Available: 7+ spaces

Secure your place on this trip with $350 deposit. Final payment due 60 days before departure.

    Sorry, this program is full. Please provide your information below so that we can add you to our waiting list.

      The program is a National Geographic Journey that offers more inclusions compared to other GEEO programs. You will enjoy upgraded accommodations, greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and the freedom to roam, all still within the structure and security of traveling in a small group.

      • Hotels: Upgraded

      • 11/17/2024 - 11/29/2024

      • Max Participants: 16

      • 13 Days / 12 Nights


      Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s mesmerizing culture and momentous history on a journey from the emerald mountains of the north to the sun-drenched beaches of the south. Discover a plethora of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the imperial city of Hue and mystical Hạ Long Bay, where you will spend a night on a traditional junk sailboat. Glimpse rural life on a hike through idyllic Mai Chau Valley, enjoy a cyclo ride through the heart of bustling Hanoi, and descend into the famed Cu Chi tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City, where Viet Cong guerillas lived during the Vietnam War. Take advantage of the cooler weather in November, one of the best times to visit Vietnam.

      A map of the tour begins in Hanoi, with excursions to Halong Bay (by boat) and Mai Chau. The route then continues by plane to Hue, then overland to Hoi An. There is then one final flight to Ho Chi Minh City. The map does not show an optional extension to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

      Opt to continue your journey to Siem Reap in Cambodia to explore the Angkor Temple complex with an expert local guide. This 3-day extension costs an additional $479 per person. Email to add this extension to your trip. Built over a period of 400 years by a number of different rulers, and covering an area of more than 150 square miles, the temple complex of Angkor holds incredible structures and sculptures from the Khmer Empire and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. This magnificent site was only rediscovered 150 years ago and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site 1992.

      What's Included:
      • Mai Chau Countryside Hike
      • Visit Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton) and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
      • Cyclo tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter
      • Overnight on a junk boat on Halong Bay
      • Guided tour of Emperor's Tomb and Imperial Citadel, Hue
      • Lunch at a Buddhist nunnery
      • Walking tour of Hoi An Old Town
      • Traditional lantern making experience
      • Oodles of Noodles local market excursion, Hoi An
      • Guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels
      • Internal flights
      • G Adventures Tour Leader, local guides
      • 12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners – allow USD $150-195 for meals not included
      • Hotels (9 nts), overnight junk boat (1 nt), lodge (2 nts)
      • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by private bus, boat, cyclo, plane
      • Arrival airport transfer
      What's Not Included:
      • International air travel
      • Incidentals
      • Travel health and cancellation insurance
      • Applicable visas
      • Tips or gratuities
      • Airport taxes
      • Beverages
      • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
      • Optional tours and admissions
      • Departure airport transfer
      • Optional 3-day extension at Angkor Wat (see itinerary for more details)

      Itinerary Download PDF

      Arrive in Hanoi at any time. Due to the potential for flight delays or cancellations, we recommend that you plan to arrive in Hanoi at least a day in advance. This will also give you time to adjust to the time difference and overcome any jetlag. We can book extra hotel nights for you in Hanoi before the trip. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel to start your adventure. After picking up any checked luggage, exit the baggage hall and look for your driver. This area can be busy, so keep an eye out for a driver holding a G Adventures sign with your name on it. Please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2:00-3:00 p.m. There are no planned activities until an intro meeting around 6:00 or 7:00 p.m., usually in the hotel lobby. Check for a sign or ask at the reception desk about the exact time and location of the group meeting. Please make every effort to arrive in time for this meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up tomorrow. After the meeting, you might choose to get dinner at a nearby restaurant with your traveling companions and your tour leader to further get to know one another.

      Depart Hanoi for the verdant Mai Châu Valley, a patchwork of rice paddies, emerald hills, and charming traditional villages. Opt to take a kayak out on the scenic Hoa Binh reservoir (the largest reservoir in Vietnam) or pedal through the countryside on a bike, enjoying the lush scenery and getting a glimpse of local life. Approximate travel time: 3-4 hrs by private vehicle

      Enjoy an easy 3- to 3.5-hour guided walking tour through rice paddies, terraces, and scenic green hills. Visit Na Phon village and the local traditional brickworks, and then taste some local fruit at the Mai Châu market. Continue to Lac Village, home to the Tai Dón ethnic minority group who live in traditional wood and bamboo stilt houses. The Tai Dón refer to themselves as the White Tai (dón in the Thai language means "white"), probably because of the white blouses traditionally worn by the women. Choose to enjoy a truly authentic dinner at a local home and get to know the White Tai culture first-hand.

