Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
Late availability on these dates: 07 Oct, 21 Oct, 04 Nov, 11 Nov
Description of Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
This Vietnam tour, travelling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh, may cut corners in terms of budget, but certainly doesn’t in terms of cultural experiences. Starting in the historic city of Hanoi, the 1000 year old capital which was highly influenced by its French colonial past, we then move on to spend some time taking an overnight boat trip out on the stunning waters of Halong Bay. There is no better way to enjoy Halong Bay than by falling asleep and waking up to the magnificent karst limestone waterscape.
Every day and night is different on this Vietnam holiday, as we travel the length of the country on the Reunification Express railway - with sleeper train journeys between major cities on three occasions. First to travel south to Hue, the ancient capital of the Nguyen Dynasty. We dedicate three days of our trip to the magnificent UNESCO city of Hoi An, which really does feel like a leap into the past, and yet a vibrant city of car free streets, crumbling colonial architecture and bustling markets.
Another sleeper train journey takes us to Nha Tran where it is time to enjoy some of Vietnam’s wonderful beach life, with its sandy beaches and great reef swimming and snorkelling. All good preparation for our final sleeper train journey and full on experience of Ho Chi Minh, formerly known as Saigon. Where markets, temples, motorbikes, Chinatown and Taoist temples proffer the perfect whirlwind Vietnamese experience. All of which is in great contrast to moving and thought provoking experiences such as the War Remnants Museum or nearby Cu Chi Tunnels.
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1 Reviews of Vietnam tour, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh
Reviewed on 30 Apr 2018 by Malgorzata Gwiazda-Lindsay
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Rowboats in Trang An, great day trip with breathtaking scenery. Hanoi night life with great little bars and salsa dancing with locals. Lanterns in Hoi An. Iced teas and smoothies! Some more salsa dancing to live band in Nha Trang. Presidential bunker in Saigon. And above all, meeting lovely Vietnamese people.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Pack any type of a sleeping sheet for the train, as blankets and pillows provided are not always clean. None of the hotels have complimentary tea/coffee/sugar in the rooms, or a tea spoons oddly enough. Check out the street food market when in Saigon, especialy great for groups.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
On small day trips, when we were visiting local people in their homes and eating with them - yes, I believe they benefited, and I very much enjoyed the experience, plus they went out of their way to prepare me a beautiful vegetarian meals and I very much appreciated that. On other days, when group was taken by the guide to the most expensive restaurants for dinner - no, I can't see any benefit to the local people. Those carefuly selected restaurants have not had vegetarian options, or considered a bowl of dry rice a good enough main so I have quickly removed myself from those outings anyway. I understand the tour operator is planting trees to reduce environmental impact. I found it irritating that none of the hotels had facilities to fill up drinking water bottle, and we were forced to constantly buy plastic bottles, the amount of plastic waste I've created on this holiday is probably higher than my annual footprint.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
It was great to travel in a group, sharing experiences, having a good laugh and making lovely friends. I would like to spend a little bit more time in Hue - never got a chance to visit the purple city as we went to a short trip immediately upon arrival and by the time we came back and got changed, the site was closed. Leaving first thing in the morning meant no sightseeing of Hue. There was no safe storage facilities for passports in hotels. The hotel choice, Hanoi - nice, Hue - nice, HoiAn - very nice, NhaTrang - poor, Saigon - poor. Travelling on the train was surprisingly entertaining.
PlanetAs a global tour operator, we are committed to travelling responsibly and endeavour to practise sustainable tourism wherever we visit. We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment.
As a company, our dedication to sustainable tourism doesn’t stop when our tours do. We have four projects in Vietnam dedicated to helping vulnerable children and families in providing educational services and training to help people out of poverty. We also support the Turtle Conservation Centre that has specialised breeding and holding facilities for over 600 turtles, representing 15 of Vietnam’s 23 native species.
We support the non-profit Nguyen Nga Centre that offers education, training and work placement assistance for disadvantaged people and people with disabilities. We purchase embroidered ‘say no to plastic’ cloth shopping bags for our travellers and the income goes to the centre to help pay their rent.
PeopleWe are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip. This trip will take you on an exciting cultural journey aboard the legendary Reunification Express, witnessing ancient royal relics, meeting fascinating locals, cycling through small villages and visiting the historic Cu Chi Tunnels.
We encourage our travellers to meet local people to get a real insight into local life; in Hoi An, travellers can get involved in a cooking class with a local chef to try their hand at making traditional Vietnamese cuisine and we spend three nights travelling aboard an overnight sleeper train. The train is a real highlight for our travellers as locals love to interact with our travellers because it gives both the chance to learn about a new culture. We hire bikes in Hue to discover the rural landscape and small villages in the surrounding countryside. This is an exciting part of the trip as travellers get a real understanding of the local way of life as we stop to witness locals out in the fields at work. We use local transport to eliminate unnecessary added pollution, to experience a new way of travelling and to interact with local people.
We endeavour to give our travellers an insight and appreciation into a country’s history and in particular on this tour we visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, located just outside of Ho Chi Minh City. The visit is particularly moving and tells the travellers part of the backstory of Vietnam. We employ all local tour leaders which provide secure and promising jobs for local people and gives us a true representation of a destination, adding to the experience for both traveller and local.