Hanoi to Saigon small group tour
A fascinating 16-day tour, traveling south from Hanoi to Saigon and the Mekong Delta by way of the World Heritage Sites of Halong Bay, Trang An, Phong Nha, Hue and Hoi An
7 World Heritage Sites Hanoi Overnight Halong Bay Cruise Trang An Karst Landscapes Phong Nha National Park Hoi An My Son Ancient City Marble Mountain Hoi An Saigon Sites and Markets Cu Chi Tunnels Secret Vietcong Base at Xe Quit Cai Be Mekong Delta Local Food
US $2350ToUS $2485including domestic flights only
Description of Hanoi to Saigon small group tour
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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.
PlanetOur aim is to provide a genuinely small group, low impact tour including a mixture of popular and off the beaten track sites on our itinerary. By limiting groups to small sizes (maximum 12 persons) we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater interaction with said communities.
It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.
By combining the well-known tourist sites with rarely visited destinations this diverts tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.
Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes is also a key element of this tour.
As with all our tours national park visits are included and activities such as bird-watching offered which we hope will encourage protection of the natural environment and provide financial incentives for doing so. A national park included in this particular itinerary is Phong Nha - Ke Bang as well as the karst landscapes of Trang An.
All accommodation on the tour is selected with sustainable practices - waste disposal, product recycling etc – in mind and we include a stay on the Pepper House home-stay, organic farm.
Shorter, sightseeing tours are now either walking or cycling tours and we use rowing boats for trips in Bai Tu Long Bay, Trang An limestone landscape, Xe Quit and Phong Nha National Park. (Electric buggies are compulsory at Phong Nha and My Son for travel between car-park and main site.)
Accommodation is specifically chosen with location in mind so that at any given destination on the tour most key sites are within easy walking or cycling distance thus keeping vehicle use to a minimum on the itinerary. This also negates the need for any form of taxis during free time as guests can walk or cycle to any points of interest.
To reduce transport all staff are locally employed. Lunches and dinners are all Vietnamese style and taken in local eateries which use 100% locally sourced products. Again, any inclusive meals consist of traditional Vietnamese fare so are heavy on vegetables and sustainably-sourced fish, light on meat and lack any dairy products.
PeopleOn a general level it is important for is that both local staff and guests are aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment and that the latter are instructed in how to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travelers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices.
By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.
On a more specific note, we encourage maintenance of traditional handicrafts and supporting people with disabilities (in a region where disabilities can utterly preclude gainful employment) by visiting, and encouraging purchases from, the Hong Ngoc Humanity Centre, near Hanoi. This is an entirely Vietnamese-run NGO, which allows disabled children and young adults to learn vocational skills relating to the manufacture and marketing of handicrafts.
Entrance fees at numerous sites go towards maintenance of such historic sites as well as contributing towards salaries and local employment opportunities.