Essential Vietnam

  • 10 Days 9 Nights
  • $1,699
  • 2024
  • Domestic Airfares in Vietnam
  • 3-4-5 ⭐️ Accommodation

Overview

Discover the extraordinary sights and vibrant culture of Vietnam on this comprehensive 10-days tour from the country’s cosmopolitan south to its traditional north. Across 10 unforgettable days, discover French flavours, ancient Chinese influences and the roaring spirit of Vietnam.
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Itinerary in Brief

Day 1: Arrival – Ho Chi Minh City
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (By Bus & Cruise)
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh City – Hue (Domestic Flight)
Day 4: Hue City Tour (By Bus)
Day 5: Hue – Hoi An (By Bus)
Day 6: Hoi An – Free Day
Day 7: Hoi An – Danang – Hanoi (Domestic Flight)
Day 8: Hanoi – Halong Bay overnight on cruise (By Bus & Cruise)
Day 9: Halong Bay – Hanoi (By Bus)
Day 10: Hanoi – Departure

Itinerary

Day 1Ho Chi Minh City - Arrival (No Meal)

Welcome to Saigon! Upon arrival at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGM), a tour guide will meet you and guide you to your driver for transfer to your hotel.

Then you are free. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meal included: None

Day 2Ho Chi Minh City Mekong Delta Ho Chi Minh City (Breakfast / Lunch)

7h30 AM Our tour guide will welcome you at your hotel in District 1 before heading to My Tho city by bus. Enjoy the scenery and green rice paddies during the one-and-a-half-hour bus ride. Along the way, we will visit Vinh Trang pagoda, the biggest pagoda in the Mekong delta. Continue to My Tho, where we take a boat trip along the Mekong River, where you can see fish cages and floating houses on the river.

The boat takes you to a small canal, escaping the hustle and bustle of the town. We disembark at a coconut island in Ben Tre and enjoy a walk around the village. Stop at a local family home to enjoy tropical fruit, taste the honey tea and honey wine and listen to Vietnamese traditional music performed by the villagers. Check out the coconut candy shop and learn how to make candy, and see handicrafts made from the coconuts.

Take your time snapping photos and enjoy the natural scenery before we head to the local restaurant. Lunch is set with special Vietnamese food. Enjoy your lunch outside under the shade of the trees. After lunch, enjoy your time relaxing, walking around the village, or perhaps going for a short bike ride. Travel back to Saigon and arrive around 5.00 pm for the end of the tour. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh.

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel. Lunch at local restaurant

Option Cu Chi tunnel
Cu Chi Tunnels is a legendary underground system of over 220 km of tunnels, a must-see for both Vietnamese and foreign travellers who are interested in the history of the Vietnam War. The tunnels are now a historical structure of Vietnam and considered a heroic district for the role they played in the resistance to US forces during the Vietnam War.

The tunnels are located approximately 60km from Ho Chi Minh city. The tour departs at 8:00 am or 12:45 from the Vietnam Adventure Tours office or from your hotel in district 1. Enjoy the scenery along the way, as we pass the lush, endless rice fields and the ducks are water buffaloes swimming in the rivers. You might find it hard to imagine that once the area was almost destroyed by bombs and mines from the war when Cu Chi was a “free target zone “.

Once we arrive, you will get a chance to walk through some of the tunnels, discover the hidden corners and imagine what life was like here for the resistance soldiers. If you like, try to cook with the smokeless stoves used by Vietnamese soldiers to cook during the war. You can even try foods which the soldiers lived on. If you’re feeling brave, or curious, you can even try your hand at shooting at an AK-47, one of the guns used during the war.

Head back to the city in the afternoon; the tour finishes at 2:30 PM. The trip ends.

Day 3Ho Chi Minh City Hue (Breakfast)

Suggestion flight time from 10:00 – 12:00

This morning, we will transfer to the airport to take a flight to Hue – Vietnam’s last feudal capital. This small and quiet city is widely known for its magnificent architecture, pagodas and royal tombs laid in many small villages and surrounding hills.

Upon arrival at Hue airport, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Then you are free. Overnight in Hue.

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel.

