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A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
A Cultural Paradise

Travelling through Vietnam will give you the opportunity to experience a country that is both a natural wonderland and a mosaic of complex cultures rich with history. The beaches in Vietnam are arguably among the best in the world and the majority of them lie casually along the coastline with nothing on them but soft white-sand. Wondrous sights like the limestone islands in Halong Bay that rise from the water like natural sculptures highlight a country that will amaze you with its beauty. But the good looks of Vietnam will not overshadow the experience of being immersed into a culture so starkly different from your own. Travelling from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) north through the entire country to Hanoi will allow you to see the full spectrum of life in Vietnam from hill tribes farming rice in the mountains to students practicing English in the city parks. On top of the beauty and culture, a generous exchange rate and ridiculously low prices also make Vietnam a great place to travel for those on a budget or a wicked place to go shopping for those who like getting all their clothes tailor-made!

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Saigon

Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is the largest city in Vietnam and the epicentre of the rapidly progressing country. The war in Vietnam has been over for a generation, but evidence of the brutal struggles the Vietnamese people went through is visible everywhere - especially in the hearts and minds of the people who are determined to pull Vietnam into the developed world. Ho Chi Minh City is a swarm of activity, the streets flow with a constant stream of motorcycles like rivers and the traffic never stops. Beautiful French architecture meshes with Vietnamese innovation as colourful stacked buildings decorate the skyline. Ho Chi Minh City continues to be one of the cheapest cities in the world as well with massive markets selling everything you could imagine and luxury hotels offering rooms at incredibly budget prices. Flying into this huge city in Southern Vietnam is a super cool experience and just how we begin our 20-day Vietnam trip!

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Jungle Beach

The secluded beach paradise of Jungle Beach is the part of our Vietnam trip where we get to escape the hustle and bustle of the world and take life free and easy on this very long and very wide soft white-sand beach. The beach stretches out far in each direction and has some of the clearest water in Southeast Asia washing gingerly up onto its shore. The water at Jungle Beach often feels more like a sand-bottom bathtub than an ocean! And with little else around besides the cool beach bungalows and restaurant of Jungle Beach we stay in, we usually have this incredible beach all to ourselves. Spend your days at Jungle Beach lazing in the sun, reading in a hammock, tossing a frisbee or playing beach volleyball, hiking to nearby waterfalls, having beach fires at night and simply enjoying life on the beach!

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Hoi An

Sure to be one of the most charming and enjoyable cities you'll ever visit, Hoi An is void of the plague of pollution and heavy traffic that dampers so many other cities. Instead it has a heritage of wonderfully preserved old buildings, roads and bridges that display ancient Japanese and Chinese architecture. The riverfront is lit-up by colourful lanterns at night that shine through sculpted fountains in the river and provide a quaint night-time atmosphere that rivals any European city. Besides visiting the nearby Cham Islands, a great activity in Hoi An is shopping. With gorgeous, high-quality fabrics and a plethora of skilled tailors, Hoi An is not only one of the best places to purchase tailor-made clothes but also the cheapest. Fashionable dresses, suits, jeans, jackets, shoes and pretty well any garment you can dream up can be custom-made for you and sold at a price as cheap as used clothes at Goodwill!

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Hué

With its old style buildings from the days of Imperial Vietnam built beautifully around the Perfume River, Hue (pronounced 'hway') is a very nice city with a splendid environment surrounding it. A Unesco World Heritage site and former capital of the Nguyen emperors, Hue is a city where old meets new in Vietnam. Mystical temples and old Asian-style mansions and properties now sit alongside towering hotels, growing industry and typical Vietnamese streets crowded with motorbikes. However, much work has been and continues to be done to restore Hue's former splendour, much of which was destroyed during the Vietnam War. And with a charming backpacker district and a couple very fun bars, it is easy to enjoy your time in Hue where luxurious living comes cheap!

