Vietnam North

So, you want to explore Vietnam ey? Welcome to 10 days jam packed with incredible landscapes, bustling cities, the most delicious food you have ever tasted and a country bursting at the seams from authentic experiences among locals famed for their welcoming smile. You can go ahead and split Vietnam in two, the North or the South (you can also explore the entire country!). While the South is dominated by stunning beaches, the North is famed for the beautiful madness of the capital of Hanoi where rules of the road are optional, lush jungles and enormous caves in Phong Nha National Park and of course, Halong Bay.

When we say classic, we mean the perfect balance of culture, adventure, beaches and parties. High number of inclusions, low cost. Tru-ly authentic experiences from home-stays & hostels to beach huts, hotels and boats. A classic tour means maximum adventure, minimum hassle. Built for backpackers by backpackers.

What's Included

Airport Pickup
(up to two days before as long as you are booked into the start hotel)

Travel Ninja
Your Guide! Like travelling with your best mates & one of them happens to know where they're going!

Transport
All Transport Included Private Bus Transfer Open Top Jeep Ha Long Bay Boat

Accommodation
9 Nights Accommodation Hotel Twin-share Rooms Private Dorms - Ha Long Bay

Activities
Bamboo Basket Boat Trip Open top Jeeps Cooking Class Halong Bay Cruise

Meals
5 x Breakfast 6 x Lunch
TruFlexibility
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Low Deposit
Stupidly low deposits so you won't have to raid the piggy bank to lock in your trip.
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Free date change
If your plans change, no stress. We allow one free date change up to 60 days before you travel.
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Payment Plans
Have something to look forward to & pay us when you can.
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Unrivalled Support
The best 1 on 1 support before, during and after your trip.
Bucket List
Ha Long Bay
Basket Boat Experience
Lantern Making Lesson
Hai Van Pass
Phong Nha Caves
Vietnamese Cooking Class

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
Day 1

AIRPORT PICK UP

Today is the day your life changes forever. We’ll pick you up, cute sign with your name on it and all from Da Nang International airport before whisking you off to meet your TruFam (AKA your touring group for the trip who very quickly become your best mates) at our Hoi An hotel. Hoi An is a wonderful, quaint seaside town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site infamous for its hanging lanterns and deeply cultural vibes. No first-date is complete without delicious food and plenty of looseners along Hoi An’s buzzing night markets so that’s exactly what we’ll do!

HOI AN
Airport Pick Up
lanterns lining the streets of hoi an vietnam
Day 2

BASKET BOAT EXPERIENCE & BIKE RIDES!

Today, we’d give a fun level of 10000/10 and we’re not just saying that. First off we’re taking a morning bike ride around Hoi An, race ya! In the afternoon we’re going to Coconut Woods, which despite the name is actually on 7 hectares (don’t ask us what a hectare is, it might be some sort of squirrel) of water. Ever heard of a basket boat? Well you’re about to have your first experience of one and you are going to laugh yourself senseless on one of these mad cap traditional Vietnamese vessels that have been used to crab fish for centuries. We’ll glide through stunning surroundings before slipping, sliding and splashing a little too much as we show how basket boats are best used. It might not be as relaxing as you’re envisioning but it's sure to get the blood pumping. You’ll work up an appetite and get you nice and hungry for a culinary experience and a half before we stop for some delicious food with the local family. This evening will be our last in Hoi An (until you come visit again) so let’s make it a big one with dinner and drinks on the boardwalk.

Hoi An
bike ride & basket boat trip
1x Breakfast, 1x Lunch
Day 3

HAI VAN PASS IN OPEN TOP JEEPS

Today try channelling your inner Jeremy Clarkson, but without the shit hair or Captain Slow without the slowness, as we’re saying goodbye to Hoi An and hitting the Hai Van Pass on a road trip made famous by Top Gear. No rickety mopeds for us, we’re doing it in-style aboard our very own private open-top jeeps. The scenery on the route North to the town of Hue is spectacular. We’ll stop for lunch, for some snaps and even a dip in the tropical waters before reaching the imperial city of Hue. Post hotel check-ins and chill out, we’re heading out out to explore Hue’s nightlife where we’re all about the local beers, the rice wine and feeling like royalty.