Day 4Hue Tour (Breakfast)

In the morning, we will take a short drive to explore the massive Hue citadel built in 1832 – Western architecture combined with Eastern, the citadel contains the Imperial City and the Purple Forbidden City. This Royal Residence was destroyed during the 1968 Tet Offensive but with renovations by a great work of local artists have restored most of it to its former glory.

In the afternoon, you will enjoy a boat cruise downstream to visit the charming pagoda of Thien Mu built in 1601 lying on the top of Ha Khe Hill, hidden behind 7 layers of Phuoc Duyen tower. Then you will visit the Dong Ba market for some souvenir shopping before an evening at leisure. Overnight in Hue.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Option 2: Thanh Toan village – Nhu Y river and cooking class

After breakfast, we will transfer to Thanh Toan Village where the famous “Thanh Toan Tiled Roof Bridge” is located. On the way, you can’t help but be surprised to catch the images of the bustling morning local market, the green rice fields, majestic family temples as well as the daily life of local people crossing the zigzag path of the village.

10h00: Arrive at Thanh Toan Tile roof Bridge – a truly unique ancient bridge in Vietnam and visit Thanh Toan Museum with a wide variety of agricultural tools exhibited to explain the details of Vietnamese life and culture.

10h15: Row the boat with the villagers on Nhu Y River to enjoy spectacular sceneries and explore how they catch the fish by using some old tools such as fishing traps, casting net, etc. After observing, you can join hands with them to catch your own fish.
Get back to our host where you can see around the vegetable garden with many kinds grown by local farmers such as: Malabar spinach, gourd, fiber melon, winter melon, fig…

12h00: Join cooking class to learn the traditional ways of preparing and cooking Hue special such as fig salad with shrimp and meat, pancake or spring roll. After the lesson, enjoy what you have just cooked and some other local dishes. Then back to your hotel.

Day 5Hue Hoi An (Breakfast)

Upon leaving Hue, we will transfer to Hoi An. The scenic road hugs 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 of Lang Co Beach.

On arrival in Hoi An, you check in at the hotel. Then you are free.

Overnight in Hue.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Day 6Hoi An - Free Day (Breakfast)

Today you are free for your own exploration in Hoi An.

Overnight in Hoi An.

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel.

Optional tour to Ba Na Hills
7:40 – 8:00: Car and tour guide will pick you at your hotel (in Da Nang)
After picking up all visitors, the bus will depart for Sun World Ba Na hills.

9:30 Arrive at Ba Na, you will rest and take photos when our guide gets the cable car ticket

  • You will spend 20 minutes to move by cable car line
  • After finishing the cable car line, you could follow the guide to visit Golden Bridge – the famous attraction in Vietnam, Le Jardin Garden, old wine cellar
  • You will use the next cable car line to come to French villages. Here, you could take photos with the Gothic-style castles at Du Dôme Square and join in the lively street festivals.

12:00 Have a buffet lunch.
Play more than 100 free games at Fantasy Park and superfast slide

15:00 You will gather and follow the guide to move down the cable car line.

16:30 – 17:00 Car drops you at your hotel.

Day 7Hoi An Danang Hanoi (Breakfast)

Suggestion flight time from 12:00 – 14:00

There is some free time for your own exploration in Hoi An until we transfer to Danang airport to take a flight to Hanoi. On arrival at Noi Bai airport, you are met and transferred to your hotel.

Hanoi is a charming and richly historic city of lakes, shaded boulevards and verdant public parks. The city centre is like an architectural museum, with blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a provincial French town from the 1930s.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Optional tour: Hanoi Street food

This tour into the Old Quarter will begin from your hotel in the early evening. Your English-speaking local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture, including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. Walk through the maze of bustling streets that is Hanoi’s Old Quarter and tempt your tastebuds with the famed Hanoi dish Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch as the skilled chefs demonstrate to you how this tasty dish is put together.

Continuing onwards, wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can discover how the locals live in the old quarter. Afterwards you will stop at the barbeque stalls. Settle down with the locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties grilled over hot coals for extra flavor.

The search for dessert will take you down to a small alley, where you will find fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk – this specialty is one not to be missed! Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best kept secrets, a hidden street food restaurant to taste top ten street foods in Hanoi including Banh My Hanoi, Vietnamese Rice Wine and famous Egg Coffee along with many other specialties. Follow these delicious meals with an ice-cold local beer.

