Welcome to Vietnam


Sensory Overload

Unforgettable experiences are everywhere in Vietnam. There’s the sublime: gazing over a surreal seascape of limestone islands from the deck of a traditional junk in Halong Bay. The ridiculous: taking 10 minutes just to cross the street through a tsunami of motorbikes in Hanoi. The inspirational: exploring the world’s most spectacular cave systems in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. The comical: watching a moped loaded with honking pigs weave a wobbly route along a country lane. And the contemplative: witnessing a solitary grave in a cemetery of thousands of war victims.

History & Culture

Vietnamese culture is complex, diverse and represents something of a history lesson. The nation's labyrinthine, teeming trading quarters are rich in indigenous crafts and reflect centuries-old mercantile influences. Ancient temples display distinctly Chinese influences in the north and Hindu origins in the south. Meanwhile the broad, tree-lined boulevards and grand state buildings that grace the capital date from the French colonial period. And it's impossible to forget Vietnam's pivotal position close to the epicentre of East Asian power and prosperity, for its cities' skylines are defined by clusters of glass-and-steel corporate HQs and sleek luxury hotels.

A Culinary Superpower

Thailand may contest the top spot, but in Southeast Asia nothing really comes close: Vietnamese food is that good. Incredibly subtle in its flavours and outstanding in its diversity, Vietnamese cooking is a fascinating draw for travellers – myriad street-food tours and cooking schools are testament to this. Geography plays a crucial role, with Chinese flavours influencing the soups of the north, spices sparking up southern cuisine, and herbs and complex techniques typifying the central coastline, rightly renowned as Vietnam’s epicurean hot spot. And up and down the country you can mingle with villagers, sample local dishes and sip rice wine in Vietnam's many regional markets.

Thrills & Chills

If you have the bills, Vietnam has the thrills and chills. Some require a little physical effort, such as motorbiking switchback after switchback up the jaw-dropping Hai Van Pass in central Vietnam. Others require even more sweat: kitesurfing the tropical oceanic waters off Mui Ne or hiking the evergreen hills around Bac Ha or Sapa. And when you’re done with all that adrenaline stuff, there’s plenty of horizontal ‘me’ time to relish. Vietnam has outstanding spas – from marble temples of treatments to simple family-run massage salons with backpacker-friendly rates.


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Vietnam activities

$65 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Mekong Delta Tour from Ho Chi Minh City

Meet at Saigon Opera House prior to your 8am departure, and set out on your 8-hour tour from Ho Chi Minh City in an air-conditioned coach. After a 2.5-hour ride through the countryside, arrive in My Tho, a former naval base that is now a bustling port city in the Mekong Delta. As the terminus of the Mekong River, which winds through six countries from Tibet to Vietnam, this incredibly fertile region produces approximately half of Vietnam's total agricultural output, and life revolves around the the delta. Upon arrival into My Tho, board a private long-tail boat for a cruise on the Mekong River. On the boat ride, your local guide delves into the history of the region and steers you to an island with lush tropical gardens. Sample tropical fruit before continuing to another island in the Mekong Delta, where your guide will share stories of the area's cottage industry, coconut candy. Visit a coconut candy factory, where you'll hear the history of the industry and watch how this confection is made. As you continue your journey along  the river, take the opportunity to stop at local villages and experience more of the traditional lifestyles, culture, and customs of the people who call the Delta their home. Purchase handcrafted souvenirs as you experience the more relaxed pace of the Delta, in stark contrast to the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Transfer from your boat to Xe Loi, a motorized cart that transports you to a bee farm, where you'll transition to a smaller rowing boat that allows you to get deeper into the smaller canals of the Delta. Sample local Mekong cuisine at the Diem Phuong Restaurant, where lunch is served. After lunch, once again board the air-conditioned coach for the return journey from My Tho to Ho Chi Minh City, where you'll be dropped back off at Saigon Opera House.Please note: Knees and shoulders must be covered, as the tour visits rural areas.

$85 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Cu Chi Tunnels from Ho Chi Minh City by Speedboat

