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Escorted Walking Tours

Walking Trails of Vietnam


Route:
  • UK
  • Hanoi
  • Mai Chau
  • Don Village
  • Ninh Binh
  • UK
Walking Tour Pace:

9 DAYS from £1379pp

Tour Highlights
  • Enjoy a guided walking tour of Hanoi's cultural sites, visiting the Presidential Palace, One Pillar Pagoda and Old Quarter
  • Delve into local life and customs as you explore rural, Vietnamese villages
  • Soak in rolling rice fields and lush rainforests in the Pu Luong Nature Reserve & Mai Chau Valley, an area of outstanding beauty
  • Walk amongst the limestone karsts of Ninh Binh, 'Halong Bay on Land'
  • Enjoy a lunch in a traditional Thai stilt house

To book call us on 0800 408 0506

Walking Trails of Vietnam

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.

Walking Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Hanoi

Depart the UK on your scheduled, overnight flight to Hanoi.

2
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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
3
Hanoi to Mai Chau - Average 2 - 2.5 hours of walking including breaks

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Mai Chau - Average 4 hours of walking including breaks

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Mai Chau to Don Village - Average 1.5 hours of walking including breaks

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Don Village - Average 4.5 hours of walking including breaks

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Don Village - Average 4 hours of walking including breaks

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Don Village to Ninh Binh

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.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Ninh Binh to the UK

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK, or continue on to your extension.

  • Breakfast

Your Meals

Breakfast is always western style and served in the hotel each morning. Lunch and dinner will be taken in local Vietnamese restaurants or at your accommodation. A variety of restaurants are visited giving you the chance to experience a range of dishes and flavours.

Included in your Walking Tour

In addition to wonderfully scenic walking trails, we've included a number of features with your comfort, convenience and safety in mind:

All walks and treks are led by a knowledgeable, local, English-speaking guide and accompanied by a back marker, with well-timed rest stops and picnic breaks factored into all itineraries.
While we can never guarantee weather conditions, departure dates have been carefully selected in order to avoid extreme weather conditions, such as severe heat, cold or rain.
Enjoy comfortable, hand-picked accommodation with all meals provided; packed meals may be provided for long walks and treks.
Baggage is always transported to your next hotel or lodging with porterage included.
A wide selection of extensions is available at the end of your tour, giving you time to relax and unwind or explore your destination further.
Once you've booked your tour, a comprehensive dossier will be sent to you with a more detailed day-by-day itinerary, flight details, visa requirements and helpful information on what to pack.

Important Information

Visas

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 £105. 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.

Insurance

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.

Payment

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.

Flight Information

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.

Health and Vaccinations

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.

Physical Accessibility

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.

Group Size

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.

Tour Guide

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.

Currency Information

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.

Personal Expenses

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.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPrice
2018 Dates
28 Oct 201806 Nov 2018£1449
11 Nov 201820 Nov 2018£1499
02 Dec 201811 Dec 2018£1549
2019 Dates
13 Jan 201922 Jan 2019£1499
17 Feb 201926 Feb 2019£1559
10 Mar 201919 Mar 2019£1389
05 May 201914 May 2019£1199
06 Oct 201915 Oct 2019£1449
10 Nov 201919 Nov 2019£1549
01 Dec 201910 Dec 2019£1549

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Dong

Average Flying time

12 hours

Min/Max temperature

16 °C / 30 °C

Spoken languages

Vietnamese

When to go

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.

Hanoi

Mai Chau

Ninh Binh

What to pack
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Hat
  • Personal first aid kit
  • Camera and charger
  • An electric plug converter
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
  • Sunglasses
  • Water Bottle
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash
  • Rucksack to use during walks
  • Waterproofs
  • Fleece
  • Water bottle
Tour Map
Walking Trails of Vietnam Route Map
Tour Dossiers
Extensions
  • Vietnam
    Hoi An Beach Stay

    4 nights from £355pp

    View
  • Vietnam
    Hanoi and Halong Bay

    2 nights from £390pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Hoi An Beach Stay
Tour Route
  • London
  • Saigon
  • Can Tho
  • Hanoi
  • Halong Bay
  • B#Hoi An Beach
  • London

Extend your trip in Vietnam with a 4-night stay on the stunning beach just outside Hoi An, a beautifully authentic town where hundreds of tailors line the narrow low-rise streets and riverside cafes overlook the waterside edge.

This add-on must be taken at the end of the main tour.

4 nights
from £355pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Hanoi and Halong Bay
Tour Route
  • London
  • Siem Reap
  • Angkor Wat
  • Mekong Cruise
  • Saigon
  • B#Hanoi
  • B#Halong Bay Cruise
  • B#Hanoi
  • London

Combine the famous sites of Hanoi such as the Ho Chi Minh Complex and One Pillar Pagoda with an overnight luxury cruise on the awe-inspiring Halong Bay, passing local towns, fascinating intricate limestone formations and visiting the impressive Thien Cahn Son Cave.

2 nights
from £390pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension

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