Round trip Vietnam

Round trip Vietnam

TOUR OPERATES: Round trip Vietnam

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Day 1: Departure

Today you fly with a transfer to Ho Chi Minh city where your Vietnam tour starts.


Day 2: Arrival of Ho Chi Minh city

Today your plane lands at Tan Son Nhat, the airport of Ho Chi Minh City. The tour guidance will take you away from the airport. Depending on the arrival time, you can explore the city yourself.

Saigon (Sai Gon), officially known as Ho Chi Minh City since 1975, is the commercial center of the country. Ho Chi Minh city has nearly 8 million inhabitants and is a busy, noisy city where old and new influences intermingle. There is a lot to see here.

In Ho Chi Minh City you will find the former American embassy on Le Duan street. Almost everyone will remember the dramatic departure of the Americans from the roof of the embassy on April 30, 1975. Also in the city is the former presidential palace. Striking are the Notre Dame cathedral and the Hoofdpostkantoor that clearly shows French influences. In the Dong Khoi street (formerly Rue Catinat) the famous writer Graham Greene rented an apartment.


Day 3: Hanoi

Day off. You can take a trip on the Sai Gon River that crosses the city, or visit the various interesting museums that tell you a lot about the history of the country.

Cholon, 'big market', is the district where most of the Chinese live and where countless Chinese temples and houses can be admired. In Cholon is the largest covered market of Ho Chi Minh City, where the most diverse items are for sale. Also interesting are the Thien Hau pagoda and the Ngia An Hoi Quan Pagoda .


Day 4: Hanoi - Mai Chau Valley

Free day in Ho Chi Minh city. Who wants to join an optional excursion to Tay Ninh and Cu Chi. This excursion to Tay Ninh and Cu Chi takes a full day.

Around 8 o'clock in the morning you will leave with your own bus to Tay Ninh. This colorful temple complex is the center of the Cao Dai religion. The Cao Dai is a new religion that came into being in 1926, which, according to the Vietnamese founder and medium Ngo Minh Chieu, best from the religions of East and West (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, spiritism and ancestor worship). There is one god, Cao Dai. During séances, media provide contact with the god and the spirit world. The medium received messages from the other side in the many séances: Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tse, Confucius and Mohammed. But also of the spirits of Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Churchill, Victor Hugo and Shakespeare, among others. There is a church hierarchy like in the Roman Catholic Church: a pope, cardinals, bishops, priests. The colors of their legs differ from the other followers. At the moment there are more than 2 million followers, especially in South Vietnam. The center of the Cao Dai is in the city of Tay Ninh, 100 km from Ho Chi Minh City. Every six hours a service takes place here with a ceremonial and meditative part. Your departure from Ho Chi Minh City is chosen so that you can attend the service from noon.

Then it is time to go to the tunnel complex of Cu Chito drive. Of course you stop en route to lunch and for example enjoy a nice bowl of 'phó' (noodle soup). The tunnels of Cu Chi were used by the Viet Cong in the war to resist the Americans. Already in the Franco-Vietnamese war a start was made with the construction of these tunnels, hand-carved by the Viet Minh (!). The final complex consisted of a total of approximately 240 kilometers of tunnels. The tunnels are divided over different floors, including underground hospitals, kitchens and other facilities. Through the tunnels the surrounding villages were connected and the movements of the American troops could be monitored. During the years of struggle that the Viet Cong fought against the American and South Vietnamese army, the opponent never succeeded in discovering or conquering the entire tunnel system. It is still possible to descend into the tunnels and experience a little bit how people lived, suffered and fought here.

Late in the afternoon you will return to Ho Chi Minh City after about two hours, where you can use the evening and possibly the night to discover that a city like Ho Chi Minh City never sleeps. There is always something going on here.


Day 5: Ho Chi Minh City - Vinh Trang Pagoda - Can Tho

By bus you travel in five hours (230 km) to the Mekong Delta. On the way we stop at the Vinh Trang pagoda in My Tho from 1848, which you can visit (entrance fee not included). During the Vietnam War this pagoda was a hiding place for guerrilla fighters of the Vietcong. In the pagoda there are images of monks who set fire to themselves in protest against the regime.

