15 days

Vintage Vietnam

Vintage Vietnam

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

Nha Trang cruise - the islands of the South China Sea

The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon

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

Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi

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

Perfume River cruise to the Thien Mu Pagoda and royal mausoleum of Emperor Tu Duc

Trip rating
  • 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 Classic Vietnam tour.

    Why we love it

    • 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.
    • 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.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

    • Your trip starts today with your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City. No activities are planned until your evening group meeting, so you may arrive at any time. Please check the welcome board or reception desk, located on the ground floor of the hotel, for information on your upcoming tour.
    • This will advise you of your tour leader’s name, telephone number and the time and location of your group's Welcome Meeting. Normally, the meeting is at 6pm. Until your meeting we encourage you to get out and discover the delights that Vietnam has to offer. Make sure that you take a hotel business card so that you will be able to find your way back to the hotel.
    • Please note that your tour leader will collect your travel insurance details at the meeting, so please bring them with you. The meeting is followed by a Welcome Dinner at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots.
    Hoang Hai Long Hotel or similar
    Dinner

    Day 2 - Mekong Delta

    • You will have the opportunity to enjoy a buffet breakfast at KOTO restaurant today. This restaurant is designed to give street children an education in hospitality.
    • After breakfast you will drive south to Cai Be for a boat cruise along the intricate and beautiful waterways of the Mekong Delta.
    • The Mekong Delta is renowned for its fertile land - rich in tropical fruits, flowers and rice. For this reason, it is often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam.
    • You will visit an orchard in your cruise, where you will have the chance to taste some tropical fruits, before moving on to visit some local cottage industries.
    • As the sun starts to drop you will continue to your homestay, where you will be sleeping for the night. Here you will enjoy a beautiful home cooked meal of local specialties.
    • You will be sleeping in a dorm style room, with single camp beds. The beds will be fitted with bedding and mosquito nets. Keep in mind that the bathrooms and toilets are very simple, and will only have cold water available to them. This is very much in keeping with the spirit of adventurous travel that you have undertaken to partake in!
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3-4 - Ho Chi Minh City - overnight train

    • You will awake early with the locals today, and after breakfast you will be taken to visit the bustling Cai Be floating market – a place awash with colour and activity.
    • You will then return to Ho Chi Minh City via Cu Chi Tunnels.
    • Cu Chi is actually the name of the district that covers an extensive underground network (approximately 200 kilometres) of tunnels dug initially by the Viet Minh and later expanded by the Viet Cong.
    • The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools, and were used extensively for refuge and storage and also utilised as a military base for the Viet Cong close to Saigon.
    • The 1968 Tet Offensive was launched from Cu Chi with surprising effect. A section of the tunnels has been widened to allow tourists to get a feel for what the life underground must have been like (please note that this will be hot and sweaty and also a bit claustrophobic!).
    • Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital; after visiting the tunnels you will partake in a short city tour that will take you to the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum and Notre Dame Cathedral, and will allow you to admire the many beautiful French colonial buildings, such as the main post office and the former Hotel de Ville (city hall).
    • You will then board an overnight train to Nha Trang. Overnight trains are not renowned for their cleanliness or opulence, but this is a true local experience, and it is also the best way to cover a long distance in Vietnam.
    • The trains are usually made up of four berth compartments, and sheets and blankets are provided, Some travellers prefer to bring their own sheets, but this completely up to you. There is a chance that you will be sharing your berth with people of different sexes and on occasion with people outside of your travel group.
    • There is a simple dining cart on the train, but it can be wise to stock up on bread, fruit and other delicacies prior to departure.
    Hoang Hai Long Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 5-6 - Nha Trang

    • You will arrive in Nha Trang today, and spend the day exploring this idyllic seaside town. With palm trees, white sandy beaches and a hip cosmopolitan atmosphere, Nha Trang is often referred to as the Cannes of the Orient.
    • You will venture out on a boat to explore the nearby islands, as well as a fishing village. You will also have the chance to snorkel in the pristine water, feast on a fresh seafood buffet and enjoy soaking up some sunshine on the deck of the boat.
    Starlet hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 7-9 - Hoi An

    • You will take a short flight to Danang today, from where you will embark on a short minibus ride to Hoi An.
    • Hoi An was originally a Cham port town, but has been influenced by a myriad of traders from various cultures. There is a distinctly Chinese appearance with pagodas and assembly halls scattered along the small streets. Hoi An was once a bustling port in centuries gone by, before the river silted up. 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 staff alike. A tour will take you to an historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.
    • You get the chance to learn how to prepare Vietnamese cuisine in a cooking class. Better still, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour!
    • You will enjoy a free afternoon to make the most of delightful Hoi An and its surrounding areas. The market is a good place to buy silk that can be made up into fine garments, all within a day. Close to town there is a nice beach, which can be reached easily by bicycle.
    Thuy Duong 3 Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 10-11 - Hue

