Incense giving, Vietnam

Vietnam Adventure

14 days
from
£1,049
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 123 reviews >
Trip code: 
AOV
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Discover North and South Vietnam

This trip encapsulates the magic of Vietnam: the conservative north, the rich heritage of the imperial cities, coastal scenery 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.

Highlights

  • Boat trip around stunning Halong Bay
  • Hanoi city tour including the Old Quarter
  • In Hue visit the Imperial Citadel, the Thien Mu Pagoda and the Tu Duc Mausoleum
  • The historic trading town of Hoi An
  • Crawling through the Cu Chi war tunnels
  • Exploring the Mekong Delta by boat
  • Experiencing mouth-watering cuisine

Key information

  • 10 nights comfortable hotels
  • 1 night boat with twin share cabins
  • 1 night standard guesthouse to experience some 'Mekong Delta' hospitality, all en suite
  • 1 night sleeper train, soft-bed berths
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16yrs.

What's included

  • 12 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 tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.

Responsible Travel

John Penge

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Hanoi

    The day is free to recover from the flight or stroll 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 an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.

    May de Ville City Centre Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    City tour

    In Hanoi we take a sightseeing tour of the city that includes a visit to the Temple of Literature; the site of the oldest university in Vietnam with over 2000 graduates, Hoa Lo Prison & the Old Quarter of the city with its '36 Streets' where each street is home to shops selling particular products - e.g. 'silk street', 'gold street', 'paper street' and 'tourist souvenir street'. Another stop is the grounds of the Presidential Palace where Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the grand structure for symbolic reasons. We visit his traditional Vietnamese stilt house here. In the evening there is the option to enjoy a performance of Hanoi's famous water puppets.

    May de Ville City Centre Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Halong Bay; cruise; overnight on boat

    We make an early start for the approximately 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. There may even be the chance to try a spot of fishing from the boat too. We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.

    Overnight Boat

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Cruise; return to Hanoi; overnight train to Hue

    We continue to cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to port. We then drive back to Hanoi, and transfer to the train station and board the Reunification Express for the overnight train ride to Hue, 500km to the south.

    Overnight Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Arrive Hue; sightseeing

    Arriving mid-morning in Hue we transfer to our hotel. Hue claims to be 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 afternoon 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 as a protest against the president. The photograph of his self-immolation was printed in newspapers all around the world. We continue our journey to visit the mausoleum of Tu Duc, one of the most extravagant mausoleums of the great Nguyen emperors who ruled Vietnam from Hue between 1802 and 1945.

    Cherish Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 6

    Morning visit local market

    This morning we will take a cycle ride out to the Thanh Toan bridge and a nearby local market. Travelling as the locals do, we discover the sights, sounds and smells of the villages surrounding Hue. Riding past rice paddies and small villages we arrive at Thanh Toan, a small village that is home to a legendary market. There will be time to explore the market stalls, before heading back to Hue for a free afternoon to further get to know this historical centre or to simpy relax by the riverside and absorb the local sights. This morning's cycle is a leisurely ride (approx. 15km) on flat and mostly even terrain. There is the option to journey to the village by motorbike as a pillion passenger for those who would rather not cycle (there will be a small extra charge paid locally).

    Cherish Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Journey to Hoi An via Danang

    Leaving Hue, our 130km journey drives through the beautiful peninsula of Lang Co between the crystal waters of a lagoon and the South China Sea, and then passes over the spectacular Hai Van pass ('Pass of the Ocean Clouds') where the views are stunning. In Danang we first stop at the Cham museum where there are altars, statues and decorative works collected from Hindu and Buddhist temples and towers from the Kingdom of Champa that flourished between the 7th to 17th centuries in Central Vietnam. We then climb Marble Mountain where we explore the large caves which were used by the Viet Cong as a hospital base during the war. From the mountain peak, there are fantastic views over China beach and the surrounding countryside leading on to Hoi An where we spend the night.

    Hoi An Silk Boutique Hotel & Spa or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Walking tour of Hoi An; free afternoon

    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. If you have anything you want made up in mind, you should consider taking a picture of it along with you. 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).

    Hoi An Silk Boutique Hotel & Spa or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Visit My Son; free afternoon in Hoi An

    This morning we will visit My Son, the Cham civilisation's spiritual home, where Cham kings were buried as early as the 4th century. Although wartime bombing has destroyed much of the site, there are a number of interesting stone towers and sanctuaries. Upon returning to Hoi An the rest of the afternoon is free to carry on enjoying this historic town.

