You will be met by Our Porky’s Rep in your Hotel in Hanoi at the start of your Ultimate Vietnam Tour with Porky’s Packers.
Starting point HANOI/HCMC
It doesn’t matter whether you are traveling north or south, the same tour applies just the opposite
direction. One from North to south and vice versa.
Being the capital, Hanoi is bursting with hustle with a side of bustle. You wouldn’t need to spend more than a couple of nights here. Porky’s Packers recommend it as a pitstop on your journey to Halong Bay and Sa Pa. Ho Hoan Kiem lake works as the central hub, and serves as an escape from the city that surrounds it. An array of museums to keep you occupied in the day, along with a plenty of restaurants, shops and rooftop bars by night to watch the city glow with life into the darkness.
Around 4 hours east of Hanoi sits an Archipelago, a maze of islands scattered across 150 mile stretch. Jagged limestone rocks covered in vibrant green vegetation sit in a pool of glistening turquoise, a natural wonder of the world. Caves sit hidden inside the rock, you’ll be given the opportunity to explore the largest one for yourself. Unearthly stalactites reach down for you like witches fingers. Whilst the dank dark atmosphere harbours the sense you’re intruding into her home. Porky’s recommends kayaking and this should not be missed. Getting up close to the rocks as you glide along the water. Head through a tunnel to reach a lagoon that’s home to many macaque monkeys that live along the rock face. Make sure you stop at Cat Ba Island, it is the largest of the 366 islands spanning 260 km2 and home to Cat Ba national park. A great place to find some tough but rewarding trekking. Half way through the ascent, the stone steps gently transform into jungle floor. You climb your way to the peak of the mountain, wipe away the beads of sweat that roll down your face and reap the reward for your efforts. Gazing miles out into dense emerald jungle.
A 10 hour train ride through the dark of the night will take you from Hanoi to Lao Chai, close the to the border of China. From there it takes an hour to bus north and reach Sa Pa, a 15th century village that sits 1500m high, nestled in the eastern edge of the Himalayan mountains. You will learn about the history and culture of ancient Vietnam here. The hillside is scattered with villages that are built into the surroundings. Each village has it’s own dialect although they are merely kilometres apart. It’s cooler here, mist gathers at the tops of mountains and in winter there is often a lot of snow. When you come to Sapa you come to experience real trekking, the steady pace and unruly terrain because you learn to live only in the now. The breathtaking layers of mountainous farmland and the graduated greens that hover in your periphery, equal to a sense of peace and tranquility you will have never felt before. The trek itself can be strenuous but the local ladies gather around offering their hand to help you. They hop through the terrain with ease and finesse whether they be at the age of 7 or 70 and they do so with babies and baskets strapped to their backs whilst weaving strands of hemp or creating sculptures or of leaves. This is a Porky’s Packers gem for all you mad backpacking adventurers out there!!
You then catch a 10 hr bus ride with sleeper beds where you can have a 40 winks on your way. You do have the option to fly with our recommended airline but we at Porky’s advise to do it the real way and that’s soak up the bus journey, have a few vodkas and play a game of cards with like minded Porky’s People.
This City is unearthed with an array of historic sites including the Citadel, Elaborate Emperor’s Tombs and the Thien Mu Pagoda. Visit the Spiral Foundation, where the death and mute workers teach you how to make local handicrafts.
Imagine a little town that buzzes by day and glows by night. There are no cars in the road,
because when it comes to winding through the market streets only a bicycle will do. Built around
the 15th century and recognised as a world heritage site, the ancient city of Hoi An has a unique
feel to it unlike anywhere in the world.
