Sunset view in Hoi An

Essence of Vietnam

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VN03: 9 Days Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta (Ben Tre) - Ho Chi Minh City - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Ha Long Bay - Hanoi

Tour Type: Private tailor-made tour with professional guide and driver
Accommodation: Selected 5-star luxury and 4-star comfortable hotels
Highlights:

  • Explore the fertile Mekong Delta on a traditional long-tail boat.
  • Enjoy the spectacular view of Ha Long Bay by cruise and stay overnight onboard.
  • Wander around the local markets to experience the real local life.
  • Take a private car to pass by the Hai Van Pass and enjoy the breath-taking sea view.

Itinerary Details
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Day 1: Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Airport pick-up
Upon your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City today, you will be warmly welcomed by your professional guide and driver and then be transferred to the well-selected hotel. The rest of the day will be free for you to adjust to the time difference or wander around the city on your own.
Day 2: Explore highlights of Ho Chi Minh City with War Remnants Museum
Today, your tour will officially start from Cholon, the largest China Town in the city. There you can have a sight of Chinese-style temples and taste various Chinese foods. Then we will move on to the Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine to have a better understanding of the country's medical development. After that, we will drive to the Ben Thanh Market, the city's biggest indoor market with various antiques and souvenirs. Remember to make a bargain with the seller if you take a fancy to something.

Afterwards, your guide will lead you to the War Remnants Museum to have a look at the rare exhibits related to the Vietnam War (1955-1975). The former Presidential Palace, also called the Reunification Palace, will be the next destination. While wandering around the beautifully-decorated halls, you can see elegant lacquer paintings and tapestries.

Then we will visit two important landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City: the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Central Post Office. The Notre Dame Cathedral was built by the French in 1877, which is also known as Red Cathedral as it was entirely built with red bricks. In front of the cathedral, there is a statue of Saint Mary, who holds an earth engraved with a cross in her hands and tramples on a poisonous snake on her feet, symbolizing the end of evil and the coming of light, which echoes the sacred idea of the church. The Central Post Office, built in the late 19th century, displays maps of Vietnam from different periods. In addition to the maps, the gothic architectural style and the ornate interior will also bring you a beautiful visual enjoyment and wonderful experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, Saigon
    Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ho Chi Minh City
Day 3: Drive 2h to Ben Tre, Enjoy a Mekong Delta cruise
In the morning, your guide and driver will take you to Ben Tre, which is located in Mekong Delta area with a strong exotic flavor and is famous for its coconut candy. Upon arrival, you will get on a boat and cruise along the Ham Luong River to enjoy the amazing idyllic scenery. Midway through, you will see many different kinds of boats sailing on the river and the locals exchanging goods onboard, you will also have a chance to visit the fruit orchards, coconut groves, brick workshops, and etc. Afterwards, we will land at a village to explore the authentic Vietnamese rural life by visiting a farmer's house. Here, you will also take the "Xe Loi" or a bicycle to wander around. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. Afterwards, we will reach the dock by sampan and get on the boat back to Ben Tre. Finally, you will be taken back to the hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Fly 1.5h to Da Nang, Drive to Hoi An
After breakfast, you will be driven to the airport for the flight to Da Nang. On arrival, your local guide and driver will pick you up and then transfer you to Hoi An Ancient Town, which has been listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site since 1999. Hoi An, once a major port in Vietnam, boasts lots of traditional buildings of Chinese, Japanese, and French styles. In addition, the nightscape here is very beautiful with many lanterns lining up along the streets. Today, your guide will accompany you to wander around and visit some famous attractions, including Chua Ong Pagoda, Tan Ky Ancestral House, as well as the landmark - Japanese Covered Bridge..

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Drive to Hue via Hai Van Pass, Visit the Imperial City of Hue
In the morning, the driver will take you to Hue, which is the ancient capital of Vietnam. On the way, you will pass by Hai Van Pass and make a stopover at a fishing village of Lang Co. After around 3.5 hours, you will arrive and your guide will escort you to the hotel.

In the afternoon, your guide will lead you to the Imperial City, also called The Citade, where you can appreciate the luxurious royal palaces of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). Then we will come to the Tomb of Tu Duc, where Emperor Tu Duc once lived before he passed away. It combines the mausoleum architecture with the garden landscape harmoniously, achieving a high level of architectural art.

Meals: Breakfast

  • Imperial City, Hue
    The glorious Imperial City in Hue
  • Tomb of Tu Duc, Hue
    Hue Tomb of Tu Duc with exquisite pavilions
Day 6: Enjoy a half-day trip in Hue, Fly 1h15mins to Hanoi
Today we will take a short boat trip on the Perfume River to reach the Thien Mu Pagoda. With over 400 years of history, the 7-tier pagoda enshrines a gilded statue of smiling Buddha. Around the pagoda, there are also Fuyuan Tower, Thien Mu ancient courier route, as well as several splendid palaces waiting for you to explore. 

