Perfect for the active adventurer, this trip will have you hiking, biking, and paddling through the best of Vietnam. Kayak through Halong Bay’s towering limestone karsts, trek the Mai Chau area, and cycle through small towns for an authentic taste of Vietnam. When you’re not pedalling or paddling, you’ll visit the country’s cultural highlights like the Cu Chi Tunnels and Emperor’s Tomb, or overnight at a local family’s homestay. Whether by bike or on foot, this tour will keep you grounded in Vietnam’s intriguing culture.
Perfect for those looking to experience the region’s natural marvels alongside some adventure and leisure time for self exploration and yes definitely to inhale some of the many local cuisines and cultures.
Start/Finish City: Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi
Service Level: Standard (Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character; mix of public and private transport)
Physical Grading: 3 – Average (Some high-altitude hikes or more strenuous activities, but accessible to most healthy travellers)
Travel Style: Active (Hiking, trekking, biking, rafting, and kayaking adventures all over the world, made for outdoor types)
- Kayak through the Limestone Karsts in Halong Bay
- Hike among the hills of Mai Chau
- Cycle through the unspoiled Vietnam Countryside
- Soak in the energy of Ho Chi Minh City
- Visit the tailors and beaches in Hoi An
- Wander the vibrant streets of Hanoi
- Day 1 8th Sept 2019 Ho Chi Minh City Meet in Ho Chi Minh City. Day at leisure.Experience orientation & tour leader introduction. Meals included: NA
- Day 2 9th Sept 2019 Ho Chi Minh City/Hoi An Cycle to the Cu Chi Tunnels for a guided tour. Enjoy an included village tour. In the afternoon, fly to Hoi An via Danang. Meals included: Breakfast
- Day 3 10th Sept 2019 Hoi An Explore the villages around Hoi An by bike before enjoying a noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles. Opt to relax on the beach, or visit the tailors in town. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch
- Day 4 11th Sept 2019 Hoi An/Huế Drive the Hai Van Pass to the ancient capital of Hue. Meals included: Breakfast
- Day 5 12th Sept 2019 Huế/Hanoi See Hue by bike, including the Citadel and the tomb of Tu Duc. Take an overnight train to Hanoi. Meals included: Breakfast
- Day 6 13th Sept 2019 Hanoi/Mai Châu Transfer to Mai Chau, then continue out into the countryside. Trek the Mai Chau area and enjoy a homestay with local meals provided. Homestay Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Day 7 14th Sept 2019 Mai Châu/Hanoi Return to Hanoi before cycling the outskirts of the city. In the evening, walk through the Old Quarter and take in the beautiful sites. Meals included: Breakfast
- Day 8 15th Sept 2019 Hanoi/Ha Long Relax on a traditional junk boat cruise around Halong Bay and indulge in an included seafood lunch. This afternoon, explore Halong Bay by kayak for a different perspective. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
- Day 9 16th Sept 2019 Ha Long/Hanoi Marvel at the limestone karsts of Halong Bay. Return to Hanoi in the mid-afternoon for a final night out. Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch
- Day 10 17th Sept 2019 Hanoi Depart anytime of the day. Trip ends with countless memories. Meals included: Breakfast
Please Note: While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us.
Days Cycling: 4, Distance Cycled: 100km
We provide well maintained Trek 3900 mountain bikes in sizes 13″-22″ and will be responsible for any maintenance required during the trip for these bikes. For added comfort you should consider bringing your own seat and pedals which we can easily fit to your rental bike.
Helmets: For safe cycling we highly recommend wearing a helmet whilst cycling on our trips. We highly recommend that you bring your own helmet with you. You can hire helmets locally or purchase in Hanoi at the start of the trip (approx cost $30 US), but please note that the quality of helmet may not be of the standard you prefer.
Your Own Bike : We do discourage the bringing of your own bike, however the following applies should you wish to bring your own. Most international airlines consider bicycles as part of your regular luggage weight allowance, so you will need to pack light to allow for the weight of the bike. The best way to transport a bicycle is to package it in a bike box. You will need to remove the front wheel (and sometimes the rear wheel), handle bars, pedals and seat post. Tape any loose parts to the bike frame and pack a few extras in the box such as your helmet. You would need to arrange another packing box at the end of the trip as it cannot be relocated from Hoi An to Hanoi. Vietnam Domestic flight charges for the flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An (Da Nang) are around 2 US$/1kg over weight, normal limit is 20kg, and you must register to take bikes on the flight 1 day in advance. This is payable to your tour leader on Day 2.
