Vietnam 12 Day Adventure

Vietnam – A travellers dream destination.

This beautifully hand craſted 12 day tour has maximum cultural immersion as we experience the incredibly unique and diverse scenery of Vietnam.

 

You’ll visit the vibrant hustling and bustling city of Hanoi in the North, with its narrow streets, incredible cuisine and crazy rickshaw taxis to the larger more commercial, but still as much fun, city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) in the south. In-between we explore the emerald waters and towering islands of Ha Long Bay, the rice paddies and rivers of Ninh Bink, the beautifully eclectic small port city of Hoi An, the lush vegetations and agricultural valley of the Mekong Delta.

You’ll stay on boats, in home-stays, in bungalows, in small villages, by rivers and in the jungle. You’ll learn to ‘play da cao’, to prepare, to cook and appreciate authentic Vietnamese food. You’ll experience spectacular sunsets and sunrises, get off the beaten track to visit places unseen around Ha Long Bay and get involved in an amazing project recycling plastic to create a community playground. And along the way you will meet, interact and learn from locals passionate about sharing their slice of Vietnam with you.

Vietnam is the trip of a life time and we are excited to join you on this journey!

At a glance

From: $1,494

Days 1-4: Hanoi to Ha Long Bay

The first part of our awesome Vietnamese adventure starts in the northern capital city of Hanoi where we take time to acclimatise and explore this incredible city, both by day and after dark. Street food vendors and markets, tailors and shopping malls – this is a culturally diverse city with much to see and do. It’s a fun city made even more fun by the chaotic rickshaw taxis which we’ll use to move around with.

We swap the rickshaws for boats and kayaks as we spend the next part of the journey absorbing one of the most beautiful bays on Earth – Ha Long Bay with its stunning landscapes of limestone islands, emerald waters and expansive cave networks. Be prepared to be awe inspired as we journey towards our own private island for the last night in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Hanoi after dark – markets, food trucks and street side kitchens, a sensory overload!
  • Sail and kayak the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay
  • Sail and relax on a private boat and island
Days 5-8: Ninh Binh to Hoi An

In this block of your tour you’ll continue to experience the true culture of Vietnam with a cycle through the lush vegetation of Ninh Binh as we pass rice paddy fields and explore the river and its’ local commerce. We experience the first of our home stays, staying with the wonderful Vietnamese locals, and take time to absorb the stunning sunset from the peek of Dragon Mountain.

Dropping down to the coast we’ll then explore the vibrant port city Hoi An with its eclectic mix of cultures and experience what it means to be local as we head out fishing and crabbing followed by a locally delivered cooking lesson.

Days 9-12: The road to Ho Chi Min City

The tour just keeps getting more interesting as we make our way south towards Ho Chi Minh City. We take time to investigate the city beyond the tourist route and then head out to immerse ourselves amongst locals on the Mekong Delta. On the way back to the city we’ll stop at the Cu Chi Tunnels and learn about the Vietnam War and the role the tunnels had in both the offensive and defensive strategies of the Vietnam War. We end our tour back in Ho Chi Minh City for a night out to celebrate 12 incredible days experiencing the best of Vietnam.

  • Visit the Cu Chi tunnels and experience ‘the story’ first hand
  • Enjoy the meandering rivers of the Mekong Delta while meeting locals and learning traditional food preparation and cooking techniques.
  • Dine out after dark in Vietnams biggest city

Good morning Vietnam!

 

ยินดีต้อนรับสู่ประเทศไทย!  We are excited to greet you personally at the airport and transfer to your cosy hostel in the centre of the ‘old quarter of Ho Chi Minh City’. Tonight you’ll meet your guide and fellow travel
companions for a group welcome dinner and get excited about the incredible adventures you’re about to experience. Feel free to take a dip in the awesome rooſtop pool overlooking the city to cool off before dinner.

