Vietnam Explorer 2023

So, you want a full-throttle experience of Vietnam? You sound like a Vietnam Explorer to us, so let’s meet up with your Travel Ninja down south in Ho Chi Minh City and open up the taps on a 13-day adventure you’ll never, ever forget. We are packing a lot into these 13 days but the beauty of Vietnam is going to provide you with boundless energy to see it all! From basket boat splashing adrenaline in Hoi An to paddling through jaw-dropping mountainous views of Ninh Binh, up to ancient Hue and through to the iconic capital Hanoi. Sail the legendary blockbuster worthy Halong Bay and surround yourself with limestone mountains and emerald green waters. Vietnam is out of the world and is a must if you’re visiting South East Asia. Oh and not to forget being in foodie heaven for the entire trip with cooking classes, egg coffee workshops and incredible street food tasting! WINNER WINNER, PHO DINNER.

We’ve perfected the balance between culture, adventure, beaches and parties. A high level of inclusions at a low cost. Think of a Ferrari for the price of a Ford. Highlights, hotspots & hidden gems are crafted into each itinerary with our own TruExclusives. We stay in a variety of different accommodations such as hotels, hostels, homestays, beach huts & even boats. Maximum adventure, minimum hassle.

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 friends and one of them happens to know where they're going!

Transport
All Transport Included Private Bus Ha Long Bay Boat Sleeper Bus

Accommodation
12 Nights Accommodation Twin-Share Rooms Hotels Beachside Resort

Activities
Bamboo Basket Boat Trip Hai Van Pass Jeep Tour Halong Bay Cruise Local Cooking Class Lantern Making in Hoi An

Meals
11 x Breakfast 7 x Lunch 1 x Dinner
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
Lantern Making Class
Basket Boat Experience
Hai Van Pass
Exploring Ninh Binh
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 11 Day 12 Day 13
Day 1

AIRPORT PICK UP & TRUFAM WELCOME

Today is the day you’ve been dreaming of. Ho Chi Minh’s international airport is where it all begins. Look out for the smiley driver with a great big TruTravels branded sign with your name on it, they’re with us. They’ll whisk you off to our hotel in the city, somewhere you’ll look back on years from now as the moment you first met your TruFam, that’s what we call our tour groups for reasons that become very obvious. It’s the start of a beautiful friendship with your group, your Travel Ninja and Vietnam as a whole so enjoy welcome drinks and a delicious dinner. Your Vietnam Explorer is finally here!

Ho Chi Minh City
Airport Pick Up
Day 2

HO CHI MINH WALKING TOUR & WAR MUSEUM

It’s your first full day in one of the world’s most beautiful and hospitable countries. We start in the iconic and historic city formerly known as Saigon. In spite of the universal welcoming vibes and chirpy nature of the locals, Vietnam’s troubled past is well documented and after taking a walking tour of some of Ho Chi Minh’s most notable spots. It’s time to be astonished at what happened here 50 years ago in the Ho Chi Minh War Museum, which sees half a million visitors a year. Learn the history of the Vietnamese war which spanned over 20 years and still impacts many lives today. We take a walk and view the incredible Independence Palace before continuing on to the cathedral and post office. We finish up by heading to the local food market to try some of the best food around, the local cuisine! Afterwards we’ll freshen up for dinner, drinks and getting to know your TruFam in the busy city of Ho Chi Minh!

Ho Chi Minh
City Orientation & visit war museum
1 X BREAKFAST
Day 3

EXPLORING THE CU CHI TUNNELS

Rise and shine TruTraveller we’ve got a big day ahead! Wear some comfortable shoes as today we’re heading to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Built in the late 1940’s and spreading over nearly 250km, the Cu Chi Tunnels were used for a number of reasons including housing troops, transporting communications and supplies and even laying booby traps before returning to safety inside the tunnels. Don’t be fooled, although the operations of these tunnels sound seamless, some tunnels were so small they were around 80cm wide and 80cm high, meaning for the average human almost impossible to get through. We’ll experience the tunnels up close and personal and explore some of the underground hiding holes. This experience is one not to be missed and gives a real insight into the struggle and challenges of life only 70ish years ago. Early afternoon we’ll head back and grab some lunch before having a relaxing afternoon. In the evening we’ll head to the airport and head to our next destination - Hoi An!

HO CHI MINH
VISIT TO CU CHI TUNNELS
1x Breakfast
Day 4

HOI AN LANTERN MAKING & TAILORS

Today we wake up in the scenic town of Hoi An. A magical place in Vietnam known for it’s beauty and fun fact is also a World Heritage Site! Hoi An is probably most famous for the Vietnamese lanterns that give the town a surreal, tranquil glow each night. You want one don’t you? Let’s go one better and teach you how to make one! Choose your silk, and learn from the locals on how to turn one of these iconic lanterns into your own one. Don’t worry if you’re shit at arts and crafts, you can always leave the lantern in the dark to hide your shame. Another famous activity in Hoi An is the ability to have clothes made, styled, designed and created exactly how you want them. We visit a local tailors where we’ll see how they create incredible clothing and designs. They'll also gift us a one of a kind reusable and sustainable TruTravels tote bag made from the cut off fabrics. An amazing life long gift from the TruFam and perfect for onward adventures. Afterwards we head to Thinhs, an amazing local coffee shop owned by a Tru friend Tinh who grows his own coffee beans and has some of the best Vietnamese coffee in the country! (In our opinion ;)). We’ll learn the process of developing and roasting the beans before trying our very own coffee! The rest of the afternoon is free to explore as we please!

