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Vietnam Experience

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Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An, Hanoi, Halong Bay - for a geographically compact country, Vietnam sure has some hot spots. The Vietnam Experience is for those who want a bit more time than the average traveller. Picture yourself relishing the rice region of Mekong Delta by taking a traditional boat through floating markets & local fruit farms.

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VIETNAM EXPERIENCE

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WHAT'S INCLUDED
Accommodation
Team
Food
Inclusions
ME Time
Transport
ITINERARY
YOU WILL VISIT
Vietnam Vietnam +5 MORE
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APPROX TIME SPENT
approx time spent
1
2
Ho Chi Minh City
1 day
Mekong Delta
1 day
Ho Chi Minh City
1 day
Nha Trang
2 days
Hoi An
2 days
Hue
1 day
Hanoi
1 day
Halong Bay
1 day
Hanoi
1 day
1
2
Reviews for

Vietnam Experience

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24 independent reviews

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  • leticiarene
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled June 2014
  • 18
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

AMAZING!

An incredible Contiki Adventure. It was my first contiki tour, I was going alone and I was scared. The contiki was easy to organise and tour leader Pheobee, made me feel so comfortable and at ease. You meet so many people, so do not be scared to go alone - You won't regret it! What we saw/What we did: Do all of the optional extras, I did and they were all awesome. Beware of the heat, bring electrolytes, drink plenty of water and wear a hat. In terms of what we, Ho Chi Minh is great, arrive early and spend a few extra days there. The Mekong Delta and the home stay night is awesome fun, beware of the Jungle Punch though. The Cu Chi tunnels was an amazing experiences, yes it is cramped and small inside, but you must go in! It's something you'll never forget. Nha Trang, was my favourite destination. The island hopping day in Nha Trang is a must, the mud baths were heaps of fun too. In Hoi An everything is absolutely adorable, I didn't get anything made, but heaps of people chose to get clothes made, instead we decided to get a bit of pampering, hire bikes and explore the towns and beaches (it was incredible). Then heading up to Hanoi and Halong Bay, Hanoi is a pretty cool city, we had a lot of fun there, and Halong Bay is amazing! The canoeing optional is a must, the caves are beautiful and the Boat party is great Fun. Optionals: Do all the optionals, its a once in a life time experience, do them all! If not, the Island hopping in Nha Trang, The Mudbaths, The Temple visit and the Canoeing in Halong Bay were the most fun. Accommodation/Food: All of the accommodation was beautiful. The hotels were in awesome locations and so clean and beautiful and all came with breakfast. The Mekong Delta special stay is heaps of fun and very clean too. I did not have a bad meal at all in Vietnam, try everything, their local and western food is both amazing. Transport: The bus was great, clean and with zircon - don't worry you sleep most of the time on the buses anyways. Tour mates, Best Moments: Everything was a highlight. There was never a dull moment. It was definitely worth the money. Everyone in the group was lovely, I was 18 at the time and the youngest, the group ranged in aged up to 32. Everyone got on really well with a group of 29 at it's biggest, some people left on different tours at different points in the journey. As for best moment, I met a guy on Tour from Perth (I am from Queensland) and we are still dating today, it was love at first sight.

My Contiki was: Exceptional -Well-organsied-Fun

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30 June 2014 - 11 July 2014

  • Gillett2
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled December 2012
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 2 Countries

Best trip ever

Overall a fantastic trip, we had the best tour manager 'Hugh' who knew is stuff and was a lot of fun but still very professional. This contiki group was a lot of and very mixed which was great. There was also a great mix of activities and lots included for the price of the tour. The hotels were not bad either and were very centrally located. I recommend the 12 day tour over the 10, as the home stay, chu chi tunnels and mekong delta cruise was fantastic and a great way to bond at an early stage of the tour. Thanks Contiki

My Contiki was: Cultural -Fun-different

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8 December 2012 - 19 December 2012

  • JC
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled December 2014
  • 23
  • Level 4 Traveller
  • 4 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

12 of the Best Days Ever!

For me, going on this trip was quite spontaneous and a spur of the moment thing, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions and one of the most incredible experiences of my life so far. I travelled solo and did this tour over Christmas/New Year and had the best time. I met the most incredible people from all over the world. I met people from Australia, South Africa, the US, Germany, Ireland and we all got along like a house on fire! So much so, I miss them every day! Overall, it's a safe place to travel (although beware of pickpockets, especially at night - don't take your valuables out with you), your money goes so much further there, the accommodation is great, the people are so friendly and the food is unbelievable. I'd recommend the Vietnam Experience over the Highlights tour, purely as you have the extra 2 days at the start. With the 'Experience' tour, you go to the Mekong Delta and that is the first full day of the tour. The night in the jungle was a great ice-breaker of a night and a great bonding experience for the group. The people who joined later as part of the 'Highlights' tour very much became a part of the family, but were like 'oh man!' when they heard about the night in the Mekong! Highlights for me were: -Christmas Eve at the homestay in the Mekong Delta. -Nha Trang. The day on the boat/swimming in the sea and the night at the Sailing Club were incredible. -Halong Bay. Like nothing you've ever seen before. You'll be awestruck at it's beauty. Kayaking in the bay and through those limestone karsts was just magic. Photos just don't do this place justice. Quite possibly the most beautiful place I've ever been. I feel the group dynamic on the whole is slightly better on Contiki Asia tours than the Euro ones, as there is a max of 30 here. As a result, everyone gets to know everyone really well and it's like everyone's known each other for ages! This country has so much history, everywhere you go, it's such an interesting place. I'm so glad I made the spontaneous decision to go on this trip. I've got friends for life and still reminisce about this trip all the time. If you've got any questions at all, feel free to hit me up here or on facebook, I'll be happy to answer them! My instagram's also got many photos of the trip (@adamjcp), feel free to check it out! Last recommendation - If you can, spend a bit more time after the trip in Hanoi. There are a few people who stay behind a bit longer after the tour and all you'll want to do is keep exploring with your new contiki family!

