East Vietnam budget holiday

“Travel overland from Hanoi and Halong Bay to Ho Chi Minh and the Mekong Delta, with the heritage and natural beauty of Hue, Hoi An and Nha Trang neatly nestled in between.”

Highlights

Ho Chi Minh City | Reunification Palace | Notre Dame Cathedral | Mekong River cruise | Cham Towers | Phung Hung Old House | Quan Cong Temple | Hoan Kiem Lake | Nha Trang | Hoi An | Hue | Hanoi walking tour | Pho Hang Gai and Dong Xuan markets | Halong Bay | bike tour through paddy fields | Optional activities include: boat trips, Cu Chi tunnels and city sightseeing tours.

Description of East Vietnam budget holiday

This incredibly good value, small group tour takes you along virtually the length of Vietnam’s 3,000km coastline. Beginning in the captivating chaos of Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll make your way north by boat, bicycle, train and minibus, spending nights in homestays, sleeper trains, boats and small hotels along the way. This not only keeps costs down – but makes for a far more authentic Vietnamese experience – with plenty of opportunities for meeting local people, sampling street food and getting up close to the landscapes and markets.

Departing from chaotic Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll arrive at the mythical Mekong Delta for a cruise and homestay. Halfway up the coast is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An, a very pretty town which seems to have changed little over the centuries – you’ll want to keep space in your suitcase for handmade lanterns, ceramics and bespoke, tailored clothing. Continue your journey northwards past pagodas and dramatic high passes, with plenty of free time along the way for you to take a Vietnamese cooking class, dragon boat cruises – or just relax on the idyllic tropical beaches. This East Vietnam budget holiday ends in the scenic landscapes of Halong Bay, a natural harbour containing some 2,000 limestone islands. An overnight cruise here is perfect for unwinding after this full on tour, as you sail out to caves and remote beaches, before the emerald waves rock you gently to sleep.
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Date
Price
Basis
23 Jul 2019
£780
£585
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30 Jul 2019
£780
£624
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09 Aug 2019
£780
£702
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16 Aug 2019
£780
£663
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06 Sep 2019
£780
£663
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13 Sep 2019
£780
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20 Sep 2019
£780
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27 Sep 2019
£780
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04 Oct 2019
£835
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25 Oct 2019
£810
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22 Nov 2019
£810
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06 Dec 2019
£840
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10 Dec 2019
£840
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20 Dec 2019
£840
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23 Dec 2019
£840
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30 Dec 2019
£855
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31 Dec 2019
£855
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04 Jan 2020
£830
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09 Jan 2020
£830
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14 Jan 2020
£830
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19 Jan 2020
£830
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28 Jan 2020
£830
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09 Feb 2020
£830
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16 Feb 2020
£830
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23 Feb 2020
£830
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03 Mar 2020
£800
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17 Mar 2020
£800
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22 Mar 2020
£800
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07 Apr 2020
£800
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12 Apr 2020
£800
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17 Apr 2020
£800
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15 May 2020
£800
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24 May 2020
£770
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19 Jun 2020
£770
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26 Jun 2020
£770
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03 Jul 2020
£770
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19 Jul 2020
£770
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21 Jul 2020
£770
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28 Jul 2020
£770
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01 Aug 2020
£770
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07 Aug 2020
£770
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14 Aug 2020
£770
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04 Sep 2020
£770
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11 Sep 2020
£770
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18 Sep 2020
£770
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25 Sep 2020
£770
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02 Oct 2020
£770
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09 Oct 2020
£800
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16 Oct 2020
£800
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23 Oct 2020
£800
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06 Nov 2020
£800
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13 Nov 2020
£800
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20 Nov 2020
£800
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23 Nov 2020
£800
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27 Nov 2020
£800
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01 Dec 2020
£830
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08 Dec 2020
£830
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14 Dec 2020
£830
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18 Dec 2020
£830
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21 Dec 2020
£830
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25 Dec 2020
£830
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28 Dec 2020
£830
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Our top tip:
Listening to the community leader at the homestay will unveil much of Vietnam's recent history through fascinating first-hand experiences. Also, a copy of Graham Greene's The Quiet American never fails to come in handy when visiting Ho Chi Minh City.
Trip type:
Small group. Maximum size 16. Minimum age 15.
Activity level:
Leisurely.
Accomm:
9 nights hotel, 1 night homestay and 3 nights sleeper train.
Included:
Accommodation, transport, Halong Bay boat cruise, Hanoi and Hoi An walking tours and Mekong river boat cruise.
Meals:
1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 1 dinner.
Solos:
Single hotel rooms at a supp.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travellers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travellers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Basix trips, designed specifically for budget travellers who still want the security of group travel without lots of added inclusions. These trips don't have many included activities and meals are rarely included in the price, giving you the opportunity to search out local restaurants and sample regional specialities to your heart's content. The amount of free time in these itineraries means that the Basix trips often appeal to younger travellers looking to explore independently and tailor the trip to your own interests. You often won't spend too many days in any one place and you'll pack lots of different locations into your holiday.

