Vietnam in Depth 2019/20

  • days: 19
  • from $5,495

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Vietnam

Description

Snapshot banner

Destinations visited icon

1 country

UNESCO icon

3 UNESCO World 
Heritage-listed sites

Character accommodation icon

Vietnamese cruise boat, Halong Bay | River cruise vessel, Mekong Delta

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From the bustling city of Hanoi, through the terraced rice paddies of Sapa, breathtaking Halong Bay and historic Hue, to the beaches of charming Hoi An and cosmopolitan Saigon, immerse yourself in exotic Vietnam on this in-depth journey.

Historic Hanoi

From the moment you arrive in the historic Vietnamese city of Hanoi, you’re truly immersed into traditions and culture. See both sides to Vietnamese life, as we explore the bustling city of Hanoi.

Hills of Sapa & Halong Bay

Travel north through scenic rural Vietnam to the hills of Sapa. Meet the people of the Black Hmong hill tribe and the Giay minority in local villages and admire the incredible terraces of rice paddies. Absolutely breathtaking, Halong Bay is a feast for the eyes, dotted with hundreds of rocky islands and outcrops. Sit back and relax, cruising around this natural wonder and sampling some of the freshest local cuisine in the world!

Imperial Hue

Tour the former capital and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty’s emperors, Hue. Discover the imperial tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh and enjoy a cruise along the perfume river to Thien Mu Pagoda.

Traditional Experiences

Hoi An will beguile you with its charm. Wander the quaint streets, visit a traditional home and take an aromatic cooking class. We juxtapose this against the lively city of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the largest in Vietnam. See the historic architecture and immerse yourself in the history of the Vietnam War. Traverse the amazing Cu Chi Tunnels – a base for the Viet Cong, where they remained undiscovered throughout the conflict.  Explore the Mekong Delta by boat, enjoy a sampan cruise through the small canals and visit a floating market.

Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia

Day 2. Arrive Hanoi

Welcome to Vietnam and bustling Hanoi! Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure before this evening’s special experience and group welcome dinner in the Old Quarter. [D]

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Special Experience: A tradition dating back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam, we’ll enjoy a water puppetry performance by a local renowned puppet master where we will go behind the scenes.

Day 3. Hanoi

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Special Experience: Walk along the 'Rail Tracks of Hanoi' and explore a rarely seen side of Vietnam's capital. We meet the locals and see how they have adapted to daily life just metres from the trains.

A full afternoon of sightseeing in Hanoi. Highlights include the beautiful Temple of Literature, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hoan Kiem Lake. [B]

Day 4. Hanoi - Sapa

An early start this morning to discover Hanoi as the city awakens. We’ll visit the flower market and the Old Quarter and finish our tour with a Vietnamese breakfast and coffee. This afternoon we take a scenic journey through some of northern Vietnam’s breathtaking scenery to the hills of Sapa, stopping at Silver Waterfall (one of the most beautiful in Vietnam) and Heaven Gate along the way. [B,D]

Day 5. Sapa

We begin the morning in Muong Hoa Valley alongside the largest rice paddy terrace in the Sapa area. In Lao Chai we’ll meet people of the Black Hmong hill tribe, then walk to Ta Van village, home to the Giay minority. [B,L]

Day 6. Sapa - Hanoi

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Special Experience: Ascend beautiful Mt Fansipan by cable car and tram, enjoying spectacular views along the way.

This afternoon we return to Hanoi. [B]

Day 7. Hanoi - Halong Bay

Today we travel to breathtaking Halong Bay, through the picturesque farming lands and rice paddies of the Red River Delta. Here we’ll board our overnight cruise. We’ll sail past amazing limestone rock formations, be able to swim or hike at Titov Island and witness a traditional cooking and fruit-carving demonstration. Relax with a sundowner this evening and enjoy the incredible views as the sun sets. You might also like to join the crew fishing for squid later this evening. [B,L,D]

Day 8. Halong Bay

This morning you might like to take part in a tai chi lesson on the sundeck or just sit back and relax as we cruise the waters and islets of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. After breakfast we’ll be able to discover one of the limestone caves by boat and this afternoon there is a visit to Virgin Grotto by kayak. Enjoy another beautiful evening aboard. [B,L,D]

Day 9. Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue

Early this morning we’ll explore the Hidden Cave by bamboo boat. After brunch back aboard we’ll disembark and return to Hanoi for our flight to Hue, Vietnam’s former capital and the seat of the Nguyen Dynasty’s emperors. [B,Brunch]

Day 10. Hue

This morning we'll enjoy a dragon boat cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda and visit the Imperial Citadel. This afternoon we’ll visit the imperial tombs of emperors Tu Duc and Khai Dinh before enjoying an evening at leisure. [B]

Day 11. Hue - Danang - Hoi An

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Special Experience: Cycle through Hue to visit its famous Garden Houses, many of which have ties with the old imperial court. 

