Essence of Vietnam

The same with name of our company, we design this special trip with hope that we are bringing you the essence of our country through each region from the north to the central and the south.
Journey highlights:
Blend in the scrambling alleyways of Hanoi’s timeworn Old Quarter
Experience the unseen hill tribes’ life in Sapa
Explore Halong Bay’s spectacular scatter of islands on a traditional junk boat
Stroll around the iconic ancient town of Hoi An and visit the most highlights
Discover the story of Saigon, from city of conflict to a modern metropolis
Squeeze through the famous Vietnam War-era tunnels at Cu Chi
Cruise onward further Southwest Vietnam to the legendary Mekong Delta
Rise early to discover the colorful floating market of Cai Rang on a sampan

Day 1 - Hanoi Arrival  
Welcome to our beautiful Vietnam! Upon arrival, our guide and driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in the Old Quarter. Check-in and spend the rest of the day free to relax in your room or stroll down the Walking Street to enjoy the ambience of the capital of Vietnam.

Meal: None
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 2 - Charming Hanoi sightseeing - Night train to Sapa (B)
Set out for a full day tour of Vietnam’s capital city, including Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, his traditional stilt house and the revered One-Pillar Pagoda. After that, visit Vietnam’s first university, the thousand-year-old Temple of Literature. Have lunch with Pho bo Hanoi or Hanoi Noodle soup with beef and served with Hanoi flavorful spring roll. 
In the afternoon, visit the Ethnology Museum where you can learn about the customs and culture of Vietnam’s 54 diverse ethnic groups.
Finish your day with a walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best-reserved secrets, a hidden café with stunning views over the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake.  This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the city that still serves egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy that we will sample whilst admiring the hustle and bustle of the city center below. Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits!
Early this evening, ready to transfer to Hanoi Railway Station for your overnight train trip heading to Sapa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Overnight train to Lao Cai

Day 3 - Admire the beauty of mountainous Sapa (B,L)
When arriving at Lao Cai Railway station, tour guide and driver will meet you right at the exit of the station. Then, drive up to Sapa town. Check in hotel and have breakfast at the nearby local restaurant.
After that, meet your guide at your hotel and walk south of Sapa towards the busy village of Cat Cat. The valleys that surround the village of Y Linh Ho are some of the most picturesque in the region. Make your way along a gentle incline, through emerald paddy fields above a deep river gorge, before arriving on the riverbank. Take a rest; dip your toes in the cool mountain waters and watch local children fishing with nets, before continuing deeper through the villages and terraces of the Black H’mong.
Enjoy lunch with a view at a local village restaurant before continuing through the valley towards the village of Lao Chai.
Take a well-earned rest and enjoy a soothing cup of tea before learning the art of Batik painting. Join a hands-on master class led by a local expert and take your creation home! Afterwards, head to the home of a local family to sleep for the night. Food will be prepared over an open fire, listen to the sounds of the countryside and learn all about H’mong life and culture with hosts.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Local house in Sapa

Day 4 - Further hill tribes exploration - Night train to Hanoi (B,L)
This morning, you will be transferred a short way north of Sapa town to the quiet valleys and gorges surrounding the village of O Quy Ho. The shallow winding valley sits in the shadow of Indochina’s highest peak named Fanxipan Mountain; also you can enjoy superb views of the range.
Pass by oolong tea farms before joining a local footpath that clings to the contours of the rice terraces and takes you gently down the valley past grazing buffalo and working farmers. Walk along ancient stone paths and hear the story of the Black H’Mong migration to these mountains centuries before. Learn about the distinct cultures, languages, lifestyles, and visit an authentic Black H’Mong house, home to a local family. Finish your walk with a well-earned cup of green tea before transferring back to Sapa town in the early afternoon.
Afterwards, transfer to Lao Cai Railway Station where you will take night train back to Hanoi later in the evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Overnight train to Hanoi

