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National Geographic Journeys Explore Vietnam Small Group Escorted Coach Tour

Discover the wonders of Vietnam on our 12-night small group escorted coach tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Join us on an unforgettable journey with a maximum of 16 guests and experience the rich culture, breathtaking landscapes, and delicious cuisine that make Vietnam truly special. Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s mesmerizing culture and momentous history on a journey from the emerald mountains of the north to the sun-drenched beaches of the south. Discover a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the imperial city of Hue and mystical Ha Long Bay.

National Geographic Journeys Explore Vietnam Small Group Escorted Coach Tour

- SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
DEPARTURE DATE: November 3, 2024
Countries Visited: Vietnam

OVERVIEW

Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s mesmerizing culture and momentous history on a journey from the emerald mountains of the north to the sun-drenched beaches of the south. Discover a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the imperial city of Hue and mystical Ha Long Bay. Glimpse rural life on a hike through idyllic Mai Chau Valley; enjoy a cyclo ride through the heart of bustling Hanoi; and descend into the famed Cu Chi tunnels, where Viet Cong guerillas lived during the Vietnam War.

TRAVEL STYLE: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC JOURNEYS
Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

SERVICE LEVEL: UPGRADED
Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

PHYSICAL RATING: 2 - LIGHT
Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

TRIP TYPE: SMALL GROUP
Small group experience; Max 16, Avg 10.

AGE REQUIREMENT: 12+
All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Travel Dates & Pricing

TRAVEL DATEPRICETYPE
November 3, 2024from $3,229 CADPer Person
November 3, 2024from $3,229 CAD - based on sharingSingle Traveler
November 3, 2024from $4,308 CAD - private roomSingle Traveler

What's Included

  • 12 night small group escorted coach tour from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (maximum 16 guests)
  • 12 night accommodations - Hotels (9 nights), junk boat (1 night), lodge (2 nights)
  • 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Visit Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
  • Mai Chau Countryside Hike
  • Cyclo tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter
  • Overnight on a junk boat on Halong Bay
  • Guided tour of Emperor's Tomb and Imperial Citadel Hue
  • Lunch at a Buddhist Nunnery
  • Walking tour of Hoi An Old Town
  • Guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Arrival transfer
  • Taxes

Itinerary

DAYDATEPLACE
1Sun Nov 3HANOI
2Mon Nov 4HANOI/MAI CHAU VALLEY
3Tue Nov 5MAI CHAU VALLEY
4Wed Nov 6MAI CHAU VALLEY/HANOI
5Thu Nov 7HANOI – HA LONG BAY
6Fri Nov 8HA LONG BAY/HUE
7Sat Nov 9HUE
8Sun Nov 10HUE/HOI AN
9Mon Nov 11HOI AN
10Tue Nov 12HOI AN
11Wed Nov 13HOI AN/HO CHI MINH CITY
12Thu Nov 14HO CHI MINH CITY
13Fri Nov 15HO CHI MINH CITY

DAY 1 – HANOI

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Arrival TransferNoi Bai International Airport – Hanoi
You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure.

After picking up your bags exit the baggage hall and look for your driver. This area can be busy but keep an eye out for a driver holding a G Adventures sign with your name on it.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. Check for the meeting time on the welcome note at the hotel. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation
Below is an example of the hotel we may use in this city. For the actual hotel your specific departure will be using, please check your voucher.

Golden Silk Boutique Hotel (or similar)

DAY 2 – HANOI/MAI CHAU VALLEY

Travel to the verdant Mai Chau Valley, a patchwork of rice paddies, emerald hills, and charming traditional villages. Opt to take a kayak out on the scenic Hoa Binh reservoir, the largest reservoir in Vietnam, or pedal through the countryside on a bike, enjoying the lush scenery and getting a glimpse of local life.

Private Vehicle – Hanoi – Mai Châu

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Free Time – Mai Châu – Afternoon
Spend the day paddling on a kayak or cycling through the lush rice fields.

Accommodation
Mai Chau Hideaway Lake Resort (or similar)Resort

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 3 – MAI CHAU VALLEY

Spend the day exploring the picturesque valley. Set out on a walk through the peaceful countryside, learning about the local tribes and customs, and visit a rural market for a fruit tasting. Choose to enjoy an authentic country lunch at a village home.

Village Walking TourMai Châu
Enjoy an easy walk through rice paddies, terraces, and scenic green hills. Visit Na Phon village and a local traditional brickworks, continuing to Lac Village (White Tai ethnic group) or Mai Chau market for some exotic fruit tasting. Enjoy stunning natural landscapes while learning about the local ethnic tribes of the Mai Chau valley.

Accommodation
Mai Chau Hideaway Lake Resort (or similar) Resort

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 4 – MAI CHAU VALLEY/HANOI

Return to Hanoi and discover the bustling Vietnamese capital on a guided tour. Visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, one of Vietnam’s most influential political leaders, and learn more about his life at the Presidential Palace, a French colonial-style building that was designed to be his official residence. Gain insights into the Vietnam War at the Hoa Lo Prison, known by American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton; then jump on a cyclo, a three-wheel bicycle taxi, for a fun-filled ride through Hanoi’s colourful Old Quarter.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is open until 11:00am and closed on Monday and Friday. Entry is dependent on what time the group arrives in Hanoi.

