Vegan Travel to Vietnam

There is order in the chaos in Vietnam. You might not see it at first when you start your vegan travel to Vietnam in Saigon, where the traffic is crazy, but you will get used to it really quickly. Eventually, you will even start to love it! Everything is possible in Vietnam: people are very friendly and will get out of their way to help you.

This vegan travel to Vietnam is a combination of cultural highlights in the cities of Saigon, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An and lots of natural beauty in the national parks of Phong Nha, Halong Bay and Cuc Phuong. The French colonial heritage is clearly visible everywhere, especially in Saigon and Hoi An. Because Vietnam covers a very large area, you will be able to experience different climates and cultural differences as you travel the country. That is what makes this tour so diverse.

Dates & Prices
Dates Duration Price Tour leader
19 - 28 January 2020 10 days € 1.678,- Brenda
08 - 28 March 2020 21 days € 2.819,- Stefan
08 - 17 March 2020 10 days € 1.596,- Stefan
29 November - 19 December 2020 21 days € 2.819,- Stefan
29 November - 08 December 2020 10 days € 1.596,- Stefan

Itinerary

Samsara Vegan Travels - Travel route Vietnam 21d

Vietnam is a vast country. From the most southern tip it is 1650 kilometers to the northern border with China. To see most of the many interesting places, take our 21 day tour which runs from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in the south, to Hanoi in the North. For those who want a shorter Vietnam experience, we offer the first leg of the tour as a 10 day alternative.
The 10 day tour is identical to the itinerary of the first 10 days of the 21 day tour. This tour will take you from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Hoi An.

(For departure from and arrival in Hoi An, the international airport of Da Nang (the 3rd largest airport in Vietnam) is conveniently located 45 min from Hoi An.)

 

Day 1 & 2 – Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - Saigon CathedralOur vegan travel to Vietnam starts on the morning of the first day. If you have not spent the night in our group hotel, you are expected to arrive there no later than 09.00 am for an introduction and to meet your fellow travelers.

It is up to you when you want to arrive in Myanmar. If you want to arrive a few days before the tour starts, we will gladly help you to arrange a hotel room for you.

After a brief introduction, we will start exploring the city on foot. The official name of the city was changed to Ho Chi Minh City in 1976, but most people still call it Saigon. The city center itself is actually still called Saigon. You can see plenty of evidence for this on signs all around the city.

Saigon has an ideal layout to explore on foot. It is a city of contrasts: you can wander through beautiful lanes and avenues with colonial French architecture but also explore flashy skyscrapers and luxury malls. However, most people in Saigon use mopeds as their main mode of transportation. The large numbers of cars, mopeds, scooters and pedestrians present a particular challenge when you want to cross the street.

If you want to join us for lunch, we have selected a nice restaurant with great vegan food. You are of course free to choose your own location.

The second day in Saigon is a free day, for you to spend however you want. If needed, your tour leader can recommend interesting places to visit (temples, parks, malls, museums, etc.). If you want to visit places further away from the city center, you can use a taxi or public bus.
Don't forget to join an ad hoc karaoke session on a street corner!

Day 3 – Mekong Delta

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - Mekong delta floating marketToday we make our way South toward the Mekong Delta, the so called 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. In this most densely populated part of Vietnam you can discover the numerous waterways, canals and streams by boat.

Everywhere you look, there are fields full of vegetables, which are sold on one of the many floating markets. At the end of the day we will return to Saigon.

Day 4 – Saigon

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - downtown SaigonToday you have some extra free time in Saigon. You can roam the streets, buy souvenirs on Ben Thanh market or visit a water park instead. There is so much to see in Saigon.

Day 5 & 6– Nha Trang

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - Nha Trang beach

We will drive a few hours on a nice bus to get to Nha Trang, the beach capital of Vietnam. The remainder of the day and the next day are for you to enjoy at leisure. You will find kilometers of beaches, a turquoise sea, palm trees and an impressive shore-front with numerous restaurants, clubs and resorts.

The inland streets house an array of fine restaurants including a number of vegan restaurants. You can either spend your time relaxing on the beach, take a mud bath in a luxurious spa or take a nice long walk on the beach. Our hotel is not far from the beach.

Day 7 – Quy Nhon

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Quy Nhon Tropical Beach

We will continue our way further North and spend the night in Quy Nhon, a prosperous seaside city with a great sandy beaches. The beaches here are as impressive as in Nha Trang, but without the crowds.