Continue to Can Tho, the only university city of the Mekong Delta. Along the way the picturesque countryside of the delta is clearly visible. The inhabitants grow rice, coconut, bananas, mangoes, longans and citrus fruits. There is also fish farming and fishing. Because of its pivotal role in (water) traffic in the delta, Can Tho functions as a regional capital in this area. The great activity can be observed on the Can Tho market. Not only vegetables, fruit, rice, fish and meat are traded, but also electronics, textiles and books.
Day 6: Can Tho - Cai Rang floating market - An Binh island
In the morning you visit the picturesque floating market of Cai Rang. The way to explore the Mekong delta is of course by boat. Along the way we notice how important the water is in the daily life of the people in the Mekong Delta. Their houses are built right along the water. Villagers are fishing or using the water to do their laundry.

By bus and partly by boat you travel to the island of An Binh, also in the Mekong delta.

Really on a journey TIP

On the island of An Binh you spend the night in a dormitory in a simple house of a villager (shared bathroom). Dinner is included today (drinks are exclusive). You can enjoy the silence in the countryside. In the afternoon, enthusiasts can explore the island by bike or on foot.

 

Day 7: An Binh Island - Mui Né

By boat you go from An Binh Island to Vinh Long, where the bus is waiting for you. You continue your way by private bus to Mui Né. The estimated travel time for today is 8 hours (230 km).


Day 8: Mui Né

Day off. The white sandy beaches of Mui Né are a good place to recover from the impressions and fatigues of the first week. Mui Né is a city with a pleasant atmosphere and a pleasant climate. Much less known than the seaside resort of Nha Trang , it is a wonderful place to relax.

The friendliness of the population is one of the charms of Mui Né. There is a surf school, where you can go windsurfing, kite surfing, boogie boarding, etc. You can rent a moped or bicycle and take a trip along cashew nut plantations, fishing villages, the harbor and the market. Furthermore, there are nice restaurants in Mui N, where seafood lovers can certainly get their culinary traits.


Day 9: Mui Né - Qui Nhon

To break the very long travel day on bad roads to Hoi An, you will spend the night in the harbor town of Qui Nhon . Before that, you will enjoy the Vietnamese countryside. You pass picturesque villages, avoid deep holes in the road, pick up fully loaded public buses and use a delicious meal in one of the many small roadside restaurants.

The estimated travel time for today is 13 hours (480 km), including stops along the way.


Day 10: Qui Nhon - My Lai - Banh It - Tien Cham - Hoi An

You follow the coastline and continue to the north. You make stops in My Lai, at the towers of Banh It and at the Canh Tien Cham Towers(entrance fees not included). My Lai is a village in the central coastal area of Vietnam and became known for a tragic massacre. On March 16, 1968, 504 Vietnamese women, children and elderly were killed here by American soldiers. Now an impressive monument remains.

After a good ride you finally arrive in Hoi An. The town of Hoi An has a rich trade past of which many ancient Chinese houses and templeswitnesses. A stroll through the town will introduce you to the beautiful Chinese architecture. Several residents of these monumental houses have opened their homes so you can also view the old splendor. The 'old city' of Hoi An has been placed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

The estimated travel time for today is 10 hours (290 km), including stops along the way.


Day 11: Hoi An

Day off. During an optional half-day exotic cooking course , you can learn the tricks of the local cuisine with your travel companions and enjoy your self-prepared meal.

In Hoi An you can organize your time as you wish. One will take a long bike ride through the countryside, another will relax on the nearby Non Nuoc beach.


Day 12: Hoi An / Excursion My Son

Day off. Fans of excavations will certainly visit My Son, which also adorns UNESCO's World Heritage List. The eponymous excavations are about thirty kilometers from Hoi An. With a rented car this place is easy to reach. My Son was the political and religious center of the Chamfol people who ruled Vietnam from the fourth to the thirteenth century. Although here too the war has left its mark, it is still an interesting and atmospheric place to visit. For this trip to My Son you need at least half a day.

If you do not like excavations, you can spend a day at the beautiful Cua Dai beach Spend a boat trip on the Thu Bon River to one of the industrial villages.


Day 13: Hoi An - Da Nang - Hué

Today you continue your group trip with our own bus to Hué. Just before Da Nang (Danang) you first stop at the Marble Mountains (entrance fee not included). This is a rock formation in the flat land that is interlaced with caves and caverns. At the time of the Vietnam War it was a hiding place for the Viet Cong. Now it is a Buddhist shrine . The many images in the various caves are evidence of this.

