Round trip VIETNAM
TOUR OPERATES: Round trip VIETNAM
Day 1: Departure
You fly with a transfer to Ho Chi Minh City. Your tour of Vietnam starts!
Day 2: Arrival of Ho Chi Minh city
You land at Tan Son Nhat, the airport of Ho Chi Minh City. The tour guidance will take you away from the airport. Depending on the time of arrival you can already explore the city today. Saigon , officially known as Ho Chi Minh City since 1975, is the commercial center of the country. Ho Chi Minh city has more than eight million inhabitants and is a busy, noisy city where old and new influences intermingle. There is a lot to see here.
Striking are the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Hoofdpostkantoorthat clearly shows French influences. The post office has been designed by Gustav Eiffel. Close by you will find the beautiful City Hall and the Opera. In the Dong Khoi street (formerly Rue Catinat) the famous writer Graham Greene rented an apartment. It is the most sophisticated street in the city, with shops of famous brands such as Gucci, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana.
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City / Tay Ninh and Cu Chi Excursion
Who wants to join an optional excursion to the tunnels of Cu Chi . They were used by the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War to resist the Americans. Through the tunnels excavated by hand (!) The surrounding villages were connected and the movements of the enemy troops could be monitored. The complex had a total length of 240 kilometers, divided over several floors with underground hospitals, kitchens and other facilities. You can descend into one of the tunnels and experience a little bit how people lived, suffered and fought here.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh city
Day off. In Ho Chi Minh City you will find the former American embassy on Le Duan street. Almost everyone will remember the dramatic departure of the Americans from the roof of the embassy on 30 April 1975. Cholon is the district where the majority of Chinese live and where numerous Chinese temples and houses can be admired. In Cholon is the largest covered market in Saigon, where the most diverse items are for sale. Interesting are the Thien Hau Pagoda and the Ngia An Hoi Quan Pagoda. Lovers can take a trip on the Sai Gon River that crosses the city.
For a drink and a beautiful view of the city (and perhaps the sunset) you can go to the 50th floor of the highest building in Saigon, Bitexco Financial Tower. You can use the evening (and possibly the night) to discover that a city like Ho Chi Minh City never sleeps. There is always something going on here.
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City - An Binh Island - Can Tho
Time for an exploration of the green Mekong delta , the 'rice barn' of Vietnam! It is the wetland area in the south of the country, where the Mekong river, divided into nine branches, flows into the sea. The delta is a wet labyrinth of rivers and canals , with hundreds of large and small islands, a beautiful area where boats in all sizes plow through the water. You travel by bus and boat to the island of An Binh. Along the way the picturesque countryside of the delta is clearly visible. The inhabitants grow rice, coconuts, bananas, mangoes, longans and citrus fruits. There is also fish farming and fishing. At An Binh you can enjoy a local lunch (included in the fare).
Continue to Can Tho, the only university city of the Mekong Delta. Because of its pivotal role in (water) traffic in the delta, Can Tho functions as a regional capital in this area. The great activity can be observed on the market. Not only vegetables, fruit, rice, fish and meat are traded, but also electronics, textiles and books.
Day 6: Can Tho - Cai Rang - Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Hoi An
In the early morning you visit the picturesque floating market of Cai Rang . The way to explore the Mekong delta is of course by boat. Along the way we notice how important the water is in the daily life of the people in the Mekong Delta. Their houses are built right along the water. Villagers are fishing or use the water to do their laundry.
You drive back to Ho Chi Minh City, where you board the domestic flight to Danang. Then it is only a short walk to Hoi An. The town was one of the most important ports of Vietnam three centuries ago. Ships from all over the world docked in search of ceramics, herbs and silk. In the 19th century, the river that connected the harbor to the sea became silted up, so that large ships could no longer reach Hoi An. The city fell into a small fishing village, with beautiful monuments. In 1999 UNESCOappointed the old center World Heritage , an interesting mix of Chinese, Portuguese and Japanese architecture.
Day 7: Hoi An / Excursion My Son
Day off. Hoi An has more than 600 traditional houses, timbered on the inside and covered with clay roof tiles. A number of these buildings are open for viewing, so that you can also view the old splendor . It is wonderful to stroll through the car-free streets with the old, mostly soft-painted, houses. Hoi An is somewhat like a charming open-air museum . Many facades are decorated with decorative lanterns . The atmosphere is relaxed, there are plenty of shops, sewing workshops, bars, terraces and restaurants.