(Meals: Dinner)

Arrival

Introduction to a crazy-fun culture

 

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is famous for it’s modern urban culture and fabulous cuisine and last night you probably already experiences the national dish of noodle soup and pork rolls. Aſter breakfast, we immerse ourselves straight into the fun crazy culture that is Vietnam with a game of ‘da cao’. Also known as “foot badminton” you will see this sport played everywhere in Vietnam, on the streets, in the parks – it is like surfing in Australia – we got learn to be local.

Here we work with a local team with the cost of the lessons going directly into a community project to…
Aſter getting ourselves up to at least level Messi you will head out to see the sights and sounds of the hustle and bustle of this incredible city for a few hours before we head back to the hotel to refresh and catch our overnight train to Da Nang.

Included Activities: Learn to play Da Cao, Ho Chi Minh City Walking tour
(Meals: Breakfast)

Ho Chi Minh City

A unique city arrival for a unique city

 

Getting off the train in Da Nang you are immediately transferred to the banks of the Thu Bon river where you start your unique arrival into Hoi An. The Thu Bon river is locally affectionately called “Mother River” because of the rich layers of alluvial soil perfect for farming and palm grovers and because of abundance of fish it apparently delivers to local fishermen. We kayak down this extra-ordinary basin river to arrive in the UNESCO Heritage town of Hoi An.

Take the opportunity to freshen up at the hotel, maybe a swim in the pool, before you will head out this even to explore the amazing vibrant city with its easygoing beauty, quaint lantern-lit alleys, and delicious food.

Included Activities: Kayak into Hoi An, Hoi An guided tour

Da Nang & Hoi An

Explore Hoi An

 

Up and at ‘em – after breakfast, we’ll head out into the surrounding countryside of Quang Nam, made up of small villages and rice fields along the quiet riverbanks by bike. Along the way, we put our words into action as we collect the plastic pollution that has been discarded along the river.

As part of this incredible U. Impact! Experience, we head to a traditional Ho An garden house where we work with a local NGO to sort and classify the plastic trash to make into eco-bricks. You will get to be directly involved in the production of these plastic blocks from locally collected waste and recycled plastic bottles, which we are using to build a local playground and more.

Such rewarding work means a personal reward too – and we have enough time to hit the beach this aſternoon to work on our travel tans. Explore more Hoi An tonight and try maybe some local street food from the cuisine we just can’t get enough of.

Included Activities: Quang Nam cycling tour, U. Impact! Experience Plastic Eco Brick project
(Meals: Breakfast)

Hoi An

Hue and Hai Van Pass

 

If arriving in a city by kayak isn’t cool enough, you are going to make your way over the famous Hai Van pass in the funkiest open-top jeeps as we travel to the Imperial city of Hue. The journey to Hue passes through the incredible French region with amazing colonial buildings lining the streets. Once into the countryside, water buffalo graze the fertile land as we pass through little farming communities before climbing up the steep hillsides towards the coast and snaking our way through the lush tropical jungle.

At the top of the pass, we visit the “most grandiose gateway in the world” (according to the inscription), which was built by Emperor Minh Tang, and designed to separate the Dai Viet and Champa kingdoms. In the surrounding area, bunkers are riddled with bullets – used firstly during the French/Indochina War and then again by the Americans during the Vietnam/American War.

You arrive in the aſternoon to the old Imperial seat of the Nguyen Dynasty – the historic Imperial City of Hue. Tonight you have time to explore the town at your own pace.  We recommend finding a local eatery or a local street food vendor for an amazing Vietnamese cuisine experience.

Included Activities: Hai Van Pass open-top Jeep ride
(Meals: Breakfast and Lunch)

The Imperial City of Hue

Sensory overload

 

You start the day exploring the Imperial City in the morning. Learn about Vietnam’s imperial history and stories of the Nguyen Dynasty and culture.

You will then head to a traditional garden house on the banks of the Perfume River for a unique Vietnamese cooking class. This is a real treat if you love Vietnamese food as much as we do, as your teachers and chefs are locals who will give you traditional insight into creating mouthwatering meals.

After cooking and eating way too much awesomeness, there is time to relax before our second overnight train of the trip to Ninh Binh.

