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Explore exotic Vietnam by boat & bike

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VIETNAM BOAT & BIKE VACATION

Active Cultural Travel Experience

Vietnam, Asia
15 Days
€ 2,540 combadi price

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Holiday Type
Fixed date
Running Period
2014: Oct. 26th - Nov 9th, Nov. 9th - Nov. 23rd, Nov. 23rd - Dec. 7th, Dec. 7th - Dec. 21st 2015: Mar. 29th - Apr. 12

The Combadi Insight:

You should jump at the chance to experience Vietnam's rural landscapes & vibrant cities on your bike. A tour for the adventurous, for the inspired traveler. This trip is the definition of a travel experience into the heart of Asia.

Holiday Code: AL5

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This 15 day combined cycling and sailing holiday in Vietnam will introduce you to Vietnam's originality, overwhelming natural beauty and deep-rooted history. As a cycling vacation, you'll experience Vietnam's modern vibrant cities as well as its rural districts where time seemingly stands still - you'll also cycle through the imperial city of Hanoi and to mystical monasteries. Out at sea, your sailing holiday will introduce you to the emerald-green waters of the South China sea, the world renowned Ha Long Bay and Mekong Delta.

You'll also pass through nature reserves and floating markets, pedal up tall mountains, kayak to hidden coves and caves and enjoy pristine beaches. This epic tour is not just about biking and sailing - over the next 15 day's you'll be immersed in Vietnamese culture, customs and cuisine!

In Ha Long Bay, you'll be sailing in a traditional Vietnamese junk with 5 - 9 guest cabins furnished with a luxurious eastern Asian flair. All decks are above deck, with large windows, A/C and private bathrooms and showers. In the Mekong Delta, you'll be traveling in the largest and most modern ships in the region. Both ships feature full board serving exquisite Vietnamese cuisine.

This combined holiday requires only a basic fitness level as cycling route distances range from 10 - 30 km in moderately flat land.

Day 1

(Sunday) Arrival in Hanoi (D) Arrival at Hanoi airport where a transfer bus is waiting to take us to our hotel in the heart of Hanoi's old town centre. Despite its 3 million inhabitants, Hanoi seems rural and traditional. The historical old quarter is considered one of the best-preserved in all of Southeast Asia. During a first walk through the colourful, lively streets we can let ourself be captivated by the incomparable Asian flair. Late in the afternoon we have the opportunity to attend the famous water-puppet theatre, a traditional Vietnamese art form. We get to know our fellow travellers during a first communal dinner. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

(Monday) Hanoi – Hai Phong – Cat Ba (cycle tour approx. 28 km/ 17 mi.) (B,L,D) After breakfast our shuttle bus takes us past the vast rice fields to the city of Hai Phong. Upon arrival we board a speedboat at 10 am. It takes approx. 1 ¼ hours to get to Cat Ba. At the port of Phu Long we hop ashore and start our first bike ride. The first part leads us along the coast and later into the interior of the island. On a hilly road we cycle into the island’s capital to our hotel.

Day 3

(Tuesday) Cát Bà Island – Viet Hai village (cycle tour approx. 22 km/13 mi.) (B,L,D) Early in the morning we cycle 5 km until we reach a small pier. A one hour boat ride takes us and our bicycles to another small landing stage. From there we cycle to a secluded village of the Viet Hai minority. We leave our bicycles and continue on foot on a fascinating guided tour through a nature reserve in a nature protected primary forest. Here not only the wild and untouched flora will impress us but also the huge and brilliantly coloured butterflies. Our destination is one of the highest mountains of the island. On a clear day a magnificent view of the Ha Long Bay and the entire island is offered. After the tour we cycle back to the boat and let the day fade away at the Sunrise Resort and its private beach. The night is spent in the hotel.

Day 4

(Wednesday) Cat Ba – Gia Luan – Ha Long Bay (Kayak-day) (B,L,D) In the morning we have time to relax on the private beach or to visit the market in Cat Ba. After lunch at the hotel our transfer bus takes us to the port of Gia Luan where we board our boat and cruise to Ha Long Bay. After an interesting passage we reach the rocky wonderland of Ha Long Bay. With a kayak we participate on a discovering tour- the best way to reach the caves, lagoons and hidden coves. Afterwards our junk takes us close to the island of Soi Sim where we stay for the night.

