15 Day Vietnam Tour

A Cultural Odyssey
TOURCODE: VN1

Duration:
15 Days

Activity Level:
2

When To Go:
Mar, Oct

Countries Visited:
1

Arrive In / Depart From:
Hanoi / Ho Chi Minh

Max Group Size:
18

Tour Style:
Cultural

Price From:

Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides.

  • Small group sizes to help escape the beaten path.
  • Authentic local experiences with lots of inclusions.
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Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

This 15-day Vietnam Tour begins in the beautiful Hanoi with its sprawling lakes, beaches and parks.

You will be quick to examine the magnificence of this country under a closer eye as you embark on a cruise that takes you through Lan Ha Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin. Watch as local fishermen go about their daily work as you drift through the many limestone peaks and sandy-edged islands and enjoy a priceless insight into the lives of rural Vietnamese citizens.

Before leaving Hanoi, you will have the opportunity to enter one of the many museums and temples.

This country's turbulent past is revealed at the underground tunnels of Chu Chi near Ho Chi Minh City, where 10,000 people lived during the Vietnam War.

Travelling from one village to the next, you will encounter the busy artisans working at the foot of Marble Mountain or the World Heritage Site of My Son, a complex containing many Hindu relics.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.

 

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

 


The above prices are subject to an additional $60 for taxes/fees levied on flights that occur as part of the tour. The internal airfares ARE included (any exceptions are listed in red below), but we list the taxes separately on your invoice as they are beyond our control and can change at any time.

Optional Single Supplement: $620 USD (number of singles limited).

 


 

Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi; transfer to our hotel.

Hanoi, located on the banks of the Red River (Song Hong), is an attractive city with lakes, fine boulevards, flourishing parks, and a public centre that is an architectural museum piece. Rich in history, this is one of the most ancient capitals in the world. Hanoi is like a living museum; a fascinating glimpse into a city of old, yet oozing with the energy and pace of a modern metropolis.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Hanoi: City Exploration
Today we enjoy a full day of sightseeing in Hanoi, and as we visit the historic highlights you will witness a capital city packed with tree-lined boulevards, lakes and parks, belle époque villas and beautiful temples.

We will start at the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, a site of pilgrimage and the final resting place of the most iconic and popular leader of Vietnam. The building was constructed from materials gathered from all over Vietnam and is modelled closely on Lenin's Mausoleum. (*From time to time the building is closed to visitors; possibly an outside viewing only).

We continue on to the Ho Chi Minh stilt house. For most of his tenure as President of North Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh lived in this modest stilt house behind the grandiose Presidential Palace. Its construction and decor illustrates the importance of simplicity and modesty to this Vietnamese revolutionary. The building is elegantly crafted with lacquered and polished wood, following the model of a traditional communal house on stilts.

We will also admire the elegance of the One Pillar Pagoda, one of Vietnam’s most iconic temples. Originally built in 1049, the temple is lotus-shaped and is situated in the middle of a water-lily pond.

Our visit to the Ethnology Museum (one of Vietnam's finest) provides us with an insight to the lives of the peoples found primarily in the high country. Dedicated to the 54 ethnic minorities of Vietnam the museum is packed full of information detailing traditional Vietnamese ways of life. Next is the Temple of Literature, the site of the first national university dating back to 1076 and one of Hanoi's best-preserved ancient sites.

Today we finish with the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, known to American prisoners of war as the Hanoi Hilton. This museum was a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the American/Vietnam War.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

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Day 3 Hanoi - Red River Delta & Tam Coc
This morning we will drive to Ninh Binh Province through the rural Red River Delta region. This part of Vietnam is often referred to as “Halong Bay on Land”. Song Hong, the Red River, is northern Vietnam’s largest river. The river rises in China’s Yunnan province and flows 1175 km southeast through deep, narrow gorges to enter Vietnam and discharge into the Gulf of Tonkin via a great delta. The silt it carries is rich in iron oxide, making its water red and giving it its name.

After lunch we will enjoy a short drive to Yen Mac. Here we will meet with a local family and learn about the local village activities such as gardening, rice cultivation and production, and local handicraft work. People of the Red River Delta villages are self-sufficient and they grow an abundance of vegetables and fruit in private gardens, overflowing with a variety of crops such as tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, herbs, papaya, longan and jackfruit. We will walk along the narrow village streets to see the local pagoda and the communal house; the relaxed atmosphere here lends well to interaction with local villagers.

