To book call us on 0800 408 0506
Wander through terraced rice paddies and palm-clad hills as you follow northern Vietnam's scenic rural walking trails, visiting the majestic Hieu Waterfall, remote village settlements, Pu Luong Nature Reserve and spectacular Ninh Binh.
Depart the UK on your scheduled, overnight flight to Hanoi.
On arrival in Hanoi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch, a walking tour of this vibrant city begins at the Ho Chi Minh Complex where the father of modern-day Vietnam declared the nation's independence in 1945. Visit sites including the Presidential Palace built by French colonialists in the early 20th century, Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House and the One Pillar Pagoda. Explore the courtyards and pavilions of the Confucian Temple of Literature then return to the lively Old Quarter to explore this bustling commercial centre on a cyclo, a three-wheel bicycle taxi. In the evening, experience the Vietnamese arts at the thousand-year-old Water Puppet Show.
After breakfast, take a scenic drive through the Vietnamese countryside to the rural city of Mai Chau, passing rice paddies and sugar cane fields. Enjoy lunch in a traditional Thai stilt house then begin your walk to Pom Coong village where you'll have the chance to explore the village. Follow gravel tracks and small paths used by the locals and soak in the verdant, rugged mountain scenery as you observe daily village life. In the afternoon, check into your lodge and enjoy dinner later this evening.
Follow flat, local roads on today's walk to Xo Village, passing tropical rainforests and rippling corn fields as you journey through the Mai Chau Valley. Gain fascinating insight into local life as you encounter villagers herding buffalo, tilling the fields and logging. Arrive in Xo Village for lunch then continue on for another hour, taking in incredible scenery and lush greenery before arriving at your endpoint where your bus will carry you back to Mai Chau. Arrive in Mai Chau in the early afternoon, with the rest of the day at leisure.
Following breakfast, you will be transferred to Pu Luong Nature Reserve via a breath-taking mountain pass which offers panoramic views of the valley. Pu Luong, meaning 'highest peak of the village', is an area of outstanding beauty boasting palm-clad hills, terraced rice paddies and small, sleepy settlements. On arrival at your retreat nestled in the middle of the reserve, check in and enjoy lunch and free time for you to enjoy your tranquil setting. In the afternoon, travel by bus to a suspension bridge over the Cham River, where you begin your walk in search of the mighty water wheels dotted along the river's length. Get an up-close look at the handmade bamboo water wheels and discover how water is moved from the river to these skilfully crafted aqueducts. Continue on to a local fisherman's house and board a river raft for a guided trip along the Cham River. Sail at a leisurely pace down the river before arriving at the Tan Lap Bridge, where towering trees rise from the river to form a tunnel of greenery. Transfer back to your hotel for dinner.
This morning, descend into the beautiful valley facing the retreat. Walk past cascading rice terraces and along small paths shrouded in vegetation as a picturesque village reveals itself at the base of a towering mountain. Continue to the base of the valley, weaving between roads, farmland, wild fields and ponds until you reach a scenic spot where you'll enjoy a picnic lunch. After your meal, enjoy some free time to explore the village and observe local daily life and customs. Journey onward to your pick-up point for your transfer back to the retreat.
Transfer to Bang Village, the starting point of your walk to Kho Muong Village. Set out on your walk, reaching an excellent vantage point which provides magnificent views. Carry onward into the village which surrounded by a huge mountain range and visit a local family to learn more about their lifestyle and culture. After a picnic lunch and a stroll around the village, visit the nearby bat cave where you'll have the chance to explore its depths and encounter its resident bats if you choose (proper shoes and torch are required). Journey onward through a picturesque natural reserve as you head to Dong Dieng village where you will be picked up and transfer back to your hotel.
After breakfast, a coach carries you to the province of Ninh Binh, home to some of Vietnam's most impressive limestone scenery. En route, stop to take photographs of local villages and spectacular rural landscapes before lunch at a local restaurant and check-in at your hotel. This afternoon, board a traditional 'sampan' wooden boat and glide through the water, admiring the enormous limestone karsts jutting out from the green rice fields on the water's edge, giving rise to the area's other name - 'Halong on Land'. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure for you to explore the area around your hotel or relax before tonight's farewell dinner marks the end of your Vietnamese adventure.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK, or continue on to your extension.
In addition to wonderfully scenic walking trails, we've included a number of features with your comfort, convenience and safety in mind:
Until 30th June 2018, a visa is not required for stays up to 15 days. From the 1st July 2018 and for longer stays a visa is required for entry into Vietnam. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury holidays'. The cost of the visa is £98.50. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of entry. We, therefore, recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however, please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. Alternatively, you can visit the Embassy of Vietnam in London: 12-14 Victoria Road, London, W8 5RD.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi with Vietnam Airlines (VN) departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 30kg of hold luggage and one piece of hand luggage not exceeding 7kg and with maximum total dimensions not exceeding 115 cm (56 cm x 36cm x 23 cm). Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Heathrow Airport advises that check-in should be three hours before your flight departure time. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
During this walking holiday walks will average 2-3 hours daily. Walks will be along varied, flat, level terrain, with some inclines and will range from village trails through the countryside to rainforest walks. This holiday requires a reasonable level of fitness. If you are in any doubt as to the tours suitability, please speak to your GP as soon as possible as this is a physical holiday.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 8, and the maximum will be 18. If in the unlikely event there are less than 8 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a backmarker on each of your walks.
The currency in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong, known as VND. You can exchange your currency in Vietnam, however, US Dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200 - £300 per person will be sufficient for the duration of the tour. It is customary to tip both your driver and guide approximately £5.00 ($6.00) per person per day in total. This will be collected at the end of each destination visited for your convenience. Tipping for the porters at your hotels will be at your discretion. Tips are accepted in the local currency, US dollars and British pounds.
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|28 Oct 2018||06 Nov 2018|
|11 Nov 2018||20 Nov 2018|
|02 Dec 2018||11 Dec 2018||£1549|
|13 Jan 2019||22 Jan 2019||£1499|
|17 Feb 2019||26 Feb 2019||£1549|
|10 Mar 2019||19 Mar 2019||£1389|
|05 May 2019||14 May 2019||£1199|
|06 Oct 2019||15 Oct 2019||£1449|
|10 Nov 2019||19 Nov 2019||£1549|
|01 Dec 2019||10 Dec 2019||£1549|
There is a distinct summer and winter season in North Vietnam, Hanoi and surrounding areas. The cool but mostly dry winter lasts from November to April when temperatures are around 17 to 22 degrees with the coldest months being January through to March. Summer is from May until October where it can be hot and humid with high rainfall. July to September are often the wettest months. A light rain jacket or small umbrella are recommended year-round.
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