Vietnam Experience
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£765 (was £899), 21 days, Vietnam Trip code: VNEX

  • Adventure 3 out of 5
  • Relaxation 1 out of 5
  • Culture 4 out of 5
Vietnam Experience 2016Vietnam Experience 2016Vietnam Experience 2016

Trip Highlights

  • From top to bottom, experience all of Vietnam
  • See Halong Bay in all its shimmering, phosphorescent glory
  • Explore incredible cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh
  • Spend the night partying on the crackin’ Castaway Island
  • Volunteer and help out on a local community project
  • Camp on a wicked beach in the beautiful Mui Ne 
  • Lap up the awesome Vietnamese food
  • Visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels

Trip Summary

See full itinerary

Well, well, well – have we got an adventure in store for you Real Gapper! Vietnam is one of our absolute favourites, and on our brand new Vietnam Experience you’ll get to travel from the north to the south of this beyond brilliant country.

 

On this trip around Vietnam you'll get to grips with the backpacking ropes by exploring all of the very best Vietnamy bits. Hanoi, Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh are all on the agenda (yes Halong Bay is real, repeat - this is not a drill!) and you'll even get the time to volunteer, and then kick back on the beaches. Variety is the spice of Vietnam's life, big time.

 

We couldn't be more in love with the place and we cannot wait to show you the Pho-pes!


When do I want to go?

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Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status
9 January 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
6 February 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
5 March 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
2 April 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
7 May 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
4 June 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
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30 July 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
3 September 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
1 October 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now
5 November 201621 daysNow £765 Was £899 Save 15%AvailableBook now

What will I be doing?

  • Welcome to Vietnam (Days 1 - 2)

  • Island Life (Days 3 - 4)

  • Bicycle Tours, Elephant Springs, Marble Mountain & Bamboo Boat (Days 5 - 8 )

  • Give back to local communities (Days 9 - 14 )

  • Beach Life (Days 15 - 21)

Welcome to Vietnam: Days 1 - 2

Next Leg

Destination info

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. 

  • Location: Hanoi

Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi
Hey, Real Gapper, Guess what.... YOU’RE IN VIETNAM! We can’t wait to take you on this incredible adventure. You'll be met you at the airport on arrival, and before you know it you’ll be checking in to your first guesthouse. Once in your room and unpacked, you'll have the chance to say ‘Xin Chao’ to our in-country coordinator. (They are simply wicked, you’ll love them!)

 

Depending on your arrival time, You’ll have a chance to explore locally, or if you’re feeling a bit snoozy – rest up before our first party on the guesthouse’s own rooftop bar. WELL keen.

 

Day 2: Orientation and Hanoi City Tour
After you’ve filled up on breakfast, we’ll go over everything the trip has to offer during our exclusive tour orientation, playfully nicknamed the 'Vietnam Survival Guide!' We’ll go over the customs, culture and traditions of Vietnam, and even teach you a few Vietnamese words. This will be a perfect time to ask the in-country team any last minute questions that you may have, so store them up for this point, don't be shy. 

 

Once we’re up to speed with all things Vietnam, we’ll head off on a 3 hour walking tour to visit the Old and French Quarter's. You’ll get a proper taste of what life in Vietnam is like and we’ll show you some of the best sites that Hanoi has to offer. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to try many of the local dishes (be prepared, the food in Vietnam is magnificent – make sure you try the pho!), take some snaps and if you're lucky, your tour guide may even take you to a secret little rooftop coffee shop that overlooks the Red Lake. Done!

 

Late afternoon, we’ll head back to the guesthouse to get our party pants on, then swoop up to the rooftop bar for a couple of beers and a BBQ. This is the perfect place to get to know everybody in the group, relax and chill before we head to the local Pub Street for a drink and a dance!

Island Life : Days 3 - 4

Next Leg

Destination info

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. 

  • Location: Halong Bay, Castaway Island, Hanoi

Day 3: Sleep on Castaway Island
Today’s a super exciting day, so get ready guys! After breakfast you’ll be picked up from the hotel and transferred by coach fro approximately 2 hours to a local boat pier. From here we'll take a speedboat in to the Jurassic-world-like arena of Halong Bay. We'll meet up with our boat in the bay and once boarded you can relax, kick your shoes off, let your hair down and swim, sunbathe, snorkel and more.

 

Tonight you’ll be staying on Castaway Island – a private, gorgeous island located in Halong Bay, so enjoy the laid-back island life during the day and join a huge island party in the evening.

