Vietnam Adventure


Journey from Sapa in Vietnam's northern reaches, where you'll hike amongst rice terraces and meet ethnic minority people, through the heritage-rich cities of Hanoi, Hoi An and Saigon, to the very south, where you'll explore the canals of the lush Mekong Delta.

Places Visited

New Zealand - Hanoi (2N) - Overnight train (1N) - Sapa (2N) - Overnight train (1N) - Halong Bay (1N) - Dong Hoi (2N) - Hue (2N) - Hoi An (2N) - Saigon (1N) - Can Tho (1N) - Saigon (1N) - New Zealand

Days 1-2: Fly to Hanoi
Fly overnight to Hanoi, Vietnam’s colonially influenced atmospheric capital. (D)
Days 1-2: Fly to Hanoi
Day 3: Discover Local Hanoi
Begin with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex and the Ethnology Museum to learn about the country’s ethnic groups. Enjoy lunch at Koto restaurant before visiting a water puppet artist for a chance to participate in the creation of the puppets and to enjoy a private performance. Tonight, discover Hanoi’s street-side night life and taste the varied flavours of Vietnamese street food such as Pho Cuon and Banh Xeo – a truly local way of eating dinner! (B,L,D)
Day 3: Discover Local Hanoi
Day 4: Temple of Literature and Lao Cai
Rise early today and visit the fabulous flower market in Quang Ba, and see Tai Chi at Hoan Kiem Lake – an oasis of peace and daily life in the centre of Hanoi. Visit the Temple of Literature and the Old Quarter, with a stop for local delicacy ‘ca phe trung’ (egg coffee) en route. Board the overnight train to Lao Cai. (B,L,D)
Day 4: Temple of Literature and Lao Cai
Day 5: Minority Villages
After an early morning arrival and breakfast, transfer to beautiful Sapa. Later you will trek through luscious, stepped rice paddies and hills visiting small villages to rest and meet the communities who call them home, ending your walk at Ham Rong Mountain. (B,L)
Day 5: Minority Villages
Day 6: Sapa Trekking
Your Sapa adventure continues with approximately seven hours of trekking through the rice terraces, visiting the H’Mong villages of Y Linh Ho and Cat Cat. Continue to Ta Van and try your hand at batik painting, in a class lead by a Black H'mong woman. Sit down for a chat with an ethnic minority family in Lao Chai village. (B,L)
Day 6: Sapa Trekking
Day 7: Train to Hanoi
Take a free morning to soak up views around Sapa before an afternoon trek between Hau Thao and Giang Ta Chai villages – at Giang Ta Chai, there is an attractive waterfall. All aboard the overnight train to Hanoi. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Train to Hanoi
Days 8-9: Cruise Halong Bay
Arrive into Hanoi and depart for Halong Bay. Board your vessel for a serene and unforgettable cruise on the glassy, limestone-studded waters. Pass by quaint fishing towns, taste freshly caught seafood and admire the vistas of the bay. There are many activities to take part in while you are onboard – swim in the cool waters of the bay, explore stalagmite and stalactite filled caves, and even squid fishing (in season). (B,L,D) On day 8, rise early to catch the sunrise over the karst peaks of the bay and practice Tai Chi on deck. Return to Hanoi and take the overnight train to Dong Hoi. (B,D)
Days 8-9: Cruise Halong Bay
Day 10: Phong Nha Cave
Arrive in Dong Hoi this morning. Dong Hai is a coastal city that is the gateway to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The park is home to more karst landscapes within which have formed some of the world’s most spectacular caves. You will explore Phong Nha, only accessible by river. Once inside the cave, your boatman will row you 1.5km into the 45km-long cave. Marvel at the incredible caverns filled with stalactites. You will also explore one cave on foot. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Phong Nha Cave
Day 11: Paradise Cave
This morning, explore Paradise Cave. Admire countless stalactites with different shapes: Thach Thien Cung, waterfall Thien Ha, Quan Tien converging, and Thap Lien flower. Have lunch at a local restaurant and then enjoy a free afternoon for relaxing or swimming at your beach resort. (B,L)
Day 11: Paradise Cave
Day 12: DMZ
Drive north to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) along Highway 1, a mountainous road offering views of cascading ranges. The tour includes stops at some of the DMZ’s best-known combat sites where you will hear the stories of a country at war. First is the Citadel of Quang Tri, the site of a major 1972 battle between US backed South Vietnamese forces and their North Vietnamese adversaries. Next, cross Hien Luong Bridge, that spans the Ben Hai River at the middle of the DMZ and marks the former border between North and South Vietnam. The tour continues at the nearby Vinh Moc Tunnels, which housed an entire Vietnamese village for two and a half years! Visit the small museum displaying photos that depict their difficult underground life. After a Vietnamese lunch, you will visit Khe Sanh, the site of a landmark 1968 battle near the Vietnam-Laos border. You will arrive in Hue in the late afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 12: DMZ