Day 8 & 9 & 10 – Hoi An

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - Hoi An after sunset

Another bus ride and we arrive in Hoi An, a graceful and beautiful old town with a beautifully restored (with help of UNESCO) old town. Hoi An has a very large culinary variety and there are plenty of vegan restaurants to enjoy a nice meal. If you are interested in joining a cooking class (vegan, of course), this is the place to do it. There is much to see and do in Hoi An, so we will spend two full days here. In the old town you can find numerous Chinese merchant houses, ancient temples, houses and of course art centers and boutiques. Take a bicycle and just roam around, or follow one of the designated routes.

Travelers who have booked the 10 day tour, will leave the group on day 10. It is only a short ride to the International Airport in Da Nang, the 3rd largest airport in Vietnam.

Day 11 & 12 – Hue

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Hue Royal PalaceThe city of Hue is only a few hours north of Hoi An. Once the political capital of Vietnam, it houses the beautiful Citadel, located on the Perfume River.

In Hue you will find rather a mixture of traditional and modern day buildings, temples, pagodas and palaces. Take time to explore the city center and Citadel on foot, or take a bicycle to get further away. You will find some nice temples and pagodas along the Perfume River.

Day 13 & 14 – Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Fields of Phong Nha Ke Bang National ParkFrom Hue it is a few hours drive to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, which houses the larges cave systems on the planet. The largest cave of them all, Son Doong, was only discovered in 2009. En route, we visit the Vinh Moc tunnel complex, where you can experience life in the tunnels during wartime.

Finally, we arrive in the small town of Phong Nha. It is a little off the beaten track and does not offer all the amenities that the tourist hot spots do, but it is certainly worth visiting. There are plenty of activities to do here. You can visit one of the many caves (of course), do a jungle trekking or stroll or cycle around to discover the natural beauty of the landscape. The national park, which borders on the country of Laos, houses the oldest karst mountains in Asia.

Day 15 & 16 – Tam Coc

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Tam Coc Temple

Our bus will take us to Tam Coc, where we arrive in the afternoon. In the town center you can hire a little boat (driver included) to take you on a beautiful tour. The boats are powered by people who paddle with their feet (so they have their hands free to update their Facebook page).

 

Day 17 - Endangered Primate Rescue Center

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - EPRCToday is reserved for a visit to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center in Cuc Phuong National Park, where you can do some volunteer work, if you like. We take a special tour around the park where a park ranger explains all activities to us. After this, you can even help prepare food for the primates or do other chores around the park.

Day 18 & 19 – Hanoi

Samsara Vegan Travels - Vietnam - Tran Quoc pagoda in Hanoi

After just a few hours on the bus, we will reach the capital of Vietnam, Hanoi. Opposed to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi has a more traditional and authentic atmosphere. The skyline is certainly not dominated by flashy high-rise buildings. The atmosphere is relaxed and it is a great city to explore on foot.

In the afternoon on day 18, you can enjoy a walking tour around the city center during which you will visit interesting sites and soak up the atmosphere. The next day will be free for you to enjoy. There is plenty to choose from, depending on what you are interested in.

Day 20 – Halong Bay

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Halong Bay kajakIn the morning, a comfortable coach will take us to the boat pier for an amazing cruise through Halong Bay, a unique and spectacular World Heritage site with thousands of limestone islands and rocks rising up from the sea. Consequently, we stop along the way for a swim or to explore a cave. Lunch is included in this trip and will be served on the boat. Finally, at the end of this exciting day, we will make out way back to the hotel in Hanoi.

Day 21 – Hanoi

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Hanoi City train tracksThis is the final day of our vegan travel to Vietnam. You can use it to visit the sights you have missed out on, or to buy those last minute souvenirs. Depending on the timing of your departing flight, you can make your way to the airport or enjoy the rest of your time in Hanoi.

Note: In the event of unforeseen circumstances, for example an upcoming typhoon, a broken bus or delayed train, it is possible that the travel program must be adjusted. The final decision will be made by the tour leader.

What is included in the price?

Included

21 Day Tour

  • Transport according to program
  • 20 Overnight stays
  • All breakfasts
  • Dutch+English+German speaking tour leader
  • A local, English speaking guide
  • Boat trip on Halong Bay (including lunch)
  • Visit and entrance to the Endangered Primate Rescue Center
  • Walking tour in Saigon
  • Boat trip on the Mekong Delta
  • Walking tour in Hanoi

10 Day Tour

  • 9 Overnight stays
  • All breakfasts
  • Dutch+English+German speaking tour leader
  • A local, English speaking guide
  • Walking tour in Saigon
  • Boat trip on the Mekong Delta

 

Not included

  • International flights
  • Meals (unless mentioned) (we WILL direct you to vegan restaurants)
  • Entrance fees (unless specifically mentioned)
  • Visa for Vietnam (if applicable)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Cancellation insurance (optional)
  • Spending money*
  • Tips**

*For spending money you should count on an average of € 125,- per person per week. In this amount are included costs for food and drinks, entrance fees, additional excursions and personal tips. Souvenirs are not included in this amount as this very much depends on the person.

