides alike.
    • It is worth visiting the historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall, and the local museum.
    • You can also enjoy a bicycle ride in the countryside or relax at the nearby Cua Dai Beach.
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

    • Today you will drive an hour to Danang and take a flight south to the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, previously
    • known as Saigon. It is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital, a fascinating mix of old and new.
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Mekong Delta

    • You will leave the big smoke behind today, and head for the rambling waterways of the Mekong Delta (approximately 3 hours).
    • On the way you will have the chance to visit a village called My Tho, where you can learn first hand about rural life.
    • You will stop for lunch while traversing the Mekong, at a garden restaurant in the heart of the Delta. Here you will have the chance to sample elephant ear fish.
    • The Mekong Delta is famous for its winding waterways, taking you past ramshackle bridges, vibrant markets, and beautiful rural scenery.
    • You will disembark at Ben Tre, where you will visit a local candy factory, before returning to Ho Chi Minh.
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 12-13 - Ho Chi Minh City

    • The last day of the trip brings with it the chance to cool off and have some fun at a local water park.
    • The rest of the day will be free for you to explore this exciting city.
    • Your trip will come to an end after breakfast on Day 13.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees as per itinerary)
    • Local flight: Danang to Ho Chi Minh City
    • Mekong River boat trip with visits to a floating market and riverside villages.
    • Breakfast at KOTO café in Hanoi – a project providing vocational hospitality training to underprivileged young people.
    • Overnight cruise on a traditional boat on Halong Bay with lunch and dinner. Accommodation is twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
    • Overnight train from Hanoi to Hue, with accommodation in a 4-berth 'soft sleeper' class compartment (a pillow and sheets provided).
    • Free time to explore Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi An.

    Not Included

    • International airfares, visa costs, departure taxes, arrival and departure transfers, insurance (obligatory on all trips), departure transfer, other meals, drinks, snacks, any optional additional tours or activities during free time, spending of a personal nature such as gratuities, laundry, drinks, souvenirs
    • Visa costs
    • Departure taxes
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Insurance (obligatory on all trips)
    • Departure transfer
    • Other meals, drinks and snacks
    • Any optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Spending of a personal nature such as gratuities, laundry and souvenirs
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PTFV
Group size 8 - 16
Start City: Hanoi, Vietnam
End City: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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