Day 5 - Hanoi - The legendary Halong Bay (B,L,D)
Arrive in Hanoi around 4.30 AM. You will be picked up and transferred to the hotel for freshening up and taking a short rest. After breakfast, depart Hanoi through the Red River Delta for Halong Bay (3.5 hours driving). Upon arrival, embark on the cruise then start cruising among the limestone islands. Keep cruising to the quiet area while enjoy breath-taking seascape along the way, until enjoy sunset party on sundeck and admire the best moments of the day when the sun starts to set. Dinner is served around 19.00 then it’s time for you to socialize with other guests, to take part in board games, fishing for squid or just to laze around.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight cruise

Day 6 - Halong Bay - Hanoi - The ancient town of Hoi An (B,L)
Early this morning, start your day with Tai Chi exercises or a photo hunt. Then, breakfast will be served on board while you immerse into the peaceful morning of Halong Bay. After check out of your cabin, continue your cruise exploring the Bay. While heading back to the harbor, watch the fruit carving demonstration and participate in the cooking class before enjoying a traditional Vietnamese lunch. Disembark around 12.00 then your driver will wait for you to take you back to Noi Bai airport for a brief flight to Danang. Picked up by our local guide and transferred to hotel in Hoi An.

Meal: Breakfast, Brunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 7 - Xin Chao Hoi An (B,L)
At good time, take a stroll to visit this 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 the more than two-century- old Chinese houses. Sites include the Japanese Bridge, the Chinese Temple, and Phung Hung Chinese-trading house. After the visit, free to wander around, our guide is happy to suggest some best tailor shops in town for you. Or if you are looking for a relaxing end, try out a cup of tea or coffee at “Reaching Out Tea House” - a very special and unique ancient house that offers fabulous drinks served by impaired staff. The rest of day is then free at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 8 - Optimistic leisure day in Hoi An (B)
Spend the balance of day free at your leisure immersing into the serenity of the beach or you may go on an adventure to discover different sites surrounding Hoi An, such as My Son Sanctuary or hop on an electric scooter to the greenery countryside.

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 9 - Hoi An - Danang - The bustling Ho Chi Minh City  (B,L)
This morning, take time to enjoy Hoi An then set out for lunch before transferring to the airport in Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh. Warmly welcomed by our local expert and transfer to your hotel in city center for check in. The rest of day is then free at your leisure discovering the bustling city first hand on your own.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation:  Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 10 - Back to the history: Ho Chi Minh City story - Cu Chi Tunnels (B,L)
After breakfast, our tour guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel to commence your day tour of Ho Chi Minh City highlights. The first destination is the Reunification Palace - formerly known as the museum of American War Crimes - was the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30, 1975. You will also visit some of the best samples of French colonial architecture, which are the Notre Dame Cathedral church and the Saigon Central Post Office. Next to the cathedral stands the Central Post Office that is the country’s largest post office was built in 1891. It is another fine example of French architecture and is Vietnam's largest post office. Having a special lunch at a popular local eatery in Saigon.

After lunch, travel to Cu Chi, 70 km to the Northwest of Ho Chi Minh. Cu Chi Tunnels consist of more than 200km of underground tunnels. This main axis system has many branches connecting to underground hideouts, shelters, and entrances to other tunnels. The network included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and a feel of what underground life during the U.S - Vietnam War. Return to Ho Chi Minh in the late afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 11 - Into the Mekong delta - Cruising onward Can Tho (B,L,D)
At good time, transfer a 2.5 hours route to Cai Be District. By noontime, embark your boat and start cruising into the legendary Mekong. Enjoy welcome drink and check in cabin, up for cruise to continue to Can Tho via Cho Lach and Tra On. Up to river tide, disembark and make a pleasant walking or biking on the footpaths of the countryside to discover tropical fruit orchards and the local people's activities, especially some orchards (orange grove) with its famer. Cruise continues to Tra On. Enjoy the magnificent sunset on the river. Leisurely cruise up the Mekong River while enjoying the beautiful scenery and the aperitifs, sunset cruise. A wonderful day with picturesque ferry crossings over Mekong River branches. Dinner and overnight on board in Tra On.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Overnight on board

Day 12 - Can Tho - Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)
The noise of the floating market wakes you up early in the morning. After breakfast, the cruise continues to Can Tho. Enjoy the magnificent sunrise on the river. Leisurely cruise up the BASSAC River while enjoying the beautiful scenery. Arrive Can Tho, a small boat will take you explore the Cai Rang market one of the most bustling floating markets in Mekong Delta with hundreds of small boats barging and jostling for space as owners attempt to sell their goods, then through the palm-shaded creek to see local houses and green orchards. Later this morning, disembark then get back the car for Saigon or another destination.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City

Day 13 - Goodbye Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Having breakfast at the hotel
Our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel and transfer back to Tan Son Nhat International airport for boarding your flight back home or onward other destinations.

