Current as of: June 15, 2024 - 08:33

Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Family Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Vietnam
  • Programmes: Family
  • Activity Level:

    3 out of 7 - Moderate

  • 16 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 14 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 9+
  • Trip Code: FIV
  • Carbon Footprint: 66kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Enjoy a family adventure from north to south Vietnam

From the spectacular limestone seascape of Ha Long Bay to the frenetic streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is a country of contrasts and surprises. The cities are an assault on the senses: noisy, colourful, aromatic and totally absorbing. We tour Hanoi by cyclo and have the option to see a traditional water puppet show. We have quieter time too, snorkelling at Whale Island, exploring the fascinating Mekong Delta by boat and cycling past green paddy fields near Hoi An. We also have the chance to enjoy the superb Vietnamese cuisine and master our chopstick skills.

At a Glance

  • 10 nights in hotels, one night on a boat, one night in a homestay and one night on a sleeper train
  • 13 days of sightseeing, boat trips, kayaking and exploration
  • Travel by private minibus, boat, bike, train and two internal flights

Highlights

  • Spend two nights on a tropical island, snorkelling in turquoise seas
  • Discover the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine
  • Sightsee by cyclo (bicycle taxi) and bike
  • Enjoy a night in a village homestay
  • Take magical boat rides around scenic Ha Long Bay, the Eastern Sea and Mekong Delta
  • Crawl through the Cu Chi war tunnels
  • Enjoy downtime at the beaches and swimming pools
  • Take two internal flights to maximise your time at destinations

Is This Trip for You?

This trip has been rated Activity Level 3 (Moderate). It was designed for 13 to 16-year-olds, but is also suitable for nine to 12-year-olds.

Our Family Activity Levels are aimed at children in the primary age group (13-16), but we are confident it is also suitable for those in the secondary age range (9-12). However, if your child is in this secondary category, they may find it a little more difficult. When grading our trips, we consider multiple factors, including the pace, level of activity involved, amount of travel time and the weather. Please see the Family Activity Levels on our website for further information.

Trip pace

This trip is designed so you can see the best of Vietnam using a mixture of private buses, boats and flights. There is a lot to see in the time you are here, but the itinerary is paced to feel relatively unrushed. Travel is kept to a minimum, but there are a few longer drives. There is plenty of time for sightseeing and the trip has numerous stops where we spend two or more nights.

Hotels and facilities

Some of the accommodation is basic but clean and tidy. The swimming pools may not be up to Western standards.

Photos

Local people and other Asian tourists may want to take photos of themselves with your children, particularly if they are young, blonde and have blue eyes. You should be prepared for them to do this without asking permission first. You should also be prepared for lots of traffic in the bigger cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, where you will have to relearn crossing the street.

Group

Qualified Vietnamese leaders who speak English will lead all groups. Local guides may be used at various sites.

Adult min age: 9

Min group size: 8

Max group size: 24

Itinerary

FIV map

Land Only

  • Start City: Hanoi
  • End City: Ho Chi Minh City

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Hanoi

The day is free to recover from the flight or stroll among broad tree-lined avenues dating from the French period. There is a faded colonial charm to Hanoi, where baguettes and good coffee are sold from doorways of grand buildings from a past era. There will be a welcome briefing with your leader this evening, followed by an optional dinner at a local restaurant, where your children will have their first opportunity to master their chopstick skills.

Accommodation: Babylon Grand Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Day 2
Morning tour of Hanoi including a cyclo tour around the Old Quarter; afternoon free. Evening at a water puppet show

We take a city tour this morning, which will include a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum area to see his stilt house and visit the One Pillar Pagoda. We’ll also visit the Temple of Literature and the Hoa Lo Prison (also known as the Hanoi Hilton). After, we take a cyclo (bicycle taxi) through the Old Quarter, which is home to the 36 Streets, each named for the products sold on it, such as Silk Street, Gold Street and Paper Street. The remainder of the day is at leisure. We recommend strolling around Hoan Kiem Lake, stopping for a coffee or ice cream at one of the many waterside cafes. In the evening, there is the option to enjoy a water puppet performance, a classic Hanoi experience.