Day 13: Hue’s Imperial City
Hue is the epitome of Vietnam’s dynamic past and considered a scholarly city. Take a cyclo-ride to visit the Imperial Citadel and the Forbidden Purple City which is still being restored many years after the destruction caused by street fighting and bombing during the American War in Vietnam. Hop back into your vehicle to visit the Royal Tomb of Minh Mang; the complex comprises of almost 40 monuments and is surrounded by gardens and pools, making it one of the more beautiful tombs. Continue by road to Thien Mu Pagoda and take a cruise on the Perfume River.(B,L)
Day 13: Hue’s Imperial City
Day 14: Hoi An
Today travel approximately 3 hours to the charming town of Hoi An. Stop en route to visit the tallest Buddha statue in Vietnam located at Linh Ung Pagoda in Da Nang and enjoy a panoramic view of Da Nang city and the white sand beach. Spend the afternoon walking the ancient streets of Hoi An, lined with Chinese traders’ homes and wooden houses reincarnated as restaurants, cafés, and outlets for local artists, craftsmen and tailors. Explore the beautiful 16th century Japanese Bridge. (B,L,D)
Day 14: Hoi An
Day 15: Farmer and Fisherman Experience
Jump on your bike today and wheel through the scenic rice paddies outside of Hoi An. Pay a visit to local farmers where you can try your hand at traditional farming techniques. Enjoy a calming boat ride to a fishing village where you can try and make fishing nets and paddle bamboo basket boats. (B,L)
Day 15: Farmer and Fisherman Experience
Day 16: Explore Saigon
Spend your morning at leisure in Hoi An before flying an hour and a half to Saigon Vietnam’s colourful and vibrant southern city. This evening, explore the nightlife of Saigon on the back of a Vespa, stopping at street food bars and coffee shops to have a glimpse of the real Saigon and socialise with the locals. (B,L,D)
Day 16: Explore Saigon
Day 17: Saigon
This morning drive 2 hours to discover the amazing network of the Cu Chi Tunnels. Sightseeing here involves 2 hours on foot on uneven mud paths through the bush and, if you choose, crawling through some of the tunnels. Later on, take a walking tour of Saigon, passing through its colonial and modern architecture. See the Notre Dame Cathedral and the French colonial Post Office before passing the Hotel Continental as seen in the book, the ‘Quiet American’. End your day with a visit to the Caravelle Hotel’s rooftop bar where you can enjoy some drinks (at your own expense) whilst you look out over this bustling city. You will be on your feet for 3-4 hours in Saigon touring some of the city’s main sights. Please note: The Notre Dame Cathedral will be under renovation for 2 years, starting in July 2017. During this time we are unable to enter the Cathedral; however we can view it from the outside (B,L)
Day 17: Saigon
Day 18: Saigon to Mekong
Head south for 2 hours to Ben Tre, gateway to the Mekong Delta. Board a boat to drift through small backwater canals before visiting local workshops where you can talk with locals before meeting a former Vietcong soldier. After the boat trip, you will have a short walk to a local village to see mat weavers at work, before jumping on the deltas version of a tuk tuk and travelling down the country roads to the pier. Here you will board the beautiful teak boat ‘Le Jarai’ to continue your cruise along the river. While on board, join in the demonstration of Vietnamese cooking before sitting down to a sumptuous three-course lunch of Mekong specialities. After lunch relax on the top deck and take in the scenery back to Ben Tre, where, on arrival, you will transfer to Can Tho for overnight. You will need to pack a smaller overnight bag for your trip to the Mekong Delta. Main luggage will be left in safe storage at the hotel in Saigon and picked up on your return. (B,L,D)
Day 18:  Saigon to Mekong
Day 19: Can Tho - Saigon
Pay a morning visit to the famous Cai Rang floating market, taking in the scenery and locals going about their daily business along the canals. Take a relaxed cycle through quiet and isolated countryside before returning by 3 hours’ drive to Saigon. (B,L,D)
Day 19: Can Tho - Saigon
Days 20-21: Saigon to New Zealand
Any time before your flight is free is at your leisure today. You will be transferred from the hotel to the airport, according to the departure time of your overnight international flight. (B)
Days 20-21: Saigon to New Zealand