**Tipping in Vietnam is common and often a necessary part of peoples income. For common expenses such as tipping in hotels and our bus driver and guide, a joint pot will be used for which a contribution is requested from all participants. For this 21 day tour to Vietnam this will be € 40,-, for the 10 day tour this will be € 20,-. When you are satisfied with your tour leader, a tip is very much appreciated.

Country Information

Climate

The climate in Vietnam is very dependent on where you are. Because the country is elongated, there can be big differences between the north and south. The rainy season runs from May till October but it rarely rains all day; the rain is often limited to 1 to 2 hours a day. The climate in the north is subtropical, in the south it is tropical. In October and December typhoons can occur with abundant rainfall, this may possibly affect the itinerary.

Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Climate HCMC Samsara Vegan Travels Vietnam Climate Hanoi

Transport

Vietnam Distances

Transportation on this tour is done by a private bus, unless mentioned otherwise in the itinerary. Keep in mind that this is Vietnam and levels of comfort can deviate from what you are used to in your country, caused by factors such as road conditions, weather and local customs.
As Vietnam is a very long and stretched out country, distances between destinations can be quite far. This will result in some long travel days. We will make plenty of stops on the way for photographs, stretching the legs and possible attractions. To give you an impression of the distances we will be covering, have a look at the table below. Driving times do not include stops. In the Mekong delta we will use local boats on the canals. In Halong Bay we might be sharing our boat with other tourists, depending on the size of our own group.

Money

The Vietnamese currency is the Dong. You can exchange your Euros, US Dollars or your own currency at banks, exchange offices or in the hotel. Credit cards are also widely accepted. It also possible to withdraw money from cash machines with a debit card with Maestro or Cirrus symbol, especially in larger cities. We recommend to bring with you a smaller amount of cash in Euros, US Dollars or your own currency for emergency purposes and to take out most of the money on arrival. We recommend you do this immediately after arrival at the airport or near the hotel. If possible bring an additional credit and/or debit card for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

Safety and travel advice

For up-to-date information about the security situation in Vietnam, please visit the website of your national government. Travelers who reside in The Netherlands can find relevant information on Nederland Wereldwijd.

Travel documents

You are required to have a passport that is valid for the duration of you stay in Vietnam. For obtaining a tourist visa for Vietnam you have two options:

  • Option 1: Apply for a visa at the Vietnamese embassy in your country. You can do this directly by visiting the Vietnamese Embassy's website and filling out or downloading the appropriate forms or by using one of many commercial visa offices you can find online.
    More information about what type of visa you need, and the costs involved, you can use the following link for Vietnam Visa. Please ensure yourself of the through time for this application, we recommend to submit your request at least 4 weeks before departure. For travelers who reside in The Netherlands, forms can be found at Visumcentrale.
  • Option 2: Get your visa on arrival at the airport in Vietnam (Visa on arrival). This is the easiest and cheapest way to obtain your visa. Keep in mind though that you have to queue at the airport, which can take more than an hour at busy times. You can apply for your visa on arrival using the following link.

As a traveler you are responsible for having the right travel documents. For emergency purposes make a scan of your passport, visa, and other important documents and mail them to yourself, or put them online in the cloud. In case of theft or loss during the journey, make sure you always have copies of your important papers on hand.

Vaccinations

When you travel to other countries, it is important to prepare yourself well. For thorough advice on required vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis, contact your family doctor or a clinic specialized in vaccinations. Travelers who reside in The Netherlands can find relevant information on thuisvaccinatie.

Starting well on time with a vaccination program is essential as some vaccinations have to be repeated one or more times to be sufficiently effective. Make your 1st appointment at least 6 weeks before departure.

For Vietnam, in general, you are advised to protect yourself against the following diseases:

  • Hepatitis A
  • DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, polio)
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Malaria (advice on malaria prophylaxes for Myanmar varies, depending on itinerary but also country of residence, please show you doctor your travel itinerary)
  • Dengue (no vaccination possible, protection from mosquitoes is advised)

Check with your health and/or travel insurance whether costs for travel vaccinations will be reimbursed.

Accommodation

Samsara Vegan Travels Accommodation

All our hotels are located within walking distance of the city/town center and restaurants with vegan food, unless mentioned otherwise in the program. The hotels we have chosen are comfortable and all have private bathrooms and usually air conditioning. Because the exact accommodation can vary depending on the date and group size, we do not send a list. As a general example, rooms will look something like this (no swans were harmed for this photo).

