The Vietnam Experience

The Vietnam Experience trip will start in Saigon then explore the Mekong River Delta. Relax under the whispering palms in Hoi An and discover Hue’s ancient history. Ends your tour with a visit to Vietnam’s capital - charming Hanoi and an overnight boat cruise along the World Wonder - Halong Bay.
Journey highlights:
Discover the story of Saigon, from city of conflict to a modern metropolis
Experience the slow rhythm of life in Coconut Island - Mekong Delta
Rise early to discover the colorful floating market of Cai Rang on a sampan
A day being the ultimate fish farmers on Thu Bon River
Learn about the former imperial capital of Vietnam - Hue
Discover the scrambling alleyways of Hanoi’s timeworn Old Quarter
Cruise through the dramatic Karst islands of Halong Bay

Day 1 - Ho Chi Minh City Arrival
Upon arrival in Tan Son Nhat airport, you will be welcomed by our local expert and transferred to hotel for check in. Check in and take your time to get acquainted to the hustle traffic culture in Vietnam.

Meals: None
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

Day 2 - The story of Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)
After breakfast, our tour guide and driver will pick you up at the hotel. Start your day tour of Ho Chi Minh City highlights with the first destination being the Reunification Palace, formerly known as the museum of American War Crimes, being the former residence of the President of South Vietnam until April 30, 1975. You 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. Enjoy lunch at a popular local restaurant in town.
Following lunch, we continue to China town area to visit the most popular secret temple of Chinese Vietnamese community in Saigon, the Thien Hau Buddhist temple. The rest of the time is leisurely on shopping and visiting to the most bustling wholesale market in Saigon, also known as Cho Lon market, a well justified as Vietnam’s largest market. If having more time, you will have chances to visit a famous lacquer ware workshop and enjoy interaction with the local artist. Dinner is on your own arrangement.
Note: Notre Dame Cathedral is under renovation; therefore, only outside visit is allowed. You may ask your guide to switch to a visit of Tan Dinh church and Tan Dinh market next door.

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

Day 3 - Ho Chi Minh City - Into the Mekong Delta - Can Tho (B,L)
Today you will travel from Ho Chi Minh City to explore Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta (130km - 2.5 - 3 hour travel time). From Phong Nam pier you will board a boat and cruise along the Chet Say river (a branch of the Mekong) and stop off at various local workplaces to give you a picture of how the local economy works, including a coconut activated charcoal factory where coconut shell is put into a high heat kiln to produce coconut charcoal; a coconut processing workshop, where you can sample fresh coconut and see how every single part of this versatile nut is turned into food and other products. Then the boat will cruise through the small canal offering an opportunity to discover the local sights and sounds. Eventually the boat will stop at a quiet village where you can have a short walk to experience real Delta village life, visit a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven using a hand loom – you can even have a go at weaving yourself before boarding your xe loi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) or biking into the village where you can see a farm, rice fields and vegetable plantings before stopping at a local house for a delicious and filling lunch, featuring such local specialties as elephant-ear fish and river shrimp, washed down with some cold drinks or beers.
After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan for a relaxing trip along narrow canals and back to the pier. From there it’s back to the main road for the trip deeper to the Mekong Delta – Can Tho province. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel, spend the evening free at leisure.

Today you will travel from Ho Chi Minh City to explore Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta (130km - 2.5 - 3 hour travel time). From Phong Nam pier you will board a boat and cruise along the Chet Say river (a branch of the Mekong) and stop off at various local workplaces to give you a picture of how the local economy works, including a coconut activated charcoal factory where coconut shell is put into a high heat kiln to produce coconut charcoal; a coconut processing workshop, where you can sample fresh coconut and see how every single part of this versatile nut is turned into food and other products. Then the boat will cruise through the small canal offering an opportunity to discover the local sights and sounds. Eventually the boat will stop at a quiet village where you can have a short walk to experience real Delta village life, visit a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven using a hand loom – you can even have a go at weaving yourself before boarding your xe loi (a kind of motorized rickshaw) or biking into the village where you can see a farm, rice fields and vegetable plantings before stopping at a local house for a delicious and filling lunch, featuring such local specialties as elephant-ear fish and river shrimp, washed down with some cold drinks or beers.
After lunch, it’s time to board a sampan for a relaxing trip along narrow canals and back to the pier. From there it’s back to the main road for the trip deeper to the Mekong Delta – Can Tho province. Upon arrival, check-in at your hotel, spend the evening free at leisure.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Can Tho

