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Top Trip Memories

  • A sailing cruise in Ha  Long  Bay, also known as “Bay of Descending Dragons.”
  • Explore the underground Cu Chi Tunnels cave which was once used as a hiding spot by Viet Cong Guerillas.
  • Seeing the rich rice fields of Mekong Delta.
  • If you are into kite and windsurfing activities then you do not want to miss Mui Ne; and a short distance from it leads to its famous sand dunes.
  • Relaxing in one of the largest island in Vietnam, Phu Quoc.
  • Walking down the winding lanes of  beautiful old town Hoi An, sometimes also knows as the “Venice of Vietnam.”
  • Visit to the tallest pagoda in Vietnam, Thien Mu Pagoda, built during 1601. The pagoda also overlooks the Perfume River. 
  • Experiencing a water puppet performance at the Thang Long puppet theatre in Hanoi
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Tour Tips

  • Vietnam, especially the South, is hot and quite humid year round so be sure to dress appropriately, bringing light layers suitable for temples and other religious sites. Also be sure to drink lots of bottled water while on your guided tour to prevent dehydration.
  • Public transportation (mainly by rail) is reliable, safe, and relatively fast throughout the country. It can be a great way to mingle with locals and see the countryside, so be sure to look at guided tours which include this option.
  • While it’s possible to see the highlights in a week or ten days, two weeks is really optimal to see both North and South Vietnam, with stops in between to cities like Danang, Hoi An, and Hue.
  • Travelers who have already seen the major cities or those simply with more time should consider a side tour to the Sapa region in Northeast Vietnam. Aside from escaping the lowland heat, this mountainous region offers a traditional view into many of Vietnam’s ethnic tribes, such as the Hmong, as well as touring the meticulously maintained rice terraces.
  • Aside from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, the other ‘must see’ city is Hoi An. This UNESCO World Heritage site is famous for its mix of French colonial, Japanese, and Chinese architectural influences. It’s also a shopper’s heaven, with custom clothes and shoes among the many items for sale by local shopkeepers.
  • Although slightly ‘touristy,’ a cyclo ride around the streets of Ho Chi Minh city or Hanoi is a great way to get your bearings and see life at street level.
  • Speaking of ‘street,’ don’t be afraid to try the local delicacies, which are often sold by merchants on the side of the road or walking with baskets full of baked goods. For food safety, it’s always a good idea to ask your tour leader to recommend a local vendor.
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Vietnam Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.8 out of 5



1,841 Reviews

  • Excellent 1,496
  • Great 423
  • Average 11
  • Disappointing 3
  • Terrible 1

Rating Details

  • Value
  • Guide
  • Activities
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Meals

Tour Reviews

Vietnam cycling trip

Cycling Vietnam 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
A vey well organised group with experienced friendly leader and his team. great group of fellow travellers. varied itinerary with wide range of travelling experiences.(bike, train, boat) and excellent accommodation and food. T^he bikes were maintained in excellent condition,
Cycling down a 30km descent in torrential rain !

Lam was fanatstic.Experienced, helpful with great attention to detail . He had an amazing knack of delivering bad news (e.g steep hill coming) whilst smiling all the time! His back up team of drivers and mechanics were also very friendly and helpful

Vietnam is not quite as flat as you might be led to believe. There are plenty of "undulations "but still amazing cycling away from the usual tourist haunts

This was a very enjoyable trip .Staying at Whale Island was an excellent tropical interlude away from the frenetic pace of life in Vietnam so strongly advise keep this in the itinerary.

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Brilliant insight into life in Vietnam

Cycling Vietnam 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
Travelling alone on my first Exodus cycling trip I was apprehensive on a number of fronts! I worried needlessly, as the group of 17 assorted singletons and couples quickly bonded supported by the indefatigable, Long our tirelessly helpful guide. It was so much fun despite the cough/cold that beset many of us- the support bus was there to take the strain as well as providing endless and local snacks at the end of each cycling section.
Sitting by the roadside waiting for the cyclists to arrive, when I was unwell, having banana fritters cooked for us by an old Vietnamese lady who could speak no English and we had no Vietnamese whilst showing the family, pictures of a pet dog! We felt part of the community.
The prolonged party night on the train from Hue to Hanoi was a scream- the accommodation on the train was much better than I remember of British Rail - the craic was good and Long, the consummate host!