Your trip ends in the middle of the old quarter, and you will continue onwards to discover Hanoi by night at your own leisure, or the tour guide can arrange a taxi for you to go back to your hotel (taxi not included). Inclusions: English speaking tour guide, all food and drink as mentioned above.

Day 8Hanoi Halong Bay Overnight on Cruise (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

After breakfast, our tour guide and driver pick you up from the hotel to transfer to Halong Bay – the number one destination of Vietnam.

Itinerary for Garden Bay Cruise

08:15 Hotel pick-up in hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter.

12:15 Arriving at Sunworld International Harbor, Bai Chay Ward, Ha Long City. Transfer to Tonkin Cruise Boat by tender (5 -10 minutes)

12:30 Enjoy welcome drink, safety briefing then check in to your cabin.

13:00 Cruising through Bai Tu Long Bay & having lunch with Set Menu

15:30 Kayaking to explore some lagoons, Swimming, Relaxing at the Beach in Cap La

17:30 Relax and enjoy the sunset party with Happy Hour (from 5h30pm- 7h30pm) while the boat is cruising to Cong Dong-Cong Do area to anchor for overnight.

19:00 Having BBQ dinner (on the sundeck if condition permit otherwise in the restaurant)

21:00 Free evening to join some activities of board games or squid fishing, play guitar, watch movies or karaoke (advance request) or taste the variety of drinks at our luxury sky bar (chargeable) with wines, cocktails, brandy, juices…

Itinerary for Calypso Cruise

12:15 – 13:00 From Tuan Chau wharf, Tuan Chau Island of Ha Long city, we go to Calypso Cruise by small boat. A warmly welcome drinks will be served upon arrival the cruise then has a short time for check in proceeds: get a brief introduction and safety guidelines then check in
Have lunch while cruising in the magnificent Ha Long Bay, admiring the fascinating nature, then anchor at Lan Ha Bay area.

15:00 Join a guide to explore hidden parts of the bay, the area of Dark and Bright cave where to go through the cave, under the mountain to a lake which is formed by a Karst – well like a dragon eye inside the mountain. This is a very beautiful sight that visitors like the most. You share a sampan with other tourists with a local rower OR take a kayak on your own.
Return to Calypso Cruises for changing swimming suits then join swimming time in the sea or at the swimming pool on sundeck.

17:30 Enjoy happy hours with various drinks on discounts, try swimming pool and charming the bay with our handsome bartenders. Sun set can be seen from the sundeck if it is a lucky day.

18:00 Take part in a cooking demonstration and food décor with our Chef.

19:00 Join dinner at Calypso Cruises restaurant.

20:30 – 22:00 Time for relaxation after a day on the sundeck, leisure in a room for watching films, singing karaoke in a restaurant or going to tender for squid fishing with cruise staff.

Overnight in Lan Ha Bay.

Itinerary La Regina Grand Cruise

08:00 – 08:30 La Regina Grand Cruise luxury limousine picks you up from your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter to start your journey to La Regina Private Lounge.

11:30 Arrive at La Regina private lounge – Lot 24, Tuan Chau Marina – Ha Long, enjoy a welcome drink and express check-in before boarding.

12:15 Transferred by speed boat to La Regina Grand Cruises. Welcome aboard the cruise, refresh with our welcome drink while Cruise Manager briefing cruise orientation, activities & on board safety. The boat starts cruising to Lan Ha bay.

13:00 Cruise leaves to explore Lan Ha Bay. You will be enjoying a meal that features the distinctive Vietnamese cuisine taste while relaxing and avoiding the crowds on well-travelled roads.

15:30 You will arrive at Light and Dark Cave – one of the best attractions on Lan Ha Bay which is best known for its pristine and tranquil beauty. Exploring the area by local boat or kayaking. After that, you can swim in the green emerald and cool water around the cruise.

17:30 Return to the cruise and enjoy the Bay sunset while enjoying the “Happy Hour” special. You may also join our chef in the kitchen to learn how to make traditional spring rolls.

