This flexible trip backpacking trip takes you through Vietnam starting in Ho Chi Minh city and ending in Hanoi. Fully guided with all transport included (we use our own private buses), we will take you to some of the most incredible locations and you will get to see sites normally missed out by the majority of backpackers. A great way to explore this fascinating country in the safety of the group with the backup support of our trip leaders.

 Vietnam Xplorer

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Backpacking in Vietnam made easy. Hop on hop off backpacker bus pass.

backpacking in south east asia (17)Vietnam is a fantastic country to visit, but it is also notoriously challenging to go backpacking through. Things operate a little bit differently in Vietnam compared to its neighbouring Southeast Asian countries: Being one of the last remaining communist countries, plus having had a harrowing history of protracted wars with the US and France, the people in Vietnam can be a little bit more pushy towards travellers.

Don’t let that put you off visiting though, Vietnam can be a very rewarding place to experience. Is a truly beautiful country, with mountains, thousands of miles of pristine coastline, exciting energetic cities filled with millions of people going about their daily lives: it’s a lot to take in and will leave a lasting awesome impression.

This trip is the perfect way to experience this country, without the stress and hassle that can be associated with a backpacking trip in Vietnam.

With all of your transport included and the backup and support of Xtreme ´s local guides you can spend as long as you like exploring this country with a hop on hop off pass. It’s a great way to meet other travellers, and hook up with other independent backpackers.

Vietnam Xplorer Highlights

  • Datania Falls
  • My Lai Memorial
  • Marble Mountains
  • Vinh Moc Tunnels
  • Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave





Vietnam Xplorer Itinerary

  • Starts: Ho Chi Minh City any Sunday
  • Ends: Hanoi
  • Minimum travel time: 12 days (we recommend you will want to spend about three weeks)

Starts: Ho Chi Minh City

This trip starts in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday a month. If you are flying in we can add on the Ho Chi Minh ConneXion arrival pack:  includes meet and greet arrival transfer, two nights´ accommodation, daily breakfast at your hotel and Water Puppet Theatre show. This also includes a guided tour of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Extensive network of Vietcong tunnels, where you can actually enter the tunnels, Discover more about the Vietnam war, and even fire AK-47s M-16’s and let rip Rambo style on an M-60 machine gun!

We would strongly recommend this as you will want to explore Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnams biggest and most interesting city it’s a great place to visit. So allow enough time prior to your arrival to take it all in.

Ho Chi Minh City is home to the War Remnant Museum which displays harrowing reminders of the American and Vietnamese war, the Saigon Opera House which is surrounded by shopping plazas, and even its own Notre Dame Cathedral \” said to be a connection between the physical and spiritual life of Ho Chi Minh people.

Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat

Leaving behind the chaos and heat of Ho Chi Minh City, we head for the refreshingly cool climate of Dalat. Known as the honeymoon capital of Vietnam, this could be a good opportunity to pop the question! The journey today is through fertile farmlands that specialise in rubber, coffee & tea; all crops imported by the French. The cool climate here is perfect for growing Vietnam´s only locally produced wine, as well as vegetables and flowers, which are transported daily to Ho Chi Minh City and beyond. We can check out the large market near the guesthouse, or one of many friendly cafes selling excellent coffee on every corner.
Local guesthouse USD10-12

Non-Travel day: Dalat

Dalat vaguely resembles a French town with sprawling old villas and towering pine trees. It is not on the main tourist trail so locals are curious and very friendly to western visitors. There are plenty of adventurous activities here, including a mountain bike ride to Datania Waterfall, or the last Emperor´s art deco-style summer palace, and the never-ending local coffee plantations.
Local guesthouse USD10-12

Dalat to Buon Ma Thout

Driving through stunning mountain scenery we reach the provincial town of Buon Ma Thuot. We stock up on supplies before making our way out to the nearby rural area, and our homestay in an M´Nong ethnic village. Staying right on the shores of the beautiful Lak Lake, we can see local fishermen and farmers working, and even get the chance to take a boat ride across to the other side and return by elephant!
Ethnic Homestay in Jun Longhouses USD15

Buon Ma Thout to Qui Nhon

This morning we head for the coast and the seaside town of Quy Nhon – a popular holiday destination for Vietnamese, but off the beaten track for western tourists! Local hospitality is what makes this town well worth the visit. Jump straight into the warm ocean waters, to wash off the mountain dust from the day.
Local guesthouse USD10-12

