Vietnam Trip: 12 Days
A Feast for the Senses
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Experience the best Vietnam has to offer in an incredible twelve days. Take the time to slow down and enjoy the soft, white-sand beaches, the untouched rural countryside, the delicious food, and the awesome people.
We kick things off in the capital city of Hanoi where we'll take a day to explore this bustling city and check out some of the cultural sites. After a day of getting settled we are off to Halong Bay to cruise around in a traditional Chinese junk ship where we'll spend the night so we can watch the sunrise and sunset from the water.
Then we will hop down south to take in the wonderful countryside of Phong Nha. This place is full of natural wonders including some of the largest caver: 2021's list of dates has not been confirmed. Join our newsletter list to find out when they are!
Day 1-2 (Hanoi)
A bustling yet beautiful city, Hanoi is the jewelled capital of Vietnam. The history is rich here and the area we stay in has loads of places to fill our bellies with local food and our cups with local beer. :)
We have one day here where we will visit revolutionary museums, ancient pagodas, art shops, famous water-puppet shows, and more. With free time to visit Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum.
Day 3 (Halong Bay)
Hop on a private bus to the seaside. Board our private Free & Easy Chinese junk-style ship equipped with a bar, large sun-deck, dining space, 2 person cabins with bathrooms, cooks, full crew, and music!
Cruise the bay between 3000+ looming, limestone isles rising from the emerald waters. The scenery is a true masterpiece of nature. Sleep overnight on the boat.
After returning from the night spent on Halong Bay we will take private minibus transfer to Hanoi to hop on a flight down to Dong Hoi.
Day 4-7 (Phong Nha)
From the airport we take a short 45-minute private minibus ride to the glorious Phong Nha. We will spend the next three days soaking in the rural jungle landscape as we explore the caves, partake in some adrenaline-fuelled adventures, and take in the stunning views. This place is always a surprise favourite on the trip!
Day 8 (Hué)
We will check out at 10 a.m. and depart for Hué. We will stop at the Vinh Moc Tunnels about halfway for some war history and arrive in Hué early in the evening. We mainly stay here as a jumping off point for the next day's adventure.
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 Hoi An.
Day 9-12 (Hoi An)
Arrive off your motorbike ride in Hoi An just as the sun is about to set in 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.
Da Nang international airport is just 45 minutes away so departures from Hoi An are a breeze. Want to continue traveling? Check out our custom trip designs made for this very situation!
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.
IMPORTANT: If you are doing a combo trip and booking your own flights, please contact us to confirm the start and end point of your trip.
The Free & Easy Commitment
We strive to ensure everyone who wants to travel has the opportunity to have the most epic experience ever. Free & Easy delivers awe-inspiring travel experiences and creates lifelong connections between incredible people + incredible places.
See below for more details about what else is included in this amazing adventure.
Included Experiences: Vietnam 12
- 2-day Halong Bay tour (overnight stay on traditional Chinese junk boat)
- All meals on the Halong Bay boat trip
- Kayaking in Halong Bay
- National Park tour in Phong Nha to Worlds largest cave complex
- Swimming in Tra Ang Cave in a 415 million year old rainforest
- Free and Easy Rider motorcycle day trip along the Hai Van Pass (incl entrance to Elephant Springs)
- Entrance to Hoi An old city Unesco world heritage site
- All Free & Easy travelers will have access to our industry leading app to help manage your trip. This provides pre-trip planning advice, itinerary management, activity suggestions for free time, maps, chat support and more!
Accommodation: Vietnam 12
All accommodations - We send our trip planners to each of our destinations so they can do on the ground, research. Checking for the best location, comfort and vibe that we can get for our budget while also supporting local businesses.
Transportation: Vietnam 12
All transport - This trip will find us taking private AC vans, trains, motorbikes and public transport
Leaders: Vietnam 12
1-2 group leaders - Our staff is consistently ranked as the #1 reason that people loved their trips. We meet most of our leaders while traveling with them so we can see in person if they are fun yet responsible, cool yet down to earth, professional yet laid back. This creates that perfect mix which makes our "tours" feel like a group of friends.
Optional Experiences: Vietnam 12
- Scuba Diving
- Cooking class
- Snorkel trip
- Hanoi bar crawl
- Water puppet show
- Stand up Paddle Boarding tour
- Mai Son Temple tour (Hoi An)
And so much more! If you're interested in something that isn't on the list just ask us, if it's possible we will find you some options. We are here to help you find your ideal trip!
- All meals and drinks (except those mentioned above)
- Activities outside of the ones listed above (optional activities are not included)
- Any Visa or Visa fees
Paradise Cave: Asia's Largest Dry Cave
Following your mudding adventures in the Dark Cave and a delicious lunch to refuel, we head to the big draw: Paradise Cave. As Asia’s largest dry cave at 31 km long, it’s pretty hard to beat! After your initial breathtaking view, take your time exploring and trekking around the 1 km area that is open to tourists in this real-life postcard.
