Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
Your trip starts in the busy southern city of Ho Chi Minh City. You'll meet your tour leader and the rest of your group at our welcome night introduction at 6pm, and find out exactly how your travel pass works, get to ask any questions you might have, and make sure you're all set for your travels, whether you're taking two weeks or a whole year to tour Vietnam. Spend the rest of the evening in the city centre, sampling delicious Vietnamese food or having a few drinks with your new travel chums.
Free time in Ho Chi Minh City
The National War Museum, although filled with harrowing images and stories, is well worth a visit, as are the famous Cu Chi Tunnels – an underground system consisting of more than 200km of hand-dug paths and routes used by the Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. If you get a chance to catch a show at the Water Puppet Theatre, you'll get to enjoy a slightly unusual, but amusing glimpse into Vietnamese traditions.
Ho Chi Minh City to Da Lat
From hectic Ho Chi Minh City to the cool and collected atmosphere of Da Lat, we'll make our way north as we travel the six-hour journey to our next destination. On our way through coffee and tea plantations, vineyards, farmland, and flower paddocks, we'll stop off at Datanla Waterfall, a beautiful nature site where legend tells tales of K'ho fairies dancing and playing at the foot of the falls – walk down to the waters, or drive your own mini rollercoaster to the base!
Free time in Da Lat
While you're in Da Lat, don't miss the opportunity to go abseiling and rappelling on a canyoning trip, take a mountain bike tour, or battle the rapids on a white water rafting trip. For those of you not looking to exert themselves so much, opt for a look around Crazy House, or visit the last emperor's art deco style summer palace.
Da Lat to Bai Xep
Heading towards the coast on the next stretch, we'll make our way to Bai Xep via Nha Trang – for those wanting to stop off at a livelier coastal town. Off the beaten track, we'll get to discover the charm of the peaceful little fishing village of Bai Xep, where you'll be greeted by friendly locals and a gorgeously secluded white-sand bay.
Free time in Bai Xep
Make the most of your surroundings and enjoy plenty of beach time and a few water activities – fancy taking a roundboat out? Try it here. Enjoy some food while watching the fishing boats chug out to sea, go snorkelling, or hike through the surrounding forests.
Bai Xep to Hoi An
Driving another six or so hours up the coast, we'll make our way to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An, but not before stopping off at the Son My Memorial in My Lai to pay our respects to those lost in the massacre. Once we arrive in Ho An, you'll get to head off and explore with the rest of your group, or independently – the choice is yours.
Free time in Hoi An
Spend your time in Hoi An exploring the pretty yellow building lined streets by bicycle, or from the comfort of a cosy chair with a good vantage point for people-watching at a street cafe or bakery. There are plenty of bars and restaurants dotted along the river bank to relax in too, or you could take a cookery or lantern making class and acquire some new skills!
Hoi An to Hue
From Hoi An we'll head further north to reach the former national capital and home to the Imperial City's palaces and shrines, Hue. Strewn with pagodas, tombs, and shrines, Hue gives the air of importance and spirituality in equal measure, and has so many points of interest it's difficult to know how to devise your time accordingly.
Free time in Hue
Spend time in Hue visiting the local temples and shrines, and cycling out into the gorgeous surrounding countryside. You could even take a river boat cruise, or drop in on the local spa for some well-deserved pampering and relaxation.
Hue to Phong Nha
Setting off from Hue in the morning on our journey to Phong Nha, we'll be making a visit to the labyrinth of Vinh Moc Tunnels that were used by almost 100 families as a safe place to work and live in during some of the heaviest bombings of the Vietnam War. Then it's on to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, through the provincial town of Dong Hoi, before finally arriving at our destination.
Free time in Phong Nha
Get to know Phong Nha's spectacular national park while you're in the area and spend time splashing about in the cool but crystal-clear water of the numerous lakes and falls. Along with a bit of wildlife spotting and plenty of beautiful trails to walk through, it'll take your breath away. Thien Duong Cave is another must-see while you're here, for an out-of-this-world experience.
Phong Nha to Ninh Binh
Making tracks for Ninh Binh, we'll travel through stunning countryside, stopping off on the way to appreciate our surroundings and stretch our legs. We should arrive in Ninh Binh in the afternoon – just enough time to get acquainted with the town before sitting down for food in the evening. Included in your travel pass is a canoe trip to the Trang An Grottoes, where you'll paddle through the tranquil waters past rice paddies and huge karst formations.
Free time in Ninh Binh
The limestone caves of Tam Coc, and the Hoa Lu temples are an absolute must-see while you're in Ninh Binh. Make sure you get out into the countryside or book yourself onto plantation excursions and river rafting tours - you'll want to photograph everything, so make sure you've got a decent camera/device with you at all times.
Ninh Binh to Hanoi
Your last travel stint on your pass will take you to Hanoi – similar to Ho Chi Minh City in terms of hustle and bustle, crowds, and mopeds! You'll get to take a city walking tour with your tour leader and the rest of the group, where you'll get to visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the old Royal Palace Gardens and Ho Chi Minh's house, the One Pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature.
Free time in Hanoi
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a typically busy Asian city, but a great base for visiting the famous islets and party islands of Halong Bay to the east, as well as the serene Sa Pa area further inland to the west - make sure you get out of the centre to explore these incredible places right on the city's doorstep.
How your travel pass works
A travel pass offers you the assurance of pre-paid transport with an English-speaking guide, as well as the complete flexibility to hop on and off whenever you like. Once you’ve booked your travel pass, you’ll be set up with an online passenger account where you’ll have instant access to the trip itinerary and each destination’s transport timetables – so you’ll be able to plan your own travel schedule with all the information you need for getting to and from each place. It’s a good idea to book at least five days in advance as transport can get booked up quickly and spaces are reserved on a first-come-first-served basis. Once availability has been confirmed, you’ll receive confirmation and trip details via your online passenger account, or by email. You’ll also be able to ask your tour guide to book accommodation ahead of your arrival – just let them know and then pay locally when you reach your accommodation.
Please note routes and itineraries are subject to change.