My Contiki was: Amazing-Stunning-So much fun

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23 December 2014 - 3 January 2015

  • Julia
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled November 2014
  • 23
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Vietnam Experience

The 12 day tour of Vietnam Experience is a fantastic way to see the country. We were told it is a more in-depth Contiki tour, because we spend so long on one country. It is definitely time well spent, because while it is not a big country, it is incredibly diverse, and there are big differences between the north and south, in culture, buildings and food. It is definitely worth booking the experience ahead of the Vietnam Highlights, as we thought the Mekong Delta homestay experience was great fun, and the Cu Chi tunnels very valuable in our understanding of the Vietnam War. The optionals, I think, are worth doing, and all of them. You will find the weather varies across the country, because it is so long, so you can never pick a time of year where the entire country has perfect weather. Things you will see: Ho Chi Minh City - the cathedral, post office, Ben Thanh Markets (though I suggest do more of this in your own time, because we actually didn't really get a lot of time actually in the market if you want to do some shopping), War Remnants Museum (if you like history, and want to read it all in-depth, you may need to see it again, or in your own time, as we had enough time to read about two levels of stuff, but I had to skip the end) Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels Nha Trang - we were supposed to go on a snorkelling trip, but didn't due to a typhoon warning. We went to Yang Bay Tourist Park - it's a really weird place, and some may find it a bit uncomfortable there. It seems to be built by the Vietnamese, specifically for the large Russian population that visit Nha Trang and surrounding areas Hoi An - this place is beautiful! The tailoring shop that is recommended to us by Contiki is very reliable, and better quality than most places here. Linh Shoe Shop for shoes and bags was also quite good, though if you are looking to emulate a particular design, the lady didn't really pick up on specific details. You will see My Son Temples, but I didn't go because I was hungover and tired from a big night before, so I can't say how it was. Hue - you only spend one day here, and the day is jam-packed and well spent. Our bus broke down between Hoi An and Hue because the driver didn't fill up, but that was the only issue we had. It was also the wet season in Hoi An and Hue. Hanoi and Halong bay - Halong Bay is definitely one of the big highlights of the trip. In Hanoi's old quarter, there is so much shopping to be done, so if you don't get to go to the Ben Thanh markets in Ho Chi Minh City, don't worry. Apparently The North Face stuff is cheaper in Hoi An and Hue than Hanoi though. Egg coffee at Cafe 39/Friz Coffee at 39 Nguyen Huu Huan St is really good. Pho 10 and the Banh Mi lady just up the street there are both really good. Hang Dieu St. had Bun Bo Nam Bo, which was an amazing dish! So much good food to eat! All accommodation was good, the Vien Dong hotel was the most basic, and probably what we were actually expecting, but the other hotels exceeded expectations. Everything was organised by our tour leader perfectly and everything ran smoothly. I would definitely recommend this tour!

My Contiki was: In-depth-Delicious-Beautiful

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25 November 2014 - 6 December 2014

  • damien
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled August 2011
  • 34
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

vietnam experience great trip with great people

The first thing i will say is if your thinking about this trip dont forget your not going to a destination where tourism is well developed things will go wrong that is the joy of travel if you wanted it to run smooth you would stay home... Saying that this was probably the best trip i have been on not everything went to plan but thats where special memories come from. The Contiki tour was very well organised with a very professional tour manager (Hoover) and the local drivers where great.. the local tour guides where very knowledgeable although hard to understand some times when they had the microphone but they where easy to approach and answered all questions. If youve done other Contikis. you might be a bit suprised when a big pink local bus pulls up out the front of your hotel . The bus was a bit older but it seemed well maintained and was comfortable for the longer days.. The hotels we stayed in where great they where clean and had everything you needed.. The only hotel we had trouble with was in Hanoi but we where told it was the first and last time contiki would stay there.. If your on this trip to see the sites or to party there is plenty of opportunities to do both and dont worry we did both. You have the opportunity to eat western or asian at most stops dont deprive yourselves of there fabulous food . I did give in about half way through my tour and had a steak 1 night but that was a mistake. You will have the opportunity to eat Snake and Rat in the Mekong supprisingly the Rat tasted pretty good wasnt a fan of the snake but glad i tried it though Our tour had a range of people on it from 18 - 36 and everyone got along great we have had about 4 reunions since aug 2011.. It was a good mixture of people i turned 35 on the tour so if your wondering if you should do Contiki because your at the tip of there range its not a problem these young ones need someone to show them how to party LoL... There arent to many optionals in Vietnam but everyone signed up for all of them .. There are things that will come up remember your on holidays and your doing CONTIKI so just go with the flow and do it.. I got called up to sing Karaoke in the middle of the ocean with a ladyboy not many people can say they've done that (or want to) . or float around in the middle of the ocean on a tube drinking rocket fuel. To seeing the war remaments and Vietnams history .. If your looking for a tour that shows both the sites and traditions of a country where you can learn alot to trying traditional foods to going out at night and partying this is definetly the tour for you.. My Highlights The great tour guide we had The tour companions with all the sites and partying with out great people on the tour i dont think it would have been as enjoyable .. The tour is only as good as the people on it make it;; Going to get on a plane and finding someone else already had that seat so haveing to catch 2 planes to get to the destination after the group ( i did get buisnees class the whole way though.. and i did say not everything will go to plan but just go with it . Its part of the travel to these destinations Seeing the War museum and Vietnams history Bartering (Its a bit daunting at first have fun with it though and it becomes enjoyable . but dont barter for something you dont want ause if you agree on a price you will end up with it.. Trying rat and snake.. Halong bay the party (My Bday) the sites and just the relaxing day The whole trip was a highlight and i could mention everything.. But as i said go on this trip with a open mind as you are traveling to vietnam not everything will run to plan but they make up some of the unforgetable times on your trip and it makes your trip unique from the next.... And yes i would definetly recomend Contiki Vietnam Im happy to answer all questions

