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Family Vietnam Encompassed  tour
Education / Learning Cycling Family Vietnam Encompassed  package

Family Vietnam Encompassed

Explore! Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 2,130 $ 142 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Hanoi - Free time to wander through the bustling narrow streets of the Old Quarter lined with shop-houses
  • Halong Bay - Sea kayaking in one of the most breath-taking limestone landscapes in South East Asia
  • Hue - Try making a kite and a martial arts lesson
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Learn about the resourcefulness of the Viet Cong at the Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Hoi An - Charming ancient merchant's town on the banks of the Thu Bon River

Short Description

Join us on an in depth journey through magical Vietnam, traversing the country from south to north and discovering the many attractions that lie along the way from rice paddy fields of Mai Chau to the intricate network of waterways in the Mekong Delta. Vietnam is a country constantly reinventing itself. Witness the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, the old-world charm of Hanoi, ancient neighbourhoods of Hoi An and dramatic limestone pinnacles of Halong Bay. Learn about Vietnam's tumultuous history, vibrant markets, delicious food and truly inspiring scenery on this memorable family holiday.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Ho Chi Minh City Hotel

Travel Theme

Education / Learning

Destinations

Vietnam

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Age Requirement

7

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Join trip in Hanoi. Stroll around the historic old quarter.

Description

Arrive in Hanoi and drive to our hotel in the heart of the capital. Hanoi is an attractive city, ideal for families, effortlessly combining the vibrancy of Asia with tree-lined shaded boulevards, leafy parks and tranquil lakes where residents can often be seen performance Tai Chi early in the morning. Head out this afternoon to explore the city on a guided walking tour of the Old Quarter, a labyrinth of narrow lanes full of children playing, old men huddled over board games and artisans selling everything from fresh flowers to art work. Pavements are filled with the rich aroma of steaming noodles, snacks, stir-fried delights and 'bia hoi' (fresh draught beer) just waiting to be sampled.

Included Meals : None

Day 2 - Hanoi. Watch locals take lakeside yoga classes, explore night markets.

Description

This morning join our Explore leader to see more of Hanoi, visiting the One-Pillar Pagoda, the tranquil Temple of Literatures and the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh lying in state.

The afternoon is then free to perhaps take an optional cookery class, or explore Hanoi's elegant French Quarter by cyclo. In the evening there is the chance to witness a remarkable performance of traditional water puppetry (optional activity). Set on a flooded stage, the stories tell tales of legendary heroes and everyday life, with dragons and unicorns often sharing the stage with fireworks and naval battles, alternatively head out to sample the delights of Vietnamese cuisine at a local restaurant.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 3 - Scenic drive to Mai Chau, bike through paddy fields past tranquil traditional villages.

Description

Hemmed in by hills and set in a tranquil valley, Mai Chau is a world away from the hectic pace of life of Hanoi. The four hour journey provides a glimpse of rural life in the north of the country passing through villages surrounded by paddy fields. On arrival, check-in to our hotel with fine views of local villages distantly related to the tribes in Thailand, Laos and China, lunch is included at the hotel.

This afternoon head out on a biking tour along rice terraces of the Mai Chau Valley dotted with stilt houses. The ride provides opportunities for panoramic views of paddy fields, spectacular karst cliffs and verdant valleys around you, a truly spectacular setting. On the way home, pass by Van Village, home to the White Thai people. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at our comfortable eco lodge featuring a swimming pool to cool off in after an afternoon of cycling.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Drive to Xam Khoe Village, home to Thai ethnic minority, home cooked lunch with a local family.

Description

After breakfast, drive to Xam Khoe Village and set off on a walking tour to Buoc Village populated by the Thai ethnic minority people, the terrain is mainly flat, sticking to the valley floor traversing the network of banks separating rice paddy fields. Enjoy local hospitality in a simple stilt-house as a home-cooked lunch of regional specialities such as Goi cuon (spring rolls) or Pho (Vietnam's national dish, a light beef or chicken broth flavoured with ginger and coriander, to which are added broad, flat rice noodles, spring onions and slivers of chicken, pork or beef) prepared by a local Thai family. Short drive back to Mai Chau with a stop en route to explore the magnificent Van Mai Valley.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Continue to Ninh Binh, likened to an inland Halong Bay.

Description

This morning is left free to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Drive to Ninh Binh in the afternoon. Whilst the town itself is fairly unremarkable, the area around Ninh Binh is beautiful, known for its impressive cave formations and network of waterways, lakes, temples and towering limestone peaks.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 6 - Bike ride through paddy fields to visit Dong Tam Village. Afternoon boat trip to explore cave complex.

