This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Responsible tourism: Vietnam highlights vacation, tailor made
Vietnam offers a truly unique culture, including some of the friendliest people you could hope to meet, not to mention some of the most varied landscapes - from mountains and lush green rice paddies to breathtakingly beautiful beaches and awesome seascapes.
Using local transport, we’ll take you on an overnight train adventure to the green rice paddies and mountains of the northern Sapa region. The only way to truly experience this beautiful area is on foot but you don’t need to be a mountaineer, nor indeed an experienced hiker, as our friendly local guides will gladly plan treks to suit your abilities, often downhill and/or walking alongside the rivers than run along the valley floors…
No visit to Vietnam would be complete without a few days exploring the World Heritage seascape of Halong Bay but rather than pack you onto the larger tourist boats which all tend to follow exactly the same routes and are consequently causing increasing problems within the very limited area in which they operate, we charter smaller boats (often with only one or two cabins) which will allow you to explore hidden coves, floating fishing villages and tiny, unspoilt beaches on routes where very few other tourists venture.
Your pre-departure documentation will include information about our responsible travel policies and will encourage you to follow our guidelines. These include stressing the need to avoid wastage of local resources, minimising the pollution caused by leaving litter and emphasising the need to respect local customs and cultural beliefs. As locals themselves, our guides will also advise and help you to fit in with social and environmental expectations.
Throughout your visit, you’ll stay in small, locally-owned accommodation in order to ensure that as much of the price you pay remains within the communities you’re visiting. In Hanoi, you’ll stay in a charming, boutique hotel located in the heart of the Old Quarter which remains much as it has been for centuries, bustling with life and shop-keepers who sell their wares.
In Hanoi, and in the delightful old fishing town of Hoi An, our local guides will be pleased to help you to support the local traders by seeking out genuine local craftspeople – woven bags, silk goods or perhaps even a tailor-made suit or dress can make wonderful gifts to take home, as well as helping to support the local economy.
In Sapa, you’ll have the opportunity to visit several ethnic villages belonging to minority tribes such as the H’mong and will be warmly welcomed for an overnight stay in one of the hill tribe communities where you can learn more about their fascinating and ancient ways of life.
On Halong Bay, we’ll take you to a floating fishing village where the many of the inhabitants live their entire lives literally afloat in a secluded bay far out to sea. Not only will you gain a unique insight into the lives of the villagers, but your interest in their culture will also help to encourage their sense of pride in the traditional ways of life which were previously in danger of dying out, yet are now being re-generated as community-based tourism is seen as a valuable new source of income, meaning that fewer of the young people are forced to leave the villages to seek work elsewhere.
In Hoi An, you can try your hand at learning how to cook some of the delicious local dishes, including shopping for the ingredients in the bustling outdoor market, as well as enjoying tasting the results of your labours at the end of the day.
As the trip winds up exploring village life along the Mekong delta, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that not only will you be taking home some unforgettable memories and a newfound understanding of this unique (and often misunderstood) culture, but also that your visit will have helped to benefit the charming people you met along the way.