We then drive to Hoa Lu, the ancient capital during the Dinh and Le dynasties. We'll visit the local temples and then drive across the Trang An Eco-tourism complex in order to reach the Hang Mua Cave. Here we can climb up the 450 steps to reach the summit for a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

Overnight in Tam Coc.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 4 Tam Coc - Lan Ha Bay Overnight Cruise
In the morning embark on a journey to Lan Ha Bay (an extension of Ha Long Bay); all the while absorbing the incredible beauty of The Red River Delta and colourful rice fields throughout the journey. Lying south and east of Cat Ba Town, Lan Ha Bay is made up of approximately 300 or so karst islands and limestone outcrops. Due to being a fair distance from Halong City, fewer tourist boats venture here, meaning Lan Ha Bay has a more isolated appeal.

We will receive a warm welcome as we arrive at the Dinh Vu port around noon. Here we will board our overnight boat. A mouth-watering lunch will be served as we cruise to Lan Ha Bay.

During our afternoon cruising we will witness the phenomenal and awe-inspiring scenery around Lan Ha Bay. We will explore hidden lagoons and floating villages, and you will have the chance to swim or kayak at the foot of the verdant giant stones. We later drop anchor in an isolated area for the evening and enjoy the peaceful ambience of the bay. Under clear skies, the upper deck offers a great vista from which you can admire the beauty of the Lan Ha sunset.

Overnight on board.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 5 Lan Ha Bay - Hanoi
Before enjoying breakfast, those who wish to can participate in a Tai Chi class on deck under the rise of the Southeast Asian sun. This morning we will explore an impressive cave engulfed with thousands of stalactites and stalagmites. We slowly cruise back through the majestic karst peeks heading back to the pier.

Around noon we will disembark at Dinh Vu port and drive back to Hanoi. We will arrive in the mid-afternoon and will transfer to our hotel. Later this afternoon we will enjoy a walking tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter, also known as the 'Quarter of 36 Streets'.

This evening we will enjoy a (+/- one hour) water puppet show. This fantastic art form is unique to Vietnam and originates in the Red River Delta area.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Hanoi - Da Nang - Hoi An
Today we fly to Da Nang and continue by road to Hoi An. Da Nang is situated on a peninsula at the point where the Han River flows into the South China Sea. Our route takes us through the nearby Marble Mountains; a cluster of five limestone peaks with marble outcrops known for their beauty and their caves. At the foot of Marble Mountain one finds an important religious site for the Chams as well as many artisans crafting fine marble objects.

Our destination today is perhaps one of the most charming and atmospheric towns in Vietnam - Hoi An. The ancient town of Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. The town centre here is small enough to get around easily on foot. On arrival, flight times permitting, we'll have an informal orientation tour of this charming town.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Hoi An: Walking Tour & Boat Trip
Today we will venture out on foot and discover many of the highlights of this UNESCO protected town – including the old-town architecture, Buddhist shrines, French colonial houses, art galleries and old canals. This was once a prominent Vietnamese trading port for porcelain, pepper, silk and cinnamon, and the city offers a true mix of Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and French architectural feats.

The oldest parts of town are teeming with beautifully-restored houses, shops, and temples, offering sightseeing opportunities you won’t find in other cities in Vietnam. One of Vietnam's most iconic attractions, Hoi An's Japanese covered bridge dates back to the 18th century and is a beautiful historical piece of Japanese architecture. On its north side there is a pagoda, Japanese in style, which serves as protection for sailors. The Tran Family Temple has survived for 15 generations, and here we will see the fusion between both the Chinese and Japanese styles.

During our time here today we will visit the Chinese Assembly Hall, the Central Market and we will enjoy a boat trip on the Thu Bon River. This river is still essential to the region more than 500 years after it was first navigated, and it remains essential to local food production and transport.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 From Hoi An: My Son Cham Dynasty Complex
This morning we will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of My Son ("mee-sohn"), a large complex of religious relics that comprises more than 70 architectural works from the obscure Cham Dynasty (2nd-15th century). The Chams were "Indianised" during commercial trading relations and adopted Hinduism (which can clearly be seen in the Temple designs). My Son served as an intellectual and religious centre and is a ‘must visit’ as one of Vietnam's most extensive and most important Cham Sites. The forested and lush setting, and general peacefulness of this little visited site make this an excellent excursion.