Also Available

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 936 3998 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

Tour prices are per person, twin share departing Auckland. Regional departures available on request. Additional charges: Tipping is payable on arrival in destination (see Additional Price Information below).

Additional Price Information:


Single Supplement from $1,400
Land Only (Hanoi to Saigon) 19 days from $4,180 per person
Additional charges: Customary tipping - Approximately US$114 per person (subject to change), payable on arrival
Depending on airline schedules, you may depart and/or arrive Day 2, or may require extra nights pre or post tour accommodation or stopovers at additional cost
Tour availability is updated each Monday. While every effort is made to ensure availability status is current, it is advisable to contact our reservations department on 0800 936 3998. Limited seats denotes 4 seats or less available.

A visa is not required for visitors to Vietnam if your stay is less than 16 days. If your stay is for longer than 16 days then a visa is required by all nationalities and a single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
 
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are quite popular and you will find high quality coverage, with active roaming agreements with most of the service providers. Please make sure you are aware of associated costs and have activated your international roaming prior to departure.
 
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Vietnam is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount (in US Dollars) to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size and services used during the trip.
 
For independent passengers, or group passengers with pre/post tour arrangements, you should allow USD5-10 per person per day. We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be a fun and entertaining component to any travel adventure.  In keeping with most people’s interests whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities to shop for local goods and souvenirs.
 
We have included visits to establishments that not only provide an opportunity to purchase a locally produced, great-value souvenir; but you’ll witness first-hand how these local products are made, their history and how they support the local economy. We are aware that people like to take home souvenirs, so we endeavour to ensure the shops you visit have a reputation for quality, honesty, and authenticity – we do our best to ensure that you don’t get ripped off. 

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is a combination of local and western food, usually served buffet style at the hotel you are staying in. Lunches and dinners consist of traditional cuisine and are served at reputable local restaurants. As is traditional in this region, lunch and dinner consists of small dishes of local cuisine which is then placed on the table for everyone to share so you can experience the variety of speciality dishes. The amount served is more than ample for the whole group. We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people and so the food is not too spicy or unusual in taste.
 
Drinks will be at each tour members’ own expense and paid for at the end of each meal. Beer is widely available and cheap. Western style wine is very expensive to import and is not widely available except at upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice or fruit juices from a trusted restaurant, where they will use boiled or bottled water.
 
Due to the French colonial influence in some Southeast Asian countries, black tea (commonly referred to as ‘lip-ton’ by the locals), coffee, and baguettes are available in most places. However, the local style is to have sweet condensed milk with their tea and coffee. Fresh dairy milk is not usually served but many restaurants will provide this if requested. ‘Cafe Sua-da’ (or iced coffee with milk) is a favourite choice amongst the locals.


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