Vietnam (Sweetened & Condensed)

Dalat hill station
Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi
The tailors and market traders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An
Learn new road rules in Vietnam
The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon
Nha Trang cruise - the islands of the South China Sea
  • Slurp-worthy pho, sticky rice cakes, prawn pancakes wrapped in lettuce… yes there’s more to this country than the food but we’re featuring the highlights here. Hungry yet?

    (Was Vietnam at a Glance)


    Day 1-2 - Ho Chi Minh City

    Bring a spare shirt to Cu Chi Tunnels because heading underground can be dirty business. Back in the city you’ll have free time to shop at Ben Thanh Market and stop by the War Remnants Museum.

    Day 1

    • Arrive in Ho Chi Minh and explore this fascinating city

    Day 2

    • 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 cyclo ride through the busy city streets to Ho Chi Minh’s Chinatown district, Cholon

    Day 3-4 - Dalat

    Much like Tipperary, it’s a long way to Dalat. But it’s nothing like Ireland. Have you ever seen a giant chicken statue in the middle of an Irish village? Didn’t think so.   

    • Join a local bus for the day-long drive to Dalat
    • Mix with locals and other travellers on board the bus
    • Journey past rubber and teak plantations before ascending the jungle-clad pass to Bao Loc
    • Continue past tea and coffee plantations, where the people and their houses look very different to those in Ho Chi Minh
    • Enjoy a full free day to explore some of the more interesting sights in Dalat, including the old railway station, Bao Dai, and the Hang Nga Guesthouse, known as the 'Crazy House'
    • Perhaps pay a visit to one of Dalat's most notable residents, Buddhist monk/artist, Vien Thuc, and purchase his black ink on paper paintings and calligraphy for approximately US$5 a piece
    • Why not try lunch is the upstairs 'mezzanine' floor of the fruit and vegetable pavilion in Dalat's central market
    • Take an optional trip out to 'Lat Village' – a local ethnic hill tribe community located just outside Dalat

    Day 5-7 - Nha Trang

    When you’re lying on the beach and feeling peckish, it might be time to order some fresh lobster. Pick a vendor, find the biggest lobster of the bunch and Bob’s your uncle.   

    • 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 overnight sleeper train bound for Danang
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 8-9 - Hoi An

    Cheap is definitely tasty in Hoi An. Now’s your chance to try pho from the Motherland. Slurp away to your heart’s content.

    • Drive through the busy streets of Danang and pass by the massive former US airbase that was, in 1968, the busiest airport in the world
    • 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’ 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

    Day 10-11 - Hue

    After our bike ride in the countryside fill up on banh – Hue’s very own steamed rice cakes with a little fish sauce or a dollop of chilli sauce - your choice.

    • 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
    • Alternatively, set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages

    Day 12-14 - Hanoi

    There’s a big art scene here, so head to Art Vietnam in the West Lake area or Dong Phone Art Gallery in the French Quarter and pick up a memento before heading home.   

    • 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
  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
  • 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.

    Vietnam (Sweetened & Condensed)

    Doreen - Australia, 13 May, 2013
    Overall Rating

    To had a fantastic time on this tour and will definitely recommend gecko to my family and friends

    Vietnam (Sweetened & Condensed)

    Michael - Australia, 13 May, 2013
    Overall Rating

    Loved this trip! Got to see what I think are some of the major highlights from north to south and never felt as if we were missing out on anything. Our group leader was awesome and was always striving to make our trip memorable including being flexible with the itinery and arranging for some little extras like some fishing gear for one of our boat trips. The food was to die for, the scenery was breathtaking and everyone we met along the way was really nice. This was our first group trip and I wouldn't hesitate to book with geckos on any more adventures in the future.

14 days
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4 - 16
Bicycle, Boat, Local bus, Sleeper train
2 nights Sleeper train, 11 nights Hotel
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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