Meet your guide and small group upon hotel pickup in the early or late morning (depending on selected departure time) and transfer by air-conditioned vehicle to Ho Chi Minh Pier. Then board a luxury speedboat made of high-quality teak and sink into soft furnishings as your vessel slips away. Relax like a VIP while your captain effortlessly speeds you over the Saigon River toward the countryside and to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels. Within 15 minutes, the banks of the river change from city sprawl to lush jungle. Take advantage of great photo ops of life along the riverbanks as your eco-friendly boat navigates the shallow, jungle-fringed canals past water hyacinths, leaving a small wake that minimizes any impact on the local environment. During the 1-hour journey, your knowledgeable guide explains rural traditions and aspects of life along the waterway. Depending on departure option selected, enjoy unlimited refreshments with a light breakfast of sandwiches or pastries, fresh tropical fruits and Vietnamese iced coffee, or enjoy a late-morning snack, served on board.Arrive at the historic Cu Chi Tunnels before the larger bus groups, then watch a short introductory documentary before you follow your guide into the winding, underground network. You have approximately 2 hours to explore the Cu Chi site, which includes weapon and booby-trap exhibitions. Inside the narrow passageway of an authentic Viet Cong tunnel — part of a 75-mile-long (121-km) complex now preserved as a war memorial park — visit different underground bunkers featuring kitchens, meeting rooms, ammunition depots and hospitals. View a bullet-riddled tank and discover secret entrances hidden by fake termite mounds and other ingenious disguises. Learn how the VC defended the tunnels from American bombs and infiltrators, and marvel at a huge crater formed by an American B-52 bomber.Try the local cassava root that sustained Viet Cong guerrilla fighters for years during the Vietnam War (known in Vietnam as the American War) and attempt to imagine what living here was like. After your tour, you can feast on fried spring rolls, chicken and beef dishes, and soup as you enjoy an authentic, traditional Vietnamese lunch by the river. If you’ve selected the later tour, you’ll enjoy a provided dinner.After your meal, depart Cu Chi and return by speedboat to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival at the central pier, you will be driven back to your hotel.

$39 Day Trips & Excursions

Cu Chi Tunnels Small-Group Tour from Ho Chi Minh City

Leaving the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City behind, take a 2.5-hour journey west towards the Cambodian border bound for the Cu Chi Tunnels. The Cu Chi tunnels were built by local fighters during the Indochina conflict as a base from which the Viet Cong could operate from close to the Southern Vietnamese capital. Initial construction started in 1948 when the Viet Minh required somewhere to hide from French air attacks and by 1965, the Cu Chi tunnel complex was estimated to consist of 200km's of tunnels. It included, hospitals, schools, meeting rooms, kitchens and sleeping quarters. Life was difficult for the inhabitants and to protect against outside intruders bobby traps were laid throughout the complex. Your local guide will take you on a fascinating tour around the Cu Chi Tunnels where you'll learn more about the conditions the Vietnamese people lived in, the hardships they faced and the amazing ingenuity employed to maintain life in the tunnels.

$4 Transfers & Ground Transport

Private Ho Chi Minh City Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel

Travel from Ho Chi Minh Airport to your Ho Chi Minh City hotel in a private vehicle. Transfer services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When making a booking, you will need to advise your flight details and your accommodation details. Your transfer will be confirmed within 24 hours and you will be provided with a travel voucher to present to the driver. Vehicles used: Air-conditioned Sedan Car (1 to 4 people) At time of booking, YOU MUST include the following flight and hotel details: Arrival Flight Number Arrival Time Hotel Name (where you would like to be dropped off) Hotel Address Don't forget to book your Hotel to Airport transfer! Price is per person, based on 8 adults per car/vehicle.

$100 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Halong Bay Small Group Tour with Cruise, Lunch from Hanoi

Your Halong Bay tour begins with a 3.5-hour drive from the hectic pace in Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi, to the tranquil and beautiful Halong Bay. En route stop at the Hong Ngoc Humanity Center, a handicraft outlet developed to provide support to communities in the area including people's with disabilities. The handicrafts made at the center are available for you to purchase. On arrival in Halong City board the Chinese junk for your cruise on Halong Bay, famous for its lime karsts jutting out of the green waters creating a spectacular vista as nearly 2000 islands fill the bay. A UNESCO listed World Heritage site since 1994, Halong Bay means "Bay of the Descending Dragon". Legend has it that a long time ago when the Vietnamese were fighting off foreign invaders, the gods sent a family of dragons to assist in the fight. During the battle the dragons spat out jewels that would later become the islands that now are scattered around the bay. The cruise explores some of the grottos and caves that have formed in many of the islands that fill Halong Bay. Visit a fishing village where you learn about the culture and customs of the local inhabitants and enjoy a scrumptious seafood lunch on board the boat before returning to Hanoi.

$29 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour

Your walking tour begins in Hanoi’s largest covered market, Dong Xuan. Breathe in the aromatic scents wafting from street hawker stalls selling everything from exotic fruit to seafood. Led by a local guide, hear stories about the ingredients and history of Hanoi’s food culture and northern Vietnamese specialties.After sampling fruit and street snacks at the market, continue walking to Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Visit a local restaurant to watch the chefs at work, then dine on a famous local dish of pork crepes, called banh cuon. Then take a wander down Hanoi’s atmospheric lanes of houses, shops and street stalls, stopping to sample flame-grilled meat snacks at a local barbeque stall.To add something sweet to the menu, try the local specialty of fresh fruit served in a cup with crushed ice and condensed milk. Your evening walk ends with a visit to one of Hanoi’s best-kept secrets, a tucked-away cafe with amazing views over Hoan Kiem Lake. Here you can try the local favorite, egg coffee, or perhaps a chilled beer. Your tour ends here, so you can either continue exploring on your own, take a taxi or ask your guide for directions and suggestions.