My Contiki was: Unforgetable-eye openinging-full of goodtimes

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5 August 2011 - 16 August 2011

  • Romer
  • Booked from United States
  • Traveled October 2013
  • Level 7 Traveller
  • 7 Contikis
  • 7 Countries

Hot sticky fun

Had a great time, tour manager James is an absolute legend who ensures everyone has fun. Cultural value with learning about the war and Vietnamese colonial history mixed in with great food and fun outings. The heat can be oppressive and you nearly get killed multiple time crossing the street but it is a great place to visit! Nha Trang was my favourite, great beach town, spend the whole day at the beach if you can. Plenty of variety in the tour, every day is different. Optional snorkel cruise was great fun as was the optional kayaking where we saw monkeys and the overnight boat trip on the bay was great. Word of advice, make sure your room is as far away from the boats engine room as possible. My room was right next to the engine and they keep the engine running constantly and my whole room was shaking and the noise was brutal plus the diesel fumes. That was the only downside, the rest of the tour was amazing. Not to mention all the "Dong" jokes from their currency.

My Contiki was: Dong--

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25 October 2013 - 6 November 2013

  • jmnpm
  • Booked from Europe
  • Traveled October 2015
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

More well-rounded than I was expecting

First of all, a confession: I'm older than the usual Contiki crowd (33) and not much of a party guy, so I was a bit afraid I would not fit weel with the group, given the reputation. I was completely wrong, though: the group was diverse and there was time to party (hard) but also to learn about the culture and explore the amazing sights of Vietnam. If you have the same doubts do yourself a favor and give it a try. I must say that a lot of the success of our tour is due to our amazing Tour Manager, Az, who made everyone feel awesome basically the whole time, even on long drives after long nights. He is a rockstar and you'll be lucky to have him in your tour. Vietnam is, itself, an amazing place to visit. Here are some of my personal highlights: - the food: whether having a fancy dinner at the Sailing Club in Nha Trang or sitting on a tiny plastic bench in Hanoi, vietnamese food will always delight you; - Ha Long Bay: I've been lucky to visit over 60 countries already and Ha Long Bay is one of those world class places that you won't see anywhere else; - Hanoi: from the peace and quiet of the Temple of Literature to the hustle and bustle of the old quarter, Hanoi is delightful..if you survive crossing the streets! - Mekong Delta: you'll only experience this if you do the Experience tour (not the Highlights) and I'd recommend you do it if you have the possibility. From all our stops I think it was the most vietnamese, as in less touched by tourism, and you get to eat very exotic food while drinking some killer jungle juice. Finally, I'd like to mention the group spirit as another highlight in itself: this is of course always different, but I've realized that Contiki catches the attention of the right people, young fun and adventurous. You'll make friends from all over the world tl;dr: just do it, you'll love it!

My Contiki was: Fun-Culture-Food

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31 October 2015 - 11 November 2015

  • heathereribo
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled June 2014
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Had higher expectations...

Everything about this was great for the first time traveler which we were, everything was organised and well run for the whole trip! However the major downfall from our experience was the tour guide, she was rude on numerous occasions to the group members, bragged about the free things she was receiving from the restaurants she was taking us to and did not attempt to integrate into the group. Over all we had a lovely group of people however the tour guide ruined our trip, not just for my partner and myself but a lot of people on the trip felt the same. There needs to be a few extra days added to this experience as well in order for it not to feel as rushed i.e. maybe an extra day in Hue and Hoi An. In regards to tour guides there needs to be some sort of system in place so that it is disclosed to the people on the tour that they are taking us to up market places and restaurants and that they are receiving commission from taking us there. I would have been much happier if we had of eaten more traditional food and if the tour guide was more knowledgable about where to go for cheap traditional food instead of only taking us to western places. The times where we have free time it would be great if there were a list of suggestions made about where to go or what to do so we don't miss out on anything because again the tour guide had a severe lack of knowledge in regards to that. The worst experience of the whole trip was our last night out when we all went to a night club and the tour guide told all of us that she was getting free drinks for staying there. The group decided to leave after a couple of hours to explore another place recommended by trip advisor. When we told the tour guide our intentions she blatantly lied and said that we shouldn't go there because all they had was Vietnamese music! We proceeded to leave and go to another club which was packed full of what seemed to be every backpacker in the city, and they were most certainly not playing Vietnamese music. This experience just reiterates numerous of occasions where something similar happened through out the trip and it made me feel like I was just money to the tour guide, she didn't genuinely care that we were having a good time or not. Just a real shame because due to this experience I would never go on another Contiki and since being back have told people my opinion which has swayed them from booking one just due to one bad experience.