      Return to Hanoi and visit the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, one of Vietnam’s most influential political leaders. Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is housed in a glass case. (Note: The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is open until 11:00 a.m., and entry is dependent on what time the group arrives in Hanoi.) Learn more about Ho Chi Minh's life at the Presidential Palace Historical site, and opt to visit the palace gardens. When Vietnam achieved independence in 1954, Ho Chi Minh refused to live in the Presidential Palace, a grand French colonial-style building, although he still received state guests there. He eventually had a traditional Vietnamese stilt house and carp pond built on the palace grounds. Next, gain insights into the Vietnam War at the Hỏa Lò Prison, known by American POWs as the Hanoi Hilton. The prison was originally used by the French colonists for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. The prison was torn down in the 1990s, but its gatehouse is still standing today and houses a museum. Finally, take a seat on a cyclo (a three-wheel bicycle taxi), for a fun tour of Hanoi’s lively Old Quarter. Your driver will navigate the bustling streets while you shoot some photos or just take in the scenes. Approximate travel time: 3-4 hrs by private vehicle

      Begin the day with breakfast at Hoa Sua, a non-profit training restaurant for underprivileged Hanoi youth. Start the day with a breakfast of Western (mainly French) and Vietnamese cuisine at Hoa Sua, a non-profit restaurant used as a training program to prepare local disadvantaged youth for careers in the culinary arts. Over the past two decades, the Hoa Sua School has trained thousands of young people, giving them the skills to escape poverty. Meet with one of the restaurant's directors to learn more about this successful organization. Afterward, transfer to Ha Long Bay, where thousands of islands rise from the serene, turquoise waters. The massive limestone karst formations contain intricate cave systems and make for spectacular scenery. At Ha Long Bay harbor, board a traditional-style wooden junk boat, where we'll spend the night, and embark on cruise out among the isles. Visit Bai Tu Long Bay, a more secluded section of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the fascinating Me Cung cave with your local guide. The traditional wooden sailing boat offers a unique way of navigating the bay with all the comforts of a motorized, floating hotel. The boat crew will prepare an included seafood lunch and dinner. All cabins are twin-share and have an en-suite bathroom. The boat has an enclosed dining and sitting area and plenty of outside deck space to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Spend a peaceful night anchored in the bay under the stars. On rare occasions, Halong Bay is closed to tourist vessels by the government authorities due to extreme weather conditions. Should this occur, an alternate activity will be provided. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle

      Enjoy an early lunch aboard the boat before returning to shore. Travel back to Hanoi to catch a short flight to Huế, a former imperial capital of Vietnam. This World Heritage-listed city boasts many architectural treasures and was also the site of one of the Vietnam War’s most dramatic battles. Huế is the gateway to Vietnam's royal past and remains one of the country's major tourist attractions. The quiet city is widely known for the magnificent architecture of its citadel, royal tombs, pagodas, and temples built under the Nguyen dynasty on the lush banks of the Perfume River. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle, 1 hr by plane

      We start the day with a tour of the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we will see the walled fortress and former palace, which has many gateways, courtyards, and gardens to explore. Inside the citadel, the Forbidden Purple City, modeled on China's Forbidden City, was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War. Next, visit the tombs of Vietnam’s great emperors. Just outside of Huế, along the Perfume River, are several impressive tombs ranging in size and states of ruin. Dating back to the 1800s, the ornate tombs make the site a great place to learn more about the history of Huế. For lunch, visit a nunnery and enjoy a lunch following the traditions of Buddhist cuisine, which features fresh, local produce and fermented or preserved ingredients. Sample a set menu of several dishes, such as pumpkin soup with mushroom, tofu with green beans, crispy noodles with rice crackers, fresh spring rolls with soy sauce, steamed rice with eggplant, fried rolls with potato curry, and bread with potatoes, carrots, and onion. The menu is seasonal and may vary from the aforementioned dishes.