Day 5

(Thursday) Ha Long Bay and Quan Lan Island (Kayak-Tag) (B,L,D) The day begins with a cruise to the Lam Bo channel with our junk and by kayak. There we explore the little known but very beautiful Me Cung cave. Me Cung means something like bewitching and beguiling. The entrance of the cave is so narrow that only one person can pass through. Then it expands to several small rooms with impressive stalagmites and stalactites. Inside of the cave it is dry and well ventilated. Once we have left the cave we have to ascend only a few steps in order to view the lagoon. A variety of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants live inside of the lagoon. Enjoy the view from the highest point of the island. If the weather allows we take our lunch on the island. In the afternoon a longer trip into the direction of Quan Lan is scheduled.

Day 6

(Friday) Quan Lan Island and Trà Bản Island (cycle route 29 + 10 km/ 18 mi. + 6 mi.) (B,L,D) In the morning we reach Quan Lan. The pristine white island is known for its spacious and completely untouched beaches which we explore by bike. Then we board our junk and cruise on into the direction of Trà Bản Island. On narrow roads and through green rice fields we start our tour on an island completely untouched by tourism. We will see Vietnams’ typical water buffalos and perhaps may even get a chance to talk with the local farmers who live in small villages along the way and who cultivate their fields continually. After an entertaining tour we return to our boat and cruise to Van Don Island.

Day 7

(Saturday) Van Don Island (cycle tour 33 km/ 20 mi.) (B,L) After breakfast we farewell our junk and the friendly crew and start our bicycle ride on the island Vân Đồn. First we cycle along the coast on a paved road, and then we cross nature paths through the well-wooded island interior. In a hotel at the port we have time to shower and to change clothes. From there a bus transfer takes us back to Hanoi. Along the way we have lunch in Ha Long City. In the evening we take a stroll through the bustling streets and alleys of the Vietnamese capital. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 8

(Sunday) Hanoi – Hue (approx. 10 km / 6 mi. by bike) (B, D) In the morning we fly from Hanoi to Hue which is beautifully located between hills and rice fields at a bend of the Perfume River. The spiritual heart of Vietnam beats here, in more than 300 temples and pagodas. In the afternoon we bicycle through this ancient imperial city to visit the expansive citadel with the “Forbidden Purple City” which was once exclusively reserved for the Ngyen dynasty. Afterwards we visit the Thien Mu Pagoda which is part of one of the most influential monasteries in Vietnam. The day ends with a leisurely boat trip on the Perfume River.

Day 9

(Monday) Hue – Hoi An (B, L) In the morning a transfer bus takes us to one of the famous Vietnamese Emperor’s tombs. Afterwards we continue by bus to Hoi An. En route we make a brief stop at the Cloud Pass, the weather line between North and South Vietnam and at the Marble Mountain with its numerous little sanctuaries.

Hoi An, once the most important port of Southeast Asia, has a delightful old centre inviting us to stroll around in the evening. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 10

(Tuesday) Hoi An (approx. 17 km / 11 mi. by bike) (B, D) Today we have the possibility to take a closer look into the daily life of the local farmers. In the morning we cycle to Tra Que, a small village in the suburban area of Hoi Ans. The name of the place originates from a sweet vegetable often used by the locals as a spice for their meals: a totally new and special kind of specialty! Our host prepares the meal together with us and explains this special ingredient to us. The afternoon can be planned individually: A stroll through the picturesque old town or a relaxing bathing afternoon at the white beach of Cua Dai.

Day 11

(Wednesday) Ho Chi Mihn City (B, D) In the morning we will be transferred to Da Nang and fly to Ho Chi Ming City, formerly Saigon. The city is the vibrant heart of the south. On a guided tour through the rapidly growing metropolis we visit the town hall, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum commemorating the Vietnam War. Overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 12

(Thursday) Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta (approx. 20 km / 12 mi. by bike) (B, L, D) After breakfast the transfer takes us to My Tho where we will check-in on a boat which brings us to Cai Be. During the short trip we cruise along the Mekong and enjoy the ample growing nature of the delta as well as the river related life of the inhabitants. By boat we move on north to Ben Tre. Here we have a relaxing cycle tour including sonly a few kilometers. Back on board lunch is served. In the afternoon the schedule includes the discovery of the green island Ngu Hiep and we have the opportunity to try exotic fruits while being astonished by different local handcrafts.

