Highlights of Vietnam

10 days
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Group size:

Rural and cultural highlights of Vietnam 

This trip encapsulates the magic of Vietnam: the conservative north, the rich heritage of the imperial cities, coastal scenery, rural rolling countryside with soaring mountains and the vibrant life of Saigon and the Mekong Delta. We come face to face with an outgoing culture, where so much goes on in the streets; eating, washing, socialising, buying and selling or impromptu games. This intoxicating parade of Vietnamese daily life may leave us with our strongest memories, as much as the superb landscapes and amazing cuisine.


  • Underground rivers and caves of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
  • Boat trip around stunning Halong Bay
  • In Hue visit the Imperial Citadel and the Thien Mu Pagoda
  • The historic trading town of Hoi An
  • Visit the Vinh Moc Vietnam war tunnels 
  • Explore the Mekong Delta by boat
  • Experience mouth-watering cuisine

Key information

  • 6 night's comfortable hotels
  • 1 night boat with twin share cabins
  • 1 night farmstay/simple guesthouse, all en suite
  • 1 night sleeper train, soft-bed berths
  • Countries visited: Vietnam

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival & departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips which 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:


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 and 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 include a dinner at KOTO, which is an NGO that provides a two year course in hospitality, English and life skills training to groups of 16-22 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups and treatment whilst they are being trained. Many of the 400+ graduates have gone on to continue developing their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training so this is a great initiative to support.
  • Guests will have the opportunity to stay overnight at the locally ran Chay Lap Farmstay when visiting the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park.
  • In Hoi An, we also stop by a shop called ‘Reaching Out’, which sells gifts handmade by artisans with disabilities – helping them to develop their talent and independence.
  • We do a lot to celebrate the cottage industries on this tour, as this is not only a way to directly benefit the locals but it is also hugely fascinating and enjoyable for travellers. For example, in the Mekong Delta, we visit a lot of these small businesses and factories which sell handmade coconut sweets, rice paper, soya bean sauce and popped rice amongst other things.
  • There is also the option to see a traditional folk dancing or water puppet show in Saigon. This encourages local customs to continue and creates employment opportunities.


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. On this trip, part of the itinerary is located in the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and we stay one night in a local farmstay.
  • Our visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, directly helps to support the site, wildlife and biodiversity conservation.
  • 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 re-usable bottles.
  • We provide clients with a re-usable tote bag at the start of the tour (locally made in Hanoi), offering an alternative to single-use plastic bags and a souvenir to take home!


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 Dong Hoi 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 majority of 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 re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Cultural respect:
    • Please remember that you will be expected to cover your legs and arms (to the elbow) during visits to temples and sacred sites so packing a sarong or other suitable clothing is recommended. Also remember to 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.


Expand all
  • Day 1

    Start Hanoi

    Depending on your arrival time you might like to start exploring this fascinating city by strolling amongst broad tree-lined avenues dating from the French period. There is a faded colonial charm where baguettes and good coffee are sold from doorways of grand buildings of a past era. There will be a welcome briefing this evening with your leader followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life. The delicious food provides a fitting welcome to Vietnam and chance to meet your fellow travellers.

    May De Ville City Centre Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    To Halong Bay; cruise among limestone formations; overnight on boat

    We make an early start for the approximate 4-hour journey to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with roughly 3,000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery and enjoy a seafood lunch on board. We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.

    Overnight Boat

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Transfer back to Hanoi; overnight train to Dong Hoi

    We continue to cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to port. We then drive back to Hanoi where we have a bit of free time to explore this fascinating city. You might like to join the locals by pulling up a plastic stool and sampling one of the many street food offerings; the bun cha (barbecued pork with rice noodles and fresh herbs) is not to be missed! Late afternoon we transfer to the train station to board our overnight train to Dong Hoi, 500km south of Hanoi. 

    Overnight Train 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Journey to underground rivers, karst mountains and verdant jungle of UNESCO site Phong Nha N.P

    Arriving into Dong Hoi at sunrise we journey to the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park and have breakfast at the farm-stay that will be our overnight spot later on. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, the National Park contains the oldest karst mountains in Asia. Riddled with hundreds of cave systems and spectacular underground rivers, this is an area very new to tourism but sure to impress with its scale. We will first explore Thien Duong cave, known locally as Paradise Cave. This was only discovered in 2005 by scientists from the British Cave Research Association with the help of a local man who had heard the mountains ‘whistling’ while farming.

