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unique travel experiences for the 20s and 30s
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Backroads of Vietnam

from $ 1659

Travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City on an active exploration of Vietnam

Trip Dates

  • 17.Sep. - 28.Sep.2017
  • 01.Oct. - 12.Oct.2017
  • 12.Nov. - 23.Nov.2017
  • 10.Dec. - 21.Dec.2017

Trip Dates

17.Sep. - 28.Sep.2017 available Book now
01.Oct. - 12.Oct.2017 available Book now
12.Nov. - 23.Nov.2017 available Book now
10.Dec. - 21.Dec.2017 available Book now

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the hidden corners of Hanoi and Saigon on foot
  • Immerse yourself in the activities of the Tu Ne community
  • Kayak and swim on Ha Long Bay
  • Mingle with the friendly local farmers and fisherman in Hoi An
  • Enjoy a welcome dinner with a typical Vietnamese family
  • Add to the adventure by experiencing Saigon nightlife the way locals do, from the back of a Vespa scooter

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Hanoi

Day 2 - Hanoi

Day 3 - Tu Ne community

Day 4 - Tu Ne, Hoa Lu and Ninh Binh

Day 5 - Ninh Binh to Ha Long Bay

Day 6 - Ha Long Bay to Hue

Day 7 - Hue

Day 8 - Bach Ma National Park and Hoi An

Day 9 - Hoi An

Day 10 - Mekong Delta

Day 11 - Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City

Day 12 - Trip concludes Ho Chi Minh City

Green is Good

  • The business is operated using ‘best practice’ in terms of sustainable and responsible initiatives, guides are all highly experienced and there is a strong sense of promoting positive cultural interaction and philanthropy
  • Local agent has been certified the highest level

The Sweat Level


Fitness is an important aspect of our trips and the fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. This trip has been assigned a Sweat Level of ‘Easy to Moderate’. Trips with this grading involve activities such as hiking, cycling and kayaking for several hours in duration. Depending on the activity, you may have to carry a small daypack. In preparation of the trip, we recommend you engage in aerobic exercises two or three times a week for three months prior to departure.

When To Go

We visit Vietnam year round. October through March experiences cooler weather, while April to June are the warmer summer months and can reach temperatures of 35˚C. Rain is possible at any time so we suggest you pack a waterproof jacket or poncho with a hood for all departures.

Trip Inclusions

  • 7 nights hotel accommodation on twin share basis
  • 2 nights homestay at a local house on multi-share basis
  • 1 night aboard a junk boat in Ha Long Bay on twin share basis
  • 1 overnight train on multi-share basis
  • 11 x breakfast, 5 x lunch, 4 x dinner
  • Transfers throughout in air-con equipped vehicles
  • Local English speaking Yomads guide
  • Activities and entrance fees as noted in itinerary
  • Mineral water on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing
  • Boat trip in Cai Be

Need help with flights?

Contact a Yomads consultant to receive a quote on competitive airfares and stopover ideas to Hanoi.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi

Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, one of Asia’s most enchanting cities, packed with culture and history. You will be met at Noi Bai airport by your local Yomads guide for your transfer to the hotel. For those that are hungry there are many small local restaurants and food stalls that represent the culinary heart of the Vietnamese. In the evening we join a Hanoian family for a warm and hospitable meal. Around the dining table, they will tell us more about Vietnamese cuisine which is prepared with plenty of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices.

Meals: D

Day 2: Discovering Hanoi

Those wanting to rise early will be rewarded with a visit to Hanoi’s biggest flower market in Quang Ba. On our way back to the old centre we visit the banks of Truc Bach Lake where Hanoians gather to practise Tai Chi, daily fitness exercises and badminton. Here you can join the locals for a bowl of Pho, Vietnam's most famous dish, and the remainder of the day is for you to explore the area. Our recommendations include visits to the Presidential Palace, Vietnam History Museum, Hanoi Opera House, Old Quarter and the city centre. Additionally, an optional cycling tour along Red River and West Lake can be arranged.

Meals: B

Day 3: Tu Ne community and eco tour

Today we embark on a guided eco tour with the Tu Ne Community Based Tourism Project, an environmental and cultural tourism group focusing on the traditions of local Muong people. On the way, we visit Muong Culture Space to learn about the lifestyles of the Muong People, the different types of their traditional houses and their working tools and medicinal plants.

After a few hours of exploring the village we head back to our homestay where a “herbal foot bath” is waiting for us. This concoction of aromatic leaves soaked in hot water is said to replenish your feet. For dinner we enjoy speciality Muong dishes followed by a traditional Muong music performance where we can sing, dance and learn to play the instruments!

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Tu Ne, Hoa Lu and Ninh Binh

This morning we enjoy a walking foray of the rural villages, including an encounter with Vietnam’s largest banyan tree, a true wonder of nature. We then drive on to Hoa Lu, the capital of the Dinh and Early Le dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries, to explore its palaces, pagodas, tombs and pavilions.

