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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
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  • When?March 2015
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Home / Explore - Vietnam
Explore - Vietnam
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Explore - Vietnam

  • 15 Night Holiday
  • B&B / Full Board
View Dates & Prices

Vietnam has so much to offer, from stunning white sandy beaches to spectacular countryside filled with rice fields and sleepy villages.

Our Explore Vietnam Holiday is now available to book from our sister brand TDactive Holidays – please click on this link to the TDactive Holidays website  to find out more about our TDactive holidays and to book.

 

On this holiday of a lifetime, you will embark on a cultural discovery tour of Vietnam from North to South. This small group tour with a difference, will allow you to experience Hanoi’s Old Quarter by cyclo ride, explore the underground network system of the Cu Chi Tunnels, cruise through the emerald waters of Halong Bay and immerse yourself in local culture in the Mekong Delta.

This holiday combines culture, history and independent discovery set against the most beautiful of scenic backdrops.

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Vietnamese Dong
Local Time
Irish and UK time +7hours.
Airport
Hanoi Airport is situated 35 kilometres (21 miles) north of Hanoi.
Climate
Whilst Vietnam is typically warm and humid, the weather can vary significantly from one region to another due to the countries length. During most months of the year you will experience both sunshine and rain in varying quantities. In the north, May to October is hot and humid with high rainfall. Central Vietnam experiences hot, dry weather between January & August when temperatures can hit the mid-30°C’s; whilst high levels of rainfall can occur in September, October & November. Southern Vietnam is generally dry and hot from November to April, and warm and wet between May & October, with the highest rainfall in June, July & August.
Dress Code
We recommend loose, long-sleeve shirts and long trousers, preferably in cotton. Shorts are not commonly worn by adults in Vietnam. It’s wise to carry an umbrella and to have a wide-brimmed hat. When visiting temples, dress modestly and ensure shoulders are covered. A jacket may be necessary at some locations, for cool evenings.
Passport/Visa
Irish and UK passport holders require a visa to visit Vietnam. A charge applies. Click here for more information. 
Food and Drink
Vietnamese food is fragrant, spicy, light and delicious. Duck and beef dishes are popular, as are crispy spring rolls with dipping sauces. The nation’s favourite dish is ‘pho’, a spicy noodle soup, with variations in recipe according to region and family. Green tea is the national drink, and Vietnam also produces beers.
Vaccinations

Vaccinations are highly recommended before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.

Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 42,000 Dong
  • Beer: 42,500 Dong
  • Glass of wine: 44,500 Dong
  • Meal: 45,000 Dong
  • Soft Drink: 10,000 Dong
  • Bottled Water: 9,000 Dong
  • (1 Euro = approx 30,000 Dong)
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • Sun hat
  • A small backpack
  • A light coat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

