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 hiked with a fabulous, congenial and like-minded group. We all got on so well. Our comradery made the trip fun and stimulating. The Villa Casalta is an odd place. Exodus needs to do a site visit or just scrap this villa and look elsewhere.
The tour was absolutely amazing. Marrakesh was intriguing and beautiful, the mountain views during the drive to Ait Benhaddou were breath-taking, the Sahara and the camel ride were amazing and the Tighza location extremely picturesque. The whole trip was fabulous!
Finally got to do this trip which was on my bucket list before the pandemic. It was certainly worth the wait and lived up to all my expectations. This is one of the best Exodus trips I have travelled on. I find ex-Soviet countries fascinating and we certainly got a good introduction to the histories of all 3 countries together with an insight into their views about the current situation. This was due to the generous ways in which both our guide Andrius and the local guides were prepared to share some of their experiences from less liberal times. It was all very thought provoking and led to some thoughtful discussion between fellow travellers. But on a lighter note – the itinerary was more varied than I was expecting. We saw capital cities, medieval streets, Art Nouveau architecture, crumbling and restored castles, fishermen’s wooden cottages, Soviet elite holiday homes, a palace built in the time of the Tsars , a decommissioned nuclear bunker, museums, art galleries and some ex-KGB “facilities”. Trips into the countryside were also included, we visited the sea in all 3 countries, some fantastic national parks and drove through wonderful forests. Even the weather was on our side – I could be forgiven for thinking the Baltics are countries where the spring sun creates beautiful dappled patterns whilst glinting through the fresh green forest foliage. It only rains when you are in the bus between destinations! However, there was also a heatwave in Southern Europe, so future travellers should not take too much notice of this comment.