Description

This morning stretch our legs as we cycle the back roads through picturesque local communities to Dong Tam village. After a break at a temple we head through the countryside towards the spectacular limestone peaks of Van Long, surrounded by paddy fields and meandering waterways. The landscape is truly spectacular. Our destination is the nearby village of Vuon Thi, where we enjoy a delicious traditional lunch prepared by friendly hill tribe villagers.

After lunch, take a sampan ride along the charming Ngo Dong River to a cave complex, with time to explore the network of caves in the area. Return to Ninh Binh.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7 - Cruise Halong Bay on a junk boat, sea kayak around the bay.

Description

Leaving Ninh Binh after breakfast, we drive approximately four hours to the Gulf of Tonkin and the breath-taking scenery of Ha Long Bay. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most visually impressive landscapes in South East Asia, Ha Long Bay is the setting for our overnight cruise. There are between 10-18 en-suite cabins (all bedding is provided) with a restaurant, bar and sundeck area. Boarding the boat in time for lunch, we set sail and visit Sung Sot Cave which means 'Amazing Cave' which is the largest of its kind in the area with numerous stalactite and stalagmite limestone formations in an impressive cavern. We then spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the bay before our Junk boat finds its mooring for the evening. Please be aware, the boat may not be exclusive to Explore and consequently we may be sharing with other travellers.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Sea Kayaking & take the Reunification Express sleeper train to Hue.

Description

After a morning's sea kayaking and cruising around the bay, we head back to shore and disembark the boat at Bai Chay Beach before driving back to Hanoi. In the evening board the Reunification Express overnight sleeper train to Hue, Vietnam's old imperial capital. Travelling by train with a family is often cited as a real highlight, we travel in soft sleeper class, with four passengers sharing each compartment with all bedding provided; watch the world go by as we slowly make our way south passing villages, rivers and vast plains along the way. Please note, breakfast will not be provided on the train, so there will be time to pick up snacks for the morning before boarding the train.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 9 - Travel to the Tu Duc Royal Tombs. Try kite making (and flying!) and visit the Imperial Palace.

Description

Arriving in Hue this morning, seek out many of the highlights of this former imperial capital of Vietnam including a visit to the Royal Palace with its Terracotta Warriors guarding the entrance and the Thien Mu Pagoda, home to the oldest monastery in the city. We also visit Mr Cu's house who was a national champion kite flier for Vietnam who shows us how to make traditional Vietnamese kites which you make and decorate with symbols such as dragons, birds and peacocks. Once assembled, we fly them at the nearby Citadel.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 10 - Hoi An. Martial arts lesson. Make traditional wood paintings, cruise on the Perfume River.

Description

Journey to Trieu Son village, located by the Perfume River on Hue's outskirts for a guided walk and boat ride. First stop is Sinh village where we meet a local family that specializes in making wood paintings.

Later in the morning, take to the open road on a leisurely cycle ride around the village and along countryside lanes to Thanh Tien village, famous for paper flowers. Criss crossing an intricate network of paddy fields, we arrive at Tien Non village where we board our cruise boat, taking us back to Hue (total cycling distance is approximately 6km).

An included martial arts lesson is our next stop with a visit to a dedicated martial arts school that practices the Vietnamese art of Kinh Van, Vietnam's equivalent to Kung Fu, based upon defence techniques from the actions of a tiger, cobra, and bird. The owner's ancestors were chosen to guard the Vietnamese king; knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation to our host, who has been intrusted with teaching this ancient art. Travel over the Truong Son Mountains and through the Hai Van Pass as featured on the TV programme, Top Gear, to the historic merchant seaside town of Hoi An.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 11 - Free day in Hoi An, opportunity to spend the day on the beach.

Description

The morning is free to wander through the historic heart of this World Heritage Site, taking in the wonderfully preserved buildings of what was once one of the busiest trading outposts in South East Asia. Discovering this delightful town, we recommend an early morning visit to Hoi An's fish market which presents the perfect setting for some great photographs.

Wander through Hoi An's historic collection of traditional wooden houses and Chinese temples. This afternoon you could hire bicycles and explore the surrounding countryside, experience a gentle river cruise, or grab the chance to visit some of Hoi An's famous tailor shops. Alternatively take a 20 minute taxi ride to the nearby coast to spend the day on the beach.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 12 - Fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Explore the old quarter in cyclos (cycle carriages with a seat).

Description

Drive to Danang Airport this morning, past the five peaks of the Marble Mountains, originally believed to have been islands that were said to represent the five elements of water, wood, fire, gold and earth. Board the morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival, head out on a walking tour of Saigon with a local guide plus a cyclo tour (cycle carriages with a seat at the front) around Saigon's China Town and the Binh Tay Market areas.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 13 - Discover the Cu Chi Tunnels which the Viet Cong used as a hideout during the Vietnam War.