Vietnam Rising Dragon by Bill Hayton

Miss Saigon by Claude-Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil

Holiday highlights

Ha Long Bay
literally means descending dragon. Thousands of limestone mountains dot the seascape, and some of these islands have small alcoves with sandy beaches where it is possible to swim. The waters are calm and the water is clear during the spring and early summer.
Marble Mountains
This mountain range consists of five peaks and is a popular tourist site, and is often called the Mountains of Five Elements. The five peaks are called Thuy Son (water), Moc Son (metal), Tho Son (soil) and Hoa Son (fire).
Củ Chi Tunnels
These were the tunnels which the Viet Cong used during the Vietnam War. The tunnels are more than 250 km long and three levels deep. They were an unparalleled engineering marvel, and today the remaining tunnels have been restored to allow tourist to get a unique experience as to what underground life was like.
The Presidential Palace, Hanoi
Construction of this palace began in 1900 and was completed in 1906. It was built for the French Governing General when Vietnam achieved independence in 1954. Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the palace but did still use it when important guests came to visit. There is a traditional Vietnamese stilt house built on the grounds of the palace.
Saigon Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
This marvellous neo-Romanesque style building was established by French colonists in the 19th century. It is situated in the very heart of Ho Chi Minh City at the Paris Square. All materials necessary for the construction of the basilica were imported from France.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Vietnamese Dong
Local Time
Irish and UK time +7hours.
Airport
Hanoi Airport is situated 35 kilometres (21 miles) north of Hanoi.
Climate
Whilst Vietnam is typically warm and humid, the weather can vary significantly from one region to another due to the countries length. During most months of the year you will experience both sunshine and rain in varying quantities. In the north, May to October is hot and humid with high rainfall. Central Vietnam experiences hot, dry weather between January & August when temperatures can hit the mid-30°C’s; whilst high levels of rainfall can occur in September, October & November. Southern Vietnam is generally dry and hot from November to April, and warm and wet between May & October, with the highest rainfall in June, July & August.
Dress Code
We recommend loose, long-sleeve shirts and long trousers, preferably in cotton. Shorts are not commonly worn by adults in Vietnam. It’s wise to carry an umbrella and to have a wide-brimmed hat. When visiting temples, dress modestly and ensure shoulders are covered. A jacket may be necessary at some locations, for cool evenings.
Passport/Visa
Irish and UK passport holders require a visa to visit Vietnam. A charge applies. Click here for more information. 
Food and Drink
Vietnamese food is fragrant, spicy, light and delicious. Duck and beef dishes are popular, as are crispy spring rolls with dipping sauces. The nation’s favourite dish is ‘pho’, a spicy noodle soup, with variations in recipe according to region and family. Green tea is the national drink, and Vietnam also produces beers.
Vaccinations

Vaccinations are highly recommended before your departure - please consult with your GP or Tropical Medical Bureau.

Average Prices for Region
  • Coffee: 42,000 Dong
  • Beer: 42,500 Dong
  • Glass of wine: 44,500 Dong
  • Meal: 45,000 Dong
  • Soft Drink: 10,000 Dong
  • Bottled Water: 9,000 Dong
  • (1 Euro = approx 30,000 Dong)
Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • Sun cream
  • Sun hat
  • A small backpack
  • A light coat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

Vietnam Rising Dragon by Bill Hayton

Miss Saigon by Claude-Michel Schönberg & Alain Boublil

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Depart for Vietnam

Afternoon

Depart for Vietnam

Depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

Day 2 - Hanoi

Afternoon

Hanoi

On arrival in Hanoi, you will be welcomed by your local guide and transferred to your hotel in the downtown area. The remainder of the day will be at leisure so you can settle in and get to know your surroundings.

Day 3 – Hanoi City Tour

Morning

Ho Chi Minh Complex

Jump head-first into Hanoi's sights and sounds on a full day city tour. You'll visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex, which includes the Mausoleum, Uncle Ho's former stilt-house residence, the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Museum and The Temple of Literature.

Afternoon

Museum of Ethnology

After lunch, explore the enthralling Museum of Ethnology, which contains an extensive display of life-size structures dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minorities. Next up is an exciting cyclo ride winding through the narrow, chaotic streets of the Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Evening

Vietnamese Water Puppet Show

Finish your day off with a traditional performance of the famous Vietnamese water puppets. Water puppetry is an ancient Vietnamese tradition that dates back as far as the 11th century.

Day 4 - Hoa Lu & Tam Coc

Morning

Hoa Lu

Embark on a road trip through the picturesque countryside from Hanoi to the ancient complex of Hoa Lu. Hoa Lu was the capital city of Vietnam under both the Dinh and Le Dynasties between 968 and 1009 AD. Enjoy views of many palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions as well as a visit to the Dinh and Le Temples followed by lunch.

Afternoon

Tam Coc

Experience a sampan ride along Tam Coc, a winding waterway dotted with gorgeous limestone karsts, before a 6km gentle bike ride through the stunning countryside towards Bich Dong Pagoda. Explore this charming cluster of cave temples, including three pagodas located at different levels of the mountain, before returning to Hanoi in the late afternoon.

