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Vietnam in 2 weeks

Pearl of Indochina - Trip for singles

Book From   € 899,-
GROUP SIZE: 4-24 | 14 DAYS

Vietnam in 2 weeks

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Vietnam in 2 weeks

Any extensions for this tour can be found at the bottom of this page.

Highlights

There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City

Discover the beautiful city, Ho Chi Minh City! |Vietnam

Nha Trang

Nha Trang

Go on a boat excursion so that you can visit the many small islands of Nha Trang in a special way. |Vietnam

Hanoi

Hanoi

Discover the vibrant Hanoi! |Vietnam

Whale Island

Hoi An

Hoi An

Discover the colourful city with a lot of Chinese architecture, Hoi An! |Vietnam

Hué

Hué

Stroll through the old imperial capital Hué and visit the many tombs, temples and the old imperial palace! |Vietnam

Halong Baai

Halong Baai

Discover the picturesque surroundings of Halong Bay! |Vietnam

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City
2 Ho Chi Minh City/ Mekong delta excursion Ho Chi Minh City
3 Train Ho Chi Minh City/ Tay Ninh & Cu Chi excursion – Nha Trang Night train to Nha Trang
4 Boat, Bus Nha Trang - Whale Island Whale Island
5 Whale Island Whale Island
6 Boat, Bus Whale Island - Hoi An Hoi An
7 Hoi An Hoi An
8 Hoi An Hoi An
9 Bus Hoi An - Da Nang - Marble Mountains - Hué Hué
10 Train Hué - Hanoi Night train to Hanoi
11 Hanoi Hanoi
12 Boat, Bus Hanoi - Ha Long Bay Ha Long Bay
13 Boat, Bus Ha Long Bay - Hanoi Hanoi
14 Hanoi End of tour

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Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Vietnam!

Your tour starts in Ho Chi Minh City, where you can use your hotel room from check in time (12.00 hrs at noon) on day 1. Your travel companions will also arrive this first day, the exact time will be depending on their flight schedule. You will meet your English speaking tour leader at 12.00 hrs noon on day 1 in the lobby of your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Wander the busy streets of this metropolis for hours and you will still hardly scratch the surface as there is just so much to see. Ho Chi Minh City is steeped in history and offers an array of museums, temples, pagodas, colonial buildings and churches. The museums of note include the unique War Memorial Museum and the Vietnamese History Museum, both well worth a visit. The cities oldest pagoda ‘Giac Lam’ is a must-see and the bustling Chinese district of Cholon, the cities' main trading centre is brilliant for trying a range of different foods at low prices.

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City/ Mekong delta excursion

Today you have a free day in HCMC. Nature lovers can choose an optional excursion to the Mekong delta, which takes a full day. You drive to the town of Cai Be, where you board the boat for your cruise along the Mekong river to Vinh Long. Soon you will experience the delta, known as the "granary" of Vietnam. It is a diverse wetland area with rice fields, coconut and banana plantations. During the cruise you get to see daily life on the river and a floating market. Taste tropical fruits in a local orchard and look around the small family businesses that exist there. For example, rice paper, popcorn, and coconut flavoured sweets are all produced in the region. Your lunch is served in a bonsai garden.

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City/ Tay Ninh & Cu Chi excursion – Nha Trang

Free day. We highly recommend the optional day trip to Tay Ninh and Cu Chi. Tay Ninh is the centre of the colourful Cao Dai religion, the result of an attempt to create a fusion of both Eastern and Western philosophies and religions. At midday you can witness the daily ceremony in the extravagant temple.

After that we travel to the Cu Chi tunnels. This impressive underground network was built by the Vietminh in the 1940s to resist the French colonists and Japanese occupation and was later used by Vietcong guerrillas for surprise attacks against American troops during the Vietnam War.

At the end of the afternoon you will board the night train to Nha Trang (second class soft sleeper). Meals are available on the train and refreshments are also for sale at stations along the way. And, if light allows, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Primate Rescue Center

The Primate Rescue Center in Cuc Phuong National Park southwest of Hanoi, is working on the conservation of endangered ape species and the protection of their habitat. They do this by forming stable populations in captivity and later returning them to the nature. Shoestring has adopted "Pia" (the ape pictured).

