Days
11
Price from
$1,240NZD
Map of Vietnam Traveller including 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!


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Destination
Vietnam
Code
GTRE
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
275 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Travel the length of Vietnam with a small group of like minded travellers your own age and an expert leader to make sure you get the best out of your time in each destination.

  • Limestone karsts and mysterious caves - Halong Bay feels a world away from the world we live in. Many other tour groups just visit for the day - we stay overnight on the boat.

  • It's not just boring hotels on this trip where you could be anywhere in the world. We mix it up with overnight trains and of course our night on board in Halong Bay.

  • Where better to enjoy loads of free time than in the coastal city of Nha Trang, which features irresistable beaches, crazy-good snorkelling and even mud baths! Here's what you have in store for you: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/nha-trang-vietnam/

  • There's great food wherever you go in Vietnam, but combine sumptuous snacks with cycling in the surrounding countryside and you will see why we love Hoi An. Check it out: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/5-awesome-things-hoi-vietnam/

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes three overnight train journeys, each one taking up to 12 hours. You'll be sharing a cabin with three to five other people and toilets with the rest of the carriage. Although the rides are long and the conditions basic, this is an awesome way to see Vietnam and travel alongside the locals as well as experience some of these emotions: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/26-emotions-youll-have-on-an-over...

  • Vietnamese roads can be hectic and intimidating to cross. Never fear - your leader will show you how to do it like a local in Hanoi's Old Quarter. Here's a guide if you want to prep yourself: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/crossing-the-road-vietnam-style/

  • This trip is for travellers who appreciate a bit of independence. You'll get plenty of free time in each location to make your own choices and do your own activities. Your leader will always be there to give you tips and suggestions.

  • Many travellers recommend staying extra time in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so you might like to too. Check out our city guides for what to do during your time here: https://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/hanoi-or-ho-chi-minh-city-vietnam...

  • If you'd like a longer trip that includes a stay in the Mekong Delta and the phenomenal Phong Nha National Park, check out our 15 day Vietnam Highlights (GTVB) trip. 

Itinerary

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. This adventure kicks off with a group meeting at 6 pm. Look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. At the meeting have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Because this trip doesn’t spend much time in Hanoi, why not arrive a day or two early to see the sights? Check out your reflection in beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, wander along shaded boulevards or relax in a public park with some delicious street food (spring rolls inside rice paper rolls, anyone?). Museum-wise, why not visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serene Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum. If you can't decide, let one of our Urban Adventures decide for you! Check them out here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/hanoi-tours. After meeting your group, get to know each other by pulling up a stool streetside and grabbing a fresh Beer Hoi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private minibus (approximately 4 hours) to the awesome World Heritage site of Halong Bay. This secluded harbour has something like 2,000 little limestone islands. And the water is one pretty green scene. It's one of Vietnam's most 'scenic' places, so get that camera ready. You'll jump on a boat and cruise the bay so you can take it all in. You'll explore some of the awesome caves in the area and fill up with both lunch and dinner onboard. What's on the menu? Seafood of course. Enjoy optional kayaking or swimming from Ti Top Beach in the warmer months. Once you settle into junk boat life you won't want to go anywhere – so spend the night rocking away on the waters of Halong Bay (with the waves and maybe a spot of karaoke).
Accommodation
  • Overnight Boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay as it will make it easier for boarding your boat. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.