Before you travel to Hué, you can visit the Cham Museum in Da Nang as an optional extra. In this museum you can admire art treasures found at My Son.

The distance from Da Nang to Hué is not that long; four hours of buses is sufficient but because you regularly stop on the way to enjoy the view and at Lang Co also take a dip in the deep blue sea, you are on the road for much longer. Swinging, you follow the road over the Hai Van pass. On the right side you have a view of the coast that alternately consists of rockeries and pristine bays with sandy beaches.


Day 14: Hué - Hanoi

Hué is the former capital and seat of the Vietnamese emperors. In 1945 Bao Dai, the last emperor, was deposed. In Hué and surroundings there are several monuments that recall this glorious past. The former Imperial Palace, the Forbidden Purple City , is located in the center of the present city. The whole is reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, but in a smaller version. Unfortunately, Hué and the Forbidden City during the Tet offensive in 1968 suffered greatly from the shelling and bombing. However, with the help of various organizations, the Forbidden City is gradually being restored.

There are several monuments on the UNESCO World Heritage List. For example, the Temple for the Tomb of Emperor Minh Mang, the complex of the Temple for Adoration of the Nine Nguyen Lords (Thai Mieu), the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, the pagoda 'Celestial Lady' (Thien Mu) and the complex of the Audience Palace (Dien Can Chanh). The tombs of the various emperors located along the Perfume River can easily be reached by bicycle. The tour guide can also hire a boat at the request of the participants to visit the most important tombs and pagodas in an excursion.

Lovers of sun, sea and sand can cycle to the coast in an hour. During the day it is usually quiet on the beach. Many Vietnamese people come here in the evening and at the weekend.

Really traveling TIP:
At the end of the afternoon you leave with the night train to Hanoi (830 km).The train bears the appropriate name 'reunited express', as North and South Vietnam become so connected! In advance, sleeping places have been reserved by the tour guide. The sleeping compartments will be (as far as possible) in the 'soft-sleeved' part. Such a compartment consists of four beds. If there are too few places available, a number of participants will be accommodated in the 'hard-sleeper' section. Here each compartment consists of six beds that are slightly less 'luxurious' but still of sufficient quality to spend the night. Walk through the train and take a look at the 'hard-seat' section where the travelers hang the hammocks between the benches in the evening, or roll out their mat on the floor. Small refreshments and drinks are available on the train. There is also hot drinking water for tea or noodle soup. The trains in Vietnam are running at a slow pace. When it is still light, you can enjoy the landscape. At some stations the train is stationary for a long time because there is a need to wait for an oncoming train, because almost everywhere in Vietnam there is a single track.

Really on a journey TIP

Really traveling TIP:
At the end of the afternoon you leave with the night train to Hanoi (830 km).The train bears the appropriate name 'reunited express', as North and South Vietnam become so connected! In advance, sleeping places have been reserved by the tour guide. The sleeping compartments will be (as far as possible) in the 'soft-sleeved' part. Such a compartment consists of four beds. If there are too few places available, a number of participants will be accommodated in the 'hard-sleeper' section. Here each compartment consists of six beds that are slightly less 'luxurious' but still of sufficient quality to spend the night. Walk through the train and take a look at the 'hard-seat' section where the travelers hang the hammocks between the benches in the evening, or roll out their mat on the floor. Small refreshments and drinks are available on the train. There is also hot drinking water for tea or noodle soup. The trains in Vietnam are running at a slow pace. When it is still light, you can enjoy the landscape. At some stations the train is stationary for a long time because there is a need to wait for an oncoming train, because almost everywhere in Vietnam there is a single track.

 

Day 15: Hanoi - Mai Chau

At the end of the next morning you finally arrive in Hanoi. Here the bus is waiting for you to bring you to Mai Chau in three or four hours (200 km).

Today you drive past infinite rice fields, through small villages until you encounter the first low karst mountains . Mountains that seem to rise from nowhere and form an unrivaled landscape.

Mai Chau is situated in the middle of a picturesque valley with rice fieldssurrounded by the castle mountains. In this village where Witte Thai lives in poles built on stilts, you stay overnight. An ideal place to stretch the legs and explore the area on foot.

