In recent years, Vietnam holidays show you one of the best spots to visit in all of Asia. It is a country of astounding beauty, delightful cuisine and a complex heritage.
Hanoi, the capital is an exotic mix of the old and new Asia. Referred to as the 'Paris of Asia', it's a beautiful city with a decidedly French feel. A shoppers' paradise, some of the best bargains in all of Asia can be found in the renowned Old Quarter, a series of trading streets filled with thousand year old 'tunnel houses'.
The Old Quarter also has many street stalls with reasonably priced food. The Apocalypse Now Bar (there is also one in Saigon) is the most popular night spot. Traffic in Vietnam (particularly Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City) is dominated by motorbikes and can be chaotic, even overwhelming for the uninitiated.
Try to make eye contact with oncoming drivers and slowly make your way across the road. Be patient and pay attention, and you'll stay safe.
Ho Chi Minh City (known by almost all as Saigon) is Vietnam's largest city. Head to the Tourist Information Centre in the heart of the city, grab a free map and find out what the city has to offer. Stop by the Reunification Palace, where you'll feel you've stepped through a time warp - little has changed there since the Fall of Saigon in 1975; you'll get a feel for the war through the eyes of the locals.
Saigon is at the forefront of Vietnam's economic boom and investments have led to new lavish hotels, restaurants and nightclubs as well as high end boutiques. For Vietnam's nightlife, Saigon is the place to be. The Apocalypse Now club stays open later than most. Great music, cheap drinks, good food, it's very popular. Or try the Blue Gecko Bar, an Aussie bar with the coldest beer in town, and friendly staff. You have to try their chocolate Vodka shots!
Nha Trang with its white sandy beaches and turquoise, clear waters is the scuba diving capital of Vietnam. You should also try a boat tour of the islands, where you'll visit a makeshift bar in the water, with all of the fruit wine you can drink for free. Watch out though, it's potent!
Hue is the capital of the central region, and is the location of Vietnam's Forbidden City. You could take 3 or 4 days to explore this area, visiting the citadel and the Imperial Tombs. Check out Thu's café, a bar with 50c beers and great food. The DMZ bar, near the river has a fantastic vibe and is popular with expats and tourists alike.
A trip to Vietnam would not be complete without an overnight trip on a Chinese junk boat in the stunning Halong Bay, or a meandering trip through the Mekong Delta. May, June and September are the quietest months to visit, therefore the least expensive.
Whatever adventures you're chasing, a Vietnam holiday will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
HIGHLIGHTS Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Da Nang - Hoi An - Ho Chi Minh - Cu Chi Tunnels - Ben Tre - Project Work
- Economy class airfare to Hanoi including pre-paid taxes.
- Economy class airfare from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh including pre-paid taxes.
- Economy class airfare from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi including pre-paid taxes.
- 8 nights multi-share accommodation.
- 2 day/1 night cruise in Ha Long Bay.
- Train ticket from Hanoi to Da Nang in shared 4-berth cabin soft sleepers.
- Homestay with basic facilities and full board in Ben Tre.
- Breakfast daily and snacks and fruits during the project days.
- Entrance fees.
- T-shirts and project plaques.
- English speaking guides.
- Sightseeing as per itinerary.
- All transfers and transportation with air-conditioned vehicles.
Day 1 Hanoi
Xin chao, welcome to Vietnam. A group pick up at Noi Bai International Airport by a local guide and transfer to hotel in Hanoi. The rest of the day is free at leisure, overnight in Hanoi.
Day 2 Hanoi
In the morning visit the Temple of Literature - the first university of Vietnam built in 11th century, followed by President Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, his house-on-stilts and the nearby One Pillar Pagoda. Visit National Museum of Vietnam History as well as take a 45-minute cycle ride around the Old Quarter to see daily life of Hanoians, followed by a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake and visit to Ngoc Son Temple. Tonight, enjoy a Hanoi icon - the unique Water Puppet show.
Day 3 Hanoi - Ha Long Bay
After breakfast, depart for Ha Long Bay, one of the most stunning natural wonders of Vietnam, a picturesque blend of harmonious transition between the mountains and the sea. On arrival, board a traditional junk and head out into the Gulf of Tonkin amongst the huge limestone outcrops and emerald waters. Lunch is served onboard while the junk cruises through scenic part of the bay. In the afternoon visit Surprise Cave. Back to the junk and free time for relaxing or swimming or optional activities. There will be a cooking demonstration onboard in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight onboard.
Day 4 Ha Long Bay - Hanoi - Night train to Da Nang
Enjoy tea or coffee before a morning visit to Tunnel Cave. Return to the junk and check out of our cabins then enjoy brunch while the junk cruises back to the wharf. Disembark before noon and board our bus for the drive back to Hanoi. The rest of the day is free at your leisure until we transfer to the Hanoi Railway Station for the overnight train to Da Nang - pack up on some snacks and games to make this a trip to remember. Overnight on train.
Day 5 Da Nang - Hoi An
Upon arrival at Da Nang Railway Station, pick up and transfer to Hoi An. In the afternoon we'll take a walking tour in the Old Town of Hoi An, visiting the Japanese covered bridge, Chinese Assembly Hall, a typical hundred-year-old ancient house and the authentic local market. Tonight you are free to check out Hoi An and dine out where you wish. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 6 Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh
Sleep in this morning or check out more of Hoi An - it's your choice as the morning is free time. In the afternoon we transfer to Da Nang Airport for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport, you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. Dinner tonight is on a Bonsai Cruise along Saigon River. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
Day 7 Cu Chi Tunnels and Ho Chi Minh City tour
A morning visit to Cu Chi Tunnels. Watch a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed before seeing various mantraps, the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers. Spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels to see how the Viet Cong communists were able to survive in this underground network. Afternoon visit War Remnants Museum. Continue to the Reunification Palace, the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. Today this building is a museum and venue for official receptions. The nearby Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883 is one of the city's major landmarks. Neo-Romanesque in form, it's the major seat of the Catholic religion in modern Vietnam. Next to the cathedral stands the Saigon Post Office. Finished in 1891, it's another fine example of French architecture and is Vietnam's largest post office. Walk along Dong Khoi street, passing by French colonial architecture of Continental Hotel, Municipal Theatre, City Hall (see from outside only). Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.
Day 8 Ho Chi Minh - Ben Tre - Project Work
Transfer to the Mekong Delta. Upon arrival at My Tho boat pier, take the boat crossing Mekong River to homestay in Ben Tre. In the afternoon, proceed to the project site and commence our project work at Tam Hiep Kindergarten.
Day 9 Ben Tre - Project works
A full day working at the project site. In the afternoon, finish the project works and handover to local teachers/people. Overnight in Ben Tre.
Day 10 Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh departure
Transfer to Tan Son Nhat International Airport for departure flight.
Travel departing from:
Brisbane from $3099*
Sydney from $3099*
Melbourne from $3149*
Adelaide from $3199*
Perth from $3499*
Please note that * are required fields.