Experience Vietnam’s vibrant past and present by foot, bike, and boat. Explore some of the country’s most evocative locales and get off the beaten path to learn about the Vietnamese way of life today.
Begin your exploration of Vietnam in Hanoi, where you’ll explore the narrow vibrant streets of the historic French Quarter on foot and stroll past Ho Chi Minh’s imposing mausoleum with your guide. You’re sure to be impressed by Ms. Cúc, the founder of a project that helps Thai immigrant women earn a living wage. This evening, begin your culinary exploration by sampling some of the best local dishes and cocktails as you get to know your fellow AdventureWomen travelers.
Your expert Vietnamese guide joins you throughout your trip, offering in-depth and colorful information about the cities and towns you’ll visit, teaching you a few words of Vietnamese and some local secrets along the way.
Meet up with your biking guide, who will fit you to a bike and helmet and lead you on narrow paved paths as you pedal through local neighborhoods, markets, and homes, learning about the small communities on the outskirts of Hanoi. Your ride will end at your guide’s home for lunch – grab a cushion and taste some home-cooked dishes! Afterward, you’ll have an afternoon to explore more or to kick your feet up, take in a water puppet show, a traditional Vietnamese art form.
Private Boat Cruising
Next, head to the water in Ha Long Bay for two nights of private boat cruising. After getting to know your home for the next two nights, hop in kayaks and paddle around a traditional fishing village and islands with sheer rock faces dropping into the ocean. If you’re up early enough, Tai Chi on the upper deck is a serene way to see the Bay as the sun rises over the coastline of the mainland. Savor breakfast as you float along, soaking in the scenery before kayaking and swimming at Cong Dam, a pristine section of the bay that boasts small coves and tiny secluded beaches.
Hue, Hoi An, and the Imperial City
After one more early morning floating Tai Chi session, fly to Hue, where you’ll visit the Imperial City, a colorful traditional walled estate with quarters for the Empress, the Emperor’s mother, and the Emperor’s concubines. One of the highlights of the trip is your dinner with a local family, who will regale you with stories of growing up during Vietnam’s rebuilding period. Take time to ask questions and share stories and laughs over the many traditional dishes of Hue that were originally developed to entice the Emperor.
In Hoi An, get your taste buds ready as your group works together to create your own three-course Vietnamese meal! While you’re in Hoi An, explore the welcoming city, test a local restaurant, or even visit a local tailor to get custom articles of clothing made. A sunset boat cruise in the water palms is a perfect time to unwind with your AdventureWomen friends.
Saigon, Motorbikes, and the Mekong Delta
Finish your journey in glorious Saigon, where you’ll visit the stately Reunification Palace and the soaring spires of the Notre-Dame Basilica. A private chauffeured motorbike tour through the city will give you a taste of its lively life, literally. You’ll enjoy a variety of street food along the way and see which of your travel companions has the most adventurous palate! Wrap up your trip with a boat trip in the Mekong Delta, where you’ll marvel at the mangrove thronging the shoreline and taste tropical fruit freshly picked from an island in the river. Take one last easy bike ride on a small island, stopping at local farms and homes along the way. Your last dinner as a group will be filled with laughter and stories from this remarkable in-depth adventure that brings you in touch with authentic Vietnam today.
If you want to spend more time in Southeast Asia, why not extend your trip to the temples at Angkor Wat? For those who opt to head to Cambodia, fly from Saigon to Siem Reap, where you’ll meet your Cambodian guide, who will help you understand the history behind each ancient temple. Spend two days exploring the temples, starting with a tuk-tuk ride to Ta Prohm (made famous in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), and then hop on a mountain bike to ride to Bayon, the temple of over 200 faces. Spend the afternoon wandering through Siem Reap’s markets, shops, galleries, and restaurants.
The next morning, drive out to Banteay Srei, the temple nicknamed “the Art Gallery of Angkor.” This smaller pink sandstone temple is one of the most ornately carved in the area. Explore a floating village by boat and on your way back to town, stop at a school that trains local students in traditional Khmer arts. Enjoy a pre-dinner tasting of infused rice wine called Sombai, which literally means “more rice, please” before heading to dinner at a delicious local restaurant!
Wake up early to visit Angkor Wat at sunrise – the crown jewel of the temples around Siem Reap. This one last temple is sure to take your breath away and is an image you’ll keep in your mind (and photo album!) for many years to come.
- Pedal your bike along the narrow streets of Hanoi, enjoy lunch in a local home
- Visit the Cúc Handmade project, a local organization helping Thai women earn a living wage in Vietnam
- Two nights on a private boat in Ha Long Bay, exploring the islands and coves by kayak
- Dive into the flavors of Vietnam during a morning cooking class
- Discover the Mekong Delta, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
- Optional extension to visit the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia
What You'll See and Do
- Cooking Class
- Cultural Exploration
- Historical Sites
- Local Delicacies
- Private Cruise
- Spa Element
- UNESCO Site
- Women-To-Women Exchanges