Really on a journey TIP

You are just two weeks in Vietnam when you start on perhaps the most beautiful part of your trip. King Monkey consciously chooses to spend eight days exploring north with all its minorities. You follow the heavier, but much less touristy route along Mai Chau, Son La, Dien Bien Phu and Lai Chau to Sapa (Sa Pa). You take long travel days for granted.

 

Day 16: Mai Chau - Son La

You continue your way to the mountainous north, an area that was closed to tourists until 1993 because of the border disputes with China. If the road permits, you'll be in Son La in about five hours (190 km) . In this typical North Vietnamese town there is not much to do except if you are invited to a wedding or other local party. However, the environment is beautiful. Son La is surrounded by karst mountains and is known for its tea plantations. You can visit the caves and villages in the neighborhood independently or under the guidance of a local guide.


Day 17: Son La - Dien Bien Phu

The drive through the mountains to Dien Bien Phu takes at least six hours (200 km) but is one of the most beautiful during this trip through the north. Mighty mountains and fertile valleys with flowing rivers alternate. This is the area where 20 different minorities live. When you are lucky, you will meet members of the Dao, White and Black Thai and White Hmong or Lo-Lo on their way to their village or market. They are all dressed in colorful clothes, beautiful headpieces and jewelery. If you want to take a photo, always ask first if they have no objections and also respect it if you get a 'no'.

Dien Bien Phu is located in a valley and is famous for the battle with the French in 1954. An underground bunkerfrom which General De Castris led the French troops is still on display as well as the war museum. The place Dien Bien Phu itself is expanding rapidly. The new houses have the upper hand. It is certainly not a beautiful village, but history makes it interesting and the road to it is beautiful.


Day 18: Dien Bien Phu - Lai Chau

Through a mountainous landscape and bad roads you drive into the green valley of Lai Chau . Here you will arrive in the afternoon. It is about seven hours drive (123 km).
NB: When you arrive late at Dien Bien Phu on day 17, you can also spend the morning in Dien Bien Phu.


Day 19: Lai Chau - Sapa

A varied travel day. You drive along rivers and rice fields, passing high green mountains, various waterfalls and the villages of the Hmong and Thai. Regularly you stop to stretch the legs and eat something. Eventually you arrive in Sapa. This village lies at the foot of the Phan Si Pang, the highest mountain in Vietnam (3143 meters). At the time of the French colonial period Sapa was a favorite resort for the French. Due to the high altitude, the temperature is very pleasant compared to the low-lying Red River delta. In winter it can be quite cold, with even a chance of snow. Sapa is the central village for the minority groups living in the area and located at an altitude of about 1,500 meters. The village has now become a popular destination. Not only for foreign travelers, but also for Vietnamese tourists. Both the beautiful location and the interesting culture of the ethnic peoplesthose living in this area attract many travelers.

The estimated travel time for today is five hours (270 km).


Day 20: Sapa / Optional Hiking Minority Area

Free day in Sapa, where you can view the town. The area invites to beautiful day walks.

Really on a journey TIP

Optional hike:
If the weather permits, you can go on an optional two-day hike through a beautiful landscape and past picturesque villages of the various tribes where we spend the night. The conditions are primitive, but this is a unique experience that will give your Vietnam trip extra meaning. (There are beds, mosquito nets and blankets on the overnight accommodations, so you do not have to bring a sleeping bag or sleeping mat yourself.) A towel is useful. Your main luggage can be left in Sapa. You will see that again after your trek. Medical herbs and many wild flower species, including orchids, are common in this area. This trek can not be done in very bad weather and is then replaced by day hikes in the neighborhood of Sapa.Please indicate at the time of booking if you want to join this trek. More information can be found under the 'Excursions' tab.

 

Day 21: Sapa - Bac Ha

After the two-day hike or after a stay in Sapa, you drive in three hours (100 km) to the lesser known Bac Ha. You stay in a homestay in the Tay village of La Hoi, a fifteen minute walk from Bac Ha.

 

Day 22: Week market Bac Ha - Hanoi

In Bac Ha there are Black Dao, the Red Mang, the Lao and the Thai. The place to meet the different minorities is of course on the various weekly markets that are held in Bac Ha and in the immediate vicinity. Residents of the surrounding villages then walk for miles to visit these markets. In addition to buying and selling goods, these markets also have a social function. You meet family and friends who live in other villages, exchange with them the latest news before you return home. They also function as a wedding market. Here you have to be seen and heard! This Vietnam group trip is composed so that during your stay in Bac Ha you will experience the big Sunday market.

