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Vietnam is a thrilling country full of contrasts, with bustling, vibrant cities and rural districts with deep-rooted traditions and an irrepressible optimism. A country with ever changing landscapes and one of the most diverse cuisine cultures in the world. Spend two weeks actively exploring this fascinating country by boat and bike and immerse yourself in the vibrant far eastern flair. Explore the rocky fairytale world of the famous Ha Long Bay sailing on a traditional junk. Admire the lush green rice fields and meet the friendly water buffaloes, visit colorful temples and pagodas and let the emerald-green waters of the South China Sea enchant you. Explore in Central Vietnam the impressive monuments of the Vietnamese emperors as well as the historical town of Hoi An – a World Heritage site – and in South Vietnam the expansive water labyrinth of the Mekong Deltas.
Arrival at Hanoi Airport. A shuttle bus takes you to your hotel in the heart of the old quarter of Hanoi. Despite its three million inhabitants, Hanoi’s traditional charm is pervasive. The historic old town district is considered as one of the best preserved in Southeast Asia. The colourful and bustling streets contribute to the Asian flair. We may take a walk through the streets and meet your fellow travellers in the late afternoon at our hotel. During the dinner and a visit to the famous water puppet theatre – a traditional Vietnamese form of art – we get to know our fellow travellers better. Overnight we stay at the hotel.
After breakfast our shuttle bus takes us in the direction of the rural province of Ninh Binh. That’s where we start our first cycling tour along vibrant green rice fields to Hoa Lu, the former capital of Vietnam. After exploring the fascinating historical site with its well-preserved relics of past dynasties, we continue our cycling tour, which takes us through Vietnam‘s most spectacular landscapes. Along the way we stop in the quaint village of Tran An where we are able to try some local specialties for lunch. After lunch we continue by bike for a few kilometres to Tam Coc where we leave the bikes and board a traditional row boat, which takes us into the heart of a hidden valley. The last activity for today is a visitation of a local bird sanctuary. Every evening the flock of birds returning to their nests is a spectacular sight. Overnight stay in Tam Coc.
After breakfast our shuttle bus takes us to Ha Long City, where we enjoy a delicious lunch on board of our boat. As we set off on our voyage, we embark on our first boat trip through the impressive island world of the Ha Long Bay with its bizarre rock formations. In the afternoon we visit one of the numerous caves, which were formed in the course of the millenniums. Let your imagination run wild in the formations of stalagmites and stalactites as well as the crudely shaped cavern walls where creative thinking will bring the subterranean chambers to life. In the afternoon we are able to take part on a guided kayak tour of a local lagoon around which, with a bit of luck, we will be able to see some wild monekys at play. We spend the night on anchor Bay.
After an early breakfast we jump ship and navigate our way to the island of Tra Ban via hydrofoil, a unique place untouched by modern day tourism. The island offers us an insight into the earlier, traditional life of the island inhabitants; as if time had stood still. A common sight are the Vietnamese water buffaloes grazing as we pass, we may even come into conversation with one of the local farmers tending to their fields who greet us with their kind smiles. For lunch we enjoy a relaxing picnic together. In the afternoon, the hydrofoil will take us back to the pier where our junk awaits us. A relaxing cruise through the island world of the Bai Tu Long Bay tops this eventful day off. Enjoy an evening under the stars with a nice sundowner.
This morning we disembark the Junk and take a transfer boat to Lan Ha Bay, where we are able to take part in an introductory lesson in kayak touring. As soon as you feel secure with your tandem partner, you are able to take a guided tour through the lagoon-like shoreline landscape. With a bit of luck, we will be able to observe monkeys that live on the steep rocks with lush vegetation and occasionally their curiosity will bring them down to the shore. Today’s beach destination is beautiful beyond imagination. After lunch and a lengthy relaxing swim break in the emerald green waters our Kayak tour will take us past floating houses to Cat Ba, the next destination of our journey. A short transfer takes us to a beautiful resort, where the evening can be enjoyed on the hotel’s very own sandy beach or at the pool.
Early in the morning a transfer will bring us to a small dock. A one hour crossing will bring us to yet another small jetty. From here we will start a cycling tour through the national park of the island to a small tribal village of the Việt Hải minority. Parking the bikes here, a guided walk will take us through the protected old-growth forest where the wild, unspoilt nature rules. The aim is to reach the highest peak of the island which, on a good day, offers breath-taking views of the Hạ Long Bay and the rest of the island. After the walk a bike tour will lead us back to the boat, taking us back to Cat Ba City. Overnight stay in a hotel.
After breakfast a taxi boat will take us to Hải Phòng where a bus waits to take us to the nearby airport. In the morning our flight to Đà Nẵng departs. On arrival a short transfer with the shuttle bus will bring us to our Hotel Resort in Hội An. Here we are able to relax in the river-side palm tree gardens of the hotel before we start your first stroll through the picturesque old town of Hoi An.
Today we have the possibility to observe the daily life of the local farmers. In the morning we cycle to Tra Que – a small village in the suburban area of Hội An. The name of the place originates from a sweet vegetable often used by the locals to spice their meals: a totally new and foreign speciality! Our host prepares the meal together with us and familiarises us with the exotic ingredients. The afternoon can be spent individually: A stroll through the picturesque old town or a relaxing afternoon swim at the white beach of Cửa Đại.