Accommodation: Babylon Grand Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3
To Ha Long Bay; cruise/kayak among spectacular limestone formations; dinner and sleep on boat
Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

We start early for the approximate four-hour journey to Ha Long Bay, where 3,000 limestone peaks rise from the emerald waters. We cruise among this amazing karst scenery, stopping to kayak (weather permitting) in places inaccessible by the larger boat, before a seafood lunch. In the late afternoon, we watch the sunset and enjoy another lovely meal before a night on the boat in twin-share cabins.

Accommodation: Overnight boat

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4
Cruise then return to Hanoi; fly to Da Nang; short transfer to Hoi An

We continue to cruise around Ha Long Bay this morning before returning to port. We then drive back to Hanoi, and transfer to the airport for a flight to Da Nang (approximately 1hr 30min). Upon arrival, we take a transfer (approximately 45 minutes) and check into our hotel in Hoi An and relax.

Accommodation:  Hoi An Sincerity Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
Morning walking tour of Hoi An; free afternoon followed by an evening cooking class
Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

After breakfast, we enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An old town; a World Heritage site and the original European trading port in Vietnam. It is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences.

The afternoon is free for you to discover this marvellous place and enjoy the thriving riverside market. In the evening, we join an informal cooking class where adults and children will learn how to make some Hoi An speciality dishes and even create spring rolls.

Accommodation: Hoi An Sincerity Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6
Cycle through countryside; free afternoon before taking an overnight train to Nha Trang

This morning, we jump on bikes for a ride on quiet roads through the countryside past markets, schools and villages before continuing to Cua Dai beach (3mi/5km). Please note, we can provide bikes for children who are 3ft 9.5in (1.2m) and taller.

The afternoon is dedicated to free time at the beach for swimming, or you can take an optional boat trip on the river or relax back in town.

Later this evening, we transfer (approximately 45 minutes) to Da Nang train station, where we board an overnight train to Nha Trang. The group will have use of day rooms at our Hoi An hotel until 6pm, which can be used to freshen up before the overnight train.

Accommodation: Overnight train

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Arrive in Nha Trang; transfer to Whale Island, free time to swim in the turquoise sea
Panoramic Views

This morning, upon arrival in Nha Trang, we have breakfast and then transfer (approximately three hours) to the tropical retreat of Whale Island. With just one guesthouse on the island and beach bungalow accommodation, this really is a chance to unwind in paradise.

Accommodation: Whale Island Resort (or similar)

Day 8
Cruise around islands with seafood lunch and snorkelling

We join a morning boat trip to snorkel and swim before a seafood lunch. In the afternoon, there is the option to visit a local fishing village, see the whale temple, or walk around the island to a viewpoint for a 360-degree panorama of the mountainous coastline, surrounding coves and white-sand beaches.

Accommodation: Whale Island Resort (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City

We may have time for one last sea swim (depending on flight schedules) before transferring to the airport for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as Saigon. This is an exciting and absorbing metropolis, where scooters rule the streets and old temples stand alongside modern developments.

Accommodation: Huong Sen Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10
Excursion to the Cu Chi tunnels; afternoon tour of Ho Chi Minh City with visits to Reunification Palace and Ben Thanh market
Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

We visit the Cu Chi tunnels in the morning, which were used by the Viet Cong as living quarters and escape routes during the Vietnam War. Originally very narrow, some parts have been widened for tourists, allowing us to explore some of the extensive system. People with claustrophobia may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine before we return to Ho Chi Minh City. In the afternoon, we wander around the city visiting the Saigon River, Ben Thanh market, Reunification Hall and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Accommodation: Huong Sen Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11
Explore the Mekong Delta by boat, visiting a floating market and villages; overnight in homestay guesthouse
Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

This morning, we drive to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta (approximately 2hr 30min). The Mekong, known as the Rice Bowl of Vietnam, produces much of the fruit, sugarcane and coconuts in Vietnam. We spend time at Cai Be, where we begin a Mekong River boat trip passing a floating market and visiting typical riverside villages, where we learn about some of the local products, including popped rice, rice paper and coconut candy. Cai Be floating market is now less crowded and smaller; however, this is still a great opportunity to see local trade in action.