In the afternoon you drive to Hanoi.

 

Day 23: Hanoi

In the early morning you arrive in Hanoi, a city with a unique atmosphere. After checking in at the hotel you can explore the city itself. There are several museums that are worthwhile. Of course you can not miss the Ho Chi Minh mausoleumduring your Vietnam round trip. In the autumn, however, this mausoleum is often closed for several weeks in connection with the maintenance of the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh.

The various lakes, scattered throughout the city, determine the image. The old town, north of Hoan Kiem Lake, consists of numerous small, narrow streets that are inhabited by all kinds of craftsmen. At the shops pans are beaten, leather worked and silk or other were sold. You can wander around here for hours.

 

Day 24: Hanoi

Day off. In the vicinity of the hotel where you are staying, you can rent bikes so that you can view the city independently or perhaps take a bike ride to one of the pagodas located outside the city.

In the evening you can eat in one of the numerous restaurants that this city is rich. Although there are currently many entertainment venues that remain open until the small hours, it is not customary in Vietnam to go to bed late. Almost everything is closed around ten, eleven o'clock in the evening, to open early the next morning.

 

Day 25: Hanoi - Halong Bay

A 4½ hour (175 km) ride through the flat land of the Red River Delta brings you to the beautiful Halong Bay (the Bay of the Descending Dragon). The bay is listed as an 'indispensable landscape' on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

For centuries the vast area (larger than 1500 km²) has been one of the most important attractions in Vietnam. The centuries-old karst mountains have formed numerous islands and rockeries in the bay. Legend has it that a huge dragon landed in the sea and took part of the land with its tail and then submerged it under water. Only the higher parts of the coast remained above the water. Whatever the case, Halong Bay isa spectacular natural phenomenon.

There are caves that you can visit and the lovers can swim at a beach. On the boat delicious food is served, where various types of fish form an important part. Lunch and dinner on the boat are included in your fare today. Your stay is planned on the 'An Duong' junk.

 

Day 26: Halong Bay - Ninh Binh

Today you will continue to explore Halong Bay. You'll be back in the harbor by noon. Once again 'on land' you drive through the flat land of the Red River Delta to Ninh Binh, a small town in a truly beautiful landscape. The pictures are worthy of a Chinese pen drawing . Rice fields, huge bamboo pollen and small rural villages are interrupted by the steeply rising round and pointed limestone mountains. Water buffalos poodle carefree in a refreshing mud bath. Farmers carry their products back home on the shoulder yoke.

 

Day 27: Ninh Binh - Hanoi

In Tam Coc you can make an optional trip with rowing boats over the creeks and canals, through three caves (!) And along green fields and small villages. In the village Hoa Lu you can visit two ancient temples of Dinh King and Le King and make a bike ride through this fairytale landscape.

The bus ride leads back to Hanoi. In the evening you can eat in one of the numerous restaurants that this city is rich. Although there are many nightlife options that remain open until the wee hours, it is not customary in Vietnam to go to bed late. Almost everything is closed around ten, eleven o'clock in the evening, to open early the next morning.

 

Day 28: Departure Hanoi

Today, depending on the departure time of your flight home, you still have some time to relax in Hanoi. The early birds among us can walk around six o'clock in the morning to the nearby Hoan Kiem Lake where many Vietnamese practice their morning gymnastics and tai chi (shadow boxing). Later in the day you can visit the last museums in this city, buy silk in the silk street or just wander through the streets.

The return flight is planned in the evening (time changes are subject to change). With a (or multiple) transfer (s) you arrive home the next day where your Vietnam tour ends again.

 

Day 29: Arrival
Arrival

Travel documents


If you have Dutch or Belgian nationality, you will need a visa for Vietnam for this trip.
On the website of our partner Visumloket you will find all information about the necessary travel documents (such as passport), visa, the visa procedure to be followed and the location of the embassy. Begin 4 to 6 weeks before departure of your trip with the application.
If you have the required visa arranged through us, we will charge, in addition to the visa costs, € 30, - agency fee per person per visa. You do not have to go to the relevant embassy (s) twice yourself.

countryside vietnam
Land arrangement
It is also possible to book only the land arrangement of this tour. You then arrange the international flights yourself and the transfer on arrival and departure. With the other participants you then make the journey according to program. This gives you the freedom to compose your own trip and choose the flight that suits your travel plans.