Day 13

(Friday) Mekong Delta – Islands of Vingh Long and Traon (approx. 30 km / 19 mi. by bike) (B, L, D) In the morning we cross over to Vingh Long Island and under palm-shaded paths we cycle around the island. We continue by boat to Traon Island where we once more have the opportunity to explore the surroundings by bike. Later on we can enjoy the excellent cuisine on board and the wonderful evening atmosphere in the water labyrinth of the Mekong Delta.

Day 14

(Saturday) Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City (B, L) During breakfast the ship takes us to Can Tho, where we will be transferred to a small boat taking us to Cai Rong, the most famous floating market of the Delta. Make sure to have your camera ready before getting caught up in the unique atmosphere of the merchants on their gaily painted boats. The following cruise through the small tributaries of the Delta completes our visit in the south. After lunch on board of the Conchinchine we check-out and are transferred back to Ho Chi Minh City. Departure is possible from 8 pm onwards.

Day 15

(Sunday) Departure (B) Departure after breakfast or prolongation in Ho Chi Minh City or Siem Reap.

  • 15 day trip / 14 nights of which 5 overnight stays are on comfortable ships in conditioned double cabins and 9 overnight stays in excellent hotels (at least 3 stars ranking)
  • Catering as specified in the itinerary
  • Domestic flights (see description)
  • Guided bicycle tours, walks and kayak tours
  • All city tours and entrance charges to National Parks, museums, etc.
  • English speaking guides
  • 21 speed trekking bikes or MTB

Services Not Included in the Basic Tour Price

  • Outward flight to Hanoi and return flight from Ho Chi Minh City
  • Drinks on board and in hotels
  • Single room or single cabin charge (prices upon request)
  • International banking fees: 50 euro (bank transfer) or 2% of total amount (credit card payment)
  • Meals not described in itinerary
  • Visa
  • Tips for crew and tour guides

Alterations

On account of unpredictable wind and weather conditions as well as organisational requirements we reserve the right to change routes.

**Requirements (Level 1-2) **

The cycle routes require a certain level of fitness which one should have required by regular cycling trips. The bike routes have a length of approx. 25 / 16 mi. and lead through hilly or mountainous areas and will be completed without time constraints. The roads are mainly asphalted, but good accessible natural roads are crossed as well.

Helmet Use

Helmet Use is mandatory on all bike rides. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own (well-fitted) helmet.

Children

We believe that only children in a good physical condition and of a minimum age of 10 and with previous bicycle tour experience are able to master the bike-tours on their own strength. Please note that the minimum height for a rental bike is 1.50 m (5 ft.)

Hotels

In Hanoi, on Cat Bay Island, in Hue and Hoi An (Central Vietnam) and in Ho Chi Minh City you spend the night in very good 3 - 4 star hotels.

Catering

The price includes catering as specified in the itinerary which at all stages of the journey comprises local and regional cuisine (B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner).

Boat

Vietnamese Junks (Ha Long Bay) Carved dragon heads decorate the prow of the junks in the Ha Long and Bai Tu Bay. Dragons belong to the circle of four sacred animals of Vietnam. Proudly they guide the traditional wooden boats through the fairytale cliffs of the South China Sea. It is easy to feel at home on the junks: The saloon with its upholstered wicker furniture and colourful carpets feels like a living room. For each meal the tables are lovingly set and the folded cloth napkins are a piece of art. The crew in their brilliant white uniforms, greets you warmly with a welcome drink - hospitality is rated very highly in Vietnam.

The boats have 5 - 9 guest cabins furnished in Far Eastern Style to give off the right Asian flair. All cabins have individually regulated air conditioning. The cabins are located between decks, with doors opening to the outside. The large cabin windows guarantee a good view at all times. Each cabin has its own tiled bathroom with shower and WC. On the large sundeck, deckchairs with comfortable padded matting are at your disposal. Here you can relax while the boat cruises through the fascinating island world while Vietnam's red flag with the yellow star flutters above your head.