    After lunch we will visit Phong Nha cave by boat before returning to the farm-stay. There will be time to relax and enjoy the peace of the countryside or for those who wish there is the option to cycle around the local villages. 

    Chay Lap Farm or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    To Hue via Vinh Moc tunnels; a key resource during the Vietnam War

    We start our journey to Hue today stopping en-route at the Vinh Moc war tunnels. Less well-known than the Cu Chi tunnels in the south, these tunnels were predominantly used as bomb shelters during the Vietnam War. During times of bombing, village life carried on underground; children went to school, hospitals were established and films were even played with a generator.

    We next stop at the Hien Luong bridge which crosses the Ben Hai River. This formed part of the border between North and South Vietnam from 1954 until reunification in 1975. We will arrive in Hue mid-afternoon and will have some free time before an optional group dinner. 

    Park View Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Hue city tour; transfer to Hoi An

    It is claimed that Hue is the cultural and historical centre of Vietnam, and there is plenty to see. The most outstanding sight is the Imperial Citadel with walls six miles in length; inside are the palaces and halls of the Mandarins, and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City, where only the emperor, his eunuchs and concubines were allowed. The Forbidden Purple City was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war. This morning we visit the Imperial Citadel and the famous Thien Mu Pagoda. The pagoda was a centre for anti-government protest in the early 1960's and it houses the Austin car that transported a monk, Thich Quang Duc, to Saigon in 1963 where he burned himself in protest against the President. The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in newspapers all around the world.

    After lunch we leave for Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass; 19kms of road winds up and over the fortress of mountains providing breath-taking views of the coast. 

    Le Pavillon Paradise Hoi An Hotel & Spa or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Walking tour of Hoi An; free time for market exploration

    This morning will include a walking tour of Hoi An, the original European trading port in Vietnam dating back to the mid-16th century. It is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant's houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences. It is also a marvellous place to wander around and enjoy the thriving riverside market and great silk, clothes shopping. 

    This afternoon is free, one popular option is to jump on a bike for a ride through the countryside past local markets, schools and villages before continuing on to Cua Dai beach (5 km).

    Le Pavillon Paradise Hoi An Hotel & Spa or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Fly to Saigon; visit main sites

    We drive to Da Nang and then fly to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), an exciting and absorbing city where scooters pack the streets and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, it is now a bustling free market city where anything goes. Here, we include a visit to the Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and War Remnants Museum. The Museum has an interesting photographic record of the Vietnam/American War. Please be aware that some images at the museum are very graphic.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Day trip to Mekong Delta

    Journeying out of the city we head to the lush countryside that is the Mekong Delta for a day tour. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, sugar cane and coconuts. We take a boat trip along the many tributaries and stop to see some small cottage industries along the way. We will journey by sampan, a traditional wooden low-riding boat still used by the locals as the main form of transport. After sampling some of the local produce we head back to Saigon where your leader will organise an optional group farewell dinner.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 10

    End Saigon

    For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Saigon after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Angkor Wat Extension (from Saigon)

Code: XOF
Price per person: £1,049.00
Mandatory Single Supplement: £390.00

'Discovered' enmeshed in the Cambodian jungle in 1860, Angkor, the ancient capital of the powerful Khmer empire, is one of the finest archaeological sites in the world, and not one to be missed. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries, the wonderfully preserved sprawling complex of temples and palaces is on a par with any great monument of the world with magnificent towers, sculptures and bas‐reliefs. During this four-night extension you will also see all the key sites of Phnom Penh, a fascinating city undergoing a huge amount of change. You will travel between the sites in a private car or minibus, depending on how many people take part in the extension, accompanied by an English‐speaking local guide. In the evenings, you will be free to enjoy the town. This trip extension is offered at the end of your Trails of Vietnam trip (AOF), Vietnam Adventure trip (AOV) or Highlights of Vietnam (ALD) tour, so you will fly direct from Saigon to Siem Reap to start the extension. The detailed itinerary can be found here

Please ask your sales consultant for more details. Prices listed below are from prices.

Essential Info



From 15 March 2022, Vietnam has re-introduced visa waivers for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure.

For further information please check the FCDO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'. If you have any questions about whether you need a visa for your trip please contact the Customer Operations department.



There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners included.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountains, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world that still packs a punch with delicious, fresh and fiery flavours.

Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole 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 steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup).

Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five elements); meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also 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.

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


The weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day usually between 28ºC and 34ºC. It is only a little cooler at nights.