Kayaking and swimming is restricted to designated zones within the bay.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight. To ensure all travellers can be accommodated on board available boats, on rare occasions you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group. Or your group may be split across different vessels. If this happens a group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.
Wake up to the beautiful scenes of the bay, and maybe appreciate it with some optional tai chi on the deck. Enjoy breakfast prepared by your crew, then cruise back to port around midday. Take a bus back to Hanoi (approximately 4 hours). Then take your overnight train bound for Hue (approximately 12 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Sleeper trains typically have four berth compartments (occasionally six berth depending on seasonal variations and group configuration), which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be times where you'll be sharing with local travellers or others who are not part of your group. Some trains have a dining carriage serving simple food or snack carts, but travellers tend to prefer to take some of their own snacks (bread, cookies, fruit etc) in case of getting the munchies.
Arrive in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You have today free to explore. You could easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace that's enclosed within it. Perhaps jump on board a ‘Dragon Boat’ and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda. You could also check out Dong Ba Market, which offers locally made goods, fresh produce and some tasty, tasty street food. This is a good place to try the grub that Emperor Nguyen used to feast on (banh khoai royal rice cake – can you taste the royalty?). If you like being on two wheels then maybe cycle out to one of the Royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (one of the most excellent remaining examples of its kind), or set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda - VND220000
  • Hue - Hue Royal Street Eat by Cyclo Urban Adventure - USD40
  • Hue - Hue Discovery Urban Adventure - USD78
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Continue along the coast to Hoi An by private vehicle (approximately 3 hours). Once in Hoi An, your leader will take you on a walking tour of this unique town which has been influenced over the years by Europe, China, Vietnam and Japan. The town was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and its old-school flavour is written all over its architecture. For a small town, it's pretty lively in places. In others, it's chilled out. The tour will take you down the streets that are being restored and look a lot like they did 100 years ago or more. You'll check out a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum for a bit of variety. There are Urban Adventures here in your free time too - check them out here and ask your leader to help you book: https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/Hoi-An-tours
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD28
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in Hoi An. Maybe wander to the Central Market and browse the paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors, so if you’ve been wearing the same shirt every day and it's starting to smell like coriander, why not hit one of the same-day tailors and get yourself something new? Or, if you're still feeling adventurous, hire a bicycle and tour the surrounding countryside (this is one of the best ways to experience rural Vietnam).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure - USD51
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Lucky you – it's another free day! You could take a trip out to the My Son temples (World Heritage-listed beauties that reflect the rich cultural traditions of the Cham civilisation), hop on a cruise along the Thu Bon River and or get beachy with a trip to the nearby Cua Dai Beach. Afterwards, board your next overnight train. This one's to Nha Trang (approximately 8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
transfer to your hotel. As it's early we may not be able to check in right away, but there's always a cafe selling Vietnamese coffee nearby to perk us up. We will have shared use hotel rooms before regular check in. Nha Trang is one of Vietnam's most popular beach side cities. In recent years it has ended up on every Chinese and Russian tourist's bucket list, which means that you'll see plenty of other travellers around town. Still, Nha Trang's sandy palm-lined beach and island-dotted bay make an idyllic picture. Spend your days here soaking up the sun on the beach, exploring the local markets or checking out the ancient Cham Towers nearby. Make sure you try some of the excellent seafood restaurants - you are right by the sea after all! There are Urban Adventures available here too. Check them out here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/Nha-Trang-tours. Your leader can help you to book.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip - VND1316000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Don't get so relaxed from your chilled time in Nha Trang (lazing in a deck chair, swimming or perhaps taking a mud bath) that you forget that tonight it's back on the train for one last ride (approximately 7 hours). You are pretty much an expert on this now!
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City very, very early (approx. 4am) and transfer to your hotel. There are shared hotel rooms available this morning if you would like to freshen up before check in time this afternoon and you'll be definitely needing another highly addictive coffee. Also known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterised by a vast array of sights and sounds, and is a fascinating blend of old and new. The huge number of people rushing about their daily lives in Vietnam's largest city gives it a dynamic atmosphere and the French influence is evident in food here as everywhere in Vietnam. For your free time this city has a vast array of sights and sounds to explore: ancient pagodas and cathedrals sit squarely up against the former Presidential Palace, historic Dong Khoi Street (the Rue Catinat from Graham Greene's novel, The Quiet American) and the bustling markets of Ben Thanh and Cholon (Chinatown). Many travellers choose to visit the Reunification Palace or War Remnants Museum here. Maybe join your newest and best travel buddies for a celebratory meal and drink tonight on Pham Ngu Lao Street.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • HCMC - Saigon Street Food by Night Urban Adventure - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Your trips comes to an end today. There are no planned activities, and you can depart at any time. As you only have limited time here it is well worth booking additional nights to explore. If you don't want to explore on your own, consider booking one of our Urban Adventures before your arrive through your leader (https://www.urbanadventures.com/destination/ho-chi-minh-city-tours) which include the popular Cu Chi Tunnels.
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure - USD43
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Discovery Urban Adventure - VND59
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Private bus, Private vehicle, Overnight sleeper train

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

Included Activities

  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour

Reviews

Our Vietnam Traveller trips score an average of 4.86 out of 5 based on 275 reviews in the last year.

Vietnam Traveller, September 2018

Caitlin McCague

Vietnam Traveller, August 2018

Daniela Koch

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures before October 1st on our Vietnam Traveller trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

From October 1st, we'll be joining forces with our sister company, Intrepid Travel. Intrepid 18 to 29s will be your go-to spot for small group adventures with people your own age. See this trip on Intrepid Travel
Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Travelling after October 1st?

Our sister company Intrepid Travel has just launched a new range of adventures for 18 to 29-year-olds. Same small group size, same awesome local leaders, different logos on the t-shirts.
From October 1st, Intrepid 18 to 29s will be your go-to spot for small group adventures with people your own age.

See this trip on Intrepid
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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip, subject to availability, and excludes Day 2 (Halong Bay) and Days 3, 7 & 9 (Overnight trains) where you will be in shared accommodation.
2. Please provide your full name as per passport and passport details 45 days prior to departure in order to secure Vietnam train tickets.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.