My Contiki was: Deceived-Cheated -

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6 June 2014 - 17 June 2014

  • sarah_blue3
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled December 2010
  • 25
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Tour Review

Absolute best trip ever! Would definately go on another Contiki after this! It's the best way for single travellers to see places and we had an awesome group!

My Contiki was: Awesome-Experience-Fantastic

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4 December 2010 - 15 December 2010

  • jessnitro
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled August 2012
  • 25
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Vietnam Experience

There is so much I want to say about this trip because it was the absolute highlight of my year. I needed this break away very much so and travelling with a friend I haven’t seen in 5 years was also a bonus. Leaving the cold behind for the extreme heat in Vietnam was just what the doctor ordered! Our amazing and awesome tour manager Tash made sure we got the experience of a lifetime during the day and experienced the nightlife as anyone should when they are on vacation. Highlights for me included: - trip to Ha Long Bay on the overnight cruise and the pirate party - seeing Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum - eating Vietnamese food everywhere! - Heading off to Yaly for dress fittings in Hoi An (FYI totally go with SABRINA she was the best!) - Making the best of friends on tour - Seeing Tim on tour decapitate a snake with sheer shock in his eyes - seeing the sunset over the bridge in Hoi An and watch the town turn into a beautiful, colourful place of lanterns and candles - having drinks on rooftop bars in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi I mean the list goes on and on but to be honest, there isn’t enough time in the day for me to tell you all the amazing things, just do yourself a favour and get out there and do it! Vietnam is the hidden surprise to any traveller. Highly recommended!

My Contiki was: historic-hilarious-breathtaking

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3 August 2012 - 14 August 2012

  • Emily Louise
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled May 2013
  • 24
  • Level 3 Traveller
  • 3 Contikis
  • 9 Countries

My Vietnam Experience

This trip literally had everything! Bustling cities, beautiful beaches, amazing scenery, lots of nightclubbing and drinks to be had, tons of fascinating history, loads of culture, delicious food and more. I would recommend it for a first time solo traveller as it was short enough to as to not make you too anxious but long enough to lose yourself! By the time we were done how ever it felt like I had been gone for months and my tour mates were my best friends! I was lucky enough to be placed with a fantastic group of people and our tour leader Tara was amazing! I would recommend this tour if you’re not opposed to running on little to no sleep as it was non-stop! I made a pact with a couple of guys that I had just met that we would go out every night and we did! I was definitely living on the philosophy of “I can sleep when I get home”. I would advise everyone to take up every optional activity on offer as none of them clash and it is worth every minute. The experiences are amazing and unlike anything you would see on any other country. Drinking shots of snakes blood and rice whiskey in a village, eating snake soup and rat, lying in the sun as you float down on the Mekong river (cue credence clear water revival), crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels, firing a machine gun in the same jungle where the Vietnam war took place, visiting the war remnants museum, (amazing, but will bring a tear to anyone’s eye) Snorkelling (and drinking) in the South China Sea, a hilarious lady boy show on the ocean, cycling through the beautiful little village of Hoi An, visiting the imperial city in Hue (pronounced “Hway” and Not “Huey”) and my personal favourite, the overnight junk boat on Halong Bay. I believe this is where one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies was filmed. The water is beautiful and there are amazing little cliffs and islands that you have to see to believe. One of the simple highlights for me was the hot afternoon we spent jumping and diving off the top of the boat with everyone while a thunderstorm rolled in. (Might just add, can back flip.). Make sure you get off the boat and do the tour of the heritage listed caves they are breathtaking. We had a huge pirate theme party on the Junk boat that night followed the next morning with a very hung over kayak session. If you’re lucky there’s a little island you can paddle your kayak to where you can see a troop of monkeys, but the storm seemed to scare them off for us but we had just as much fun attempting to flip each others boats and splash the really hung over people (most still wearing their pirate costumes from the night before I might add). The scenery throughout the whole tour is to die for. I planned to catch up on sleep during the bus rides but found myself mesmerised by what ever was through my window. It’s really a beautiful country. I went in May and if you plan to go then keep in mind it gets really hot! Even the locals felt it was an extreme heatwave. The Vietnamese guides were lovely and it was devastating each time we left a city as we wanted to take them with us! This tour is the second half of the South East Asia tour and judging by the crew that did the first half, that’s definitely something worth looking into as well. I found the whole Country to still be quite untouched and not as commercialised and touristy as other parts of SE Asia which was perfect as it was what I was after and it’s definitely a place you want to be in a tour group for as your tour manager and guides will give you tips and tricks on where to go, what to do and what not to do! I really do wish I had of submitted a review earlier as I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention something amazing, so maybe you should just book the tour for yourself to experience it first hand! I would re-visit this country in an instant but I do think it’s only fair to see what the rest of the world has to offer! Until next time Vietnam xx

