Join YPT as we cross the whole of Vietnam in search of traces of the latest history of the country. Throughout this tour you will explore the length and breadth with us of this country, from the impact of the Vietnam War to its people and culture, and one of the most delicious cuisines within the whole of Asia.
We start in Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon – where we check out the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum as well as life in general in this incredibly vibrant city. We then head up the coast to Nha Trang and Hue to further explore Vietnam’s ancient history, and we won’t pass the opportunity for a few drinks by the beach either!
Everyone knows the DMZ on the Korean peninsula, here we’ll jump back in time and experience what divided Vietnam until the unification of the country in 1979. We of course end the tour in the capital Hanoi, visiting the mausoleum of Uncle Ho Chi Minh.
With time by the beach, exploring fishing markets, climbing destroyed tanks from more recent conflicts than the Vietnam war, this tour has it all for the budget traveller who wants to make the most out of a Vietnam tour. This tour follows our Dark Tourism Cambodia Tour and can be done as a combo with discounts!
Arrive at your own leisure at Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon, those coming from the Dark Tourism Cambodia Tour will arrive early afternoon
Meet your YPT guide at our centrally located hotel at 2:00pm
Head straight into history with a walk past South Vietnam’s Presidential Palace, now the Reunification Palace, to the War Remnants Museum, complete with scenes from the French occupation of Indochina, US military equipment from tanks to planes and vivid descriptions of the effects of Agent Orange and other leftovers from the war on Vietnam still today
Dinner of Vietnamese pho – rice noodles – and other dishes before we grab a cold Saigon beer, a plastic stool and sit on the street for some refreshment and people watching, before seeing where the night takes us!
Overnight in Saigon
Friday 12th August – Ho Chi Minh City
Head out after breakfast to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where we see and experience the tunnel warfare carried out by the Viet Cong against the US military in South Vietnam
Drive back into the city for some street food, we’re particularly fond of the famous Banh Mi thit pork sandwich!
Visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum
Head to the old American Embassy and see if we can climb up to “that place” where the last evacuations happened!
Check out the war surplus market. YPT does love a good Soviet market but we’ll make do with looking for Vietnam War trinkets!
Gather supplies for the train and head for our farewell dinner in the notorious District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City – The original Saigon
Our first major train journey, the relatively short trip from Saigon to Nha Trang, in our 4 berth private cabins
Overnight on the HCMC – Nha Trang train
Saturday 13th August – Nha Trang
Morning arrival in Nha Trang – have an early check-in into our hotel, so will have some time to relax and freshen up before heading out for the day.
Breakfast in the hotel before we go for a walk through the backstreets of Nha Trang – the best place to see the real city far from its beachfront – up to the Po Nagar Cham Towers, built in the Cham Civilisation between the 7th and 12th centuries and which is located on a hill with good views
Walk back through a traditional Vietnamese fishing village, and remind ourselves that fish definitely does smell like fish
After lunch walk past Nha Trang Cathedral and visit the Thanh Dien Khanh Fortress, an old citadel designed by a French officer in the late 18th century
Dinner and drinks — we might just head to Crazy Kim bar, because we like the place and the name!
Overnight in Nha Trang
Sunday 14th August – Nha Trang
After a relatively late rise, we will head out on a short drive to Bai Dai beach, getting away from the city and into one of the best coastal areas of Vietnam.
Stop on the way for a jungle walk and a dip in a waterfall pool
Swim in the sea or relax on the beach with a cocktail or two
Head back to Nha Trang, grab supplies and head for dinner by the sea, before heading up to pick up our bags and supplies
We are treated to another relaxing, and beautiful train journey with our overnight trip in private 4 berth cabins from Nha Trang to Hue
Drinks and overnight on the train to Hue
Monday 15th August – Hue
Morning arrival in Hue, the old imperial capital of Vietnam where we transfer to the Jade Hotel
After a bite to eat we head to Hue’s main attraction – the Imperial Citadel. It’s huge, and we’ll wander around the rooms and gardens for a few hours taking in different parts of ancient Vietnamese history
After lunch, we head out for a slice of more modern history, hiring motorbikes and heading to Phu Bai Airport, built and garrisoned by the Americans in this key part of former South Vietnam
Grab our motorbikes again for some countryside exploration. It just wouldn’t be Vietnam without motorbikes and rice paddies, and the countryside around Hue is some of the most beautiful in the country, and its people the most welcoming
Head back in Hue and go for dinner and drinks in this bustling Vietnamese town, starting of course and unavoidably at The DMZ Bar
Overnight in Hue
Tuesday 16th August – The DMZ
Early rise and drive out to the old Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Vietnam, at the 17th parallel. The journey takes 2 hours, with us stopping at a war memorial on the way, as well as various other places.
Lunch on the way to the DMZ
Visit the Hien Luong Bridge that was the official border crossing for much of the war, with classic halfway point selfies a must.
Vinh Moc Tunnels and museum, the main part of the DMZ Tour
See Khe Sanh Combat Base, Camp Carroll, and The Rockpile, former US military bases and outposts
Before driving back to Hue, we stop for dinner at a quiet seaside village for fish BBQ, and an amazing sunset.
Stop back at the hotel for a freshen up and to pick up supplies for our last train journey.
Night train to Hanoi in our private 4 berth rooms. This truly is one of the most stunning train journeys you can take in Vietnam, as we witness the countryside roll into what is the bustling capital city of Hanoi
Overnight on the train
Wednesday 17th August – Hanoi
Morning arrival in Hanoi
Transfer to hotel and a super quick transfer to the highlight of our trip to Vietnam, by joining the hordes of people that line up daily to see the father of the nation, Ho Chi Minh, lying in state. People still take this very seriously, and it is a big deal
Head straight to the Ho Chi Minh Museum for an in-depth look at his life
Lunch of Pho Ha Noi – more savoury than Saigon’s version
Visit the Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution, detailing history going right back to the struggle against the French
We head to Lenin Park, complete with statue, before some people-watching then go for dinner and drinks in the Old Quarter, our last Vietnamese night out!
Overnight in Hanoi
Thursday 18th August – Hanoi
Free morning to sleep in or go out for some last-minute shopping in Vietnam
Lunch at a local restaurant
Head out to Hoa Lo Prison, otherwise known as the Hanoi Hilton, where the French imprisoned and executed Vietnamese revolutionaries during the colonial period, and in which the US POWs captured by the North Vietnamese were kept, including a certain John McCain
End of tour, or to complete the SE Asia Trinity join us on our Laos Tour
• Transport to and from the tour
• Travel insurance
• Single supplement (€210)
• Visas if required (YPT can provide visa support)
• Dinners and drinks
• Personal spending
• Tips for the local guides
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.