19:00 If the weather permits, enjoy dinner on the sundeck or in HaLong Bar & Restaurant, which is on the second floor. You will have the chance to savour meals produced from premium, fresh ingredients in a distinctive fusion style that fuses the essence of traditional Vietnamese cuisine with the innovative influences of modern cuisine.

After dinner, it’s your choice for a fun squid fishing, spa (charge fees) or relaxing.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel, Lunch and Dinner on cruise.

Day 9Halong Bay Hanoi (Breakfast / Brunch)

Itinerary for Garden Bay Cruise

06:30 Wake up early in the morning for Taichi exercise.

07:00 Have a light breakfast.

07:45 Visit Vung Vieng Fishing Village by bamboo boat to discover the daily life of the fisher communities

09:00 Back to the main boat, relaxing, packing up

09:30 Checking-out and relaxing on the sundeck

10:30 Enjoy the last scenery of the HaLong Bay over lunch when the boat cruises back to shore.

11:45 Disembark and relax in our cafe lounge

12:15 Transfer back to Hanoi. Then you are free. Overnight in Hanoi.

Itinerary for Calypso Cruise

06:00 Welcome a new day with amazing dawn on the Legendary Gulf of Tonkin. Refresh your body & soul by taking a Tai-chi lesson on the sundeck.

06:45 – 7:30 Have breakfast in the restaurant.

07:30 – 08:30 Join a guided tour and get your hands on some Kayaking to explore Tra Bau area. Those who do not fancy kayaking can swim at the swimming pool on the sundeck or swim in the sea.

08:30 – 9:30 Return to Calypso Cruises for a shower. Check out of your room.

09:30 – 10:30 An early lunch will be served.

10:45 – 11:00 After paying the bills, a small boat will take all of us to Tuan Chau wharf.

11:00 – 11:45: Disembark at the pier and return to Hanoi. Then you are free. Overnight in Hanoi.

Itinerary for La Regina Grand Cruise

06:00 Greet the new day on the sundeck with a Taichi session. Enjoy the fresh air on the bay while you unwind with a cup of tea or coffee.

06:45 Enjoy a quick breakfast on board and get your day going with plenty of energy.

07:30 You will join the tour of Cat Ba World Biosphere. It will take you around 30 minutes to transfer from Gia Luan to Trung Trang – one of the most impressive caves in Cat Ba Island, Vietnam.

09:40 Lunch is served in the restaurant while the boat heads back to the harbor.

11:00 Disembark from the cruise as our crew a farewell, back to Tuan Chau Marina by our speed boat. Then we will return to Hanoi. Then you are free. Overnight in Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch on cruise

*Details of the cruise program will be updated upon confirmation. Anyway, it still can change prior to departure date without notification due the weather or quay policy.

Day 10Hanoi - Departure (Breakfast)

Your final day starts with breakfast at the hotel followed by check-out. You will then be transferred to the airport for the departure flight to the next destination.

Meal included: Breakfast at hotel.

Tour Prices & Hotels

Private Tours For The Whole Itinerary

Net Tour Cost Per Person in AUD Base on Double/Twin Sharing
Group size (Min.2 person) Standard Class (3*) Superior Class (4*) Deluxe Class (5*)
Price per person $ 1,999 $ 2,199 $ 2,599
Single supplement $ 520 $ 700 $ 1,050

Seat In Coach Tours in Mekong Delta, Hue, Halong Bay by Shuttle Bus and Private Tours in Other Cities.

Seat-In-Coach, we often call it “SIC” for short. It means that you will share the seats in a coach with other tourists.

Net Tour Cost Per Person in AUD Base on Double/Twin Sharing
Group size (Min.2 person) Standard Class (3*) Superior Class (4*) Deluxe Class (5*)
Price per person $ 1,699 $ 1,899 $ 2,399
Single supplement $ 520 $ 700 $ 990

Peak Season Surcharges

Time Holiday
08 – 16 Feb 2024 Tet Holiday
30 Apr – 02 May 2024 Victory and Labour Day
01 – 04 Sep 2024 Independence Day
22 – 25 Dec 2024 Christmas Holiday
29 Dec 2024 – 05 Jan 2025 New Year

