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GLOBAL EXPEDITIONS CLUB – Vietnam: A Classic Group Journey (with optional Cambodia) - 10 Days

This is a Global Expeditions Travel Club Trip:

The group will travel January 12-21, 2014
(with the optional 3d/2n trip extension to Angkor Wat Cambodia makes the trip run Jan 12-23, 2014).

Join other like-minded club members on this Global Expeditions Travel Club group tour to the exotic and diverse country of Vietnam. Join the group and explore the best of Vietnam, including:

  • tour of the vibrant northern capital city of Hanoi
  • boat ride through Halong Bay with its famous and picturesque towering limestone cliffs
  • Dragon Boat ride along the Perfume River
  • visit the beautiful fishing village of Hoi An (an UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • China Beach and the Marble Mountains
  • boat ride on the Thu Bon River
  • the ancient ruins of My Son
  • the famous Chi Chi Tunnels that were used by the Vietcong during the war
  • boat ride through the Mekong Delta
  • end the trip with a visit to southern city of Saigon.

  • This classic trip has all the makings of a 'Trip of a Lifetime'. It has the fun, exploration, adventure and the opportunity to make life-long friends! But that is, after all, what the Global Expeditions Club is all about: Make Friends. Travel the World.

    OPTIONAL: 3d/2n trip extension. Feel like extending the fun with a bit more adventure? Then why not add on the highly recommended optional 3 day / 2 night trip extension to the incredible ancient city of Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

    At the end of the Vietnam trip we'll fly from Saigon to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap. Here our Cambodian guide will take us on a guided exploration of the ancient city and awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat while also experiencing the friendly and welcoming people of Cambodia. This is a cutting-edge destination that beckons the true adventurer to explore (option to purchase is available on check out).


    Regardless of whether you add the extension to Angkor Wat in Cambodia or just stick with the Vietnam adventure, this group tour is action packed and is sure to provide you with incredible memories and lasting friendships.

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    GET THE SCOOP! Want to see what previous travelers are saying about the Global Expeditions Club? Check out the club's Testimonial Page.

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    Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 25,000+ members across the US and Canada, The Global Expeditions Club is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to incredible destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free. Please see The Global Expeditions Club website for more details about the club.


    Places Visited:

    Vietnam Group Trip, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Hue, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Cu Chi Tunnels, China Beach, Marble Mountain, Optional: Cambodia Group Tour, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap


    Trip Itinerary:
    B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

    Brief Itinerary:

    Day 1: Arrive Hanoi. Afternoon Hanoi tour.
    Day 2: Hanoi city tour. To Halong (B)
    Day 3: Boat tour of Halong Bay (B, L)
    Day 4: Tour Hue (B, L)
    Day 5: Hue to Danang to Hoi An. (B, L)
    Day 6: Hoi An (B)
    Day 7: Hoi An & My Son (B)
    Day 8: Fly to Ho Chi Minh City. Cu Chi Tunnels (B)
    Day 9: Mekong Delta boat tour (B, L)
    Day 10: AM Saigon Tour. PM Trip ends. Start of optional Cambodia extension trip. (B)

    OPTIONAL: 3 day, 2 night Trip Extension (Angkor Wat Cambodia)

    Day 1: Fly Saigon to Siem Reap. Visit Angkor. (B)
    Day 2: Full day visit to Angkor. (B)
    Day 3: Boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake. Trip Ends in Afternoon. (B)



    Detailed Itinerary:

    B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

    Day 1:
    Arrive Hanoi. Afternoon Hanoi tour.

    Arrive at assigned hotel in Hanoi, or if you purchased airport transfers, then upon arrival at the airport, you are met and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old world charm and some of Asia's most striking colonial architecture.

    Note: it is highly recommended that you come in a day early (and extend your trip by a day). This way you adjust to the time change better, plus be ready to see Hanoi on day 1. Please contact us for extra day prices.

    In the late morning, you will meet with the group at the hotel for a trip orientation meeting. Here you will meet the Local Club Trip Leader/Local Guide, as well as your fellow travel mates for this fantastic trip. Once settled in, the group will start the exploration of the city with your Local Club Trip Leader/Local Guide, visiting the King Ly Thai To Statue, near Hoan Kiem Lake. While at the lake, we take time to visit the Ngoc Son Temple and Rising Sun Bridge, perhaps one of the most scenic parts of the city. Our exploration continues with a visit to the Old Quarter of Hanoi, a labyrinth of streets where small shops sell a variety of items. The area is best explored on foot, and your guide will be sure to show you the highlights of the area.

