Vietnam Traveller

StudentUniverse  »  Vietnam Traveller

Vietnam Traveller

from £420
Duration: 11 days
Countries: Vietnam
As you slink from old-world Hanoi to ancient Hue and on to Hoi An, beachy Nha Trang and bustling Ho Chi Minh you will quickly realise that the Vietnamese know a thing or two about food.
Summary

Vietnam Traveller

DAY 1: HANOI
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you might want to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Vietnam's is an exciting city with a population of over six million. Consider arriving a few days earlier to explore, as there's so much to see and do. Check out your reflection in beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, wander along shaded boulevards or relax in a public park with some delicious street food (spring rolls inside rice paper rolls, anyone?) Museum-wise, why not visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serence Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum?

Optional Activities:

Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum - VND50000
Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND20000
Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND20000
Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
Accommodation

Hanoi Legacy hotel (formerly An Hung Hotel) or similar (1 night)
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 2: HALONG BAY
Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay (approx 4 hrs).

Halong Bay is a breathtaking secluded harbour with 2,000 limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of Bac Bo Gulf.

One of Vietnam's most scenic regions, this area of about 1,500 sq km is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos, created over thousands of years by waves and wind.

Board our boat and cruise the breathtaking bay with its limestone karsts rising from the clear emerald waters. We enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch on board, explore some of the limestone caves in the area.
Return to the dock late in the afternoon and stay overnight in a hotel in Halong City (Bai Chay).
Accommodation

Entity Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities

Halong Bay - Entrance and half day boat cruise
Meals Included

Lunch


DAY 3: HANOI
Take a bus back to Hanoi (approx 3.5 hrs).

Head out on a walking tour of the Old Quarter with your leader.

Board an overnight train bound for Hue (approx. 12 hours).

Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a true Geckos experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals.

Sleeper trains typically have four berth compartments (occasionally six berth depending on seasonal variations and group configuration), which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks.
A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet.
On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group.
Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers take the opportunity to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure.
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 4: HUE
As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and is a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings.

Packed with historic monuments, Hue is also perfectly located to explore the surrounding countryside, which features stunning scenery, quaint villages and the peaceful Tam Giang Lagoon.

Hue is Vietnam’s former royal capital and its cuisine is considered by many Vietnamese as the best in the country.

Hue’s cuisine is influenced both by its imperial heritage (small dishes and a focus on aesthetic presentation) as well as its strong Buddhist heritage, reflected in the high proportion of vegetarian restaurants in the region.

The bustling Dong Ba Market offers a plethora of goods and foods to see and sample, and it's a good place to try some of the specialities that graced the Nguyen emperors' banquet tables, such as the banh khoai, a royal rice cake.
You have a free day to explore. You could also easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace enclosed within. Perhaps jump on board a ‘Dragon Boat’, and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda. Or cycle out to one of the Royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, one of the best remaining examples of its kind.

Alternatively, set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.

Optional Activities:
Hue - Citadel Imperial Enclosure - VND 105000
Hue - Discovery Urban Adventure - VND 1490000
Hue - Countryside Bike Urban Adventure - VND 525000
Accommodation

Victory Hotel Hue or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities

Hue - Perfume river cruise and Thien Mu Pagoda - VND220000
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 5: HOI AN
Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An is being beautifully restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South-East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago and it retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it. Your leader will take you on a walking tour, past some of the 800 UNESCO preserved historical buidings.
Accommodation

Hai Yen hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities

Danang - Marble Mountain - VND15000
Included Activities

Hoi An - Ancient town orientation walk and entrance
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 6: HOI AN
You have time here to explore the beautifully restored and preserved Chinese shop houses, enjoy the vibrant and busy market, visit Cua Dai Beach, cycle to the rice fields and browse the array of art galleries.

With lantern-lit streets, vibrant markets, skilled tailors, artisan shops, ancient houses, colourful temples and beautiful smiles, Hoi An is a Vietnamese wonderland.


