Essence Of Vietnam

Duration: 12 Days
Highlights: Hanoi - Halong - Hue - Hoi An - Nha Trang - Da Lat - Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta
12-day Essential Vietnam is a wonderful trip designed for those who want to experience the very best of Vietnam, but only have limited time. Brings you the charm of Hanoi, the scenic impressive sights of Halong Bay, the ancient capital of Hue, the charming Hoi An, Nha Trang, the hill station of Da Lat, the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City and the mighty Mekong Delta.
Start from Hanoi and finish in Saigon or vice versa


  • Brief itinerary

    Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi (D)
    Day 2: Hanoi - Halong Bay (B/L/D)
    Day 3: Halong - Hanoi (Brunch)
    Day 4: Hanoi - Fly to Hue (B)
    Day 5: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - drive through magnificent Hai Van pass (B)
    Day 6: Hoi An (B)
    Day 7: Hoi An - Nha Trang (B)
    Day 8: Nha Trang - Da Lat (B)
    Day 9: Da Lat - Ho Chi Minh city (B/L)
    Day 10: Ho Chi Minh city tour - Cu Chi tunnels (B/L)
    Day 11: Ho Chi Minh city - Mekong delta (B/L)
    Day 12: Ho Chi Minh city departure (B)

  • Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi (D)
    Upon your arrival at Noi Bai Airport, you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi. Welcome dinner at a local restaurant, one of the finest restaurants in Hanoi. Relax and stay overnight at the hotel.

    : Hanoi Hotel
    3-star : Adamas hotel (sup), Maison D Hanoi hotel(Premium)
    4-star: The Light Hotel
    5-star: Apricot Hotel
    : Dinner


  • Day 2: Hanoi - Halong (B/L/D)
    8:00 Pick up at hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter.
    12:00 – 12:30 Embark on the cruise followed by a short cruise briefing.
    13:00 – 15:30 Savor a delectable lunch as cruises among the limestone islands.
    15:30 – 16:30 Kayak among the hidden areas of the bay, around the Bo Nau Cave area. Back to the boat
    16:30 – 17:30 Cruising to Soi Sim island. Go swimming and relaxing at the beach of Soi Sim or climb up to the top of the island for a panorama view of Halong Bay.
    17:30 Cruise back to the main boat for a shower. Relax or snap photos as the sun starts to set.
    19:00 Dinner is served. Socialize with other guests, fish for squid, or just laze around.
    Accommodation: Halong Bay Cruise
    3-star : Swan Cruise
    4-star: Syrena cruise
    5-star: Aphrodite Cruise
    Breakfast. Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 3: Halong - Hanoi (B/L)

    06:30 - 07:00 Start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt.
    07:30 - 08:30 Have breakfast at sunrise.
    08:30 - 09:30 Explore the amazing Sung Sot Cave - the nicest cave in Halong Bay.
    09:30 Return to the boat. Freshen up and check out of your cabin.
    09:30 - 10:30 Continue your cruise exploring the Bay, passing Ba Hang fishing village, Dog Islet, and more.
    10:30 – 11:30 While heading back to the habor, watch the cooking demonstration before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch.
    12:00 – 12:30 Disembark the cruise
    Rejoin the car drvie back to Hanoi
    Overnight in Hanoi.

    Accommodation: Hanoi Hotel
     3-star : Adamas hotel (sup), Maison D Hanoi hotel(Premium)
     4-star: The Light Hotel
     5-star: Apricot Hotel

    Breakfast, Lunch

  • Day 4: Hanoi - Hue (B)
    Breakfast at hotel. Free at leisure until time to transfer to the airport for the flight to Hue. Our tour guide in Hue will greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel for check in. As Vietnam’s last feudal capital, the small and quiet city of Hue is widely known for magnificent architectures, pagodas and royal tombs in the many small villages and surrounding hills. We spend the afternoon to sightsee Hue with the massive citadel, which contains the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. This royal residence was all destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive, however it is still fascinating to walk among the ruins. After an impressive boat trip, we return to the town and enjoy a walk to the bustling Dong Ba Market which sells a wide variety of local goods and handicrafts. Along the way we pass by many great eating spots, ideal places for visitors to sample some local delicacies. The beautiful riverside pagoda of Thien Mu which now becomes the symbol of Hue, and the elaborate royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc are not to be missed.
    Accommodation: Hue Hotel
    3-star : City River hotel  
    4-star: Serene Palace hotel 
    5-star: Imperial hotel 

