Vietnam - From North to South by Train, Motorcycle & Bus

On this trip you will experience the best of Vietnam and a little more! You travel around from north to south by mainly train, motorcycle and bus. The trip combines beautiful nature experiences and meetings with many different minority people.

This is the trip for you who want to see a little more of Vietnam, who has plenty of time and an open mind. The trip offers a bit of everything and you travel around this elongated country by mainly train and bus. You also travel on the back of a motorcycle and a distance is flown. We have combined beautiful nature experiences, exciting cities and culture with meetings with many different minority people. You get the opportunity to see places that other tourists rarely get to experience and travel around in a fun and sustainable way.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1: Departure from Sweden

You fly from Sweden to Vietnam, where you arrive the next day.

Day 2: Arrival in Hanoi

Once in Hanoi, you will be picked up and driven to the city center. Hanoi is one of Asia’s most charming and romantic cities. It is a cozy and green city, filled with large lush trees, many small and large parks as well as beautiful French mansions. Especially the old town is charming, with the lake Hoan Kiem, the narrow alleys and the smell of freshly baked baguettes.

Day 3: Hanoi

After breakfast at the hotel, you will be picked up by an English-speaking guide and take part in a group tour. You visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum, the Ho Chi Minh House – a house where he lived from 1958 to 1969, and the “One Column Pagoda”. Then the tour continues to West Lake to visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda and enjoy a good lunch. The tour then continues towards the Temple of Literature, the Ethnographic Museum and the famous Hoan Kiem Lake. The tour ends with a short walk in the capital’s lively old quarter and ends when you return to the hotel. The rest of the day you can do whatever you want.

Day 4: Hanoi – night train to Sapa

You can do whatever you want during the day until in the evening you have to get to Hanois train station to travel on by night train. You can spend the whole day exploring Hanoi on your own. The city is full of life and has a fascinating mix of influences from both east and west. The Chinese influences are clear after centuries of cultural dominance in the area and also French influences are visible after the country’s time as a French colony. You will be picked up at the hotel about an hour before the train departs and driven to the station. From here, take the night train (compartment for four people) to Lao Cai.

Day 5: Minority walk in Sapa

You will arrive at the train station in Lao Cao early in the morning and from there you will be picked up and driven to Sapa by bus. The bus journey takes about an hour. Around 09:00 it is time to head towards the beautiful village of Cat Cat (about 6 km away) which is home to the Hmong people. Hmong is one of the largest but also poorest minority groups in the Sapa area. However, they are proud of their culture and stick to their traditions and old ways of life. They have their own language and wear traditional indigo blue clothes.

Day 6: Minority walk in Sapa

After breakfast, a hike to the village of Lao Chai awaits and on the way it is perfect to have lunch in the beautiful surroundings. In the afternoon, the hike continues to the village of Ta Van where you can visit the minority people Zay. Zay is a relatively small minority people consisting of about 38,000 people. They live mainly in the mountains of northwestern Vietnam. The rapid and continuous development in Vietnam has led to the loss of some of the ancient traditions of the Zay people. However, many of the women still wear the traditional and characteristic purple, blue or green clothes. Dinner is served at a local family and you stay at the homestay

Day 7: Sapa – night train to Hanoi

On this day, it’s hiking to the village of Giang Ta Chai that counts. There you will see how the Yao people live and learn more about their traditions and customs. The women’s clothes are adorned with very colorful embroidery and they wear red turbans on their heads. Some of the women have even shaved off their eyebrows because hairless faces are considered to be particularly beautiful by the people here. Lunch is served in Giang Ta Chai. Then the journey continues by jeep from Giang Ta Chai to Sapa where you check in at a hotel and can enjoy a well-deserved swim. After this, take a bus to the train station and from there take a night train back to Hanoi. Overnight on the night train. (Coupe for four people)

Day 8: Hanoi – Ha Long Bay

You arrive in Hanoi very early in the morning and take a taxi (at your own expense) to the hotel in Hanoi. You have time to go out and buy some breakfast and around 8 o’clock you will be picked up because it is time to go on a group trip to Ha Long Bay. The journey takes about 4 hours with a few stops on the way. You arrive in the city of Ha Long and board the ship at lunchtime. While enjoying a nice lunch on board the ship, you can also enjoy a great view of Ha Long Bay. After lunch, the boat docks and you get a guided tour of the Sung Sot Cave which is one of the largest caves in Vietnam. After that visit you continue to the Luon cave area which is full of stalactites and which at the deepest point of the cave has a small lake with very clear water called “Royal Garden”. There you get to see a lot of species of birds and monkeys and maybe even take a little swim in the clear water. You return to the ship only in the evening where a Vietnamese hot pot dinner awaits and then you can e.g. play a board game, watch a movie or relax and enjoy the beautiful starry sky.

Day 9: Ha Long Bay

The day offers experiences in an area of ​​Ha Long Bay that only a few tourists have the opportunity to explore. After breakfast on board the ship, you visit a cave where you also have the opportunity to try rafting. The ship then continues further north and you can enjoy the beautiful view along the way. On board one of the smaller boats you can then explore the beautiful beaches and look for hidden treasures in the area. Late in the afternoon you go back and dinner is served on the ship’s deck. Then enjoy the evening on board before going to bed.

