Essence of Vietnam 16 days

Ha Noi - Sa pa - Ha Long Bay - Hoi An - Nha Trang - Ho chi minh city 16 days

  • Itinerary:
    Ha Noi - Sa pa - Ha Long Bay - Hoi An - Nha Trang - Ho chi minh city 16 days
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  • Price:
    From 1,248 USD
Mountainous northern Vietnam is one of the best places in Asia to visit hill tribe villages and see dramatic mountains covered with terraced rice fields. This tour combines this rural idyll with Vietnam’s best urban and small town experiences. Start in the charming capital of Hanoi, Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. Explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more. Walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, ride a cyclo to dinner, and watch a performance at the famed Thang Long Water Puppet Theater.

Next, board the luxury Express train bound for remote Sapa, a mountain village near the Chinese border. Visit local markets where hill tribe minorities (including Hmong, Red Dao, Tay, Xa Pho and Giay) trade their goods. View spectacular waterfalls and drive through mountain valleys. Explore the hill station town of Sapa, and visit several villages where the tribes live. During free time, enjoy your mountain chalet hotel, where you can enjoy fondue by the fire, swim, play tennis, and take mountain walks.

Return to Hanoi for two more nights. Tour a food market with a renowned chef, followed by a cooking class. Dine in French colonial villas converted into gourmet restaurants. Enjoy people watching at stylish cafes. Shop for impressive modern art in the city's many galleries. Also visit Hanoi's main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda, the Fine Arts Museum and the Temple of Literature.

Next, fly to Danang and stay several days at the luxurious beachfront Furama Resort. Nearby, see ancient sculpture in the Cham Museum or My Son, and tour Buddhist cave temples in the Marble Mountain. Visit atmospheric Hoi An, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site and riverfront port town crammed with historic homes, tiny museums, cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets.

Fly to the resort town of Nha Trang to spend several days in a secluded private villa overlooking beautiful Ninh Van Bay at the Evason Hideaway Resort at Ana Mandara. Snorkel or dive among the coral reefs in crystal blue waters, hike nature trails, cool off in your private plunge pool, indulge in spa treatments or just relax on the white sand beach and admire the unspoiled mountain and sea views.

Continue to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, the country's commercial center and home to a growing number of upscale restaurants and shops. Visit Chinatown, the Thien Hau Pagoda, the Reunification Palace, the Opera House and Hotel de Ville. If so desired, also visit the powerful War Remnants Museum. Explore colorful outdoor markets and Dong Khoi Street, the city's main shopping boulevard with shops selling clothes and accessories by new Vietnamese designers, hill tribe crafts, high quality linens and housewares. Try the southerners' strong Vietnamese iced coffee and a banh mi (baguette sandwich). Take a day trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels and watch an unusual, eclectic religious ceremony at the maintemple of Cao Daism, a unique fusion of world religions alternatively, spend the day cruising the narrow canals of the Mekong Delta.

Outlined Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Hanoi

Day 2. Hanoi City Tour - Lao Cai

Day 3. Arrive Lao Cai - Sapa

Day 4. Sapa

Day 5. Sapa - Lao Cai - Train back to Hanoi

Day 6. Lao Cai - Hanoi

Day 7. Halong Bay Excursion

Day 8. Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An Ancient Town and Beach

Day 9. Hoi An

Day 10. Hoi An

Day 11. Hoi An - Nha Trang Beach

Day 12. Nha trang

Day 13. Nha trang

Day 14. Nha trang - Ho Chi Minh City

Day 15. Optional trip

Day 16. Ho Chi Minh City - Departure


Itinerary Details

Day 1: Arrive Hanoi Capital (D)

Place & Transport: Hanoi - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Airport transfer to hotel

water puppet show
water puppet show

Warmly welcome on arrival Hanoi airport. Transfer to hotel. At leisure. Afternoon private walking city tour to visit local market. Evening enjoy water puppet show. Welcome dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi.




Day 2: Hanoi City Tour - Lao Cai (B/L)

Place & Transport: Hanoi to Lao Cai - Train & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

Day City Tour in Hanoi - Vietnam’s artistic and intellectual capital. Explore the fascinating Old Quarter and its hundreds of specialty shops selling silk clothing, lacquerware, embroidered linens, furniture, bamboo, cooking utensils, ceremonial objects and more.

Enjoy people watching at stylish cafes. Shop for impressive modern art in the city's many galleries. Also visit Hanoi 's main cultural attractions, including the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, his House on Stilts, the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. Your adventure trip to Sapa begins with an overnight train from Vietnam’s capital city to the border town of Lao Cai. Overnight on train.