Lovers of history and history should definitely visit My Son. The eponymous excavations are about thirty kilometers from Hoi An. My Son was the political and religious center of the Cham people who ruled Vietnam from the 4th to the 13th century. Although here too the war has left its mark, it is still an interesting and atmospheric place to visit. For a trip to My Son you need at least half a day.
Day 8: Hoi An / Excursion Tra Que
Day off. In Hoi An you can organize your time as you wish. One will stay in the town, another may want to take a long bike ride through the countryside, a third chooses to relax at the nearby Non Nuoc beach .
Really on a journey TIP
Nice is an optional excursion by bike to the village of Tra Que , where mainly vegetables and herbs are grown. You can view the fields and help the farmers on the land. Then it's time for lunch. There are various delicacies such as 'tam huu' (spring rolls) or 'banh xeo' (traditional pancakes from the Central Vietnam region). You can help the 'chef' with cooking, or watch as the food is prepared ..
Day 9: Hoi An - Marble Mountains - Danang - Hué
You travel with your own bus to Hué. Just before Danang you first stop at the Marble Mountains (entrance fee not included). This is a rock formation in the flat land that is interlaced with caves and caverns . At the time of the Vietnam War it was a hiding place for the Viet Cong. Now it is a Buddhist shrine. The many images in the various caves are evidence of this.
Before you travel to Hué, you can visit the Cham Museum in Danangoptional visits. In this museum you can admire art treasures found at My Son. The distance from Danang to Hué is not that long, but because you regularly stop en route to enjoy the view and take a dip in the deep blue sea, you are on the road for much longer. Swinging, you follow the road over the Hai Van pass . On the right side you have a view of the coast that alternately consists of rockeries and pristine bays with sandy beaches.
Day 10: Hué - Ninh Binh
Hué is the former capital and seat of the Vietnamese emperors. In 1945 Bao Dai, the last emperor, was deposed. In Hué and surroundings there are several monuments that recall this glorious past. The former Imperial Palace, the Forbidden Purple City , is located in the center of the present city. The whole is reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing, but in a smaller version. The tombs of the various emperors along the Perfume River can easily be reached by bicycle. The tour guide can also hire a boat at the request of the participants to visit the most important tombs and pagodas in an optional excursion.
Lovers of sun, sea and sandcan cycle to the coast in an hour. During the day it is usually quiet on the beach. Many Vietnamese people come here in the evening and at the weekend.
Really on a journey TIP
At the end of the afternoon you will take the night train to Hanoi. The train carries the appropriate name 'Reunification Express' , as North and South Vietnam become so connected!
Day 11: Ninh Binh / Excursion Hoa Lu and Tam Coc
In the morning you arrive by train in Ninh Binh, a small town in a really beautiful landscape. The pictures are worthy of a Chinese pen drawing. Rice fields, huge bamboo pollen and small rural villages are interrupted by the steeply rising round and pointed limestone mountains . Water buffalos poodle carefree in a refreshing mud bath. Farmers carry their products back home on the shoulder yoke.
Ninh Binh is the base for an excursion to Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. In Hoa Lu you visit the ancient temple of Le King and then get on your bike to Tam Coc. Here you become sampans about the creeks and channelsrowed. You sail through three caves (!) And along rugged limestone formations, rice fields and small villages. The fairytale landscape is nicknamed 'Halong Bay on the mainland'. Once back at the hotel you have the bike at your disposal for the rest of the day.
Day 12: Ninh Binh - Mai Chau
You drive to the Mai Chau valley , in the middle of a picturesque valley with rice fields surrounded by karst mountains. The ride with beautiful views ends in the village of Poom Cong, where the hill tribe lives the White Thai (which in spite of what the name suggests is not originally from Thailand, but comes from the south of China). You get to know their traditional lifestyle in a beautiful natural setting. The White Thai live in houses built on stilts, they are famous for their embroidered clothing and have been doing terrace-making for centuries. They make the so-called sweet Ruou Can wine, which is made from leaves and is drunk from a large barrel by a bamboo straw.