Day 10: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Night train to Hué

Get up early and enjoy the sunrise or sleep a little longer. You check out around 09:30. On the last part of the trip, you can enjoy the beautiful rock formations of Ha Long Bay while enjoying a good lunch. Back on land, the journey continues back to Hanoi. You will arrive at the hotel in the late afternoon. Later that evening you will be picked up and driven to the train station. From there, the night train departs from Hanoi to Hué. You sleep on the train, in a “Soft Sleeper” compartment for four people equipped with air conditioning.

Day 11: Hué

The train arrives at Hué, known as Vietnam’s imperial city, in the morning. There you will be picked up at the train station and driven to the hotel. After lunch you can spend the rest of the day doing exactly what you feel like. For example, you can go exploring in the city, relax after the train journey or maybe go shopping a bit. Hué offers many different possibilities. You can e.g. sail on the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda. This octagonal pagoda with its seven floors is beautifully situated on a hill overlooking the river and is known as one of the city’s landmarks. You can also visit the imperial city of Hué, beautiful pagodas and royal tombs, including the famous tomb of Emperor Tu Duc.

Day 12: Hué – DMZ * – Hué

You will be picked up at the hotel in the morning and driven to Quang Tri. On the way you stop at the Hien Luong Bridge (Ben Hai River) which was previously an important border in the division of North and South Vietnam. From here it is a short drive of about 30 minutes to the Vinh Moc tunnels where 60 families sought refuge during the Vietnam War. Late in the afternoon, the journey returns to the hotel in Hué again. * DMZ Vietnam (the demilitarized zone) was established as a dividing line between North and South Vietnam as a result of the Indochina War between France and Vietnam during the years 1946-1954. Most of the fighting took place in North Vietnam, although the conflict affected the whole of Vietnam and also spread to neighboring Laos and Cambodia.

Day 13: Hué – Hoi An

After breakfast, it’s time to leave Hué and drive towards Hoi An. Along the way you stop at Marmorberget. In the middle of the day you arrive at Hoi An where lunch is served at a local restaurant. The fishing village of Hoi An is often called the best preserved historic city in Vietnam and has many beautiful ancient houses and temples. Some of the village’s oldest buildings were built during the 19th century. In the afternoon, take a private guided walk through Hoi An’s Old Quarter. The old quarters are protected as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. This means, among other things, that cars are banned in many of the narrow streets and alleys. The tour also includes a visit to the beautiful Japanese bridge and the well-preserved Phung Hung buildings and the Phuc Kien meeting place, as well as a local market in Hoi An.

Day 14: On the bike ride in Hoi An

You will be picked up at the hotel in the morning and driven to the place that is the starting point for the day’s bike ride. The day begins along the beautiful Thu Bon River where you pass a small fishing village. You continue along nature trails and rice fields, palm groves and water buffalo. You cook and have lunch with a local family who lives in the village and produces organic vegetables. The tour ends when you return to the hotel towards the end of the afternoon.

Day 15–17: Hoi An

From day 15 to day 17, you can experience Hoi An on your own. You have many different options. You can be active and stroll around the city on a journey of discovery or relax with a good book at the hotel. You can take a day trip to the My Son ruins outside Hoi An. The ruins date from the prehistoric Cham period and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can also visit one of the city’s many talented tailors. You can buy a brand new wardrobe for a relatively inexpensive amount of money. Alternatively, take a trip to the nearby long sandy beach of Cua Dai, located five kilometers east of Hoi An. A visit to the beach is perfect if you want to swim among the high waves and sunbathe. You can rent a bike to ride there. Just a few meters from the sea there are sun loungers for rent and many other innovative services.

Day 18: Hoi An – Da Nang – Nha Trang

In the morning, you will be picked up at the hotel and driven to Da Nang Airport. From there, your flight goes to Nha Trang. On arrival you will be driven to your hotel located in central Nha Trang.

Day 19: Nha Trang

This day you have all day to explore Nha Trang on your own. The city has 350,000 inhabitants, is located right by the sea and has a well-known beach. This has made Nha Trang one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a good place for sunbathing and to recharge with new energy before you travel on.

Day 20: Nha Trang – Lake Ho Lak in Dak Lak

Two days filled with adventure await you. At the back of a motorcycle, you ride the “Easy Rider” around the country to places where ordinary tourists rarely set foot. You get the opportunity to see Vietnam from a new and different point of view and also learn more about the culture and history of this magical and exciting country. The drivers drive calmly and stop at many small places where they show local crafts and help you get in touch with the locals. On this day, the trip goes to Lake Ho Lak, which is located in a uniquely beautiful area in the highlands of Vietnam.

Day 21: Ho Lak Lake – Da Lat (motorcycle)

On this day, the tour continues to Da Lat, located in the heart of Vietnam’s central highlands. This area is known for its beautiful mountain scenery and myriad of lakes, waterfalls and lush forests. A large number of ethnic minorities live here and therefore it is a good opportunity to get a little insight into their everyday lives. Most travelers come here to hike in the surrounding mountains or to take an Easy Rider ride.

Day 22: By bus to Ho Chi Minh City

On this day you take a local bus to Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 23: Ho Chi Minh City – Homecoming

If you have some time left before your flight departs, you can treat yourself to one last discovery trip in the city. You can also take the opportunity to buy the last souvenirs. You take a taxi to the airport yourself. Of course, when you leave depends on when your flight departs.

Day 24: Arrival in Scandinavia

Arrival in Scandinavia. The time of arrival in Sweden depends on which airline you travel with.

Overnight stays

Fifteen nights at a budget hotel
Three nights on a train
One night on a homestay
Two nights on a boat in Ha Long Bay

Vietnam - From North to South by Train, Motorcycle & Bus