On the booking form you can also indicate whether we have to arrange an additional night on arrival for an additional fee. The transfer on arrival can also be arranged by Koning Aap on an individual basis.

We need a minimum number of participants for all our trips. Keep this in mind before you book your own tickets.

In all cases, it is your responsibility to be present at the starting point of the journey on time. In addition, we are not responsible for sporadic changes in the departure dates of our group trips. For some periods the price of the land arrangement may deviate from the rest of the year, for example festival trips. When the price of the land arrangement is adjusted, this is mentioned under the 'latest news'.
Additional costs and pocket money
Pocket money / Additional costs
The pocket money advised by us is a minimum amount for your meals, drinks, excursions, entrance fees and tips. The amount that you ultimately spend depends, of course, on your own pattern of spending, which is why souvenirs are not included.

Joint spending pot
During your trip you can regularly participate together in excursions or (not pre-paid) meals. There will also be paid common tips here and there. In order not to have to pay for this separately each time, a Joint Expense Pot is set. At the start of the trip, the tour guide will collect money for everyone from this pot. At the end of the trip, the settlement will follow, where you can get a refund or have to pay. These expenses are taken into account for the amount of our advice amount for the pocket money. The amount of the joint expenditure pot is € 125 per person.
Accommodation and transport
Transport
During this four week trip a private bus is used. Because you have your own transport throughout the journey, you can - in mutual consultation - stop at any time and at any place to take photos or try a local snack (if time permits). The bus is not available on 'free days'.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities to get acquainted with other means of transport such as the train (Hué-Hanoi), the boat (Halong bay, Mekong delta) and the bicycle (almost everywhere for rent). There are also
some possibilities for a nice walk, for example in the vicinity of Ninh Binh, Bac Ha or Sapa. There are no 'mandatory' long walks.

 

Travel distances
Ho Chi Minh City via Vinh Trang to Can Tho: 230 km / 5 hours
Can Tho via Cai Rang to An Binh Island: 150 km / 2 hours
An Binh Island to Mui Ne: 380 km / 8 to 9 hours
Mui Ne to Qui Nonh: 480 km / 9 to 10 hours (including stops on the way)
Qui Nonh via My Lai to Hoi An: 290 km / 5 hours
Hoi An via Marble Mountains and Danang to Hué: 130 km / 3 hours
Hué to Hanoi: 830 km (night train)
Hanoi to Mai Chau: 200 km / 4 hours
Mai Chau to Son La: 190 km / 5 hours
Son La to Dien Bien Phu: 200 km / 6 hours
Dien Bien Phu to Lai Chau: 123 km / 2 hours
Lai Chau to Sapa: 270 km / 5 hours
Sapa to Bac Ha: 110 km / 3 hours
Bac Ha to Hanoi: 320 km / 6 hours
Hanoi to Halong Bay: 170 km / 4 to 4½ hours
Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: 175 km / 4 to 5 hours
Ninh Binh to Hanoi: 100 km / 2½ hours
NB: The mentioned 'bare' travel time per day is highly dependent on the traffic, the condition of the roads and the weather. The travel time is of course approximate.

Accommodation
During our travels to Vietnam you spend the night mostly in hotels or guesthouses with double rooms with shower and toilet. When choosing our hotels, we especially paid attention to location, hygiene and atmosphere. The hotels are generally in the center of the place where you stay. In the north of Vietnam the accommodation will be simpler in nature.

On An Binh island you will sleep in a homestay. You sleep in beds in a communal dormitory, and the bathroom is shared. There are mosquito nets, blankets and pillows available. We advise you to take care of a sheet bag yourself. In the homestay on An Binh Island, dinner (1x) and breakfast (1x) are included in the travel sum (drinks are exclusive).

At Bac Ha you can sleep in an atmospheric, traditional homestay, built on stilts (in the village of La Hoi). You sleep on mattresses in a communal dormitory, and the bathroom is shared. There are mosquito nets, blankets and pillows available. We advise you to take care of a sheet bag yourself. The homestay is about 15 minutes walk from the market in Bac Ha. In the guesthouse in La Hoi the dinner (1x) and the breakfast (1x) are included in the travel sum (drinks are exclusive).