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Sapa

Deep in the hills of Northern Vietnam, lies the old French-built town of Sapa. Surrounded by thousands of towering rice terraces and hill-tribe villages, this town seems like it was pulled from a past world. Clouds roll in and make seeing a few feet in front of you difficult and then as quickly as they came, they leave and reveal the astonishing world of lush green mountains and villagers adorned in beautiful, colourful clothing living life as they have for thousands of years. As our bus winds up, up, up into the mountains you will definitely feel like you're going somewhere completely different when you travel to Sapa, one of the most epic destinations on our Vietnam trip!

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Halong Bay

Named 1 of the 7 New Wonders of the World, Halong Bay is one of Mother Nature's works of art. Thousands of limestone islands rise from the calm, azure water in the bay like towering sculptures and hide beaches, grottoes and massive caves around its cliffs. Tropical fauna grows around the rocks and misty clouds float above the cliffs seemingly wrapping you up in the mysterious world of the bay. Its name means 'where the dragon descends into the sea' as Vietnamese legend has it that Halong Bay was created by a great dragon plunging into the sea.

If that's not epic enough for you, on our Vietnam trip we get to enjoy the stunning sights of Halong Bay from the comfort of an old wooden junk ship. The boat is equipped with a fully staffed bar and restaurant, nice private rooms and a huge, wide open sun deck. Plus the boats look cool as hell and fit the majestic backdrop of Halong Bay wonderfully. The junk ships also make for the perfect setting to celebrate being in this amazing place with a good old-fashioned boat party! It's actually hard to find something about Halong Bay that isn't epic.

 
A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
Hanoi

A bustling yet beautiful city, Hanoi is the jewelled capital of Vietnam. From revolutionary museums to ancient pagodas to "Uncle Ho" Chi Minh's mausoleum to famous water-puppet shows. And with a super rad old district in the town's centre where we stay, there is plenty of opportunity to find great pubs, cool stores and french-style cafes to relax in or find the lines of small stools on the streets where you can sit and drink Vietnam's ultra cheap bia hoi (fresh beer) and take in the city's happenings the local way!

20 days in Vietnam
A Cultural Paradise

A Cultural Paradise

Travelling through Vietnam will give you the opportunity to experience a country that is both a natural wonderland and a mosaic of complex cultures rich with history. The beaches in Vietnam are arguably among the best in the world and the majority of them lie casually along the coastline with nothing on them but soft white-sand. Wondrous sights like the limestone islands in Halong Bay that rise from the water like natural sculptures highlight a country that will amaze you with its beauty. But the good looks of Vietnam will not overshadow the experience of being immersed into a culture so starkly different from your own. Travelling from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) north through the entire country to Hanoi will allow you to see the full spectrum of life in Vietnam from hill tribes farming rice in the mountains to students practicing English in the city parks. On top of the beauty and culture, a generous exchange rate and ridiculously low prices also make Vietnam a great place to travel for those on a budget or a wicked place to go shopping for those who like getting all their clothes tailor-made!

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A Cultural Paradise
Vietnam
A Cultural Paradise

Travelling through Vietnam will give you the opportunity to experience a country that is both a natural wonderland and a mosaic of complex cultures rich with history. The beaches in Vietnam are arguably among the best in the world and the majority of them lie casually along the coastline with nothing on them but soft white-sand. Wondrous sights like the limestone islands in Halong Bay that rise from the water like natural sculptures highlight a country that will amaze you with its beauty. But the good looks of Vietnam will not overshadow the experience of being immersed into a culture so starkly different from your own. Travelling from Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) north through the entire country to Hanoi will allow you to see the full spectrum of life in Vietnam from hill tribes farming rice in the mountains to students practicing English in the city parks. On top of the beauty and culture, a generous exchange rate and ridiculously low prices also make Vietnam a great place to travel for those on a budget or a wicked place to go shopping for those who like getting all their clothes tailor-made!