Included Activities: Guided Hue walking tour, traditional local Vietnamese cooking class
(Meals: Breakfast and Lunch)

Cultural Hue

Traditional Homestay

 

You arrive this morning in the agriculturally rich rice paddies of Ninh Binh. Known as the ‘Ha Long Bay on Land’ for its flooded riverine landscape with sheer limestone peaks, there is a simple beauty about the daily lives of the generous local villagers who work in such extreme landscapes to yield crops.

As you journey through Ninh Binh, your path leads to the incredible Pu Luong National Park, particularly the small village of Ban Hieu, nestled between the rice paddies and mountains. Here we are treated to an overnight homestay in a traditional bungalow, including dinner with local families.

Included Activities: Ban Hieu homestay
(Meals: Breakfast and Lunch)

Pu Luong National Park

Incredible natural playground

 

After breakfast with a view over the Pu Luong National Park, we take a short trek down to the crystal waters of the lake, where we spend the morning hanging out on a beautiful traditional bamboo lake house. Swim in the amazingly clear waters, try bamboo raſting, or just relax in the sun. Our amazing local guests have prepared a picnic lunch for you also.

After lunch, you are off on a secret route we know through the jungle to a most awesome waterfall. Away from the crowds, this is our little secret spot, perfect for a swim and some exploring.

Tonight we will return to our fabulous homestay guests for another incredible Vietnamese dinner with tremendous view. It is going to be ‘kind of hard’ to leave this place!

Included activities: Bamboo Raſting, traditional lake house, secret waterfall trek
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)

Iconic Waterfalls & Lakes

From serene to chaotic

 

As we said, it is really hard to say goodbye to our wonderful hosts in Pu Luong, but after a lazy start and breakfast, we start our journey to the hustle and bustle of Hanoi city.

The ancient capital, Hanoi, is located on the banks of the Red River and is a vibrant, bustling city known for its rich cultural influences of Chinese, French, Russian and Southeast Asian. The city is mapped with narrow streets and alleys and cleverly laid out for trade, full of colonial buildings, exceptional eateries and food stalls, temples, and artisan craſt shops and has a colourful nightlife scene.

You will arrive in Hanoi with enough time to freshen up in the beautiful boutique hotel before you head out with the rest of the group to explore the city and enjoy a feast of local delicacies. Try Pho Soup from a street vendor, and visit temples and Đồng Xuân market before diving into Hanoi after dark for a taste of the vibrant local nightlife.

Included Activities: Hanoi City Tour
(Meals: Breakfast)

Hanoi

The Instagram moment you were waiting for

 

Did you know that the name Ha Long means ‘falling dragon’? Today we head off to this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site is beyond compare. The bay features thousands of limestone islands, caves and bays flooded with calm emerald waters. There is no wonder it is so famous among tourists. This is why – you do more – you board a traditional motor boat and immediately escape the main crowds by travelling north of Bai Tu Long and the more untouched locations of Ha Long Bay.

Here you can kayak and explore the beautiful landscape around Cap La Island or visit one of the secret beaches on Cong Do Island. And to make sure your day is as perfect as we can make it, we’ll have a tasty Vietnamese meal prepared for you on the overnight boat after you’ve soaked in the sunset and enjoyed a Bian Hoy beer

Included Activities: Ha Long Bay cruise, Bai Tu Long Bay, see kayaking
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Ha Long Bay

Last night in paradise

Imagine relaxing on the deck of our boat, maybe enjoying a fruit juice, a little Tai Chi routine to limber up perhaps. The sun is shining, and the weather is warm. Emerald green water meets towering rock formations as your boat slowly navigates its winding path between the many islands and caves.

We will cruise over the famous Thien Cash Son cave system for some exploring before trying our hand at the traditional Vietnamese fruit and vegetable carving we have seen so much of over the past two weeks.

This is our last night together in Vietnam, so what better way to finish what has been an incredible journey than with a guided food tour of the best places in Hanoi, maybe washed down with a local rice beer or two? It really is a truly perfect end to your Vietnamese adventure.

Perhaps you are continuing your adventure by heading to Thailand or even further afield to Nepal, Australia or  New Zealand with U.