    Hoi An Silk Boutique Hotel & Spa or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Fly to Saigon; walking city tour

    We drive to Danang 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. Our hotel is in the heart of this incredible city. 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, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Visit Cu Chi Tunnels; free afternoon

    Today we leave the city behind us and head north to visit the infamous Cu Chi tunnels. Used by the Viet Cong during the war, the network covers 3 levels and approximately 240km of tunnels. Traditionally these were very narrow but some areas have been widened to allow tourists to explore the system. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine! In the afternoon we return to Saigon and the rest of the day is free for individual exploration.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Mekong Delta boat ride; overnight in homestay

    In the morning we drive to Vinh Long (approx. 2.5-3 hrs) in the Mekong Delta, known as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. This region produces most of Vietnam's fruit, sugar cane and coconuts. We take a boat trip on the mighty Mekong River to Cai Be. Recently, Cai Be floating market is becoming less crowded and smaller as fruit trading is mostly now done by trucks due to the bridge being built. However, this is still a great opportunity to see a local market and the trade being conducted traditionally on a smaller scale.

    En route we pass many orchards and friendly locals also travelling by boat. We stop to see some small cottage industries such as rice paper and coconut candy, getting a chance to sample the local produce along the way. The evening is tranquil as we have dinner on an Island and enjoy some '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.

    Mekong Guesthouse or similar, Guesthouse

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Walk through fruit orchards; return to Saigon

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

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar, Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Saigon

    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.

Extend Your Trip

Angkor Wat Extension (from Saigon)

Code: XOF
Price per person: £799.00
Mandatory Single Supplement: £315.00

'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 AOF or AOV trip 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.

Essential Info

Visas

Vietnam

A visa is no longer needed 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. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2021. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure. For further information see http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/Vietnam.pdf or the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'.

Vaccinations

Vietnam

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

12 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 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, 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.

Weather

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!

Saigon

Hanoi

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 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. We use 3 star hotels throughout the tour. The weather can be hot and humid and cold in the winter months in the north around Hanoi and Halong bay. Please be advised some of the days can be fairly long and tiring, with long travel days.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.

Accommodation

Hotel, Boat, Guesthouse & Sleeper Train

You will spend 10 nights in a comfortable hotel, 1 night aboard a night boat with shared cabins and 1 night will be spent in a standard guesthouse. All of these have en suite facilities (not the standard guesthouse/homestay in the Mekong Delta) and there is also a night aboard a sleeper train with soft berth cabins. All of the hotels have either fans or air conditioning. Single supplements are available (on request). Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you require a single room. The single supplement (10 nights) includes nights spent in hotels only.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed June 2018
    Jessica Gale

    Vietnam Adventure

    I cannot fault any aspect of this trip and can say without a doubt I had a truly unforgettable experience in this amazing country. The Itinerary is vary varied which allows you to experience the many different destinations, activites, culture and food throughtout the north, central & southern regions of Vietnam. All accommodation used was of a high standard and very centrally located which is another great bonus as you can experience more of a destination rather than spending time travelling to/from your hotel. The weather was very hot when I travelled in May, this did not affect the experience of the trip & I would throughly recommend this tour to anyone.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two highlights of my trip was experience the stunning scenery & sunset of Halong Bay and the beautiful lantern filled city of Hoi An.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Tour guide Manh was truly amazing. Manh had a great personality, his knowledge & passion for Vietnam was clear to see and he provided us with endless information which we would not have learned if travelling on our own, (Especially how to safely cross a road!) Manh worked endlessly to ensure all aspects of our trip ran smoothly & no request was too much trouble for him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just to go with the flow.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No, I honestly cannot fault this trip.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Martyn Stone

    A seamless trip.

