Active Vietnam Adventure

Hiking, biking, kayaking, and more
Overview

overview

Engage Vietnam with your personal energy. Journey here by kayak, bike, and on foot with your professional sporting guides to discover the many scenic beauties this land has to offer in its lakes, rice-terraced mountains, caves, and rivers. Enjoy visiting the remarkable sites of the One Pillar Pagoda, the Raining Waterfall, the Tran Hung Dao Temple, the floating houses, and Saigon's Notre Dame cathedral. Come and immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture by visiting with the Black H’Mong and Red Dao hill tribe people dressed in their traditional clothes, and bargain or trade in the market with the Flower Hmong, Phu La, and Dao Tuyen tribal people. Relax and enjoy a traditional water puppet performance and take advantage of spectacular sunsets on the Vietnamese horizon.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Hanoi
    Hanoi has many stately buildings

    Arrive in the intriguing capital city of Hanoi, where lakes, temples, and French architecture are prevalent. Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel to check in. The balance of the day is free at your leisure.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Church Boutique Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Hanoi Lao Cai/Sapa
    Experience a traditional water puppet show

    Today’s full day tour of Hanoi includes a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (subject to availability), the One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. In the afternoon, continue on to visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda and the Museum of Ethnology to enhance your understanding of Vietnamese culture through its unique presentation of objects and dress from everyday life. In the evening, enjoy a special water puppet performance, an art form that originated in northern Vietnam hundreds of years ago. Afterward, transfer to the train station for an overnight train ride to Sapa. Check-out time from your hotel is 12:00 pm, but you can leave your luggage at the hotel until you depart for the train station in the evening.  **NOTE** The train is very basic, with four-berth cabins. Please ask us about an upgrade on the Victoria Train.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    4-berth soft sleeper train
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Sapa/Su Pan/Nam Sai/Sin Chai
    Soak up the scenes in serene Sapa

    Arrive in the early morning at Lao Cai station near the Chinese border and take a scenic drive to the hill station of Sapa. Here you transfer to a local hotel to freshen up and have breakfast. Afterwards, drive to Su Pan. From an altitude of 3,100 feet, you will trek down the fascinating valley with its wooden and bamboo houses that belong to the Tay tribe in Nam Sai village. Take a walk around the village and interact with the local people. Enjoy dinner at the home of one of the locals before walking up to the Dao village of Sin Chai and enjoy the friendly atmosphere with the children.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Basic guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Thanh Phu/Ban Ho/Sapa
    Village house

    Today you descend down to the village of Thanh Phu where the Tay minority live, after which you continue on, crossing suspended bridges, back to the Tay village of Ban Ho. Here you will enjoy lunch in a local house before heading back to Sapa by jeep.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Victoria Sapa or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Sapa/Lao Cai/Hanoi
    Explore vibrant Hanoi

    In the morning, take a drive to Bac Ha, with a visit to the Phong Hai market along the way. Upon arrival in Bac Ha, visit the colorful Sunday market where hill tribe people such as the Flower Hmong, Phu La, and Dao Tuyen gather to exchange goods. After lunch, drive to Trung Do and trek 2.5 miles to visit its Tay minority village. From the village, go by boat up the Chay River to see the beautiful caves and the Raining Waterfall. After leaving the boat in Bao Nhai, you’ll be driven back to Lao Cai to visit the Tran Hung Dao Temple, the century Banyan tree, the 12 Zodiac Signs Park, and the Chinese/Vietnamese border. Transfer to a local hotel near Lao Cai train station to freshen up before taking the overnight train back to Hanoi.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    4-berth soft sleeper train
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Hanoi/Halong Bay
    Traditional wooden junk

    Arrive in Hanoi in the early morning, where you will transfer to your hotel for breakfast and freshening up. Afterward, depart on the 3.5-hour journey to Halong city with a break en route at a local coffee shop. There will be many photo opportunities along the way, including rice paddies, buffalo, and farmers in the fields. Upon arrival in Halong Bay around noon, you’ll embark on a traditional wooden junk and enjoy a seafood lunch. After lunch, explore one of the biggest caves in the bay, Sung Sot (Surprising Cave). Return to the boat, where your guide will give instructions on kayaking techniques and safety procedures. Then it’s off to enjoy a kayaking adventure which takes you to Luon Cave and the Trong and Trinh Nu caves. Reboard the boat where you will again have excellent photo opportunities, both the sunset and sights on the bay. After dinner, you have the option of a night paddle on night on Halong Bay. Overnight on your junk near Surprising Cave.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhaya Classic Junk or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Halong Bay
    Kayaking gives you freedom to explore the bay as you wish