Includes activities: Thein Canh Cave, Food Tour
(Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Hanoi

Depart at your own leisure

If you are staying on for a few days – maybe to explore the Mekong Delta or if you are heading home, your U. team can assist you with your forward travel arrangements. Perhaps you are continuing your adventure by heading to Thailand or even further afield to Nepal, Australia or New Zealand with U.

We look forward to hosting you on your next adventure!

Travel Safe!

Departure

We can help you!

This itinerary is a guide only. Given the spontaneous nature of our trips, our lack of control over the weather,
and many other factors that can effect a group, where we go and what we do each day may vary.

Always included:

  • Covered by the Travel Guarantee Fund in Denmark
  • 100% climate-neutral travel
  • Professional travel experts and local guides
  • We do all the planning for you
  • Personalized meetings before departure
  • 24/7 emergency telephone
  • Your own personal travel profile with program, add-ons, flight tickets etc.
  • Packing list and advice
  • Certification of participation
  • Advice and assistance with booking flights
  • Possibility of purchasing cancellation and travel insurance
  • All entrances and fees for experiences
  • All tour accommodation

 

Transport:

  • Private transport
  • Overnight train
  • Private Boat trip
  • Rickshaw, mountain bikes, kayaks and by foot

 

Experiences:

  • Explore the vibrant cities of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Hoi An and eat traditional meals from street vendors
  • Sail and kayak amongst the limestone islands, karsts, caves & coves of Ha Long Bay
  • Sip cocktails or enjoy a local beer as you relax on deck of our private charter exploring the unique landscape of Ha Long Bay
  • Explore and discover the villages and rice paddies of Ninh Bink by bike.
  • Sunsets over Dragon Mountain
  • Crabbing with local fisherman
  • Authentic Vietnamese cooking lessons with local village people, not once, but twice!
  • Tour the historic Cu Chi Tunnels, used extensively during the Vietnam War by the Viet Cong
  • Experience local working and village life on the Mekong Delta
  • Enjoy the culture of Vietnam over 12 incredible days with their friendly welcome locals.
  • Try every type of fresh Vietnamese food from noodle soups to sweet pork rolls!

  • Our U. Vietnam trip is an active adventure, so please remember to bring appropriate footwear, and clothes.
  • Bring clothes for both conservative use, but also swimwear for the beautiful beaches
  • It can get very hot, so remember a hat and sunscreen
  • Be sure to bring spending money with you to meals that are not included and for shopping too!

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KNOWLEDGE IS POWER WHEN USED WELL

Your expected footprint on this trip: 0.00 tons of CO2

(not including flights). Find out more about our commitment to net-zero travel and how you can lower your footprint.

Accommodation: 444kgs Approx. 11 nights at 37kgs per night Transport: 417kgs Approx. 1696km at 25kgs per 100km Optional activities: 30kgs Approx. average (2 activities) Food & drinks: 8kgs Approx. 700g per day Boats: 0.6kgs Approx. 30km at 19g per km

Your local investment on this trip: ₫3,100,000

The average expected amount our U.Traveller’s spend that goes directly into the local economy.

Find out more about our love for supporting local businesses

Why Choose a U. Trip

  • The only tour company carbon calculating and offsetting every part of your U.Trip, as part of your cost! From the flights, to all carbon costs associated with your accommodation, activities, meals and transport.  This means you are choosing to travel responsibly with a company dedicated to putting People + Planet first!  U. have simplified the decision making so you can focus on just choosing the best trip for your adventures!
  • More inclusions, head to head, than other trips meaning you get more value for your spend, you see more and you experience more!
  • Invest in yourself and your future with a U.Trip that seamlessly combines the fun, excitement and adventure of gap year and backpacker travel with Impact Experiences that add value to your ‘self’ and your CV.
  • U. creates the opportunity for you to challenge your own understanding of the world with first hand experiences of local communities and the challenges facing them.
  • A team with over 100 years collective travel experience

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

Would you like one of our U.Team to give you a call?

Let us know when and we will make it happen.

We can help you!

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