LE COCHINCHINE (Mekong Delta) In the Mekong Delta you sail on the "Conchinchine", one of the largest and most modern ships in the region. Its shape is reminiscent of the travelling barques of the famous river delta in southern Vietnam. The journey of the 27 m long and 6.5 m wide, comfortable wooden boat is protected by the watchful dark eyes painted on the prow with a red background. Three times a day the generously proportioned saloon turns into a dining room with beautifully set tables . The ship has 10 completely wood-panelled double cabins with French or two single beds. Each cabin has a tiled bath with shower and WC. There is, of course, also a large sundeck with padded deckchairs - probably the best place to experience first hand the lively activities in the many tributaries of the Mekong Delta.

Extended Stay

Extend your Vacation in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City Would you like to spend time in Hanoi before the start of your tour or would you like to enjoy some additional days in Vietnam after the tour? Then we would recommend extending your holiday for a couple more days in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

For Hanoi as well as for Ho Chi Minh City we would like to offer you additional accommodation in those hotels that are also part of the tour program in the start or end of the normal trip.

Especially advisable is a pre-extension of 2 days in Hanoi. You will get the chance to acclimatise and explore some sights of the city on your own. On request we would also arrange a guided city tour in Hanoi. Should more fellow passengers be interested in a guided tour we would also be able to offer a group tour. A more favourable price could be offered accordingly. Please keep in mind that the city tour may take up a whole day.

For Ho Chi Minh City the guided city tour is already included into the tour. However, we are able to arrange further sightseeing or excursions (i.e. to the Cu Chi-tunnel system of the Vietcong or the Vam Sat Biosphere game reserve).

Hotel Silk Path in Hanoi

Description and Booking of the Hotel Silk Path The newly opened ****Silk Path Hotel is situated in the city centre of the Vietnamese capital city Hanoi. The most important sights like the old town, the Hoan Kiem Lake or the cathedral are reachable on foot (15 minutes) from the hotel.

106 rooms of the hotel offer free Internet access, tea and coffee maker, free mineral water, plasma TV, satellite TV and a safe in the room. The wellness area has a fitness room, sauna, steam bath and a Jacuzzi – open for the use of the hotel guests at no charge.

A double room with breakfast is offered from 60 euro per person the night while a single room would be charged with 110 euro the night.

Hotel Liberty Central in Ho Chi Minh City Description and Booking of the Hotel Liberty Central The **** Liberty Central Hotel is situated in the metropolis of Saigon. Cathedral and the reunification palace are within walking distance from the hotel, the famous Benh Tanh Market is situated next door.The booked deluxe rooms are equipped with a safe, mini bar, air-conditioning, flat screen TV and wireless LAN. - Single room with breakfast: from 55 euro per person - Double room with breakfast: from 95 euro

Additional Module Siem Reap

The extensive establishments of Angkor Vat are certainly part of the world wonders and are perfect for an extension of your Vietnam holiday. The programme consists of less difficult cycle tours; some distances covered by foot and of course mostly of sight seeing of the impressing establishment. Use the opportunity and do not miss out on Angkor Vat.

  1. Day (Sun) Flight Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap and bicycle tour countryside (cycle tour approx. 40 kilometers/ 25 miles) (B) In the morning your tour guide welcomes you at the airport Siem Reap to bring you to the Hotel in the city centre. Siem Reap is a small town in the French colonial style situated north of the biggest lake of south-east Asia: the Tonle Sap. The town with its charming houses and neat hotel resorts - which were built after the slow fallback of the Red Khmer- are worth a sightseeing round with the bicycle. On calm country roads we cycle through villages along the pagoda, lakes full of lotus flowers and rice fields. After 15 kilometres (9,3 miles) we reach the temple group of Roluos which consists of the Bakong-, Preah Ko- and Loleitemple. Roluos was the former capital of the Angkor regime during the 9th century. After visiting the unbelievable architecture of the temple we cycle back to Siem Reap where we are free to decide how to spend the rest of the day.

  2. Day (Mon) Siem Reap – Phnomh Kulen (approx. 50 cycle kilometers/ 31 miles and 2 hours by foot) (B,L) After breakfast a cycle tour leads us to Phomh Kulen. Along a quiet dirt-road we will pass different temples and monasteries before parking our bicycles on the Rattanak Tey pagoda. From here we discover the hill Phnomh Kulen by foot. It is known as the cradle of Angkors culture. We move all the way up the hill - partly climbing stairs. On the way we find many picturesque places for breaks. Up there we enjoy a picnic close to a waterfall where we might as well take a refreshing swim. Afterwards we hike back to our bicycles and a transfer vehicle will take us back to Siem Reap.

