16 days | 15 nights

Grand Vietnam Family Active Adventure

This is a journey into the heart of a nation on the move.

16 days

hanoi, sapa, hue, hoi an, ho chi minh city

adventure, beach, family, CULTURE, NATURE

This customized itinerary features a variety of activities and venues from the 1,000-year old capital, Hanoi to the mountains of Sapa. Continue on a memorable and charming journey through the UNESCO world heritage town of Hoi An and Hue, and end in the frenetic hub of Saigon. The pace is methodical but practical and is enhanced by kayaking, cycling, and multiple forms of transport throughout. 

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EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit a local family of artisans who’ve been perfecting the craft of Vietnamese puppetry for three generations and
  • Hike and cycle the mountain town of Sapa visiting an array of ethnic minority villages
  • Ride the streets of Hanoi on a vintage Minsk, like a local

day 1

WELCOME TO HANOI

We’ll be waiting when your plane touches down, brush off the airline pretzel crumbs and welcome you to your destination, Vietnam! Hanoi is hot for a variety of reasons: a vibrant, youthful economy, fabulous colonial French-Vietnamese architecture, Vietnamese food (a reason to go all on its own), and a glimpse of a culture in transition at the political seat of Vietnam.

day 2

HANOI INSIDE OUT & AN EVENING WITH THE PUPPETS

Prepare to be hosted! Hanoi has been the Vietnamese capital since 1010 A.D so there are an endless amount of stories to be regaled from within the city’s bustling alleyways and diverse quarters. Today, we’ll turn Hanoi inside out as we immerse ourselves in these stories. The Old Quarter will be explored by cyclo before switching to scooters to go and see the Temple of Literature, the Parisian boulevards of the French Quarter and, if you’re up for it, Ho Chi Minh’s Museum complex and the historic Ba Dinh Square.

In the evening, visit a local family of artisans who’ve been perfecting the craft of Vietnamese puppetry for three generations and have re-designed a floor of their house as a mini theatre where we can have tea and a chat followed by a private performance. This is an authentic and memorable way to take part in supporting local artists trying to preserve a craft.

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day 3

HANOI BACKSTREETS BY VINTAGE MINSK

Motorcycles are the staple mode of transportation in Hanoi and are an important part of the city’s character. While they come in all shapes and sizes, we will kick it old-school and explore Hanoi on the back of vintage Soviet-era Minsk motorcycles, driven by our experienced drivers. We’ll head into the narrow maze of winding, zigzagging back streets and alleyways where you’ll have the opportunity to experience authentic, behind the scenes Hanoi.

day 4

EAT, DRINK VIETNAM

Today we’ll enjoy an introduction to Vietnamese food and drink, the basic ingredients, various styles, and of course lots of sampling. Starting out on foot from our hotel in the old quarter, we’ll make our way to Chau Long fresh market for a visual and sensory overload of produce. Sampling is key, and we’ll make a couple of stops to try a few bedrock culinary experiences: spring rolls, salad wraps and, of course, Vietnamese coffee. Lunch is a treat of local specialties – vermicelli noodles with tender grilled pork, broth and herbs, fresh garlic and chilies.

day 5

eXPLORE SAPA TOWN

After arriving at the Lao Cai train station in the early morning, we’ll take an hour long scenic drive uphill to Sapa, giving you a glimpse of the stunning scenery and impressive rice terraces for which the area is known. We’ll have a light breakfast in a local restaurant and then spend the day exploring in and around Sapa town. A highlight will be a short trek to the nearby Cat Cat village, home of the Back H’Mong tribe where we’ll learn about local culture and customs within an idyllic setting. On the walk back to Sapa town, we’ll visit the beautiful waterfall where the French built a hydro-power plant to supply the electricity for Sapa town residence during colonial times.

day 6

CYCLING & VILLAGES

Sapa is famous for its diverse array of ethnic minority groups living in villages nestled within lush river valleys, surrounded by rice terraces and towering mountains. Today will be all about exploring some of this diversity by visiting two tribal villages along a scenic and refreshing bicycle ride through the countryside.

day 7

SAPA'S LOCAL MARKETS​

Other than the spectacular landscapes and rich diversity of local cultures, Sapa and its environs are also famous for busy and unique local markets. Indeed, the area is a trading hub for tribal people from all across the province. Today we will get a glimpse into this important way of life by hiking to some local markets in the area.

day 8

ONTO HUE

Hue served as Vietnam’s political capital from 1802 to 1945 under the 13 emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty. The city has been one of Vietnam’s influential cultural, religious and education centres. Today, Hue is a Unesco World Heritage site and its main attractions are the splendid tombs of the Nguyen emperor, several notable pagodas and the remains of the citadel. The centre of Hue lies along both sides of Perfume River. The northern side accommodates the Citadel and a few places to stay, making for a pleasant and quiet visit. On the other hand, it is the southern side that has the most facilities and a greater selection of hotels and restaurants.

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DAY 9

CYCLING HISTORICAL HUE​

Known as the Imperial City, Hue is one of Vietnam’s most important historical sites. Hue was the political, cultural and religious center of the Nguyen Dynasty, Vietnam’s last royal family, who were in power from 1802 to 1945. Now inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the various monuments in and around the town and along the winding Perfume River make for an incredible day of exploration. And we’ll do it the best way we know how: on bicycles! Powered by our pedals we’ll see the Forbidden Purple City, tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, bunker hill and plenty of sights in-between. 

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day 10

rOAD TRIP TO HOI AN

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days 11 & 12

EVERYTHING HOI AN & AT LEISURE

Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most elegant and historic towns. A major maritime trading center for centuries, Hoi An hosts beautifully preserved and diverse architecture, delicious food, and lots of opportunities for exploration. Today, we will bask in a little bit of everything Hoi An has to offer. In the morning, we’ll check out the famous and picturesque fish market (if you’re up for an early rise), and then hop on bicycles for some rural exploration. In the afternoon, we’ll spend time getting to know the ins and outs of Hoi An town.

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day 13

sAIGON & THE CU CHI TUNNELS

The Cu Chi Tunnels are an incredible 250 km network of clandestine underground passageways the Viet Cong dug from the Cambodian border towards Saigon, eventually enabling them to capture the city. While heavily visited, it’s astounding what they constructed and you’ll have the opportunity to squeeze through many of these very narrow passageways. This visit gives an endearing appreciation for the tenacity and sacrifices of the Vietnamese people. There is an option to visit the American War Remnants Museum if time permits.

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day 14

CYCLOS & WALKING SAIGON

In the morning we’ll explore Cholon, Saigon’s Chinatown, by three-wheeled cyclo; a fun and traditional way of getting around. A visit to the famous Glac Lam Pagoda is also included. After a local lunch, the afternoon will be spent walking around the city’s historical district, also known as District 1.

SAIGON SCOOTER ADVENTURE

As the sun sets, enjoy an evening scooter adventure. We’ll take Saigon by storm and experience the amazing energy and movement of the southern capital via a colourful scooter journey (you’ll be chauffeured by professionals!). We’ll whizz around the historical district taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of a city relaxing after work. Street-side food is a delicious culinary adventure in and of itself and provides a perfect view of Saigon’s motorcycle medley. 

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day 15

DEPARTURE

Take the morning to hit that nal site of interest or enjoy it at your leisure before your Smiling Albino host transfers you to the airport for your homeward ight. What a journey it’s been! Hen Gap Lai – See you again!

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