Hoi An
Latern Making & Visit To Tailors
1 x Breakfast 1 x Lunch
top 5 cities in vietnam hoi an
Day 5

EXPLORING HOI AN

Today is a free day so snooze as long as you like. Walk alongside the calm river and take in the relaxing ambience of this quieter part of Vietnam or perhaps head to the famous Ba Na Hills, Golden Bridge. It’s an Instagram favourite! With winding roads and small bridges, it’s easy to see why Hoi An is a favourite among travellers so get out and explore! May we suggest a local beach club for sunset cocktails? Go on, you know you want too!

Hoi An
Breakfast
Top 10 Instagram worthy hot spots in South East Asia - Hoi An
Day 6

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 through the local countryside and village before arriving at our destination for 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
Basket Boats & Bike Ride
1 X Breakfast, 1 x Lunch
Day 7

HAI VAN PASS IN OPEN TOP JEEPS

Don’t let the name fool you, we're doing the legendary Hai Van Pass, made famous by Top Gear in open top war jeeps not a van, yeah! Leaving Hoi An will be emotional but once we get out on the open road you’ll see some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in Vietnam on the way to the city of Hue. We’ll stop on the way for some snaps, some lunch and maybe even a cheeky dip in the tropical waters before reaching the idyllic Hue. Pack a swimsuit! Today is spent, wind in hair, music blasting and driving along this world famous epic route. A once in a lifetime activity ya feel? We’ll arrive late in the afternoon and it’s hotel check-in and chill! Later in the day we’ll be heading out to explore Hue’s nightlife where we’re all about the local beers, the rice wine and dancing the night away. Good food and delicious drinks pending.

Hue
1 X Breakfast, 1 x Lunch
Day 8

COOKING UP A STORM!

Did you know Hue was once the home of Emperors? The remnants of their reign can be seen all over the city, none more so than within the walls of the Imperial City itself. So today we’re immersing ourselves in it all. We head along the perfume river and arrive at a tranquil garden. Sit back and relax as it’s here we’ll be spending the day! Are you ready to cook up a storm? We’ll be learning how to cook the delicious Vietnamese food we’ve been devouring for the past week and have loved so very much. No pressure TruFam. Slice and dice away and enjoy every bite of your hard work culinary masterpiece. It’s been an incredible day so we wave goodbye to Hue and head onto our next destination - Ninh Binh!

Hue
Cooking Class
1x Breakfast, 1 x Lunch
Day 9

NINH BINH IS CALLING

Ninh Binh is known as the Halong Bay on land and for good reason, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. We arrive and jump aboard small boats and paddle through 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. The afternoon is free to chill but 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 for dinners, beers and an incredible sunset over the mountains!

Hoi An
1 X Breakfast
Day 10

HALONG BAY CRUISING

Today we’re going to arguably the most iconic place in Asia - this is Halong Bay and it’s almost certainly been your screensaver at some point in time. A bright green sea, 1,600 limestone islands dotted throughout the bay, this is a labyrinth of genuine paradise and wonder. We leave Ninh Binh early in the morning before travelling to Halong Bay and joining our boat for a night under the stars. Lunch is served to the most breathtaking backdrop imaginable after we’ve boarded and settled in. Today we set sail into paradise, the POA? Kayaking, viewpoints, beaches, the lot! We told you your stay in Halong Bay would stay with you forever. After a day on the water, we head back aboard and learn how to make mouth wateringly tasty spring rolls. 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. Does it get better than this?

Halong Bay
Halong Bay Cruise
1 X Breakfast, 1 X Lunch, 1 X Dinner
Halong Bay's hidden gems
Day 11

IDYLIC HALONG BAY VIEWS

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. Huge limestone rock formations in amongst teal waters and luscious green forestry surround us. There’s no place in the world like Halong Bay, so sit back, relax and enjoy the 360 degree views. We’ll spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before we say goodbye and make our way to Vietnam’s capital - Hanoi! The late afternoon is free so head out and explore! In the evening we meet up for dinner, drinks and head out to see Hanoi’s incredible nightlife!

Hanoi
1 X BREAKFAST 1 X LUNCH
A picture of a woman in Hanoi, Vietnam with baskets full of fruit
Day 12

THE HUSTLE & BUSTLE OF HANOI

It’s been 12 days since this wonderful adventure through Vietnam began and by now you’ll have covered over 1,600km of great times, great laughs and great people. Just because the capital of Hanoi is the last stop of your Vietnam Explorer, these dreamy couple of weeks are anything but finished. Hanoi is chaotic, vibrant an absolute experience in itself. Time to explore, right? But not before sampling one of Vietnam’s favourite beveragino’s, a traditional egg coffee. Just trust us they’re pretty good. We’ll head for a demonstration on how this delicacy is made. Do they use real eggs? Who knows. The rest of the day is all yours to explore. Whatever side of Hanoi you like, whether that’s the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s gorgeous Opera House or the countless other mega snappable spots in the city. It’s an incredible day. In the evening we get dressed up for our large BIG night out with the TruFam!

Hanoi
Egg Coffee Demostration
1 X Breakfast
exploring hanoi market
food in Vietnam
Day 13

CHILLED OUT, 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 Travel Ninjas 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!

Hanoi

Trips Departure Dates

Reviews

FAQS

Where does the trip start & Finish?

The trip begins in Ho Chi Minh city and finishes in Hanoi.

Which airport do I need to fly into?

You will need to fly into Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (SGN) .

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. The quickest way is to fly from Hanoi (HAN) to Ho Chi Minh (SGN) which will take about 2 hours and cost around $60.

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 35GBP, 42EUR, 50USD, 65CAD, 65AUD  for a twin or double bedroom.

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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