Despite decades of war and occupation, Vietnam as a whole remains one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. As Hanoi works tirelessly to bring itself into the modern world, it is a fully fledged, rapidly developing city. Hanoi’s beauty lies in the layers of historical ...
In just over a week experience the best of Vietnam, from the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, to the stunning countryside of Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta, and the imperial streets of Hue and ancient trading port of Hoi An
This trip involves a day on the winding waterways of the Mekong Delta, the lifeblood and “rice bowl” of South-East Asia.
There’s no view of Vietnam quite like from the back of a motorbike; take a Hue motorbike tour and boat trip down the Perfume River
“First time the trip had run, but everyone in the group enjoyed it. The cooking lessons were well run and great fun. The weather was unexpectedly cold and very wet in Hanoi and Halong Bay, and it is worth taking very warm clothing. All the places we stayed, especially in Hoi An, were excellent, and the time we spent in the Mekong Delta and the homestay were my favourite days. Don't miss the Opera House in Saigon for a superb local show. Overall an excellent holiday, and Bon a really good leader.”
“What an amazing holiday we had. Thanh our guide had expert knowledge about every aspect of our trip and of every place we visited. The trip was very organised from every transfer, every type of transport, minibus, train, bike, kayak and plane all went off without a hitch. Thanh was also very good at keeping a large group together and in the right lace at the right time. From the wet humid north to the dry humid south Vietnam is a fascinating place with friendly - mostly happy people who live on next to nothing. Very humbling.”
“A lovely group, an efficient guide and a varied itinerary, we got to see a lot of Vietnam, a beautiful and exciting country. It was definitely a holiday that left me with some brilliant memories. The only thing which let us down was the rain in Hue and Danang with its consequent inactivity.”
“The Trails of Vietnam trip is a full-on, busy trip which packs a huge amount in to the time available. You travel the length of Vietnam and enjoy a wealth of adventure on the way. From the hills of the North to the deltas of the South, you will meet and speak with many local people and gain an understanding of their way of life, the history, culture and food of Vietnam. We had a fantastic group of 16 very different and interesting people who all got along so well together.”
“Viet Nam is a stunning country full of breathtaking scenery, friendly people and a rich and colourful history and culture. This trip packs a lot of punch into the two weeks and covers just about all of the main highlights the country has to offer. This is due to a very well organised itinerary and great organisational skills from the group leader. The food was the best I've tasted anywhere in the world and the variety and freshness of the dishes was huge. If you like seafood this is the place to visit! Got to mention the local beers as well - each region produces its own local beer so the trip from start to finish is a great beer tour! The hiking, cycling and kayaking were all excellent and amid some of the most amazing and varied scenery that I've experienced. This was topped off by visits to some excellent pagodas and temples and famous landmarks throughout. I stayed for an extra week after the end of the trip to visit the beaches and even after three weeks in Viet Nam I still didn't want to return home!”
“This holiday is non stop from the first to the last day with some amazing experiences. Its an excellent way to see Vietnam - it would take two months to pack in what we did in two weeks! The organisation was excellent and despite not having much free time we never felt rushed and had time to enjoy every experience with a great group of fellow travellers.”
“This must be the best Exodus holiday I've experienced. First of all a great bunch of fellow travellers make the trip; we all got on very well from the outset. Vinh, the tour leader was very well organised, always knew what was going on and made sure we also knew the 'plan' for the present and following days. Hotels and homestays were of good quality and we were very well looked after wherever we were. Included food was usually excellent and abundant, a slimming holiday it was not! Our leader arranged optional meals at local restaurants; again, the food was varied but always of a high quality.
In travelling in and between Hanoi, Ha Long, Hue, Danang, Hoi An and Saigon, we were exposed to the history and culture of this country. Our guide was very well informed about historical events which has shaped Vietnam.
A good bit of walking, a little bit of paddling and some mad cycling composed the active part of the holiday. I was disappointed with so little kayaking but this was somewhat mitigated by the tremendous views in Ha Long bay.”
“I picked this trip because it was a great blend of cycling, hiking, sight seeing, shopping and kayaking for a 2 week tip in Vietnam. I loved that we got to get out of the cities and walk amongst the hill tribes of Northwestern Vietnam or cycle amongst the farmers and fishermen of the Mekong Delta. But I also appreciated all our city stops to experience the different characters and cuisine of the cities throughout Vietnam. It was also fun that transportation varied from buses to boats to ships... This trip was just a fantastic blend of activities and exercise.”
Despite decades of war and occupation, Vietnam as a whole remains one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. As Hanoi works tirelessly to bring itself into the modern world, it is a fully fledged, rapidly developing city. Hanoi’s beauty lies in the layers of historical context that provide the perfect backdrop to the modern skyscrapers and malls of the future. Expect an eclectic fusion of French, Chinese and traditional Vietnamese culture that makes Hanoi truly one-of-a-kind.
Start your day like the locals and take an early morning walk around Lake Hoan Kiem. You’ll get to greet other strollers pass you and even watch the peaceful practice of Tai Chi before the work day begins.
For the best view of Hanoi, head to the Lotte Tower observation deck on the building’s 65th floor. You’ll find an uninterrupted view of the city that really brings into focus the level of growth Hanoi has recently experienced.
A must-visit is the Vietnamese National Museum of Fine Arts which offers mesmerising exhibits of Buddhist art, silk work, lacquered paintings and a jaw-dropping depiction of the goddess Guan Yin who has a thousand eyes and a thousand arms.
Explore the Old Quarter and visit one of the oldest temples in Hanoi. Bach Ma temple is in the heart of the Old Quarter, and while it has undergone reconstruction, it’s original structure was built in the 11th century.
While in the Old Quarter, visit the Dong Xuan market where you’ll find some affordable wares.
Bargaining is a way of life in Vietnam.
Eat for cheap at the Old Quarter’s delicious street stalls.
Buses are the main mode of public transport. These are affordable and efficient.
Dress conservatively, especially at religious sites. U.S. dollars are widely accepted but you may not get the best exchange rate.
Before you leave, check with your doctor that you have all relevant vaccinations for Vietnam which include Hepatitis B, tetanus-diphtheria and typhoid.