There is quite a range of seasons between the north and the south: the south up to Hue has a distinct dry season between December to 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 due to the shape of the country it is unlikely that the weather will ever be perfect for the entire duration of any trip.

Please be aware that the boat trip on Halong Bay can be subject to short notice change if certain adverse weather conditions develop during your trip. These could occur all year round, but especially in monsoon season (from October to April). Boat trips on Halong Bay are governed by the local authorities who are authorised to make such appropriate safety decisions. If your Halong Bay trip is affected by adverse weather, this could either result in a reduced excursion on Halong Bay for your group, or less likely, the need to re-arrange the itinerary if it is not possible at all to go out on Halong Bay. Whilst 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.

If you go to Cambodia for the Angkor Wat extension, the weather will be hot and humid all year round. The dry season is late October to May and the monsoon is normally between May and October; though there is an obvious transitional time between those settled periods.

The dry season is as it sounds, with hot days and generally clear skies, though you can expect the odd shower. The monsoon is characterised by short, sharp bursts of rain and is generally overcast all day though this does not detract from the enjoyment of the place; you just need to take an umbrella or buy a cheap local poncho!

Hanoi weather

Hanoi weather

Saigon weather

Saigon weather

Is this trip for you?

This trip is rated Activity Level 2- Leisurely/Moderate

This is a busy itinerary that visits the main highlights of Vietnam. We travel by private minibus, 1 night on an overnight train and we take one internal flight to allow you to experience as much as possible of this beautiful and diverse county in a short space of time. You should be aware that there are some long travelling days on this trip that can be tiring. The weather can be hot and humid and cold in the winter months in the north around Hanoi and Halong Bay. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels, Guesthouses, Homestay and Boat

You will spend 6 nights in comfortable hotels, 1 night aboard a boat in a twin share cabin and 1 night will be spent in a standard guesthouse at a farmstay. All of these have en suite facilities. All of the hotels have either fans or air conditioning.

There is also a night aboard a sleeper train. During the overnight sleeper train journey, you will be accommodated in soft-bed berths (usually 4 passengers to a berth). Vietnamese trains are safe to travel on but we recommend that you keep valuables with you at all times. Snacks are often offered on board (at an additional cost). Whilst most trains have western-style facilities, some train services are also equipped with squat toilets.

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Single supplements are available (on request) and only available for 6 nights of the trip (hotel nights). Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed October 2019
    Andy Evans

    Great trip leaving you wanting more..

    It’s a hectic schedule with so much to cover but the trip was well organised and it offers a great taste into what Vietnam has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It’s hard to pin it down to one as I will take away so many memories from the trip, even the long bus journeys were enjoyable just watching the beautiful scenery rolling by.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chieu was excellent, really friendly and always making sure the group were having a good time. He was happy to listen to some group suggestions for some changes to meal arrangements etc

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It’s a busy schedule with a lot of travelling (boats, busses and trains) and not much down time so bear this in mind when considering if the trip is for you. I would have taken a sleeping bag liner for the train trip.
  • Reviewed September 2019
    Linda Bratley


    Having recently returned from a 15-day adventure to Vietnam I cannot praise Exodus enough for their meticulous organisation, jam-packed itinerary and knowledgeable and friendly guides. Everything went smoothly thanks to the organisation of the staff at the UK HQ and also the guides who met us at each location we visited. The guides took their time to show us the "real Vietnam" and teach us about Vietnamese culture and life. We took a private tour, travelling from North to South and were met at each destination by our Exodus guides; we did not need to worry about anything as everything was covered and as a result we saw and did so much more than would have been possible if we had organised the trip ourselves.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Too many moments to be able to pick one out....... Halong Bay was breathtaking , eating street food from tiny stools in Hanoi, visiting the National Park and journeying down into enormous caves, travelling over Hai Van pass, Hoi An was an absolute delight and Saigon was mind-blowing! The Vin Moch Tunnels and Cu Chi Tunnels were very "grounding" as was learning about the turbulent history of this beautiful country

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had 4 different guides during our stay, one at each stage of our journey. They were all excellent, spoke brilliant English and made some wonderful recommendations for eating locations and lesser-known attractions

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book with Exodus - you will not be disappointed!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A truly fabulous adventure..... well done Exodus!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Jane Holdsworth


    A very busy trip that gave us a taste of so many parts of Vietnam and an opportunity to understand about the culture and food in the north and south. A good mixture of history, sightseeing and a variety of travel modes. Hotels were of a high standard and the customer service from people who served us in all of the accommodation, on buses and in restaurants was first class. As tourists we were welcomed with open arms. We enjoyed the energy and optimism of Vietnam and the sense of humour and pride in the country