For Long, nothing was too much trouble and he dealt with our medical problems and everything else without missing a beat and with constant good humour.

In January, a variety of clothes is required- layers especially as the temperature in Saigon was 35 degrees and 16 in Hanoi. Also bring waterproofs as it can rain even in January, as we discovered. Females should bring a female-specific saddle to avoid saddle sore and padded pants are essential.

When bringing your saddle, do not bring the fixings as Exodus have their own to match the seat posts. Mine got lost...You are advised to bring your helmet in hand luggage- I did and mine got broken in the overhead locker on the way home- so be careful!

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Lifelong memories

Cycling Vietnam 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
We were part of a group of 17 who quickly formed a close bond created entirely by the enthusiasm and generosity of our leader. Nothing was too much trouble Long went out of his way every day to make sure we experienced in full life in Vietnam. The trip ran like clockwork, without us feeling we were being rushed at any stage. He made it fun even when we cycled 100 k in a day taking in a very high mountain pass.
There were so many of these. For me cycling into Hoi Ann city at the end of the day cycling through the bustling streets soaking up the atmosphere. The route that took us through backwater lanes where children rushed out to shout hello. The big descent down the mountain. The vegetable market in Delat. Having a leader who just oozed fun and motivated each one of us to keep cycling when the rain and wind lashed down.

As I said we could not have had anyone who could have done more, he made our trip, he made every day memorable.

Bring your own saddle? Cleats would also be good. Bring warm clothes for Hanoi? Stay on for a few days in Hanoi it's a great place to spend time. Also try and have a day in Ho Chin Minh before the ride.

This trip was great value in every way. The snacks provided en route were great. The lunches each day were delicious. How Long managed to organise 17 adults on bikes overnight trains and boats without a mishap is unbelievable. I want to book the next trip straight away

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Cycling Vietnam

Cycling Vietnam 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
The two week holiday was extremely well organised, with a huge variety of site visits, cultural highlights and a knowledgeable and highly professional leader. I enjoyed the trip immensely and the group were wonderful.
I particularly enjoyed cycling down the mountains, having expended an enormous amount of energy pedalling up! All of the group were encouraged and motivated along the way. The bikes were strong and sturdy, giving confidence to the riders. I also loved cycling through the villages and 'high fiving' all the lovely, smiling children as we cycled past them.

The group leader was extremely professional, knowledgeable, motivational, charming and all in all, exceptional. He managed to transport a group of 18 from South to North Vietnam, using cycles, minibuses, trains and boats, effortlessly and safely. There were no occasions where anyone felt unsafe and at every hotel none of us had to wait longer than a couple of minutes to be handed our room key. I had no hesitation in voting for him in the Exodus Leader Awards.

I would advise taking your own saddle!

I think Exodus have perfected the organisation of this trip. It is a varied, interesting and wonderful country to visit. The people are always smiling, the food is sensational and the landscape breathtaking. I would highly recommend this trip.

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Cycling Vietnam

Cycling Vietnam 2017

February 2017
Exodus Travels
Recommend: Yes
This was a very good cycling trip - rated as moderate and there was nothing to stretch the abilities of anyone. The scenery was very varied and spectacular at times. .
2 things : The trip around Halong Bay including the time spent kayaking. Also the meal that we had with a local Vietnamese family.

Our group leader was excellent. He was very knowledgeable about all aspects of Vietnam - its history, culture, way of life, countryside etc. Through relating personal stories, he helped us to get to know and understand the country in a way that ordinary guidebooks cannot.
When 2 of our group had a serious cycling accident, his management of the situation could not be faulted.

This is an excellent trip from the point of view of seeing Vietnam. But if you want to really test your cycling ability, this trip will not do that.

