The winter months are December, January and February. It can be quite cold as you also go up to the north is Sapa, which is in the mountains. In January, there is no start date but in December there is. Be aware that you can not sunbathe.
Discover Vietnam’s epic highlights on this exciting 3 week group adventure from North to South! Hang out in Hanoi, learn about the war torn history of Vietnam, get to know Vietnamese culture, go trekking enjoy a cool beach week checking out the world famous Halong Bay. Finish up with an all-encompassing road trip south to Ho Chi Minh city via Hoi Ann and Na Trang.
Xtreme Vietnam Experience: Trip Highlights
VIETNAM EXPERIENCE HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
- Fancy going somewhere completely different? You will love Vietnam.
- Explore the vibrant 1,000 year old of historic city of Hanoi during the first week.
- Learn about Buddhism and Meditation, explore interesting Vietnamese places including Pagodas and temples in the second week.
- Go trek the amazing Sapa mountain and learn about the culture here, visit markets.
- Discover Ho Chi Minh City
- No worries about going it alone, this trip has a buddy list so you can chat to other people on the trip before you go!
INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCES IN AN INCREDIBLE COUNTRY
Vietnam is blessed with natural beauty. It has it all. Mountains, lowlands, a huge coastline blessed with beaches, national parks that are the envy of the world like Sapa and Halong Bay, and a culturally rich and troubled history that makes visiting Vietnam such a unique and interesting experience, it will be more than your average holiday.
This trip is about showing you all the best sites and attractions in Vietnam, whilst offering you lots of cultural interaction in a group and leaving you happy in the knowledge that you will be well looked after during your stay.
Our group sizes for Vietnam are small, and an average age between 18 to 22 years old, this is the ideal trip to book if you are dead keen on seeing Vietnam and want personalised action and intimate groups.
Xtreme Vietnam Experience Photos
Day 1, Arrival Day
Arriving on Sunday or start your adventure in the all some ancient capital of North Vietnam Hanoi. This is it! The beginning of your 3-week adventure that is full of excitement, culture, history, a road trip and great times with new friends. With an airport pick up included you settle into your accommodation in Hanoi, you´ll get a chance to meet up with your fellow backpackers and find out about everyone you´ll be spending the next few weeks with.
Most people on our Vietnam Experience are in the same boat, i.e. they are travelling solo, so there is no need to be nervous. You´ll be far too busy to worry about that!
Day 2 Hanoi old quarter
To new visitors, Hanoi is a fantastic city bustling with crazy drivers, overloaded bicycles, colourful markets and street food stalls selling local dishes, some of which aren´t always identifiable (and yes, they are partial to chomping on a bit of Fido!).
Luckily you have a guide to help you through that initial culture shock, allowing you to absorb it with a bit of help. You´ll visit the 12th century Temple of Literature, see a local music performance and have lunch in the Old Quarter when your guide will take the opportunity to tell you all about what the next four weeks has in store. In the evening, you´ll have dinner and see a performance at the world famous water puppet theatre.
By the end of today, the sensory overload will either have you sleeping like a log or wide awake with wonder! Check out this gallery on our blog for more photos!
Today we are heading to Halong City gateway to the world heritage site of Halong Bay.
Halong Bay, which means ´Bay of the Descending Dragon´, is approximately 170km north of Hanoi and is famous for its surreal and somewhat eerie landscape of over 3000 limestone monoliths that rise imposingly from the ocean.
Just make sure that you get those all important emails addresses from your trip mates so that you can swap photos and keep each other up-to-date with any more adventures you do. Believe us, this trip will leave you wanting more. There is no vaccination for the travel bug!!
Day 4 and 5
Vietnam is full of epic landscapes, Giao Xuan is a stunning little village that will not disappoint. Today we’ll learn everything there is to know about Vietnamese culture. You will be learning some basic trying your hand Vietnamese cooking, and we will even take you to a local market where you can haggle for some ingredients for a major feast later that day.