My Contiki was: Beautiful Country-This trip has everything-Fantastic for a first solo trip

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10 May 2013 - 21 May 2013

  • Vanessa
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled August 2013
  • 21
  • Level 5 Traveller
  • 5 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

A pleasing variety in Vietnam

It's safe to say that as my first Contiki tour this definitely didn't fit into the stereotypical mould often associated with the company. While there was certainly partying, the variety of ages and personalities meant choosing when you wanted to participate and most nights were more of a chilling out with a beer variety rather than clubbing. I really enjoyed this itinerary and felt like in 12 days we covered a great variety of the country's landscape from the impossible to cross streets of Ho Chi Minh to the breathtaking overnight cruise in Halong Bay (really wish this was two nights!) I was pleasantly surprised by Nha Trang and its beautiful beaches and the Sailing Club dinner here was fantastic. The optional day trip out on a boat was enjoyed by everyone and the mud baths nearby were great fun also! Hanoi is also a cool city, as is Hue (especially the drive here which had wonderful greenery to be seen on the way in). Taking a trip down and spending the night in a home stay on the Mekong Delta was a definite highlight too. The local guides provided great insight into the many hardships faced by the Vietnamese only decades ago. The cu chi tunnels provide a real face to the war especially. Internal flights all ran to time, bus was always clean and the accommodation and food were good too. Phoebe, our tour leader, was helpful and organised and overall this tour provided an easy and enjoyable way to discover the highlights of Vietnam!

My Contiki was: cultural-beautiful-hectic yet enjoyable!

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16 August 2013 - 27 August 2013

  • Paul
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled November 2014
  • 24
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Life Changing and Cultural Experience

As an individual who loves to travel and explore, I will have to say that this was probably the best decision I have ever made. Vietnam was the most incredible country I have ever visited in my life. This adventure had absolutely everything you could ask for; culture, history, tradition and modernity, amazing food and tons of heavy duty exploring. This was my second time doing Contiki Tours (first time having done so in Europe) and all I can say is that Contiki by all means never disappoints. All Contiki does is make sure you have life changing experiences and that you transform into a world class traveller. I travelled solo and met people from all over the world. There were travellers from Canada, the U.S., the U.K, Scotland, Switzerland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Everyone bonded so great and became friends for life. I must say that every day I miss all the wonderful character my travel mates had and were the ones that made this adventure as special as it was. Our tour manager, Danny, was the best. He went out of his way and worked tremendously hard to ensure we all had the greatest experience of our lives. He arranged dinners, lunch and cooking class in Hoi An, biking tours, museum tours and took care of everyone's requested accommodations so courteously. As for my own experience on the tour, here is a breakdown of every destination: Mekong Delta - This destination is only included on the Experience tour (nine mates joined us on the Highlights tour as it is the same tour) so if you want an experience in the jungle, this is the option to choose. It was the first day and night that the group really got to develop chemistry and bond together. From wearing rice paddy straw hats, to adventuring on the Mekong River, to trying freshly produced coconut caramels, rice crispys, snake soup and jungle juice vodka, oh and elephant fish for lunch, the food was just delicious. Our homestay at the family guest house was an experience to remember. Our local guide, Kevin, arranged for the locals to perform some Vietnamese cultural entertainment for the group, which was awesome. Come prepared with bug spray, because mosquitos and other bugs just roam everywhere at nighttime. The night was fun packed with drinking games and parties. Cu Chi - The next destination on the way back to Ho Chi Minh City is the part of the trip that provides you with a brilliant learning experience about the Vietnam War (American War as its known in Vietnam). The experience of crawling through the rat tunnels will give you an understanding about how brave and courageous you had to have been to be able to crawl in those dark claustrophobic spaces in wartime. I cant forget to mention firing AK47s and M16s at the Cu Chi gun range, giving you the warlike scenario. There are also B-52 bomb craters to check out. Ho Chi Minh City - Out of all the destinations, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) was probably my least favourite. The city is very large and quite dirty. We met our group at the hotel the night prior to the Mekong Delta and later nine new travellers joined us for the Highlights tour. The only exception I enjoyed in Saigon was the War Remnants Museum. As an individual who is big into history and wanted to become more educated about the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective, this place along with the rat tunnels in Cu Chi were some of the most unique, yet sombering experiences I have done. Seeing the museum really shows you how so much of the history in Vietnam was tragic and that they went through so much to get to where they are today, particularly to open up its doors to tourism to flourish their economy. The last thing about Saigon that impressed me was the local Saigon Beer. It is awesome and you will not have a chance to find this anywhere else in the world, so take advantage of this opportunity. Nha Trang - Probably my most favourite due to it being the tourist destination of Vietnam. It is well known for bringing in many Russian tourists and lots of Russians live and work there. Danny organized a mud bath for the group and took us to the Sailing Club for delicious seafood dinner and a beach party, which was epic. Unfortunately, due to a storm out in the South China Sea, our snorkelling adventure got cancelled. Since the snorkelling was cancelled, the group just went about doing their own things and we met up later at the hotel. Hoi An - Flew into Da Nang, had rice pancake spring rolls for lunch at Ba Le Well and took a cooking class at night. Visited the ancient temple in My Son in pouring monsoon rain, which made the experience more cultural. Late November is monsoon season in central Vietnam. Van, our local tour guide for the My Son adventure and a Vietnam War veteran with the US Army as an interpreter was amazing. Very highly educated, he shared with the group some incredible stories of his life experiences, particularly during the war. Cant forget to mention the tailor made clothes at high quality standards for relatively cheap prices. Advice: bring you're own clothes and the tailors will make identical clothes within a day. Danny arranged for us to visit Yaly Coture. If you ever see the lovely Pamela, I certainly recommend her as she helped organize my fitting for my awesome new suit I had tailored. Opportunity to do laundry with the local tour guide, Gaiu (Laow) just down the road from the hotel. He will also lend you bicycles for you to ride around the town for cheap price. Hue - Didn't really have enough time to get adjusted to the culture here, but we visited the Ancient Citadel and Pagoda Temple up the Perfume River. Not to mention the ride in the cyclos, which Danny arranged. So much fun. Also had the opportunity to try some of the local food where you would not get the chance to try anywhere else. Hanoi - The complete opposite from Saigon, and certainly a city full of history, entertainment and plenty of sightseeing. Hotel was the nicest on the whole tour. Went to a Vietnamese water puppet show, which was fascinating to see. Visited the Mausoleum of Vietnam's father figure of independence, Ho Chi Minh and the Temple of Literature. Halong Bay - All I can say are these words: HIGHLIGHT OF THE TOUR!!!! Photographs just do not do the trick for this part of the tour. Basically have to be there first hand to get a true experience of this destination. Junk boat was wicked. We kayaked into the cove and got lucky to see some monkeys (the monkeys do not always appear on some days). Had a pirate theme party with the group on the boat in the evening. Went cave exploring the morning before our trip back to Hanoi. Only thing I wish that would have been different for the group and I was the weather. Was cloudy and cool since it was early December. The north part of Vietnam is cooler at this time of year than the south. Still the best part of the whole tour. All in all, Vietnam Experience was the best tour I have ever done and made nothing but amazing memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Contiki is no doubt the best tour company in the entire world. The one thing I would have changed would have been to do the entire Indochina adventure in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia as a few of the travellers in the group explored those countries prior to Vietnam. Last Recommendation: Try to stay in Hanoi for an extra day or two as many of the Contiki mates did in order to do sightseeing of some of the city's landmarks. I chose to extend for a day and got the opportunity to visit the body of Ho Chi Minh inside the Mausoleum, (very quick, yet intense and emotional experience), Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton), Vietnamese Museum of Military History and Vietnamese Ethology Museum. I was exhausted after seeing all those sites in one day, but is certainly worth the effort and investment as I learned so much. The ME time activities are limited, but all amazing. Do all the activities if you can? Overall, do not hesitate and think too much about exploring Vietnam; JUST DO IT!!!!!! No Regrets

