Tour code: GPT18E
Departure date: Friday
Duration: 15 days
Price USD: $ 1,599/ person
Size of group: 2 - 12 people
Day 1: Hanoi - Ninh Binh (L, D)
We depart from Hanoi at 7:30am and head South West to Trang An, or commonly known as “HaLong Bay on Land”. After enjoying a delicious lunch, we will take a boat up the beautiful river fed by natural springs and through caves that cut their way through amazing limestone karst mountains to visit an Ancient 10th Century pagoda and temple. We will have dinner and a shower in central Ninh Binh town before boarding the overnight train to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.
Day 2: Dark Cave - Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park: (B, L)
Phong Nga-Ke Bang is one of the largest National Parks in Vietnam. Home to a huge amount of wildlife, breathtaking scenery, crystal clear rivers and immense cave systems. A documentary by National Geographic has given this area much attention with the discovery of the world’s largest cave, Son Doong, here in the early 1990’s.
Our first stop is Eight Lady Cave. The site where eight women who were working on Route 20 highway died from a bomb attack that caused a massive rock to seal off the exit trapping them inside. After lunch we visit the awesome Dark Cave by zipline or for the slightly less adventurous, kayaks. With only a head torch for light, we navigate our way in the darkness to the mud baths. Soak up in the goodness and be left with baby-smooth skin and what’s a mud bath without a classic mud fight! Afterwards take a refreshing dip in the lake and wash all the mud away.
Day 3: Phong Nha (B, L)
After an activity packed day yesterday, today is free for you to cycle around & explore the town, check out the local life by the river or just chill out. We will take you on a short but bumpy ride through the villages to homestay.
Day 4: Vinh Moc Tunnel (B, L)
Vinh Moc is a tunnel complex in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The tunnels were built to shelter families from the intense bombings of the area during the American war. Over 600 people lived and 17 babies were born in these tunnels between 1965 and 1972. After lunch we will visit the Mine Action Visitors Centre in Dong Ha. This centre looks at the effects of the war that still happens today, even after hostilities ended in 1975. After this you will arrive in Hue, a relaxing night in or hitting the town! Overnight in a hotel.
Day 5: Thien Mu Pagoda & Beach (B, L)
Standing seven storeys high, Thien Mu is the tallest pagoda in Vietnam. Built in 1601, this pagoda is rich in history and is a very important Buddhist site. Pat the stone turtle on his head for good luck. Hop back on the bus and we head to the local beach to enjoy some lunch and some cocktails as we swim and enjoy the sunset… This spot is a real hidden gem!
Day 6: Hai Van Pass (B, L)
Depart Hue in the morning as ride motorbikes all the way to Hoi An. With many stops along the way, taking in beautiful beaches, coastline and the breathtaking Elephant Springs. Make sure you have packed your swimming gear as this is a great place to relax, swim and enjoy lunch for a couple of hours. The journey then heads South to take in some breathtaking views as we ascend the famous Hai Van Pass where we will stop at the top to see some French and American bunkers, the remnants of war times past. This road, made famous by the Top Gear motoring programme is a site not to be missed.
Day 7: Hoi An Old Quarter (B)
Here you will take a leisurely bicycle ride through the picturesque bamboo groves and take a traditional basket boat ride that includes some crab fishing. Finish up with a fresh coconut by the side of the river. Finish the trip with some free time to explore the Old Town’s thousands of tailor shops, art galleries and riverside market or simply kick back on the beach.
Day 8: Hoi An Free (B)
Take a fight to Buon Ma Thuot from Danang. Overnight at hotel.
Day 9: Buon Ma Thuot (B, L, D)
We’ll take you for a local Vietnamese breakfast before exploring Buon Ma Thuot, the coffee capital of Vietnam! Vietnam is actually the world’s second biggest exporter of coffee so we head directly for the famous Trung Nguyen coffee village where you can taste their famed weasel coffee! There will be a lunch stop along the way and from here we head into Vietnam’s biggest National Park, Yok Don which next to the Cambodian border and check out the local village which we call home for the night.
Day 10: Yok Don National Park - Da Lat (B, L)
We join with the team from the National Parks Elephant Conservation project and meet the elephant caretakers at first light to track the roaming elephants through the jungle. We then ride and walk them back to park headquarters where they take us for a swim in the river before having their health check and being set to roam free again for the rest of the day. After breakfast we head back to Buon Ma Thuot to enjoy a local specialty lunch before boarding our mini-bus to Da Lat, arriving in time for dinner of your choice.
Day 11: Adventure Da Lat (B, L)
Strap in for some adventure with our professional white water rafting crew and head to the river for the safety briefing before our guides take us for a thrilling adventure through the Dalat countryside. Re-fuelling at a village restaurant, we then head for a coffee farm where we can taste the famed weasel in front of panoramic views of the coffee fields. Sit down for a local dinner in Dalat and enjoy the town.
** White water rafting is seasonal depending on water levels. We do make alternative arrangements. Please double check with our team when booking**
Day 12: Da Lat - Mui Ne (B, L)
Dalat sits at an altitude of 1500 metres, while our destination today Mui Ne is at sea level. This provides plenty of opportunity to coast downhill on a bicycle on secondary roads, through jungles and rice fields. High-five village kids as we roll through, and take in some of the many photo opportunities as we come down the mountains. With full vehicle support we spend as much time in the saddle as we like. The more time in the saddle, the more we earn our beers around the pool this evening in Mui Ne.
Day 13: Mui Ne - Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)
A lazy morning with breakfast around the pool is welcomed before we head out to Ho Chi Minh City after lunch and arriving in time for dinner before getting ready to kick into the electric nightlife of the city.
Day 14: Mekong Delta (B, L)
We head for the Mekong Delta, aptly known as Vietnam’s food bowl. Today is all about food, we check out local fish farms and fish markets by boat, meet a local fruit farmer at his house where we can relax and enjoy some of the local fare. Check out the coconut farms and watch them make the famous local coconut candy (seriously addictive!). After lunch we take rowboats through narrow palm shrouded channels before returning to Ho Chi Minh City for one last night in the city.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City Departure (B)
There are no activities planned for the final day so you’re able to continue the rest of your journey at any time. If you’re still not ready to leave, why not extend a few more nights and discover more of what the city has to offer!