Essential Vietnam

Designed to capture the real essence of Vietnam, this guided nine-day journey is a fascinating introduction to one of Asia’s most captivating countries. From the enchanting waterways of the Mekong Delta in the south to the dramatic karst scenery that dominates Halong Bay in the north, each destination offers a window into Vietnam’s timeless culture and centuries-old traditions as well as its vibrant present.

Day 1

Ho Chi Minh City Arrival

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 2

Ho Chi Minh City (B)

TempleDepart your hotel for a full day Ho Chi Minh City tour. Sites include, Chinatown District, Traditional Medicine Museum and FITO Museum in the morning. That afternoon discover Ben Thanh Market before visiting the War Remnants OR history Museum, Former Presidential Palce and Colonial Ho Chi Minh City.

Note: History Museum is closed on Mondays. 

Day 3

 Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (B,L)

Mekong_Delta_2This morning you will leave bustling Ho Chi Minh for the 2 hour drive to the delta town of Cai Be for a cruise of a floating market. After visiting the market continue to a cottage factory where ‘pop-rice’, rice paper and coconut candies are made. Return to the boat for the cruise to Dong Hoa Hiep Island, admiring the scenery and the daily life of the local villagers along the way. Lunch is local Mekong style serving specialties of the area. Following your cruise drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 4

Ho Chi Minh City – Danang – Hoi An (B)

After breakfast transfer to Tan Son Nhat Airport for the short flight to the central port city of Danang. On arrival transfer to Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries. Take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful market. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Hoi An.

Day 5

 Hoi An – Hue (B)

VN--Hoi-An--Aerial-ViewToday you will Leave Hoi An for Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. On route drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds and dropping down to the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co.

In Hue visit the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty Ruled between 1802 and 1945 before heading for Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. Overnight in Hue.

Day 6

Hue – Hanoi (B)

Start your day with a visit to the city’s vibrant Dong Ba Market to see it’s abundance of fresh produce.  Afterwords take a cyclo through the ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to relax. Continue to former emperor Minh Mang’s tomb located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds. Continue your journey on to Khai Dinh’s Tomb designed in traditional Vietnamese style with a European touch. From here transfer 30-minutes to Hue Airport for the 1-hour flight to Hanoi. On arrival transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 7

Hanoi – Halong Bay (B,L,D)

VN-HAN--Cyclos-near-operaFollowing breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hr drive to Halong Bay. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City and after your welcome on board, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night and Dinner is served. Overnight on Halong Bay.

Day 8

Halong Bay – Hanoi (B)

Enjoy Breakfast while the vessels cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi.

In Hanoi visit the fascinating Ethnology Museum or the Vietnam Women’s Museum (closed on Mondays).  Next, visit Hanoi’s Old Quarter, also known as the ‘36 streets’.  If time permits, Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely north Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life. Overnight in Hanoi.

The city tour this afternoon can be flexible based on your next day flight. 

Day 9

Hanoi (B)

VN-Halong-Bay-10This morning depart your hotel for the Temple of Literature. Close by is the mausoleum of the historic father figure of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh, and the former presidents house on stilts where he lived. His former home illustrates the modesty of this Vietnamese revolutionary.  (Viewed from outside) Continue to picturesque West Lake and the sixth century Tran Quoc Buddhist Pagoda. From here transfer (or stroll along the lakeside) 700 meters to the nearby Taoist temple of Quan Thanh dedicated to Tran Vu, one of the principal deities in Taoism. At leisure for shopping until your transfer to Noi Bai Airport for onward flight

Accommodation on this tour:


Ho Chi Minh Accommodation


Hoi An Accommodation


Hue Accommodation


Halong Accommodation


Hanoi Accommodation


4* and 5* hotel options also available. Please ask your travel consultant today.

All Pricing subject to availability & per person sharing.



What is included in this tour:

  • Return flights from Dublin.
  • All internal flights.
  • Accommodation throughout the tour. Choose from 3*,4* or 5* hotels.
  • Meals as mentioned. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • English Speaking guide.
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance Fees for mentioned visits.
  • Boat trips as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Please note: Travel insurance is not included in this tour However, we recommend you take out insurance. Please ask your Travel consultant for a quote.
  • Please note: Small deviations in the tour are sometimes necessary depending on road conditions and availability of rooms.



Country Information

Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)

Vaccinations: No compulsory. Please check with your GP.

Visa: Required for Irish Nationals. You can obtain your visa at the embassy or online for a visa on arrival (air travel only). With online application, you will receive an electronic pre-approved visa letter which will allow tourists and business travellers to come to Vietnam and pick up the visa stamp at Vietnam airport, with a stay of up to three months.

Best time to Travel: When it comes to weather, it’s a tough call, as Vietnam’s climate is so diverse. For the best balance, we’d vote for the months of April, May or October.

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Call us today on (01) 207 9650

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