Vietnam Experience

From £899.00

Highlights

Mui Ne Fishing

Trip Highlights

  • Tour Hanoi, Vietnam’s awesome capital
  • Stay on mystical Monkey Island
  • Volunteer in local communities in Hue
  • Relax on the beaches of Mui Ne
  • Explore the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels!

Trip Summary

Discover Vietnam on this exhilarating experience! You’ll kick start your adventure in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi where you’ll get stuck into the lively hustle and bustle! You’ll also be swimming at Halong Bay and experience a fun-filled night on Monkey Island!

This amazing trip also includes a rewarding voluntary experience in Hue where you’ll be lending a hand at local community projects. You’ll also be recharging on the breathtaking beaches of Mui Ne, where you can pitch a tent on golden sands and sleep beneath the stars! Along the way you’ll enjoy some of Vietnam’s foremost sights, from the intriguing Cu Chi Tunnels to the stunning Elephant Springs. Get stuck in and find out why Vietnam holds such a magical aura for so many travellers!

For dates after February 2017 please see our Vietnam Discovery

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip itinerary

Day 1: Hello Hanoi!

Today you touch down in Vietnam! You’ll arrive into Vietnam and be met at the airport by a member of our friendly team. You’ll then be transferred to your accommodation where you can unwind and unpack before meeting our in-country coordinator!

If you arrive early enough you can get out and explore for a bit, or simply relax at the guest house before a traditional Vietnamese meal this evening!

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour

After breakfast you’ll have a tour orientation, giving you the chance to ask any questions you have about Vietnam and this epic experience! You’ll then head off on a walking tour to visit the Old Quarter and the French Quarter. You’ll be immersing yourself into some of Hanoi’s most popular hubs, and maybe even get the chance to check out a local coffee shop!

We’ll head back to the guest house after our walking tour, and there’s the option to enjoy a traditional water puppet show! Your guide will let you know how to get your ticket, and this unique performance will give you a glimpse into Vietnamese traditions. Later you and your group will be taken out for a welcome meal – the perfect opportunity to relax and get to know your fellow travellers. We’ll then head to a local pub to enjoy some drinks with the locals!

Day 3: Halong Bay and Monkey Island!

Today delivers big on the fun factor! You’ll be picked up from your guest house and transferred to a local boat pier by coach before boarding a boat to Halong Bay. You’ll be blown away by the glittering waters and towering limestone rocks, and you’ll be swimming, sunbathing and enjoying a delicious lunch prepared on board!

You’ll stay on Monkey Island tonight, a stunning private island situated in Halong Bay where you can pass your time sipping cocktails, playing beach volley ball and putting your singing skills to the test with some karaoke in the evening!

Day 4: Return to Hanoi

After your amazing night on Monkey Island you’ll head back to Hanoi city, boating to Halong Bay and then transferring to Hanoi. You’ll have some free time this evening, the perfect opportunity to sample some of Hanoi’s vibrant bars and pubs and have a drink and a dance alongside locals and tourists alike!

Day 5: Transfer to Hue

You’ll have some free time before your transfer today! There are some optional activities lined up, and you can choose to visit the Temple of Literature or step back into Vietnam’s rich history with a visit to Hoa Lo Prison museum.

At around 4:30pm we’ll head to the coach station and board out comfy bus to Hue! This will be an overnight trip, but before you catch up on sleep be sure to keep your eyes open as beautiful scenery passes you by!  

Day 6: Arrive in Hue

We’ll arrive into Hue early this morning and enjoy a tasty breakfast before you’ll be checked into your accommodation for some time to relax. The group will then meet for a briefing and to discuss the plan for your next few days in amazing Hue! We’ll then head out on walking tour of the city, visiting local markets. Hue has a leisurely pace, and it provides a laid-back contrast to the buzz of Hanoi! A knowledgeable local guide will lead the tour, and will give you plenty of information on this incredible city.

After the tour we’ll grab a bite to eat and then head along the beautiful Perfume River by boat. We’ll visit Thien Mu Pagoda, an evocative emblem of Vietnam. This spiritual site is Vietnam’s tallest temple, and you’ll be blown away by it’s ornate splendour! You’ll have free time this evening to relax before you begin your valuable volunteering project tomorrow!

Day 7-10: Volunteering in Local Communities

You’ll spend the next 4 days getting stuck into a rewarding volunteering role! You’ll be placed in whichever community needs you most, and you could be offering classroom support, helping with the construction and renovation of schools or helping with development projects!

Every morning your group will be collected from the hotel and taken to your project. You’ll have a project coordinator with you at all times, so somebody is always on hand to answer any questions you have about the project or help you with translating! Volunteering is a fantastic way to get to the heart of authentic communities, and your role at the NGO project will bring you even closer to Vietnamese culture!

Day 11: Hoi An, Elephant Springs and Waterfalls!