Read More

Day 4: Nha Trang - Whale Island

How green can you go? TIP

After arrival into Nha Trang you will be collected and driven to Van Ninh, 60 km to the north, where the boat leaves to Whale Island. After a short boat trip of ten minutes you reach the idyllic Whale Island, like a fairy tale hideaway. Here you'll spend two wonderful days. You'll spend two nights in simple bamboo huts with private bathroom and fan on this dream island with swaying palm trees, pristine coral reefs and a relaxed atmosphere. You'll feel just like Robinson Crusoe!

Please note: Availability of accommodation on Whale Island is limited. Therefore it might happen that the resort is fully booked. If this is the case, you will instead stay on the mainland in a place called Doc Let. Doc Let is set on a long stretch of white sandy beach.

Day 5: Whale Island

A free day in paradise! Why not take a dip in the sea after you wake up!? Today you can do what you want to. Snorkeling and diving are highly advised as the underwater seascape and variety of submarine life are astonishing. Surfing, sailing and kayaking are all possibilities too. Or if you prefer, you can read a good book in your hammock, relaxing at your own hut- the choice is yours.

Day 6: Whale Island - Hoi An

As you wave goodbye to your dream island, you board the boat back to the mainland. The bus awaits for a ride along the coastline to Hoi An, formerly known as Faifo.

Sustainable travel

As a responsible company our mission is to increase and improve sustainability in our business. Find out more about the measures that we currently take as well as our further plans to ensure we achieve our green ambitions. Read More

Day 7: Hoi An

How green can you go? TIP

Hoi An is a town with traditional houses and is considered by many travelers as one of the most attractive and one of the most fun places to experience Vietnam. Visit the quaint market there, with baskets full of colourful fish, shrimp, fruit or vegetables. Many old wooden houses and historic buildings bear witness of bygone times. Some of the old Chinese houses are even open to visitors. The interior of these houses appear exactly the same as they did centuries ago. Even some old Chinese temples are still in use.

Day 8: Hoi An

Day at leisure. You can take a short boat trip on the river or go independently to the quiet beaches of Hoi An. You can also choose a tour in the beautiful surrounding area. It is also possible to visit the 7th century Cham ruins of My Son, another important cultural and historical part of the heritage of the country.

Day 9: Hoi An - Da Nang - Marble Mountains - Hué

Drive north to Hue (approx. 3 hours) making a few stops en route. First is Da Nang, where you can choose to visit the Cham Museum. The museum has the largest collection of Cham sculptures in the world with more than 300 sandstone images, dating from the 7th to the 15th century.

You can also visit the famous Marble Mountains. Inside these 5 beautiful hills (Ngu Hanh Son) are caves. During the Vietnam War they served as a refuge for the Vietcong. Now it's a Buddhist shrine. The many caves displaying their different images bear witness to this. Entrance fees for today’s sites are not incuded in the fare.

After a spectacular coastal drive you arrive in the ancient imperial city of Hue. The spatially designed French town is very atmospheric. The main landmark of this city is the ‘Perfume River’ or Huong Giang, which quite literally translates as the "nice-smelling river". Take a look at the vast Forbidden Purple City, one of the few 'grand' buildings of Vietnam history.

Day 10: Hué - Hanoi

Around the city of Hue, in the undulating landscape, are the imperial mausoleums. One of the most pleasant ways to visit mausoleums is by boat. You can take an optional boat trip on the Perfume River to the imperial tombs and pagodas just outside the city. The 21 meter high Thien Mu pagoda is located on the north bank of the river and has seven floors. It was built in 1844 and has long been the symbol of Vietnam. On each floor is another Buddha statue. Behind the pagoda tower is a beautiful temple.

At the end of the afternoon before departing by night train to Hanoi (soft sleeper second class, scheduled departure time is 16.50 hours, subject to change). The train carries the name 'reunification express', as North and South Vietnam are brought together.