      Drive to Hoi An and cross through the Hai Van Pass, an incredibly scenic and mountainous stretch of highway with spectacular views of Lang Co Beach, weather permitting. Hoi An is a remarkably well-preserved river port and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an important trading town with strong South Chinese influence and connections. Stroll through the narrow winding streets of the old town, lined with quaint merchants’ homes and decorated with colorful silk lanterns. See the Chinese Fujian Assembly Hall, ancestral homes, the Japanese covered bridge, the Tan Ky house, and well-preserved pagodas. Opt to stop for lunch at a riverside restaurant and sample delicious local delicacies and fusion food for which Hoi An is becoming famous. In Hoi An, hanging a lantern in front of your home is believed to bring luck, happiness, and wealth to your family. Try crafting a lantern of your own and leave with a beautiful souvenir. First appearing in the 16th century when the Chinese arrived in Vietnam, lanterns are still used for decoration and in traditional celebrations in Vietnam, like the regular Hoi An Lantern Festival that marks the full moon. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca for tourists in the region. Tailors can produce virtually anything overnight. Opt to visit a local tailor and be fitted for a custom-made shirt. Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private vehicle

      This morning, take a walking tour of a Hoi An local market led by two students and a teacher from Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported program that trains local youth in the culinary arts. Learn about the ingredients at the market and taste dozens of varieties of noodles while supporting local small women-led enterprises. Pick out fresh ingredients and return with the guides to the training kitchen, where you’ll learn to prepare mouthwatering noodle dishes and enjoy your creations for lunch. Run by our G for Good partners, STREETS International, this class was developed exclusively for G Adventures. Former street youth that are part of this hospitality training program, will help you prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles. This program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill-set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry. Enjoy your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine and this initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training. Run by STREETS International, the class was developed exclusively for G Adventures. The program helps the youth practice their English, increasing their skill set and opportunities in the tourism industry. During your free time this afternoon, you might consider a bike ride to Cua Dai Beach. Prepare a picnic of local food and rest under one of the palm trees lining the shore. You can also opt for a boat trip on the Thu Bon River, which plays an important part in Hoi An's history and culture.

      The day is yours to explore enchanting Hoi An and its environs. You might choose to take a day trip visit to Mỹ Sơn, approximately one hour from Hoi An. Mỹ Sơn's moss-covered Hindu temples were built between the 4th and 13th centuries, and the site is widely accepted as one of Southeast Asia's most important Hindu temple complexes. Learn about the architectural style and history of the site that is often compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Burma.

      Drive to Da Nang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis formerly known as Saigon. The city that was once the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center. Opt to discover the city on a cyclo tour, taking in iconic sites like the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon and the ornate Central Post Office and City Hall. Or visit the War Remnants Museum, a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed during the Vietnam War. You might also choose to tour the Reunification Palace, the site that marked the end of the war. Approximate travel time: 45 mins by private vehicle (Hoi An to Da Nang), 45 mins by plane (Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City), and 1 hr by private vehicle (Ho Chi Minh City airport to hotel)

      In the morning, drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels for a guided tour of the complex network of underground passageways that provided a base for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Try crawling through some of the tunnels, if you’re not claustrophobic. These tunnels stored ammunition, contained underground hospitals, and served as a hidden base for attacking allied forces. Learn about the vital role that the tunnels played in the eventual victory of the North. Afterward, we drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy free time in the afternoon. Opt to visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas or stroll through the immense Ben Than Market. You can take in the busy rhythm of daily life in Cholon ("big market"), the Chinese quarter full of teahouses and pagodas. There is also the Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1975 and the War Remnants Museum, a gut-wrenching but worthwhile experience that contains exhibits about the devastation that occurred in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private vehicle