You’ll leave Hue at around 8am and board a minibus to Elephant Springs! If the weather has been good you’ll be able to swim near this natural spring, but if the waterfalls are closed as a result of bad weather you’ll head to the magical Marble Mountains and cave!

On the way we’ll travel over Hai Van Pass (weather permitting!) a route that sweeps across stunning mountain ranges. Be sure to take some snaps of the spectacular scenery before we arrive in Hoi An. We should get to Hoi an at approximately 5pm – just in time for Happy Hour! You’ll have a free evening to chill out after your journey. Ask your guide to suggest a great local restaurant and head out for a bite to eat with your group!

Day 12: Hoi An by Bike

Don your helmet this morning! You’ll be cycling through the picturesque streets of Hoi An and out into the countryside where you’ll journey through traditional rice fields. You may even be able to stop along the way for some authentic sugar palm juice!

After an hour and a half of cycling you’ll board a basket boat to get a taste for how the locals do their fishing! There are a few games and prizes after you’ve had some local food, and you’ll then head back to your hostel at around 3pm for some free time. Perhaps head to Hoi An Ancient Town, a quaint little town that’ll transport you back to historical Hoi An! This evening head to the Night Market to pick up some souvenirs!

Day 13: Transfer to Mui Ne

Today you’ll have some free time during the day before boarding  the overnight bus to Mui Ne, which will depart at around 6pm. The journey should take approximately 19 hours, but you’ll have a lie-flat bed so you’ll be able to get some rest! Mui Ne is well worth the wait, so settle in and look forward to your next exciting destination!

 

 

Day 14 – 17: Beachside Resort!

Your bus will drop you off near your beach resort and you’ll be checked in. Your coordinator will show you around the resort and show you to the tents you’ll be staying in over the next few nights! The tents are already built, and you can pitch them up wherever you like! If there are spots available pitch up on the beach to get a great experience of Mui Ne!

All bedding will be supplied, and you’ll have a safety box to store your personal valuables. You’ll have the next few days to relax and make the most of Mui Ne’s glittering waters and golden sand dunes! Spend your days swimming and hanging out with your group on the beach, or enjoy some optional activities (these can be arranged by the resort) such as dune tours, bar crawls, fishing and many more!

Please note that the resort occasionally has open roomed dorms available for upgrade if you find the tents too warm. We can’t guarantee that these will be available but if they are we can explain the upgrade procedure.

Day 18: Ho Chi Minh City

After 4 days of beach bliss you’ll be heading off to Ho Chi Minh City! You’ll be picked up at around 8:00am for the 6 hour journey to your next hostel, located at the heart of soulful Saigon. Your hostel is situated in a lively backpacker’s area, so head out this evening for a drink to share some stories with fellow travellers!

Day 19: Cu Chi Tunnels

Today you’ll get to explore Vietnam’s legendary Cu Chi Tunnels! Soldiers used the tunnels as an intricate network of hiding spots during the war, and they were also used as supply routes! They’re a must-see for any trip to Vietnam, and journeying through them will give you a unique look at Vietnam’s sobering history.

Later you’ll head back to your hostel, and depending on what time you return you can head to one of Ho Chi Minh’s intriguing museums, or simply sit back with a drink and watch the sun set on another awesome day in Vietnam!

Day 20: Explore Saigon

This morning you’ll go on a walking tour of Saigon! We’ll visit the War Remnants Museum where a range of military exhibits are on display, and this will give you a look into Vietnam’s interesting past. You’ll also head to Ben Thanh Market for some retail therapy and you grab some souvenirs to take back home!

There’s free time in the evening, and we’re sure you’ll want to grab a meal with your group to say goodbye and experience your final taste of that epic Vietnamese cuisine!

Day 21: Farewell!

Today is your last day, so you’ll be swapping details with your group and saying your goodbyes! Your guide will be on hand to help you to arrange your onward travel plans. It’s been an epic experience, and you’ll head back armed with a lifetime of memories!

 

Destination Information

Vietnam: vibrant, vivid, vast. This country is an inspiring infusion of island high life, happy hospitality and intriguing culture. Exploring this destination is a globetrotter’s dream treasure hunt! Uncovering gorgeous caves, exploring white sand beaches and discovering that off-the-beaten track adventure is all part and parcel of varied Vietnam! Embrace Vietnam’s history and make new memories in Old Town, or bike, surf and hike for an invigorating experience – there’s always time to find what makes you tick! It’s an essential part of Asian exploration, and although it’s a forward thinking and progressive nation, that rural magic remains. We also hear it’s the heavyweight when it comes to Asian cuisine (but don’t tell Thailand)!

After Nationalist insurgents forced the French out, Vietnam was split in two, to become North and South Vietnam. This arrangement did not last long, as one side struggled against the other leading to the outbreak of the Vietnam War with the USA.