My Contiki was: Fascinating Culture-Incredible Experience-Amazing Food

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25 November 2014 - 6 December 2014

  • sarah28
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled January 2012
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Fantastic!!

This was my first contiki trip AND my first overseas trip and afterwards, I can say it won't be the last! Vietnam is such a culture rich country and contiki helps you see some of the best parts of it. A highlight myself was the beautiful sights of Halong Bay (even in cooler weather!) and the old charm beauty of Ho Ani. Our tour guide was great.. gave us lots of helpful advice. The group of people was amazing!! Tips and Recommendations: - Don't stress about money! Everything is cheap from food to clothes to little nick nacks- don't hold yourself back.. Vietnam is a great trip to do if you are on a budget - Have something in mind that you would like made in Hoi An otherwise you will be overwhelmed by choice! - Try the food!- don't be scared ;) - You must barter.. and you will get the hang of it ;) - Have an open mind: especially when hearing about Vietnam's side of the War - Don't bother taking heels girl.. they are DEFINITLY not needed: one pair of thongs, one pair of canvas/walking shoes and a pair of 'going out casual' flats is all you need - There are opportunites to do laundry so don't worry about packing something for everyday - People do try to steal bags so make sure you take a shoulder bag that hangs infront of your body and only carry cash you really need - BEWARE OF CYCLO SCAMS!!!- AND BEWARE OF JUNGLE JUICE AND JAM JARS ;)

My Contiki was: Amazing-Fun-Cultural

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11 January 2012 - 22 January 2012

  • MichaelC
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled December 2011
  • 26
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 14 Countries

