Vietnam Essential
Halong Bay Vietnam

Vietnam Essential


Vietnam Essential tour is one of our scheduled departure tours with classic tour itinerary. We’ll travel through most of Vietnam tourist attractions from Ha Noi through Sai Gon or Ho Chi Minh City.

The pace of the tour is easy. The traveller will take part in group activities while still having independent time exploring at their own pace. The tour activities include: culture-touring, sea cruising, river cruising, walking. Some of the meals on the tour itinerary is included in the tour price for you so sample the fine Vietnamese cuisine in each region.

Accommmodations for the tour are of 3 star standard, centrally located for the travellers’ convenience of exploring the town. At each city the travellers will be looked after by our local tour guide. For a group from 8 people, there’ll be a tour guide taking care of the group throughout Vietnam. Vietnam Essential has always been one of the most popular of our Vietnam packages for many years.

Day1    (    Monday    )    Arrive in Ha Noi (D)
Day2    (    Tuesday    )    Ha Noi City Tour (B/L)
Day3    (    Wednesday    )    Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay Junk Cruise (B/L/D)
Day4    (    Thursday    )    Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi – Da Nang – Hoi An (VN 317: 1700-1815) (B/L)
Day5    (    Friday        )    Hoi An Morning Tour/Free afternoon(B)
Day6    (    Saturday    )    Hoi An free at leisure (B)
Day7    (    Sunday    )    Hoi An – Hue/River Cruise (B/L/D)
Day8    (    Monday    )    Hue (B/L)
Day9    (    Tuesday    )    Hue - Sai Gon (VN 251: 0810-0930)/Tour of Sai Gon (B/D)
Day10    (    Wednesday    )    Sai Gon - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Sai Gon (B/L)
Day11    (    Thursday    )    Sai Gon - Cu Chi - Sai Gon/Free afternoon (B/L/D)
Day12    (    Friday        )    Depart Sai Gon (B)

The tour price includes
  • English-speaking guide;
  • Transportation + airlines tickets within Vietnam as indicated on the tour program;
  • Private cabin on a shared junk cruise on Ha Long Bay as per itinerary;
  • Private boat cruises on the Perfume River in Hue and the Mekong River as indicated on the tour program;
  • Accommodation on twin(double)-sharing basis as indicated on the tour program;
  • Meals as indicated on the tour program: B= Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner;
  • All admission fees during the guided times as indicated on the tour program;

The tour price doesn't include

  • Insurance of any types;
  • International airfares and airport taxes;
  • Drinks or personal expenses;
  • Others not clearly specified in the inclusions


Day1 ( Monday ) Arrive in Ha Noi (D)
Arriving at Ha Noi Airport, you’ll be welcomed by our driver (without a tour guide) and transferred to the hotel. The rest of the day is free at leisure. Our welcome group dinner is hosted at a local restaurant with fine Vietnamese cuisine. Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day2 ( Tuesday ) Ha Noi (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we’ll tour the 1000 year old city of Ha Noi. We’ll visit different highlights of Ha Noi including: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, Ho Chi Minh Museum, the Ngoc Son temple, the Temple of Literature - 1st University of Vietnam.
Lunch at a local restaurant

In the afternoon, we continue our tour to the Tran Quoc Pagoda - Nation founding pagoda, the Quan Thanh temple.  In late afternoon, we'll have 1 hour rickshaw ride around the old quarter and a traditional water puppet show.
Dinner on our own tonight.
Overnight in Ha Noi.

Day3 ( Wednesday ) Ha Noi - Ha Long Bay Junk Cruise (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We start at 9.00 A.M for the 3 hour drive (170 km) through the Red River Delta, which offers plenty of photo opportunities of Vietnamese farmers tilling the vast green paddy fields. At half way, we'll have a visit to a handicraft workshop with fine clothes, embroidered paintings, stone statuettes and all kinds of gems mined in Vietnam such as star rubies or sapphires... Our destination is the World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. The bay offers some 3000 mountain islands and islets towering in the Gulf of Tonkin in the East Vietnam Sea.

Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed on board our luxury junk and treated with wine and fresh local seafood. As our junk gliding further into the tranquility of Ha Long Bay amid the towering mountain cliffs and on the emerald green water, you'll have relaxing time combining the fine tastes of the wine and the freshness of Ha Long Bay. During the cruise, we'll stop for visiting the amazing Sung Sot cave and the Ti Tov white sand beach before anchoring for the night.
Overnight on board the junk in the wild of Ha Long Bay.