    From the initial pickup at the airport to being dropped off the organisation and execution of this holiday/ adventure worked seamlessly for us. The information and sights we saw were brilliant.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The shear " madness" of the cities and the beauty of the coast and Halong bay give you a insight into the whole country.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Khoa was a credit to the company and to the Vietnamese people. He worked tirelessly to ensure we all had a complete and enjoyable trip. His efforts made sure everything worked.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go with an open mind and immerse yourself in the country.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This country needs more exploration than can be done in two weeks.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Maggie Murfitt

    Vietnam Adventure

    I have just returned from the Vietnam Adventure trip. It was my 6th Exodus adventure and I have to say it was easily one of the best I have been on. This vast country has so much to offer, there are vast differences between the north and the south and the trip enables you to experience a lot in a relatively short time. When we were on the boat in Halong Bay the weather was damp and grey - it gave a really ethereal quality to the experience and I think our photographs are absolutely stunning. As we moved south the weather changed and became hot and humid which was a relief! To me the whole trip was fantastic, it's hard to pick favourite places but I have to say that Hoi An and My Son were truly amazing. I have never seen anything like them. It is a busy trip with lots to take in and lots of variety in what you do. I have to say that Tao, our Trip Leader, was brilliant. He must have had so much to organise, check and manage but he did it all with total calm and good humour. He was knowledgeable and kind and is one of the best Trip Leaders I have had the pleasure of touring with. The standard of hotels is excellent, the toilets are fantastic and everywhere is spotlessly clean. So book it and enjoy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    My Son, Hoi An, Saigon and Halong Bay - all of it really!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Tao is a total professional. Very knowledgeable, proud of his country and top fun. Excellent

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring extra cash if you like wine (it's a bit pricy in the hotels), and shopping there lots of bargains to be had. Also bring trainers and a waterproof jacket, the north of the country was not very warm and it rained as well.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I wish it had gone on for longer.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Maggie Murfitt

    Cambodia

    This was a great trip and Bun, trip leader, was very good. Cambodia is blossoming as a travel destination following years of war and turmoil, they are not yet really geared up to separate the tourist from the $ which is really refreshing. Give it a few years and I’m sure it will be different! The hotels are of a much higher standard than I expected including charging facilities in hotel foyers. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the condition and cleanliness of the toilets both in the hotel and outside in bars etc. Food is fantastic as well. Bring sound shoes as there is a lot of climbing at the temples and when you go to the Bat Cave, make sure to take the extra bus up to the Killing Cave, they don’t focus on the cave but there are beautiful temples and things up there. Enjoy Cambodia xx

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ankor Wat - it’s unbelievable.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bun was our leader and he was knowledgable and good fun. Local guides were good as well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring good walking shoes and lots of Deet!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Robert Sharpe

    Vietnam Adventure

    An excellent trip. As previously, super hotels, above all perfectly located, never more than a short walk from the centre/sights. The usual combination of comfort, with a little bit of "edge" & adventure during the day. But go now - at current rate of development, there will be too many of us tourists, & moped fumes in cities will be intolerable. Our guide, T-V, was absolutely superb. Knowledgeable, caring, & always willing to go the extra mile to deal with eg complex eating habits of the group. Tet (New Year) was actually a great time to visit, lots of buzz, & any downside (eg potential restaurant closure ) was anticipated & dealt with by T-V

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Saigon Opera House performance

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, T-V, was absolutely superb. Knowledgeable, caring, & always willing to go the extra mile to deal with eg complex eating habits of the group. Tet (New Year) was actually a great time to visit, lots of buzz, & any downside (eg potential restaurant closure ) was anticipated & dealt with by T-V

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now - at current rate of development, there will be too many of us tourists, & moped fumes in cities will be intolerable.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    M B

    Vietnam Adventure

    A busy trip that covered a lot of distance , seeing both north and south Vietnam . Travelling prior / during and after Tet gave a different perspective to the country and people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Exploring the cities ( Hanoi / Hoi An / Hue / Ho Chi Minh City ) was most enjoyable . From 15 degrees in Feb in Hanoi to 35 degrees in HCMC was a bit of a challenge .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    TV ( Than Vu ) was very able and ensured everyone was having a good time. He spoke of the history of his country as well as traditions. Managed the logisitics of "Tet amendments " well and always communicated upcoming activities in a friendly , informative way .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Dont worry about the cycling element of trip. The countryside is iron board flat and the pace is very leisurely. If you cant use chopsticks before you go , try to get some practice in . Spoons and forks can be provided but might be worthwhile carrying your own set ( i.e those given away freely by takeaways/ supermarkets in UK )

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Halong Bay is not really a cruise - more a one hour trip to Bay then moor up for evening to enjoy the views and peace and quiet . Much the same as all the other boats staying overnight , all in same place.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    Susan Ross