We continue our journey after lunch, passing magnificent countryside and stopping at cottage industries. The evening is tranquil as we have dinner on an island and enjoy Delta hospitality. We spend the night sleeping at a simple guesthouse built in the style of a local house. Bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided.

Accommodation: Homestay

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12
Morning walk through orchards and traditional sampan ride; return to Ho Chi Minh City

This morning, we walk through orchards and navigate small canals in a traditional wooden sampan. Later, we rejoin our boat to rendezvous with our vehicle for the journey back to Ho Chi Minh City via a little-visited Cao Dai temple used by devotees of this indigenous religion, which fuses all the great religions of east and west.

Accommodation: Huong Sen Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13
Free day in Ho Chi Minh City or optional visit to Dam Sen Water Park

Today is a free day to explore Ho Chi Minh City at leisure or do some souvenir shopping. Alternatively, there is the option (additional cost, payable locally) to visit the excellent Dam Sen Water Park, which has slides and rides. Your leader will advise further during the trip for those who wish to do this optional activity.

Accommodation: Huong Sen Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14
End Ho Chi Minh City

This family adventure draws to a close after breakfast. However, if you’d like a little more time to explore this buzzing city, speak to your sales representative about extending your stay.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels, boat, Mekong Delta homestay and sleeper train

Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

For this family trip in Vietnam, we have selected hotels for their location and character, and aim to use the best-available accommodation in each area visited. Most have swimming pools and there are opportunities to swim at beaches in Hoi An and on Whale Island.

Accommodation on this trip includes:

  • 10 nights in comfortable, centrally located hotels
  • One night on a boat in twin-share cabins
  • One night in a Mekong Delta guesthouse, sleeping one to three per room (depending on group size)
  • One night on a sleeper train in soft-bed berths

Below are a few of the notable stays on this trip.

Mekong Delta homestay

Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

Our time in a guesthouse allows us to experience true Delta hospitality, as we are looked after by local people and stay by the Mekong River. The rooms are relatively basic; bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided, while there are shared bathroom facilities with a shower. The real highlight though is the hospitality of our hosts, the lush garden, and the food (homemade southern Vietnamese cuisine).

Whale Island

Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

Our two-night stay on Whale Island is regarded as a highlight for many; however, the accommodation is basic. You stay in thatched bungalows, each with mosquito nets, fans and private bathrooms. The simplicity of island life makes it idyllic.

Sleeper train

We spend one night on the sleeper train, the best way to travel long distances with the local people. The journey between Da Nang and Nha Trang is quite comfortable; however, it is simple, despite being first-class. You will be in a four-berth cabin (occasionally six depending on the season) and bedding is provided, although some prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasions, passengers of different sexes will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you’ll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group. Most trains have a dining carriage, but people generally stock up on snacks before the journey.

Worth knowing

  • There may be instances when you want a single room. Perhaps a grandparent needs one, or parents of a family of three or five want to ensure they get a bit of space! Single supplements are available upon request (see price below). Please advise at the time of booking. A single room is available on hotel nights only.
  • Additional accommodation is available in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City before and after your trip. Please ask for prices. Due to high demand for rooms, there is a chance it may be in a different hotel to the start/end hotel of your trip. Please ask your sales representative if you wish to book extra nights.
  • While we do our best to ensure families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family trips occur during peak season and we sometimes have little control over where you are put.

While we do our best to ensure families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little control over where you will be put.

Single supplement from £ 335

Food & Drink

This trip includes 12 breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and gigantic range of mountains, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and maintains a reputation as one of the healthiest, tastiest cuisines in the world.

Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is felt throughout the country, where you are just as likely to be offered a banh mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot bowl of pho (noodle soup).

Be sure to seek out the national beverages: Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk (a real sugar and caffeine hit) and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is served on most street corners in the north out of large plastic jugs that are perfect for sharing.

Food is cheap in Vietnam, and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere, with the exception of the night in the Mekong Delta.

Vegetarian food is widely available; however, the offering will be fairly similar in most places. Please advise at the time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.

Transport

We use a private minibus or coach, which will be comfortable, usually with air conditioning. Most of the driving days are not long, usually no more than three to four hours. Road conditions are generally good and improving all the time in Vietnam. However, progress can be slow in the main cities due to traffic. There are two domestic flights, all bookings on flights are made in economy class.

