Classic South and Central Vietnam

TRIP TYPE
Culture
PRICE
From — VNĐ
DURATION
11 DAYS

Trip Overview

This 11-day journey begins with an exploration of Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, Vietnam’s biggest city, and the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s iconic waterway destination. Then, fall in love with Hoi An, Vietnam’s best-preserved old town, and Hue, the refined ancient capital before getting your adrenaline pumping with a caving expedition in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spelunking in Nuoc Not, one of many caves in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
  • Squeezing through the Cu Chi and Vinh Moc tunnels
  • Admiring the exotic landscape of the Mekong River Delta 
  • Absorbing the proud heritage of the Vietnamese in Hue and Hoi An

THIS TOUR IS PERFECT FOR

  • First- or second-time visitors to Vietnam
  • An active twist without being too strenuous 
  • Families with children of all ages, however, some activities listed are recommended for children at least 12 years old. Please speak with your travel designer about potential modifications to this proposed itinerary
  • Seeing major highlights but still getting off-the-beaten path

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: Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Vung Liem
Day 4: Vung Liem – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City – Da Nang – Hoi An
Day 6: Hoi An – Cam Kim – Cam Thanh – Tra Que
Day 7: Hoi An – Da Nang – Hue
Day 8: Hue
Day 9: Hue – DMZ – Phong Nha City
Day 10: Phong Nha Town – Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Day 11: Phong Nha Town – Dong Hoi Departure

Xin Chao and welcome to Vietnam! Upon arrival to Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat Airport, a Topas representative will welcome you to the land of the ascending dragon before heading straight to your hotel in the heart of the city. The day is at leisure to discover Ho Chi Minh City on your own.

Included meals: N/A
Distance and Activities: 45’ transfer

Step into the past with a visit through the Cu Chi tunnels, a vital network of 200km of underground passages, chambers, and living quarters during the Second Indochinese War and a fascinating piece of Vietnam’s history. Enjoy a local lunch nearby before returning to the center of Ho Chi Minh City.

The afternoon consists of an easy walking tour, starting at the Reunification Palace and then stopping at  the Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral, two still-working colonial masterpieces.  End your tour at the  War Remnants Museum, paying respect to the sobering recent tragedies and the fighting spirit of the Vietnamese to rebuild their society.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and activities: 3h round-trip transfer -3h tunnel tour  – 3h sightseeing city tour

Leave the city for a quiet escape to the fertile rice bowl of Vietnam: the Mekong Delta. This lush land of palm trees and great rivers is home to some of the best fruit farms found anywhere in the world, and it’s all easily explored by bike. So take your two wheels and peddle around the area, taking in the vibrant green rice paddies and stopping to munch on juicy fruit.

Check-in to your riverside lodge, just in time to watch a traditional music show while enjoying a delicious dinner made from  local ingredients from the area.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and activities: 2h transfer – 2h cycling

Get an early start and discover more about one of the produce items that keeps this region in business: coconuts. Witness the boats piled high with coconuts destined for the factory – nothing goes to waste! After the coconuts are shelled, the fibers are removed from the husk and used to make rope and rugs. You can watch the whole process before returning to the lodge for a quick lunch before returning to Ho Chi Minh City.

Arrive to your city hotel in the late afternoon, with the evening free to explore on your own.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and activities: 2h transfer – 2h cycling

A mid-morning flight transports you from the glitz and glamor of Ho Chi Minh City to the laid-back charm of central Vietnam. Arrive to Da Nang International Airport and transfer to one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations, Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Enjoy the day, getting to know the beautiful old streets decorated with hanging lanterns,  restaurants, cafes, and tailors of the Ancient Town, situated on the banks of the Thu Bon River. We suggest popping by the Reaching Out Teahouse, a lovely old-fashioned house providing work for the hard of hearing, serving up delicious tea and homemade snacks.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and activities: 45’ transfer – 1h20’ flight – 30’ transfer 

Hop onto a bicycle and explore the countryside surrounding Hoi An, crisscrossing vibrant rice paddies and streams before reaching the traditional village of Cam Kim. Deep in the countryside, these locals make handicrafts from wood and sleeping mats from rattan.

Continue on the dirt roads until you reach Cam Thanh village, another picturesque village that survives off farming. Feeling brave? Hop onto a water buffalo and plough through the paddies! Then stop for lunch on the hidden side of An Bang beach, a spotless strip of yellow sand that meets calm and shallow waters. Enjoy lunch with a local family, and rest.

After lunch you can enjoy a quick fishing trip with a local fisherman before heading to an organic vegetable garden in Tra Que village and returning to your hotel.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 10 km cycling

Depart Hoi An today after a relaxed breakfast and head north to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the refined ancient Imperial capital of Hue. Connected to Hoi An via a stunning coastal road, the 2.5 hour drive is a beautiful one filled with glimpses of lagoons, mountains, rice fields, and the vast ocean.

Explore the colorful An Bang “ghost city” along the way, an example of how the Hue people venerate their ancestors, before continuing on, past Lang Co’s beaches and lagoons before finally ending at your hotel in Hue in the early afternoon.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and activities: 2.5h drive

Start your morning with a calm cycling tour down colonial Le Loi Head boulevard, looking out for colonial mansions before crossing the iconic Truong Tien bridge, built by none other than Gustave Eiffel (who also built the Eiffel Tower). Park your bike to roam the former grandeur of the Hue Citadel, a grand walled city of parks and lakes as well as a traditional garden house for lunch.

Spend the afternoon gliding down the Perfume River on a colorful dragon boat to two different tombs on UNESCO’s list for preservation due to their cultural and historical significance. First, explore the rural setting of Emperor Tu Duc’s mausoleum, with its spacious fields and lotus ponds. Then, wander the immaculately landscaped gardens and ornate temples of Emperor Minh Mang, the final resting place of one of the Nguyen Dynasty’s staunchest Confucians.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and activities: 2h cycling – 3h boat ride

Head north towards the impressive Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, home to some of the world’s largest known caves, 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. Vinh Moc tunnels differ from those you’ve seen in Cu Chi, as the Cu Chi tunnels were built for soldiers, not civilians. You can also check out the Ben Hai Museum which holds some artifacts and photographs from this time period.

Arrive in Phong Nha City 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 transfer – 1h DMZ tour

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Leave your hotel at  7am and head to the Oxalis Adventure headquarters located right on the river to join the day’s tour briefing before a day of caving in Nuoc Nut, one of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park’s most adventurous caves.

Venture inside, illuminating the cavern with your headlamp as you go until the cave opens up into a massive chamber. Take time to admire the at subterranean formations before swimming in an underground lake and then enjoying a fresh picnic lunch under the jungle canopy.

Make your way through the jungle towards Chay Village, where you’ll jump into a kayak and paddle downstream to Chap Lay Water Sports Center. Return to your hotel by car, with an estimated drop-off time around 5:30pm.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Distance and Activities: 5km trekking – 2 km caving – 10-20’ swimming, 3km kayaking

Enjoy the last day as you see fit before your transfer to Dong Hoi Domestic Airport for onward booked travel.

Included meals: Breakfast
Distance and Activities: 45’ transfer

Tour Price

From: -- VNĐ

(equivalent of -- USD)

TOUR INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation indicated as twin-shared room
  • All meals as indicated in the program
  • All entrance tickets to local villages, Hoang Lien National Park, and Cat Ba Island
  • Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
  • Refillable water in vans (Please check with your guide or driver)
  • 1 x English speaking local tour guide on days with activities (except for Lan Ha Bay)
  • 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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