Meals: B, L

Day 5: Ninh Binh to Ha Long Bay

After breakfast, head to Ha Long Bay for an overnight cruise. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ha Long Bay is home to over 3,000 limestone islands and karsts rising majestically out of the turquoise bay. The afternoon on board the boat is free for you to choose from a variety of optional activities including kayaking, swimming and cooking demonstrations. The boat’s sun deck is an excellent place to enjoy a cocktail as you watch the sunset over the water.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6: Ha Long Bay to Hue

Start the day with an amazing sunrise over the breathtaking landscape of the bay. Passing picturesque spots including Trong and the Me Cung Caves, we head for Surprise Cave for the chance to explore before brunch. Back at the dock, we will transfer to Hanoi for the overnight train to Hue, Vietnam’s last feudal capital.

Meals: B

Day 7: Hue

Arrive in Hue after an overnight journey on the train. The day is free for you to explore at leisure. We recommend visiting Hue Imperial Citadel, a vast citadel that once housed royal quarters, Thien Mu Pagoda, the seven story octagonal tower that serves as a symbol of Hue, and Tu Duc Tomb, a sprawling compound situated around the lake and connected by walkways.

Meals: B

Day 8: Bach Ma National Park and Hoi An

After breakfast, drive to Bach Ma National Park to choose from a range of unique hiking trails. The distinctive natural beauty of the park gives insight to the area’s wildlife and history. Follow a trail to Rhododendron Falls, the most spectacular waterfall in the park, before continuing to Five Lakes cascades. In the afternoon, transfer south to the charming ancient port town of Hoi An. Another UNESCO listed site, Hoi An is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a Southeast Asian trading port.

Meals: B, L

Day 9: Farming and fishing life in Hoi An ancient town

This morning we jump on our bicycles and take a beautiful scenic route through the rice paddies outside Hoi An, experiencing the friendliness of the local people greeting you along the way. Travelling down village lanes you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the daily life of local communities, passing vegetable and seafood farmers, masons and carpenters along the way.

The rest of the day is free for you to spend at leisure. Our recommendations are:

  • Explore Hoi An ancient town, one of the most appealing towns in Southeast Asia
  • Witness the fusion of Chinese and Japanese architecture with traditional Vietnamese aspects in homes, restaurants, buildings and bridges
  • Enjoy the shopping in Hoi An, a paradise for silk and fashion clothing and accessories

Meals: B

Day 10: Mekong Delta

In the morning, transfer to Da Nang for our flight to Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival, head to the Mekong Delta and Vinh Long province. Travelling via boat deeper into the countryside, you’ll have time to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and witness the local farmers going about their daily routines. Stopping at a village, enjoy seasonal fruits and traditional music. In the afternoon we arrive at our homestay to learn more about the rural life in South Vietnam.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 11: Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh and Saigon nightlife

Early in the morning, admire the sunrise over the Mekong during breakfast. We then visit Cai Be floating market and experience the everyday life in this beautiful part of the world. We'll stop at local workshops to see how rice paste, coconut candy, pop-rice and pop-corn are made before visiting the Cai Be market on land.

Later, we return to Ho Chi Minh to journey from colonial to modern Saigon. The Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1877 and 1883, is one of the city's major landmarks. We’ll also take in the Saigon Post office, the War Remnants Museum, and Ben Thanh Market. The remainder of the day is free for you to enjoy Saigon's nightlife at your own pace. We recommend joining an optional night tour to experience Saigon the way the locals do – from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter.

Meals: B

Day 12: Trip concludes Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast, the day is yours to continue exploring Ho Chi Minh City at leisure. For those heading home, we transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for departure flights. Today, an optional excursion can be arranged to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Meals: B


Hanoi 2N Hotel
Tu Ne 1N Homestay
Ninh Binh 1N Hotel
Cat Ba 2N Hotel
Hoi An 2N Hotel
Ho Chi Minh City 2N Hotel
Mekong 1N Lodge


This itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather, forces of nature and other circumstances beyond our control.


Yomads Travel , Yomads

The Sweat Level

  • Easy to Moderate
Easy – these are pretty relaxed and are suitable for most fitness levels. Expect though to push a little outside of your comfort zone with the included activities, but they are not for lengthy durations.

Moderate - these will include cycling, walking, kayaking and other activities which will put a sweat on the brow. You should do some pre trip training like going to the gym, jogging, brisk walking or cycling at least 3 times weekly for months before you go to get your fitness level up.

Hardcore - these will include sustained walking or cycling over multiple days and that means you’ll need to get into a great fitness regime before your trip. The best preparation you can do is day walks or cycle trips one a fortnight that build your endurance fitness coupled with some hour long ‘cardio’ workouts up to 3 times a week, and continue this for 3 months before departure.

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