Private Vehicle – Mai Châu – Hanoi

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum Visit Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City
Take a guided tour of the mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is housed in a glass case. Continue to the Presidential Palace and visit the museum to learn about Ho Chi Minh’s life and political history. Opt to visit the palace gardens.

Note: The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is open until 11:00am and closed on Monday and Friday. Entry is dependent on what time the group arrives in Hanoi.

Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) Guided Tour Hanoi
Tour the museum of Hoa Lo Prison, referred to as Hanoi Hilton by American prisoners, to learn more about the Vietnam War.

Hanoi Cyclo Tour Hanoi
Take a seat on a cyclo for a tour of Hanoi’s lively Old Quarter. Let the driver navigate through the bustling streets and start taking some photos or just use the tour to help get familiar with the area.

Accommodation
Golden Silk Boutique Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 5 – HANOI – HA LONG BAY

Begin the day with breakfast at Hoa Sua, a non-profit training restaurant for underprivileged Hanoi youth. Afterward, transfer to Ha Long Bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from serene, turquoise waters. Settle into your cabin on a traditional-style wooden junk boat, where we’ll spend the night, and embark on a cruise of Bai Tu Long Bay, a more secluded section of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Glide around the bay’s stunning karst formations, and explore the fascinating Me Cung cave with our local guide.

This traditional wooden sailing boat offers a unique way of navigating the lime karsts of Ha Long Bay with all the comforts of a motorized, floating hotel. The boat crew will prepare an included seafood lunch and dinner. All cabins are twin share and have an en-suite bathroom. The boat features an enclosed dining and sitting area and of course plenty of outside deck space to enjoy your beautiful surroundings.

On rare occasion Halong Bay is closed to tourist vessels by the government authorities due to extreme weather conditions. Should this occur, an alternate activity will be provided.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Breakfast at Hoa Sua
Savour a meal of Western (mainly French) and Vietnamese cuisine at this restaurant while supporting a training program that prepares local disadvantaged youth for careers in the culinary arts. After 19 years of operation the Hoa Sua School has trained more than 7,000 young people giving them the skills to overcome poverty, many of them going on to have very successful careers. Meet with one of the organizers to learn more about this successful organization.

Private VehicleHanoi – Ha Long
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Ha Long Bay Overnight Junk boat Cruise
Cruise through stunning and secluded Bai Tu Long Bay, a less visited section of Ha Long Bay. Relax on board our comfortable traditional wooden junk boat. Enjoy your time afloat eating fresh seafood, admiring the magnificent karst formations, and exploring Me Cung Cave. Spend a peaceful night anchored in the bay under the stars.

KayakingHạ Long Bay
Transfer from boat to kayak in this guided water tour, giving you the chance to get even closer to the stunning natural surroundings.

Accommodation
Halong – Bai Tu Long Overnight Cruise (or similar) Junk Boat

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

DAY 6 – HA LONG BAY/HUE

Enjoy an early lunch on board before returning to land and heading back to Hanoi to catch a short flight to Hue. A former imperial capital of Vietnam, this World Heritage-listed city boasts many architectural treasures; it was also the site of one of the Vietnam War’s most dramatic battles.

Shared VanHạ Long Bay – Hanoi

Climb aboard and make friends with your seatmate en route to the next stop.

Accommodation
Romance Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

DAY 7 – HUE

Set out on a guided tour of Hue’s imposing walled citadel, discovering lavish palaces, gardens, and courtyards. Visit the Forbidden Purple City, which served as the private quarters of the imperial family; then venture into the countryside to the magnificent tombs of Vietnam’s emperors, located along the banks of the Perfume River. Visit a Buddhist nunnery and enjoy a leisurely lunch following the traditions of vegetarian cuisine.

Hue is the gateway to the treasures of Vietnam’s royal past and remains one of Vietnam’s major tourist attractions. This quiet city is widely known for the magnificent architecture of its citadel, royal tombs, pagodas, and temples built under the Nguyen dynasty on the lush banks of the Perfume River.

Imperial Citadel Tour Huế
Tour this one-time capital city and UNESCO World Heritage site. See the walled fortress and former palace, which has many palaces, gateways, courtyards, and gardens to explore. The Forbidden Purple City (modelled on China’s Forbidden City) inside the citadel was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War.

Emperor’s Tomb Guided Tour Huế
Tour the tombs of Vietnam’s great emperors. Just outside of Hue, along the Perfume River are several impressive tombs dating back to the 1800s. Ranging in size and states of ruin, the ornate architecture and history make the sites a great place to learn more about the history of Hue.

Private Vehicle Huế
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Lunch at a Buddhist Nunnery Huế
Visit a nunnery and enjoy a leisurely lunch following the traditions of Buddhist cuisine, which features fresh, local produce and fermented or preserved ingredients. Today, we’ll sample a set menu of six to seven dishes, such as pumpkin soup with mushroom, tofu and green beans; crispy noodles with rice crackers; fresh spring rolls with soy sauce; steamed rice with eggplant and green beans; fried rolls with potato curry; and bread with potatoes, carrots and onion. (Please note: the menu is seasonal and may vary from what is mentioned above.)