 

Day 4: Transfer back to Hanoi
After an unforgettable night on Castaway Island, it’s time to head back to the city. The boat will return to Halong Bay at around 2pm and you’ll be transferred back your guesthouse in Hanoi.

 

There aren’t any plans for this evening, so feel free to go and enjoy to local nightlife or spend the evening catching up on sleep!

Bicycle Tours, Elephant Springs, Marble Mountain & Bamboo Boat: Days 5 - 8

Next Leg

Destination info

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. 

  • Location: Hue, Hoi An

Day 5: Transfer to Hue
After what will be an epic two days exploring and partying in Halong Bay, today you have a free day to chill-ax, so whether you want to kick back and relax, shop, explore more of Hanoi or just chill out with the group, it’s completely up to you.

 

At 4:30pm we’ll head over to the coach station, where we’ll catch our superbly comfortable bus and head off to Hue. The transfer from Hanoi to Hue will take approximately 12 hours, so make sure you take a book, iPod (make sure the batteries are charged!) and anything else that will keep you entertained.

 

Day 6: Arrive in Hue
We'll get you in to Hue around 7am, so you’ll have a hearty breakfast before checking into your rooms and catching up on some well-earned rest. The rest of the morning is yours to explore locally, rest up, or chat with our team in the very relaxing coffee shop at your accommodation. 

 

In the afternoon, you’ll be taken on a tour of Hue City by bicycle. The town of Hue is very flat and has a very slow, laid back way of life, which you’ll see is a complete contrast from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. The tour will be led by a local tour guide, so you'll learn heaps about why this city is incredible and was of the key strongpoints during the Vietnam War. 

 

Day 7: Transfer to Hoi An, Elephant Springs and Marble Mountain
We’ll depart Hue around 8am, jump in a minibus and head to Elephant Springs for some swimming before heading down to Lan Co Lagoon. After that we'll travel over Hai Van Pass, where you’ll get the chance to stop off to take in the ridiculously good views on the way! We'll then travel further South, past Da Nang to the incredible Marble Mountain.

 

We will arrive into Hoi An around 6pm… just in time for Happy Hour!

 

Day 8: Bamboo Boat
After lunch we'll head off on an incredible bamboo boat tour. This tour will travel along a very slow moving river through local fishing villages, market villages and plantations. You’ll have the chance to take part in a load of activities, from making your own crafts to learning about local farming techniques and you’ll get to taste a whole host of different foods and learn about the local customs. This trip reaches parts other trips don't even know exist and gives back directly to the communities it visits!

 

You’ll return back to the hotel at around 6pm and will have the evening free to enjoy Hoi An. 

Give back to local communities : Days 9 - 14

Next Leg

Destination info

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. 

  • Location: Hue

Day 9: Back to Hue
Hoi An is a great place to party so your morning is time to sleep of last nights excesses! Around 2pm, you’ll be picked up and transferred back to Hue, arriving about 6pm. Once you’ve checked and settled in, you’ll have a chance to get something to eat before meeting a member of our partner NGO who we'll be supporting through our volunteer work. They'll explain to you in more detail about the schedule and the project that you'll be joining. 

 

You’ll receive all of the information you need about how the volunteering works, what the NGO does for the poor local communities and how your hard work is going to benefit the community. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

 

Day 10 - 14: Give back to local communities!
We'll spend 5 days, volunteering at one of the NGO’s many local projects. There are a load of different activities that you could be involved within, depending on the current needs of the communities. This NGOs projects cover a wide range of support from helping with biogas systems for underprivileged families to use for cooking fuel, to repairing run down homes, building playgrounds and educational gardens at local kindergartens to teaching English to young children.

 

Each morning your group will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the project. Our project coordinators and guides will be with you at all times, so if you need any help with translating or you have questions about the projects, then just ask.

You’ll finish off any tasks that you have started on the morning of Day 14, before leaving Hue at 1pm and heading to the next wicked destination.

 

The bus from Hue to Mui Ne takes approximately 16 hours, but believe us when we tell you that the destination is well worth every minute! Each 'seat' is in fact a lie-flat bed, so you’ll be able to catch up on some well-earned sleep after your efforts helping the poor communities in Hue!

Beach Life: Days 15 - 21

Destination info

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. 

  • Location: Mui Ne, Ho Chi Minh City

Days 15 -18: Beach Life!
The bus will drop you off near the beach resort at around 10am and you’ll be split into groups of 2, 3 or 4. We'll show you around the resort and introduce you to your new homes! These are tents that are free to pitch wherever you like - don't panic, the tents are already built, you simply choose where they go!! That's right, you'll be sleeping in tents, in a resort and can even choose to have your tent pitched under the shade, on the beach!

