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Vietnam: Christmas & New Year’s Week Group Trip - 10 Days

GEC Trip Type: GROUP TOUR

*Solo Travelers: You're in luck! We provide free roommate matching - unless you'd prefer to purchase a single room.

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TRIP DESCRIPTION:

2019 Christmas & New Year’s Week Group Trip!

The group will travel: December 24, 2019 - January 2, 2020

Join other like-minded adventurers on the Christmas and New Year’s holiday week group tour to the exotic and diverse country of Vietnam. Join the group and explore the best of Vietnam, including:

  • tour of the vibrant northern capital city of Hanoi
  • overnight boat ride through Halong Bay with its famous and picturesque towering limestone cliffs (an UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the “New Seven Natural Wonders of the World”)
  • the famous Cu Chi Tunnels that were used by the Vietcong during the war
  • boat ride through the Mekong Delta region
  • visit the beautiful fishing village of Hoi An (an UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • visit to Marble Mountains
  • travel over the Hai Van Pass with views of Da Nang
  • visit the beautiful fishing village of Hoi An (an UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • boat ride on the Thu Bon River
  • bamboo boat ride
  • the ancient ruins of My Son
  • the historical city of Hue
  • end the trip with a visit to southern city of Saigon.

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    Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 100,000+ members across the US and Canada, GECtravel is the largest and fastest growing adventure travel club in the world! GEC is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free.. just sign up for a trip and you are a member!


    Places Visited:

    Vietnam Group Tour, Christmas Week Group Tour, New Years Week Group Tour, Holiday Week Group Tour, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoian, Hue, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta, Cu Chi Tunnels, China Beach, Marble Mountain


    Trip Itinerary:
    B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

    Brief Itinerary:

    Day 1: Arrive Hanoi. Afternoon Group Orientation Meeting.
    Day 2: Hanoi city tour (B)
    Day 3: Boat tour of Halong Bay. Overnight on Boat (B, L, D)
    Day 4: Halong to Hanoi - Fly to Hue (B)
    Day 5: Tour Hue (B)
    Day 6: To Hoi An via Hai Van Pass, Da Nang & Marble Mountain (B)
    Day 7: AM Walking Tour. PM Cruise to Thanh Ha & Kim Bong Village (B)
    Day 8: My Son Sanctuary Visit. Bamboo Basket Boat Ride. Fly to Ho Chi Ming (Saigon) (B)
    Day 9: Day tour of Saigon. Cu Chi Tunnels (B)
    Day 10: AM Mekong Delta Region Tour. PM Trip ends (B)


    Detailed Itinerary:

    B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

    Day 1:
    Arrive Hanoi. Afternoon Group Orientation Meeting.


    Arrive at assigned hotel in Hanoi, or if you purchased airport transfers through us, then upon arrival at the airport you are met and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, a stylish and gracious city that retains a unique old world charm and some of Asia's most striking colonial architecture.

    The trip officially begins with an early evening group orientation meeting held at the hotel (details provided before departure). Here you will get a chance to meet your GEC Local Guide, as well as all of your fellow travel companions for what is sure to be the beginning of many great friendships!

    Overnight in Hanoi


    Day 2:
    Hanoi city tour (B)


    After breakfast you will take an in-depth tour of the most interesting sites in Hanoi. The tour includes visits to sights such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ba Dinh Square, Ethnological Museum, and Ngoc Son Temple. Also, you will visit the Temple of Literature, a Confucian temple and home to Vietnam’s first university that has been in existence for almost a thousand years. We continue to the One Pillar Pagoda, dating back to the same era, however the site was rebuilt after it was destroyed by the French in 1954. A short stroll through the park takes us to Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House, the leader's humble dwellings where he lived from 1958 until his passing in 1969. The evening is yours to enjoy with your fellow travel mates.

    Overnight in Hanoi


    Day 3:
    Boat tour of Halong Bay. Overnight on Boat (B, L, D)


    We start the day early for our drive to the spectacularly beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Natural Wonders of the World: Halong Bay for a cruise and overnight aboard a modern 22 room ship. The drive is a beautiful one too, as it takes you down countryside roads through the scenic rice paddy fields. Before arriving at the ship, we’ll stop at Hon Gai market, the local fish market of Ha Long.

    Upon arrival at the harbor, you will board your boat and set sail through the limestone islands while enjoying a wonderful lunch. You’ll then make a stop at a traditional fishing village to see how the locals in this area live. After returning to the boat, you’ll attend a short cooking class, followed by plenty of time to rest on the upper deck at sunset before enjoying a delicious dinner. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Why not play cards, try your luck at fishing, watch movies or simply enjoy some drinks and chat with your friends at the bar on board.