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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies

Classic Itineraries

Vietnam in 1 Week

Day 1-2, Ho Chi Minh City: Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, learn about the Cu Chi Tunnels from a local guide. In your free time take a walk through the open-aired market at Pham Ngu Lao Street.

Day 3, Danang to Hoi An: Drive from Danang to Hoi An passing beautiful scenery such as the Marble Mountains, and historically significant My Khe Beach.

Day 4, Hoi An: Discover Hoi An’s Old Town, with its many architectural influences from European to Chinese, explore Dong Ba Market in your free time.

Day 5, Hanoi: Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, enjoy the quiet nature of the city’s many lakes and green spaces.

Day 6-7, Halong Bay: Enjoy a day cruise through one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Stay overnight on board ship.

Day 8, Hanoi: Return to Hanoi for the end of your trip

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Treasures of Vietnam with Intrepid - 8 Days, premium trip

Essence of Vietnam with Peregrine - 8 Days, value trip

Vietnam South to North with Mountain Travel Sobek - 8 Days, premium trip

Or see All Vietnam in One Week Tours

Vietnam in 2 Weeks

Day 1, Ho Chi Minh City: Arrive in Vietnam. Take a walk through the open-aired market at Pham Ngu Lao Street.

Day 2-3, Mekong Delta: See the area know as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam. Take a boat ride to explore the canals on the Mekong River, stay overnight in a local home along the river. In the morning visit the Cai Be floating market.

Day 4, Ho Chi Minh City: Return to Ho Chi Minh City and take a tour with a local guide to see the Reunification Palace, War Remnants Museum, and see the Cu Chi Tunnels which were used by the Viet Cong during wartime. Take the train to Nha Trang.

Day 5, Nha Trang: Visit the picturesque beaches of Nha Trang, see the archaeological site at Po Nagar Cham Towers.

Day 6, Danang to Hoi An: Drive from Danang to Hoi An passing beautiful scenery such as the Marble Mountains, and historically significant My Khe Beach.

Day 7-8, Hoi An: Take a guided walking tour of this old port city which dates back to the mid-sixteenth century. My Son ruins, local markets, rent a bike and take an afternoon by the beach.

Day 9-10, Scenic Drive to Hue: Hai Van Pass, Lang Co Beach, visit the Imperial Citadel, cruise on a traditional dragon boat on the Perfume River, visit Thien Mu Pagoda.

Day 11-12, Hanoi: Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum. Enjoy the quiet nature of the city’s many lakes and green spaces.

Day 13-14, Halong Bay: Enjoy a day cruise through one of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders. Stay overnight on board ship.

Day 15, Hanoi: Return to Hanoi and enjoy a local meal and souvenir shopping before heading home.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Classic Vietnam with Intrepid - 15 Days, premium trip

Vietnam Adventure with Exodus - 14 Days, value trip

Magnificent Mekong with Viking River Cruises - 15 Days, premium trip

Or see All Vietnam in Two Weeks Itineraries

Culinary Tour of Vietnam

Day 1-2, Hanoi: Explore the city, with its calming atmosphere, and enjoy a local beer known as be bia hoi, at a traditional brew hall. The next day, tour Chau Long Market, sample local delicacies and coffee. Visit the Hanoi Cooking Centre.

Day 3-4, Halong Bay: Visit picturesque Halong Bay. Watch a demonstration of fishermen throwing nets, and learn how to do it yourself! Enjoy a dinner of fresh seafood and stay overnight in a traditional houseboat.

Day 5, Transfer to Hoi An: Take an overnight train or fly from Hanoi to Hoi An.

Day 6-7, Hoi An: by local ingredients at the markets to make traditional dishes. See the sights in Hoi An such as My Son ruins.

Day 8, Tra Que: A half day trip from Hoi An, Tra Que is a village known for its herb gardens. Bike ride out to the village and learn about various herbs and spices and how they feature in Vietnamese cuisine. Attend a cooking class.