We later return to Hoi An in time for a late lunch and the balance of the day is free for you to explore at leisure. The Hoi An riverside was a prominent stop amongst foreign traders between the 16th and 18th centuries due to its location on the banks of Thu Bon River, and today this part of the old town is still the most popular gathering spot day and night.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Hoi An - Da Nang - Hue
Today we travel to Hue. Our route to Hue takes us via Da Nang where we visit the Cham Museum - housing the largest display of Cham art anywhere in the world. Many of the exhibits are considered masterpieces of their field, and at present the museum houses over 250 stone and terracotta sculptural works.

Shortly after our departure from Da Nang we will pass through the Truong Son Mountains, the former border between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. Hai Van Pass, or literally "Pass of the Ocean Clouds," offers spectacular scenery as it weaves through breathtaking mountains overlooking a stunning coastline.

The riverfront town of Hue was the capital of the old Nguyen Dynasty, and traditionally one of Vietnam's cultural, religious and educational centers. Here there are splendid tombs of the emperors, several stunning pagodas and the citadel that houses the forbidden Purple City, situated on the banks of the Perfume River.

During our time in Hue we will enjoy a "cyclo" ride through the old city and market. These three-wheel bicycle taxis first appeared in Vietnam during the French colonial period.

Overnight in Hue.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Hue: Area Tour/Citadel Visit
There is no better way to start the day than with a motorized boat journey down the Perfume River to visit the delightful Thien Mu Pagoda, considered to be the finest pagoda in Hue. It was built in 1601 after an old woman appeared to Nguyen Hoang, the governor of Hue, and said that the site had supernatural significance.

This part of Vietnam has a long and illustrious history as it used to be one of the main royal capitals of the country. This afternoon we tour the Hue Citadel, a fortress surrounded by a moat that has a six-mile perimeter. At the Forbidden Purple City we can see the remains of the former home of the emperors. The Imperial City is built on the same principles as the Forbidden City in Beijing. It is enclosed by thick outer walls (Kinh Thanh), along with moats, canals and towers. There are ten gates, which pierce the four walls of the citadel, although many are in poor condition. The city has not only been damaged by war, but also by natural disasters such as floods, which inundated the city in the mid-nineteenth century to a depth of several feet. The complex has undergone partial restoration with the aid of UNESCO.

This evening we will enjoy a special, private dinner in a beautiful, restored royal home in Hue. The home is now owned by descendants of the Hue royal family.

Overnight in Hue.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 Hue - Ho Chi Minh City
Today we fly from Hue to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the captivating city of culture and commerce. This cosmopolitan metropolis vibrates with energy and innovation. The old blends with the new in Ho Chi Minh City, defining it as one of the most diverse locations on the winding course of the great Mekong River.

This afternoon we visit some of the city's highlights, including the Reunification Palace, formerly the site of Norodom Palace, the residence of the French governor-general of Indochina. A visit here provides a fascinating glimpse into the turbulent times of the Vietnam War as well as a look at the architectural influences which inspired some of Vietnam’s revered architecture – from French and English, to Japanese and Chinese.

We then proceed to Cholon, or Chinatown, an area inhabited by Vietnamese of Chinese origin and one of the most vibrant parts of the city today.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Ho Chi Minh City: Cu Chi Tunnels & War Remnants Museum
This morning we travel outside of Saigon to the Cu Chi Tunnels - easily one of the most recognizable symbols of the Vietnam War. The tunnels were dug with simple tools and bare hands during the French occupation in the 1940s, and further expanded during the Vietnam War in the 1960s to provide refuge and a defensive advantage over the American soldiers. Despite all the bombings in their town, the Cu Chi people were able to continue their lives beneath the soil, where they slept, ate, planned attacks, healed their sick, and taught their young. The site has over 120km of underground tunnels, with trapdoors, living areas, kitchens, storage facilities, armoury, hospitals, and command centres. Today there are sections of the tunnels which visitors can crawl through (not recommended for the claustrophobic).

From here we will continue back to the city and head to the War Remnants Museum - the most comprehensive wartime documentation centre in Vietnam. The exhibits and descriptions here may be one-sided, with many exhibits containing a heavy dose of anti-American propaganda, but they do graphically portray the horrors of the war.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Ho Chi Minh City - Cao Dai Temple - Mekong Delta
Our destination today is the Mekong Delta, where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of tributaries.*

On our way to the Mekong Delta, we will stop at one of the many Cao Dai temples. This hybrid religion took root in southern Vietnam during the 1920's after Ngo Van Chieu, a civil servant, was visited by 'Cao Dai' or the 'Supreme Being'. The Cao Dai later told Ngo in a seance that he was to be symbolized by a giant eye. Being a humanist religion, it quickly gained support of a large following of dispossessed peasants. Today there is thought to be about 2,000,000 adherents and 1,000 Cao Dai temples.