Day 5 - Halong Bay Cruise

Full Day

Halong Bay Cruise

Depart Hanoi for Halong Bay where you will board a traditional wooden junk boat for a 1 night cruise. Enjoy lunch while the boat heads towards secluded islands and ancient limestone caves. Go swimming at Titov Island, explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave or simply relax on board. Watch the sunset from the deck before indulging in a freshly prepared sea food dinner under the stars during a “Sunset Party”. *Swimming is subject to weather conditions

Day 6 – Halong Bay to Hoi An

Morning

Halong Bay

Start the morning with a Tai Chi lesson. Enjoy kayaking around Man’s Head Islet, discovering some of Halong Bay’s hidden gems. Continue cruising, passing Ba Hang fishing village and Dog Islet while enjoying a fruit carving demonstration, cooking class and a traditional Vietnamese lunch.

Afternoon

Hoi An

After lunch, disembark at Halong Bay harbour and transfer to Noi Bai airport for your flight to Danang. On arrival you will transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. Enjoy the evening at leisure getting to know your surroundings.

Day 7 - Hoi An Walking Tour

Morning

Hoi An by Foot

Discover Hoi An, a city on Vietnam’s central coast, by foot. You will start the morning with a walking tour of Hoi An’s old town. The 400-year old Japanese Covered Bridge, the Phuc Kien Assembly Halls and the colorful local market are just some of the sights you will get to experience on this guided tour with a difference.

Afternoon

Hoi An at Leisure

Eat like a local at one of Hoi An’s restaurants, after which you will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to continue exploring further at your own pace. Go shopping, visit a museum or wander the narrow streets. Your local expert guide would be happy to suggest some activities your suit your interests.

Day 8 - Hoi An at Leisure

Full Day

Hoi An at Leisure

Hoi An is a cosmopolitan melting pot, with influences from the Chinese, Japanese and French evident in its architecture. The old town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as it is the perfect example of a well preserved South-East Asian trading port. You will have a full free day in Hoi An to enjoy the city as you wish.

Day 9 – Marble Mountain & the Perfume River

Morning

Marble Mountains

This morning drive north to the Royal City of Hue with en-route stop to visit the famous Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills named after the five elements (metal, water, wood, fire and earth). Continue the scenic route to Hue, enjoying the view of the coast line and Danang from the top of the Hai Van Pass.

Afternoon

Perfume River

In the afternoon, experience a cruise on the Perfume River by a dragon boat towards the serene Thien Mu Pagoda. Following this you will visit the majestic Royal Tomb of King Minh Mang. You will arrive at your hotel in Hue just before sunset.

Day 10 - Hue

Morning

Imperial City of Hue

After breakfast, you'll spend the full day discovering the Imperial City of Hue. Hue was the Vietnamese capital during the Nguyen Dynasty 1802-1945 and ruins of its regal past can still be seen today. Modelled on the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Imperial City of Hue is home to many palaces and temples within its giant walls. Enjoy a local experience at Dong Ba market browsing local produce before your afternoon transfer to Phu Bai airport for your short flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Afternoon

Ho Chi Minh City

On arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, you transfer to your hotel where you will have the remainder of the evening at leisure. Ho Chi Minh City (commonly known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam famous for the pivotal role it played in the Vietnam War. Check out some of the local food stalls that line the city’s streets, especially around bustling Bến Thành Market, or simply relax at your hotel while you get to know your surroundings.

Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh

Morning

Guided City Tour

This morning you will embark on a guided city tour starting with the War Remnants Museum - a real eye-opening part of Vietnam's proud history; followed by the Reunification Palace; the former South Vietnam Presidential Palace; the Notre Dame Cathedral and Old Post Office, offering you a glimpse into the past of Vietnam's biggest city.