Support vehicle: For the cycling days we will have the backup support of a small bus that will carry our luggage and anybody not cycling.
- Exclusive Cycling Experience in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue City & Sightseeing
- Exclusive Trekking Experience in Mai Chau Countryside & Sightseeing
- Exclusive Kayaking Experience in Halong Bay
- Exclusive Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch in Hoi An
- Exclusive O/N Boat Experience in Halong bay with Sea Food
- Self Exploration time in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi
- 6N Hotels/1N Train/ 1N Junk Boat/1N Homestay Accommodation (On Sharing Basis)
- Meals as specified in the itinerary (9 breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 2 dinners)
- Transfers | Train (Huế/Hanoi) | Flight (Ho Chi Minh City/Hoi An) | Road (Hoi An/Huế)
- Exclusive Tour Manager, Local Guides & Support Team Charges & Expenses
- Return Flights & Visa Charges from Home Location to Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi
- Meals unless specified in the itinerary
- Porter, guide etc tips
- Anything not mentioned under inclusions
We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack. A good size daypack is also essential. In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominantly Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tank tops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites. Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders), Shawl or scarf (for temple visits). From May-Oct it is the wet season, so please bring waterproof clothing. Cycling: Biking gloves, Cycle tool kit, Cycling clothing (cycling shorts and cycling jersey), Personal cycling gear, Puncture repair kit. Kayaking: Dry bag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)..
PLEASE NOTE: No hard suitcases are permitted. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. All other relevant clothing and other details will be provided upon confirmation.
- The iTravel Group is a registered trademark of M/s RAV Travels LLP and all payments will be in favour of M/s RAV Travels LLP.
- Complete payments will be required towards confirmation and verbal confirmation will not be considered towards booking the seats.
- When arriving at Tan Son Nhat Intl Airport in Ho Chi Minh City you can get a metered taxi from just outside of the arrival hall. The taxis are lined up outside in an orderly queue and the fare is roughly 100,000 Dong (approx 7 USD) to get to your starting point hotel. DO NOT GO WITH TAXI TOUTS AS THEY WILL TRY TO RIP YOU OFF. The airport is only 7km from the downtown District 1 so taking taxis is easy and cheap if the meter is on. Meeting Time/Point would be would be provided upon confirmation.
- Train travel in Vietnam is very basic and train cleanliness is often not a priority for train staff. Sleeper trains normally have 4 seats per compartment, which convert into sleeping bunks (two upper and two lower). A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although many people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. At times, passengers of different genders may be required to share a sleeper train berth and/or share a compartment with people not travelling in your group. Simple food is available on the train but many people like to stock up on freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure. Water should also be bought before the journey. Train journeys in Vietnam are an experience and allow you to get a real taste of Vietnam.
- We use public transport on this trip, which means you will need to carry your luggage from platform to platform, in and out of trains and buses etc. and also possibly up several flights of stairs. You will also need to be able to stow your luggage safely on trains and buses. It is therefore essential that you pack light and bring luggage which is compact and lightweight, and which you can easily transport. The carrying of your luggage remains your responsibility at all times.
- Laundry facilities are not available as part of the package. You may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- During this tour the local currency you will use is the Vietnamese Dong.Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in South East Asia. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible.
- As Vietnam embraces capitalism with open arms it is also falling victim to some of the problems of the West. Some parts of city centres are now a favourite hangout for pickpockets. If doing some exploring on your own carry only the necessary minimum with you and use a well-hidden money belt. Valuables, including your passport, should be left in the hotel safe – organise this at reception. There is no need to get paranoid, just be cautious.
- We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Be aware that petty theft can be an issue in some Vietnamese towns and cities especially late at night. A common tactic is opportunists on motorbikes that drive by and snatch bags. Please always leave valuables and passports etc in your hotel, in safety boxes if available, and only carry with you enough cash to spend for the day. Bags should always be carried over the neck and not left to sit on your shoulder.
- All visitors to Vietnam require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Kindly check for the relevant VISA documentation for your respective country. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
- It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline 20- 30 USD per person, per week can be used.
- Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour Leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an ’emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence! We suggest you bring along USD50 for additional sightseeing.
- Booking confirmation is subject to availability.
- Detailed Terms & Conditions, Experience prep kits would be provided upon confirmation.