A four-hour drive south takes us to the fertile delta of the meandering Mekong River, the southernmost region of Vietnam. Often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam, producing three crops of rice per year, the fertile Mekong Delta is also famous for its tropical fruits and flowers. The Delta area is the end of a 4500 km / 2,812 mi journey the Mekong River makes after travelling through six countries. Traditional transportation in the Delta is by boat, via a vast network of canals and channels. Boating along these canals and visiting the floating markets is a fascinating experience.

* Please pack an overnight for the trip to the Mekong Delta. Large baggage will be securely stored in Ho Chi Minh City.

Overnight in hotel in Cantho region (Mekong Delta).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 14 Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City / Colonial Quarter
Early this morning we will have a covered boat ride on the Delta - an ideal way to explore the attractions of the magic waterways of the Mekong region. Here we can have a candid glimpse into the lives of the local people selling, buying, and exchanging goods from their boats. Due to its mostly flat terrain and few forested areas, almost two-thirds of the region's land can be used for agriculture. The Mekong Delta is also Vietnam's most important fishing region.

After our morning exploration we connect again with our bus for our drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. This afternoon we will complete any city sightseeing that was not accomplished earlier. At some point during out tour we will visit the city’s charming Colonial Quarter. Here we find the Notre Dame Cathedral and adjacent Post Office. Both of these buildings were constructed by the French in the 1880s and display architectural characteristics typical of that time period. The Cathedral, situated in the aptly-named Paris Square, is among the largest Catholic vestiges in Vietnam, and is still frequented by many locals despite much of the country now practising the Buddhist faith.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Departure
Departure from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon/SGN).

HEN GAP LAI!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner daily, some lunches (see detailed itinerary for daily meal plan). All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for drivers, cruise crew, restaurant staff, porters, local guides. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), domestic and international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, not included meals, visas and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather
Our October departure is just outside of the coolest time of year and the end of rainy season in Northern Vietnam; it still rains now and then, but not too much to seriously affect our trip. The scenery is green and lush, and the weather is generally pleasant at this time of year. We will likely still experience some heat, but our October visit avoids the possibility of being caught in cold weather outbreaks that tend to descend from the north Nov-Jan, which can uncomfortably chilly.

Our March date also skips the cool and cloudy winter period and the heat of summer, which begins in May. March may be somewhat less green overall as things begin to dry out; that said, it's an interesting time as it coincides with the harvest of various crops.

Coastal regions, ie Central Vietnam, are cooled by sea breezes.

Overall you should prepare for warm-hot, sometimes sticky weather with the possibility of rain and some chilly nights/mornings in a few locales.

Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout will be by private air-conditioned bus. Most of the driving days are not long, usually no more than four hours. Road conditions are generally not good and progress can be slow. Boats are used at various points in the itinerary, and vary from converted trawlers to small riverboats. Internal flights via scheduled regional carriers.

The tour is not strenuous though it is busy; you must be steady on your feet and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage at airports.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation
Hotels used on tour are modern, comfortable, well-located, air-conditioned, 3-4 star properties with en suite bath/toilet. Some are resort-style boutique properties with plenty of charm and atmosphere. Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Laundry facilities are available at most hotels for a reasonable price.

Click on "Map & Hotels" tab elsewhere on this page for more info, including details about our cruise vessel.

Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.

Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

Tour Extensions
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:

20 Day Vietnam Cambodia Tour
MAR OCT
TOUR CODE: VN2
Tour Overview
22 Day Laos & Vietnam Tour
MAR OCT
TOUR CODE: LA2
Tour Overview
27 Day Laos, Vietnam & Cambodia
MAR OCT
TOUR CODE: LA3
Tour Overview

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Southeast Asia
Countries visited: Vietnam


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Mercure Hanoi la Gare
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Ha Noi
Country: Vietnam
At the Mercure Hanoi La Gare, you can enjoy all that Hanoi has to offer from the comfort of the 4-star hotel. Conveniently located a 10 minute walk away from the Old ... the hotel is in close proximity to a lot of major historical sites in Hanoi - 5 minutes to a shopping centre and ICE Exhibition Centre, 10 minute walk to the Temple of Literature, 15 minutes to Hoan Kiem Lake, and more. It is also located 200 metres from the Hanoi Railway Station.
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Tam Coc Garden Resort
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Tam Coc
Country: Vietnam
Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, Tam Coc Garden, nestled amidst rice fields, is a jewel of hospitality, gastronomy and romanticism, harmoniously intertwined with local farm life.

