Essential Vietnam

13 Days

Mar - Dec 2019 - From £1799 pp


Escorted Throughout

3 or 4 star accommodation

Other departures in March 5,9,16,19,23,30
Tour VE3
Other departures in April 6,9,13,16
Tour VE4
Other departures in May 11,18,25
Tour VE5
Other departures in June 4,15,24
Tour VE6
Other departures in July 9,20,30
Tour VE7-2
Other departures in August 6,10,17,
Tour VE8-2
Other departures in September 14,21,28
Tour VE9-2
Other departures in October 5,8,15,19,26
Tour VE10-2
Other departures in November 5,9,16,19,23,26,30
Tour VE11-2
Other departures in December 7,10
Tour VE12-2
All Info


Vietnam is a must see destination with welcoming people, amazing scenery, rich culture, delicious food and an epic history. This fun-packed holiday takes you from Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) and the Mekong Delta in the south to the capital Hanoi and Ha Long Bay in the north, taking in delightful Hoi An, Hue, the ancient My Son ruins and much more along the way. With a Ha Long Bay overnight cruise and your choice of good quality 3 or 4 star hotels this is every holiday you’ve dreamed of in one great package.


Escorted throughout > Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) > Chu Chi Tunnels > Mekong Delta > Hoi An (Unesco) > Tra Que Village experience> My Son ruins (Unesco) > Hue (Unesco) Royal Citadel and street food tour > Hanoi > Halong Bay (Unesco) overnight cruise


Vietnam map

Day 1: UK to Vietnam
Depart from your chosen UK airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon).

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)
On arrival short transfer to your city centre hotel. The rest of the day will be at leisure. Overnight in Saigon.

Day 3: Ho Chi Minh – Cu Chi Tunnels
This morning we visit Ho Chi Minh’s historic landmarks: Dong Khoi Street, previously Rue Catinat; Reunification Palace, where the Vietnam War ended in 1975; The Grand Building, today a Museum and Hall for official receptions; The impressive Notre Dame Cathedral and Central Post Office (designed by famous architect Gustave Eiffel) - legacies of France’s six decade rule from 1887 to 1954. Our last stop this morning will be the War Remnants Museum, a striking reminder of the so-called ‘American War’. Lunch is included at a local restaurant. This afternoon we drive out of Ho Chi Minh City to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels (around 90 mins drive). This network of tunnels, which stretched for over 200km, is one of the most famous and historical aspects of the Vietnam War. Upon arrival we watch a short introductory film before following our guide into the war memorial park where you will have the opportunity to view and walk through one of the tunnels (not compulsory). Afterwards return to Ho Chi Minh. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh. Breakfast and lunch included today.

Day 4: Mekong Delta
This morning we travel to My Tho in the heart of Mekong Delta (around 90 mins drive). We start with a visit to the Vinh Trang Pagoda before continuing to the centre where we take a leisurely boat ride along the river viewing the stilt houses, fruit plantations and fishing villages. At Tortoise islet we enjoy lunch in the orchard garden before continuing by boat to An Khanh, a less touristy attraction in Ben Tre. Here we transfer to hand-rowed sampan boats for a gentle meander along natural canals. Next we visit a family business which epitomizes the idyllic rural lifestyle and taste the delicious coconut candy and roam through the fruit plantation and village. Return to Ho Chi Minh for our final night in the city. Breakfast and lunch included today.
Sampan, Mekong Delta

Day 5: Ho Chi Minh – Danang – Hoi An
Morning transfer to the airport for our short flight north (around 60 mins) to Danang. Continue by coach (around 45 mins) to Hoi An. This delightful, small, riverside city is famous for express tailor-made clothes, shoes, spectacles, jewellery and more. The tranquil old town is a Unesco World Heritage Centre where vehicles are barred at certain times of day. Once a major trading post, the pretty low-rise buildings have many influences including Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and French designs. Today they house a myriad of shops, restaurants, coffee houses and bars.

On arrival we have a walking tour taking-in the tile-roofed Japanese Bridge, the taciturn Chinese Assembly Halls, ancient houses, and pagodas, and stroll into the market on the Thu Bon river. After lunch we check-in to our hotel near the old town. Overnight in Hoi An Breakfast & Lunch included today.

Day 6: Tra Que Village - Thanh Ha Village
This morning we travel the short distance to Tra Que herb village to appreciate the local agriculture and the stunning scenery. We enjoy a foot soak before preparing a typical lunch with a local family. Continue to Thanh Ha Pottery Village, located by the bank of Thu Bon river, where we learn how to make real Hoi An pottery. Originating in the 15th century, this famous village produces pottery in all shapes and sizes from bowls, jars and pots, to animal shapes, the Taj Mahal and more. Overnight in Hoi An. Breakfast & Lunch included today.