Day 3: Lao Cai - Sapa (B/L)

Place & Transport: Sapa - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Take a walking tour to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat

Cat Cat Village
Cat Cat Village

Early arrives at Lao Cai station at approximately 6:00 am. There will be a vehicle waiting to transfer us to Sapa. The drive to Sapa is only 33 km but it takes around 1.5 hours.

Once at Sapa, we will check-in hotel (Early check-in subject to availability). Have breakfast at the hotel restaurant then enjoy a free time to explore around town. At 10 a.m. from the hotel there will be a walking tour to the hill tribe villages of Cat Cat, home to the H'mong hill tribe’s minority peoples. As we walk to the villages nestled in the valley below Sapa, we will meet some of the local minority people on their way to and from Sapa. Here we have the opportunity to share cultural experiences with the families that live in the area. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 4: Sapa - Lao Chai and Tavan villages (B/L)

Place & Transport: Sapa - Transfer

Today’s Activities: 3-4 hours trek to Lao Chai and Tavan villages.

Lao Chai and Tavan villages
Lao Chai and Tavan villages

Following breakfast at we explore the Sapa daily market and then set out on our 3-4 hour trek that will take us along buffalo paths and trails and through several hilltribe villages of Lao Chai and Tavan, home to H'mong, and Dzay people. This is an absolutely spectacular walk through stunning scenery inhabited by some of the friendliest people you can meet. Picnic lunch on the way at a family in Ta Van village. Overnight in Sapa.

Day 5: Sapa - Lao Cai -Train back to Hanoi (B/L)

Place & Transport: Sapa to Hanoi - Train & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Explore the Bac Ha Sunday market

Bac Ha Sunday market
Bac Ha Sunday market

Following breakfast, we drive to explore the Bac Ha Sunday market - the most interesting hill tribe market in Asia. Visit some villages of H'Mong people before we transfer back to Lao Cai for the train journey back to Hanoi. Overnight on train.



Day 6: Lao Cai - Hanoi - Cooking Class (B/D)

Place & Transport: Hanoi - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Taking part in a cooking class

cooking class
cooking class

Early arrive in Hanoi. Pick up and transfer to hotel. Free. At leisure. 
In the afternoon taking part in a cooking class and enjoy dinner prepared by you. Overnight in Hanoi.



Day 7: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hanoi (B/L)

Place & Transport: Hanoi to Halong Bay - Transfer

Today’s Activities: Go sightseeing Halong bay - world nature wonder.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay

In the morning you will drive to Halong Bay City, approximately 3 hours away. Once at Halong Bay City you are welcome on board for a four-hour cruise on the the stunning bay, stopping along the way to visit one of the limestone caves in the area. As you are cruising, the boat crew will serve you a sumptuous local seafood lunch. After 4 hour navigation you sail back to harbor and rejoin car back to your hotel in Hanoi. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 8: Hanoi - Danang - Hoi An (B)

Place & Transport: Hanoi to Hoi An - Flight & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Visit Marble Mountains and Cham Museum or ruins in My Son.

Marble Mountains
Marble Mountains

Free until transfer to airport for flight to Danang. Pick up and trasfer you to Hoi An. Afternoon tour of Marble Mountains and Cham Museum or ruins in My Son. Overnight in Hoi An.




Day 9: Hoi An (B)

Enjoy a free day at leisure in Hoian. Overnight in Hoi An.

Hoi An Town
Hoi An Town

Hoi An is well known for its enthusiastic tailors, its art galleries, and its narrow street crammedd with tiny wooden cafes. During this part of your holiday in Vietnam. You can lazily browse the streets and hire a fiendly tailor to sew your made - to - measure outfit.  There is plenty to do in and around the port town, including a cycle trip past the paddy fields to the beach, not too far from Hoi An. The beach is surprisingly quiet in the daytime, so you can stretch out on a lounger under a thatched parsol and enjoy the peace. At sunset, the beach will fill with locals who come here to cool off, chat, and play football at the end of a long working day.

Day 10: Hoi An (B)

Place & Transport:

Today’s Activities: Free

At leisure or optional tour to the former Imperial Capital Hue. Overnight in Hoi An.

Imperial Capital Hue
Imperial Capital Hue

On the 10th day of your holiday in Vietnam you are free to wander lazily through the tiny streets of Hoi An. If you are feeling adventurous you can pay a visit to the historical site of My Son (Optional). The area was the most important religious and intellectual centre Vietnam until the 13th century and the temples are fascinating buildings to explore. Nowadays, My Son is a UNESCO world Heritage site, lying about 40km southwest of Hoi An in a wild, green valley.