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Itinerary for this adventure

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Day 1-3 Ho Chi Minh City
Group flight arrives late in the evening. Meet your group over drinks at the guesthouse. The following days we will visit the War Remnants Museum, and the Cu Chi Tunnels tour. Free time to explore the capital of Vietnam, formerly known as Saigon. The last day take private minibus transfer* to the train station and board the night train North to Nha Trang. *on this adventure all transportation is private except for the night train where the group's rooms will be located together.
Day 4-6 Jungle Beach
Arrive off the night train and take the bus to Jungle Beach. Enjoy a relaxed pace in this secluded beach paradise. On our last day, we will take a large private over-night sleeper bus from Jungle Beach straight to Hoi An.
Day 7-9 Hoi An
Arrive off the night bus in the morning in Hoi An which is sure to be one of the most charming and enjoyable cities you'll ever visit. Hoi An is not only one of the best places to purchase tailor-made clothes but also the cheapest, the beaches are also nearby, and this is your best chance on the trip to try scuba-diving.
Day 10-12 Hué
Get ready for the ride of your life: the Free & Easy Rider motorcycle adventure! We will form a huge convoy of large motorbikes driven by experienced local drivers and see the best that Vietnam has to offer on our way to Hué. Discoveries are endless in the ancient capital which was built around the Perfume River. On the last day we'll take the night train to Hanoi.
Day 13 Sapa
From our morning arrival, we'll take the bus to Sapa. Deep in the hills of Northern Vietnam, lies this old French-built town. Surrounded by thousands of towering rice terraces and ancient hill-tribe villages, this town seems like it was pulled from a past world.
Day 14 Rice Terrace Trek
The rice terraces of Sapa offer incredible views, many of which are only accessible by foot. By treking to these remote villages, you will gain a unique insight into local hill-tribe lifestyle. We will even spend the night in a small village living like a local.
Day 15 Sapa
A leisurely trek back to Sapa, and there will still be plenty of time to visit the street markets, explore the town, enjoy locally grown coffee or locally brewed "Bia Hoi".
Day 16 Hanoi
Take the bus to Hanoi. A bustling yet beautiful city, Hanoi is the jewelled capital of Vietnam. Our hotel in Old Town is minutes away from revolutionary museums, ancient pagodas, art shops, Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, famous water-puppet shows, and more.
Day 17 Halong Bay
Take bus to Halong Bay. Board our private Free & Easy Chinese Junk-Style Ship equipped with a bar, large sun-deck, dining space, 2 person cabins w/ bathrooms, cooks, full crew and music! Cruise the bay between over 3000 looming, limestone isles rising from the emerald waters. The scenery is a true masterpiece of nature. Sleep overnight on the boat.
Day 18-20 Hanoi
After returning to the pier on our boat, we'll take the bus back to Hanoi. The Capital of Vietnam offers opportunities for last minute shopping, endless hidden gems, and plenty of backpacker nightlife including karaoke. Perfect for the last nights before the group departs.

To live Free and Easy is to live without busy, rigid schedules. Each destination provides some amazing activities, but we make sure that free time is there so you can take part in all of them or none of them, do as much or as little as you want. 'Take time, breathe it all in, no rush!'

More detailed information about what's included, destination information and activities are listed on this page.

Please note: The above itinerary is subject to change. A confirmed Free & Easy trip itinerary with exact routing will be provided at least 30 days prior to trip departure. 

Epic Experiences you will have on this adventure

Experience a Southeast Asian Night Train

Travel days are a big part of traveling, it's not all beaches and palm trees as you have to get from one place to another somehow and it usually involves uncomfortable seating, crappy bathrooms and long, hot layovers waiting for buses, planes, boats and trains. But travel days are meant to be enjoyed and can often be some of the greatest days of your trip, and there is perhaps no better way to travel than by train! A night train is just what it sounds like: an overnight train, complete with tiny bench seats and bunk-beds. So what may seem to some as a dull and cramped travel day is to us a massive slumber party with a group of friends! Stuck together all night, we like to make the most of the night trains; from card games to the hilarious revelations of ‘Never have I ever,’ squeeze in tight on the benches and beds, bring a can of beer and just get to know one another.