In the afternoon we’ll depart for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass. [B,L]

Day 12. Hoi An

We begin the day with a walking tour of charming Hoi An. Highlights include the Culture & History Museum, the famous Japanese covered bridge and a historic, UNESCO Heritage-listed house. [B,D]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Visit the colourful local market before taking a short cruise along the Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School for an aromatic and informative cooking class (cruise portion subject to prevailing water levels). 

Day 13. Hoi An

The day is at leisure for you to enjoy this picturesque town at your own pace. Hoi An's centre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, free from cars and a lovely area to explore on foot. [B]

Day 14. Hoi An - Saigon

This morning we fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). In the afternoon we’ll take a walking tour of the bustling metropolis. Highlights include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office and Opera House. We’ll also visit the Presidential Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum. [B]

Day 15. Saigon

Today we travel by boat to the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels for a tour with a veteran guide. This network of tunnels served as a base for the Viet Cong and remained undiscovered during the Vietnam War. [B,L]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Go off the beaten track to discover Saigon’s a-little-out-of-the-ordinary sights. We’ll visit the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, the Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street and the traditional French-style Fanny’s Ice Cream Parlour, Vietnam’s leading ice cream producer.

Day 16. Saigon - Mekong Delta

We make our way to the Mekong Delta to board our traditional-style cruise boat. We’ll observe life along the banks of the delta and hop on and off smaller boats on shore excursions, passing villages and rice paddies. Relax on board this evening with an aperitif as the sun sets. [B,L,D]

Day 17. Mekong Delta - Saigon

This morning we travel to Cai Rang by traditional sampan boat to experience all the action of the floating market - the liveliest market in the Mekong Delta. We’ll also witness rice-paper and coconut candy making. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner back in Saigon. [B,D]

This morning we travel to Cai Rang by traditional sampan boat to experience all the action of the floating market - the liveliest market in the Mekong Delta. We’ll also witness rice-paper and coconut candy making. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner back in Saigon. [B,D]

Day 18. Depart Saigon

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 19. Arrive in Australia

 

Walking Man

Level of fitness: This tour features 2+ hours of walking, often across uneven ground and in areas of high altitude or heat and humidity on 1 or more days.

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Vietnam. Taxes included
  • 2 economy-class flights within Vietnam
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding water based activities)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $140pp pre-paid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 13 nights in good quality hotels (4 star)
  • 2 nights on board a Vietnamese cruise boat on Halong Bay
  • 1 night on board a river cruise vessel on the Mekong Delta
  • 16 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 6 lunches and 7 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides
  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout
  • English-speaking local guide on board the Mekong Cruise

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available 

Sightseeing

Hanoi, Halong Bay and the hills of Sapa       

  • Go behind the scenes at a traditional water puppet show in Hanoi.
  • Tour stately Hanoi including the Ho Chi Minh Memorial, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter on foot.
  • Discover the city of Hanoi as it awakens, visiting the flower market, old quarter and Hoan Kiem Lake before a Vietnamese breakfast and coffee.
  • Walk the Rail Tracks of Hanoi and explore a rarely seen side of Vietnam's capital city! We meet the locals and see how they have adapted to daily life along the rail tracks.
  • Discover the scenic rice terraces and undulating landscape of Sapa Hills and meet the local hill tribes.
  • Take the cable car and travel to the top of Mt Fansipan. 
  • Spend 2 nights on a Vietnamese Cruiseboat exploring beautiful Halong Bay. 