Day4    (    Thursday    )    Ha Long Bay - Ha Noi – Da Nang – Hoi An (VN 317: 1700-1815) (B/L)
After breakfast, we'll take a little sampan to visit a secret lagoon of Ha Long Bay while the surrounding mountains are just waking up. After that our cruise takes us further into the Bay of Bai Tu Long traveling past the Human Head Island, the Turtle Island, and the Duck Islet... to the studio site where the famous “Indochine” film was shot.

After the last feast on board for lunch, our junk travels back to the harbor for disembarkation at 12.00 A.M. We rejoin our bus and make our way to Ha Noi Airport for our flight to Da Nang. Arriving at Da Nang, welcomed by our local tour guide and driver and transferred to Hoi An Old Town. Free at leisure in the evening. Dinner is on our own tonight.
Overnight in Hoi An.

Hoi An was a famous trading port back to the 16 – 19th centuries. Hoi An was visited by merchants from China, Japan, Persia, Europe…at the times. Hoi An residents are composed of Vietnamese, Chinese. Hoi An’s architecture is the perfect combination of Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese styles. Hoi An nowadays still retains the atmosphere of the old town dated back to the heyday which never fails to charm the visitors.

Apart from the cozy ancient town, Hoi An also offers the pristine white sand Cua Dai Beach which claimed one of the most charming beaches in the world and which offers relaxing beach vacations. Hoi An has always been unforgettable memory for our dear travelers.

Day5    (    Friday        )    Hoi An Morning Tour/Free afternoon(B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning, we’ll have an oriented walking tour of Hoi An ancient town which was busy with trade back a few centuries ago. Walking in the narrow streets flanked by old merchant houses we can imagine the hustling and bustling time when the town was filled up with merchants and goods from around the world. We’ll visit old merchant houses, a Chinese Congregational Hall, Hoi An Museum, and the famous Japanese covered-bridge.

You have the afternoon free at leisure for relaxing on the beach or for checking the fine silk of the region. Lunch and dinner are on our own today.
Overnight in Hoi An.

Day6    (    Saturday    )    Hoi An free at leisure (B)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Full day free at leisure for shopping, hanging around the Old Town or worshiping the sun on the white sand beach of Cua Dai.
Lunch and dinner are on our own today.
Overnight in Hoi An.

Day7    (    Sunday    )    Hoi An – Hue/River Cruise (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We check out of the hotel in the morning. Our journey brings us through the scenic countryside of the Central Region of Vietnam with green mountains on one side and blue sea on the other. We’ll stop on the Hai Van Pass (Pass of Sea Cloud) which offers 360 degrees of breathtaking mountain and sea view and at the Lang Co Beach with fine white sand beach against the green mountain backdrop. Our destination today is Hue Imperial City.
Lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we'll engage into the beauty of Hue with a cruise on the Perfume River to the Thien Mu Pagoda, then we’ll continue to explore by bus the Tomb of King Tu Duc. Dinner is at a local restaurant with Hue fine cuisine.
Overnight in Hue.

Hue was the capital city of Vietnam from 1802 - 1945. Hue is a charming imperial city with combination of the new and the old. The Perfume River bisects the city into the northern and southern parts. To the north is the ancient citadel surrounded by moats which were home to the royal court of Vietnam in the 19th century. Visiting the ancient citadel you can visit the Palace where the king lived, the quarter for the royal family and concubines, the royal library….Lots of damages during the war are still found here though. To the south is where hotels and fine dining restaurants are located.

Hue is definitely the city of harmony with the encircling green mountains, the meandering rivers, the architecture nestled in trees….Everything of Hue seems to be just in the right place and in perfect harmony. To the western side of the city is where the royal tombs are found. The Vietnamese kings thought that the West is the direction of sunset and permanent rest. That was why they built different royal tombs in the western part of Hue city. Here the kings would rest permanently in complete peace and tranquility.

Each of the royal tombs was designed by the king himself and the architecture of each tomb shows a lot about the king and the context of Vietnam at the time. Many tombs were constructed, completed and used by the king when they were still in reign. The royal tombs of Hue are for sure the fine pieces of arts.

Day8    (    Monday    )    Hue (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
We start with a tour of Hue Imperial Citadel and the Dong Ba exotic market on the Perfume River Bank.
Lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we'll head out of the city into the leafy countryside for a visit to the tombs of King Khai Dinh and King Minh Mang. We’ll also visit the tranquil Tu Hieu Pagoda and the Royal Arena. Free time in the evening. Dinner is on our own.
Overnight in Hue.