Our advertised prices are based on double occupancy. If you travel alone and would like to have your own room, we will charge you the single's supplement as specified below. If you would like to share a room we will try to find another traveler of the same sex to share your room with. The single's supplement for this travel is € 350,- for the 21 day tour. For the 10 day tour the supplement is € 205,-. Rooms are generally fitted with two single beds, unless otherwise requested.

If you would like to arrive 1 or more days early, or would like to extend your stay after the tour has ended we can arrange a room for you in the hotel we are using for the tour. The daily rate for this is € 38,- for Saigon, € 40,- for Hoi An and € 40,- for Hanoi. This rate includes the occupancy for 1 or 2 people, and breakfast. For booking extra nights, you can use the section 'extra nights' in our booking form.

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Practical Information

Level of fitness

For this tour you need medium level of fitness. Long walks and bike rides are all optional. If you are in good health you can easily participate in this journey. To cover longer distances we use our own bus. Taxis are readily available and inexpensive.
Due to the active nature of this tour, it is not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Luggage

From a practical point of view, it is best not to bring a hard suitcase, these do not fit well in the luggage compartments of the bus. It is best to bring a backpack or flexible holdall. Take a careful look at what you want to bring with you. We know from experience that you usually have too much with you. You do have to carry your own bag from the bus to the hotel, so do not make it too heavy.

Dress

In Buddhist temples you must cover your shoulders and knees. Dress appropriately in places of worship or cultural significance.
Evenings in Vietnam can be a bit chilly, especially in the northern regions. Pack something warm to wear or use several layers of clothing. To prevent mosquito bites, we recommend that you wear clothing that covers the skin, especially at dusk.

Insurance

The costs of health care abroad or an unexpected repatriation can be huge, even in a country like Vietnam. Therefore, to prevent these high costs, you require travel insurance. For all our travels you are thus required to obtain adequate travel insurance for the full coverage of medical assistance and repatriation. Samsara Vegan Travels can ask for proof of this insurance. Failure to comply with this requirement can be cause for cancellation in accordance with our Terms and Conditions Terms and Conditions.
We also advise you to take out cancellation insurance, but this is not mandatory.

Travel medication

We advise you to bring a modest travel pharmacy containing painkillers, diarrhea tablets, ORS (Oral Re-hydration Salts), disinfectants, anti-histamine tablets and motion sickness tablets, if required.
If you are bringing other medication into the country, make sure these medications are permitted and ask your pharmacy to provide you with a list of subscribed medication.

Booking process

Reserve your spot on this vegan travel by filling out the booking form here. After we have received your application, we will send you a confirmation by email as soon as possible, but no later than within 72 hours. The booking is agreed with the submission of the booking form and from this moment on, cancellation is no longer possible without incurring cancellation costs.

For details regarding payment of the deposit and the remainder of the travel sum see our booking page.

The tour is confirmed to depart if at least the minimum required number of travelers have booked.
Do not book your international flights before you have received a message from us that the departure of the tour is confirmed.

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The Group

Your tour leaders

All travels to Vietnam will be accompanied by a Dutch+English+German speaking vegan tour leader. The tour leader is the first point of contact during the journey. They are excellent organizers and will be there to answer any questions you might have and help you with any issues that might arrive. Because we value freedom and choice during our travels, our tour leaders operate mostly in the background. They have a lot of knowledge about our destination countries, but they will not shower you with facts and figures all day long. We advise you to bring your own travel guide to get the most out of this trip.
In Vietnam, we use local guides to assist our tour leaders during our travels. These guides have extensive knowledge of the country and its practices.
Get to know our tour leaders here.
See the Dates & Prices which vegan tour leader is accompanying you on your tour.

Your travel companions

We travel in small groups, for Vietnam there is a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 travelers. The tour is confirmed to depart if at least the minimum number of travelers have made a booking. In some cases Samsara Vegan Travels can decide to confirm the departure, even if the required minimum number of travelers has not been reached.

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Dates & Prices

19 - 30 January 2020
10 Days
€ 1.678,-

Tour Leader: Brenda*

08 - 17 March 2020
10 Days
€ 1.596,-

Tour Leader: Stefan*

29 November - 19 December 2020
21 Days
€ 2.819,-

Tour Leader: Stefan*

29 November - 08 December 2020
10 Days
€ 1.596,-

Tour Leader: Stefan*

*Tour leader may change up until the last minute, due to unforeseen circumstances.

For EU residents, all our Travels are covered by STO Garant. For a detailed description in English of the Travel Guarantee, refer to the Terms and Conditions.)