Really on a journey TIP
You sleep in a simple ' homestay ', so with people at home. De Witte Thai are very hospitable and provide food in the evening. After dinner (included in the travel price, drinks are exclusive) you can often get acquainted with the traditional dances and songs of the Witte Thai.
Day 13: Mai Chau - Nghia Lo
Your Vietnam tour continues to Nghia Lo. A beautiful route today with great views over the mountains ! Count on a trajectory full of pits and bumps. Depending on the water level you use the ferry that transfers the Da river to Van Yen, or the main road via Hoa Binh to Thanh Thuy. The ride takes you along tea fields and villages of the H'mong and Dao minorities. You spend the night in the village of Nghia Lo, again in a simple ' homestay ' at the people's home. Dinner is included; drinks are exclusive.
Day 14: Nghia Lo - Mu Cang Chai
Even today a wonderful journey! The journey first leads to Tu Le, on the way you enjoy wide (photogenic!) Panoramas on rice terraces , where small H'mong villages are located. They are among the most beautiful in Vietnam! You also pass the Khau Pha pass over the Hoang Lien Son mountains.
In the course of the afternoon you arrive in Mu Cang Chai . Mu Cang Chai also consists mainly of rice terraces. A beautiful environment, where you still see relatively few Western travelers. The environment screams, as it were, for an exploration on foot. You spend the night again at the people's home, in a simple homestay . Dinner is included; drinks are exclusive.
Day 15: Mu Cang Chai - Bac Ha
You travel to Bac Ha in the morning, again along spectacular landscapes. Here you can take a nice walk in the afternoon to an H'mong village in the area, or view the old 'H'mong King House'. You stay in a 'homestay' in a village near Bac Ha. Dinner is included in this ' homestay '.
Day 16: Bac Ha Sunday market / Optional draw
The Sunday market in the minority area around Bac Ha is mainly visited by the Flower H'mong . This tribe is originally Chinese and they are so named because the women of this minority in particular colorful garments. Just flowers! Members of the Red Dao, Phu La, Black Dao, Tay and Nung also visit the market. It is, apart from a place to trade your things, also a place to meet friends. You look your eyes out on the market. A lot of things are traded here. Not only vegetables, fruit, rice wine, tobacco, clothing, bags and household items are available, but also buffaloes, bulls, cats, pigs, ducks, chickens and dogs. Food is prepared under shelters, where market goers can satisfy their hunger. 'Pho'(noodle soup) is a favorite, but there are also more' exotic 'dishes on the menu, in which various types of guts are not lacking!
Really on a journey TIP
Lovers can opt for an optional two-day trek (specify when booking!). More information can be found under the 'Excursions' tab.
Day 17: Optional trekking / Bac Ha - Hanoi
People who have opted for the optional two-day walk walk their second route today. When the group is complete again in Bac Ha you start the trip to Hanoi.
The different lakes, spread through Hanoi, determine the image. The old town, north of Hoan Kiem Lake, consists of numerous small, narrow streets that are inhabited by all kinds of craftsmen. At the shops pans are beaten, leather worked and silk or other were sold. You can wander around here for hours.
Day 18: Hanoi - Hong Ngoc - Halong Bay
Your Vietnam tour leads to the beautiful Halong Bay. On the way you stop in Hong Ngoc , where people with physical disabilities receive training in making jewelry, embroidery or paintings of high quality. With the sale of their products they can provide for their livelihood.
The ancient karst mountains have formed numerous islands and rockeries in Halong Bay . Legend has it that a huge dragon landed in the sea and took part of the land with its tail and then submerged it under water. Only the higher parts of the coast remained above the water. Whatever the case, Halong Bay is a spectacular natural phenomenon. You can visit a cave and enthusiasts can climb to a viewpoint or swim from a beach. When the weather permits ... On the boat delicious meals are served, where various types of fish form an important part. (1x lunch, 1x dinner and 1x breakfast are included in the fare, the drinks are for your own account).
Day 19: Halong Bay - Hanoi
In the morning you slowly sail further into Halong Bay. Once you 'land' again you drive back to Hanoi through the flat land of the Red River delta .
Interesting is the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu). It was built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius. Here the first university of Vietnam arose. In one of the five inner courts of the temple are 82 stone turtles with memorial plaques on their backs, engraved with names of the 1779 graduates of the university; in that year the university was moved to Hué. The turtles symbolize strength and a long life.