Vietnam Experience

It's been a bit over 3 years since I have been on this tour, and it is truly a trip you will never forget. From the moment you arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, right through to you say your goodbyes in Hanoi; the Vietnam Experience is full of highlights, excitement and unforgettable memories. We had the privilege of starting our tour on New Years Eve, in Ho Chi Minh City. Talk about a party! The streets were filled with tourists and locals, all bringing in the New Year in style, with plenty of drinks, laughs and spray foam, as we spilled out into the streets for the countdown to midnight. This was the perfect opportunity to get to know my fellow travelers and guides. Bargains can be found all around in Ho Chi Minh City. Try your luck at the Bến Thành markets, which is close to your accommodation. You can find all sorts of things there from Watches, Clothing, Food, Frogs, Turtles and even Snake Wine; A truly unique product you can’t miss, and one that you will have many chances to sample over the next 12 days. From the hustle and bustle of the city, to the relaxed Mekong Delta, the home stay was truly an experience you will want to take in. I always look for an opportunity on my travels to really engulf myself in the culture of where I am. Contiki defiantly give you this opportunity, and the locals are extremely welcoming, friendly, and kind. We got to enjoy a great local performance as well as take on the challenge of fishing, using nothing but a bowl and our own two hands, a skill which only some in the group could master. Traveling back to Ho Chi Minh City after an interesting night getting to know everyone better with a bit of Jungle Juice, we traveled to the Cu Chi Tunnel. These tunnels where used by guerrilla fighters during what the Vietnamese call the “American” War. Even if you are claustrophobic, try to muster the courage to down into the tunnels and work your way through. A truly unique experience and a sobering insight. Next we visit Nha Trang, in what us Australians on the tour affectionately refer to as the Gold Coast of Vietnam. This is definitely one place you will want to take the ME options available on tour. Take the cruise offshore and enjoy some great swimming, snorkelling and lunch. There was heaps of unexpected surprises to be had on this cruise, and well worth the extra cash to experience. Nha Trang is know for relaxation, and what better way to relax then with a trip to the Mud Baths. Not only an experience for the ladies, this is a great way to chill out and relax. At one stage we where treated to a fantastic hot spring soak with what can only be described as a giant tea bag! A short flight to our next stop Hoi An, aka the fashion capital of Vietnam. Hoi An is famous for it tailors. Grab yourself a stylish suit, a swish dress, or anything else you can imagine. It’s a good idea before you travel to Vietnam, to take some photos of things you would like to have made, the tailors in Hoi An will make anything you can dream of. At this stage in the tour we decided it would be a perfect opportunity to take on Vietnam’s famous traffic head on. After hiring mopeds (from the same place we got our laundry done) we headed for the coast and took in the amazing scenery along the way. This is just a taste of the many experiences you will have on this tour. I've made life long friends on this trip, and we all still reminisce about this tour 3 years on. There is so much to see and do. Party on the beach in Nah Trang, Get styled and learn to cook amazing food in Hoi An, take in the natural beauty of Ha Long Bay, and enjoy the craziness that is Hanoi! I'd highly recommend clicking the BOOK NOW button, if you have a sense of adventure, for a trip that you'll truly never forget!

My Contiki was: Immersive-Amazing-Memorable

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31 December 2011 - 11 January 2012

  • Justin
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled November 2015
  • 30
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

A very good first Contiki

Was awesome, went all the way through Vietnam, Contiki was great met people, did all activities, got harassed and ripped off by locals, stayed in good hotels, saw the War Museum and VC tunnels, shot guns, rode scooters, had a mud bath, went to beaches, local restaurants, beach restaurants and night markets, went on a boat tour and swam in the river and dived off the boat and snorkeled. Got clothes made at Yalys, rode bikes around, went to a cooking class, visited the imperial palace and local temples and pagodas, did karoke, bought stuff, went to Halong Bay and kayaked and stayed on a boat, showed everyone my penis. Great trip 9/10

My Contiki was: Out of comfort zoning-Hot-Worth it

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10 November 2015 - 21 November 2015

  • LloydD
  • Booked from United Kingdom
  • Traveled July 2015
  • 25
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

Vietnam Trip of a Lifetime

I went to Vietnam with Contiki and I have to say, I had the best possible time. I was really unsure about what I was booking when I was in the travel agent, I had never done anything like this before and was a little apprehensive. I (as usual) failed to do any real research and just wanted to get out of the UK so I could see the sun. I didn't have any friends that were travelling at the time and decided to book with Contiki for one trip and another tour manager for my Thailand portion of the trip, this was suggested to me by the travel agent and I agreed. I started in Vietnam, using the app to meet some of my group before the official start of the trip, which was great. Eventually came the official meeting time and I met my tour manager, Tom Morris. Was very clear with all the 'boring' administration things we had to do first but made us feel completely comfortable considering it could have been a little intimidating meeting all these new people. Meetings over, I will summarise the whole trip in a lot less detail but we got to go around all of Vietnam, I had an amazing time with a fantastic group of people and it was all topped off by how good Tom was, he was a fountain of knowledge about every little place we visited, he was professional when things went wrong (I got my my stolen in a night club and we managed to get it back!) but he was also a great deal of fun! He made sure the whole group were happy all of the time and as a result, we all got to do everything we wanted to do individually and we also managed to spend heaps of time together. It was the perfect mix of free time and group activities (which we chose at the beginning of the trip). I still have amazing memories of this trip and I give Tom a lot of the credit because, I went on my second trip straight after with a different company... Although I had a fun group and the place was amazing, the tour manager was very formal and nowhere near as informative. I didn't really know where to go and eat, I ended up in some dodgy places because I didn't know what to avoid, I took 2 books for the whole holiday (including Vietnam) by the start of Thailand, 10 days into my holiday, I was 2 pages in because I was having too much fun to read, by the end of Thailand, a week later, I was half way through my second book. That was all because I didn't know where to go and didn't know what I could do so I sat and read instead. Yes, this can all be solved by me doing research but isn't that why you go on these trips? I had a great time in Vietnam and if I could change 1 thing about my trip as a whole it would have been to book Contiki for the entire trip. Thank you Tom and thank you Contiki!

My Contiki was: Tom rocks!-Vietnam is amazing-Contiki are best.