After breakfast we will check out of the hotel and will make our way, to the former imperial city of Hue by bike. A transfer bus will pick us up en route and takes us over the Cloud Pass, the weather line between North and South Vietnam. After a short stopover on Lăng Cô Beach (incl. lunch break), we have the opportunity to cycle all the way along this wonderful coast, past coconut palms, to Thuan An beach. Decide for yourself how many kilometers you wish to travel by bus or by bike. If weather conditions allow, we can stay for a refreshing swim, before we continue back to Huế. After checking into the hotel the evening offers us some leisure time to explore the city for ourselves.
This day is dedicated to the old imperial city of Huế, situated between rolling hills and rice fields along a bend in the Perfume River. The spiritual heart of Vietnam beats here, with more than 300 temples and pagodas. In the Morning we visit the rambling citadel, which once was reserved for the emperors of the Nguyen-Dynasty as well as the Thien Mu-Pagoda, the cradle of Buddhism in Vietnam. After lunch in one of the regionally typical restaurants we head back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the afternoon’s cycle tour. It is time to leave city life behind and explore the rural surroundings of the city of Hue. Following the narrow water runways and rice fields we embark on a round tour which will give us an insight into the life of the rural folk living outside of the city. After a day of cultural impressions, we are free to enjoy our evening as we please.
After breakfast we have a flight to Hồ Chí Minh City with a subsequent transfer to Mỹ Tho, the entrance of the delta, where check-in on board the ship takes place. The ship takes us along the Mekong in the direction of Cái Bè. During the short trip we cruise along the Mekong and can enjoy the flourishing nature of the delta as well as the river related life of the inhabitants. In the afternoon we take part on our first bike tour along the river mouth, exploring the surroundings of a number of the Mekong river arms and channels and the scattered islands therein and take the opportunity to try exotic fruits while being astonished by different local handcrafts. In turn your Junk will take you for a sunset sail towards Cai Be, where you will spend the night on anchor.
In the morning we cross over to Vĩnh Long Island, where we cycle under palm-shaded paths around the island. We continue by boat to Traon Island where we again have the opportunity to explore the surroundings by bike. Later on we can enjoy the excellent cuisine on board and the wonderful evening atmosphere in the water labyrinth of the Mekong Delta
During breakfast the ship takes us to Cần Thơ. Where we can visit one of the region’s largest markets, rounding off our cultural experience of Southern Vietnam. Make sure you have a camera at the ready, as the colorful fruit stands are incredibly photogenic. After an early lunch on board of the Conchinchine we check out and are transferred back to Hồ Chí Minh City.
Hồ Chí Minh City, former Saigon, is the Boomtown and the modern centre of Vietnam. On a guided city tour we learn about the growing megacity, the town hall, the cathedral Notre Dame, main post office and other important sights which characterize the city’s history. In the afternoon we have the possibility to buy some souvenirs and dive into the madding crowd of the Bến Thành Market. A comfortable evening meal together allows us to reflect on the events of the vacation and to farewell our engaged tour guides and caring crew. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Alterations: Itinerary changes
On account of unpredictable wind and weather conditions as well as organizational requirements we reserve the right to change routes.
We believe that only children in a good physical condition and of a minimum age of 10 and with previous cycle tour experience are able to master the cycle-tours on their own strength. Please note that the minimum height for a rental bike is 1.50 m (5 ft.)
It is easy to feel at home on the charming junks. For each meal the tables are lovingly set and the folded cloth napkins are a piece of art. The boat provides 11 elegant furnished guest cabins. All cabins have individually regulated air conditioning. The cabins are located between decks. The large cabin windows guarantee a good view at all times. Each cabin has its own bathroom with shower and WC. On the large sundeck you can avail yourself of deckchairs with comfortable padded matting. Here you can relax while the boat cruises through the fascinating island world and Vietnam’s red flag with the yellow star flutters above your head.
In the Mekong Delta you sail on the “Cochinchine”, one of the largest and most modern ships in the region. Its shape is reminiscent of the traveling barques of the famous river delta in southern Vietnam. The journey of the 27 m long and 6.5 m wide, comfortable wooden boat is protected by the watchful dark eyes on red ground painted on the prow. Three times a day the generously proportioned saloon turns into a dining room with beautifully set tables. The ship has 10 completely wood-panelled double cabins with double or two single beds. Each cabin has a tiled bath with shower and WC. There is, of course, also a large sundeck with padded deckchairs – probably the best place to experience first hand the lively activities in the many tributaries of the Mekong Delta.
Participants minimum: 10 Maximum: 20
In Hanoi, on Cat Bay Island, in Hue and Hoi An (Central Vietnam) and in Ho Chi Minh City you spend the night in very good 3 – 4 star hotels.
|Departures 2020||Price / person|
|15 – 29 March / 29 March – 12 April||2890€|
|12 – 26 April||
|25 October – 8 November||
|1 – 15 / 8 – 22 November||
|15 November – 29 November
22 November – 6 December
|Additional bookable accomplishments||
|Things to note||
|Not included in the tour price||
|How to get to Vietnam – Flights||
|How to book this tour and payment?||