In the evening you can eat in one of the numerous restaurants that this city is rich. Although there are many entertainment venues nowadaysIf they remain open until the wee hours, it is not customary in Vietnam to go to bed late. Almost everything is closed around ten, eleven o'clock in the evening, to open early the next morning.
Day 20: Hanoi
Day off. Hanoi is a city with a unique atmosphere. There are several museums that are worthwhile. Of course you can not miss the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum . This is where the great hero and burgervader are laid out and you are guided in an ever-lasting procession in appropriate silence past the glass 'coffin' in which he is exhibited. In the autumn, the mausoleum was closed for several weeks in connection with maintenance.
Near the Mausoleum is the small ' One Pillar Pagoda '. He was built by a childless emperor who was handed a son in a dream by a goddess sitting on a lotus leaf. After the construction, the Empress actually became pregnant. This pagoda also rises like a lotus from the water, standing on a column.
Day 21: Departure Hanoi
Today, depending on the departure time of your flight to Amsterdam / Brussels, you still have some time in Hanoi. The early birds among us can walk around six o'clock in the morning to the Hoan Kiem Lake where many Vietnamese of all ages are busy working on their condition. There is running, tai chi or strength training, there are hip hop, salsa and laughter therapy . Later in the day you can visit the last museums in Hanoi, buy silk in the silk street or just wander through the streets. In the colonial French quarter there is usually a pleasant crowd. Stroll along the French-looking buildings with their louvredeurtjes and balconies, such as the Opera and the National Museum and imagine yourself very briefly in Paris.
Day 22: Arrival
This beautiful Vietnam tour ends here . The afterglow can start ...
If you have Dutch or Belgian nationality, you will need a visa for Vietnam for this trip.
On the website of our partner Visumloket you will find all information about the necessary travel documents (such as passport), visa, the visa procedure to be followed and the location of the embassy. Begin 4 to 6 weeks before departure of your trip with the application.
If you have the required visa arranged through us, we will charge, in addition to the visa costs, € 30, - agency fee per person per visa. You do not have to go to the relevant embassy (s) twice yourself.
a child with a parent's surname If a child travels with a parent with a different family name, it can be checked whether there is actually a parent-child relationship. The purpose of this extra check is to prevent child abductions.
Some countries require a statement that the accompanying adult is actually the parent or has the authority. Inquire about this at the embassy or consulate of the country of destination. You can download a permission form on the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee website.
If a child is traveling with someone other than the parents, for example a family member, some countries require a declaration in which the parents give permission for this trip. You can inquire at the embassy or consulate of the country of destination about the admission requirements that apply to this country.
It is also possible to book only the land arrangement of this tour. You then arrange the international flights yourself and the transfer on arrival and departure. With the other participants you then make the journey according to program. This gives you the freedom to compose your own trip and choose the flight that suits your travel plans.
On the booking form you can also indicate whether we have to arrange an additional night on arrival for an additional fee. The transfer on arrival can also be arranged by Koning Aap on an individual basis.
We need a minimum number of participants for all our trips. Keep this in mind before you book your own tickets.
In all cases, it is your responsibility to be present at the starting point of the journey on time. In addition, we are not responsible for sporadic changes in the departure dates of our group trips. For some periods the price of the land arrangement may deviate from the rest of the year, for example festival trips. When the price of the land arrangement is adjusted, this is mentioned under the 'latest news'.
Additional costs and pocket money
Pocket money / additional costs
The pocket money advised by us is a minimum amount for your meals, drinks, excursions and tips. The amount that you ultimately spend depends, of course, on your own pattern of spending, which is why souvenirs are not included.
Joint spending pot
During your trip you can regularly participate together in excursions or (non-prepaid) meals. There will also be paid common tips here and there. In order not to have to pay for this separately each time, a Joint Expense Pot is set. At the start of the trip, the tour guide will collect money for everyone from this pot. At the end of the trip, the settlement will follow, where you can get a refund or have to pay. These expenses are taken into account for the amount of our advice amount for the pocket money.
Accommodation and transport
During this three-week trip a private air-conditioned bus is used. Because you often have your own transport during the trip, you can - in mutual consultation - stop at any time and at any place to take photos or try a local snack (if time permits). The bus is not available on 'free days'.
