Essential Vietnam Southbound

In this trip you will visit the 1000 year old Hanoi capital, the mystical Halong Bay, the charming and historical imperial citadel Hue, the ancient town Hoi An, and the modern Saigon, largest city of Vietnam. This tour can be customized to meet your specific needs.


Hanoi | Halong | Hue | Hoi An | Saigon | Mekong Delta

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Day 01

Hanoi Arrival

Welcome to Hanoi!

Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Meals: Not included

Upon arriving in Noi Bai International Airport, our guide and driver will personally meet you and transfer to your hotel in city center. The rest of the day is time at leisure.
Day 02

Hanoi City Tour

Guided tour of Hanoi

Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

08:30: Today, we will visit Ho Chi Minh Complex that includes Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, House-on-Stilts, and One Pillar pagoda. After that we will visit the Temple of Literature that was originally built as a temple to Confucius, this is the site of Vietnam’s first University dating back to 1070. The temple highlights the importance that Vietnamese society place then and now on education. Have lunch at a nice restaurant.
After lunch, we continue our trip to visit Museum of Ethnology: This museum is widely acknowledged as the best in the country and has an extensive display dedicated to Vietnam’s 54 Ethnic minority peoples. As well as the comprehensive array of exhibits inside, there are also traditional tribal houses reconstructed within the ground.
Then, we back to the center of Hanoi to visit Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake: The Ngoc Son Temple is set on a tiny island on the Hoan Kiem Lake, its history dating back to the 13th century. The temple is reached by crossing the The Huc Bridge which literally means the ‘Place Touched by Morning Sunbeams’.
Hoan Kiem Lake is the local point of the city and the source of many legends.
45 minutes Cyclo through the Old Quarter: Also known as the 36 streets, this bustling area of narrow streets is home to literally thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. Originally each of the 36 s names’ was related to the products being sold there. It’s a great place to explore on foot with numerous photo opportunities.
Enjoy a water puppet show then transfer you back to your hotel around 17:00.
Remark: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays; Museum of Ethnology is closed on Mondays. Other places will be recommended.
Day 03

Hanoi - Halong Bay (Sample Itinerary)

Enjoy a cruise in the magnificient Halong Bay

Accommodation: Halong bay cruise

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

09:00: Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi. After that we leave Hanoi for a 2.5 hours via the highway to reach Halong Bay.
12:00: At Tuan Chau International Marina, a tender boat will take you to the cruise. A refreshing welcome drink is served and you can check into your cabin.
13:00 When you are putting all of your stuffs into your cabin, our boat starts gliding out to the centre of the World Heritage Site. Your lunch, at the boat’s restaurant, is would be served with fresh local seafood, but vegetable menu is always available at your request. From the marina area, our cruiser passes by Dog Head and Swan Islands, Ba Hang Floating villages (with floating houses), Incense Burner then Thumb Islands before reaching to Luon cave area for kayaking.
14:30 - 15:00 we have time to gear up for one hour kayaking around Luon cave area. Our guide will show you some basic safety guidelines and techniques to paddle before helping you to sit on our brand new sit-on-top kayaks. After that our boat will help you visit the Titop Island one hour for swimming, sun-bathing or getting a panoramic view on island peak.
17:00 As the sun sets over the bay, we head back to our cruise and relax. Coffee, tea and fruits will be available on the sundeck or you can order your favorite drink while our boat cruises to the night’s anchorage area.
19:00 Dinner will be served with local seafood. After dinner you may choose to enjoy drinks from the bar or top deck or experience squid fishing before retiring.
Day 04

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue (Sample Itinerary)

Enjoy Halong Bay cruise tour activities and transfer to the airport for a flight to Hue

Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

07:00 - 07:45 Enjoy the morning view of the beautiful landscape with a cup of coffee or tea. Have breakfast in the fresh air.
08:00 - 09:00 You will visit the impressive Cave of Halong Bay – Surprising Cave with your tour guide, a truly awesome and amazing cave to experience.
10:00 Check out of your cabin and settle your bill as our boat begins cruising back to the harbor. Experience more views of Halong Bay such as Fighting Cocks Island (Symbol of Halong Bay), Incense Burner and Stone Dogs Islands.
10:20 A cooking demonstration onboard shows you how to make authentic Vietnamese Spring rolls. You will learn about the recipes and techniques that create this popular dish of Vietnamese people.
10:45 Lunch is served on board during cruising towards the harbor.
11:20 Depart the cruise and travel by tender boat back to Tuan Chau International Marina where you then board the private vehicle for transfer straight to Noi Bai Airport. Next, you take a short flight to Hue.
Upon arrival in Phu Bai Airport, our private guide and driver will escort you to your hotel in Hue City. Overnight in Hue.
What to bring:
•             Original passport 
•             Shorts and T-shirt or warm clothes in winter (travel light)
•             Camera, sunglasses and sun creams
•             Cash for drinks (beer, wine) on boat
-The cruise itinerary in Halong Bay is a sample itinerary and it will be changed depending on the cruise you choose, the weather or the water level at the time of your trip
- Wi-Fi is available in cruise but internet connectivity is limited due to the geography of Halong. 
Day 05

Hue City Tour

Visit Hue highlights

Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

08:00: Asia Top Travel tour expert will pick you up and depart from your hotel in Hue.
This morning, we take a boat trip along poetic Perfume River to reach the ancient Thien Mu pagoda, a special cultural - historical site where still preserves a legendary tale about the Heaven Fairy Lady since Nguyen Dynasty. 
Then, we visit  Hue Citadel. Here you will walk around and take a look into the special feudal relics of immense architectural and cultural values. 
Have lunch at a local restaurant. 

14:00: We visit the tomb and monument of King Tu Duc which is located in a very beautiful area. This is an opportunity to learn more about Nguyen Kings and to enjoy the spectacular landscape. 

Optional (If you are not tired and the weather is good):
Then we visit Conical hat village: To see and learn how the locals make the conical hat (non la). (Non la- traditional indispensable accessory expressing the hidden charm and simplicity of women).
Conclude your day at Incense stick making village: Observe how locals make sandalwood and cinnamon incense. 

17:00: Back to your hotel for relaxing. Overnight in Hue.
Day 06

Hue - Hoi An Tour

Drive from Hue to Hoi An via Hai Van Pass and Danang City

Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

08:30: After breakfast and checking out your hotel in Hue, leave Hue for Hoi An through the Hai Van Pass for a magnificent view of the East Sea. Stop at Lang Co to have a break. 
Lunch at a local restaurant in Hoian.
14:00: Enjoy a walking tour of Hoi An ancient town, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site because of its unusually well-preserved ancient streets and homes. Set out to explore the quaint cobblestone streets of the town with more than two-century-old Chinese houses. Visit Chua Ong Pagoda, Chinese Assembly Halls, the 200- year old Tan Ky ancestral house and the Japanese Bridge.

17:00: Arrive to your hotel for relaxing. Overnight in Hoi An.
Day 07

Hoi An - Rural Villages

Bike to Cam Thanh coconut village and have a cooking class in Tra Que herb village

Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

8:00: Meet your local guide at the hotel lobby to begin an exciting halfday tour discovering rural Hoian. A short bicycle competency test will be given. For those uncomfortable with a pushbike, then other methods of transport can be arranged. The tour starts by cycling along level ground to the Thu Bon River to visit a local fishing village. Ride along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices. Peddle your way through palm forests, across bridges, fields of water buffalo.... Biking along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers.