      The standard tour includes no planned activities today, so you may depart Ho Chi Minh City at any time. If you wish to extend your stay in Ho Chi Minh City, consider booking post-tour accommodation with us. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is usually mid-morning, but luggage storage services are available at the reception desk. You can also opt to continue your journey with us to Siem Reap in Cambodia, where you can explore the Angkor Temple complex with an expert local guide. This 3-day extension costs an additional $479 per person and includes two hotel nights, a two-day guided tour of the Angkor Complex (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Banteay Srei, and Ta Phrom), a guided night market visit in Siem Reap, a visit to the Phare Cambodian Circus, all transport between destinations and to/from included activities, two breakfasts, and one lunch. (Budget $45-60 USD for meals not included.) Email to add this extension to your trip. If you continue your journey to Siem Reap, a G Adventures representative will meet you at the hotel to review the tour details, including a schedule and pick-up times for all included activities. The representative can also answer questions about the tour or the general area. You will then enjoy a guided visit to Siem Reap's night market, a lively neighborhood with shoppers exploring more than 240 hut shops selling souvenirs, artwork, and clothing.

      Over the next two days, visit some of the highlights of the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire, including the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom, Preah Khan, and Ta Prohm, which is slowly being swallowed by the jungle and is known as the "Tomb Raider" temple. Built over a period of 400 years under several different rulers, and covering an area of more than 150 square miles, the temple complex of Angkor holds incredible structures and sculptures from the Khmer Empire and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. This magnificent site was only rediscovered 150 years ago and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Later, enjoy a stellar performance by Phare, a unique and socially conscious circus that injects Cambodian culture and history into its inspiring shows. See acrobatics, contortion, and aerial arts melded with theater, music, dance, and more. Take in stories of war, relationships, and discrimination, inspired by the real-life experiences of Phare’s creators and performers.

      Check out of the hotel this morning before another tour of the Angkor Wat. Luggage can be stored at reception, and you can pick it up when you return to the hotel at the end of the tour in the afternoon. After your guided tour an Angkor, enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food at the New Hope Vocational Training Restaurant, an initiative kickstarted by G Adventures. Providing skill-building opportunities to marginalized community members, the project also funds the adjacent free community school and health centre. Visit the restaurant run by locals and see how the New Hope project has supported positive change in the community. After lunch, head back to the hotel where the tour ends on arrival at approximately 3:00 p.m. If you are leaving Siem Reap today, your flight must depart no earlier than 6:00 p.m. If you wish to extend your stay in Siem Reap, consider booking post-tour accommodation with us. If you would like to extend your time abroad but don't see another GEEO program that interests you, let us know. We can work with you to find a trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Their tours are open to the general public and not designed specifically for educators, but we can still offer you and your travel companions a discounted educator price on any additional tours that you book.


