central vietnam Bucketlist

TRIP TYPE
Active
PRICE
From 13,600,000 VNĐ
DURATION
8 DAYS

Trip Overview

Start your 8-day Central Vietnam adventure in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park with a life-changing overnight trek to Hang En, the world’s third largest cave, and spend the night within its cavern on your very own private beach. Then, travel back in time to the age of emperors in imperial Hue.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trekking to the remote Ban Doong ethnic minority village in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
  • Spelunking and sleeping in the world’s 3rd largest cave, Hang En
  • Exploring the Citadel and ancient tombs from the famed Nguyen Dynasty
  • Staying at Chay Lap Farmstay, an idyllic blend of rural relaxation and Vietnamese hospitality, and Pilgrimage Village, an upscale boutique resort modeled after traditional Hue Villages

THIS TOUR IS PERFECT FOR

  • Nature lovers, cave enthusiasts, and history buffs
  • Combining city comfort with pristine nature and natural beauty
  • Active travel with stylish accommodation
  • Extending for a few days to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An

Detailed Itinerary

Topas Travel creates tailor-made tours for our guests according to their specific requests. This itinerary has been designed to show you just one of many options.

Day 1: Dong Hoi Arrival – Phong Nha 

Day 2: Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

Day 3: Phong Nha – Hang En

Day 4: Hang En – Phong Nha

Day 5: Phong Nha – DMZ – Hue 

Day 6: Hue

Day 7: Hue – Thien Mu – Thuy Bieu – Tam Giang

Day 8: Hue Departure

Xin Chao and welcome to Dong Hoi! Upon arrival to the airport or train station, a Topas representative will welcome you before heading straight to Chay Lap Farmstay near the entrance to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

 The day is at leisure to discover the area on your own.

                                                                                                                     Included meals: Dinner

                                                                                                     Distance and Activities: 45’ drive

Wake up this morning with a piping hot breakfast before exploring Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. Start at a semi-wild enclosure and learn about the critically endangered Ha Tinh Langurs. Head further into the jungle and mountains towards 8 Ladies Cave, a significant piece of history during the Second Indochina War when American bombs ravaged the area.

By mid-morning, make your way to Paradise Cave, a 31km long cave discovered in 2005. Wander through passageways and impressive cave formations before stopping in Chay Lap Village for lunch beside the river.

After lunch, cycle through Chay Lap and Tram Villages, catching a glimpse of local life before returning to the entrance of Phong Nha Ke Bang, where a car will return you your hotel around 16:30.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Distance and activities: 1h drive – 2h caving (540 steps) – 1.5h cycling 

Depart for Oxalis Headquarters between 8:00-8:30 this morning for a safety briefing and equipment hand-out. Then, head into the jungles of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, trekking on a steep downhill section.  Head uphill for a short while and then take the final long, steep and rocky descent to a small stream. The stream will take you to Ban Doong, a small ethnic minority village situated within the national park.

Enjoy a delicious lunch in Ban Doong and take some time to learn about the rich culture here before trekking further to Hang En River Valley. Follow the river, crossing it consistently until you reach the entrance of Hang En Cave. This is where you’ll make camp for the night, within the huge chamber of Hang En, upon a beach inside the cave, with stunning views of the area below.

Go for a swim in your tent-side “pool” before a full dinner is served by your porter team.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Distance and activities: 11 km trek  

Wake up to the sounds of the jungle and fill-up on a delicious breakfast before climbing the rocky hill behind the camp, following the dry passage to the main river passage. Keep crossing the river, climbing up a small sandy hill and a higher rocky hill until you see the incredible exit of Hang En. Make sure you have plenty of battery power for the photos you will want to take!

Go back to the camp via the river passage, having lunch in the cave before departure. The route back to the road will be different than the one you took yesterday, although the hill will be the same, around 450m of ascent. Return to Chay Lap Farmstay around 17:00 for some much-needed rest and a hot shower.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 
Distance and activities: 3km caving – 11km trek

Say good-bye to Phong Nha and head south towards the ancient imperial capital of Hue, home to some of Vietnam’s most precious historical monuments, crossing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) as you go. Stop and explore the historic battlegrounds, including Vinh Moc Tunnels, the site where an entire village of around 90 families moved underground in response to American bombing. You can also check out the Ben Hai Museum which holds some artifacts and photographs from this time period.