  3. Day (Tue) Angkor Vat by bike (approx. 40 cycle kilometers/ 25 miles) (B,L) Today we explore the wonderful temple of Angkor by bicycle. First we drive through the typical countryside of Cambodia to the temple of Ta Prohm - known for its tree covered brickwork. Next stop is the Bayon temple with its 37 towers. More highlights of today are the terraces of the so called Leprosy- King, the terrace of the elephants and of course the Angkor Vat temple. It was built during the years 800 and 1200 A.D. and displays one of the most astonishing architectural achievements in all mankind. The evening is free and can be enjoyed, however, in Siem Reap.

  4. Day (Wed) Farewell

lterations On account of unpredictable weather conditions as well as organisational requirements we reserve the right to change routes.

Requirements (Level 1-2) The cycle routes require a certain level of fitness which one should have aqcuired by regular cycling trips. The bike routes have a length of approx. 25 / 16 mi. and lead through hilly or mountainous areas and will be crossed without time constraints. The roads are mainly asphalted, but good accessible natural roads are crossed as well. An air-conditioned support vehicle will always be close to the cyclists.

Helmet Use Helmet Use is mandatory on all bike rides. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own (well-fitted) helmet.

Children We believe that only children in a good physical condition and of a minimum age of 10 and with previous bicycle tour experience are able to master the bike-tours on their own strength. Please note that the minimum height for a rental bike is 1.50 m (5 ft.)

Catering The price includes catering as specified in the itinerary which at all stages of the journey comprises of local and regional cuisine (B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner).

Participants

Minimum 10 participants Maximum 20 participants Price 550 Euro per person in a double room.

Accomplishments Angkor

4-day trip/ 3 overnight stays in a very good (at least 3 star) Hotel in Siem Reap Support vehicle with air-condition Catering as described in tour devolution Guided cycle tours and hikes as described in programme All local conducted tours, city tours and entry fees for national park and museums German and english speaking tour guides Water and snacks/ fruits during excursions Rental bikes Experienced english speaking tour guide

Not included in price Angkor:

Flight Ho Chi Minh City – Siem Reap (1 way = 150 Euro, can be booked via islandhopping) Drinks Visa to Cambodia (20$ at entry) Personal costs Single room / single room surcharge (price on request) Tips Visa requirements: Please contact the Cambodian embassy or foreign office in your home country for exact information.

Booking If you would like to book the Siem Reap module, please make a request in your Vietnam online-booking-form.

Travel Information

Journey and Arrival

A trip to Vietnam and a holiday there require a certain amount of preparation in regard to formalities. In order to avoid time pressure while going through the formalities, you should have booked your trip to Vietnam at least two months before commencement of the tour.

Flights

It is recommended that you book your flight through your travel agent. Please note that you have to book your approaching flight to Hanoi and the return flight from Ho Chi Minh City. If at all possible, the approaching flight should land before noon on the arrival day. The return flight should in no case take off before 20.00 hours. The earlier a flight is booked the better the chances to find a reasonably priced ticket. Please let your travel agent inform you what is best in your specific case.

Visa Requirements

In order to enter Vietnam, foreigners need a passport valid for at least 6 months and a valid visa to be obtained from the Vietnamese embassy. The following documents must be submitted either in person or by mail: passport (original document, not a copy!), completed application form, current passport photograph (4 x 6 cm), visa fee as a non-negotiable cheque or in cash, and a sufficiently prepaid envelope for registered mail. Please take into account that the processing takes ca. 2 weeks. Please contact the Vietnamese embassy or foreign office in your home country for exact information.

Inoculations

There are absolutely no required inoculations for Vietnam. The institutes for tropical diseases, however, recommend a vaccination against hepatitis A and under certain circumstances also against typhoid. Since some of these inoculations have to be repeated, you should plan these well in advance. A sufficient tetanus protection as well as an inoculation against polio and diphtheria (single vaccination, so-called three-way combination) should also be guaranteed. A prophylactic malaria treatment is not absolutely necessary. We recommend that you see your family doctor or a doctor for tropical diseases at least two months before the trip in order to get the necessary advice.

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