... tastefully decorated rooms blend furniture, materials, colours and style to bring a sense of cohesion through a refined charm without pretentiousness. Stone, wood, traditional tiles, ceramics and bamboo are naturally intertwined to create a unique personality and charisma.
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Emeralda Resort Ninh Binh
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Tam Coc
Country: Vietnam
Located on the edge of the Van Long Nature Reserve, Emeralda Ninh Binh Resort offers spacious, villa-style rooms with free internet access. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, it features a spa, 3 swimming ... and 2 restaurants. Furnished with natural materials including wooden furniture, rooms have large windows and a balcony overlooking the resort’s gardens or swimming pool. A flat-screen TV with satellite channels, mini-bar and tea/coffee making facilities are included in each room.
Read More
V'Spirit Premier Cruise
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Lan Ha Bay
Country: Vietnam
The eternal grandeur of Vietnam’s Halong Bay unfurls from the wooden decks of the V’Spirit Premier Cruise, where every corner turned is a new angle on the purest artwork. A new luxury ... in Halong Bay is a poetic marriage of tradition and environment in the northeastern corner of the Vietnamese homeland. Built of the finest materials countrywide, The V’Spirit Premier Cruise is the essence of Vietnam, embodied in burnished wood and billowing sails, manifested by a cruise as steeped in tradition as it is in innovation.
Read More
Hoi An Historic Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Hoi An
Country: Vietnam
Hoi An Historic Hotel provides 150 international-standard rooms and suites in low-rise blocks spaced throughout lush, shady grounds. The rooms include air-conditioning, LCD TV, a bathroom with a tub and shower, and ... safety box. Room design discards the minimalist fad of recent years, sticking to basics such as bed, fridge, cupboard and television. The four-star hotel also offers the use of a vast, outdoor pool with poolside recliners, a Jacuzzi, tennis courts, a souvenir shop and art gallery, a beauty salon and a tour desk.
Read More
Saigon Prince Hotel
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Saigon
Country: Vietnam
Located right in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, on the picturesque and vibrant Nguyen Hue Boulevard, the Saigon Prince Hotel is a well-appointed 4-star hotel offering a refined and comforting ... for business and leisure travelers alike.

Saigon Prince Hotel is uniquely placed within easy walking distance to many of the most famous attractions in the city including Ben Thanh Market, Opera House, Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Saigon River.
Read More

 


 

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Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 90-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is via our website; during office hours, you are also more than welcome to contact us by telephone. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 90 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Please review our cancellation policy page for details.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Glenn P.
Ottawa, ON - 1
Excellent touring bus, comfortable and lots of room. Meals were excellent, lots of choice and quantity. Our tour leader was excellent, she was very patient, friendly, good sense of humour, and up beat throughout the trip. Hotels were very good. Excellent tour!
Joan M.
Toronto, ON - CA
I enjoyed all the excursions; all were interesting, informative and worth doing. All local guides were good. Transportation was excellent. We generally had the use of a large bus which gave room to spread out. Yes the meal plan met my expectations. I especially liked the selection of local restaurants and local cuisine for lunches and dinners (this contrasts very favourably with a previous tour - with another company - which generally used hotel buffets for dinners). A couple of special meals in private homes were especially interesting. The tour leader did an excellent job of managing the many food restrictions amongst the group, including my shellfish allergy. She also selected "western" options from time to time to provide a welcome break from local cuisine. Our tour leader did an excellent job throughout. Excellent tour.
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Countries Visited: 1

Vietnam.
Activity Level: 2

These are particularly busy tours that feature a lot of moving around, sometimes by train and short journeys on local transport. Walking tours of towns and cities are leisurely but you should be prepared to be on your feet for several hours. Some of our cultural trips that occur at high altitude and/or require greater independence with baggage handling (at hotels, airports, train stations) also fall into this category.
Tour Style: Cultural

These three- and four-star hotel-based, "soft adventure" trips concentrate on the culture, history, and natural attributes of our destination. Though there are no strenuous activities built into these tours, you need to be prepared for some full days with some early starts, plenty of walking on uneven surfaces through villages, cities and archaeological sites, and not a lot of "down time." Independence, reasonable fitness, and an ability to be steady on one's feet are critical in order for you to get the most out of these programs.
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