This 6 day adventure package highlights the best hot spots for adventure sports in Southern Vietnam. This trip is truly for the sports enthusiast looking to get into the Vietnam everyone else sees through a tour bus window. Possible activities include, trekking, bird watching, mountain biking, white water rafting…
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City arrival (Dinner, Guide)
Arriving at Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey before a Welcome dinner. In the evening, you’ll have tickets for a performance of traditional Water Puppetry (an art form unique to northern Vietnam, and a good, light-hearted introduction to its rural culture). You’ll spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City - Nam Cat Tien National Park (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide)
After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to Cat Tien National Park, about 150 kilometers or a 3 ½ hour drive. Then you will check into the park and have lunch at Cat Tien National Park Restaurant. In the afternoon, you will take a jungle trek (8 kilometers) to see the abundant fauna and flora in the Park or bird watching option if you’re a professional birder. The best bird watching guide in Southern Vietnam works at Cat Tien.
After dinner, an hour jeep night cruise into the forest for the wild life spotting. You’ll be equipped a good pair of binoculars to see monkeys, deer and other small mammals. You’ll stay overnight in the guesthouse in the centre of the park.
About 150km from Ho Chi Minh City, Nam Cat Tien is one of Vietnam’s largest protected areas – a complicated network of wetlands and tropical forest nearly 74,000 hectares in two sections bisected by a river, the larger about fifty or sixty kilometres across in both directions. Its bio-diversity is considerable with over fifty endangered species listed in the ‘Red Book’ including the Javan Rhinoceros, the Siamese Crocodile and the Indochina Tiger. Of particular interest is its large bird population – well over three hundred species have been identified so far.
There are several trails through the forest. Although they avoid the deeper areas that are the habitat of the rarer species, they are well designed and offer good opportunities to see a wide range of flora and fauna. The best time to visit Nam Cat Tien National Park is the dry season from December to late May.
Day 3: Cat Tien - Dalat (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
You have an early start for morning jungle trek out to Dong Nai river and back (10 kilometers). Check out of the park at noontime and depart by vehicle to Dalat. You can enjoy breathtaking scenery along the way with coffee and tea plantations, jungle blanketed valleys and pine forested hills (200 km or 4 hour drive). You will arrive at Dalat in the late afternoon and enjoy a good night's rest before next day's adventure. You will stay overnight at a hotel in Dalat.
Day 4: Dalat City tour from the back of a motorbike (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)
Today will be devoted to Dalat and its surroundings. The city is quite compact, but its hinterland extends well beyond, so we suggest a tour on the back of a motorbike. You’ll visit the Linh Phuoc Pagoda and an embroidery workshop in an attractive garden setting. Alternatively, you could visit Dalat’s railway station instead of the embroidery workshop. After lunch, Emperor Bao Dai’s Summer Palace, the Crazy House and Dalat market are on the itinerary. The day will end at a café at about 4.00 p.m.
Day 5: Trekking around Dalat (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)
After a sustaining breakfast and a drive from Dalat to Tiger Falls, you’ll begin hiking down a succession of waterfalls. The first section of the trail takes you through steep-sided pine forest heading downhill to Lang Bian River. By the time you arrive, you’ll probably be ready for a rest break beside of the falls and if you wish, a cooling splash in the water. A further 1½ hour mainly following the river reveals human activities in the form of coffee plantations and suspension bridges. The land is farmed by the K’oho and their sub-groups, the Lat and the Chil people. Together, they make up the largest ethnic minority population in the area
From there, we hike uphill to a viewpoint offering a panorama of the valley below with lunch and a rest on the mountaintop. Then it’s downwards for a while before climbing upwards to the neighbouring peaks to a remote village accessible only by foot. It’s a good example of the privations and benefits of the lives of isolated rural minority peoples, their homes, work and culture.
After a hike through the rolling hills, another waterfall and several small market gardens you’ll see Tiger Falls in the distance. Then it’s a well-earned rest in the car as you return to Dalat!
Please note that this is a six-hour trek along a rugged trail demanding plenty of physical strength and stamina. However, the exceptional alpine scenery makes the trek well worth the effort. The area was first documented in 1893 by Dr. Alexander Yersin, a student of Louis Pasteur and a revered figure in Vietnam. His wanderings in the area and his love for the area led him to establish the hill-station that is now Dalat
Day 6: Dalat - Mui Ne (or Nha Trang) (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)
Option 1: Bike to Mui Ne
After breakfast, you’ll say goodbye to Dalat and head for Phan Thiet, a journey of approximately 90 kilometers. Fortunately, the ride is mostly downhill – the vertical descent is about a thousand meters overall. To avoid the heavy main road traffic, you’ll be driven to your starting point, Di Linh, about 60 kilometers from Dalat. The road surface is mostly metalled and the terrain is predominately a series of dips and rising inclines.
It’s a pleasant ride with plenty of interest. At first, the quiet road winds past villages and coffee plantations including a five-kilometer uphill climb to pump up the adrenaline while you watch the highland pines and forests giving way to tropical palms and jungle. The pattern of lengthy downhill stretches followed by short stiff climbs continues until the gradient begins to ease and the road straightens.
Eventually, the road flattens out as you near the coast and Phan Thiet. By the time you reach Highway 1, the land will be pancake-flat. Then it’s time to change to four-wheel transport for a half-hour drive past Phan Thiet to the 18km Mui Ne Beach where you can relax in your hotel on the sands.
This ride can be adjusted in length and/or time. As well as carrying luggage and provisions for lunch and refreshment, a support vehicle will always be on hand for your use at any time. . Trip ends
Option 2: Bike to Nha Trang
This cycling excursion to Nha Trang starts with a 45 minute drive (33km) to the north east of Dalat to avoid the traffic on the main road. The route takes you along a new road through Bidoup Nui Ba, the newest national park in Vietnam, and finishes on the outskirts of the city.
The tour offers first-rate cycling in attractive highland scenery and some exciting climbs and descents. The cycling distance is about 70km. Some sections of the route are challenging, but not beyond the reach of a reasonably fit individual. In any case, as well as from carrying luggage, equipment and provisions, your support vehicle will be available to you throughout the day should you need assistance or a rest.
The first stage of your journey will take you through classic upland landscape – dense pine forest, striking peaks and undulating terrain. The clean air allows excellent photography, and there’s plenty to capture with your lens – unspoilt natural scenery broken only by small farms and hamlets tucked away in clearings in the trees. A stiff 3km climb to top of a mountain pass gets your muscles working and awards you with good views of Nui Ba Mountain.
After a rest, you’ll enter an uninterrupted 28km downhill section to pump up your adrenaline! When you reach the bottom, it’ll be time to relax over a picnic lunch alongside a river. From then onwards, you’ll be riding through typical Vietnamese farming country until you reach Highway 1 and the environs of Nha Trang City where you’ll dismount and be driven to your hotel. Trip ends
- Vietnam Visa invitation letter
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
- Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
- The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
- Where necessary, entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
- Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants
- VAT and other taxes
- International flight tickets and airport tax.
- Lunches and dinners, except as specified above.
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
- Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
- Compulsory meal (if any)