Hoi An is jam-packed with tailors and you can have a good made - to - measure suit made for a fraction of th price you would pay in the our country. You can also purcharge made - to - measure dresses, trousers, shirts etc. This part of your Vietnam trip provides the perfect opportunity to update your wardrobe! Although the tairlors can put together a suit for you in no time, it is best to plan to have this done a few days before you travel to your next destination. This way any alterations can be made while you are in town.

Day 11: Hoi An - Nha Trang (B)

Place & Transport: Hoi An to Nha Trang - Flight & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Relax

Nha Trang Beach
Nha Trang Beach

Transfer and flight to Nha Trang for three-night stay. Overnight in Nha Trang

Day 12: Nha trang (B)

Free at leisure. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 13: Nha trang: (B)

Free at leisure. Overnight in Nha Trang.

Day 14: Nha trang - HCMC (B)

Place & Transport: Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City - Flight & Transfer

Today’s Activities: Discovery Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City

Transfer and flight to HCMC for two-night stay. Afternoon private city touring by cyclo. Overnight in HCMC.





Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City - Optional trip (B/L)

Place & Transport:

Today’s Activities

Option 1: Mekong Delta on Cai Be Princess

Cai Be colorful floating market
Cai Be colorful floating market

Our one day cruise excursion starts at 8:00 from the lobby of your hotel in Saigon with a drive to Cai Be - Phu An where we will board the Cai Be Princess at around 11.00 am. The tour will start with the visit of Cai Be colorful floating market. We will proceed by the visit of some local home factories such as rice paste making, rice pop corn, coco candies, and longans drying processing.

The trip continues along the Mekong canals to Dong Hoa Hiep Island located between Vinh Long and Cai Be. During this 40 minutes cruise you will discover beautiful landscapes along the river and observe the typical Mekong delta rural life. Stops on the way can be made upon request for particular visits or photos making. These evergreen islands among the Mekong River still remain unknown to many people.

Lunch awaits you at Le Longanier restaurant at La Residence de Phu An resort, a superb Indochine style resort. After a short walk along a narrow canal, the excursion will end at around 3.30pm where the vehicle will await you for your transfer back to Saigon.

Option 2: Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi Underground tunnels

 Cu Chi Underground tunnels
Cu Chi Underground tunnels

This morning we drive to Cao Dai Temples in Tay Ninh. Cao Dai Holysee Temple is the cathedral of the Cao Daism religion with the Divine Eye - official symbol of Caodaism. Cao Dai followers worship Jesus Christ, Confucius, Taoism, and Buddha. Time to observe the midday service.
Following lunch we will drive to the Cu Chi Tunnels - 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. Afternoon free at leisure. Overnight in HCMC.

Day 16: Departure Ho Chi Minh City (B)

Place & Transport: Departure Ho Chi Minh City - Flight not included

Today’s Activities: Hotel transfer to airport

Transfer to the airport ready for your departure. Wish you have a pleasant journey home and thank you for using our services- Discovery your way.


Valid from now until 30 Dec 2016

Tour Category

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- Booking Terms & Conditions
- Itinerary can be tailor-made based on your requirements.
- Please feel free to contact us for more information in details

♦ Centrally Located Hotels

♦ Authentic Vietnamese Food as stated in the itinerary (B: Breakfast; L: Lunch; D: Dinner)

♦ Train ticket Hanoi-Lao;Cai-Hanoi, shared in 4-berth cabin

♦ Private Boat Trip in Halong Bay

♦ Private boat trip in Mekong Delta

♦ Private Car and Driver

♦ Flight & Transfer in Vietnam

♦ Private English Speaking Guides

♦ Entrance Fees


♦ International Airfare Tickets to enter & leave Vietnam

♦ Vietnam Entry Visa Fees

♦ Single Room Supplement

♦ Personal expenses

♦ Beverage 

♦ Tips and gratuities

♦ Other services not mentioned above

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Exchange rate

Currency codeCurrency nameBuyTransferSell
AUD AUST.DOLLAR 17845.65 17953.37 18113.5
CAD CANADIAN DOLLAR 18192.73 18357.95 18595.93
EUR EURO 26998.2 27079.44 27320.97
GBP BRITISH POUND 30490.48 30705.42 30979.29
HKD HONGKONG DOLLAR 2870.01 2890.24 2933.57
RUB RUSSIAN RUBLE 0 391.74 436.53
SGD SINGAPORE DOLLAR 16647.14 16764.49 16947.88
THB THAI BAHT 673.3 673.3 701.4
USD US DOLLAR 22700 22700 22770

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