Day 6 Quintessential Vietnam paddy fields caves and temples
Today involves a relaxing boat trip around Tam Coc and Dinh Cac Pier, which has a stunning landscape of towering karst islets and vast expanses of paddy fields. You´ll also float through three impressive natural caves, which is what the name Tam Coc means, ´three caves´. This whole area epitomizes rural Vietnam, and you´ll want to make sure your camera is charged.
After lunch, you can cycle to the village and onto Thai Vi Temple and Bich Dong Pagoda, which dates back to 1428 and is located on Ngu Nhac Mountain.
Day 7 and 8 (Sat & Sun)
Its weekend! You have a couple of days ´off´ at this point in the trip – that is you are free to explore at your own pace and see what you and your adventuring friends can find. Meet up in the evenings and swap stories and photos with the whole group, while soaking up the atmosphere and thinking about everything you’ve seen and done so far. Typically the groups head out to Cuc Phuong National Park, the picturesque waterfall, and temples of the 11th c former capital, Hoa Lu. Our guides can offer you advise on what’s best to see in the area.
DAY 9 (MON) SAPA
A local village, hill tribes and beautiful scenery are on the agenda today. Cat Cat Village is about 1km from Sapa, located at the bottom of the Muong Hoa Valley and as you walk there you´ll see the breathtaking mountains, over 3000m high, and the green rice terraces that drop almost 1000m below. You´ll also pass the sparkling Cat Cat waterfall. The village itself is home to the H´Mong tribe, who retain many of the old customs and traditions, some of which you can see, such as hand weaving and dying of materials to make textiles. Have you still got room for souvenirs?!
Locals and villages
We hope you´re feeling well rested for today as there is a 10km trek through the hills, past the streams and into the valley of Muong Hoa to visit Ta Van village, where you’ll stay overnight with a local family. This gives you the chance to experience firsthand the lifestyle and culture of the people living in this area. After the long trek, the pool is bound to look appealing to soothe those aching muscles! You also have the chance to pitch in and help to cook dinner (you might even get to use some of the skills you learnt in your cookery class) before settling down for a peaceful night with your local hosts.
Day 10 (Tue) trekking
Bring your trekking boots because we are going on an epic journey. 10 hours of trekking through hills, paddy fields and classic Asian scenery until we hit Ta Van village. Take a dip in the pool there because you have deserved it.
Day 11 (Wed) Waterfalls and landscapes and trekking
You´ll have been glad for a peaceful night as today is an amazing seven hour round trip trekking to a waterfall and passing through some stunning landscapes along the way something that you´ll probably be getting used to now, given how beautiful the country is. Anyway, you´re young and fit so no slacking, you can handle it!
Day 12 (Thu) Sapa
Back to Sapa and a well earned rest. Kick back and sip a 666 Vietnamese beer. Super cheap and very tasty!
Sapa is perfect for a well-earned rest. You´re more than halfway through your adventure so you can sit back, chill out and reflect on all the places you’ve been, things you see and people you´ve met so far. We reckon by this point you´ll realize this is one of the best things you’ve ever done!
If you are up for it check out the beautiful orchid gardens on the Ham Rong Mountain. Located in Sapa town, you don´t have far to travel to admire the panoramic views, gardens and unusual rock formations. It is well worth the effort of walking to the top as once you get there, and along the way, you´ll be rewarded with some great photo opportunities.
Day 13 (Fri) Market
Today you’ll visit the beautiful local market and beautiful old Sapa church in the morning. You’ll have free time for the rest of the day until your bus back to Hanoi.
Day 14 and 15 (Sat & Sun) Hanoi craziness free time
Yes weekend again :). You’ve had quite a number of days admiring the beautiful Vietnam countryside and now it´s back to crazy Hanoi. You have a couple of days to explore more of the city, after which time you can decide whether you love it or hate it, it´s a bit like Marmite! Your guide will be able to give you the lowdown on the best places to visit and where to eat and drink.