During the journey you will once make use of a comfortable domestic flight from Ho Chi Minh city to Danang. Of course there are plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with other means of transportation such as the night train (Hué - Ninh Binh), the boat (Mekong Delta, Parfum River and Halong Bay), the 'cyclo' (bicycle taxi) and the bicycle (almost everywhere for rent).
There are also some possibilities for a nice walk, for example in the area of Ninh Binh, Mai Chau, Nghia Lo, Mu Cang Chai and Bac Ha. You take a walk to the rice fields of La Pan Tan (day 14) of about an hour. Enthusiasts can book an optional two-day trek in the Bac Ha area. If you want to, please state this when booking!
Ho Chi Minh City via An Binh to Can Tho: 180 km / 6 hours
Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City: 187 km / 4 hours
Ho Chi Minh to Danang: 997 km / 1½ hours (domestic flight)
Danang to Hoi An: 24 km / 40 minutes
Hoi An to Hué: 130 km / 3 hours
Hué to Ninh Binh: 570 km / 10½ hours (night train)
Ninh Binh to Mai Chau: 140 km / 4 hours
Mai Chau to Nghia Lo: 22 km / 6 hours
Nghia Lo to Mu Cang Chai: 90 km / 2½ to 3 hours
Mu Cang Chai to Bac Ha: 210 km / 7 hours
Bac Ha to Hanoi: 300 km / 6 hours
Hanoi to Halong Bay: 170 km / 3 hours
Halong Bay to Hanoi: 170 km / 3 hours
Note: The mentioned 'bare' travel time per day is highly dependent on the traffic, the condition of the roads and the weather. The travel time is of course approximate.
During our travels to Vietnam you mainly stay in hotels with double rooms with shower and toilet, on a bed and breakfast basis. When choosing our hotels, we especially paid attention to location, hygiene and atmosphere. The hotels are generally in the center of the place where you stay.
In Mai Chau and Nghia Lo you sleep in a ' homestay ' / ' guesthouse ' in a communal dormitory, and the bathroom is shared. In Mu Cang Chai and Bac Ha you usually sleep in a 'private' room in the homestay. There are mosquito nets, blankets and pillows available. We advise you to take care of a sheet bag yourself. Dinner and breakfast are included in the travel sum in the homestays (drinks are exclusive). The guesthouse in Bac Ha is about a 10-minute walk from the market in Bac Ha.
In the fairytale Halong Bay you sleep on the boat, with which you also make a boat trip. During this boat trip 1x lunch, 1x dinner and 1x breakfast are included. You stay in a boat on a 'join in' basis, which means that other travelers (outside of the Koning Aap group members) can also sit on the boat. It is possible that due to bad weather conditions an overnight stay on board is not allowed. In that case, we deviate to a hotel on the coast.
In advance, sleeping places are reserved in the night train (Hué - Ninh Binh). The sleeping compartments will be (as far as possible) in the 'soft-sleeved' part. Such a compartment consists of four beds. If there are too few places available, a number of participants will be accommodated in the 'hard-sleeper' section. Here each compartment consists of six beds that are slightly less 'luxurious' but still of sufficient quality to spend the night. Your breakfast is not included during the night train trip. It is possible to buy small refreshments and drinks on the train. There is hot drinking water for tea or to make 'noodle soup'.
Most hotels use a check out time of 12 noon. In order to make your stay more comfortable, we arrange a few 'day rooms' for the group in Hué (day 10), since on that day you will only board the train at the end of the afternoon. You can refresh yourself before you start the journey by night train. The use of the shared day rooms (an average of 4 people per room) is until 6 pm.
The planned hotels in Hoi An and Hué have a swimming pool; nice to wash off the tropical heat from you! In exceptional cases it may happen that another hotel without a pool has to be used. Of course there are other swimming opportunities during this trip; think of your stay in Halong Bay and also the beach in Hoi An or Hué is not far away!
Most hotels have Wi-Fi, sometimes for a fee. Wifi is pleasant for many travelers to keep in touch with the home front via ' social media '. Please note that the quality and speed of the internet connection are not optimal everywhere. In some homestays and on the boat in Halongbaai no wifi is available.
Participants who register individually share a room with another participant. We naturally take into account that you come to the room of the same sex. It is possible, where present, to request a single room. In that case, you pay a single-room surcharge. Please note that a single room is not possible during your stay in the homestays and during the journey by night train.