“A vacation of Vietnam's people and culture, this is an exciting trip where basic accommodation and public transport is favoured over luxury to maximise your experience.”

Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) | Cu Chi Tunnels | Mekong Delta | Mekong Delta homestay | Cai Be floating market | Dalat | Nha Trang | Quy Nhon | Hoi An | Hue | Hanoi | Hanoi Old Quarter Mai Chau | Hoan Kiem Lake | Halong Bay

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18 Dec 2016
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01 Jan 2017
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15 Jan 2017
US $ 2380
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05 Feb 2017
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19 Feb 2017
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05 Mar 2017
US $ 2240
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19 Mar 2017
US $ 2295
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26 Mar 2017
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02 Apr 2017
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09 Apr 2017
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16 Apr 2017
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07 May 2017
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21 May 2017
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04 Jun 2017
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18 Jun 2017
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02 Jul 2017
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16 Jul 2017
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30 Jul 2017
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13 Aug 2017
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27 Aug 2017
US $ 2195
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10 Sep 2017
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24 Sep 2017
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08 Oct 2017
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22 Oct 2017
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29 Oct 2017
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12 Nov 2017
US $ 2380
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19 Nov 2017
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26 Nov 2017
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10 Dec 2017
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17 Dec 2017
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24 Dec 2017
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31 Dec 2017
US $ 2380
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07 Jan 2018
US $ 2305
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14 Jan 2018
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21 Jan 2018
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28 Jan 2018
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18 Feb 2018
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04 Mar 2018
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18 Mar 2018
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25 Mar 2018
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01 Apr 2018
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20 May 2018
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03 Jun 2018
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15 Jul 2018
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29 Jul 2018
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12 Aug 2018
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26 Aug 2018
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09 Sep 2018
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23 Sep 2018
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07 Oct 2018
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21 Oct 2018
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28 Oct 2018
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11 Nov 2018
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18 Nov 2018
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25 Nov 2018
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09 Dec 2018
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16 Dec 2018
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23 Dec 2018
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30 Dec 2018
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Our top tip:
Think structured sandals, not flip flops for walking.
Trip type:
Small group, 1-12 people (min. age 15).
Activity level:
Lesiurely.
Accomm:
15 nights hotel, 2 nights homestay, 1 night overnight boat, 1 night sleeper train.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available for a surcharge at hotels only.
Meals:
18 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, listed activities.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is a classic style of small group adventure. You'll find your trip combines a good mix of included activities and free time, with some meals included as per your itinerary. We don't want you to feel chaperoned, it's your vacation not ours. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with organising anything you might wish to do in your free time, but how you spend it is up to you. Anything listed as included in your itinerary will be included in trip price; whereas anything listed as optional will be at an additional cost should you wish to take part.

These trips are great value, including things that you would struggle to organise independently, such as a night at a homestay in a remote village, or local guides around a remote place of interest. Transport will be a combination of private vehicle and public transport, whichever is the most appropriate for the route we are traveling; this might include train, plane, camel, tuk tuk, bicycle, boat…

On a majority of these trips you'll stay in 2-3 star accommodation, locally owned and reflective of the region you are traveling through. All solo travelers will be automatically roomed on a twin share basis with another group member of the same sex, unless you opt to pay for your own room at time of booking. There are no compulsory single supplements for solo travelers willing to share. Single rooms aren't available on camping trips, and you will be expected to help out with camp tasks such as setting up and breaking down your camp.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Vietnam vacation

This journey includes many opportunities to meet local people and learn about their lives in this diverse country.


- In the Vinh Long area of the Mekong Delta our local guides introduce us to the daily life, floating markets and cottage industries of the Delta's rich waterways. Our homestay host family welcome us with a dinner of local specialties and the opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into customs schooling and religion in this area.

- Since 1996, we have supported the Saigon Children's Charity and their work in educating the poorest children in Vietnam. We visit the Bau Ham School in Bien Hoa town, which was established by the SCC with support from us and our travelers. To minimise disruption, our visit signifies a short interactive break from lessons for the children. With advice from SCC, we also assist with teaching equipment, uniforms, sports equipment and general school maintenance.

