« The Best of Vietnam ex Hanoi (Finished)

Travel The World
September 23rd, 2017 – October 6th, 2017
Start Time:
14 days
ex Hanoi

Day 1, 23rd September, 2017 - Hanoi

On arrival in Hanoi you are met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel. In the evening, you will meet your Australian Tour Manager, Sue Hile and your Local Vietnamese Tour Leader, who will then provide the group with a pre-trip briefing. Until your meeting we encourage you to get out and discover the delights on offer in Hanoi. Vietnam's capital is a quiet, contradiction of its southern counterpart, Saigon. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, with exploration best on foot or bicycle. The shopping is fun and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes. 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 your documents with you, along with your passport. The meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Hanoi's fantastic eating spots.


Day 2, 24th September, 2017 - Mai Chau

We will leave some luggage behind at our hotel before heading southwest of Hanoi to Hoa Binh province. This area is home to many hill tribe people whom we have a chance to meet. We also have the chance to walk though some of the countryside, which is quite spectacular. The walking is not too strenuous; however, some physical preparation will enable you to appreciate it a bit more, as the terrain can be a bit hilly. Anyone of reasonable fitness should have no problems. After a short walk in the afternoon we arrive in the hill tribe village near Mai Chau, where we will stay overnight in a local longhouse. The accommodation is simple and dormitory-style, but friendly and communal, with basic washing and toilet facilities provided.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner



Day 3, 25th September, 2017 - Mai Chau

After breakfast, we take a short drive before setting off on a full day's trek from Sam Khoe village through bamboo forests, undulating hillsides and paddy fields. We will pass through villages, home to various ethnic minorities, all friendly and welcoming. As we return to our longhouse accommodation of the previous night, we need only carry a daypack and camera for the walk.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner



Day 4, 26th September, 2017 - Hanoi

We bid farewell to our friends in Mai Chau and drive back to Hanoi. After lunch we take a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting the major sights, including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, and paying homage to Vietnam's most famous revolutionary - Ho Chi Minh.  This evening we head off for a fabulous dining experience, as we 'Dine for a Cause' at Koto.  Koto (Know One, Train One), is a Non Profit Organisation providing disadvantaged youths with the opportunity to improve their lives through developing skills and confidence.  Dinner at KOTO is at own expense.
Meals included: 1 breakfast



Day 5, 27th September, 2017 - Halong Bay

This morning we take a scenic drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay, we continue by road to the coast, where we are confronted by spectacularly formed islands and craggy limestone outcrops jutting out of the bay.  We board a traditional Sailing Boat, known as a “Junk” where we enjoy a welcome drink followed by a sumptuous seafood lunch (non-seafood is available on request), before continuing on to explore the bay. We visit one of the spectacular caves in the area, there is also a chance to paddle a kayak (optional cost) into areas where the larger boats cannot go, or you may choose to enjoy a swim or simply relax.  We have plenty of leisure time to absorb the surrounds on the upper deck before dinner and weather permitting, the views at sunset are incredible.  We stay on board the “Junk” overnight on a twin share basis (no single supplement applies on the boat, due to limited cabin numbers).
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner




Day 6, 28th September, 2017 - Hanoi

Mid-morning we disembark from our boat and drive back to Hanoi, where we enjoy a free afternoon in the nation’s capital. Both, your Tour Manager and Local Tour Leader will be available to go through some optional activities, otherwise just take a stroll through the old quarter of Hanoi and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era. A walk around Hoan Kiem Lake is a great way of seeing how a great deal of the life of this city revolves around this pretty body of water. Visit Ngoc Son Temple and learn about the legend of the giant golden tortoise, which had once inhabited the lake. Perhaps indulge in an afternoon tea at the Metropole Hotel or attend a performance of the unique Water Puppets (optional cost).  After the show, meet with your Tour Manager, Sue and she’ll take you to ‘bia hoi corner’ where you can try the local brew, while taking in the atmosphere of the busy streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Bia Hoi is a draft beer that is brewed daily and usually drunk by locals sitting on small plastic stools.
Meals included: 1 breakfast


Day 7, 29th September, 2017 - Hanoi / Overnight Train
Today you have a Full Free Day to spend at your own leisure before we board the Reunification Express in the evening. If you’re an early riser, we suggest taking a refreshing morning walk around the Hoan Kiem Lake to watch the locals practising Tai Chi and aerobics in the gentle dawn light….a very soothing experience!   After breakfast, your Tour Manager, Sue can suggest several options on how to spend your day of leisure, including a great Spa if it’s relaxation and pampering your after, or alternatively Hanoi is a great place to grab yourself a bargain, if shopping is your thing!  Early evening we re-group and head to the train station to board our overnight train to Hue.  This is a local train and conditions on board a generally quite basic, however the experience itself is heaps of fun!! 
Meals included: 1 breakfast



Day 8, 30th September, 2017 - Hue

We reach Hue in the early morning, where our time is free to explore this ancient splendor.  Hue is touted as one of the most romantic cities in Vietnam, a place to lose your sense of time! You can use your time to explore part of Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace enclosed within (optional - cost approx US$4).  The palace’s splendid ‘Ngo Mon’ gate gives a little insight into the destruction that has taken place inside, at the hands of various occupying forces.  The bloody ‘Battle of Hue’ during the 1968 Tet Offensive, all but finished it off, but skilled Vietnamese craftsmen, with the help of UNESCO and other non-government organisations are hard at work restoring and rebuilding what remains.  Sadly it can never be returned to it’s former glory, but it’s still a fascinating insight into Imperial Vietnam.