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31 July 2015 - 11 August 2015

  • Simran
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled August 2015
  • 30
  • Level 2 Traveller
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

#noregrets

I am so glad I went with this trip vs. the highlights one. Visiting Mekong Delta was so worth it and I highly recommend you choose this tour over that one! Be prepared to be shocked…in a good way! I fell in love with Vietnam! The country is so beautiful in its own way. Not all cities are pretty and polished. You get to actually see Vietnam and that is what I loved about it! Ho Chi – not much to do in this city. The night life is pretty good; we went to this bar where you can get pitchers drink – 2 for 1 and that was a lot of fun! A must try is Pho. I can’t say which place our tour guide, Shannon, took us, but the one she did take us – by far best PHO I ever had! Mekong Delta – this was a lot of fun! The tea house and lunch was nice; loved the tea! Staying at the guesthouse was an experience! Had a lot of fun going on the bikes and then of course the night time festivities was great! Nha Trang – this city I found to be very tailored for tourists. Mud bath excursion is something to try for an experience if you haven’t done it before; I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting something else BUT I did enjoy it regardless. Like me, if you are not doing the cruise/snorkel, do not worry – HIT THE BEACH! It’s GORGEOUS! The water was beautiful! This was the only day I basically did nothing but stay at the beach all day long! Loved the tan I got! Hoi An - by far, my favourite city was Hoi An. It’s a small city but it’s beautiful, especially at night. I HIGHLY recommend you do your entire souvenir shopping here! No other city beats it – this was my mistake; saved it all for Hanoi and I regret it. A must – the cooking class! This was A LOT OF FUN and the food we made and ate after…omg…I can’t replicate it! The city light up at night and it’s just breathtaking. Ask your tour guide about Banh Mi; apparently this one shop makes the best Banh Mi ever and it’s true – they do! Also, I can’t say much but apparently everyone else was happy when we stopped by this shop where they can tailor basically anything. Check it out and see if it’s for you. But again – definitely do all your other shopping! Now it’s not part of the Contiki tour but if you love to EAT and love Vietnamese food, I HIGHLY recommend you sign up for Taste of Hoi An Food tour. You will love it – I promise! Read about it on Trip Advisor! Hue – this was okay; short, which was good a good thing. The cyclo ride was a lot of fun (included in tour price) so enjoy that! Not much to say here as I didn’t really spend a lot of time doing much of anything really. It was 1 day and the day was long. Ended up coming back to the hotel and watching some movies and resting  Hanoi – this city was pretty and oh so busy! You can easily get lost – like I did! But it’s a nice city. Got some shopping done but again, try to get it done in Hoi An. Got some pretty neat stuff from this Poster store – close to the hotel; hard to miss. Go on Trip Advisor to find this little shop that sells Bank Mi. They too had an amazing Banh Mi; went there quite a few times while in Hanoi. Halong Bay – OMG. This was beautiful! I can’t describe what I saw but be prepared to see something very beautiful. FYI the dinner on the cruise…if you are not FULLY a fan of sea food like myself, then go with the veggie option. Overall – I love Vietnam! No regrets; wish I could go back! If you like Vietnamese food, then perfect! If you LOVE smoothies and juices – then you’re in luck. They are EVERYWHERE and really good! FYI – It’s bloody hot here! I went end of August – first week of September and wow. The humidity will kill you; stay hydrated! For days where you go on your own for lunch/dinner, use Trip Advisor. It REALLY saved me and I was not disappointed. Hotels were surprisingly REALLY nice and proper! And yes, they have AC, free wifi and couple of tv shows that play English movies  I was able to pull cash from the ATM’s – mainly got it all done in Hoi Chi. Many places take VISA. And the exchange rate done on my VISA/bank account was pretty good (CDN – Dong).

My Contiki was: #noregrets-#treatyourself-

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28 August 2015 - 8 September 2015

  • Farid
  • Booked from Canada
  • Traveled December 2014
  • Level 1 Traveller
  • 1 Contikis
  • 1 Countries

What a blast! Truly the best way to initially explore an area

I had the best experience on my Vietnam Experience. First off, I definitely recommend this tour over the shorter one in Vietnam. Those extra few days in the Mekong Delta are truly amazing and got a bit ... wild. This was my first contiki but I'm extremely impressed and convinced this is the best way for young-ish people to initially travel a foreign area. Having an excellent tour guide, a group of friends and itinerary made sure I felt like I was getting the best bang for my buck. The thing that makes contiki special though are the tour managers (thanks Danny!) and the other travellers your with. Its amazing how quickly you might develop friendships (maybe travel to their home country!) On top of all this, Vietnam was amazing! Everyone needs to go visit Vietnam soon before its completely changed. Its quickly becoming a westernized city and its in this great spot right now where you can see the old historic culture clash with new technologies. Did I mention the Pho ? :)

My Contiki was: Pho-Amazing-Party

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20 December 2014 - 31 December 2014

  • JamesA
  • Booked from Australia
  • Traveled March 2013
  • Level 13 Traveller
  • 13 Contikis
  • 8 Countries

Amazing Tour

Vietnam is an amazing place to visit and doing it through Contiki made it a lot better. Halong Bay was definitely a highlight, but really every place visited was great.

My Contiki was: Amazing-Crazy-Memorable

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5 March 2013 - 16 March 2013

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