Qui Nhon to Hoi An

A coastal drive takes us to this popular tourist spot, and UNESCO World Heritage town, with its beautifully restored and preserved French Colonial architecture. Hoi An is teeming with tailor shops, funky bars, outstanding restaurants, art galleries and souvenir shops. With glorious beaches nearby, this is close to paradise! A great spot to hop off enjoy the local nightlife; try great local delicacies (and beers), then meander home safely through the motorbike free streets.
Local guesthouse or hotel USD15-30

Non-Travel Day: Hoi An

Today is free for you to explore this charming town, get some tailoring done, join a motorbike tour through the countryside, try scuba diving, cycle to the beach, do a cooking class or just enjoy the tasty local coffee at one of the many restaurants in town.
Local guesthouse or hotel USD15-30

Hoi An to Hue

Located on the Perfume River, Hue is regarded as the cultural and spiritual centre of Vietnam and is the former home to the Vietnamese Emperors. We see many elaborately decorated temples and beautiful pagodas throughout the area, the centerpiece of which is the Citadel and Forbidden Purple City.
We highly recommend a countryside motorbike tour through quaint, rural villages and rice paddies to experience something of the ´real´ Vietnam.
Local guesthouse USD10-12

Hue to Dong Hoi

A short drive up the coast this morning takes us through the old DMZ (De Militarized Zone), the border between North and South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, and to the provincial town of Dong Hoi. Dong Hoi is home to the Blind Massage Therapy Centre, and the quiet Nhat Le beach. Here you have the choice to cruise the river front by bicycle, get to know the local fishermen or just chill out at one of the evening street bars, with great views of the large bridge that is lit up with disco lights!
Basic hotel near the river USD12-15+

Non-Travel Day: Dong Hoi

Today we recommend visiting the spectacular rural area of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, 45km from Dong Hoi. This area has pristine rivers (perfect for a refreshing dip or kayak) and also boasts a number of impressive caves, including the recently discovered Thien Duong Cave that is the largest cave in the world!
Basic hotel near the river USD12-15+

Dong Hoi to Cam Lo to Ninh Binh

Our journey toward the national park takes us through beautiful countryside with its stunning limestone kyrst mountains, stopping along the way at the ´real´ Vietnam beachside town of Cam Lo. This chilled out spot is definitely not on the tourist trail:..yet! We try out the local seafood and have a swim before continuing our express journey on to Ninh Binh.
Locally run hotel with excellent restaurants nearby USD10-12

Ninh Binh to Mai Chau

This morning we head to the Cuc Phoung National Park and Primate Centre, which is home to the many endangered and rescued primates including monkeys, gibbons and other interesting species native to the area. From here, we stop for a swim at the local hot pools, and then continue on to Mai Chau, an isolated, minority hill-tribe haven set amongst towering cliffs. There is plenty of time this afternoon to go exploring in this rural valley of lush greenery and terraced fields of rice paddies.
Local guesthouse USD10-12

Mai Chau to Hanoi

We get the legs moving with an early bike ride through the nearby countryside and villages, before jumping on the bus, bound for the chaotic streets of Vietnam´s capital. Hanoi is an exotic Asian city full of excitement and energy, and thousands of motorcycles making the simple task of crossing the road seem like a real achievement!
This is where your Xtreme adventure ends, but there is plenty to do and see in and around Hanoi if you have some extra days to spend here.
Local guesthouse or hotel USD15-30 or backpacker style dorm USD7-9

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

On each bus we have two guides, one local one Western. They are there to look after you, take you to some of the more interesting places that usually get left off a typical backpackers itinerary, and they can also help book you accommodation throughout the journey.
As the Vietnam Xplorer is a hop on hop off pass you may not be with the same people throughout the trip. This is because you can spend longer in certain locations if you want to hang out there awhile. In reality friendships form pretty quickly, so most people tend to hook up with the same people and share the same travel itinerary.
Accommodation is not included in this program, we have given you an indication as to how much you should budget at each stop in US dollars. Our driver guides are able to book you into accommodation as you go, so you do not need to worry about booking your own accommodation, however you will need to pay for it locally. Accommodation in Vietnam is inexpensive.

Duration Option Price  
19 (Days)19 Days RecommendedUSD 949Book Now
19 (Days)Flexi Upgrade With Accommodation 19 Days RecommendedUSD 1499Book Now

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  • All transport by private vehicles and public transport
  • Activities listed below
  • Services of Xtreme Gap Year guide and driver
  • Detailed predeparture pack

Included activities are as follows

  • My Lai Memorial
  • Marble Mountains
  • Vinh Moc Tunnels
  • Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave



  • Accommodation (budget five pounds per night)
  • Meals
  • Airport pick up
  • Travel insurance


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