This afternoon, we will take a half day city tour, including 2 tombs & Thien Mu Pagoda, by private mini van/bus.  This evening, your Tour Manager, Sue takes you to one of her favourite restaurants in Hue, where you will sample the fusion between traditional French & Vietnamese cuisine. 



Day 9, 1st October, 2017 - Hue

Today is a day of leisure so you have plenty of time to explore more of beautiful & historical Hue
Meals Included: Breakfast 

Day 10, 2nd October, 2017 - Hoi An

This morning we have an enjoyable four-hour drive to Hoi An, through a region of Vietnam that’s blessed with magnificent rural and coastal scenery. Shortly after passing through pretty Lang Co Beach, Highway 1 begins its winding ascent through Hai Van Pass or, ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’. On the other side we drive through the busy streets of Danang and pass by the massive former US airbase that was, in 1968, the busiest airport in the world with all manner of aircraft coming and going in support of South Vietnam’s war effort.


The ancient and historic town of Hoi An was for three centuries one of the most important ports in Central Vietnam, visited by sailing ships from all over the world seeking trade in silk, ceramics, spice etc. In the late 19th Century, the Tu Bon River, linking the port to the open sea, began to silt up and became unnavigable to large vessels. Trade moved up the coast to Tourane, now modern day Danang, and Hoi An went back to being a sleepy little fishing and rice farming community. 

Today however, the tranquillity and charm of Hoian, coupled with its low tiled houses, make it one of the most delightful places to visit in Vietnam. A walking tour takes us to see a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.  Hoi An is also famous for it's silks and tailoring, so during your free time later this afternoon, you may wish to organise to have some clothing made. Your local tour guide will be able to help you find the best tailor's in town.
Meals included: 1 breakfast


Day 11, 3rd October, 2017 - Hoi An

This morning we enjoy a bicycle tour ... a great way to discover this ancient city.  We ride along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life.  Peddle your way through palm forsts, across bridges and fields of water buffalo. Finishing in town, the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore on your own, or perhaps enjoy the fabulous shopping on offer here.
Meals included: 1 breakfast




Day 12, 4th October, 2017 - Hoi An

We have provided you with another Free Day in Hoi An, as this is a certainly a place we believe you could easily spend a few days.  Plenty of options for you to choose from including motorbike touring out to the countryside, cycling to the beach, cooking and walking class. Also, if you're having garments made, today is the day for final fittings and pick up.
Meals included: 1 breakfast




Day 13, 5th October, 2017 - Ho Chi Minh City

We depart Hoi An for Danang, where we board our flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam and the nation's economic capital. We have a free afternoon to take optional excursions, pampering, shopping, people (or manic traffic watching). In the evening, as our journey comes to an end, we'll celebrate together by dining out at one of Sue's fav local restaurants.
Meals included: 1 breakfast




Day 14, 6th October, 2017 - Ho Chi Minh City

Your trip concludes this morning after breakfast where you will be transferred to the airport for departure flight, unless you are staying on another day in this vibrant and happening city.  If you are staying on, we can suggest plenty for you to see and experience while you are here.
Meals included: 1 breakfast



Cost Per Person based on Twin Share:

Adventurous Women Financial Member - AU$2650.00

General Public - AU$2750.00

Single Supplement - AU$450 (Please note single supp does not apply to train travel, longhouse or boat cruise - ONLY HOTELS)




Accommodation: 9 nights hotel, 2 nights longhouse, 1 o/n boat cruise, 1 o/n train.

Meals: 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

Tours and transfers by public bus, private minivan/bus

Train tix Hanoi-Hue and flight Danang - Saigon

Admission fees where applicable

Services of Adventurous Women Tour Manager & English Speaking Local Leader throughout

Return Airport Transfers (based on group)

Guided trek to Xa Linh & Xam Khoe - Mai Chau

Half day city tour incl. HCM House, One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature - Hanoi

Halong Bay overnight boat cruise with meals & visit to Halong Bay Cave

Half day city tour incl 2 tombs, Thien Mu Pagoda - Hue

Walking Tour - Hoi An

Cycling Tour - Hoi An

Service charges & tax



Not Included:

International Arrival and Departure Flights, Airport Tax

Vietnam entry visa

Meals, drinks & services not mentioned in the itinerary

Tips for leader, guide & driver

Expenditure of a personal nature



No PrincessesNO PRINCESS POLICY - This tour by it's very nature is not designed for the 5 Star Traveller. It is for the girl who has an 'adventurous spirit' and is looking for a unique and rewarding 'experience' (Once in a Lifetime)! You should be able to adopt a "Go With The Flow" attitude, after-all we are in a foreign country and things don't always go to plan...this will help you chill out and therefore get the best out of your holiday.  You will also need to be mobile without assistance - some of the sights require you to be on your feet, navigating steps and uneven surfaces at times.  We also have a couple of walks as part of this tour - these walks can be achieved by anyone with a general level of fitness, but again mobility is the key, as with all of our tours.  


To make a booking, please click on the "Book Now" Button Below, fill out your details and submit.  Once we have your booking, we will provide you with a Tax Invoice for your deposit, which will secure your place on our tour.

It was a great adventure and a good bunch of people. I was pleasantly surprised as I had no idea how this adventure would go. Many thanks to Sue, a great organiser. Brad the…Read more

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