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Get the insider’s view with InsideVietnam

10th April 2014 Print

Whether a Vietnam virgin or Vietnamophile, InsideVietnam Tours is sure it can tempt one and all to the country with its range of unique experiences, designed to provide unusual and lesser-known perspectives on this vibrant destination.

Here are just some of InsideVietnam Tours’ special experiences:

Hungry for Hanoi

InsideVietnam Tours’ tour leader, Tyler Palma, knows Hanoi like the back of his hand, and the city’s resident food blogger, Mr Tu, is always ready to share his knowledge of culinary delights. Try one of Tyler’s top five cafés in Hanoi or Mr Tu’s recommended Café Nang; enjoy an egg coffee in Café Pho Co with views of Hoan Kiem Lake or cool down with an iced coffee sweetened with lashings of condensed milk from a street stall. Grab a steaming hot bowl of pho for breakfast at Ph??ng Béo Xôi Gà based in Hanoi's old quarter and take a food tour with Mr Tu, sampling grilled meats, fish, soups and pastes.

Ho Chi Minh on the back of a bike, at night

Tara Engelen has recently joined InsideVietnam Tours and is based in Ho Chi Minh, poised to introduce visitors to this emerging and exciting city. Add thrills to any visit and explore the streets on the back of a Vespa, joining the other 4.5 million scooters zipping from place to place. No need for you to steer the bike, just hold on and take it all in. Vespa rides are available during the day but rides after dark are deemed to be even more atmospheric.

Bucolic bliss around Hoi An

After marvelling at the historical sights of Hoi An and perhaps experiencing the monthly Hoi An Full Moon Festival, venture out to the surrounding rural idyll with InsideVietnam’s local guide, Vinh. Explore the environs of emerald green paddy fields on a push-bike, scooter or water buffalo, or try your hand at gardening or weaving palm leaves. Perhaps also try a local cooking class in one of the villages, go fishing with the locals or board one of the small ferries that cut across the Thu Bon River and visit the islets and their communities that make up this laid-back, post-card-perfect part of Vietnam.

Seen Halong Bay? Try Bai Tu Long Bay

Less of a tourist trap than Halong Bay is its equally beautiful neighbour, Bai Tu Long Bay. Board a private junk for two nights and absorb the ambience of this sublime watery enclave. Visit floating markets and fishing villages, moor on tiny islands with immaculate beaches to admire the lime stone pillars rising from the glassy waters, kayak to hidden caves and get to know the local communities.

Seek out Sapa

Head to the north of the country, beyond the mountains of Sapa, to Ha Giang, home to the Flower Hmong, Nung, Red Dzao and Tay ethnic communities. Located on the border with China, the region is stacked with huge terraced rice fields - imagine a giant’s staircase leading up to the sky. Be guided through this remote Shangri-la to villages and markets, and perhaps spend a night at a local’s family home.

InsideVietnam Tours’ 13-night Golden Vietnam fully-tailored journey costs from £1,600 pp (two sharing) and includes 13 nights’ accommodation in Hanoi, Sapa, Ho Chi Minh, Hue, Hoi An, time on the Mekong Delta and on a junk cruise, all domestic transport and private guiding in all cities. International flights extra.

To discuss a visit to Vietnam with the experts, or for further information, visit