Overview

Flight - 1 night
Hanoi - 1 night
Tu Le - 2 nights
Ba Vi - 2 nights
Mai Chau - 2 nights
Ninh Binh - 2 nights
Vinh - 1 night
Dong Hoi - 2 nights
Hue- 2 nights
Hoi An - 2 nights
Flight - 1 night

Spendology - Widgets

SECRET VIETNAM

The peoples, villages and dramatic mountain scenery of rural Vietnam away from the main cities and resorts

Despite the onrush of modernity in the major cities, Vietnam remains largely unchanged in the mountains of the north and inland from the coastal region, enabling a rewarding itinerary for the returning traveller which steers away from the main sites, revealing hidden gems amidst wonderful landscapes and examining both recent and ancient history and meeting the many peoples of Vietnam.

The Hmong tribes number around three million in a territory from southwest China to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar. Lao Cai province is home to tribes including the Black, Flower and Red Hmong, named after their distinctive dress. Tribal organisation is by means of clans and Hmong villages perched on mountain slopes and often house up to four generations.

Travel south through the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) and the Ho Chi Minh Trail to the extensive Vinh Moc wartime tunnels, contrasting with the Imperial City and tombs at Hue, ending with a stay in the delightful town of Hoi An.

Key Features

Culture & Natural Wonders 
Jules Verne Sightseeing 
Improved Itinerary
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Group Size: 4 – 14

Day 1 Fly overnight from London Heathrow direct to Hanoi.

Day 2 On arrival, visit Thang Long Imperial Citadel and its recently opened secret bunker. Overnight at the 4-star Apricot Hotel. (B)

Day 3 Travel through the mountains to Tu Le (6 hrs) with lunch at Yen Bai. Two nights at the 4-star Le Champ Tu Le Resort. (B, L)

Day 4 Visit the villages of Chao, Com and Pha to learn traditional ways of preparing rice. Visit the colourful Tu Le market of the hill tribes. Drive to Khau Pha pass to view Mam Xoi hill with rice field terraces surrounding a deep valley. (B, L)

Day 5 Travel to Ba Vi (5 hrs) enjoying amazing views. Two nights at the 4-star Melia Ba Vi Mountain Retreat in Ba Vi National Park. (B, L)

Day 6 Explore the remains of old French villas and Ba Vi National Park via twisty paths to orchid and bird gardens, all amidst glorious mountain scenery. (B, D)

Day 7 Travel through the mountains to Mai Chau (4 hrs). Stay two nights at the scenically located 4-star Mai Chau Ecolodge. (B, L)

Day 8 Meet local people at villages of Thai origin. Afternoon free. (B, L)

Day 9 Travel to Ninh Binh (4 hrs). Visit Van Long Wetland Reserve by boat. Two nights at the 4-star Emeralda Hotel. (B)

Day 10 Visit the Tam Coc limestone caves known as ‘dry Ha Long Bay’ and Bich Dong Pagoda. At Hoa Lu, visit the citadel and temples of the Dinh and Le dynasties. (B)

Day 11 Continue to Vinh (6 hrs) via Bai Dinh Pagoda and a pineapple plantation. Overnight at the 4-star Vinpearl Cua Hoi Resort. (B, L, D)

Day 12 At Kim Lien village, visit Ho Chi Minh’s home. Travel to Dong Hoi (5 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Sun Spa Resort. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Visit Phong Nha including Ke Bang National Park and a boat trip on Son River to Phong Nha caves, a UNESCO site. (B, L)

Day 14 Visit Vinh Moc tunnels and Hien Luong bridge. Pass through the Demilitarised Zone to Hue (8 hrs). Two nights at the 4-star Pilgrimage Village Hotel, Hue. (B, L)

Day 15 Morning tour of Thuy Bien eco-village by boat and cyclo. At Hue visit the Imperial Citadel. (B, L)

Day 16 Visit Minh Mang tomb. By train to Danang and transfer to Hoi An. Two nights in river view rooms at the 4-star Hoi An Silk Marina Resort. (B, D)

Day 17 Free day or optional full-day tour of the temples of My Son and Hoi An (£29). (B)

Day 18 Day at leisure. Evening return flight via Hanoi or stay on at the 5-star Victoria Hoi An Beach Resort & Spa (return flight via Hanoi or Saigon). (B)

Day 19 Arrive London Heathrow.

  • Key
  • B - Breakfast
  • L - Lunch
  • D - Dinner

Notes

This is a full itinerary with visits on foot and some uneven surfaces and inclines.

2020

Fridays 
per person in a twin room
Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow

2021

Fridays 
per person in a twin room
Vietnam Airlines from Heathrow

Supplements per person

Single Supplement

Single supplement £795

Flight Options

London-Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City-London
Vietnam Airlines Premium Economy from £545
Vietnam Airlines Business Class from £1895

Optional Excursions

Temples of My Son and Hoi An £29

Extension Options

Extra nights - Hoi An
Victoria Hoi An Resort & Spa (per night) £75
Single supplement £65
Departure transfer add £20

Independent Arrival

Save £650 
Arrival transfer with group included
Departure transfer add £39

Price Includes
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 16 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 10 lunches and 4 dinners, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.

Not Included
Travel insurance, visa procurement, overseas airport taxes, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

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