Heritage-listed Hoi An and Hue           

  • Explore ancient Vietnam's capital Hue including the vast 19th century Citadel.
  • Travel by boat to Thien Mu Pagoda.
  • Journey through Kim Long Village in Hue by cyclo and learn about the lifestyle of the upperclass in Hue over hundreds of years,  depicted by their Garden Houses.  Meet a Master of Calligraphy and learn about this ancient art while he performs some traditional music by bamboo flute.  
  • Spend 3 nights in World Heritage-listed Hoi An and explore the town on foot, including the Japanese Covered Bridge Pagoda, the Culture & History Museum, the Chinese Assembly Hall of Fujien Chinese Community and an old historic house (UNESCO site).
  • Cruise down Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School and learn how to cook traditional Vietnamese dishes.

Saigon and the lively Mekong Delta       

  • Tour bustling Saigon including the French-style Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office, Reunification Palace and the very moving War Remnants Museum.
  • Visit the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnel complex north of Saigon, with a veteran. This elaborate 200 kilometre-long tunnel complex was built by the Viet Cong and never discovered during the Vietnam War.
  • Enjoy an "A Little out of the Ordinary" tour of Saigon - a unique look at Saigon visiting the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street (Le Cong Kieu), Fanny's Ice Cream Parlour, the trendy boutiques and shops of Ton That Thiep Street.
  • Spend the night on the Mekong River, exploring the tributaries and canals while observing daily life along the banks.
  • Visit the Cai Be Floating markets and walk along the canals and the palm-shaded creek witnessing local houses, green orchards, shipbuilding yards, and the rural and water activities of the Mekong.
  • Cruise to Can Tho and visit the Cai Rang floating market, the biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
07/04/19 25/04/19   $5,495 Available book now
21/04/19 09/05/19   $5,495 Guaranteed Departure book now
05/05/19 23/05/19   $5,495 Available book now
19/05/19 06/06/19   $5,495 Available book now
02/06/19 20/06/19   $5,495 Available book now
16/06/19 04/07/19   $5,495 Available book now
30/06/19 18/07/19   $5,495 Available book now
14/07/19 01/08/19   $5,495 Available book now
28/07/19 15/08/19   $5,495 Available book now
11/08/19 29/08/19   $5,495 Available book now
25/08/19 12/09/19   $5,495 Available book now
08/09/19 26/09/19   $5,495 Available book now
22/09/19 10/10/19   $5,495 Available book now
06/10/19 24/10/19   $5,495 Available book now
20/10/19 07/11/19   $5,495 Available book now
03/11/19 21/11/19   $5,495 Available book now
17/11/19 05/12/19   $5,795 Available book now
01/12/19 19/12/19   $5,795 Available book now
02/02/20 20/02/20   $5,595 Available book now
16/02/20 05/03/20   $5,595 Available book now
01/03/20 19/03/20   $5,595 Available book now
15/03/20 02/04/20   $5,595 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth
Other departure cities: Please contact our office for applicable pricing
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $140pp pre-paid
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $235pp
Single supplement: from $1,525
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips. Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation listed is subject to change and the list should be used as a guide only. Every effort is made to avoid changes however if a change becomes necessary then accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Silk Path Hotel, Hanoi

Centrally located near the Old Quarter of Hanoi, the Silk Path Hotel is within walking distance to Hang Da Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and the Temple of Literature. The property offers contemporary guestrooms and modern facilities including a restaurant, terrace café, piano bar and premium bar, as well as a sauna and fitness centre.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa, Sapa

Nestled on its own picturesque hill, the 5-star Silk Path Grand Resort & Spa Sapa offers amazing panoramic views of the Hoang Lien Son Mountain Range and unparalleled experiences in a unique, secluded destination. Guests can enjoy a dip in the indoor heated pool or relax with pampering massage at the spa.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities; swimming pool; fitness centre; spa

Bhaya Classic Cruise, Halong Bay

The Bhaya Classic boats are wooden boats constructed in the traditional oriental style long favoured by shipbuilders in this area. The construction material and style of the boats give them a classic feel which sets them apart from most cruise vessels around the world. On board, you will find atmospheric spaces which speak of the heritage design, and the small boat concept encourages a cosy feel. Each Bhaya Classic boat has between 15 and 20 cabins, the relatively small design creating informal, warm spaces on board.