      Frequently Asked Questions
      Please read our general FAQs, where you can find essential information that applies to all of our programs.
      Resources to Learn & Teach about Vietnam
      Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
      Terms and Conditions
      It is very important to review our Terms and Conditions before signing up for a GEEO program.
      GEEO Program Confirmation Process
      We require a minimum of 6 participants for most GEEO programs. We officially confirm that a program will run once at least 8 people have signed up, which provides a margin for individual cancellations. Nearly all GEEO programs ultimately meet this enrollment quota, and in the rare event that a program does not meet the minimum requirement and GEEO cancels the program, we will work with you to find a suitable alternative or provide a refund of your deposit if you prefer. We encourage you to sign up for any program that interests you, and we will notify the entire group once 6 people are booked and again once 8 people are booked. We always emphasize the importance of exercising caution when making non-refundable travel arrangements, especially given the unpredictable nature of travel. For example, we typically recommend booking flights with flexible change/cancellation policies.
      Cancellation Policy
      All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in writing by emailing your request for cancellation to If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105.
      • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to the start of your program, all your program fee payments will be refunded excluding your $350 deposit, which is kept on file for future use and never expires.
      • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to the start of your program, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit will be kept on file for future use and will never expire.
      • If you cancel within 30 days prior to the start of your program, you will receive no refund, but your deposit will be kept on file for future use and will never expire.
      Trip Notes
        There may be a weight restriction for the internal flights on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20 kg (44 lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
        Group Leader Description
        All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEOs). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
        Fitness Level
        This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
        Accommodation and Rooming
        Half of GEEO’s participants travel by themselves, so please don’t worry if you do not have a travel companion for your trip. Our program fee is for one traveler in double-occupancy accommodation, and GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender if you do not have a travel companion. Most of our programs have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that you can pay to have a room to yourself. You will only incur an additional charge if you specifically request a single room. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please find your program on our extra services page. If you want to room alone, please email to request a single room. Please note that if you book the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single accommodation for all nights except night 5 (on the overnight boat).
        Joining Instructions
        Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details. If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning. The program fee includes an arrival transfer from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. If you arrive up to three days prior to the start date, the complimentary arrival transfer can be arranged as long as you have booked your pre-trip accommodation through GEEO. Arrival transfers will not be available to passengers who have booked pre-tour accommodations independently of GEEO/G Adventures. A G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you with a G Adventures or National Geographic Journeys sign outside the baggage hall. This area can be busy, so keep an eye out for a driver holding a sign with your name on it. If you are experiencing complications with your airport transfer, please call +84 91 204 0262.
        Emergency Contacts
        Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Representative (Vietnam) Ms. Alice Emergency number: +84 90 430 5130 After office hours Emergencies: From outside Thailand +66 (0) 92 338 9222 From within Thailand (0) 92 338 9222 If for any reason you are unable to reach the G Adventures local office, please call the numbers listed below to connect with their Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
        Packing List
        Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person. Suggested Checklist
        • Light windproof/waterproof jacket or umbrella
        • Sun hat
        • Personal clothing for mild mornings and warm to hot afternoons
        • Daypack – big suitcases will be left at the hotel in Hanoi when you go to Ha Long Bay; a normal backpack is fine as a daypack
        • Sturdy walking shoes
        • Sport sandals or flip-flops
        • Sunblock
        • Sunglasses
        • Watch or alarm clock
        • Toiletries – your hotels will have soap and shampoo
        • Camera
        • First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
        Optional Checklist
        • Lightweight silk sleep sheet
        • Travel pillow
        • Money belt
        • Waterproof camera/phone bag (if you want to take pictures while kayaking in Halong Bay)
        • Water bottle
        • Phone/tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
        • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
        • AirTags or Tile trackers
        • Packing cubes
        • Earplugs
        • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
        • Ziplock bags for wet clothing
        • Reading/writing material
        • Hand sanitizer/baby wipes
        Document Checklist
        • Passport (with photocopies)
        • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
        • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
        • EUR/USD cash
        • Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
        • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
        • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
        • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
        Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge, or you can ask your tour leader where the nearest laundromat is located.
        Passports and Visas