Tet Holiday Period (Vietnamese New Year)

During the Tet holiday period,  9-15 February 2024 and 28 January to 3 February 2025, and two weeks either side of Tet, our itinerary is subject to minor change as despite booking hotels and trains in advance, rooms and seats are difficult to obtain during this busy festive period when people are travelling home to celebrate with their families. It is unlikely that changes will occur and if they do it is likely we will just need to use alternative accommodation.

Weather & Seasonality

The weather will be hot and humid throughout with daytime temperatures usually 28C-34C (82F-93F). It is only a little cooler at night.

There is quite a range of seasons between the north and south: the south up to Hue has a distinct dry season between December and April and then a rainy season from May to November when it tends to come in short heavy bursts with bright sunshine in between. Hanoi is cool in autumn, and even gets chilly between November and February (with a drizzly rain).

There is no ideal time to visit Vietnam; it is quite pleasant at any time of year, though it is unlikely the weather will be perfect for the entire trip.

Please be aware, the Ha Long Bay boat trip is subject to short notice change if adverse weather conditions develop during your trip. These could occur year-round, but especially in monsoon season (from October to April). Ha Long Bay boat trips are governed by the local authorities, who are authorised to make appropriate safety decisions. If your Ha Long Bay trip is affected by adverse weather, this could either result in a reduced excursion or, less likely, the need to re-arrange the itinerary if it is not possible at all to go out on Ha Long Bay. While this is not a frequent occurrence, our local team and leaders are well equipped to handle such situations and have long offered appropriate options to groups in the instances where this may occur.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Hanoi Airport (HAN)

Getting to the start hotel

Exodus provides free arrival transfers to the start hotel from the airport for all customers. If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

Exodus provides free departure transfers for all customers to Ho Chi Minh Airport (SGN) from the end hotel.

Please note, unless specified otherwise, the transfers will be to the start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers should be booked with your sales representative at least two weeks before the tour starts.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Hanoi
Location end: Ho Chi Minh City

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Casual clothes. Light cotton clothing is recommended for most of the trip, though it will be cold in Hanoi between November and early March and you should bring a warm jacket, woolly hat, and trousers (pants) if you are travelling at that time. Please remember, you will be expected to cover your legs and arms (to the elbow) in some temples and palaces. Sandals are useful as they are cooler and are easier to take off when visiting temples
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses and swimming costume
  • Bike helmet: these will be available locally; however, we can’t guarantee the quality and fit so please pack your own if you’d rather be confident in the standard and comfort of the helmets
  • A first-aid kit is carried on each trip, but you should bring your own with diarrhoea treatment, painkillers, rehydration sachets, plasters (band-aids) and a blister-treatment kit
  • Insect repellent containing DEET
  • Overnight bag. For the night in Ha Long Bay and the Mekong Delta, you will be required to leave your main bag behind at the previous hotel for the night
  • Warm clothes/layers for the overnight train journey, especially in the cooler months
  • Large refillable water bottle

There are laundry facilities at the bigger hotels or cheaper laundry facilities close to some hotels.

Water included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill or get burned. Both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip, we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles to reduce the plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout; all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill along the way. Please add this to your packing list.

Optional Equipment

  • Money belt
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket or an umbrella (you could buy a cheap poncho locally)
  • Rash vests or swimsuits that are like shortie wetsuits as they can protect children from the sun

Practical Information

Passport

To enter Vietnam, your passport must have:

  • An expiry date at least six months after the day you arrive
  • A minimum of two blank pages
  • No water damage

Visa

Vietnam

UK passport holders normally do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for visits up to 45 days, while those with a US or Irish passport normally do need a visa to enter. Visa requirements for EU citizens vary by country.

Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through. Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/asia/vietnam
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/vietnam
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Vietnam.html

Vaccinations and Health

Vietnam

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to speak to your doctor or travel clinic about vaccinations for hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and tuberculosis. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may want to consult your doctor or travel clinic for further advice.