Then, we will move on to the Dong Ba Market to have a taste of local specialties, like the Bún bò Hu, the shrimp cake, the Vietnamese spring rolls, and etc. After spending some leisure time in the market, we will head for the Tomb of Minh Mang, which is the best-preserved imperial mausoleum in Hue with buildings symmetrically distributed along the axis. After that, the driver will take you to the airport for the flight to Hanoi, which is the capital and the second largest city in Vietnam. Upon your arrival, the local guide and driver will pick you up on time and then transfer you to the hotel for check-in.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: A full day to explore highlights of Hanoi
Your first stop today in Hanoi will be Ba Dinh Square, which is an important venue for rallies and festival activities in Vietnam with extremely rich history. If Hanoi is the heart of Vietnam, then Ba Dinh Square is the heart of Hanoi. Next, your guide will lead you to visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Ho Chi Minh's Stilt House to learn more about Ho Chi Minh, the founder of the Communist Party of Vietnam. After that, you will visit the One Pillar Pagoda, which was built on a single stone pillar in the center of a lotus pond. Lots of Buddhist devotees would go there to pray for a good luck in front of the statue of the Goddess of Mercy.

In the afternoon, follow your guide to the Temple of Literature, which was built in 1070 to commemorate Confucius, a great Chinese ideologist. Here, you will be exposed to Confucianism and have a chance to learn about its thoughts. Afterwards, we will move on to the West Lake, the biggest lake in Hanoi with an area of over 1, 230 acres, where you will enjoy the best view of Hanoi and visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda and Quan Thanh Temple by the lake. After that, we will proceed to the Museum of Ethnology or Museum of Vietnamese History according to your interest, to get to know the city's long history and rich culture. 

Today's trip will conclude with the Water Puppet Show, Vietnam's most distinctive traditional folk art, performed on a water stage. It shows the daily life of Vietnamese, as well as historical events and legends of the country, which is not only witty and funny, but will give you a deeper understanding of Vietnam.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Head to Halong Bay, Board a Halong Bay Cruise
After breakfast in the hotel, you will be transferred to Halong Bay by a 3 hours' drive. Upon arrival, you will board the Signature Cruise, which will be the highlight of your vacation. Along the way, you will see hills in various shapes and sizes standing in the water, gorgeous and magnificent. After lunch, we will head to visit one of the three largest karst caves in Halong Bay.

For the rest of the day, you can either enjoy the picturesque scenery leisurely or take part in some activities on board, such as canoeing, diving, or swimming. Tonight, you will experience the stay on the cruise.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Ha Long Bay Sunset
    The stunning sunset scene of Ha Long Bay
Day 9: Drive back to Hanoi, Airport see-off
Today, you can get up early in the morning to join in the Tai Chi class on the ship or enjoy the sunrise and take some beautiful pictures on deck. After that, enjoy morning tea or coffee. Then we will take a boat to the nearby small islands for an adventure. Finally, return to the cruise and have brunch. 

After returning to the wharf of Halong Bay at around 12:30, we will drive you to the Hanoi Airport directly. This 9-day Mekong Delta tour from Ho Chi Minh City will end here. Have a nice journey home!

Meals: Brunch

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DestinationsLuxury HotelsStandard Hotels
Ho Chi Minh CityHotel Nikko Saigon
Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel
Hoi AnLa Siesta Hoi An Resort & Spa
Little Beach A Boutique Hotel & Spa
HueIndochina Palace
Moonlight Hotel Hue
HanoiPan Pacific Hanoi
Hanoi La Siesta Hotel & Spa
Halong BayIndochina Cruise
Signature Cruise
Tour Prices

10% off - book 60 days before, 5% off - book 30 days before

Category
Month
Jan - Apr, Oct - Dec
May - Sep
Tour Prices with Luxury Hotels
Month2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
Jan - Apr, Oct - Dec$1879
$1691
$1609
$1448
May - Sep$1799
$1619
$1529
$1376
Tour Prices with Standard Hotels
Month2-3 travelers4-5 travelers
Jan - Apr, Oct - Dec$1639
$1475
$1369
$1232
May - Sep$1579
$1421
$1309
$1178
  • Prices are per person in US Dollars based on double occupancy.
  • The prices in red reflect 10% discount.
  • Any part of the itinerary e.g. tour length, activities & hotels can be tailored to your individual interests.
What's Included
  • Economy class airfare of Ho Chi Minh City - Da Nang; Hue - Hanoi.
  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels.
  • Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Service of English speaking guides per itinerary.
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
What's Excluded
  • International flight into and out Vietnam.
  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.).
  • Tips for guides and drivers.
  • Personal travel insurance.
  • Vietnam Visa Fee.
International Flight Information
► From major cities of the USA to Ho Chi Minh City
From New York, you can transit in Hong Kong. Take Cathay Pacific Airways CX841 10:00/14:15 (16h15m) firstly, stay 2 hours and 35 minutes in Hong Kong, and then take CX799 16:50/18:35 (2h45m) to Ho Chi Minh City. The duration is 21 hours and 35 minutes. From Los Angeles, you can take Japan Airlines JL061 12:50/16:45 (11h55m) to Tokyo, stay there for 1 hour and 5 minutes, and then take JL759 17:50/22:30 (6h40m) to Ho Chi Minh City, 19 hours and 40 minutes in total. From San Francisco, take United Airlines UA875 11:45/14:55 (11h10m), stay in Tokyo for 1 hour and 55 minutes, and then take UA7973 16:50/21:50 (7h) to reach Ho Chi Minh City, which takes 20 hours and 5 minutes in total.