        All GEEO programs require the participant to have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here. U.S. citizens must apply for a single-entry tourist visa to enter Vietnam. You have until about two weeks before departure to complete an online application for an e-visa, but we suggest applying at your earliest convenience. You can use Sherpa ($45 USD) or apply for an e-visa through the Embassy of Vietnam ($25 USD). The e-visa processing time is 3 business days. Approximately three months prior to your program's start date, GEEO will provide the information you need for the e-visa application, including the temporary residential address in Vietnam and entry and exit checkpoints. Cambodia If you opt to extend your trip with us in Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat, you can obtain a Cambodian visa at the airport in Siem Reap. You may also apply for an e-visa through Sherpa if you wish.
        Money Exchange
        The local currency in Vietnam is the dong (VND). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: We recommend that you obtain cash from ATMs while traveling; they will dispense the local currency. We do, however, recommend that you bring at least $200 USD in cash for emergency use or in case you have trouble with the ATMs. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops, but you may be charged an international transaction fee; ask your financial institution about their international fees. Please note that if you are carrying U.S. dollars, the bills should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and dated recently. Be sure to carry lots of small bills ($1, $5, $10).
        It is customary in Southeast Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected, though not compulsory, component of this program and an expression of satisfaction with the people who assist you on your trip. Tipping is also one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the local community. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.50-3.00 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. At the end of your program, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, a tip would be appreciated. The amount is entirely your personal preference, but as a guideline, $20-25 USD per person per week would be appropriate.
        GEEO cannot provide any medical advice, so it is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. We recommend contacting Passport Health (, which has travel clinics located throughout the United States. You can also check the CDC's recommended vaccinations for your destination. Please take this seriously!
        We find the best prices for flights are often available around 90 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You should wait until this trip is confirmed before you book non-refundable flights. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. This program begins in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City (or Siem Reap, if you extend your trip with us in Cambodia). Please double-check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Hanoi. You may want to arrive in Hanoi one or more days early in case you have flight disruptions. You can arrive at any time you choose, but try to make it in time for our 6:00 p.m. Welcome Meeting on Day 1. You can depart from Ho Chi Minh City (or Siem Reap) any time on the final day of the program, or stay longer to see more of the city. Be mindful of the end date of your program: November 29 in Ho Chi Minh City, or December 1 in Siem Reap if you add the Cambodia extension.
        Plugs and Converters
        There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers (also called electrical converters). The adapter is for your device's plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two- to three-pronged power cord to fit the local outlets. The transformer/converter changes the local voltage to the voltage used in the U.S. Vietnam and Cambodia both use a combination of both American and European outlets, known as type A and type C plugs. The voltage is 220-240 Volts. (Standard U.S. electrical outlets are 120V.) Most new devices, including phones and laptops, are made to work with the different voltage rates, but some devices, like hair dryers, may only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device's plug or manual to see what voltage range it requires. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity; for example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work with voltages between 100V to 240V. If your device can’t handle the higher voltage, you’ll need to purchase a transformer/converter. You can find world transformers/converters online or at many retail stores in the travel section.
        Before you decide to travel with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
        • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. This trip uses upgraded hotels, but do not expect luxury.
        • We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
        • You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
        • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometimes include day hikes with your daypacks.
        • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
        • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.
        Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
        Itinerary Disclaimer
        While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
        The rainy season in Vietnam runs from June to October, and the weather in November is drier with frequent clear skies in Northern and Southern Vietnam. There can, however, be heavy rains in Central Vietnam (e.g., Hoi An) in November, so be sure to pack some rain gear. The temperatures are cooler in November, with high temperatures in the 70s and 80s F, making this trip much more comfortable than over the summer.
        Advice From Past Participants
        "Make it clear for the Vietnam trip that you should have two bags, one large bag and one backpack big enough for overnight trips. This was not clear to those in my group, and some people did not feel prepared." "There are plenty of opportunities to have your laundry done very inexpensively (about $1 USD per kilo), so only bring enough clothes for about a week to save space." "Looking back at the website, I do see that it says that there are tailors that can make anything overnight in Hoi An, but I didn’t see this and wasn’t as prepared as I could have been to have stuff made (knowing what I wanted, getting measurements from others for gifts, etc.) maybe this could be highlighted more…" "I think it is already in there, but emphasize the need for small bills ($1, $5, $10). I brought plenty with me, but many of my tour group members struggled to get change." "When you get to Vietnam with your visa letter, you do not get in line like everyone else. There is a window (not well identified) where you go to actually get the Visa in your passport, then wait in line."


      Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
      Tour Company Fee
      See our price in the top right corner
      Optional Activities
      $100-125 USD
      International Airfare from the United States
      Roughly $1,000-2,000 USD If you require assistance in booking your international airfare we would be happy to help you.
      Airport Transfers
      An arrival transfer is included. Budget $10-30 USD for a departure transfer.
      $79-200 USD Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as an add-on.
      $40-50 USD for your tour leader; another $35-40 USD for local guides and drivers.
      Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary
      $150-195 USD (plus $45-60 USD if you add the Cambodia extension)
      $25-45 USD (plus $30-45 USD if you add the Cambodia extension)
      Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.
      Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
      Variable. Please consult your doctor.
      Variable; at your personal discretion.
      Non-Educator Donation
      $100 USD (suggested donation) This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

      Optional Activities

      Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally, sometimes in the local currency, and you do not have to decide in advance which ones you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please use them as a rough guide for budgeting your trip.
      Mai Châu
      Cycling Cycle through the lush countryside and small towns to get a great view of local life and the surrounding paddy fields. Kayaking Take a kayak out on the beautiful Hòa Bình reservoir (Vietnam's largest man-made reservoir) and take in the views of the surrounding hills and villages. Mai Chau Village home meal Enjoy a truly authentic dinner at a local home and get to know the ethnic White Tai culture first hand.
      Tran Quoc Pagoda Visit: Free admission Visit one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam located on the eastern shore of Tay Ho. Learn about Tran Quoc's history from the 17th-century stela found on site. View it later in the day, if you can – the tall structure is striking against the setting sun. Hanoi Foodie Culture Tour: $25 USD Indulge your inner foodie with a street food tour through bustling Hanoi. Follow your guide through the back streets and markets of the city’s old quarter, sampling local fare along the way. Mingle with city natives and experienced street food artists alike, as you taste a variety of Hanoi faves like “nem ran” and “banh goi.” Stop at a street-side bar to savor a draught beer as Hanoians do. Cap off the tour at the Hanoi Food Culture restaurant, a G Values Fund Project, and try the city’s signature specialty coffee. Museum of Ethnology: $2 USD Learn about Vietnam’s various ethnic groups on this visit to the Museum of Ethnology – considered to be the finest modern museum in Vietnam. Temple of Literature: $1 USD Visit this sprawling temple built to honor Confucius, sages, and scholars. Dedicated to learning, it housed the country’s first university in 1076. Explore its five courtyards, containing various gates, altars, sanctuaries, shrines, the stelae of doctors, and the Well of Heavenly Clarity. Fine Arts Museum: $1 USD Women’s Museum: $1 USD Army Museum: $1 USD Taxi (to each museum): approx. $3 USD
      Halong Bay
      Kayak Rental: $10 USD Transfer from boat to kayak in this guided water tour, giving you the chance to get even closer to the stunning natural surroundings.
      Hoi An
      Mỹ Sơn Ruins, including transport: $30 USD Travel approximately one hour from Hoi An to arrive at My Son. Tour these Hindu temples built between the fourth and 14th centuries; the site is widely accepted as one of the most important Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia. Learn about the architectural style and history of a site that’s often compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Burma. Thu Bon River Boat Trip: $12 USD The Thu Bon River plays an important part in Hoi An's history and culture. Take a trip down the Thu Bon by riverboat for an alternative tour of the city. Cua Dai Beach Play in the surf at Cua Dai beach about 2.5 miles from the Old Town. Make your own picnic of local food and rest under one of the palm trees lining the shore. Sunset Boat Ride On River: $20 USD Jump on a local fishing boat for a lazy ride down the river and into the countryside. Spot fishermen casting their nets, locals going about their daily lives, and other unique Vietnamese river traffic. Make your way back to Hoi An as sunset approaches and lanterns create a blaze of color. Opt to rent your own boat or join others on a shared cruise. Please note the price above is per boat (up to 3-4 people per boat). The boat ride lasts 30 minutes.
      Ho Chi Minh City
      Thien Hau Pagoda: Free Visit the Thien Hau Pagoda, a beautiful temple in the Chinatown district of Ho Chi Minh City. Learn more about the customs associated with this 19th-century monument: It is dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau (the 'Lady of the Sea'), who is worshipped in Chinese communities throughout Asia by those who depend on the sea for their livelihoods. Giac Vien Pagoda: Free Find this hidden pagoda behind some small alleyways. It has been spared the over-restoration that has been done to so many other temples. Tour the inside of the 18th-century pagoda to see nearly one hundred carvings of divine beings. Ben Thanh Market: Free Wander this bustling market for more insight into Ho Chi Minh City. Pick up souvenirs, sample local cuisine, and experience local living. Learn a little history along the way; Ben Thanh started as a cluster of street vendors selling wares by the Saigon River and was formalized into a true market in 1859. War Remnants Museum: $2 USD Visit the War Remnants Museum, a gut-wrenching but worthwhile experience that includes three stories of exhibits and military hardware. Learn about the devastation that occurred in Saigon during the Vietnam War, a period that greatly contrasts the joy and liveliness of the Vietnamese people today. Reunification Palace: $2 USD Wander the historic halls of the Reunification Palace (Independence Palace), a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. This former home of the South Vietnamese president during the Vietnam War became the location of the end of the war when a North Vietnamese tank pushed through the palace gates on April 30, 1975.
      Angkor Wat
      Angkor National Museum: $12 USD Learn about the history of Angkor and the Khmer Empire at the interactive Angkor Museum. Explore the museum’s inspiring galleries and interactive technology, which bring Angkor’s past to life. Opt to rent an audioguide ($5 USD) for the full experience.