9:00: Take a short break in a local family at Cam Thanh Village before enjoying 1.5 hours ride on traditional Basket Boat (round boat) in the Water Coconut Palm Forest. Learn how to sail the basket boat and spend your time to catch fishes and “purple crabs” in the Canal.
10:30 Continue to drive to Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village where a large variety of vegetable are produced for the local community. At the village, you will be shown the environmentally sustainable practices which the local villagers have used for centuries and is still being used extensively today.
11:30 Visit a local family and after a short, informative and fun cooking lesson, you enjoy a delicious lunch.
13:00: After the lunch, you cycle back to your hotel. The rest of day is your free time at leisure.

Estimated distance: Biking from the town to Cam Thanh village is about 5 km. From Cam Thanh to Tra Que village is about 7 km. We will arrange a vehicle in case you are tired and do not want to ride a bike from Cam Thanh to Tra Que village.
Day 08

Hoi An - Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh City Tour

Take a flight to Ho Chi Minh and visit the biggest city of Vietnam

Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

After breakfast and checking out hotel, you will be transferred to Da Nang airport for the morning flight to Ho Chi Minh city. Upon arrival, your tour guide and your driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. 
Have lunch at a local restaurant

13:00: Start your half day city tour in the afternoon by looking at the Notre Dame Cathedral built between 1877 and 1883. This is one of the best examples of classical French colonial architecture. Nearby is the Old Post Office that is another example of French colonial architecture and is also the country’s largest post office. Move on to see the Reunification Palace. This is one of the most important buildings in the city. Here on April 30th 1975 the ‘American War’ officially ended when tank number 843 of the North Vietnamese Army crashed through the gates of what was, at the time the residence of the President of the Republic of Vietnam. Continue with a visit of War Remnants Museum - Formerly known as the Museum of American War Crimes, this is a poignant display of the futility of war. 

Depending on the timing, have a look on a wide selection of goods at Ben Thanh Market.

17:00: Back to your hotel. Free at your leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 09

Ho Chi Minh City - Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh City

Leave Ho Chi Minh city to Ben Tre Coconut Land in Mekong Delta

Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

08:00: Meet our tour guide in the lobby and transfer through the Mekong Delta to Ben Tre - the capital of coconut 

On arrival in Hung Vương Pier. Boating on Ben Tre river – one of tributaries of Mekong river- is along mangrove tree from town to country. Witness lively activities in morning as fishing, coconut cargo boats carrying on river. Stop at traditional brickwork to see how to make bricks by hand. Turn on Cai Son canal winding through coconut jungle, visit coconut workshop, have a look stages of coconut processing from husk off, prize out to peel out by hand. Go on small waterway and stop at a local house to see feeding bee, enjoy honey tea. Walking along canal to coconut candy workshop, have a look them making candy by hand, try some sweet, enjoy some fruits and listen to local music as well. Go on by boat, and walk to farmer house who making sleep mats.

Cycle rural tracks or drive tuktuk through coconut grove, vegetable plains...
Keep going by rowing boat on shady palm tree canal and stop for lunch at riverside restaurant. Boating back Hùng vương pier by motorboat.
Drive back to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Tour finishes at about 17:00. Free at your leisure. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 10

Ho Chi Minh City Departure

Say goodbye to our team in Ho Chi Minh City!

Accommodation: Not included

Meals: Breakfast

Have breakfast at the hotel. Hotel check out time is 12:00pm.
Free time at your own leisure until the transfer to the airport for your departure flight back to your home. End of services.


  • We can customize this itinerary to meet your specific needs. 
  • Please click the yellow button Send Enquiry This Tour to get our free quotes.


For your peace of mind, our tours are designed to include as much as possible in the price, but also to give you the freedom to find a special place to eat or to seek out an independent adventure that especially appeals to you.
Trip Inclusions
  • Full transportation by private vehicle 
  • Accommodation base on Twin/Double sharing room with daily breakfasts 
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 1 dinner
  • English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Private boat trip in Hue, Hoi An and Mekong Delta
  • Domestic flight tickets
Trip Exclusions
  • International flight tickets
  • Entry visa fee
  • Tips
  • Drinks

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