Accommodation
Romance Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

DAY 8- HUE/HOI AN

Drive to Hoi An this morning, a remarkably well-preserved river port and UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll the narrow, winding streets of the atmospheric old town, lined with quaint merchants’ homes and decorated with colourful silk lanterns. Then try your hand at crafting a lantern of your own—a symbol of luck, wealth, and happiness—and leave with a beautiful souvenir. This afternoon, opt to visit a local tailor and be fitted for a custom-made shirt.

The journey to Hoi An, via the Hai Van Pass, is an incredibly scenic and mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views of Lang Co Beach.

Private Vehicle Huế – Hoi An
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Hoi An Walking Tour Hoi An
Stroll through the narrow winding streets of Hoi An’s old town to see the Chinese assembly halls, ancestral homes, and well-preserved pagodas. Opt to stop for lunch and sample delicious local delicacies and fusion food at one of the restaurants for which Hoi An is becoming famous.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Traditional Lantern Making Experience
In Hoi An, it’s said that hanging a lantern in front of your home will bring luck, happiness, and wealth to your family. Learn how to make traditional lanterns, handicrafts that are found hanging all over the Old Town of Hoi An. First appearing in the 16th century when the Chinese came to Vietnam, lanterns are used for decoration and in traditional celebrations like the monthly Hoi An Lantern Festival, which marks the full moon.

Accommodation
Belle Maison Hadana (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 9- HOI AN

Delve into a local market this morning with guides from Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures–supported program that trains local youth in the culinary arts. Taste dozens of varieties of noodles and pick out fresh ingredients at the market; then take your groceries to the Oodles of Noodles training kitchen, where you’ll learn to prepare mouthwatering noodle dishes and enjoy your creations for lunch.

Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Oodles of Noodles Local Market Excursion
Take a walking tour of a Hoi An local market led by youths who have come to Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported program, to be trained in the culinary arts. This excursion will empower the kitchen youth to lead insider noodle tours in Hoi An. There are currently over 26 types of noodles in this city alone and we will go to the market with two students and their trainer, learn about the ingredients at the market, and do a tasting of the different noodles while supporting local small women enterprises. We then pick the ingredients and return with our youth guides to the training kitchen where you will learn to cook and prepare noodles. After we enjoy our noodles for lunch, watch a video to learn more about the organization.

Your G for Good Moment: Oodles of Noodles
Try some of the oodles of noodles (more than 26 types!) available in the city in this tasty cooking class. Run by our G for Good partners, STREETS International, this class was developed exclusively for G Adventures. Former street youth that are part of this hospitality training program, will help you prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles. This program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill-set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry. Enjoy your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine and this initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training.

Free Time Hoi An Afternoon
Spend free time this afternoon visiting a tailor, wandering through the temples and tombs at a UNESCO World Heritage site, or take a bike ride to a nearby beach.

Accommodation
Belle Maison Hadana (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

DAY 10- HOI AN

The day is yours to explore enchanting Hoi An and its environs. Choose to take a day trip to World Heritage-listed My Son, a cluster of moss-covered Hindu temples dating between the 4th and 13th centuries. Alternatively, head to the nearby Cua Dai beach, or relax at your hotel by the pool.

Free Time Hoi An
Numerous optional activities are available today.

Accommodation
Belle Maison Hadana (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 11 – HOI AN/HO CHI MINH CITY

Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon. Immerse yourself in this vibrant metropolis—Vietnam’s economic hub—on a variety of optional activities. Discover the city on a cyclo tour, taking in iconic sites like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the ornate Central Post Office and City Hall. Visit the War Remnants Museum, a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed during the Vietnam War; or take a tour of the Reunification Palace, the site which marked the end of the war.

Plane Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City
30 minute transfer from hotel in Hoi An to Da Nang airport. One hour transfer from Ho Chi Minh City airport to hotel.

Free Time Ho Chi Minh City Afternoon
Free time to enjoy the city.

Accommodation
Hotel Continental Saigon (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12 – HO CHI MINH CITY

Venture to the legendary Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground passageways that provided a base for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Visit subterranean hospitals and ammunition stores, and learn about the vital role that the tunnels played in the eventual victory of the North.

Private Vehicle Ho Chi Minh City – Củ Chi
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle on the way to the Cu Chi tunnels and back.

Cu Chi Tunnels Guided Tour Củ Chi
Take a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of tunnels that the Viet Cong lived in to protect themselves from opposing forces during the Vietnam War. Try crawling through some of the tunnels (if you’re not claustrophobic). These tunnels stored ammunition, had underground hospitals, and served as a hidden base for attacking allied forces.

Accommodation
Hotel Continental Saigon (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

DAY 13- HO CHI MINH CITY

Depart at any time.

Departure Day
Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Meals included: Breakfast

Sounds Like Your Kind of Trip?
Contact Us For More Information!

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