Imperial City, Hue
Day 7: Hoi An – My Son – Hue
After an early breakfast we leave Hoi An and drive (around 80 mins) to My Son - a UNESCO World Heritage Centre located in a lush jungle setting, resembling an Indiana Jones film location. This tranquil and beautiful site, made up of dozens of tower temples and ancient artefacts, was once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, a unique culture originating from Indian Hinduism dating from the 4th to 13th centuries. From here we return to Hoi An for some free time. Mid afternoon we join our coach for the drive north to Hue (journey around 4 hours). Overnight in Hue. Breakfast included today.

Hue, Vietnams capital from 1802 to 1945, was the country’s political, cultural and religious centre under the Nguyen dynasty. An abundance of historic monuments and its beautiful setting on the Perfume River earned the city Vietnam’s 1st Unesco listing.
Perfume River

Day 8: Hue – Hanoi
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and have full day sightseeing in Hué, discovering the charm of the city including the Royal Citadel, Forbidden City and the colourful Dong Ba Market. Around noon time, we shall embark on a special street food tour to discover the other side of Hue from sticky rice dumplings or a fried dumpling (Ram It) or Filtered tapioca dumplings (Banh Loc) to the well-known Hue beef vermicelli soup (Bun Bo Hue). The street food tour ends at a small restaurant with Sweet soup (Che), a scrumptious local delicacy made of various local ingredients or, if sweet soup is not your style, a Vietnamese coffee with condensed milk. This afternoon we transfer to Hue airport for our flight to Hanoi. Breakfast and lunch included today. On arrival we transfer to our hotel for overnight.

Hoi An Cyclo
Day 9: Hanoi
Full day exploring Hanoi including lunch and visits to Ho Chi Minh Complex Mausoleum; Museum and Temple of Literature, an ancient collection of courtyards, gardens and architecture built in homage to the Chinese scholar Confucius; Hoan Kiem Lake and the Museum of Ethnology. Overnight in Hanoi. Lunch included today.

Day 10: Hanoi – Halong Bay Cruise
This morning we head East to Halong Bay, the pride of the Gulf of Tonkin and a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site (around 4 hours drive). The road will pass by the Red River delta with green paddy fields and rural villages. In Halong we join our boat for a cruise in the stunning bay with thousands of limestone rocks and karst grottoes. Overnight with dinner on the boat. All cabins have en suite shower room and toilet and air conditioning. Breakfast, lunch & dinner included today.

Halong Bay

Day 11: Halong Bay – Hanoi
Morning wake up with taichi-quan or yoga exercises guided by the crew (not compulsory). Breakfast/brunch served whilst cruising between Halong’s islets. Return to the dock and head to Hanoi arriving mid-to-late afternoon. Overnight in Hanoi. Breakfast/brunch included on board.

Day 12: Hanoi – departure
This morning we transfer to Hanoi Airport for our return flight to the UK. Breakfast included at the hotel.

Day 13: Arrival in UK
Note: Order and times of events/excursions may be subject to change.

What‘s Included

  • Return flights from UK (overnight each way), please call to discuss all options. Flight supplement may apply

  • 10-nights accommodation including:
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation sharing a twin or double bedded room - hotels listed (or similar)
    1 night cruise in Halong Bay

  • Meals as stated

  • All excursions as stated

  • Train, boats & internal flight as stated

  • All transfers in Vietnam

Accommodation Options:
  • Single room supplement £250pp for 3-star accommodation and £350 for 4-star accommodation - not including the train (see above).

  • Accommodation Options & Prices

    3 star accommodation
    Ho Chi Minh - Liberty Parkview -
    Hoi An - Kiman Hotel -
    Hue - Duy Tan Hotel -
    Hanoi - Flower Hotel -
    Halong Bay - Phoenix Cruise -

    3 - star prices from
    June to September 2018 £1599
    October 2018 £1799
    November 2018 £1799
    December 2018 £1699
    January 2019 from £1899
    February 2019 from £1999
    March 2019 from £1949
    April 2019 from £1999
    May to September 2019 £1799
    October 2019 £1949
    November 2019 £1999
    December 2019 £1899

    4 star accommodation
    Saigon - Ramana Saigon -
    Hoi An - Hoi An Silk Village Resort -
    Hue - Romance Hotel -
    Hanoi - Authentic Hotel -
    Halong Bay - Grayline Cruise -

    4 - star prices from
    June to September 2018 £1749
    October 2018 £1949
    November 2018 £1949
    December 2018 £1849
    January 2019 from £2049
    February 2019 from £2149
    March 2019 from £2099
    April 2019 from £2149
    May to September 2019 £1949
    October 2019 £2099
    November 2019 £2149
    December 2019 £2049

    Need to Know

    VISA: ‘British Citizen’ passport holders travelling for tourism can stay in Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days without a visa.

    GROUP SIZE: The above dates are guaranteed departure subject to a minimum of 2 guests travelling and subject to availability at the time of booking.