    Enjoy the early morning sunrise while cruising to the biggest fishing village in Halong Bay. From here, you'll kayak to visit floating houses and a floating primary school, then kayak a couple hours more to Three Lagoons (Ho Ba Ham). Lunch will be served when you arrive. After lunch, your guide will take you through the lagoon and on to Bamen Temple, where you will have a chance to take pictures of fishermen worshipping the Whale God. (If you are lucky, you can reach there in time for the ceremony, which does not take place every day.) From here, you will head off to Three Peach Island, where you can swim and sunbathe before the boat picks you up to take you to your overnight near Titop Island.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Bhaya Classic or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Halong Bay/Hanoi/Saigon
    Kayak among islands and intriguing caves

    Watch another beautiful sunrise during breakfast while cruising to Duck’s Rock. From here, begin paddling to Incense Burner Island to visit the caves. After a delicious brunch, you’ll say a reluctant goodbye to the boat crew, drive back to Hanoi, and board a flight headed for Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City.) On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel.

    Meals
    Brunch
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Saigon City Tour
    Saigon's Notre Dame Cathedral

    Today you will have a full day guided tour to Saigon’s historic landmarks, including the Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. Also drive by the Presidential Palace, once headquarters for the Saigon government during the Vietnam War. You have a choice of visiting either the Historical Museum or the War Remnant Museum. In the afternoon, visit Saigon’s “twin City”, the Chinese district of Cholon, to enjoy the bustling wholesale quarter of Ho Chi Minh City, Thien Hau Temple, built by Cantonese Buddhists at the end of the 18th century, and the ancient Giac Vien Pagoda, which houses 153 beautifully carved statues. Drive back downtown, where the remainder of your day is free to do some shopping or exploring.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Saigon/Can Tho
    Vietnam's flat and picturesque countryside lends itself well to biking

    Leave Saigon in the early morning by vehicle for the 19-mile trip to Long An province. Upon arrival in Tam Vu, start biking about 20 miles toward Cho Gao. Along the way you’ll pass quiet villages and dragon fruit farms. After lunch in My Tho, you’ll be shuttled to Vinh Long, where your 18-mile biking adventure to Ba Cang begins. From Ba Cang, the shuttle will take you to your simple accommodation in Can Tho, the cultural, political, and economic center of the Mekong Delta.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kim Tho Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Can Tho/Rach Ngoi/Long My/Xa Phien

    Shuttle out of Can Tho to the village of Tam Vu. From here, you’ll bike about 31 miles along paved roads, passing through Rach Ngoi, Kinh Cung, and Long My towns. Enjoy a box lunch at a local restaurant in Long My before continuing your bike ride for about nine miles to Xa Phien village. Once you arrive, visit with a local family before heading to your local guesthouse.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    My Khanh Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: My Kanh/Binh Thuy/Saigon/Onward
    Local boat selling items at a floating market in the Mekong Delta

    Check out of the hotel in the early morning and enjoy a boat ride through the tiny canals to visit the Cai Rang floating market. Disembark the boat at Cai Rang market and shuttle to My Kanh Orchard Garden for the start of your 19-mile ride (on a shady road near the river) to Binh Thuy. From here, the shuttle will return you to Saigon and transfer you to the airport for your onward flight. Consider adding on to visit the Angkor ruins of Cambodia or a relaxing beach excursion.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Nov 9-20, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,695
- $4,250
Group size 2-3 cost: $4,250 Flights within Vietnam add $375 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$725
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
12 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
2
Vietnamese junk, comfortable train & 4 * hotels
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
3
Vietnamese junk, comfortable train & 4 * hotels
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes y... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Angkor Wat 3-Day Odyssey

Duration: 3 days

This excursion focuses on the amazing ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. Angkor Wat, a spectacular architectural legacy of a period of bizarre regimes, is the most famous and confusing of the ruins in southeast Asia. This makes a perfect extension to any ... read more

Angkor Wat 5-Day Odyssey

Duration: 5 days

This excursion takes you to Siem Reap where you explore the magnificent Angkor sites followed by a ride on the Tonle Sap to see the local fishing villages. Then a short flight to Phnom Penh where you visit interesting museums, including Toul Sleng, a... read more

Bangkok Exploration

Duration: 1 days

Accompanied by your personal guide you will meet exotic, ancient, enigmatic Bangkok head-on. After completing this multi-transport, mobile cultural immersion seminar, you should be able to go anywhere in Bangkok by train, ferry, sky-train, taxi or tu... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

Vietnam: Sapa

Duration: 4 days

Extend your visit to Vietnam with this delightful visit to Sapa, for a unique cultural interaction with the local tribes.

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