The towns are old but beautiful buildings are sprinkled with shops, offering tailored clothing,
jewellery forged from the famous marble mountain and everything in between. The Thu Bon river
runs through the historical port and is framed by a variety of restaurants and bars. All serving up
fantastic traditional vietnamese cuisine with extremely cheap beer, coming alive at night when the
river is speckled with floating lanterns and live music plays out from the boats. To top it all off, the
fantastic Cua Dai beach is within riding distance from the town centre. White sand, plenty of
sunbeds and very clean. As a result of regular cyclones from the Philippines you’ll have some
monster waves hitting the shore. So grab a body board form the restaurant and go have some
The Porky’s Team recommend taking a guided motorcycle tour from Hue to Hoian to experience
the famous H?i Vân Pass which crosses over a spur of the Tru?ng Son (Annamite) Range that
emerges from the west and juts into the South China Sea, forming the H?i Vân Peninsula and the
adjoining Son Tra Island. The pass, which once formed the boundary between the kingdoms of Ð?i
Vi?t and Champa, also forms a boundary between the climates of northern and southern Vietnam,
sheltering the city of Da Nang from the “Chinese winds” that blow in from the northwest. During the
winter months (November–March), for instance, weather on the north side of the pass might be wet
and cold, while the south side might be warm and dry. The pass is renowned for its scenic beauty.
Presenter Jeremy Clarkson, host of the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, featured the pass
during the show’s 2008 Vietnam Special, calling the road “a deserted ribbon of perfection—one of the
best coast roads in the world.”
The city sits 250 km north of Muie ne. it has a great beach stretching the length of the city, with a
plethora of up scale restaurants, sun beds, spa’s & various water sports activity’s. Central park
sits parallel to the shore, boasting its own swimming pool and spa for that welcomed pampering.
There’s plenty to keep you busy here, such as Vinpearl, a theme park situated on an island just of
the shore which is accessible by cablecar. As well as various island tours for snorkelling and
scuba or visiting local fishing villages. Last but no means least, a one of a kind full scale pirate
ship that is actually an aquarium. Here you can marvel at the large collection of unusual fish and
even sharks. The highlight has to be the turtle feeding area, an experience you will take with you
Porky’s also give you an added adventure option to visit Da Lat. This is where we can go
abseiling down waterfalls (see extra add – ons to add this to your tour).
A little costal town which used to be just an isolated stretch of sand. Times have certainly
changed with a long stretch of swanky beach resorts backing on to the ocean and swish
restaurants to go with it. As a kite surfing hot spot thanks to the Philippines typhoons this fishing
village is attracting more tourists every year. It is easy to find freshly caught seafood served up
deliciously BBQ’d in many restaurants and street vendors.
One of Mui Ne’s main attractions is it’s dunes, venture north to find them. Once there you will be
confronted with gargantuan mounds that will cause you to remind yourself you’re in Vietnam and
not the Sahara. It’s lovely and warm here, which means the sand will almost burn your feet around
midday, so perhaps travel here to watch a sunset before dune surfing your way to the bottom.
A special mention to a place called ‘The Fairy Stream’. A small stream tucked away behind a
shop. Journey up a small trickling stream with a soft sandy bed. The landscape frames your walk
with vibrant shades of orange rock face. Trickling water causes the sand to ooze out and swirl
together like an artist’s pallet. A great experience at a bargain price.
The Porky’s People recommend riding Ostriches, a fantastic ride. A great story to tell people in
years to come! Also, Quad biking through the sand dunes is a delight not to be missed. The
adrenaline packed buzz will leave you shaking with thrills until the mind settles down.
Ho Chi Minh City
The city also known as Saigon has a lot of history that explains why it has grown into such a
metropolis. A labyrinth of intertwining streets that house a wide variety of quirky shops, roof top
bars, authentic vietnamese restaurants and much more. It echoes large cities like New York or
London but with hundreds of mopeds on streets rather than yellow taxis or black cabs.
Highlights of this city include: Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens the 8th oldest zoo in the world
which is reflected by the size of the ancient trees which provide that all important shade. It’s
variety of exotic animals and a great reptile house is a must see.
The War Remnants Museum - A real eye opener, the museum houses such exhibitions exposing
war crime and aggression through graphic photography and text depicting the effects of agent
orange and napalm and phosphorus bombs. Hard to believe this was happening only 40 years
Dam Sen Water Park – 10 waterslides, a lazy river, wave pool and a space bowl that will have
you running around for hours.
Cu Chi Tunnels – During the Vietnam war this place hit devastation but the series of tunnels that
span 250km across three levels deep underground where it’s saving grace. A unique day out,
make it one of yours.