Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
A wonderful, budget 11-day trip from North to South Vietnam, traveling by train in a small group to make the most of a superb itinerary of both cultural and natural highlights.
Hanoi Halong Bay Hue Hoi An Nha Trang Ho Chi Minh Three sleeper train journeys One night on boat on Halong Bay
US $850ToUS $1010excluding flights
Single supplement $160.
Description of Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
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1 Reviews of Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed on 30 Apr 2018 by Malgorzata Gwiazda-Lindsay
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Rowboats in Trang An, great day trip with breathtaking scenery. Hanoi night life with great little bars and salsa dancing with locals. Lanterns in Hoi An. Iced teas and smoothies! Some more salsa dancing to live band in Nha Trang. Presidential bunker in Saigon. And above all, meeting lovely Vietnamese people.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Pack any type of a sleeping sheet for the train, as blankets and pillows provided are not always clean. None of the hotels have complimentary tea/coffee/sugar in the rooms, or a tea spoons oddly enough. Check out the street food market when in Saigon, especialy great for groups.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
On small day trips, when we were visiting local people in their homes and eating with them - yes, I believe they benefited, and I very much enjoyed the experience, plus they went out of their way to prepare me a beautiful vegetarian meals and I very much appreciated that. On other days, when group was taken by the guide to the most expensive restaurants for dinner - no, I can't see any benefit to the local people. Those carefuly selected restaurants have not had vegetarian options, or considered a bowl of dry rice a good enough main so I have quickly removed myself from those outings anyway. I understand the tour operator is planting trees to reduce environmental impact. I found it irritating that none of the hotels had facilities to fill up drinking water bottle, and we were forced to constantly buy plastic bottles, the amount of plastic waste I've created on this vacation is probably higher than my annual footprint.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
It was great to travel in a group, sharing experiences, having a good laugh and making lovely friends. I would like to spend a little bit more time in Hue - never got a chance to visit the purple city as we went to a short trip immediately upon arrival and by the time we came back and got changed, the site was closed. Leaving first thing in the morning meant no sightseeing of Hue. There was no safe storage facilities for passports in hotels. The hotel choice, Hanoi - nice, Hue - nice, HoiAn - very nice, NhaTrang - poor, Saigon - poor. Traveling on the train was surprisingly entertaining.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) vacation so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetAs a global tour operator, we are committed to traveling responsibly and endeavour to practise sustainable tourism wherever we visit. We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when traveling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment.
As a company, our dedication to sustainable tourism doesn’t stop when our tours do. We have four projects in Vietnam dedicated to helping vulnerable children and families in providing educational services and training to help people out of poverty. We also support the Turtle Conservation Centre that has specialised breeding and holding facilities for over 600 turtles, representing 15 of Vietnam’s 23 native species.
We support the non-profit Nguyen Nga Centre that offers education, training and work placement assistance for disadvantaged people and people with disabilities. We purchase embroidered ‘say no to plastic’ cloth shopping bags for our travelers and the income goes to the center to help pay their rent.
PeopleWe are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travelers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip. This trip will take you on an exciting cultural journey aboard the legendary Reunification Express, witnessing ancient royal relics, meeting fascinating locals, cycling through small villages and visiting the historic Cu Chi Tunnels.
We encourage our travelers to meet local people to get a real insight into local life; in Hoi An, travelers can get involved in a cooking class with a local chef to try their hand at making traditional Vietnamese cuisine and we spend three nights traveling aboard an overnight sleeper train. The train is a real highlight for our travelers as locals love to interact with our travelers because it gives both the chance to learn about a new culture. We hire bikes in Hue to discover the rural landscape and small villages in the surrounding countryside. This is an exciting part of the trip as travelers get a real understanding of the local way of life as we stop to witness locals out in the fields at work. We use local transport to eliminate unnecessary added pollution, to experience a new way of traveling and to interact with local people.
We endeavour to give our travelers an insight and appreciation into a country’s history and in particular on this tour we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, located just outside of Ho Chi Minh City. The visit is particularly moving and tells the travelers part of the backstory of Vietnam. We employ all local tour leaders which provide secure and promising jobs for local people and gives us a true representation of a destination, adding to the experience for both traveler and local.