Go Scuba Diving

Diving is like no other experience on Earth. Life under the water is silent and peaceful, everything is flowing and moving in a way that we land creatures are unaccustomed to. Despite all of our high tech equipment, we are extremely out of our element in the water and it is a humbling experience to watch and observe what life is like under the sea. Fish come in all shapes, sizes and colours and move together in a harmonious unison through beautiful coral and twisted sunlight. On our trips, scuba diving is a huge activity as we travel to countries that offer some of the best diving in the world. The Caribbean in Central America possesses the second largest reef in the world, the warm waters of the South Pacific in Southeast Asia are home to the largest diversity of sea-life in the world and the seas of the Mediterranean are full of rich history and beauty. There is a whole universe under the ocean and experiencing what’s it like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!

Streetside Bia Hoi

Some of the best and cheapest beer you will ever have is the Bia Hoi found in Vietnam. Available on pretty much every street corner, be ready to plunk yourself down into the tiniest little plastic stool you’ve ever seen. Drinking Bia Hoi on the street corners and sidewalks of Vietnam is a local experience, not to be missed by any backpacker. Bia Hoi is brewed daily, and then matured for an extremely short period with no preservatives. This means that it’s refreshing, low in alcohol, and downright cheap. Think $0.15 a glass. That’s right…15 cents for a pint of delicious, freshly brewed beer! If you negotiate, you can get pitchers for $1! So sit back with your friends, order a couple pints, and watch daily Vietnamese life pass you by. There’s no better way to spend an evening!

Spend 3 Days in a Secluded Beach Paradise

Located far outside the busy hustle and bustle of the cities, and surrounded only by locals, Jungle Beach is the ultimate Vietnamese escape. Featuring 7 km of white sand beach, and some of the clearest and calmest waters you’ll find in Southeast Asia, this is the perfect way to start a trip and really get to know your travel buddies. Spend your days lounging on the beach, throwing a frisbee, reading in a hammock, or drinking the most delicious rum you’ve ever tasted (for a steal at $5 a bottle). At night there will be delicious homestyle family meals and beachside BBQs (all meals at Jungle Beach are included in the trip price), bonfires, epic beer pong battles and maybe even a Vietnamese PJ party. So wake up in your bamboo beach hut, take a sip of that deliciously cold Vietnamese iced coffee, and smile…you’ve made it to paradise!

Get Any Outfit You Can Imagine Tailor-made

For most travelers, shopping at home is an expensive and (for some) inconvenient chore, as we must troll through stores, malls, websites and our friends' closets in search of clothes that fit us properly and match our style. If only we could just go see some kind of person who makes clothes specifically for our size and preference… like a tailor? Having your clothes tailor-made is something we shrug off as something only for the rich and people interested in suits and dresses, but in many parts of world tailors are still very prevalent and surprisingly affordable - and there is perhaps no place where this is more true than in Southeast Asia. Bangkok in Thailand is famous for its many suit and dress tailors offering great deals on a virtually infinite list of outfits. Likely the only place better than Bangkok is in the beautiful ancient capital of Hoi An in Vietnam, where you can find very cheap and very good tailors that make both western and traditional Vietnamese clothing. And we mean they'll make you anything: suits, dresses, jeans, shoes, jackets and with any material from high quality silk to denim to leather. It’s a dream come true for clothes lovers and an easy and cheap solution for those that detest shopping!

Party on a Junk Ship in Halong Bay

Made up of over 3000 looming, limestone isles rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, Halong Bay (literally "descending dragon bay") is a masterpiece of nature and must be seen in person. On our Vietnam adventure, we charter out an entire boat to ourselves complete with bar, bartender, cooks, servers and cleaners. So what's better than gliding through the inspiring beauty of Halong Bay with 20 of your friends on an old junk ship? Turning that boat into a party boat and having one of the best parties of your life that begins in the afternoon and ends deep into the night! Waking up still surrounded by the incredible sights of Halong Bay will be enough to wash your away hangover and conclude a truly unforgettable experience! 