Hue
open top jeep
1X BREAKFAST 1 X LUNCH
Day 4

COOKING CLASS & EXPLORING THE IMPERIAL CITY

Hue used to be home to emperors, more specifically those from the Nguyen dynasty. The result is some ridiculously decadent palaces, shrines and the crown jewel of Hue, the stunning Imperial City itself - a walled enclosure within the citadel that is a photographer's wet dream. You’ll really feel like royalty as you explore Hue, not least when you find that body of water beside you is called the Perfume River thanks to the orchids which fall into it in the autumn creating an aroma only beaten by the food. We'll take a dragon boat up the perfume river where we’ll stop for our very own Vietnamese cooking class. Slice, dice and cook up a storm and try your hand at cooking one of Asia’s most favoured cuisines. Trust us, it’ll be delicious. Afterwards we take a walk around the Imperial city and marvel at its beauty. We explore the walled gardens and the aptly named Perfume River which flows through it, marvel at the scenery and learn why Hue holds such importance in Vietnam’s history today. It’s been a long day so we wave goodbye to Hue and head onto our next destination - Phong Nha!

 

PHONG NHA
COOKING CLASS & IMPERIAL CITY
1 X BREAKFAST 1x LUNCH
Day 5

PHONG NHA NATIONAL PARK & DUCK STOP

By now you’ve seen the stunning Vietnamese coastline, devoured the most delicious food of your life and learned all sorts of weird and wonderful things about Vietnamese culture. It’s now time for some adrenaline, deal? Welcome to Phong Nha National Park, home to one of the longest cave systems in the world and the aptly named Paradise Cave whose entrance is a mind-boggling 72 metres high! We’re spending the day exploring the caves and even ziplining through them, wooooo! After cleaning ourselves up and grabbing a bite we are heading back on the road, next stop is… Duck stop! The infamous duck stop, that’s right. We’ll visit the duck pen and interact and feed ten’s of ducks. Sounds chill right? Wait till you experience it. Afterwards we head back, freshen up and grab some dinner. We’ll throw our comfy clothes on as we’re jumping on a sleeper bus tonight and snoozing away until we reach our next destination Hanoi and a certain bay you may have seen pictures of before.

 

PHONG NHA
dark cave, phong nha national park & duck stop
1 x Breakfast
Day 6

HANOI, EGG COFFEE & EXPLORING

By now you’re totally and utterly in love with Vietnam, it’s people and your heroic TruNinja (that’s what we call our tour guides but you already know that!). Hanoi is home to 8m residents and in 2018 welcomed over 5m international visitors (5 million and 12 now). Chaotic but immensely vibrant, Hanoi was made for exploring so after we get our latest hotel check-in done, we’re heading for a local cafe to try some egg coffee, Vietnam’s version of a 99 cone. The rest of the day is up to you guys, whether spending it as a culture vulture, a snap happy Insta hun or a bargain hunter at Đồng Xuân Market (did someone say new suits?).

HANOI
EGG COFFEE MAKING LESSON
Day 7

WELCOME TO NINH BINH

Ninh Binh is known as the Halong Bay on land and for good reason, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Today we head to the jaw dropping scenic town of Ninh Binh and trust us, it’s a good day! We arrive and jump aboard small boats and paddle through small untouched caves and around small surrounding islands. Look around and you’ll see emerald green forestry and rice paddies galore. Absolutely stunning. Afterwards we’ll head to Tam Coc valley, here you’ll find limestone hills dotted amongst the luscious trees. One of the best nature destinations in all of Vietnam and 1 not on the typical touristy trail. If the TruFam are up for it, we can hop on bikes and cycle around, stopping for water breaks and those all important insta shots. If you didn’t take a pic did you even go right? We’ve saved the best till last and around mid afternoon we head to the epic Hang Mua viewpoint, with around 500 steps to the top, you know it’s going to be incredible. After updating our instastory, sending 100 pictures in your WhatsApp chat and really taking in the magic of Vietnam we head back to the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. It’s been a long day of exploring so we’ve worked up an appetite, lucky for you. We know the best places in town!

