DAYS 21 – 31: VIETNAM
Your overland tour’s first stop in Vietnam will be Hue, one of Vietnam’s cultural and religious centres which is set on the banks of the Song Huong (Perfume River) and close to the coast. The Citadel (Kinh Thanh) and the opulent tombs of the Nguyen Emperors are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and for those interested in more recent history there is an optional day trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from the Vietnam War.
After three nights in Hue you head south to Hoi An, known for its Old Town, criss-crossed by canals and multicultural history as a key trading port throughout Vietnam’s history. There are nearby white sandy beaches and also local cooking courses are available, but the city is perhaps best-known for its many tailors, so this is the place to get a bargain as you plan ahead to the cosmopolitan and modern cities that await us later in our trip! For those less sartorially-minded, there are plenty of water-based activities and adventure activities in the surrounding area, as well as good diving on offer.
You continue to beach hop as you make our way to a beachfront lodge which has proven to be a firm favourite of past groups. Amazing beach, great food and at night the phosphorescence in the water will have everyone in the waves taking a swim.
Feeling fully relaxed and recharged, you reach Vietnam’s frenetic economic centre of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), also known as Saigon. This city pulsated 24/7, as countless motorbikes swarm through its crowded streets and plenty to keep us occupied for a couple of days. You can visit the War Remnants Museum or Reunification Palace, and take a day trip to the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels, where the Vietcong dug out an underground network of supply lines during the war. Also, not far from HCMC you can visit the Cao Dai Temple, a unique religious sect that fuses many different elements with colourful and memorable services that visitors are welcome to observe. There are also day trips available to the Mekong Delta, to see where this mighty river finally ends its long journey into the sea. Fortunately for you though, this is not the end of your Asian overland adventure!