Hoi An is also a shopping mecca – with much to browse and buy.

Choose from original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery, lanterns and more. Hoi An has also become famous for its tailoring, with a great variety of fabrics and tailors to choose from.

Optional Activities:

Hoi An - Hoi An Food Urban Adventure - VND 1030000
Hoi An - Hoi An Boat and Bike Urban Adventure - VND 590000
Accommodation

Hai Yen hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 7: HOI AN
After a free day, board your next overnight trin this evening to Nha Trang (approx 8 hours).
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 8: NHA TRANG
Arrive in Nha Trang around 7am and transfer to your hotel.
Once referred to as the 'Cannes of the Orient', Nha Trang's sandy palm-lined beach and island-dotted bay still make an idyllic picture, and a cosmopolitan feel prevails in the town itself.
Nha Trang is a charming town on Vietnam's southeast coast with pristine beaches, consistently good weather, a vibrant nightlife and excellent diving.
You have two full days here to catch some rays, swim, snorkel and pig out on freshly caught seafood. Bliss!

Optional Activities:
Nha Trang - Boat trip - VND1316000
Nha Trang - Mud baths - VND280000
Nha Trang - Bao Dai Villa - VND120000
Accommodation

Cuong Long Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 9: NHA TRANG
After free time today, it's back on the Reunification Express tonight for one last ride (approx 7 hours).
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 10: HO CHI MINH
Arrive very early (approx 4am) and transfer to our hotel.

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterised by a vast array of sights and sounds, and is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West.

The huge number of people rushing about their daily lives in Vietnam's largest city gives it a dynamic atmosphere and the French influence is evident in the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer.

Quite a contrast to its more sedate northern counterpart, the city's food is spicier, sweeter and more varied, with an abundance of great restaurants to choose from for our evening meals or take to the streets to tackle the culinary delights of the street food stalls.

Much of city life takes place on the busy streets lined with shops, stalls and vendors, who have their wares spread out on the footpath and sell everything from soup to sophisticated electronics. Your leader will take you on a walk through the city to point out the best places and sites.

You have some free time this afternoon. Well worht the visit are the Reunification Palace, and War Remants Museum. The Reunification Palace - formerly known as the Presidential Palace, was the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975; while the War Remnants Museum - originally opened in September 1975, and it displays old military equipment and other related items from the Vietnam War. In the courtyard you'll find some larger exhibits including a F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter.


Included Activities:
Orientation walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City (not including entrances)

Optional Activities:
Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
Accommodation

Saigon Royal Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities

Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Discovery Urban Adventure - VND59
Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure - USD43
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


DAY 11: HO CHI MINH
Our trips comes to an end today. There are no planned activities, and you can depart at any time.

As we only have limited time here it is well worth booking additional nights to explore.

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an interesting day trip nearby - ask your leader to book you an Urban Adventure to visit.

Optional Activities:
Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels Urban Adventure USD42
Meals Included

There are no meals included on this day.


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Details

Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £420

Phone:

Call 0333 333 9952 to enquire or book

Why we love this trip

Balance on a tiny streetside stool in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, soaking up the buzzy vibes and watching motorbikes zoom past
Who’d have thought green seas and giant mossy rocks could be so pretty? Cruising on Halong Bay is bliss
A little touch of France here, a little bit of China there - and all in Vietnam! Chill out in the cultural mixed bag of Hoi An. Hit up the local beach, cycle through rice paddies or get some sweet threads tailor-made
Is there anything more awesome than Nha Trang? Yep! It’s free time in Nha Trang. Whether you fill it with beachside lolling, village hopping or partying is up to you

Meals

1 lunch

Transport

Boat, Private Bus, Private van, Public bus, Sleeper train

Accomodation

Hotel (5 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

Included activities

Halong Bay - Entrance and half day boat cruise
Hoi An - Ancient town orientation walk and entrance

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