List of Hotels (or Similar)

Standard Class (3*)

City Hotel Room Type
Hanoi Chalcedony Deluxe
Halong Bay Garden Bay Cruise Deluxe Cabin
Hoi An Lantana Riverside Deluxe
Hue Emm Hue Superior
Ho Chi Minh City Acnos Hotel Deluxe

Superior Class (4*)

City Hotel Room Type
Hanoi The Q Hotel Deluxe
Halong Bay Calypso Cruise Deluxe
Hoi An Hadana Boutique Resort Deluxe
Hue Eldora Hue Deluxe
Ho Chi Minh City Alagon D’antique Deluxe

Deluxe Class (5*)

City Hotel Room Type
Hanoi Pan Pacific Deluxe
Halong Bay La Regina Grand Bai Tu Long Suite
Hoi An Little Oasis ROH
Hue Indochine Palace Deluxe
Ho Chi Minh City Grand Saigon Premium Deluxe

Tour Inclusions

Departure Dates

Departure Dates from Sydney & Melbourne to Ho Chi Minh City:

Every Sunday

Departure Dates from Perth to Ho Chi Minh City:

Every Tuesday

* Our Add-on Interstate Surcharges from Brisbane/ Adelaide & New Zealand to Sydney/ Melbourne will be the BEST to create through Airfares.

We tailor-made holidays to your schedule with the best prices for small private groups.

Please email us your departure date & departure city => [email protected] or hotlines 1300 309 117

Flight

  • 02 domestic airfares: Ho Chi Minh City – Hue, Danang – Hanoi

Cruise

  • 02 days 01 night on cruise in Ha Long (shared cabin on shared Cruise)

Meal

  • Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in itinerary (Vietnamese local cuisine).
    • Daily breakfast at the hotel.
    • Breakfast, lunch, dinner & brunch on cruise

Drink

  • 02 bottles of mineral water/ person/ day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing

Tour guide

  • English-speaking local guides
    • Ha Noi – Halong: 01 guide
    • Da Nang – Hoi An – Hue: 01 guide
    • Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta: 01 guide

Transport

  • Private vehicle with air conditioning for airport transfers in Ho Chi Minh/ Danang/ Hanoi
    • 1 – 2 pax: 07 car seats
    • 3 – 7 pax: van of 16 seats
    • 8 – 12 pax: coach of 25 – 29 seats
    • 13 – 15 pax: coach of 30 – 35 seats

Other

  • Boat trip to Mekong Delta.
  • Entrance fee to indicated sights.

Tour Exclusions

Tour Exclusions

  • International airfares to/ from Australia (quoted separatedly, if requested)
  • Book a multi-city ticket with Vietnam Airlines, your connections are protected and get 02 complimentary domestic airfares.
  • Need domestic Australia/ New Zealand connecting flights to join Vietnam Tours? Let us handle in “one booking” with special ADD ON fares and convenience.
  • Visa to Vietnam (Clients can click here to apply E-visa online or contact VN Holidays team to help with service fee.)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for Lunar New Year (TET) holiday
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the program.
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking.
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the program

Important info

Changes

  • The itinerary can be changed due to weather, tide levels, and operating conditions.
  • Programmers, prices, services and conditions are based on those valid at the time of proposal submission and are subject to change thereafter without advance notice until all services have been paid in full.

Special requests

  • Your special requests (diet, vegetarian,…) should be sent before your departure date.

VN Holiday's responsibility

  • Certain parts of the tours on offer are provided by independent third parties, such as airlines, hotels, transport operators and local tourist offices.
  • VN Holidays is not responsible for any loss or theft, injury or damage caused thereby to the tourists, including those occurring outside of the normal touring programmers.
  • Additional expenses incurred due to delay, accident, natural disaster, political actions and unrest shall be borne by the tourists.
Price
From$1,699
Select a package
  • Private Tour - Standard Class (3*)Min 2 person
  • Private Tour - Superior Class (4*)Min 2 person
  • Private Tour - Deluxe Class (5*)Min 2 person
  • SIC - Standard Class (3*)Min 2 person
  • SIC - Superior Class (4*)Min 2 person
  • SIC - Deluxe Class (5*)Min 2 person

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