The war was disastrous for the whole area, as the Americans also heavily bombed neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. After the USA withdrew, Vietnam was reunified as a one party state under communist rule. These days it’s a peaceful and fast developing South East Asian country, full of hope for the future.

Despite its troubled past, Vietnam is a stunning country and has its share of beautiful and tranquil coastline. A French colonial possession from the mid-1800s until shortly after the end of WWII, it is not surprising that lots of the architecture has a French look, especially in the big cities. 

Trip Notes

What's Included

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • In country transfers
  • Breakfast each day (except in Halong Bay and the Mui Ne), 5 lunches and 2 dinners
  • Local in country team
  • 24 hour support
  • Welcome meal
  • Overnight boat trip and island stay in Halong Bay
  • Guided walking tour of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
  • Entrance to the War Museum
  • 4 days volunteering in Hue
  • Beachside camping in Mui Ne
  • Bamboo boat and bike trips through rural communities
  • Cu Chi Tunnels experience

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Return airport transfer
  • Any onward travel
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenditure

Additional Information & FAQ's

Minimum Age & Eligibility

Minimum age 18 

Accomodation & Meals

You’ll stay in a variety of accommodations during your time in Vietnam! In Hanoi, you’ll stay in a lovely hostel located in the picturesque old town, just a few minutes’ walk away from many tourist hotspots! You’ll be in 4, 6 or 8 bedroom dorms.

During your night on Monkey Island, you’ll stay in beach bungalows on a twin or triple shared basis.

While volunteering in Hue you’ll be staying in a central hotel on a twin or triple shared basis, and breakfast will be included. During the rest of your time in Hue you’ll be in a leading backpacker hostel in a lively backpacker’s area. You’ll be in 4, 6, 8 or 12 bed dorms, and breakfast will be included.

In Hoi An you’ll stay in a central hotel on a twin, triple or quad shared basis! Breakfast is included and the hotel even has it’s own swimming pool!

In Mui Ne you’ll be pitching tents in a fun beach resort! You can pitch your 1, 2 or 4 person tent wherever you want to! As indicated in the itinerary, you may be able to upgrade to a dorm room if you find the tents too warm. These rooms are not always available, however. If they are and you’d like to upgrade, you’ll be responsible for covering a small upgrade fee.

In Saigon you’ll be in a vibrant backpacker region in modern, comfortable dorms.

Meals listed in the itinerary are included. These include breakfast each day of your tour excluding the morning of Halong Bay and the night bus to Mui Ne, and 5 lunches and 2 dinners are also included. Any meals not included will be up to you to purchase, and this will be a fantastic opportunity to sample a range of Vietnam’s culinary delights. Your guide will be more than happy to advise you and tell you about those must-try delicacies!

You’ll find that eating out in Vietnam is usually cheaper than eating out at home, but you’ll probably spend more if choosing Western dishes over local cuisine. ‘Western’ food in Vietnam ranges in both price and quality. Usually you’ll ‘get what you pay for’, as cutting back on the cost of Western meals will usually compromise the quality.

We recommend some of these well-known (and more adventurous!) dishes to try during your stay:

  • Goi Cuon: In this Vietnamese fish, grilled meat is paired with fresh herbs and spices, packed into a clear spring roll and served with a rich dipping sauce. Yum!
  • Cha Ca: A must-try for seafood seekers! Fish is flash fried with spring onions and served on a bed of scrumptious noodles.
  • Nom Hua Chuoi: A veggie delight. Punchy lime and spicy chilli flavour this combination of tasty shredded veggies.
  • Banh Mi: A Vietnamese speciality! Crisp baguettes are packed with meat, pickles, herbs and freshly crushed chilli.
  • Pho: An iconic Vietnamese dish consisting of meat, fish or veggies simmered with tasty noodles and a flavourful broth.

Reviews

Overall Rating: (10/10)

43 Reviews

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Arthur James

How would you rate your overall experience?

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How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

So many highlights of this trip guys! The time spent on monkey island was unforgettable. The boat trip through Ha Long Bay leaves you speechless (if it's sunny!). The quad biking at sun rise in Mui Ne is something well worth the 4.30am alarm. Make sure you go on the pub crawl there to as the bars/clubs are far better than I expected for a small town and they pick you up in jeeps. I don't think anyone on our trip wasn't impressed with the lantern lit evening in Hoi An with the tailors and restaurants along the river. The Vietcong tunnels/shooting range are very interesting and we had a Vietnam war veteran as our guide. His name was Mr Bin and he was a pure legend.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

The time spent in certain places could be better allocated such as more time in Hoi An and a little less in Mui Ne.

Tips for other travellers?

Pack lightly (You're all going to want to shop in Hoi An) Go on all the extra trips. Have an open mind. Take too many photo.

