Tour Date: 12 to 22 February 2022Location: Vietnam

We are just asking for expressions on interest on this tour. Those registering an expression of interest, before the 31/03/2021, will receive a discount, per person, of a minimum of £200 (more if we get 20 passengers). No deposit required until June 2021.

PTG are pleased to be able to offer this boutique tour to Vietnam. Once the frontline between the opposing cultures of free-enterprise and doctrinaire state control, Vietnam is very much now up-and-coming. We ride the main arterial railway from the Ho Che Minh to Hanoi using day-time trains. We will ride one museum railway, incorporate two sets of steam haulage, and also have at least one more steam loco, each complete with photographic opportunity. We also ride the spectacular Muong Hoa Mountain railway and take the funicular to Fansipan, the land’s highest peak at 3000m. At every significant railway node we will have a depot visit and take the opportunity to photograph passing trains. For any who wish to ride every line and ‘clear the country’s rails’ – we can assist.

We break our journey north to visit many of the country’s unforgettable cultural attractions, commencing in Saigon with the Reunification Palace, follow the route of the old rack line up to Dalat, stay at charming Hoi An, wonder at the Imperial City of Hue and the Vinh Moc Tunnels. Our final base will be Hanoi, where we have the Imperial Citadel and other attractions. From the capital, we access the emerald waters and limestone karsts of World Heritage Halong Bay. Transfers between all points will be by comfortable coach, which will convey our luggage.

Availability

Tour Highlights


  • Day-time rail-travel between Ho Che Minh and Hanoi
  • Steam locomotive haulage, railway depot and works visits
  • Vietnam War and imperial history artifacts
  • Hoi An, Hue, Dalat and Sapa
  • Halong Bay, Hai Van Pass and Muong Hoa Mountain Railway
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Prices & Options
  • Booking
  • Gallery
  • Transport & Accommodation

Day 1 Saturday 12 Feb, 2022

We depart from the UK by morning flights from most major UK airports, via a hub airport, and with a 7 hour time difference, our arrival will be the next day.

Day 2 Sunday 13 Feb (D)

We arrive in Ho Che Minh to travel the tree-lined boulevards and dodge the numerous motorcycles to arrive in our city hotel where dinner is taken. The Cathedral and old Post Office are nearby and are worthy of a visit.

Day 3 Monday 14 Feb (B,D)

Our tour commences with a recap of recent history by a visit to the Reunification Palace and the War Museum. Lunch will comprise a visit to a convenience store or food court. Early afternoon we visit the main Hanoi workshops of the railway some 45min from the centre. After, we will meet with one of the train arrivals from the north for photography then visit the main station. An alternative afternoon visit to the Chu Chi tunnels can be arranged.

Day 4 Tuesday 15 Feb (B,L,D)

An early start is planned for today as we head to the station to board a train for the journey north to Thap Cham. Breakfast will be boxed from our hotel. Our arrival will be around midday, when we will make a quick visit to the well-preserved Cham temple of Po Kolong Gari. We will return to the station to visit the small railway depot and hopefully photograph a southbound train before we follow the route of the old rack-railway uphill to Dalat, 100km distant but 1500 higher for our overnight stay. A banh mi pate lunch will be provided on the bus.

Day 5 Wednesday 16 Feb (B,D)

Dalat, with its cooler mountain climate, was a former colonial hill-station. It was summer home to the last Vietnamese King until abdication in 1945. We will visit the Bao Dai Palace, the Linh Phuoc Pagoda and ride on the 7km museum railway from the Art Deco station to the top of the rack descent. We will endeavor to make photo scenarios with the preserved static steam locomotive and smoke! We have a break in Dalat for a snack lunch before descent to the coast at Nha Trang.

Day 6 Thursday 17 Feb (B,L,D)

We resume our journey north from the country’s premier beach resort in early afternoon. The railway comprises a large balloon loop such that any trains pass twice, which may be of interest to railfans. We will also visit the intriguing Po Nagar Cham Towers, the Long Son Pagoda with its white Buddha, then the Cathedral, before our departure. Lunch and Dinner are taken on the train prior to our mid-evening arrival at Tam Ky, to transfer to our Hoi An hotel for 2 nights.

