Riding the Reunification Train

Cu Chi Tunnels - the underground network of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong
Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi
The tailors and market traders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An
The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon
Nha Trang cruise - the islands of the South China Sea
Learn new road rules in Vietnam
  • VietNOM! As you slink from old-world Hanoi to ancient Hue and on to pretty Hoi An, beachy Nha Trang and bustling Ho Chi Minh… you will quickly realise that the Vietnamese know a thing or two about delicious food. Pho, bahn mi, rice paper, oh my!

     

    Surviving the overnight sleeper train:

    • Make nice with the locals. Offer them a Pringle and they’ll probably share their entire homemade banquet
    • Break out the noise-cancelling headphones because there’s bound to be some snorers on board

    • Know at least one card game you can teach your new mates

    Itinerary

    Day 1-2 - Hanoi - overnight train

    No, you’re not seeing things. The hundreds of Vietnamese moving in slow motion on Hoan Kiem Lake are just doing tai chi. Bring back a one-off souvenir from the propaganda shop on Hang Bac.

    Day 1

    • Arrive in Hanoi and get acquainted with this awesome Vietnamese city

    Day 2

    • Begin by visiting the One Pillar Pagoda near the Soviet-inspired mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh
    • Walk to the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first educational institute
    • Visit the Hoa Lo Prison, probably better known to most as the ‘Hanoi Hilton’
    • Enjoy a free afternoon to wander around town and check out the lifestyles of Hanoi’s people
    • Perhaps stop by the city’s Old Quarter, situated to the north of the lake
    • Board the Reunification Express and head to Hue overnight
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Hue

    The Perfume River doesn’t smell that great. Your Dragon Boat doesn’t breathe fire. And the Forbidden Purple City isn’t purple. These things happen.

    • Mount local ‘shopping’ bikes and cycle down to the riverside
    • Place the bikes on board a ‘Dragon Boat’, and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda
    • Choose to either cycle back into town from here, approximately 8km, or staying on the boat to head back down river to the Citadel
    • Spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace enclosed within
    • Perhaps cycle out to one of the Royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, one of the best remaining examples of its kind

    Day 4-6 - Hoi An – Nha Trang

    Keep working on your bum groove during the long drive to Hoi An. If you’ve been wearing the same shirt every day, why not hit one of the same-day tailors and get yourself something new. If not for yourself, then for the people in your group who have to stare at you every day.   

    • Take a walking tour of Hoi An
    • Enjoy free time - there’s such a broad choice of things to see and do, and they can all be experienced without difficulty
    • Perhaps rent bicycles and set off to explore the surrounding countryside, take a boat trip on the river, relax on the nearby beach, enjoy the cuisine on offer at some of the town’s numerous cheap cafes or have some clothes made up
    • Why not venture further afield to Vietnam’s world famous ‘China Beach’ (My Khe Beach) and the adjacent Marble Mountains
    • An optional visit to the Kingdom of Champa, the ancient ruins at My Son, can be completed in half a day
    • Leave Hoi An and take the day train to Nha Trang
    Breakfast

    Day 7-8 - Nha Trang - overnight train

    Two full days to catch some rays, swim, snorkel and pig out on freshly caught seafood. Then it's back on the Reunification Express for one last ride.

    • Enjoy plenty of time to worship the sun during two full days in Nha Trang
    • Head out onto the water for a day to cruise around the islands
    • Spend stacks of time swimming and snorkelling
    • Indulge in a lunchtime feast of freshly caught seafood and other delights for non-fish eaters
    • Board the Reunification Express and head towards Ho Chi Minh City
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 9-11 - Ho Chi Minh City

    Your hotel is smack bang in the hot zone, surrounded by friendly locals, to-die-for pho and Ben Thanh Market. Don't eat too much if you want to squeeze into the Cu Chi Tunnels.

    • Crawl through a section of the Cu Chi Tunnels
    • Learn how the brave men and women of Cu Chi built underground hospitals, kitchens and meeting rooms during their struggle
    • Spend the last afternoon in Vietnam shopping in the city’s main business district, or take a stroll through the busy city streets of Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown district, Cholon
    • Spend time exploring amazing Ho Chi Minh City
    • Trip ends after breakfast on Day 11
    Breakfast
  • What's Included

    • • Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guide throughout the tour.

      • Reunification Express journeys – Hanoi to Hue (overnight), Danang to Nha Trang (day) and Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City (overnight).

      • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton); Hai Van Pass; Hoi An’s ‘Old Town’; and the Cu Chi Tunnels.

      • Local ‘shopping’ bike ride around Hue and Dragon Boat cruise up the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda (with option to cycle back through the countryside).

      • Day cruise in Nha Trang, with a freshly-caught seafood lunch included (non-seafood options available).

      • Free time to explore Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.

    Not Included

    • International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

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  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

    At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.

    Riding the Reunification Train

    JUDY - Australia, 30 Jun, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    THE MOST AMAZING AND FUN AND INTERESTING TOUR I HAVE BEEN ON, REALLY LOVED THE GROUP AND THE TOUR LEADER KHOA NGUYEN. I USUALLY TRAVEL INTREPID, BUT WILL DEFINATELY BE TRAVELLING WITH GECKO FROM NOW ON!!

    Riding the Reunification Train

    daniel - United Kingdom, 30 Jun, 2013
    5
    Overall Rating

    An excellent trip well organised. Only wish It could have been longer.

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11 days
$714
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Nuts+Bolts

#GTRE
- 16
Bicycle, Boat, Bus, Train
2 nights Sleeper train, 8 nights Hotel
Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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