From kaleidoscopic landscapes made up of lush paddy fields, vast stretches of undisturbed white sandy beaches, and bustling cities famous for their street foods and vibrant markets, there’s so much to love about cultural holidays in Vietnam. Arguably most famous for its Mekong Delta and the limestone karsts of Halong Bay, nature abounds in this stunning Southeast Asian country. Each of our itineraries is filled with cultural adventures that take you on a mesmerising journey into the heart of Vietnam.
As you trek through traditional hilltop villages, you’ll meet with the local people and enjoy immersive experiences learning about the culture and history. Whether you prefer to explore on foot or by bike, the historic towns of Hanoi, Hoi Ann and Hue are fascinating places to visit. And a trip to Vietnam wouldn’t be complete without crawling through the epic Cu Chi war tunnels.
Sail down the Mekong Delta, sampling authentic Vietnamese dishes along the way and witness the diverse scenery that makes this country so unique. In contrast to the Mekong, the city of Ho Chi Min City, formerly known as Saigon, whisks you into a frenzy with its bustling streets and dynamic cityscape that fuses Vietnam’s past with its modern economic hub.
During our Cultural Holidays in Vietnam, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy immersive experiences trying activities such as Tai Chi and yoga and learning about the history and skills of local crafts. And if you’re a food lover, you’ll be in your element with all the colourful cuisine that’s on offer.
Hanoi City Tour: Vietnam’s cultural capital and historic heart, Hanoi, blends ancient architecture with modern-day culture, and inside the vibrant Old Quarter you’ll see colonial influences that have shaped the city. Walk among the centuries-old buildings that line the narrow streets and see the historic temples and landmarks that are dotted around the city, from the Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison to the impressive Presidential Palace. Hoa Lo Prison once housed American prisoners of war during the Vietnam War but is now home to memorabilia and a French guillotine that tell of Vietnam’s struggles in the 1950s. As you explore the city further, your senses are awakened by the hum of scooters zipping through the streets, the sound of haggling market traders and the seductive aromas of Vietnamese street foods.
Walking Tour of Hoi An: Formerly a major port for traders in the 16th-century, Hoi An is a significant town that takes you on a trip into Vietnam’s rich past. This fascinating outdoor museum lies along the river and its Old Town is brimming with centuries-old merchant’s houses, Chinese temples and laid-back bars. Immerse yourself in Hoi An’s intoxicating atmosphere as you wander though the riverside market where silk garments and large bowls of fragrant spices spill out from the stalls. The iconic Japanese bridge, Quan Thang House and colourful river boats make Hoi An one of the most photogenic destinations in Vietnam.
Cruise the Mekong Delta: Experience a much slower pace as you venture into the land of the Mekong Delta. Known as the ‘rice bowl’, the Mekong is the lifeblood and lungs of Vietnam with its network of canals, rivers and streams that meander between traditional towns and villages. As you cruise along its waterways, you’ll pass boats weighed down with fruits, sugar cane and coconuts and you might even spot a buffalo or two bathing in the rice paddies. If you want to experience authentic Vietnamese culture, head to Cai Rang floating market or stop off at one of the local cottage industries where you can watch coconut candy and rice paper being made.
Explore Ho Chi Minh City: Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is the economic hub of Vietnam. Its imposing cityscape and pulsating streets fuse together ancient and modern cultures quite spectacularly. A scooter tour of the city is a fun way to explore and visit some of the main sights such as Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Opera House and the Central Post Office but if you want to delve deeper into the past, the War Remnants Museum lets you discover the darker side of Saigon. Walking through the city at night is undeniably atmospheric with its noisy markets and street food stalls which tempt you with local delicacies like bánh xèo (savour pancakes) and com tấm (broken rice).
We had great time with the group for this two-week holiday. We were spoiled by the team who were looking after us. It’s not just the cycling your, but food, culture and team. Finally, I managed to put some photos and video together. Hope you enjoy it: https://youtu.be/98upKDJQQN4
Just returned from 11 days in the beautiful Balkans with 16 other great people making up the tour group. The itinerary was well planned, considered and delivered and gave me a greater insight into this part of the world I had longed to visit. The range of landscapes and cityscapes we journeyed to and through were breathtaking with enough guided and free time to learn, explore and absorb.
We had an amazing time. Our tour leader, Fatima, was absolutely wonderful. Our driver, Samir (sp?) is the most chilled man in Bosnia and an excellent driver on all those narrow windy roads. Our group gelled really well and we had lots of fun together. The tour had a good balance of city highlights, combined with rural villages and getting out into nature for short refreshing walks and swims. We had some excellent homemade traditional food as well as great restaurants, especially Babylon in Mostar where we had a great view of the bridge and Red Bull bridge diving competition. And another restaurant set on the banks of a river. We learned a great deal about the complicated history of the Balkan countries as well as current political situations. Bosnia, Montenegro and Croatia are all phenomenally beautiful countries. But Bosnia in particular blew me away with its gorgeous mountains, rivers, lake, waterfalls and warm, genuine people. A feast for the eye and soul.