Description

After breakfast this morning drive to visit the infamous Cu Chi tunnels. First constructed by the Vietnamese during their colonial war with the French, the tunnels were later greatly expanded and went on to achieve notoriety during the Vietnam War, when they served as an underground command base for 10,000 Viet Cong troops. Exploring Cu Chi gives some idea as to the conditions that the Vietnamese had to endure (the tunnels are narrow and can be quite claustrophobic). The afternoon allows for more time in the city including an optional visit to the waterpark, a great way to cool off from the mid-day sun.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Day 14 - Drive to the Mekong Delta, overnight homestay, explore villages by bike.

Description

Leaving the city, journey to the Mekong Delta and board a boat to the start point of our cycle ride. We cycle for around 10-12 km along the flat Cai Thai village path with constant views of the delta as we wind our way around its many tributaries. The route is often shaded which is helpful to combat the humidity (the boat can pick up cyclists at various stopping points if required). Along the way, we visit Mrs Nani's home who will show us how to make rice paper in the traditional way and Mr and Mrs Chin's home who will provide refreshments that include her famous 'Banh Tieu' (traditional doughnut).

Returning to our cruise boat for lunch on-board, we continue sailing along the delta to our night stop. Transferring from our cruise boat to a sampan craft, a small traditional boat regularly used by the villagers to travel along the delta, make the short journey to a traditional homestay, set in a lovely garden setting with a main lounge area and dining room, accommodation is en-suite (shower and toilet) with traditional décor throughout. After settling into our simple but clean accommodation, embark on a gastronomic experience as we take part in a Vietnamese cooking lesson. Typically our hosts usually give a traditional dancing and singing show to accompany the evening meal.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 - Morning cruise on the Mekong Delta. Drive back to Ho Chi Minh City where the trip ends.

Description

Leaving the homestay behind, we take a cruise in the Mekong delta spending time exploring the numerous small floating markets and soaking up the atmosphere of this unique trading point, a vast network of rivers and islands that crisscross agricultural villages, paddy fields and mangrove swamps. After our visit, we drive back to Saigon where the trip ends in the afternoon (Day rooms are available).

Why not extend your trip to Indochina with three nights on the tropical white sand beaches of Phu Quoc Island? Nestled in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand this Vietnamese island is 90% national park, a thick-rainforest interior framed by idyllic white sand beaches. Easily accessible by a short flight from Hanoi, Siem Reap or Ho Chi Minh City, this is a great way to unwind after an action-packed trip in Indochina. Visit https://www.explore.co.uk/holidays/phu-quoc-beach-extension for more details.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 2,130
Price Per Day: $ 142 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

Family Vietnam Encompassed

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Company Reviews

Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I was grateful to Explore with my booking as I was forced to cancel at a late date and then was enabled to rebook which meant the difference between having no summer holiday and a wonderful one. All of the administration seemed to be very efficient, friendly and professional.
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Wonderful holiday memories

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have travelled all over the world with explore on their family adventure holidays. We have an only child and she benefited so much with instant friendships, and has some wonderful holiday memories. Explore has always been very helpful with the booking process, and we have found most of the tour leaders they use to be professional, committed, really good at their jobs.
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Extremely enjoyable

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have travelled with Explore on several occasions. Each experience has been positive and every trip extremely enjoyable. The itinerary’s are excellent ensuring a full and varied experience and the use of local guides is hugely beneficial.
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It's fantastic trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's fantastic trip for me..just not very happy for accommodation. And the trip leader .If he can make more time with us.and make more interesting and funny when he was talking. It is should be good..other way he is good..
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wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Danijela, our tour guide, was wonderful. She shared plenty of facts about Croatia with us and managed all the arrangements really well. One of our group had a birthday while we were away and Danijela gave her a present and we celebrated. Transfers to and from the airport went well. Prior to going, the staff on the phones were really helpful with any questions.
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Great experiences

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our third family adventure with Explore, all have been great experiences. Kids bond immediately and adults can melt into the background and relax. The size of the groups makes mixing manageable and the guides and crews have been first rate throughout.
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Details

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Hanoi - Water Puppets show from US$ 5; Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House US$ 1; Museums US$ 1; Waterpark US$ 15 Hoi An - Half day cooking classes from US$ 39-45 Hue - Dong Ba Market US$ 18.00 - US$ 23 Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace US$ 2

Guides

A Explore Leader is an integral part of any Explore tour and your tour will be led by one of our experienced Tour Leaders who have been handpicked and expertly trained. We believe that our Explore Leaders are the key to the success of our tours; they are passionate travellers who are bursting with first-hand local knowledge which they love to share. Your Explore Leader will also take care of all the planning and organisation throughout your journey. Their passionate approach will make this tour fun and inspiring, bringing the destination to life whether you're travelling alone or with others.

Tour Staff

Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader

Age Notes

Min. Age: 7

Trip ID#:

explore-FVN

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