As you might expect, accommodation on a Basix trip will be fairly basic! We'll stay in 1-2 star accommodation, often including homestays and there may be nights where the group stays somewhere multi-share / in a dormitory-style. Most accommodation however will be twin share; with solo travellers automatically roomed with a fellow group member of the same sex, this means that there are no single supplements on Basix trips.

On camping trips you will be expected to help out around the camp; putting up and taking down your own tent, helping with meals and other camp duties. We often find the nights where we are without a few creature comforts are those that are most amazing; wild bush camping in Serengeti anyone?! We'll use local transport where ever possible which is a great way of seeing the country and meeting locals as we travel.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: East Vietnam budget holiday

As a global operator, we take our role in the tourism industry very seriously. We recognise the impact that tourism has on local communities and the environment, and we plan and operate all our tours with this front of our minds. We believe that every tour operator must be responsible in the way they conduct their business, to ensure the welfare of all people and the conservation of the environment.

We 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. 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. For example on trips like this one through Vietnam where dress standards are conservative, particularly outside of the major cities, we recommend our travellers (both female and male) wear loose, lightweight clothing so as not to offend, particularly when visiting religious sites.

This comprehensive trip from southern to northern Vietnam has been designed to pass through the country as considerately as possible, while maximising the experience of our group. We use local transport where ever possible, from overnight sleeper trains to locally owned river boats on the Mekong Delta, public buses to ferries. Throughout, we stay in small, locally owned hotels reflective of the local flavour, while a night at a homestay in the Mekong Delta is basic but not to be missed. Our visits and other like them are a vital source of income for our hosts.

All produce used throughout the trip is sourced locally en route. We eat at local restaurants, sample street food from local vendors and encourage our travellers to only purchase souvenirs from local artisans. We visit some fantastic traditional markets on this itinerary so the opportunities to support local craftsmen are plentiful. We even recruit our on the ground team (including the group leader) from the local communities that we travel through. All these elements combine to not only give a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but also put valuable financial resources back into local economies, creating jobs and supporting local businesses.

One of the many local initiatives we support across our product range can often be visited on this trip. The KOTO Saigon Training Centre is an organisation providing training in hospitality to former street children. Many groups passing through Hanoi get the opportunity to visit the new KOTO restaurant, staffed by those the project has worked with. The food is great too!

As a company our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 10 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002, from health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and in environmental and wildlife protection. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar.

Across Vietnam, our foundation actively supports five different projects and causes. These include Cuc Phuong National Park’s Turtle Conservation Centre) which specialises in breeding and protecting the country’s 23 native turtle species, including training protection officers, and The Nguyen Nga Centre, offering education, training and work placement opportunities to disadvantaged people and people with disabilities.

We are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!

1 Reviews of East Vietnam budget holiday

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 30 Jun 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable parts of my holiday were firstly swimming and kayaking in Halong Bay. It was unreal and something I would not have done if it wasn't for this tour. The second most memorable part was the motorbike tour in Hue - also
something I would not have chosen to do if I wasn't in a group situation. It
was incredible and so much fun.I would also say that Quang our tour guide for the trip was a memorable part - he was super helpful and nothing was too much trouble for him.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The one tip I would give to any travelers wanting to do this trip is to budget for all the optional activities offered to you. There wasn't as much free time as I expected due to us being a group of 16 - most of the time the optional activities were discussed and booked for us because of this i.e. discounts for large groups.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


This one is a hard one to answer. I feel that the intentions were there by having water to refill your water bottle on the bus. However this stopped once we got Hoi An because we no longer had the bus. We ended up buying lots and lots of bottled water in Hoi An until the end of our trip in Ho Chi Min City. I do feel this tour benefited local people as we traveled around and gave tourism to local villages.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Out of 10 I would say 10 without hesitation. It exceeded my expectations and I experienced so many things that I never thought I would do. It was an incredible trip and I'm already looking at booking my next one.

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