    The evening is free for you to relax and grab dinner with your fellow group members. Today many people will be strangers to you, but by the end of the trip they will be lifelong friends!

    Overnight in Hanoi


    Day 2:
    Hanoi city tour. To Halong (B)

    This morning we continue our exploration with a visit to the Temple of Literature, a Confucian temple and home to Vietnam’s first university that has been in existence for almost a thousand years. We continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the same era, however the site was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the French in 1954. A short stroll through the park takes us to Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the leader's humble dwellings where he lived from 1958 until his passing in 1969. In the afternoon we head out to Halong Bay where on arrival we check into our hotel.

    Overnight in Halong


    Day 3:
    Boat tour of Halong Bay (B, L)

    We start the day with a 4 hour excursion on our private boat through Halong Bay. We cruise past many famous rock formations, including the Stone Dog, Incense Burner (Dinh Huong), Fighting Cock (Ga Choi). At the core of the islets, there are two wonderful caves and grottoes to visit, Thien Cung (Heavenly Residence Grotto) and Dau Go (Driftwood Grotto) before returning to Halong pier. We then return to Hanoi to catch our flight to Hue where we then transfer to the hotel and check in.

    Overnight in Hue


    Day 4:
    Tour Hue (B, L)

    Hue served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years and houses many ancient temples, imperial buildings and French-style edifices. We begin our exploration with a visit to the Imperial Tombs of Tu Duc and Khai Dinh which are found in the countryside outside of the city. Tu Duc, the longest reigning Vietnamese emperor, designed and built this elegant tomb during his lifetime, using it as a retreat for meditation, reading and theater performances. We continue to the Tomb of Khai Dinh, completed in 1931 it is the last of the monumental tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty. The tomb incorporates distinct European elements into the traditional Vietnamese architecture.

    In the afternoon, we continue to the Imperial City, heavily damaged during the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam-American War, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty. Approaching the city we pass the striking FLAG TOWER, where a giant Vietnamese flag waves proudly overhead, and pass through the imposing NGO MON GATE, the main entrance to the Imperial Enclosure. We then enter into an area of spacious courtyards and serene lotus ponds, and then visit the Dien Tho Residence ( Dien Tho Palace), where the Queen mother lived, the Thai Hoa Palace and the magnificently decorated reception hall, the Halls of the Mandarins.

    We return to our hotel in Hue for the evening free at your leisure.

    Overnight in Hue


    Day 5:
    Hue to Danang to Hoi An. (B, L)

    Our day starts with a visit to the Thien Mu Pagoda, perhaps one of the most picturesque places in Hue, with an approach along the Perfume River on a Dragon Boat. After visiting the pagoda, we drive to Hoi An over the Hai Van Pass, a mountain range that divides the north from the south and stands like a sentinel over the town of Danang. The pass bears the scars of the tumultuous past in the region, with 3 forts dating back to the Cham, French and American eras. Here we take time to visit the Cham Museum in Danang, which boasts fine examples of Hindu Artifacts. In the afternoon, we drive to our hotel in Hoi An.

    Overnight in Hoi An


    Day 6:
    Hoi An (B)

    Hoi An has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999 and is one of the gems of South East Asia. No visit to Vietnam would be complete without a visit to this beautiful old fishing town with its colorful shop houses and temples that reflect a diverse heritage. Dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders, today Hoi An is a thriving center of traditional crafts and a shoppers paradise that is best explored on foot.

    We explore Hoi An taking time to visit the market, harbor, and one of the ancient private houses. A photographers dream, the town offers endless picturesque views. One of the most photographed sites is the Japanese covered bridge that we will see during our visit to the Sa Huynh Museum. Hoi An is loaded with small cottage industries that make various arts and crafts; one of the most popular purchases being tailored clothes and made to fit shoes.

    In the afternoon, we board a local boat and cruise down the Thu Bon River, taking time to visit the pottery and woodcarving villages as we make our peaceful journey through the picture postcard countryside.