End of services.

This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services.
The prices are quoted in US Dollars per person based on 2 pax/room


2 pax

4 pax

6 - 8 pax

Single Sup.
















Child from 4 – 10 years old: 75%

Please click on CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRIPS and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!

Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements, but may incur price changes

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels 
Private vehicles and drivers
Transport from Hanoi to Halong and return by mini van
Private English speaking guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Vietnam visa authorization letter
Drinking water available on the vehicles.
Service Charge & Government Taxes

International flights and domestic flights
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Any bank fees or charges at your end
Possible optional tours suggested
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Personal travel insurance
Tips for tour guide and driver in each region
Peak season or public holidays surcharge if any
Compulsory gala dinner on Christmas or New Year’s Eve if any
Vietnam visa stamp fee 
Other services not mentioned above


The hotels listed below are our suggestions for the best value on this tour.  However, Asia Essence Tours offers many more options of hand-picked hotels, with different "star ratings", allowing you to customize the vacation to meet your taste and budget.






 HM Boutique

The Chi


Halong Bay


La Vela Classic

Aphrodite Luxury

Hoi An


Little Hoi An Boutique Centre

Palm Garden Resort

HCM City

Le Duy

Paragon Saigon

Majestic Saigon


We, at Asia Essence Tours, are aware that a good tour must have good hotels. As the hotel cost will be the major expense of your vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, it is essential that all of the hotels chosen by us are the highest quality for the price paid. All of our prices are based on twin, double or queen shared rooms.


Superior/ 3 Star (from US$ 40 - US$ 60 per room/night)

The Superior/ 3 Star Hotels are good value and normally centrally located. They all have comfortable en-suite rooms, good amenities and public areas to relax in. They are usually family run hotels, so offer great personalized service for your enjoyment and comfort. Most first class properties offer an in-house restaurant, and some may even have a swimming pool!

First-Class/ 4 star (from US$ 80 - US$ 110/ per room/night)

The 4* First-Class Hotels offer a wide range of services. Many superior hotels feature a choice of several in-house restaurants. In addition virtually all of them have a swimming pool. Some may even feature a spa or health club. This grade of hotel offers more for your enjoyment and comfort, while still remaining affordable.

Deluxe/ 5 Star (from US$120 - US$ 180++/ per room/night)

These 5* Deluxe hotels are usually owned by Worldwide, well known Hotel chains. The deluxe hotels feature excellent locations, offer the highest standards of service and facilities, and are known as the best hotels in each region. Facilities such as swimming pools and spas are the norm, and guest rooms are luxurious. These hotels offer first class service and amenities throughout.


Flexibility: The sample itinerary can be modified to suit your interests, budget as well as your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.

Tailor-Made Journey: This trip can be tailor made to create a unique holiday for your individual requirements by travel experts with intimate knowledge of the destination. It is a more individual trip that will suit those who enjoy immersing themselves in new cultures and environments, with the flexibility to plan a trip at your own pace. Quality and value are the hallmark of the trips, with most services being provided on a private basis.

Commitment to Excellence: We enjoys excellent relationships with all of the highly regarded hotels and finest properties in our destinations as well as with service suppliers so that we are able to negotiate the most attractive prices for our clients, which enables us to provide exclusive holidays and affordable special offers. We create one-of-a-kind vacations for groups and individuals. We love our destinations and do our best to make sure that our customers feel the same way. Our job is to make sure that everyone gets the right balance of comfort and excitement to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

Extend This Tour With...

Best of Northern Vietnam

Best of Southern Vietnam

Hanoi Saigon Experience

Best of Central Vietnam