    Overnight in Halong Bay Boat


    Day 4:
    Halong to Hanoi - Fly to Hue (B)


    If you are up early enough, you can join in on a session of Tai Chi on the top deck before breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll stop to for an easy exploration of a nearby cave, then return to the boat. We’ll then sail back to land. On the way back we will visit Quang Ninh museum, which was designed by a Spanish architect and has unique architecture, charming space and plenty of valuable artifacts. We’ll then travel to the airport for your short group flight to Hue. In Hue, you’ll be picked up and transfer to the hotel where the rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy with the group.

    Overnight in Hue


    Day 5:
    Tour Hue (B)


    Hue served as the capital of Vietnam for more than 140 years and houses many ancient temples, imperial buildings and French-style edifices. We begin our exploration with an in-depth tour of this historical city, including Cau Ngoi Village, the countryside market, The Hue Old Citadel which contains the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. You’ll have time for breaks, food or drinks (at your own expenses), then take a leisurely boat trip on the Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda. From here you’ll transfer by road to visit Minh Mang Tomb before returning to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

    Overnight in Hue


    Day 6:
    To Hoi An via Hai Van Pass, Da Nang & Marble Mountain (B)


    Our day starts with a drive to Hoi An over the Hai Van Pass, a mountain range that divides the north from the south and stands like a sentinel over the town of Da Nang. The pass bears the scars of the tumultuous past in the region, with 3 forts dating back to the Cham, French and American eras, but also has beautiful views of Da Nang and the bay. We’ll travel downhill and then stop at Nam O Bridge & Red Beach II (where the US Marines made their famous amphibious landing 1965) where we’ll take a break for lunch and drinks (at your own expenses)

    After lunch we’ll visit Cham Sculpture Museum, then drive to the ancient town of Hoi An with a visit to Marble Mountain along the way.

    Overnight in Hoi An


    Day 7:
    AM Walking Tour. PM Cruise to Thanh Ha & Kim Bong Village (B)


    Hoi An has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999 and is one of the gems of South East Asia. No visit to Vietnam would be complete without a visit to this beautiful old fishing town with its colorful shop houses and temples that reflect a diverse heritage. Dating back to the 16th and 17th century, when it was a major port for Western, Chinese and Japanese traders, today Hoi An is a thriving center of traditional crafts and a shoppers paradise that is best explored on foot.

    We explore Hoi An taking time to visit the market, harbor, and one of the ancient private houses. A photographers dream, the town offers endless picturesque views. One of the most photographed sites is the Japanese covered bridge that we will see during our visit to the Sa Huynh Museum. Hoi An is loaded with small cottage industries that make various arts and crafts; one of the most popular purchases being tailored clothes and made to fit shoes.

    In the afternoon, we board a local boat and cruise down the Thu Bon River, taking time to visit the pottery and woodcarving villages as we make our peaceful journey through the picture postcard countryside.

    Overnight in Hoi An


    Day 8:
    My Son Sanctuary Visit. Bamboo Basket Boat Ride. Fly to Ho Chi Ming (Saigon) (B)


    A short drive from Hoi An is Vietnam's most important Cham site and one of the most stunning sights in the Hoi An area, My Son. The area is considered to be Champa's counterpart to Angkor and Bagan, the great ancient cities of South East Asia's other Indian-influenced civilizations. The monuments are set in a lush valley surrounded by hills and overlooked by the massive Cat's Tooth Mountain.

    We’ll then return to Hoi An in time for lunch (at your own expenses). Following lunch, we’ll take an afternoon tour of a nearby fishing village in a bamboo basket boat. We’ll float along the river to the Water Coconut Forest before transferring to the airport for the group flight to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon).

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


    Day 9:
    Day tour of Saigon. Cu Chi Tunnels (B)


    Today we will take a tour of the city of Saigon, as well as a visit to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels.

    Cu Chi Tunnels: Never discovered by American forces, the tunnels were an important Vietcong base during the American War. Stretching over 200 km, this incredible underground network, dug by hand out of hard laterite, connected command posts, hospitals, shelters and weapon factories. Today, you can walk through the area and learn about the day-to-day life of the VC, see the cleverly disguised entrances and elaborate booby-traps, and even venture inside the tunnels, some of which have been modified to accommodate tourists.

    Saigon: It’s hard not to be impressed by Saigon, with its wide boulevards and French Colonial Architecture. During our city tour this morning, we visit the Reunification Palace, formerly the Presidential Palace when the country was divided. Today the North Vietnamese flag flies on its roof ever since the soldiers had crashed their way through the gates using a tank signified the reunification of the country and the fall of the south. We visit the Emperor of Jade Pagoda, one of the most beautiful temples in the city, as well as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office and Colonial City Hall. Stopping at the Opera House, you get a real sense of the passing of time in Saigon.

    Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)


    Day 10:
    AM Mekong Delta Region Tour. PM Trip ends (B)


    This morning we venture out of the city, heading out to the lush and fertile region of the Mekong. Getting away from the tourist crowds, but not too far outside of Ho Chi Minh City lies an island which takes you back in time. The sparsely populated Go Cong Island offers the opportunity to experience true village life, as the untouched island is visited by very few tourists. The villagers offer a friendly smile before taking you into their homes for lunch. They are immensely proud of their villages and way of life. You will see how they live off the land, how they grown Dragon Fruit, find various uses of coconut, and if you dare, try a fresh chili. We’ll explore the waterways in a sampan boat and ride the local roads by bike. An authentic experience awaits, and all this just an hour and half from the Ho Chi Minh City. Then, transfer to airport for your evening departure flight home.


    Important Information



    This is a locally guided GEC small group trip that is open for anyone to join. You can sign up as a solo traveler* OR join with a spouse, friends or other family members. All are welcome!
    *Solo Travelers: You're in luck! No mandatory single supplements. We provide free roommate matching - unless, of course, you'd prefer a single room which you can purchase during checkout.


    This tour requires a total minimum group size to run. Please DO NOT purchase your airfare or any personal travel requirements until you receive a written confirmation of guaranteed departure.

    This trip starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). Your flight will need to arrive in Hanoi and depart from Ho Chi Minh as per the itinerary. Information on flights will be emailed after booking (or call us for details). Complete details on airport transfers, the day 1 afternoon group trip orientation, etc. will be communicated to you before departure.

    It is recommended that you arrive in Hanoi one day early so that you can join the afternoon tour of Hanoi on day 1, to avoid conflicts due to potential travel delays, and to help better adjust to the time zone change. Optional extra night hotel available during checkout.

    Visas are required for Vietnam at time of printing, but are done before departure without sending your passport in via a Vietnamese eVisa: https://www.vietnam-evisa.org/ Please check the nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate for current requirements for your citizenship before departure. NOTE: it is the traveler's responsibility to obtain any and all visas for entry.

    Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months following the last day of your trip.

    Prices are based on double occupancy in twin rooms. If you would like your own hotel room, please choose the optional single room supplement at check out. If you do not mind being paired up with a roommate of the same gender, then the single supplement does not apply.

    All deposits and payments include the cost of your inter-country group airfare and a $750 standard deposit. Once your trip is booked and the trip is guaranteed to depart, the airfare costs are non-refundable and the standard cancellation policy applies to the standard deposit. Full payment is due at least 100 days before departure.

    This is a locally run and guided trip that is open to anyone. It is an exciting and active trip that is constantly on the go exploring the best of Vietnam and covering lots of area, yet with plenty of time for relaxation. This trip uses specific local guides in each area who will be available for the group in each destination from airport arrival to airport drop off and on all organized tours. Upon arrival in the next destination, the group will be met by their new guide for that particular area.

    Trip ID: AS1252
    PRICING
    Departure Dates:

    Domestic group flights in Vietnam per person
    $464.00
    Christmas & New Year’s Holiday Supplement
    $297.00
    Optional Add-Ons
     
    OPTIONAL: Single Room (choose only if you want your own hotel room)
    $689.00
    OPTIONAL: RT Airport Transfers (Highly Recommended)
    $39.00

    Price Includes
    • 10-day locally guided group tour of Vietnam
    • Expert English speaking local guides in each area
    • Overnight boat tour of the legendary Halong Bay (an UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the “New Seven Natural Wonders of the World”)
    • Explore the sensational Marble Mountains
    • Explore the famous Cu Chi tunnels
    • Boat tour in the Mekong Delta Region
    • Tour of the vibrant northern capital city of Hanoi
    • Travel over the Hai Van Pass with views of Da Nang
    • Visit the beautiful fishing village of Hoi An (an UNESCO World Heritage site)
    • Local boat ride down the Thu Bon River
    • Bamboo boat ride
    • Visit to the ancient ruins of My Son
    • Tour of the historical city of Hue
    • Transportation in private A/C vehicles
    • 8 nights in excellent mid-range hotels
    • 1 night in excellent mid-range boat in Halong Bay
    • Breakfast daily
    • Entrance and boat fees

    Price Does Not Include
    • International Airfare
    • Domestic Group Airfare (mandatory add-on)
    • Airport Transfers at start and end of trip
    • Meals and beverages not indicated
    • Travel medical insurance (details)
    • Optional tours and activities not mentioned in itinerary
    • Personal expenses
    • Vietnam Visa (see "Important Information" section below)
    • Christmas & New Year’s supplement
    • Tips for Local Guides
    Accomodation Included
    • 8 nights in excellent mid-range hotels
    • 1 night in excellent mid-range boat in Halong Bay
    Seasonal Info
    • Peak season is November through May. Rainy season is June through September.


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