Afternoon

Chinatown Guided City Tour

After lunch, discover the sights of Chinatown with a walking tour through its back-streets allowing you to witness local daily life. Visit the amazing Cholon and Binh Tay Market before exploring Thien Hau temple, which was built in the early 19th Century as a tribute to the goddess of seafarers.

Day 12 - Cao Dai Temple & the Cu Chi Tunnels

Morning

Cao Dai Temple

This morning drive to Tay Ninh, once the historical center of the Cao-Dai religion. Founded in 1926, Cao-Dai is a combination of Buddhism, Christianity, Taoism and Confucianism. At the Holy See Temple, you will have the chance to watch the worshipers in their long white tunics during noon mass.

Afternoon

Cu Chi Tunnels

After lunch at a local restaurant, you will visit the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, an amazing network of underground tunnels that were used during the Vietnam War. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong soldiers as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous North Vietnamese fighters.

Day 13 – The Mekong Delta

Morning

Mekong Delta by Boat

Today you will explore the Mekong Delta, a network of fresh and salt water canals that cover a wide area of Southern Vietnam. Leave behind the busy city of Ho Chih Minh and drive towards Ben Tre. Take a boat on Ben Tre River, one of the tributaries of the Mekong River, with a stop along the way to see how traditional bricks are made by printing and baking. You will also visit one of the many coconut processing workshops and a local village located along the waters’ edge.

Afternoon

Mekong Delta by Bicycle

In the afternoon, take a bicycle ride along the village pathways, passing by green rice fields and vegetable plains, enabling you to discover local day to day activities in the Mekong Delta. After lunch at a riverside restaurant, enjoy a rowing-boat trip along water palm creek, and a boat trip back to the pier where you will then be transferred to your hotel in Can Tho. Can Tho is set on the southern bank of the Hau River and is known for its canal network and nearby floating markets.

Day 14 - Cai Rang Floating Market

Morning

Cai Rang Floating Market

Embark on a boat cruise to visit the vibrant Cai Rang floating market. This is a very unique experience as this is a special type of market where all purchasing activities take place on boats and ships. Afterwards, continue to visit a fruit garden where you will have a short tour and the chance to sample some local produce.

Afternoon

Ho Chi Minh City

In the afternoon you will travel back to Ho Chi Minh City, observing rural life and the lush vegetation along the riverbanks. Enjoy lunch en route before arriving at your hotel in Ho Chi Minh.

Day 15 - Depart Ho Chi Minh City

Full Day

Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy one final day at leisure in Ho Chi Minh City for independent exploration. Your guide will be happy to suggest something to suit your taste. Late checkout is included at your hotel before your evening transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Day 16 - Arrive home

Afternoon

Arrive Home

Arrive home following your once in a lifetime trip to Vietnam.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Gondola Hotel 3 Star

Gondola Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter, just 1 minutes’ walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. There are a selection of shops and restaurants nearby. The hotel features a rooftop bar, a restaurant and free Wi-Fi.... read more read more read more

Gondola Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Hanoi Old Quarter, just 1 minutes’ walk from Hoan Kiem Lake. There are a selection of shops and restaurants nearby. The hotel features a rooftop bar, a restaurant and free Wi-Fi.

Hotel address
Gondola Hotel
31 Hang Hanh Street
Hoan Kiem Dist
Hanoi
Hanoi
View available dates for this hotel

Lotus Hoi An Hotel 3 Star

The Lotus Hoi An Hotel is close to several attractions, including Hoi An Ancient Town and Cua Dai Beach. All rooms have a private balcony offering views of the swimming pool or the garden. Guests can relax at the swimming pool, and enjoy the Vietnamese food, Western food and loca... read more read more read more

The Lotus Hoi An Hotel is close to several attractions, including Hoi An Ancient Town and Cua Dai Beach. All rooms have a private balcony offering views of the swimming pool or the garden. Guests can relax at the swimming pool, and enjoy the Vietnamese food, Western food and local specialities at the Lotus Restaurant. 