Day 4 - Cai Rang Floating Market - Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)
This morning, we will visit one of the most legendary floating markets, which named 'Cai Rang'. We board our boat and commence our journey along the Mekong River, observing ‘true life on the river’, the hustle and bustle of families carrying out their morning chores and the locals heading our way to the markets to pick up their daily supplies. At good time, be ready for your transfer back to Saigon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Saigon

Day 5 - Ho Chi Minh City - Danang - Xin Chao Hoi An (B)
After breakfast, you are transferred to the airport for your internal flight to Danang. Your guide and driver will meet you at the airport and take you on the short drive to the sleepy riverside town, Hoi An. Then, take a stroll to visit Hoi An town, 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.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 6: Fisherman’s farming life in Hoi An (B,L)
After breakfast, we depart your hotel for a discovery around Hoi An. On arrival at Cua Dai pier, embark for a boat ride to the mouth of Thu Bon River to enjoy the daily activities of fishers such as throwing fishing net and trading their products. Your boat then continues cruising for about half an hour to a fishing village. Changing to smaller bamboo boat (a coracle) to discover a distinctive mangrove forest and try your hand on fishing crabs. Under the blurry sunlight inside the forest, you might feel a mysterious atmosphere covering this whole area. This excursion also gives you a chance to admire skillful fishermen who are working in the forest. Enjoy a delicious BBQ seafood meal at a lovely local house.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hoi An

Day 7: Hoi An - Danang - The Royal Ancient Hue (B,L)
In the morning, enjoy breakfast at the hotel then checkout and drive over the 500m-high Hai Van pass to Hue. Enjoy a stop at the scenic Lang Co Beach for a drink before continuing on to Hue - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Vietnam’s former capital.
In the afternoon, spend a leisurely walking tour through the ancient city to visit the Royal Citadel, the Imperial Museum, and finish your exploration at the Mausoleum of King Tu Duc.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hue

Day 8: Hue - Fly to Hanoi the Capital (B,L)
After breakfast, take a stroll around Dong Ba market then spend time on a private boat cruise down the romantic Perfume River to visit Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang's tomb. Then, transfer to the airport in the afternoon to catch your brief flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, get transferred to your hotel in the Old Quarter.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 9: Highlights of the charming Hanoi (B,L)
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-kept 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! Return to your hotel later this afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 10: Hanoi - Fascinating Halong Bay (B,L,D)
This morning, 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 11: Halong Bay - Hanoi (B)
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 Hanoi.

Meals: Breakfast, Brunch
Accommodation: Hotel in Hanoi

Day 12: Goodbye Vietnam (B)
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and you are free on your own until transfer to Noi Bai International airport for your departure flights onward home or other destinations.

Meals: Breakfast

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

Categories

2 pax

4 pax

6 - 8 pax

Single Sup.

Superior

880

711

641

281

First-class

1014

845

775

415

Deluxe

1310

1141

1071

711

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

WHAT'S INCLUDED?
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

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
International flights and domestic flights
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Any bank fees or charges at your end
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


HOTEL SELECTION:

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.

LOCATIONS

SUPERIOR CATEGORY

FIRST CLASS CATEGORY

DELUXE CATEGORY

Hanoi

 HM Boutique

The Chi

Melia

Halong Bay

V'Spirit

La Vela Classic

Aphrodite Luxury

Hue

Emm Hue

Alba Spa

Imperial

Hoi An

Aurora

Little Hoi An Boutique Centre

Palm Garden Resort

HCM City

Le Duy

Paragon Saigon

Majestic Saigon

Can Tho

West Can Tho

TTC Can Tho

Victoria Can Tho


ABOUT HOTELS:

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.

BELOW IS AN EXPLANATION OF THE HOTEL "STAR" RATINGS:

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.

ASIA ESSENCE TOURS™ BESPOKE STYLE SUITS EVERYONE

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


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