- In the outskirts of Nhatrang, two of our long time friends offer those interested the opportunity to explore rural life - visiting farming families who welcome us into their homes and show us such things as rice paper making, bronze casting and bed-mat weaving. A visit at the local kindergarten, the village communal house and a traditional home, give insight into the Vietnamese culture and way of life.

- In Qui Nhon, a remarkable lady called Nguyen Nga has established a centre for orphans and people with disabilities. The trainees at the centre delight in having foreign visitors and showing us around and possibly even give us a musical performance. You may help the centre with a purchase of the high quality and very inexpensive handicrafts they produce.

- In Hoi An we can recommend attending the delightful local 'Cultural performance' held nightly and which helps keep traditional local dance and music traditions alive. A visit to the Hoi An orphanage can be very rewarding for both the children and those who are prepared to spend some time to assist at meal times, or with the children's general chores.

- Hue is famous for its imposing Citadel and the Tombs of the last ruling Dynasty of Vietnam. It was also the Buddhist capital of Vietnam, a fact, which is less lauded. Our local guide takes us through the back roads of Hue, where we are lunch guests at a Buddhist nunnery or monastery. We also visit local homes and learn some traditional handicrafts.

- On arrival in Hanoi, we will have breakfast at KOTO Restaurant. KOTO is a restaurant and training school, which provides 18 months of hospitality and life skills training to former street children. This project was established by Jimmy Pham - a former leader of ours and is enthusiastically supported by all food lovers.

- Vietnam has 54 ethnic minority groups making up 13% of the population and each group has it's own distinctive cultural traditions and handicrafts. A great place for shopping is CRAFT LINK, a non-profit organization, which supports the production and sale of handicrafts from poor and marginalised ethnic groups.

- As we travel to Halong Bay we may visit the Hong Ngoc Humanity Centre in Sao Do town. This is a wholly Vietnamese run NGO, which enables disabled children and young adults from the local area, to receive vocational training in the manufacturing and marketing of handicrafts.

Reviews of Vietnam vacation

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 29 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The old town and cycling in Hoi An.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Pack lots of light weight clothes, leave room for shopping and pack a good light weight waterproof!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Benefitted local people and projects.

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The home stay on the Meakon delta and the National park. I also love kayaking and seeing the wild monkeys in Haylon bay.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


There are long travel days so bring books and cards, although the guide was great and no one got bored.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The whole ethos of the vacation was on sustainability and local services. We visited an orphanage and played with the children and many local charities supporting victims of Agent Orange, but I was most impressed with the support for disabled artisans, allowing them to support themselves and make a good living from their work.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Absolutely brilliant.

Reviewed on 05 Sep 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Cambodia - the temples of Angkor Wat are a true gem; Phnom Penh and its museums as well as the recent Cambodian history were heart breaking but very educational.
Vietnam - Halong Bay is stunning, but overcrowded even during low season.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The trip I booked consisted of 2 trips. The first is mainly in Cambodia and it is an excellent trip, true to the responsible travel philosophy. The second is mainly in Vietnam and was overall disappointing.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The part in Cambodia possibly benefited local people, but there was nothing responsible or sustainable about the trip as organised in Vietnam.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Enjoyable, some great memories, but certainly not outstanding. I have been using the same provider for a few years now, but will reconsider using it in the future. I imagine it is still a good choice for some countries but has become the victim of its own success and the type of agency I would normally try and avoid in others (Vietnam).

Reviewed on 11 Jul 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Staying in a remote raft house in the middle of a lake surrounded by rainforest and gibbons!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take some comfortable sandals which you can walk or climb in, not just flip flops!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes we usually got public transport, and we stayed in homestays although the families we stayed with were quite well off already.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Good - lots to do and see, plus time to relax.

Reviewed on 15 Jan 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


I think discovering the way of life of the Vietnamese people, particularly in the remote rural areas and the open friendliness of the locals. I also found the food very affordable and very fresh.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


I would advise them to have patience, be open minded and willing to accept things that you do not see at home. Also be prepared to sacrifice a little comfort when not staying in hotels.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I believe the tour benefited the local people which is something I feel is not always the case with other tours. I like the idea of pooling money to use as a kitty for tipping the guides.

4. Any other comments?


Although it was a big culture shock, our tour guide had everything organised in advance and really had a passion for his country. Mostly the warmth and hospitality of the people was ever-present.

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