    Amazing experience

    I travelled on my 50th birthday, determined to conquer the 'unknown' and explore a country that has always fascinated me since a young age. It's a hard core trip with lots of early starts but well worth any exhaustion as the exhilaration you experience, at all the new sights, smells and scenery is beyond any adjectives. It is a complete sensory experience and an opportunity to participate in this beautiful country and it's stoic people. I believe with Exodus, that I saw Vietnam perhaps at a more authentic perspective and for that, I am grateful. The food is wonderful, the sights are breath taking and the history is intricate and fascinating.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Most of my trip was inspirational as, personally I love history. A cycle tour to Cham Island was very humbling and gave me the opportunity to speak with a Veteran from the Vietnam/ Cambodia war. We had a family lunch in Hue, which was amazing to experience 'home cooked' food. Latterly, we visited the Cu Chi tunnels, which whilst fascinating, certainly brought a sombre reflection to my trip ( but a good sombre!)

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nhi Pham was our guide and a wonderful young woman. She was caring, precise and kept us all under control ( not that we were overly wild!) Her knowledge of local history really brought Vietnam alive for me, with antidotes and localisms. Without her, my journey and experience would have been very poor. Nhi takes great pride and respect her country, therefore making her a wonderful ambassador for Vietnam.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take some warmer clothes for the north and be advised that the overnight train journey is 'an experience'.
  • Reviewed January 2018
    David Nowicki-stephen

    Vietnam adventure

    A feast for the senses! Amazing sights and stunning scenery! Wonderful food! Crazy sounds of manic cities! Balmy breezes humid showers tropical heat! A complete sensory experience! The most exotic country I have visited! Plus friendly people and a wonderful local guide Nhi PHam. What's not to like!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Local meal with Vietnamese family in Hue

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic! She made Vietnam come alive! Knowledgeable caring funny and friendly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Warm clothes for the north

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Train journey from Hanoi to hue can be a bit of an ordeal
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Miriam Carpenter

    A fantastic experience

    This trip really lives up to it's name - every day is an adventure. Most mornings our alarm was set for 6am, sometimes earlier. There are so many different experiences, it was exhilarating. The food is amazing. I would thoroughly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It's hard to single out one moment out of so many. Each area we visited had its own characteristic. I loved the cycle trips in Hue and Hoi An (you don't need to be an experienced cyclist to enjoy it) and enjoyed meeting local people. The cookery class was great. I was fascinated to see the places I had read about, such as the breathtaking cave in Marble Mountain, used by the Viet Con as a hospital in the war.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We became very fond of Duy. He looked after us well and was great company. He was very knowledgeable and keen to share his country with us.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes - if you don't like cities, want to get off the beaten track or like restful holidays this might not be the one for you. I was glad that I had learned something about Vietnam's history before I went, it made some of the places we visited more meaningful- such as the Cu Chi tunnels, 'Hanoi Hilton' & Marble Mountain. It's gruelling to see how much the country has suffered, but humbling to see the resilience and recovery.
  • Reviewed December 2017
    Pam Peers

    Great introduction to this wonderful country

    This was a busy trip covering a lot of ground! It was my first trip to SE Asia and I feel the itinerary was well thought out to provide an overview of Vietnam. We also did the Cambodia extension, which was excellent

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a lot of them: Halong Bay was very beautiful, though very busy and in danger of overcrowding unless numbers are restricted. Our private boat was a welcome refuge from the crowds. Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum was very interesting. The homestay in the Mekong was lovely - many of our group would have preferred to spend an extra night there, perhaps reducing the time at Hoi An?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Bao was excellent and really helped us share his love of his country. He was great at finding interesting and unusual places for us to eat, even in locations where most of the other restaurants were offering identikit tourist-orientated menus. Bao managed very well the balance between organising us and our activities and giving us plenty of free time to do our own things.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't take too many warm clothes - you'll only need them in Hanoi, if at all. Do take lightweight clothes that are easily laundered - wherever we went, Bao could arrange laundry services that were efficient, fast and extremely cheap by UK standards. Do take lightweight rain protection i.e. a lightweight folding umbrella and/or cheap plastic waterproof with a hood. Don't bother with 'technical' rain protection Do take anti-mosquito protection. We used Incognito and found it very effective. I quite enjoyed the overnight train journey and slept well - it's certainly not luxurious but it was clean and moderately comfortable, though earplugs and an eye mask are a good idea.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Cambodia extension was excellent and I'm very glad we did it. Angkor Wat is superb and lived up to all the hype, and the Phnom Penh visits were very moving.

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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