    Meals: Breakfast
  • Day 5: Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An (B)
    Upon leaving Hue we drive south to Hoi An which was originally a Cham seaport but has been influenced down the centuries by a myriad of traders from various cultures. The scenic road is hugging the coastline before crossing over the winding Hai Van pass. A view from the top of the pass is one of Vietnam’s most impressive panoramic scenes. We stop en route to visit the Cham Museum in Da Nang City, the My Khe Beach and the Marble Mountain whose peaks represent the five elements of the universe.
    Accommodation: hotel in Hoi An.
    3-star : Kim An Hotel
    4-star: Thanh Binh Riverside 
    5-star: Victoria Resort 
  • Day 6: Hoi An (B)
    The ancient architecture of Hoi An is a fascinating combination of Vietnamese traditional characters with Chinese and Japanese influence. There is plenty to see in this delightful town, like the famous Japanese Covered Bridges, the Pottery Museum, the 200 years old Tamky House, the Chua Ong Pagoda and the vibrant market.
    Today, we include these on a walking tour passing many low tiled houses scattered along the small streets and assembly halls which reflect the town's multi-cultural past. A perfect way to round off the day is a boat trip on the Thu Bon River, which also gives us a chance to admire the spectacular countryside and explore a handicraft ceramic village and boat building yards.
    Overnight Hotel in Hoi An.
    3-star : Kim An Hotel
    4-star: Thanh Binh Riverside 
    5-star: Victoria Resort 
  • Day 7: Hoi An - Nha Trang (B)
    An early morning transfer to Da Nang Airport for a short flight to Nha Trang. The fabulous sunny weather, turquoise water surrounding a string of offshore islands, and white sandy beach stretching the whole length of the city make Nha Trang an ideal place for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape.
    After checking into the hotel we visit Nha Trang's major sights, including the Oceanographic Institute, the Long Son Pagoda with its famous giant Buddha image, the Hon Chong Rock formation and the impressive Ponagar Cham Towers, which are overlooking the colourful fishing port. The remainder of the day will be free for a well earned rest on a beach. Overnight in Nha Trang.
  • Day 8: Nha Trang - Da Lat (B)
    Upon leaving Nha Trang, we head south towards Da Lat, sometimes known as the "City of Eternal Spring". The journey will pass by the famous Cam Ranh Bay before arriving at the Po Klong Jarai Towers which represent an interesting culture and a colorful history of the Cham people.
    At an elevation of over 1, 000 meters, the hill station of Da Lat was founded in the early year of the last century for the colonials to escape the heat and chaos of Ho Chi Minh City. On arrival in Da Lat, we start our tour taking us through plenty of the French colonial architecture to the summer residence of Vietnam’s last Emperor Bao Dai, who was forced to abdicate in 1945, shortly after the end of the World War II. Other sights are the Lam Ty Ni Pagoda and Hang Nga Guesthouse, known as the Crazy House because of its bizarre architecture. Overnight in Da Lat.
  • Day 9: Da Lat - Ho Chi Minh City (B/L)
    The following destination of our trip is Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by many locals. This bustling metropolis is a contradiction of its northern counterpart and is crowded with motobikes and cars. It is full of numerous shopping areas and sidewalk cafés.
    After an enjoyable visit to the busy Hoa Binh Market, we make our way down hill to Ho Chi Minh City, traveling through the many tea and coffee plantations. The drive is long, but views are fantastic. Along the way we can make stops to stretch our legs and take some wonderful photographs. Check into hotel and stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

    3-star : Liberty Saigon Hotel
    4-star: Golden Central hotel Saigon
    5-star: Majestic hotel 
  • Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City Tour - Cu Chi Tunnels (B)
    The sightseeing tour of Ho Chi Minh City begins with a visit to the Reunification Palace which was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until end of April 1975. Close to the palace are some striking French colonial structures including the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Old Sai Gon Post Office. We also visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the War Remnant Museum before continuing to the bustling Ben Thanh Market where everything and anything is for sale
    We then transfer the Cu Chi Tunnels. An incredible underground network of approximately 200 km constructed by Vietnamese fighters during the long struggle for independence. The tunnels contained hospitals, plus accommodation and schools and were used as a military base for the Viet Cong in the American war. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
    Option: You can take a canoe tour to visit Cu Chi tunnels by boat and enjoy a different experience on Saigon river.
    3-star : Liberty Saigon Hotel
    4-star: Golden Central hotel Saigon
    5-star: Majestic hotel 
  • Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City - Mighty Mekong Delta (B/L)
    Heading out of town, we travel by road to the Mekong Delta, Vietnam's largest rice bowl. On arrival in My Tho we embark on a boat to navigate around the intricate small canals in the delta region. This is a great way to observe the local lifestyle close-up and catch a view of the many islands. The exciting excursion will pass the lush green vegetation before arriving at the famous Unicorn Island. Here we have opportunity to stroll around an orchard, taste many seasonal fruits and enjoy the wonderful traditional music.
    The next stop of our trip is Ben Tre province to visit some fascinating local industries. After feasting on a large lunch we return to Ho Chi Minh City, stopping off along the way to see the beautiful Vinh Trang Pagoda and the Cho Lon, Saigon’s China town, which is crammed with sacred temples and mysterious, narrow lanes.
    3-star : Liberty Saigon Hotel
    4-star: Golden Central hotel Saigon
    5-star: Majestic hotel 
  • Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City - Departure (B)
    Free at leisure until time transfer to airport for flight back home.


  • Accommodation based on twin sharing room at locals
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B- breakfast, L- lunch, D- dinner)
  • Boat trip in Halong Bay, Hue, Hoi An and Mekong Delta
  • All guided sightseeing fees and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Air tickets: Hanoi - Hue ; Da Nang - Nha Trang
  • Private car transfer as program with A/C
  • Approval of letter for Vietnam Visa on arrival


  • Visa stamping fee to Vietnam
  • Personal expenses
  • Other meals and drinks
  • Early check in & late check out for accommodation at the places
  • Airport tax and departure tax
  • Insurance
  • Tip for tour guide & driver