Hotel address
Lotus Hoi An Hotel
330 Cua Dai Road
Hoi An City

Hoi An
View available dates for this hotel

Thanh Lich 2 Hotel 3 Star

The Thanh Lich 2 Hotel is located in Hue City, Vietnam. There are a host of nearby attractions including the Imperial City, the Thien Mu Pagoda historic temple and the Tomb of Tu Duc. Guests can enjoy an onsite Bar and Restaurant as well as a Fitness Gym and 5-Star Spa.... read more read more read more

The Thanh Lich 2 Hotel is located in Hue City, Vietnam. There are a host of nearby attractions including the Imperial City, the Thien Mu Pagoda historic temple and the Tomb of Tu Duc. Guests can enjoy an onsite Bar and Restaurant as well as a Fitness Gym and 5-Star Spa.

Hotel address
Thanh Lich 2 Hotel
59 Vo Thi Sau St.
Hue City

Hue
View available dates for this hotel

Le Duy Hotel 3 Star

Le Duy Hotel is located in central Saigon, Vietnam. There are several attractions to explore nearby such as the Saigon Opera House and the Water Puppet Theater. Guests will also enjoy a choice of two restaurants where a variety of Vietnamese and International cuisine is available... read more read more read more

Le Duy Hotel is located in central Saigon, Vietnam. There are several attractions to explore nearby such as the Saigon Opera House and the Water Puppet Theater. Guests will also enjoy a choice of two restaurants where a variety of Vietnamese and International cuisine is available as well as an on-site Spa Center.

Hotel address
Le Duy Hotel
18-20 Nguyen Thi Nghia
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh
View available dates for this hotel

Hau Giang Hotel 3 Star

The Hau Giang Hotel is located in Can Tho, Vietnam. Nearby attractions include the ancient Can Tho Market, Ninh Kieu Pier, Can Tho Museum and Cai Rang Floating Market. The hotel boasts its own restaurant where guests can enjoy a selection of local specialities as well as Int... read more read more read more

The Hau Giang Hotel is located in Can Tho, Vietnam. Nearby attractions include the ancient Can Tho Market, Ninh Kieu Pier, Can Tho Museum and Cai Rang Floating Market. The hotel boasts its own restaurant where guests can enjoy a selection of local specialities as well as International cusine.

Hotel address
Hau Giang Hotel
34 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia Street
Tan An Ward
Ninh Kieu District
Can Tho
View available dates for this hotel

V Spirit Cruise Classic 5 0

The V'Spirit offers passengers a relaxed river cruise experience with contemporary, deluxe cabins and facilities. Each cabin enjoys sea-view windows and private bathroom. Passengers can relax and take in wonderful views from the sun deck or the traditional Vietnamese restaur... read more read more read more

The V'Spirit offers passengers a relaxed river cruise experience with contemporary, deluxe cabins and facilities. Each cabin enjoys sea-view windows and private bathroom. Passengers can relax and take in wonderful views from the sun deck or the traditional Vietnamese restaurant.

Hotel address
V Spirit Cruise Classic 5



Hanoi
View available dates for this ship

Thanh Lich 1 Hotel 3

Thanh Lich Hotel located in the centre of Hue city in Vietnam. The hotel is close to several attractions including the Citadel, Trang Tien Bridge and Dong Ba Market. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s facilities which include an indoor pool, spa, fitness centre and a terrace. The hotel... read more read more read more

Thanh Lich Hotel located in the centre of Hue city in Vietnam. The hotel is close to several attractions including the Citadel, Trang Tien Bridge and Dong Ba Market. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s facilities which include an indoor pool, spa, fitness centre and a terrace. The hotel also features a bar and restaurant offering Vietnamese cuisine. 

Hotel address
Thanh Lich 1 Hotel
33 Hai Ba Trung Street
Hue City

View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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