Cruise Down the Vietnamese Coast on a Motorbike

The Vietnamese coastline is arguably the most beautiful stretch of tropical land in the world and the best way to see it is by cruising down it on a motorbike feeling the warm, open air. On our Vietnam trip, you'll get to experience this by forming a huge convoy of motorbikes driven by experienced local drivers and seeing the best that Vietnam has to offer - along with a seemingly endless amount of empty, white-sand beaches, you'll also get to see historical temples, colonial towns, rice fields and cross the remarkable Hai Van Pass: which will provide some of the most amazing views in Vietnam. The entire road-trip will take you from the city of Hoi An to the ancient capital of Hue and will definitely be one of the greatest travel days of your life!

Walk through the Cu Chi Tunnels

Everyone knows a bit about the Vietnam War, but learning about it in Vietnam is an entirely different experience and one that sheds more light on the great struggles the Vietnamese people. And one of the best places to learn about this and see it for yourself is in the Cu Chi tunnels just outside of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). One of the main reasons for Vietnam’s victory in the war is the massive network of connecting underground tunnels spanning hundreds of miles that the Vietnamese used to run supplies, hide from bombing and ambush their enemies. Walking through the Cu Chi tunnels gives you an idea of the cramped space that the Vietnamese fighters had to build, maintain and use to fight one of the most brutal wars in human history - the tunnels have even been expanded by nearly double so tourists can even fit through them! Visiting the Cu Chi tunnels is a sobering experience but one that helps you grasp a small bit of the tragedies and sacrifices that occurred during the Vietnam War.

Beach Cleanup

Our Trash Hero beach cleanups are a great way to do good, feel good, and get some beach all at the same time. With thousands of tons of trash swirling around the oceans, the unfortunate reality is that some of it washes up onto the beautiful beaches we fall in love with around the world. So we thought ‘Let’s do something about this!’ Our partnership with Trash Hero began in Koh Lipe, Thailand, where they regularly organized beach cleanup days. Today, Trash Hero has gone viral and can be found operating in Thailand and Indonesia, and is spreading into dozens more countries at a rapid pace. On our end, beach cleanup day quickly became one of the most fun and rewarding days on our Thailand trip. So we decided to spread the love, and have instituted a beach cleanup day into our regular itineraries across the world. Through our sponsorship and partnership with Trash Hero, our travellers and others like them have since collected tens of thousands of kilograms of trash from the beaches we travel to…and really, there’s nothing more epic than saving the world!

Accommodations and Transportation

What's included in this adventure

Accommodation

  • Accommodation for the duration of your Free & Easy experience

Transportation

  • All group travel between destinations
  • Return international flights and airport transfers*** (No surprise extra flight surcharges)

***Land Package prices do not include your international flight, airport taxes or transfers

Leaders

  • 2 knowledgable and fun Free & Easy leaders
  • 15 years of trip leading experience
  • No commissions or gratuities required or accepted... ever!
  • Preparations guidebook
  • Trip Experience guidebook

Meals: Vietnam (20 Days)

  • Authentic Vietnamese style Welcome Dinner
  • All meals incl. on the 3-day Jungle Beach Paradise trip
  • All meals on the 2-day Halong Bay tour

Activities: Vietnam (20 Days)

  • 7 epic destinations
  • Historical walking tour of Saigon (incl. War Museum entrance)
  • Cu Chi Tunnels tour (incl. Guide)
  • 3-day Jungle Beach Paradise trip
  • FNEZ sponsored beach cleanup
  • Free and Easy Rider motorcycle day trip along the Hai Van Pass (incl. entrance to Marble Mountain & Elephant Springs)
  • Minority tribe trek through the rice paddies in Sapa
  • 2-day Halong Bay tour (kayaking, overnight stay on traditional Chinese junk boat)
  • Laughing Yoga session
  • Walking tour of Hanoi (incl. entrance to Hanoi Hilton Prison Camp)

Optional Activities: Vietnam (20 Days)

  • Scuba Diving
  • Cooking class
  • Snorkel trip

Not Included

  • All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
  • Activities outside of the ones listed above
  • Any Visa or Visa fees

Find out how much spending money you will need here.

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