Day 7 Friday 18 Feb (B,D)

UNESCO World Heritage Hoi An, with its rich architecture from several periods and pierced by the Thu Bon River is simply a delight. We will offer some free time here to soak the atmosphere with a guided visit to the Japanese Bridge and Merchant’s Houses in late afternoon. For railfans, we offer a visit to nearby Da Nang with photographic opportunity of scheduled trains and also the 2-8-2 steam-hauled Revolution Express, which is targeted to be launched during 2021. We return to Hoi An in mid-afternoon to re-unite the group for the guided visits.

Day 8 Saturday 19 Feb (B,D)

Our plan today is, subject operational detail, to ride the steam-hauled Revolution Express from Da Nang over the scenic Hai Van Pass, where the railway weaves in and out of tunnels cut into the South China Sea cliffs, to Lang Co. We aim on a 2-way ride, with photo options from our bus. Lunch will be easily obtained in Lang Co (NB: if for any reason the Revolution Express has not been launched we are promised a steam hauled journey somewhere). Our journey to Hue is completed by road, although there could be a rail option. On arrival, we take a boat on the on the Perfume River to visit the stupendous Thien Mu Pagoda.

Day 9 Sunday 20 Feb (B,L,D)

In the morning, we will visit Hue’s vast UNESCO Imperial Citadel then ride the short journey to Dong Ha taking an on-train lunch. From Dong Ha, we visit the nearby DMZ with the Vinh Moc Tunnels, prior to arrival at our hotel.

Day 10 Monday 21 Feb (B,L,D)

It’s an early start today taking breakfast and lunch on the train as we travel the 600km to Hanoi.

Day 11 Tuesday 22 Feb (B,D)

In the morning, we will visit Yen Vien Depot, some 18km distant, Gia Lam Workshops and also Hanoi depot. A wide selection of diesel locomotives on 2 gauges will be seen. After a lunch break, we visit some of the city’s significant tourist sites including the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda, & Mausoleum by traditional cyclo.

Day 12 Wednesday 23 Feb (B,L,D)

We transfer to Yen Bai, some 150km north-west on the Red River Valley line (option of early train) for a depot visit, where we hope to arrange photos with a non-operational metre-gauge 2-6-2T. After lunch, we continue north to Lao Cai on the Chinese border, visit the small depot at the line’s end, then transfer 1500m up the mountain to Sapa for the night.

Day 13 Thursday 24 Feb (B,L,D)

Our day commences with a ride and photos on the Muong Hoa Mountain Railway before taking the cable-car to access the funicular to Fansipan Summit. We return to Sapa then transfer to Hanoi with a break for lunch en route.

Day 14 Friday 25 Feb (B,L,D)

We travel north for 1.5 hours to the steel town of Thai Nguyen, where first we visit the locomotive depot and have some photos with their 0-6-0T standard gauge locomotive. Then, we have a photo charter, together with photo stops for some 22km of steam-haulage towards Hanoi. We have also requested another loco in steam.

Day 15 Saturday 26 Feb (B,L,D)

Today, our final day, we marvel at Vietnam’s natural wonder, the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of some 150,000 hectares of towering limestone pillars rising vertically from the emerald waters of Halong Bay. Our programme will take the full day and comprise a 5-hour cruise of the islands.

Day 16 Sunday 27 Feb (B)

This will be our day of departure, but with an option for people to stay on to visit the Perfume Pagoda or complete a ride of every of Hanoi’s radiating branch lines.

Prices (per person)

  • Price of 15-night holiday with flights: £3,795 *
  • Land only (14-nights): £3,195

Options

  • Single supplement: £490

Deposit

  • If booking before 31/12/2020 we only need an expression of interest. Deposit payable mid-2021.

* with such a large number of flight options, and upgrades, the with flight price will be agreed at time of booking

Price includes

  • All tours and activities, entrance fees, as indicated in the program
  • All meals as indicated as B/L/D in the program
  • Accommodation at 4-star hotels, twins sharing with daily breakfast
  • Train tickets (soft seats for day ride ) as indicated in the program
  • Depots visits
  • Mr Luu’s Locomotive train ride from Luu Xa to Pho Yen
  • Daily cold water on bus
  • Transportation by air-conditioned buses
  • The pick-up day and departure day are calculated based on all members come and depart at the same time (one ride by bus), not individuals
  • Escorted local tour leader

Not included

  • Vietnam visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Anything which is not mentioned in the program
  • Revolution Express train ride

Online Booking



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