Eldora Hotel, Hue

Featuring an indoor swimming pool, a restaurant and a fitness centre, Eldora Hotel is located in the town of Hue, just 500 metres away from the Huong River. Rooms feature stylish decor with elegant furnishings. Guests staying at the Hotel can indulge in a relaxing massage or spa treatment. Other services offered include bicycle rentals and currency exchange services.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; indoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Hoi An Trails Resort & Spa, Hoi An

The stunning 4-star Hoi An Trails Resort & Spa is centrally located between Cua Dai beach and the famous historic district of Hoi An. Immerse yourself in the authentic Vietnamese culture, gaze out over iconic rice fields or dine in one of the two delicious on-site restaurants.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities; swimming pool; fitness centre; spa

Paragon Saigon Hotel, Saigon

Located in one of the most desirable areas to stay in in Saigon, the Paragon Saigon Hotel features luxuriously appointed guest rooms combining modern and traditional styles and spectacular city views. The property boasts a fusion restaurant, bar, lobby lounge, spa and a stunning rooftop swimming pool.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Mekong Eyes Explorer, Mekong Delta

Watch the hustle and bustle on the rivers and canals as you cruise between Southern Vietnam and Cambodia - or vice versa. The boutique cruiser is designed to roam through the narrow and winding rivers and canals that cannot be accessed by the larger cruise boats, so you can really experience the hidden gems of the Mekong Delta. The cruise ship has 12 superior cabins and 4 suites. With huge panorama windows that can be opened up to enjoy the afternoon breeze, the restaurant of the Mekong Eyes Explorer is a real highlight. 

Weather

Weather

Hanoi

Dry Season: November to February

Wet Season: March to September

Hanoi

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Ave Max C

19

19

23

26

31

32

32

32

31

28

24

21

Ave Min C

15

15

18

21

24

25

26

26

25

22

19

15

Rainy Days

7

13

15

14

15

14

15

16

14

9

7

7

Hoi An

Hoi An

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Ave Max C

24

26

28

31

33

35

34

33

31

29

27

25

Ave Min C

19

20

22

24

25

26

26

25

24

23

20

20

Rainy Days

5

 

5

8

7

10

8

10

13

18

21

20

21

Dry Season: January to April

Wet Season: September to January

Saigon

Dry Season: December to March

Wet Season: May to October

Saigon

J

F

M

A

M

J

J

A

S

O

N

D

Ave Max C

33

35

36

37

35

34

33

33

32

32

32

31

Ave Min C

20

23

25

26

26

25

25

25

24

24

22

20

Rainy Days

1

2

4

8

17

20

22

19

21

21

10

3

Currency

Currency

Vietnamese Dong

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND; ₫).

  • 1 Vietnamese Dong = 100 Hào
  • Notes are in denominations of ₫500000, 20000, 10000, 5000, 2000, 1000, 500, 200 and 100
  • Coins are in denominations of ₫5,000, 2,000, 1,000, 500 and 200

Please Note: USD is widely accepted throughout Vietnam. 

Visa Information

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

  • Australian passport holders
  • Non-Australian passport holders
    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

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Special Experiences!

  • A tradition dating back to the 11th century in northern Vietnam, we’ll enjoy an intimate behind-the-scenes look at the history and art behind water puppetry.
  • Walk along the ‘Rail Tracks of Hanoi’ and meet the locals who have adapted to daily life just metres from the trains.
  • Ascend beautiful Mt Fansipan by cable car and tram, enjoying spectacular views along the way.
  • Cycle through Hue to visit its famous Garden Houses, many of which have ties with the old imperial court.
  • Visit a colourful local market in Hoi An before taking a short cruise (subject to river levels) along the Hoi An River to the secluded Red Bridge Cooking School for an aromatic and informative cooking class.
  • Go off the beaten track to discover Saigon’s a-little-out-of-the-ordinary sights. Visit the peculiar Dan Sinh Market, Beaux-Arts Museum, Antique Street and traditional French-style Fanny’s Ice Cream Parlour.

Trip Info

Group Size

Min: 4 | Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, plane, cruise boat, cable car, longboat, sampan & riverboat

Tips

Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $140pp pre-paid

Tour Highlights

• Walk along the rail tracks of Hanoi and discover a rarely seen side of the city • Explore the undulating rice terraces of Sapa Hills and meet the local hill tribes • Spend 2 nights cruising breathtaking Halong Bay • Discover the ancient imperial capital of Hue • Tour the charming streets of heritage-listed Hoi An • Visit the remarkable Cu Chi Tunnels complex • Visit the Cai Be Floating Markets and walk along the canals and the palm-shaded creek

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