In the fairytale Halong Bay you sleep on a junk, with which you also make a boat trip. During this boat trip 1x lunch, 1x dinner and 1x breakfast are included. You stay in a boat on a 'join in' basis, which means that other travelers (outside of the Koning Aap group members) can also sit on the boat. It is possible that due to bad weather conditions an overnight stay on board is not allowed. In that case, we deviate to a hotel on the coast.

In advance, sleeping places are reserved on the night train route (Hué to Hanoi). The sleeping compartments will be (as far as possible) in the ' softsleeper ' part. Such a compartment consists of four beds. If there are too few places available, a number of participants will be in the ' hardsleeper'section. Here each compartment consists of six beds that are slightly less 'luxurious' but still of sufficient quality to spend the night. Your breakfast is not included during the night train trip. It is possible to buy small refreshments and drinks on the train. There is hot drinking water for tea or to make ' noodle soup '.

Most hotels use a check out time of 12 noon. To make your stay more comfortable, we arrange a few 'day rooms' for the group in Hué (day 14) and Hanoi (day 28), since on day 14 you will only get on the train at the end of the afternoon and on day 28 - depending on your flight schedule - is brought to the airport at the end of the afternoon. You can use the room to store your luggage and to refresh yourself. The use of the shared day rooms (an average of 4 people per room) is until 6 pm.

The planned hotels in Mui Ne, Qui Nonh, Hoi An, Hue, Dien Bien Phu and Lai Chau have a swimming pool; nice to wash off the tropical heat from you! In exceptional cases it may happen that another hotel without a pool has to be used. If this occurs, we will try to find a suitable alternative. Of course there are other swimming opportunities during this trip; think of your stay in Halong Bay and also the beach in Hoi An is not far away!

Wifi is pleasant for many travelers (via social media') to keep contact with the home front. Most hotels and homestays have wifi, sometimes for a fee, sometimes only in the lobby of the hotel. Please note that the quality and speed of the internet connection are not optimal everywhere. No Wi-Fi is available on the boat in Halong Bay.

Participants who register individually share a room with another participant. We naturally take into account that you come to the room of the same sex. It is possible to book a single room, where present. The single room surcharge will be charged for this. Please note that a single room is not possible during overnight stays in An Binh and Bac Ha, in the night train and during the optional trek in Sapa.

 


Travel guidance
All our group tours are carried out on the spot by Dutch-speaking (or in the case of our trips in Southern Africa African-speaking) travel guides. King Monkey makes high demands on the tour guide; after all, a journey stands or falls. Important criteria in selecting our travel guides are: (obviously) extensive travel experience, experience in dealing with groups and - preferably - active knowledge of a local language. Special training courses prepare the tour guides for what the participants expect from them. Our employees learn what the King Monkey travel formula stands for. They are not only instructed from our office, but also follow a multi-day course where they are presented with many (sometimes difficult) practical cases. A great opportunity to exchange essential experience. At some destinations local Dutch speaking tour guides are deployed by our local agents. These tour guides are also trained on site by the agency. We evaluate the functioning of our travel guides after each trip on the basis of evaluation forms completed by participants. In this way we always have an overview of how our people operate in the field!
The primary task of our travel guidance is to ensure good logistics of the journey (transport and accommodation). The tour guide also monitors the progress of the program and the attention given to each component. The tour guide organizes a range of optional excursions on the spot. In addition, he or she naturally functions as a central source of information. Our employees can tell a lot about the country and local customs.
Of course, a tour guide does not have everything in hand. Sometimes there is force majeure: the road has been blocked by flooding or landslides, the government has confiscated the train tickets or the hotel has already given away the rooms. In this type of setbacks, the tour guide will look for an alternative. Despite all the preparations and efforts of the tour guide, it may happen that the trip does not go entirely according to your expectations. The tour guide would like to hear from you, so that a solution can be found on the spot.
Your tour guide expects a tip at the end, if she / he has done the job well. King Monkey pays the tour guides a wage that is on par with that of most adventurous travel organizations. Our guideline for the tip is € 1, - to € 2, - per traveler per day.
Finally, you can always contact the tour guide if there are problems. Realize: a travel companion is not a walking encyclopedia. It is always wise to bring a good travel handbook.

Vietnam