Essential Vietnam

Essential Vietnam is a 10 day trip providing a quick glance of Vietnam highlights including Hanoi, Ha Long, Hue, Hoi An, Saigon and Mekong Delta. 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.


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

Show all Info Show less info
Day 01

Hanoi Arrival

Arrival in Hanoi

Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Meals: Not included

Upon arriving in Hanoi, our driver will personally meet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel. 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

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. Transfer back to your hotel.

Notes:  Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is closed on Mondays and Fridays;  the Museum of Ethnology is closed on Mondays. Other places will be replaced (Ho Chi Minh museum will be replaced for Ho Chi Minh mausoleum; Vietnam National Museum of History will be replaced for Museum of Ethnology)

Day 03

Hanoi - Halong Bay

Enjoy a cruise in the magnificient Halong Bay

Accommodation: Halong bay cruise

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

In the morning, depart for Halong Bay through the scenic countryside. The world heritage site Halong Bay is truly one of Vietnam’s most impressive scenic sights. Heading out of the town, embark on a Chinese style junk for an exploration of the legendary Halong Bay.

A seafood lunch will be served while cruising through the bay.

The limestone karsts formations are littered with beaches. You then explore the Surprising Sung Sot Cave which reserves amazing original stalactites and stalagmites.
Day 04

Halong Bay - Hanoi - Hue

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

Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Wake up in the morning with the calming sound of the waves crashing on the nearby islands. Enjoy a cup of coffee and relax. Sitting on the upper deck, enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the rocky islands rising from the crystal-clear water of the bay. The quiet is almost eerie, you can hear birds singing, cicadas chirping ashore and the gentle lapping of the waves against our boat, the perfect soundtrack to accompany the fresh air and gentle breeze. Explore Luon cave in the morning.

The junk starts cruising back while a brunch buffet is served. 

Arrival at the harbor around noon, your driver and guide will transfer you to Hanoi airport for your flight to Hue

Arrive in Hue city, meet your tour guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in and relax.

 Cruise itinerary is subject to change due to a cruise you choose
Day 05

Hue City Tour

Visit Hue highlights

Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

In the morning, take a boat trip along the poetic Perfume River to reach the ancient Thien Mu pagoda, a special cultural and historical site preserving a legendary tale about the Heaven Fairy Lady since Nguyen Dynasty.

Drive to Hue Citadel. Here, walk around and take a look into the special feudal relics of immense architectural and cultural values.

After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the tomb and monument of King Tu Duc, located in a very beautiful area. This is an opportunity to learn more about Nguyen Kings and to enjoy the spectacular landscape.

Day 06

Hue - Hoi An - half day Hoi An ancient town tour

Drive from Hue to Hoi An via Da Nang

Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

In the morning, 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 the afternoon, 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.
Day 07

Hoi An - Cam Thanh Coconut Village - Tra Que Herb Village

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

Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

After being collected from your hotel, 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, we sit down for a delicious lunch. Return to your hotel, the rest of day is your leisure time.

Estimated duration for biking: Biking from the town to Cam Thanh village (about 5 km). From Cam Thanh to Tra Que village (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 - Danang - Ho Chi Minh City - half day 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

Breakfast is served at your hotel. In the morning, you will be transferred to Da Nang airport for the 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

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.

Day 09

Ho Chi Minh - Ben Tre - Ho Chi Minh

Leave Ho Chi Minh city to Ben Tre Coconut Land

Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

In the morning, meet your tour guide in your hotel 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 (cucumber, bitter melon, etc.,).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.
Day 10

Ho Chi Minh City - Departure

Say goodbye to our team in Ho Chi Minh City!

Accommodation: Not included

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

After a breakfast at the hotel, free time at your own leisure until the transfer to the airport for your departure flight .


Start price per person based on hotel standard. The price is subject to change depending upon availability and high or low season. We would like to give you a rough quote as below for your preference. Feel free to send us an enquiry. We commit to give you a competitive quote.

Price Per Person In USD

Category 2 People 4 People 6 People Others
3 Star $875 $693 $614 On Request
4 Star $1045 $863 $784 On Request
5 Star $1299 $1118 $1039 On Request

We can tailor-make this tour to meet your specific needs. Chat with us now!


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 or shared bus as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation base on Twin/Double sharing room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Local English speaking guide
  • Entrance fees
  • Overnight on cruise in the Bay as indicated in the itinerary
  • Private boat trip in Hue and Mekong Delta
Trip Exclusions
  • Airport taxes
  • Domestic flight tickets (surcharge on request)
  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips, all beverages and personal expenses
  • Other services not mentioned 

Similar tours

Sapa Trekking Bac Ha Sunday Market


Sapa Trekking Bac Ha Sunday Market
02 DAYS | 01 NIGHT
Sapa | Bac Ha
From: US$ 148/Person
View Details
Sapa Trekking (Homestay & Hotel)


Sapa Trekking (Homestay & Hotel)
Sapa | Y Linh Ho | Lao Chai | Ta Van | Giang Ta Chai | Su Pan | Cat...
From: US$ 195/Person
View Details
Cu Chi Tunnel & Cao Dai Temple

Cu Chi Tunnel & Cao Dai Temple
01 DAY | 00 NIGHT
Cu Chi Tunnel | Tam Dai
From: US$ 42/Person
View Details

Our award for excellence

Director's Paul Morrison Guide Award 2006
Our Certificate Of Excellence by Trip Advisor
Our Customer Video Review