Any other comments?

The tour guides Jane, Lien and Chloe were excellent, constantly enthusiastic and making the trip run smoothly. I would like to thank them for making the trip a fantastic experience.

Olivia Edden

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Quad biking over the white sand dunes, cycling tour in Hoi An, war museum in HCMC and embracing the completely different culture.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More time in Hoi An and less time staying on the beach in Mui Ne.

Tips for other travellers?

don't overpack as you won't be able to fit everything you pick up on the way back in your bag, try everything you can as it's almost always worth it, eat the local food as it is incredible

Any other comments?

trip wouldn't have been the same without the fab tour guides Lien and Chloe- thank you both so much you have taught me lots about life (love yourself!!!)

Olivia Edden

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Quad biking over the white sand dunes, cycling tour in Hoi An, war museum in HCMC and embracing the completely different culture.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More time in Hoi An and less time staying on the beach in Mui Ne.

Tips for other travellers?

don't overpack as you won't be able to fit everything you pick up on the way back in your bag, try everything you can as it's almost always worth it, eat the local food as it is incredible

Any other comments?

trip wouldn't have been the same without the fab tour guides Lien and Chloe- thank you both so much you have taught me lots about life (love yourself!!!)

Hannah Paish

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Cycling around Hoi An, riding the quad bikes in Mui Ne, swimming off Monkey Island, pretty much everything!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

There were a lot of free days, it might be good if there were more excursions to different areas.

Tips for other travellers?

Can I have more than three? Ok, cool: 1) If you're going in the summer, don't bother bringing jumpers etc. You won't wear them. 2) Bring vitamin C tablets. I took one everyday and didn't get ill once. 3) No matter what people tell you, do not save all your shopping for Hoi An, it is very expensive there. 4) Saigon is not as dangerous as people tell you it is. Just be wary of your belongings and you'll be fine. 5) Try everything, even if you're nervous about it. It's called Vietnam Expereince, go have an experience!

Adam Wilkinson

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

The quad biking in Mui ne was the best activity!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I thought the itinary was pretty perfect! Couldn't of asked for better!

Tips for other travellers?

Take enough sunscreen! There is laundry places everywhere so don't pack millions of clothes! Bring smarter night clothes rather than just swim shorts like me!

Any other comments?

Everyone on the trip was super nice and I couldn't of asked for a better 3 weeks! The accommodation was much much better than expected! Really good value for money and I would recommend anyone wanting to see all of Vietnam in 3 weeks to go! The guides Chloe, Jane and Lien were super nice and organised the whole way through! Can't ask for better!

Hector Christodoulou

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Boat tour through Halong bay, staying on monkey island, quad biking in Mui Ne and having my suitcase!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

1 less day in mui ne and having an extra day in HCMC as there is so much to do there!

Tips for other travellers?

1)You can wash cloths at pretty much everyplace you stay so no need to overpack 2) Forget what anyone says about not taking a suitcase, they work and people will envy you 3) Dont take a backpack

Shannon Marchant

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

The volunteering was worthwhile and actually made you feel that you were making a difference to the education of the children; Halong Bay is unbelievable; the lanterns in Hoi An at night are beautiful; Cu Chi tunnels are so interesting and provide an insight into Vietnam's rich history, whilst a tour guide provides a unique account of their experience in the Vietnam War.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More time in Halong Bay would have been amazing, and the beach period may have been better at Nha Trang or Da Nang instead of Mui Ne, where it was very easy to run out of things to do.

Tips for other travellers?

It is possible to do the trip with a suitcase (I did), but it is more quick and convenient to take a backpack, because the stairs at each accomodation require a lot of heavy lifting. Take a lot of bug spray with a high level of deet, I found some at a travel shop with 97% deet which was necessary for the mosquitos in Mui Ne, in particular. Pack less, because each hotel/hostel has laundry facilities which cost next to nothing.

Luke Hayden

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

I loved Ha Long Bay and the night on Monkey Island. The scenery was amazing and being able to canoe around Monkey Island was great!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

It would have been nice to stay another night in Hoi An and one night less in Mui Ne, especially seeing as the day after we left Hoi An they filled the river full of lanterns at night.

Anna Davis

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Definitely the elephant springs which were literally the perfect temperature! And also the city of Hoi An as the night life was great and the city was covered in lateens which was beautiful!

Tips for other travellers?

Bring toilet roll everytime you leave the hotel and get a pair of elephant pants- the most comfortable trousers ever

Anna Davis

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Definitely the elephant springs which were literally the perfect temperature! And also the city of Hoi An as the night life was great and the city was covered in lateens which was beautiful!

Tips for other travellers?

Bring toilet roll everytime you leave the hotel and get a pair of elephant pants- the most comfortable trousers ever

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Vietnam Experience 14th Jan 2017 £949 Book Now
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