Arrive in Hue in the early afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day free at leisure to relax at your hotel or to explore the local area.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Distance and activities: 4h drive – 1h DMZ tour

Lace up your sneakers and get up close and personal with Hue this morning during a cycling tour down gentle hills and along sweeping rivers to crumbling tombs and regal temples. First stop is Tu Duc Tomb, a spacious countryside expanse filled with lotus ponds and ancient shrines. Then, continue on to the elaborate mausoleum of Emperor Minh Mang, known as the Nguyen Dynasty’s staunchest Confucian. Stroll through the immaculate gardens before continuing to Kim Long, Hue’s garden neighborhood, for lunch.

Make your way back to the city in the early afternoon, stopping at the ancient Citadel, a palace constructed by the great kings of old, showcasing a proud flag tower, ornate gates, the forbidden purple city, and various royal chambers. Return to your hotel afterwards with the rest of the day free at leisure.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch 
Distance and activities: 25km cycling – 4h sightseeing tour

Board a colorful dragon boat this morning and sail down the iconic Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most impressive Buddhist sites. Absorb the atmosphere of this important religious complex and continue upstream to Thuy Bieu, an old traditional village surrounded by the Perfume River on 3 sides and known for its fragrant grapefruit orchards and ancient houses.

Sip some tea with a local family and learn about cultural practices carried down from generations, such as watercolor painting, incense-making, and pomelo jam canning.

After enjoying a lunch prepared by the villagers, head towards the ocean and Tam Giang Lagoon, one of the largest lagoons in Southeast Asia. Take in the deep purple sunset from your boat and then head back to Hue.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch 
Distance and activities: 2h cruising – 3h sightseeing tour – 2h transfer 

The day is at leisure until your transfer to Phu Bai Airport in Hue for onward booked travel.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and activities: 25′ drive

Tour Price

From: 13,600,000 VNĐ

(equivalent of 451 USD)

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • 2-way private A/C airport transfer
  • All accommodation indicated as twin-shared room
  • All meals as indicated in the program
  • All entrance tickets to local villages
  • 2D/1N Hang En Caving Expedition 
  • Refillable water in vans (Please check with your guide or driver)
  • Private Transfer from Hue to Hoi An
  • 1 x English speaking local tour guide on days with activities
  • Government VAT

TOUR EXCLUSIONS

  • Drinks and alcohol
  • Vietnam visa (On request with additional charge)
  • Travel insurance (Compulsory with Topas Travel programs)
  • Upgrades to higher standard rooms or single supplements
  • Personal travel items (Please visit our Vietnam weather page for more information)

IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Prices are quoted in Vietnamese Dong and valid until 31st October 2020
  • Exchange rate applied at VND 23,200. to USD 1
  • Prices calculated with Value Added Tax
  • Surcharge may be applicable during peak season and public holidays

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

This program utilizes comfortable accommodation in the form of carefully curated hotels, lodges, and homestays. Hotels and lodges have been selected with the active traveler in mind, offering standard services and located as close to nature and local engagement as possible. Homestays are simple and equipped with western toilets and amenities such as fans and mattresses. If you have a specific property in mind you wish to stay at, please let your travel designer know so they can work it into your program.

All bookings are made with and through Topas Travel. By booking a trip with Topas Travel, you agree
to the terms and conditions set forth here.

Plan Your Adventure…

Get in touch with our travel designers now to begin planning your trip of a lifetime
phuongPhung2
“I love the simple things when I travel, like sitting outside a local coffee shop soaking up an amazing sunset over the Thu Bon River in Hoi An, or a steaming bowl of Hu Tieu with all the toppings on a Saigon sidewalk. I can’t wait to share with you our beautiful landscapes, friendly people, stunning cuisine and more in Vietnam.”
 – Phuong Phung, Trip Designer

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