Vietnam | Bottoms Up

16 Day Adventure Tour | From $1695 USD

Overview

Bottoms up in more ways than one – explore legendary Vietnam from the bottom all the way to the top whilst sharing some CHEAP drinks with great company.

 

Start with the always electric & chaotic Saigon, try not to go bottom up in Dalat on a half-day canyoning experience, explore old town Hoi An, then bust into song and dance as you lose yourself in some serious partying on the streets of Hanoi. Oh yeah, bring a volleyball & give us your best castaway impression as you get stuck amongst the limestone cliffs of Halong Bay. WILSON!!!

 

This Adventure packages Vietnam’s must see sights and an important community project into 15 well-paced nights designed to take you off the beaten path & into Vietnam’s unexplored depths.

 

MyGapYear arrange all accommodation, transport & general trip logistics so you can concentrate on enjoying the adventure of a lifetime.

 

Itinerary


Vibrant, energetic, crazy, chaotic, whatever you want to call it Saigon is buzzing metropolis of hi-octane traffic, teeming markets & ancient pagodas. A city where crossing the road is an art form & people watching a main attraction; Saigon is an experience like no other.

 

Start your Adventure with a group welcome dinner followed by a night tour of bustling backpacker district Pham Ngu Lao. Then end (or begin) your night with a few drinks as we explore the multitude of bars & nightclubs that characterize this backpacker haven.

 

The following morning your Adventure Leader will take you on a tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels; an immense network of underground passageways used by the Vietcong to combat enemy forces during the Vietnam War. A local guide will describe how the tunnels were used as a base of operations, supply route & even a hospital to great effect. Those who dare can squeeze their way through a small part of the tunnels to catch a real glimpse of life inside this underground maze.

 

Your local guide will also show you some of the gruesome homemade traps used by the Vietcong to snare & dismember enemies during the war. Finally, you can test your shooting ability with a variety of Vietnam War era weapons at the local shooting range. With supervision of course!

 

Use your free time wisely the next day by visiting the War Remnants Museum, wandering through Bến Thanh Market or taking a cyclo tour of the city. You have the option to spend a day exploring on your own or join your Adventure Leader as he/she traverses the main hotspots of Saigon City.

Notes:

  • Accommodation Type: Hotel
  • Highlights: Cu Chi Tunnels Tour, Vietnam War Museum Tour, Backpacking District Party Tour
  • Volunteers who arrive early in the day or at an earlier date may explore Saigon at their own leisure
  • Accommodation is based in Pham Ngu Lao; the main tourist centre of Saigon

Next stop Dalat. A quick flight the next day (Included) will have you there in sleepy town famed for its extreme activities. At 5000m above sea level Dalat is considerably chillier than hot & sticky Saigon.  But there weather is perfect for an extreme canyoning experience like no other. Spend a half-day rock-climbing, cliff jumping & abseiling through Dalats amazing waterfalls, not for the faint of heart. At night your tour leader will take you out to check out the towns night markets & small yet oddly outrageous nightlife.

 

Notes:

  • Accommodation: Homestay
  • Highlights: Extreme Canyoning Adventure
  • Transport: Plane

Next stop Nha Trang. A short bus trip (Included) will have you there in time for some serious beach action. After a tour of the city it’s time for some well deserved R & R by the sea.

Notes:

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Highlights: Free Time @ the Beach
  • Transport: Bus

Another morning in Nha Trang and then an overnight train ride to charming Hoi An.

 

Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are truly fun experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Sleeper trains typically have four-berth compartments (occasionally six-berth, depending on seasonal variations and group configuration), which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment, and there will be occasions where you’ll be sharing with travellers who are not part of your group.

Notes:

  • Transport: Overnight Train

A UNESCO historical town once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections. Today Hoi An presents a well preserved look into old town life with Japanese, Chinese & French architecture converging to create one of Vietnams most beautiful towns.

 

The following day you are free to explore everything Hoi Anh has to offer, no strings attached. Discover old town on foot, spend your day shopping, visit the clothing tailors or line your stomach with delicious local food. True beach bums can take an easy 4km bike ride to Cua Dai Beach, where you can hire deckchairs and get served fresh pineapple & delicious cocktails (omnomnom). After dark meet up for a group dinner & some more late night shenanigans.

Notes:

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Highlights: Free Time & Hoi An Old Town Tour

The next morning you are free to sleep-in or squeeze in some last minute shopping before we head to Da Nang to catch the overnight sleeper train to Hanoi.

Notes:

  • Transport: Overnight Train

A MyGapYear favourite, Hanoi is the nations capital and the cultural heart of Vietnam. A fascinating blend of east & west supported by French Architecture with Chinese influences gives this city a charming feel. With old town shopping districts, plenty of cultural attractions, a buzzing nightlife, and arguably the best Vietnamese Pho anywhere in the country this is one city that will not disappoint.