    Overnight in Hoi An


    Day 7:
    Hoi An & My Son (B)

    A short drive from Hoi An is Vietnam's most important Cham site and one of the most stunning sights in the Hoi An area, My Son. The area is considered to be Champa's counterpart to Angkor and Bagan, the great ancient cities of South East Asia's other Indian-influenced civilizations. The monuments are set in a lush valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by the massive Cat's Tooth Mountain. The rest of your day is free to enjoy in Hoi An, to get a final fitting for that suit, or simply to take coffee in one of the many street cafes and watch the world go by.

    Overnight in Hoi An


    Day 8:
    Fly to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) & Cu Chi Tunnels and Tay Ninh (B)

    In the morning we transfer from Hoi An to Danang Airport to catch our flight to Saigon. After arriving in Saigon, we make our way to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Never discovered by American forces, the tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelters and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists. We return to Saigon where the evening is at your leisure.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


    Day 9:
    Mekong Delta boat tour (B, L)

    We venture out of the city today, heading out to the lush and fertile region of the Mekong Delta. The Cai Be Floating Market is a lively market selling all the produce that can be found in the region. Catholicism is strong in the region and the Cathedral on the river bank is an impressive sight. We explore the area by boat, through the mall river islands, taking time to go onshore to visit the orchards and local cottage industries. We finish our boat trip at Vinh Long and return to Saigon.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


    Day 10:
    AM Saigon Tour. PM Trip ends. (B)

    It’s hard not to be impressed by Saigon, with its wide boulevards and French Colonial Architecture. During our city tour this morning, we visit the Reunification Palace, formerly the Presidential Palace when the country was divided. Today the North Vietnamese flag flies on its roof ever since the soldiers had crashed their way through the gates using a tank signified the reunification of the country and the fall of the south. We visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of the most beautiful temples in the city, as well as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and Colonial City Hall. Stopping at the Opera House, you get a real sense of the passing of time in Saigon. From old classical architecture to modern Louis Vitton stores, the city has never stopped moving forward. Our last stop is at the Ben Thanh Market, for any last minute souvenirs.

    Your tour ends back at the hotel. If you purchased airport transfers, then you are transferred to the airport.

    For those who are continuing to Cambodia on the optional Angkor Wat trip extension, transfer to the airport for our group flight (see below).


    OPTIONAL: 3 day, 2 night Trip Extension (Angkor Wat Cambodia)

    Day 1:
    Fly Saigon to Siem Reap. PM Visit Angkor. (B)

    With an early start, we will fly from Saigon to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap. The town of Siem Reap is our base for visiting the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which was the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire dating from 802 AD to 1350 AD. This stunning and extensive site sprawls through the dense jungle over an area of 60 square miles.

    Upon arriving, we will spend a half day exploring the wondrous ancient ruins starting with the South Gate of Angkor Thom which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Terrace Temple, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King, and the largest as well as the most complete temple known as Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. We stroll around this massive edifice, seeing the many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. We end the sightseeing with a walk up to Phnom Bakheng Hill for a view of the spectacular sunset over these incredible sandstone monuments.


    Day 2:
    Full day visit to Angkor. (B)

    Today we will enjoy a full day tour of the Angkor complex, starting with the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm. At this incredible and famous sight, there are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man's creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature. We explore this masterpiece as well as some of the surrounding temples including Pre Rup, East Mebon, Neak Poan, Krovan, the Royal Bath of Srah Srang and Banteay Kdei temples.

    Overnight in Siem Reap


    Day 3:
    Boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake. PM Trip Ends. (B)

    After breakfast, we embark on a short boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia’s biggest natural water body (if time permits). The experience is wonderful as we pass by floating villages, friendly children in small boats and fishermen at work.

    After returning to the hotel in the late morning/early afternoon, the trip ends. Make your way to the airport for your flight home OR hotel pick up and transfer for those who purchased airport transfers through us.



    Important Information

    This is a Global Expeditions Travel Club group trip that is open to anyone.

    This tour requires a total minimum group size to run. Please DO NOT purchase your airfare or any personal travel requirements until you receive a written confirmation of guaranteed departure from the Global Expeditions Club.

    Prices are based on double occupancy. However, if you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then the single supplement DOES NOT apply. If you would like your own hotel room (where available), please choose the optional single supplement at check out.