Similarly, dengue and zika, both viral diseases spread by mosquitoes, are known risks in Vietnam. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, so we strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Local Time

Vietnam's time zone: Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh (UTC +07:00)

Electricity

Vietnam's electricity: Plug types A (two flat pins, US standard), C (two round pins, European standard) and F (two round pins) – 220V, 50Hz

Chopsticks & Coconuts Family Holiday

Money

Vietnam's currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)

ATM Availability

ATMs are widespread in Vietnam and are the easiest way of obtaining money, it is possible to withdraw a maximum of 2m Vietnamese dong (US$85) in major cities in one go.

Credit card acceptance is now widespread in Vietnamese cities at restaurants and shops catering for tourists.

If you would like to bring cash, there will be ample opportunity for you to change this. British pounds and US dollars are both easily exchanged.

As you will probably be carrying much of your money in cash, we strongly recommend using a money belt.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need about 7.15m-8.6m dong (US$300-US$360) for all other meals, which will allow you to eat well. Apart from the food, you should allow money to cover soft drinks (more for the adults who like a beer/alcohol) and souvenirs.

Optional Excursions

There are several optional activities, which your leader can help arrange for you during the trip. Prices below are approximate:

Hoi An

  • Tu Bon River boat trip: 190,500 dong (US$8)

Ho Chi Minh City

  • Dam Sen Water Park:
    • Adult 262,000 dong (US$11)
    • Child 166,750 dong (US$7)
    • Round-trip cab: 476,400-1.07m dong (US$20-US$45)

Tipping

This is entirely at your own discretion, but we suggest you allocate some funds to tip local guides and staff. The leader will suggest to the group that they donate a sum of US$43 per person towards a kitty on arrival. This money is then used to tip local guides, hotel porters, drivers etc. If you do not wish to contribute to a central pool, you are, of course, free to do so.

If you feel your leader has performed well over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide, US$3-US$6 per person per day would be a reasonable starting point. The tipping kitty is separate from any contribution to the tour leader. Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that improve life for the people and places we visit, and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food, and support of other local enterprise.
  • In Hanoi, we encourage groups to have a communal meal at KOTO, an NGO that provides a two-year course in hospitality, English and life skills to groups of 16 to 22-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups, and treatment while they are being trained. Many of the 400-plus graduates have gone on to develop careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere, so this is a great initiative to support.
  • There is the option to see a traditional folk dance or water puppet show in Hanoi. This encourages local customs to continue and creates employment opportunities.
  • In Hoi An, we stop by Reaching Out, a shop selling gifts handmade by artisans with disabilities – helping them to develop their talent and independence.
  • Guests stay overnight and eat a delicious home-cooked meal in a homestay guesthouse in the Mekong Delta.
  • We do a lot to celebrate the cottage industries on this tour, as this benefits the local people and is enjoyable for travellers. For example, in the Mekong Delta, we visit a lot of small businesses and factories selling handmade coconut sweets, rice paper, soya bean sauce and popped rice among other things.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment. Part of this trip is in the Mekong Delta and we stay one night in a guesthouse homestay.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • We provide clients with a reusable tote bag at the start of the tour (made in Hanoi), offering an alternative to single-use plastic bags and a souvenir to take home.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about Exodus Travels’ Planet Promise here, including our rewilding and carbon compensation commitments for every customer who travels.
  • We choose to travel on the overnight train from Hanoi to Da Nang as opposed to taking an internal flight.
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food, which has not been transported long distances.
  • Vegetarian and vegan options are available at some accommodation and restaurants.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own reusable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Cultural respect:
    • Please cover your legs and arms to the elbow in temples and sacred sites (pack a sarong or other suitable clothing) and remove hats when visiting a sacred site.
    • Do not rest your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as this symbolises the burning of incense (which is usually reserved for times of mourning).
    • One should not show the soles of their feet or touch someone’s head, both are considered disrespectful.

Important Information

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

Family trips

Our staff and leaders are there to ensure the trip runs as smoothly as possible. However, company policy states they cannot take care of children; it is your responsibility to look after your young ones throughout the trip. During free time or if you decide to opt out of part of the itinerary, you are responsible for your family and any arrangements that need to be made, though your leader will be happy to make recommendations.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.