Duration: 16 Days
Group Size: 10+ FULL
Dates: 6th – 21st February 2018
Cost: Approx. £980 (£300 single supplement) + Internal (Approx. £100) and International Flights (Approx. £600)
Cambodia Extension (Approx. £200 + flights) Laos Extension (Approx. £250 + flights)
For those of us who were around in the 1960s and 70s we will remember the harrowing images that came out of Vietnam as a result of the war. It was probably the first war that had such a high profile through television news. That is not the Vietnam we see today. While there are regular reminders of that dark period in history, Vietnam is a rapidly developing country, a country of stunningly beautiful landscapes, cultural diversity, fine cuisine and traditional lifestyles that have not changed in centuries.
Our trip starts in the north, in Hanoi. After sampling the delights of this lively city, we venture into the hills of the north for a few days trekking through rice paddy fields punctuated with limestone hills. Staying in village home stays, we will get a real insight into the lives of these rural communities. Having completed our trek we then travel to Tam Coq, known as Halong Bay on land. This dramatic landscape of towering limestone pillars rising vertically from the flat bottomed valley floor with its patchwork of paddy fields and meandering rivers, is a site to behold.
Then we go to Halong Bay for two half days and a night on the water sailing among the 1900 islands rising majestically out of the tropical waters.
Heading south on the night train, we reach Hue close to the old border between North and South Vietnam. Here we take a cruise on the Perfume River, visit a market to buy food and learn how to cook a traditional Vietnamese meal with our purchases. Again we will have an insight into the lives and traditional culture of the people living in this part of Vietnam.
The final leg of our Vietnam journey takes us to the south and Ho Chi Minh, formerly Saigon, with its many French colonial influences. Here we visit Notre Dame Cathedral and the Cu Chi tunnels, created by the Vietcong to infiltrate the south and make life difficult for the South Vietnamese and Americans. A cruise along one of the rivers of the Mekong delta gives us yet another insight into Vietnamese life where everything centres on the water.
After two weeks we fly home from Saigon. However, if we decide to take one, or both, of the extensions, we could return to Hanoi for our return flight.
It is possible to add an extension to Cambodia and/or Laos. The details for these extensions are outlined below, with an approximate cost. If you are interested in extending your trip, please get in touch.