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cruising through Halong Bay was breathtaking and dining and sleeping over on the boat

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nga was an absolutely awesome leader. She was full of enthusiasm, knowledge, great care for each individual and wonderful sense of humour. I really missed her early morning positivity on returning to the UK. She made the trip for us and gave us a great insight into Vietnamese culture

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a busy schedule. In retrospect I would have planned in some down time immediately after the travel. Take into consideration that there are a lot of optional trips/activities as well as the main ones
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Healey

    Brilliant holiday... let by a brilliant tour leader/guide

    This was my first holiday ever to the East, beyond Europe. Vietnam is a truly amazing country and having been back two weeks now, I still can't believe I was there. From start to finish of the tour, it was an amazing holiday and experience and one I will never forget, as one as hopefully one day I would like to repeat. The tour is full-on... early starts, long days and always lots to see and do (north to south in 10 days with sights). There was not a lot of free time to yourself and only when we were in Hoi An or on the last day in Ho Chi Minh City before the night flight home, did we manage to get any real chance to do any shopping, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. A perfect holiday left by a perfect guide.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    You see those lovely pictures in books, magazines and brochures of the exotic and the simple rural areas of Vietnam with the locals going about their daily lives in fields, or on a sampan on a narrow waterway with their conical straw hats, and actually being in the middle of it all was an amazing experience, one I still can't believe I was amongst it all. Being on a boat in the middle of Halong Bay amongst the limestone rocks was magical, especially staying overnight. Hoi An was brilliant and picturesque. The cycle ride to Cam Kim island was an experience not to be missed - very rural with villagers showing us their crafts and giving us an insight into their lives... though I found cycling on the main streets in Hoi An to get there a bit hairy (all part of the experience!). Also learning about the country's turbulent past and visiting places of great significance was so interesting.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phat was amazing, I took care of us and made sure we were all OK every step of the way. He went out of his way to make sure we could do the things we wanted to, such as lay on a short mini tour of the mausoleum area of Hanoi before departing the city, which was not on the itinerary, so we could see the sights there and nearby that we otherwise would have missed due to time restraints (all at a very low supplement). Optional extras you could take part in, or not, as you wish, and nothing was too much trouble for Phat. His personality and sense of humour, as well as knowledge of everything we needed to know or acting as a guide at historical sights, was second to none. Before I went I felt like I was a bit out of my comfort zone, travelling somewhere so far away and so different to what I was used to, but the moment we met our tour guide (Phat), he really made me (and others) feel more at ease in Vietnam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I was a bit hesitant to book it at first, not knowing what to expect, but so glad I did. Book it now... live the dream like I did.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels we stayed at were very good and comfortable, no complaints at all, and some at a pool. The farmstay was lovely, a sheer delight, and again had a pool. The cabin on the boat on Halong Bay was comfortable and pretty. The only downside to any of the accommodation we had was trying to sleep on the overnight train from Hanoi to Dong Hoi... I don't think any of us got any sleep, but again, an experience not to be missed (just as well I never got any sleep!).
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Alexandra Denby