 

Did we mention that Hanoi has a chocolate buffet? Everything is made of chocolate…EVERYTHING!!!

 

After surviving the overnight train; check in to your accommodation and freshen up before a short tour of the nations capital. Follow your Adventure Leader on an orientation walk through the always lively Old Quarter; which comprises nearly 40 streets packed with shops selling all kinds of goodies, with each street named for its primary good or service.
We are only here for 24 hours, but don’t fret, we’ll be back in a couple days and will have plenty of time for you to discover all that Hanoi has to offer.

Notes:

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Highlights: Hanoi City Tour

The following morning will begin with a bus journey through the countryside and industrial towns of the north, to the coast where you board the traditional wooden Junk that will serve as your overnight home as you cruise the spectacular Halong Bay.

 

All meals are included during the cruise with opportunities to feast on some of the freshest local seafood available. Optional activities during the cruise include kayaking through caves, swimming & visiting a floating fishing village. The overnight accommodation is a truly amazing experience as you sleep on the boat surrounded by beautiful limestone cliffs. All cabins are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Plus there are sun-beds on the top deck and a full dining room on the boat.
After a few more hours cruising the beautiful Halong Bay we grab a transfer back to Hanoi for an afternoon of free time before a night out exploring some delicious local food & some even more tasty drinks.

Notes:

  • Accommodation: Guesthouse
  • Highlights: Ha Long Bay Boat Cruise
  • Meals Included: L, D, B

After returing to Hanoi, spend the next couple days volunteering at an ongoing community project: helping hand to a community rebuild project, or teaching English to those less fortunate. In the days ahead you will work alongside fellow Volunteers on projects including: teaching English, planting trees or building schools, among others.
The final full day is yours to explore all that Hanoi has to offer. Why not stop in for the infamous chocolate buffet, watch a traditional water puppet show or head to Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum to check out Uncle Ho in a quiet, and somewhat scary, tribute to the countries revolutionary leader.

Notes:

  • Accommodation: Hotel
  • Highlights: Community Build Project & Free Time

Final farewells and last minute shopping before your flight departs.

Notes:

  • Transfer to airport included

 

Need to Know

Age & Required Experience

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Keen interest in community projects & a desire to make a difference

 

Accommodation

All accommodation is Twin-Share & has a MyGapYear Comfort Rating of 3 stars or more. Single rooms are available upon request & payment of additional fees. Please enquire for more information.

 

Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we’re arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn’t always possible which means we won’t be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

 

Meals

Please see detailed itinerary for more information on day-to-day meal inclusions. Meals during the Halong Bay Boat Cruise are included. All other meals are at your own expense. All members of the group eat together for every meal. Those with special dietary requirements can be catered for.

 

Transport

Plane

Junk Boat

Bus

Train

*All in-country transport is included

 

Donation

All volunteers are required to bring a minimum $150 USD donation for the volunteer project in the trip. This is not included in the final price of the Adventure.

MyGapYear does not take any part in the handling of the donation money. The group will personally spend the money as required during the trip & will receive receipts for all monies spent whilst in Cambodia. Please enquire for more information on how the donation works.

 

Itinerary Disclaimer

Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.

Highlights

DODGE traffic in chaotic Saigon & squeeze through the CuChi tunnels made famous during the Vietnam War.

CLIMB abseil, cliff jump & trek through Dalats series of waterfalls in a half-day canyoning experience.

EXPLORE charming old town Hoi An and visit the local tailors for some made-to-fit suits.

SURVIVE the overnight sleeper train without smothering your fellow snorers.

WANDER aimlessly through Old Quarter Hanoi indulging in some serious shopping before stuffing your face with some legendary Vietnamese Pho.

EXPERIENCE the natural beauty of Halong Bay by overnight junk boat.

Adventure Details

LENGTH: 16 days

START DATES: Select dates apply

PRICE: $1695 USD

MEALS: Not included

FLIGHTS: Not included

Included

Fully chaperoned 15 night/16 day Adventure

2 Fully Qualified English Adventure Leaders

All accommodation

All in-country transport

Airport meet & greet plus transfers

Cu Chi Tunnels & War Memorial Tour

24/7 in-country support

Dalat Extreme Canyoning Experience

Halong Bay Overnight Boat Cruise

Flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat

2 x Overnight Train Journeys

MyGapYear Placement T-Shirt (Additional Shirts Available)

Personally selected & MyGapYear trained Tuk Tuk Drivers.

Unlimited Pre-departure support

Legitimate, Sustainable & Safe Volunteer Program personally founded and managed by the Founder of MyGapYear.

Not Included

Airfares

Visa requirements

Vaccinations

Travel insurance

Spending money

Some meals unless otherwise indicated

Similar Adventures

13 Days | From $945 USD

4+ Weeks | From $1695 USD

4+ Weeks | From $1595 USD

2+ Weeks | From $1295 USD