You then have two days to explore the incredible city of Hanoi – our guides can give you some great suggestions of places to go, although often the group will have their own ideas there is only things you can see and do it will be hard to cram it all in. Stock up on snacks and charge your smartphone batteries because the following night you will be doing a very long bus trip which takes us to Hoi an.
Day 16 Hoi An is awesome
You will arrival to Hoi An in the afternoon and have time to visit Hoi An Old Quarter. It has a distinctly French colonial flare, and it’s also an awesome place to get any type of clothing tailor-made for you!
You could spend time exploring the town and its many alleyways of cute shops, cafes and extensive food market or maybe hire a scooter and head out to the gorgeous local beaches.
Day 17 Ancient Ruins
You will visit the ancient ruins of the Cham dynasty in My Son. Ancient ruined temples two massive towers a really special place.
We will join the bus to transfer to Nha Trang tonight.
Day 18 & 19 Beach time
Na Trang has fantastic beaches and great nightlife. Nha Trang’s golden beaches are yours for the taking, alternatively, take a boat trip to nearby islands or sample sumptuous seafood.
Day 20 Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh
It’s been a huge epic journey but finally, we’ve made it to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sai Gon)! Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, it has a distinctively different feel to Hanoi.
Day 21 (Sat) Saying goodbyes
On day 24 you will stay in Sai Gon where it will be time to say goodbye to your travel buddies. Lifelong friendships will have been formed, incredible time is had by all, in a truly stunning country. At the end of an amazing trip before continuing with your onward travels
During the trip you stay in triple share accommodation. Usually, this is same sex but not always. Accommodation is comfortable, clean and regularly inspected to ensure that we maintain high standards with the guesthouse as we stay in.
A Rough Idea of Price
All of our gap year holidays are completely customised to your needs and prices will therefore vary based on things like the time of year and level of accommodation; but we want to give you as good an idea of how much this itinerary will cost.
21 Days - AdventureBook Now
- Pre-departure information
- Airport transfer on arrival to make it easy for you!
- Fully guided with local knowledgeable English speaking Guides
- Trip to the Water Puppet Theatre
- Visit Ho Chi Minh Memorial (optional)
- 20 nights’ accommodation
- Most Breakfasts
- Overnight in rural village homestay
- Black H’Mong hill tribes and scenic waterfalls
- Guided jungle trek in Cuc Phuong National Park and visit to Muong ethnic community (Optional extra)
- Boat trip in Tam Coc
- Stunning boat trip in Halong Bay
- Experience a Vietnamese floating village
- Adventure Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
- Hanoi city tour
- Overnight Bus to Hoi An
- Walking tour of Hoi Ans beautiful waterways
- Cham dynasty temples in My Son
- Adventure Trek to Cat Cat Village
- 2 Glorious days by the beach in Nha Trang
- Ho Chi Minh City
- Access to buddy lists before you go
- Extra activities not on itinerary
- Tourist Visa
- Travel Insurance
- Return airport transfer
- Lunch and Dinner
- Breakfasts during travel days
- Extra night if needed at the end of the trip in Ho Chi Minh
Frequently Asked Questions
Vietnam is a very safe country to travel in. You will also have a co-ordinator with you at all times.
No! You can get away with taking about 100 per week, and that will go a long way! A beer on the street in Hanoi is about 7p.
Xtreme Vietnam Experience Trip Dates
Start Dates 2018
24 June 2018 – 14 July 2018
15 July 2018 – 04 August 2018
07 October 2018 – 27 October 2018
11 November 2018 – 01 December 2018
Start Dates 2019
13 January 2019 – 02 February 2019
10 February 2019 – 02 March 2019
10 March 2019 – 30 March 2019
07 April 2019 – 27 April 2019
09 June 2019 – 09 June 2019
07 July 2019 – 07 July 2019
08 September 2019 – 28 September 2019
03 November 2019 – 23 November 2019
COMBINE WITH THE 4 WEEK THAILAND EXPERIENCE OR 3 WEEK THAILAND ENTOURAGE STARTING THE SUNDAY AFTER