    A whistlestop tour of Vietnam

    This is a busy tour taking in the main sights of Vietnam. Be prepared for planes, trains and automobiles (and boats!).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There are a few: The Mekong Delta - sailing on the Mekong, walking in the coconut/banana plantation and going along on a sampan boat. Getting back to nature is just magical after being in the cities. Hoi An - Phat rearrange the walking tour so that we had a whole day free. I spent it with some others seeing the main sites, shopping and visiting coffee shops, finishing the day with a cooking class making our dinner for that night. Vinh Moc tunnels and the War Remnants museum - these really bring to life the atrocities of the Vietnam war. The museum has a lot of upsetting images, I needed some quiet time afterwards to wipe away tears and get my head around everything.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Phat is a fantastic leader. He is knowledgeable and has a great sense of humour. He would rearrange days to make sure we used the short time we had really well, even giving up some free time to take us on a tour of Hanoi. He was on top of the various dietary needs of some of us. Phat reminded us constantly about responsible tourism - he is a gem!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a good pair of walking sandals and do laundry in Hoi An. If you have the time, go to Hanoi a day early to do some sightseeing (or just recover from the jetlag), and go and see the water puppets. The overnight train starts in Hanoi, so the sheets and cabins will be clean - but take a sleeping bag liner and pillowcase just in case. If you are on a top bunk, it can get cold from the air conditioning. Order takeaway food for the train. There are 2 western toilets for each carriage, which are topped up with toilet paper during the journey. It is noisy and jerky so be prepared for little sleep. Walk along the Perfume River in Hue - there is a dedicated walkway away from the traffic. And go to the embroidery art museum. The cookery class in Hoi An is fun, you learn about Vietnamese cookery and you eat what you make. Buy lanterns in the night market in Hoi An if you want one - the best and biggest choice is there. On the last day the group flight leaves Ho Chi Minh City after midnight - book an extra day in the last hotel so that you can do sight seeing in HCMC and then freshen up afterwards. In HCMC on the last day, go to the cafe on level 50 of the Bitexco building (this is free - the observation deck is ~$10 - although the drinks can be pricey). And check out the street food market and the rooftop bars of the Majestic Hotel, Caravelle Hotel and Rex Hotel. The jade emperor pagoda is mentioned in the guide books but I found it a bit disappointing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a good tour if you want a quick overview of Vietnam. Our tour leader was good and rearranged various days to give us more free time for optional activities or for our own sightseeing. The food is excellent (and cheap, you could pay less than £5 for lunch with beer). The weather is cooler in Hanoi than further south, and it can also be misty/smoggy in Hanoi.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Henry Lovegrove

    Fantastic holiday

    High paced trip which provides big variety of activity and stunning sights. Great guide as well!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The rickshaw and cycle rides through the countryside at Hoi An

    What did you think of your group leader?

    What a considerate, cheery and clear chap: he could not be faulted

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bolt on a trip to Cambodia and may be an extra day at Hanoi

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Well done Exodus for devising a brilliant itinerary
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Kristin Koblis

    A Lot to See in a Short Amount of Time

    I felt that we really did see Vietnam top to bottom. There was a lot to cover in 10 days and the trip could really be extended. It was helpful to get to Hanoi a couple of days earlier and I previously went to Ho Chi Min City. The caves are the best part of the trip. You really can't go wrong with it, if your goal is to see Vietnam.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I very much enjoyed seeing the caves in Phong Nha National Park. I wish we spent more time that area.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    There were times he told us too much and other times not enough. He things planned, but not clear enough.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get to Hanoi a little bit early and stay in HCM City after to really see those cities and sights.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Andrew White

    Highlights of Vietnam

    This trip provided an insight into Vietnamese life in the past and present. The experiences were varied such as visits to sites of natural beauty as well as historical and social settings. Our guide was very informative and professional, providing the group with both factual and personal narratives. The trip and our guide introduced us to venues and experiences that we would not have had access to, had we visited on our own.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Meeting Mr Dee and Mrs Ming, both retired from the Vietcong Army, at their home. Visiting the caves in Quong Tri region

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Wonderful! Thuy was attentive to all of our needs, providing individual services to the group members, highly professional, educational, warm and humorous. Both me and my wife felt confident being with Thuy as he was accessible at all times and ready to respond if needed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take Vietnamese Dong as well as US Dollars. Use US Dollar only as a back up as Vietnamese prefer the Dong. Pack lightly. Write a diary as you go along as you will have so many adventures in one day.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    VITTORIA Doyle

    Compact trip with all the highlights

    Trip is an excellent way to see pretty much Vietnam in a short space of time. It lacks a Hanoi tour at the start and i would suggest going a day earlier like i did to do your own. Likewise at the end i did my own tour to the Cu Chi tunnels which are a must see really. You have all day before your flight so its possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the beautiful Hoi An

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader Thuy was very organised and everything ran as it should do. A very lovely man who understands hus country and presents it in a clear and humourous way.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go a day earlier to see Hanoi and book a room so you can have it when you land first thing in the morning. Also pay to keep your room on the last day as the flight home is at midnight so you can have a little sleep and a shower before the flight.
  • Reviewed August 2018
    Demelza Higginson

    Amazing 10 days

    This is a busy trip but gives you the highlights of this beautiful country. We went to the cities and the countryside. We enjoyed some fabulous food and the people were really friendly.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is really difficult as there were lots of inspirational moments. But Halong Bay and Hoi An were 2 of them. The trip to the tunnels and the war museum was thought provoking and made you realise the impact of the war and that it is really still very recent.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hung was brilliant - very knowledge, organised but flexible. He was great fun and led our group well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is busy trip so be prepared for some busy days and lack of sleep especially at the start of the trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great trip to show you the best of Vietnam.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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