From a distance the view is once in a lifetime, with wooden boardwalks sprinkled around the massive caverns and everything spectacularly lit with multicoloured lights. It gets even cooler closer up as you explore the stalactites and stalagmites that seem to have their own inner glow. The sparkle is from their mineral makeup and explains why with 31 kms of stunning, sparkling cave scientists chose to call it Paradise.
With a surprise around every corner and a constantly beautiful backdrop to boot, this absolutely epic experience is what backpacking dreams are made of. The entire National Park is a treasure that will be attracting more attention as time passes, and you’ll be one of the first waves of travelers to experience it. Fresh off this adventure, you’ll be glad to have your friends around the next morning so you can convince each other it all really happened.
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!
Halong Bay: Boat cruise through thousands of limestone cliffs
Made up of over 3000 looming, limestone isles rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam. Join us as we weave between these tall cliffs that seemingly rise out of the middle of nowhere in Halong Bay (literally translates to ' descending dragon bay). It 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 your newly found best friends on an old Junk ship? Nothing! Cruise the day away with delicious food, drinks, music and breathe in your surroundings until the the day turns to night and the drinks keep flowing. Find your bunk and let the motion of the ocean rock you to sleep.
Waking up still surrounded by the incredible sights of Halong Bay with a fresh coffee in hand is the best way to start any morning, and its just another amazing morning brought to you by Free & Easy!
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 the world tailors are still very prevalent and surprisingly affordable - and there is perhaps no place where this is truer 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!
Dark Cave Mudding in a 415 million-year-old Rainforest
The Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the perfect way to spend a day in Vietnam. The 415-million-year-old rainforest is host to 300 caves and grottoes begging to be discovered. With 126 km of caves to explore, you’ll never want to leave.
Grab a bathing suit or boardies (the ones you don’t really like) and prepare to get dirty! We’ll be following two well-informed and hilarious guides so you don’t miss any of the amazing history of this magical place—or any of the fun. Our first stop is at 8-Ladies Cave and temple where we learn about the history of the area in relation to the American War and get to walk on part of the original Ho Chi Minh Trail.
From there, we ride Vietnam’s longest zipline into the entrance of Dark Cave, and continue our journey trekking through, and then swimming inside, this well-named pitch-black cave with nothing but your friends, your bravery, and a headlamp.
Next up, a brand new mud pit! Well, new to us anyway. Just discovered in 2014, this is what backpackers are always on the lookout for: fresh experiences. The mud itself is said to have anti-aging properties, and you can lay right back and float through it like a brown bean in a can. Plus, your inner child will squeal at the fact that the exit is a mud-slide!
A 30m mud-slide straight into more adventures with kayaking, water play, and even more ziplines and obstacles. It’s like an adult jungle gym hosted by nature itself.
Abandon Valley Day Trek
The Abandon Valley Day Trek takes you through an array of sights in the Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, a 415 million-year-old rainforest that up until 2009 had been unexplored by humans. You could be in the first generation of explorers to get to know this amazing area.
A trek for hikers looking for a challenge, be prepared for adventure with knowledgeable, local guides to take you through this experience! This 16 km trek goes through rough, beautiful jungle and takes you to the back entrance of the Dark Cave shrouding a portion of the trek in darkness. Climbing over boulders and walking through streams you’ll be satisfying your need for adrenaline-pumping action while backpacking in Vietnam.
Phong Nha Bike Ride
Making it all the more mysterious, the town didn’t become accessible by road or have power until 2009. What better way to enjoy a perfect warm afternoon than grabbing some bicycles, some road pops, and your new crew and embarking on a ride where what keeps you going isn't the destination, but the joy of pure discovery.
Hop on and join the ride passed a great river, through beautiful rice terraces and passed Vietnamese villages untouched by the outside world. Our first stop, Pepper House, gets us some shade, a dip in the pool and a refreshing beverage. After another cruise through some local villages, we head to Moi Moi, a restaurant in the middle of a farm by the river. Picturesque, or what? And with a well-deserved BBQ buffet worth writing home about and quick tube rides on the river, it's more than a pretty face.
After being fed and watered, and keeping an easy-going FnEZ pace of course, we pedal across a bridge to the Pub with Cold Beer (the best named pub ever!) for another quick break.
Nearing the end of the day, the Phong Nha Farmstay is a great place to go to watch the sunset with your friends by your side. While eating an amazing dinner and letting the whole ride sink in, the day turns into night, and our adventures slowly turn into stories we'll never forget.
Go Scuba Diving
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 it's like to be in it is a must at least once in your life!