Day9    (    Tuesday    )    Hue - Sai Gon (VN 251: 0810-0930)/Tour of Sai Gon (B/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
You enjoy free time at leisure until we transfer you to Hue Phu Bai Airport for your flight to Sai Gon. Arriving at Sai Gon Airport, you’ll be picked up and escorted to the city. Enjoy a tour of Sai Gon taking in: The War Remnants Museum, The Cathedral, The General Post Office, The Municipal Theatre and the Central Market, Binh Tay Market and the China town. The remainder of the day is free at leisure.
Lunch is on our own.
In the evening, we’ll go out for a dinner cruise on the Sai Gon River.
Overnight in Sai Gon.

Saigon sprawls its length along the Saigon River. With convenient transportation and location, Saigon has always been busy with trade and commerce for hundreds of years since its formation.

Saigon boasts its high rise buildings and luxurious hotels along the riverside. This area is particularly stunning at night when the city full of light can be viewed from a boat cruising on the Saigon River. There are also some rooftop bars and restaurants for you to watch Saigon at night from above.

Saigon is a city on the go, busy days and nights. It’s required no effort to find something to entertain ourselves while in Saigon. There are many pagodas, temples and museums in the city. Those who want to have more active experiences may like to get lost in the busy and exotic markets selling most of things on earth, the numerous bars and sidewalk cafes always full of guests, smoke and music, or just take part in the traffics like nowhere else in the downtown area. If those things are not enough, then there are lots of parks and water parks around the city for you to get relaxed.

Day10 ( Wednesday ) Sai Gon - Cai Be - Vinh Long - Sai Gon (B/L)
Breakfast at the hotel.
Today we’ll discover the exotic lifestyle of the communities who live on the mighty Mekong River. We travel through the heart of the verdant Mekong Delta to Cai Be for our boat trip to Vinh Long.

In Cai Be we will witness an exotic floating market with boats carrying loads of commodities for bartering. We can engage in the bargaining sessions with the local merchants for the fresh fruits of the region. Then we’ll move on to visit exotic occupations still carried out by the locals such as making dry young rice, making rice papers, making coconut candy. After that our tour brings us to an old house with traditional Vietnamese architecture and we’ll learn about agricultural works through the ancient tools used here in the past.

Lunch is served right in a bonsai garden amid trees and tranquility. After lunch, we’ll relax with some walking tours or cycling tours through the village to learn more about the local life. We’ll also sample a bonsai garden and visit a ceramics workshop before rejoining our car to travel back to Sai Gon. Dinner is on our own tonight. Overnight in Sai Gon.

Day11 ( Thursday ) Sai Gon - Cu Chi - Sai Gon (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel.
In the morning, we drive 70 km to Cu Chi once famous for the legendary tunnel system which at the height stretched over 250 km. In Cu Chi, you will have to check these tunnels of 3 levels yourself by creeping in the narrow tunnels. We’ll be surprised to find out how people made these tunnels and find out how life of the local people was during the Second Indochina War.

Lunch at a local restaurant.
Free time in the afternoon.
Tonight our farewell dinner is hosted at a local fine-dining restaurant. Overnight in Saigon.

Day12 ( Friday ) Depart Sai Gon (without tour guide) (B)
You have free time until we transfer you (without a tour guide) back to the airport for your departure flight. We trust you had a wonderful Vietnam  tour with Private Vietnam Tours.

Trip Photos

Hanoi Vietnam
Starting our tour in the charming capital city of Ha Noi with the blend of the East and the West influence, with the bustling-hustling Old Quarter...
Halong Bay Vietnam
Have 2 days/1 night to get spoiled in luxury with a cruise amid towering mountains and islands on the emerald water of the World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay.
Hoi An Vietnam
Have 3 nights at the charming Old Town of Hoi An where there are plenty of opportunities to have your clothes made.
Tomb of King Tu Duc
Travel further to Hue where we'll tour the Imperial Citadel and the philosophical royal tombs.
Saigon Vietnam
Travel further to the Cosmopolitan Sai Gon where life is on the go days and nights...
Mekong River Delta Vietnam
Have a day to expedite into the verdant Mekong Delta - the Rice Bowl of Vietnam
Cu Chi Tunnel Vietnam
Travel back in time to learn about the fierce battles that once shocked the whole World at Cu Chi and the Iron Triangle.