    • You will leave beautiful Hoi An today for Hue, stopping at China Beach (known locally as My Khe Beach) and passing through the beautiful Hai Van Pass – a scenic, mountainous stretch of highway with views across Lang Co beach. You will also stop at this beach for lunch.
    • Hue is the hub of Vietnam’s historic past. The former imperial capital, Hue is an eclectic mix of busy streets and peaceful beauty.
    • You will visit the Imperial Citadel here, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter of these 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, and offer a little insight into the horrific damage endured during the war.
    • You will take a boat cruise on the Perfume River next, 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 have the opportunity to visit the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, with its beautiful lake, frangipani and pine trees.
    • While you are in Hue, 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 an insight into Vietnamese Buddhism. This is also presents an opportunity for you to help keep these institutions alive through donations.
    Romance Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 12 - Hanoi

    • You will fly from Hue to Hanoi today.
    • Hanoi is one of Asia’s most enchanting cities. The northern capital is a quiet contradiction to its southern counterpart. Its relaxed ambiance is a joy, and exploration by foot or bicycle is recommended. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes from the city.
    • You will take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying a homage to Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. We also visit the Fine Arts Museum, considered as one of the crucial museum in maintaining and promoting the treasure of cultural, artistic heritages of Vietnamese ethnic communities.
    • In the evening you get to enjoy a performance of the unique Water Puppets.
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast

    Day 13 - Halong Bay

    • You can leave your luggage behind at the Hanoi hotel and pack an overnight bag. It is a three-hour drive to famous Ha Long Bay, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders.
    • The views of sailing junks navigating past over 3000 limestone islands with rocky outcrops are nothing short of spectacular.
    • You will travel to Bai Chay (Halong City West) where you will board a boat for an exploration of the bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available), as well as spending a night on board. We 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.
    • There are only limited numbers of cabins on each boat, so the Single Supplement does not apply on the Halong Bay cruise, as all accommodation here is on a twin-share basis.
    • All boats used by Peregrine have twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning.
    • You may also have the chance to do some kayaking (optional and extra cost involved) while on Halong Bay.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14-15 - Hanoi

    • In the morning you will sail back to the port, where you will disembark and drive back to Hanoi.
    • Arriving back in the capital, you will have free time to wander around and enjoy some of the city’s other attractions. Perhaps some shopping on Hang Gai Street, or afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel?
    • You enjoy a final dinner in a Hanoi restaurant - a chance to farewell your fellow travel companions and new-found friends.
    • Your trip will come to an end after breakfast on Day 15.
    Lan Vien Hotel or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Cu Chi Tunnels; Hoi An historical sites; China Beach; Hai Van Pass
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Hue's Citadel, Thien Mu Pagoda and Emperor Tu Duc's Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh's House, Fine Arts Museum and Temple of Literature
    • Enjoy a Dragon Boat cruise down Perfume River
    • Overnight cruise on a traditional boat on Halong Bay, enjoying a seafood lunch and dinner (non-seafood also available) and resting in twin-share cabins with en suite facilities and air-conditioning
    • Enjoy a buffet breakfast at KOTO café in Ho Chi Minh City – a project providing vocational hospitality training and experience to underprivileged young people
    • Internal flights between Nha Trang and Danang (for Hoi An) as well as between Hue and Hanoi.
    • Arrival transfer
    • Accommodation: 11 nights comfortable hotel, 1 night overnight train, 1 night boat, 1 night homestay
    • Meals: 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners.
    • (From 1st Jan 2015) Gratuities included for the essential services only that you will receive as part of your tour package

    Not Included

    • International flights, airport departure taxes, visas, departure transfer, insurance, other meals, any optional tours and activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Departure transfer
    • Insurance
    • Other meals
    • Any optional tours and activities during free time
    • (From 1st Jan 2015) Gratuities for non-essential services and for tour leader
    • Items of a personal nature

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.Peregrine strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Peregrine makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Vintage Vietnam

    Dave - United Kingdom, 26 Mar, 2014
    5
    Overall Rating

    An enjoyable mix of varied nationalities came together as a coherent group who interacted well.

    Vintage Vietnam

    margaret & david - Australia, 1 Jan, 1970
    5
    Overall Rating

    fantastic trip

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PAVV
Start City: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
End City: Hanoi, Vietnam
Style: Small Group

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