Day 11: Hanoi

In the morning we arrive in the capital city of Hanoi, our final destination. Filled with small shops, lively markets, lakes and cafes, Hanoi still retains some of its village atmosphere, despite having a population of millions. The avenues and streets lined by French villas still have a charming and unspoilt air and the residents of Hanoi are famed for their hospitality.

Although Hanoi is the oldest capital city in South-East Asia, the buildings are relatively new. However, there are still some flashes of the past with attractive temples and pagodas and the market which offers wonderful local produce such as different types of tropical fruits, rice, flowers, herbs, vegetables, live animals and craftwork. You can also take a morning walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, visit the park where the locals gather to practice badminton or tai chi, pay a visit to the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature.

What can I do?

Sustainable travel means taking into account the people, nature and culture so that travel remains possible in the future. The negative effects of tourism are increasingly palpable. 'So what can I do?', you may ask. Shoestring gives you 10 tips. Read More

Day 12: Hanoi - Ha Long Bay

This morning you head straight to the stunning Ha Long Bay (Bay of the descending dragon) for an overnight boat trip. The journey of 170 km takes about 3 hours to complete.

The vast area (over 1500 km ²) of Ha Long Bay is a natural wonder of the world and stands among the main attractions of Vietnam. The jagged limestone rocks are dotted all over the Gulf of Tonkin and the 3,000 islands and coves make this area unforgettable! The boat will take you on a journey around this magical area and you will spend a night sleeping on-board. During the Ha Long Bay boat trip you will have 1x lunch, 1x dinner and 1x breakfast included.

Day 13: Ha Long Bay - Hanoi

After breakfast you sail back towards the mainland enjoying the hundreds of islets, rocks and caves, along the way. Once back in Hanoi you are free to explore the city further by yourself. Jump in a tuk-tuk, haggle for some last minute souvenirs or learn about the ancient art of water puppetry in a show at a local theatre.

Day 14: Hanoi

Your tour ends today and your check out time will usually be 12.00 hrs noon. The international airport of Hanoi is 45 km away and can be easily reached by bus or taxi. We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of Vietnam.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 14) is not included.

Please note: For groups of up-to 5 participants, there are some changes in the travel arrangements regarding tour guide and transfers. Namely, instead of just one tour guide throughout the trip, you have an English speaking guide (driver/guide) in South Vietnam, one in Central Vietnam and a third in North Vietnam.

The transfers are also regulated differently, with a group of up to and including 5 participants you make use of a minibus (with driver and guide). For groups up to and including 5 participants the Halong Bay boat excursion will be join in (which means no private boat but shared with other travelers).

From 6 passengers upwards, the trip is as described, so with a private tour guide for the whole trip, and private transfers/excursions for the group.

It is possible that the group for a part of this trip is combined with the participants of our 20-day Vietnam trip. Obviously, we ensure that the maximum of 24 participants is not exceeded. The local English-speaking tour guide(s) ensure(s) proper execution of the trip.
 

Extend your trip

  • Halong Bay Extension
    You can opt for an extension in Halong Bay at the end of your journey.

    Specify when booking that you would like this extension. Upon receipt of your booking we will contact you about the exact costs.

    Halong Bay - from € 275 (based on two people sharing a room)
    *If you wish to have your own room on the boat then a single supplement will be charged. Price is from €69.

    Halong Bay is one of Vietnam's most scenic spots and an UNESCO World Heritage Site. For centuries the vast area has remained as one of the main attractions of Vietnam. You will take a boat trip in the bay. The jagged karst rocks emerge steeply from the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin and the 3,000 + islands and the Chinese junk boats make for a memorable trip. You spend the night aboard the junk, full board.

    Your schedule if you extend to Halong will be as follows:

    Day 13 Transfer to Halong Bay and overnight on board;

    Day 14 Transfer to Hanoi and overnight in hotel;

    Day 15 Transfer to Hanoi airport

    Included:

    Transfers by car/ bus; night aboard junk boat with lunch/ dinner/ breakfast; overnight at hotel in Hanoi with breakfast

    Excluded:

    Other meals; optional excursions; entrance fees; tips

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