► Your return trip to the USA 
From Hanoi to New York, you can take Korean Air KE442 12:20/18:25 (4h5m) to Seoul first, stay there for 1 hour and 5 minutes, and then take KE085 19:30/20:30 (14h) back to New York. The duration is 19 hours and 10 minutes. To Los Angeles, take KE442 12:20/18:25 (4h5m) firstly, stay in Seoul for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and then take KE011 19:40/14:40 (11h) to get back. The whole flight time is 16 hours and 20 minutes. To San Francisco, take Asiana Airlines OZ728 12:35/18:50 (4h15m), stay in Seoul for 1 hour and 50 minutes and then take OZ212 20:40/15:00 (10h20m). The flight time is 16 hours and 25 minutes.
5-Day Weather Forecast of Major Cities
Ho Chi Minh City
Hanoi
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Tour Reviews

4.815 Reviews
Write a review
  • Madonna Garcia from GermanyPosted on February 21, 2020
    Our 9 days Vietnam trip met our expectations very well, professional guides, attentive services, full-equipped hotels and attractive scenic spots.

    The French-style landmarks of Saigon such as Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office were in elegant appearances, worth visiting!
    Rate
    5/5
  • Donald Gaylord from AustraliaPosted on January 19, 2020
    The free local musical performance was also interesting, well worth the visits. During the 9 days Vietnam trip, we not only visited the classic scenic spots, but also learned so much about the history and culture of Vietnam. Very satisfied!
    Rate
    5/5
  • Maikel Longbottom from the United KingdomPosted on January 05, 2020
    The schedule was well organized. There were not many visitors in our group and we all got along very well.
    Local guides were very thoughtful to accompany us to see each scenic spot, and carefully explain them to us with rich knowledge. The Ha Long Bay cruise during a 9-day Vietnam tour was quite unforgettable!
    Rate
    5/5
  • Raymond Vargas from SpainPosted on December 17, 2019
    There were many people travel to Vietnam to have fun, especially when we visited Hoi An Ancient Town. Many colorful lanterns were arranged along the streets. The nightscape there was beautiful. A good site for photograph.
    Rate
    4/5
  • Effendi Brown from USAPosted on December 03, 2019
    The guides were quite enthusiastic and responsible. At the end of the day's tour, they would inform the next day’s schedule in advance. So we didn’t worry about anything at all.

    Our 9 days Vietnam trip covered many attractions from south to north, which was very fulfilling. Along the way, we felt the tropical climate, explored coastal cities, appreciated many fruit trees that had never been seen before... Really an amazing experience!
    Rate
    5/5
  • Kai Estabrooks from SwitzerlandPosted on November 18, 2019
    The 9-day private Vietnam tour was delightful and guaranteed because of our responsible consultant waiting to serve us. The itinerary was not tiring so we could appreciate the gorgeous sunrise and sunset in the early morning and evening. Quite relaxing!
    Rate
    4/5
  • Juan Gray from the United StatesPosted on November 02, 2019
    The itinerary was easy and pleasant! Warm and thoughtful tour guides, good hotel conditions, magnificent buildings and stunning sunset scenes were all the highlights of the 9 days private Vietnam tour to Saigon, Hue & Ha Long Bay! It was a quite worthwhile trip!
    Rate
    5/5
  • Rebecca from CanadaPosted on October 16, 2019
    A very extraordinary trip! Every spot was classic and Saigon was worth exploring well! The Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office were two places that could not be missed!! We took a lot of selfies inside and outside the two French-style buildings.
    We sent a postcard to our family, it was available! If you are a collector of stamps, you can buy them at a reasonable price.
    Rate
    5/5
  • Aysha Serna from MalaysiaPosted on September 30, 2019
    Overall, our 9-day Vietnam tour to Saigon, Hue & Ha Long Bay was pretty good! We had a lot to see: beautiful natural scenery, interesting activities, magnificent buildings…The itinerary was rich, but there was also plenty of time for free exploration. Great experience!
    Rate
    5/5
  • Hancock from FrancePosted on September 16, 2019
    Overall, the 9-day Vietnam trip lived up to our expectations. We covered Vietnam from south to north: Saigon - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi - Ha Long Bay. Saigon had many classic buildings worth a look. The photos of each scenic spot were super beautiful! Liberty Central Saigon Riverside Hotel was great! The pool on the top floor was a highlight. It was conveniently located, but was a bit noisy for the concerts on the street on those days I stayed~~
    Rate
    4/5
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