NINH BINH
Boat Ride Around Caves & Islands
Day 8

HALONG BAY CRUISING

Ok, breathe. This is probably the day you’ve been looking forward to the most and we can totally understand why. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll love the bustle of Hanoi but what you’ll probably love even more is Halong Bay and that’s exactly where we are headed. Halong Bay is legendary. It’s been your screensaver at some point, it’s been photographed endlessly but trust us, none of these pictures do justice to the bright green sea and otherworldly presence of 1,600 limestone islands dotted throughout this labyrinth of paradise. Check-in down, we’re having lunch to the most incredible backdrop of the bay but it won’t be long before it's time for an afternoon of swimming, kayaking and all sorts of aquatic high jinx in the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen. After a day of fun in the sun, we head back onboard and try our hand at making a Tru favourite - Vietnamese spring rolls all whilst being surrounded by the most incredible views.The evening is spent watching the sun go down on the open deck, looking up at the stars and sharing a beer or two with your TruFam. Wow. Does it get better than this? Your first day in Halong Bay stays with you forever. That’s a fact.

Halong Bay
Boat trip
1 X Breakfast 1 X Dinner
exploring halong bay by boat
Group kayaking in Khao Sok Thailand with picturesque scenes
Day 9

HALONG BAY DREAMING

Wake up, rub your eyes, no you’re really here. Take in your surroundings before heading onto the open deck for some breakfast and a large coffee. You’ll need the caffeine for our last full day together and it won’t disappoint! We’re sailing towards ‘Surprise Cave’ one of the biggest caves in Halong Bay. Huge limestone rock formations in amongst teal waters and luscious green forestry. There’s no place in the world like Halong Bay, so sit back, relax and take in the 360 degree views. We’ll spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before we say goodbye and make our way back to the capital for our last night together. What an adventure it has been, when shall we do it again? Paradise has well and truly been found and we’ve yet to have a single traveller tell us they wouldn’t be back here again, but it’s time to say goodbye to Halong Bay for now and head back to Hanoi for the ultimate farwell night out! It’s going to be a big one!

Hanoi
BUS BACK TO HANOI
1 x BREAKFAST 1 X LUNCH
Day 10

chilled check out

It’s a day for sore heads and emotional goodbyes as we’re at the end of the tour. Fear not though, this may not be the end of your adventure and if not our TruNinjas know Southeast Asia like the back of their hand and can advise you on what and where to next. If it is time to depart this part of the world then allow yourself to be sad about it, but promise us you’ll come back for more? It’s a very easy promise to keep in truth. You’re now a lifelong member of the TruFam and by now, you’ll know how big a deal that is. See you soon!

HELP WITH ONWARD TRAVEL

Trips Departure Dates

Reviews

FAQS

Where does the trip start & Finish?

The trip begins in Hoi An and finishes in Hanoi.

Which airport do I need to fly into?

You will need to fly into Da Nang International Airport (DAD) .

What is the closest airport to the end destination?

The closest airport is Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi (HAN).

How do I get back to the start destination and is this included in the price? If not, how much is it?

No it is not included but we can assist you with booking any transfers you need after the tour.

What kind of accommodation is included on this trip?

The accommodation for this trip is all twin share private rooms and private dorms in hostels.

How much is a pre night’s accommodation?

A pre night’s accommodation is £35 for a private twin or double room. If you would like to arrange a pre-night please email info@trutravels.com

Are there any COVID precautions in place for my trip?

Yes! We’re doing everything we can to make your trip as safe and stress- free as possible. All trips are run with enhanced safety and hygiene protocols advised by the FCO (Foreign Commonwealth Office) & WHO (World Health Organisation) including only working with partners who uphold the same standard and are taking the maximum amount of precautions. From switching to private transport where possible to offering private room upgrades, we’ve got all areas covered to ensure your trip is an amazing one! You can read more here.

What happens If I can’t travel due to COVID?

We’re only operating in countries that are open without quarantine and are safe and easy to travel in. That being said if you could no longer travel due to COVID or if something were to arise our TruCrew are always here to give you some TLC and to go through your options. Think of us as ya BFF’s, the fun auntie/uncle of the family who loves a drink or your travel guardian angels. Were not fussed.

Is my money protected?

Yep! You will never lose your money. You’re protected. TruTravels is both ABTA and ATOL registered meaning your money is safe. We also offer 1 free date change before 60 days of your departure date.

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