    All prices are land only. You are responsible for making your own international flight arrangements between your home city and the start/end locations and for arriving at the designated departure location as per the itinerary (Note: we arrange all domestic flights in Vietnam and the flight between Saigon and Cambodia for the optional tour). However, your international flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you receive a written guarantee from Global Expeditions Club that the trip is guaranteed to go. If you would like to discuss international flight options, please contact the Global Expeditions Club at info@GlobalExpeditionsClub.com

    It is recommended that you arrive in Hanoi one day early so that you can join the afternoon tour of Hanoi on day 1, to avoid conflicts due to potential travel delays, and to help better adjust to the time zone change. Optional extra night hotel available during checkout.

    IMPORTANT: this trip starts in Hanoi, Vietnam and ends in Saigon, Vietnam (or Siem Reap, Cambodia if you purchase the optional trip extension). Please ensure that your international flights are booked accordingly. If you have any questions or need assistance with your international flights, please be sure to contact the Global Expeditions Club at 617.645.7689

    Visas are required for Vietnam and are recommended to be obtained before departure from your local Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home country. Please check the nearest embassy or consulate for current requirements. NOTE: it is the traveler's responsibility to obtain any and all visas for entry.

    Visas are required for Cambodia and are purchased on entry at the airport. Please check the nearest embassy or consulate for current requirements. NOTE: it is the traveler's responsibility to obtain any and all visas for entry.

    Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following the last day of your trip.

    Trip ID: AS1169
    PRICING
    Pricing not available at this time. Please e-mail us at reservations@headoutadventures.com or call us at 1 (888) Trip Find.

    Trip Highlights
    • Guided 10 day group tour of Vietnam
    • Boat tour of the legendary Halong Bay
    • Explore the sensational Marble Mountains and China Beach
    • Explore the famous Cu Chi tunnels
    • Boat tour of the Mekong Delta
    • Excellent mid-range hotels throughout
    • Optional 3d/2n group tour to Angkor Wat Cambodia
    Price Includes
    • Guided 10 day tour of Vietnam
    • Boat tour of the legendary Halong Bay
    • Explore the sensational Marble Mountains and China Beach
    • Explore the famous Cu Chi tunnels
    • Boat tour of the Mekong Delta
    • Tour of the vibrant northern capital city of Hanoi
    • Dragon Boat ride along the Perfume River
    • Visit the beautiful fishing village of Hoi An (an UNESCO World Heritage site)
    • Boat ride on the Thu Bon River
    • Visit to the ancient ruins of My Son
    • Transportation in private A/C vehicles
    • Domestic flights (add-on)
    • 9 nights in excellent mid-range hotels
    • Breakfast throughout, 4 lunches
    • Entrance and boat fees

    • OPTIONAL 3d/2n Angkor Wat Trip Extension:
    • Tour of the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat
    • Vietnam to Cambodia flight (add-on)
    • Transportation in private A/C vehicles
    • Boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake
    • 2 nights in 4 star hotels
    • English speaking local guide
    • Breakfast daily
    • Entrance and boat fees
    Price Does Not Include
    • International airfare between your home country and the start/end locations (see "Important Notes" section)
    • Airport Transfers at start and end of trip
    • Meals other than specified
    • Airport departure taxes and fees (Approximately US$ 2 domestic & US$ 19 international)
    • Beverages
    • Vietnam Visa (see "Important Information" section below)
    • Travel medical insurance (mandatory)
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips for guide
    • Optional tours
    • Passport fees & expenses

    • OPTIONAL 3d/2n Angkor Wat Trip Extension:
    • Cambodian visas (approximately $25 - obtained on entry)
    • Airport departure taxes and fees (Approximately US$ 25)
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips
    • Meals other than specified
    • Beverages
    Group Leader
    • English speaking Local Guide/Trip Leader
    • English speaking Local Guide/Trip Leader
    Number of Days
    • 10 days, 9 nights
    • 3 day, 2 night
    Accomodation Included
    • 9 nights in superior hotels throughout
    • 2 nights in 4* hotels
    Transportation Included
    • Transportation in private A/C vehicles
    • Boat
    Meals Included
    • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches
    • Breakfast daily
    Seasonal Info
    • Peak season is November through May. Rainy season is June through September.


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