Day 9-10, Ho Chi Minh City: Visit the bustling market of Ben Thanh for fresh produce and other souvenirs. Enjoy the French influenced cuisine of pastries and coffee.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Real Food Adventure with Intrepid - 12 Days, value trip

Vietnam Food Adventure with Exodus - 10 Days, value trip

Gourmet Explorer Vietnam with Peregrine Adventures - 12 Days, value trip

Or see All Culinary Tours in Vietnam

Vietnam Trips & Tour Advice

For those whose impressions of Vietnam were formed in the wartime 1960's, a visit to this beautiful Southeast Asian country may yield some real surprises. With the vast majority of Vietnamese born after the war, it's largely ancient history here, and visitors (certainly including Americans) are warmly welcomed. There's much to explore, too, from stately Hanoi to bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), gorgeous Halong Bay, the Mekong River (best seen by river boat), deep green rice paddies, golden sandy beaches, and some of Asia's best cuisine. Once you come to Vietnam, your impressions of it will never be the same. 

From South to North (or opposite)

Perhaps the best way to tour Vietnam is to start at either the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh, aka Saigon, or the northern capital city of Hanoi. If starting in HCMC, the first thing you might notice is the buzz of motorbikes all around you. To cross the street, just be brave and go against everything you were ever taught - slowly but purposefully, walk out into the street and maintain a steady pace. Amazingly, the motor bikes will swerve around you until you find yourself, harried but unscathed, on the other side of the street. Once you’ve mastered that, be sure to check out Ben Thanh market. At first, what looks like a glorified flea market opens up to reveal all sorts of Vietnamese culinary stalwarts like Pho. Go in the morning to escape the crowds (and the heat!).

Other highlights in HCMC include the War Remnants Museum, the exhibits of which might be offputting to many American travelers, Cu Chi tunnel system, and the various historic hotels in the city center.

Heading north, visit Nha Trang, which is a typical beach destination for tourists and locals alike. Enjoy a day-cruise where snorkeling and scuba diving are among the options for activities. Fresh seafood is the specialty in this city by the sea.

Next stop, Hoi An, and its labyrinth of ancient buildings and pathways. Historically rich, the city was influenced by the French, Japanese, and Chinese, which is apparent in the architecture and cuisine. Go in search of the famous Hoi An noodles, Cao Lau, which can only be authentically enjoyed in this town. Many different galleries and craft shops offer everything from custom-made shoes to vibrant oil paintings.

A short drive brings you to Hue, or the ‘imperial city’ as it was here that the Nguyen dynasty ruled from before ceding power to the French in 1945. Explore the old, walled citadel and also book a tour to visit the demilitarized zone (DMZ) for a bit of war history.

Last stop is the capital of Hanoi. With its beautiful urban lakes and government seat, Hanoi is calmer relative to HCMC, but still quite the urban center in its own right. For history buffs, a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a must, where one can see the body of the former Vietnamese ruler lying in state. Also of interest is the Temple of Literature and One Pillar Pagoda.

Culinary Delights

If culinary travel is your thing, then Vietnam should be high on your list! From pho, to Cao Lau, to french baguettes that rival Parisian boulangeries, Vietnam has a plethora of spicy samples to tempt the foodie traveler. Street food is quite good and cheap, and can be found in night markets throughout the country. Or, just pull up a (short) stool at almost any roadside restaurant for an authentic taste of Vietnam. Specialities include Banh xeo, a crunchy shell containing bean sprouts, soy bean, prawns and pork, Banh bo - sweet rice cakes usually found in white, red and green, and of course, pho. For the more daring, sit down at a corner ‘bar’ to sample bia hoi, the local brew of choice. This unpasteurized but fresh beer is served on the street for basically a few cents per glass. You’ve been warned!  

Trips Farther Afield

Other guided tour options in Vietnam include Phu Quoc island, an idyllic spit of land off the coast of southern Vietnam. Also consider the mountainous Sapa region in the northeast or a River boat cruise along the Mekong River.


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