 

The resort supplies everything from mattresses, blankets, pillows to a safety box for all of your valuables.

 

The next four days are free for you to relax, swim or get involved with beach games. The resort can arrange a number of different activities from sand dune tours, to bar crawls, to fishing, plus a load more!

 

Day 19: Ho Chi Minh City
After four beyond brilliant days of having a massive laugh on the beach, it’s time to move onto your next destination, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). You’ll be picked up around 7:30am and will have a five hour transfer to your next hostel, located in the heart of the buzzing Saigon backpacker area. On arrival, you’ll check in and we'll have a quick group meeting to run through the last leg of your trip.

You’ll be taken on a walking tour of all of the sights in the local area so you can suss it out. We love it here, and we’re sure you will too!

 

Day 20: Cu Chi Tunnels
Today you’ll get to see Vietnam’s famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during the war, as well as being used as supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for a number of fighters, the tunnels are definitely a 'must see' on any trip to Vietnam!

 

After you’ve learnt about the history of the tunnels and taken in the sights, it'll be time to head back to the hostel to get ready to hit Pub Street. This is our last night, so expect it to be a massive one! Wa-hay!

 

Day 21: Time to say Goodbye
Sadly, today will be your last day so it’s time to say your goodbyes (boo!). Your guides will be there to help you arrange your onwards travel plans, give you a massive hi-5 and to arrange your last-morning-group-photos. 

Trip Notes Download

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Trip Notes include a full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather. By filling in your details you'll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Arrival Airport Transfer
  • All In-Country Transfers
  • Breakfast each morning, 8 Lunches and 3 Dinners
  • Local In-Country Team & 24 Hour Support
  • Welcome BBQ at rooftop bar
  • Overnight boat trip/island stay in Halong Bay
  • Guided walking tour of stunning Hanoi & Tour of the crazy capital of Ho Chi Minh City
  • 5 days volunteering with communities in Hue
  • Beach-side camping on the stunning beaches of Mui Ne
  • Bamboo boat trip through indigenous communities
  • Visit the surreal tunnels at Cu Chi

What's not included?

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Return Airport Transfer
  • Meals that are not stated in the itinerary
  • Spending Money

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum age 17 

 

Minimum numbers required on this trip

This trip does have minimum numbers. Please speak to a member of team for more information. 

 

Accommodation

During your time in Hanoi, you’ll be staying in an excellent hostel located in the stunning old town, just a few minutes’ walk from everything that a tourist in Vietnam needs. You’ll be staying in 4, 6 or 8 bed dorms and the hostel has a rooftop bar, pool table, free Wi-Fi and breakfast is included.

 

You'll sleep on Castaway Island located in Halong Bay, in a hostel and sharing a 4, 6 or 10 bed dorm with other members of your group.

 

Whilst volunteering in Hue, you will be staying in a centrally located hotel in either a twin or triple room. Breakfast is included.
 

For the rest of your time in Hue, you’ll be staying in one of Vietnam’s leading backpacker hostels in a great location in the heart of the main backpacking area. You’ll be staying in 4, 6, 8 or 12 bedded dorm rooms and breakfast is included.

 

In Hoi An you’ll stay in a centrally located hotel in twin, triple or quads rooms. Breakfast is included and the hotel has a swimming pool! - Oh yeah!

 

In Mui Ne you will be staying tents in a very friendly, laid-back but loadsa fun, beach resort. You’ll be able to pitch your 2, 3 or 4 person tent wherever you like, even on the beach under the shade of a palm tree! Breakfast is included.


If camping isn’t for you, you can choose to swap to one of the bungalows after your first night, for a small fee paid directly to the resort. 

 

The hotel that you'll be staying at in Saigon is in the heart of the backpacker region. The dorms are modern, clean and comfortable and  have free WiFi. 

 

Meals

Breakfast will be included everyday throughout your tour. 8 Lunches and 3 Dinners are also included. 

 

Advice & Safety

Throughout you’re your tour the group will have the support and guidance of at least one of our dedicated local guides and coordinators. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay. In addition, there will be regular meetings throughout the tour to discuss any issues that may have arisen to allow our team the opportunity to assist.

 

There is also an on-the-ground project advisor who is waiting to hear from you in regards to any volunteering-related questions that you may have before beginning your placement.

 

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to.

 

Your comfort and safety is our number one priority throughout the trip so we urge you to listen to and adhere to all safety advice given before and during this tour.

 

DBS

You have booked a programme which requires an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check to be completed. We can carry this out for you and your travel advisor will explain the charges at the time of booking.

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