Highlights Of Vietnam Essence

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Highlights Of Vietnam Essence is perfect for you to explore many interesting aspects of Vietnam for 12 days. Vietnam is loved by travelers from all over the world for its natural riches, stunning architecture, and many historic sites. The Vietnam 12 day itinerary starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City with all the highlights destinations in Vietnam. Let us help you arrange the perfect Vietnam 12 day itinerary schedule for your wonderful trip in Vietnam.


  • Discover the historic areas in our lovely capital city of Hanoi.
  • Explore our version of Disneyland in Tam Coc (Three Grottoes).
  • Enjoy the stunning views in magnificent Halong Bay by boat and joining in our onboard activities.
  • Experience the local lifestyle in the countryside areas of Hoi An and the Mekong  Delta.
  • Wander the multi-colored lantern-lit streets of Hoi An Ancient Town.
  • Visit dynamic Ho Chi Minh City and its historical places of interest.


Red Bridge in Hoan Kiem Lake

 Activities: Arrive and relax in Hanoi. Enjoy the Water Puppet Show before having a welcome dinner in the local restaurant.

Our Highlights of Vietnam 12 Days starts with your arrival in Hanoi.

Upon arrival in Hanoi, our Incredible Asia Journeys friendly tour guide will pick you up at the Noi Bai Airport and head straight to your hotel in the center of Hanoi.

After check-in (14.00 is the check-in time), take a little time to explore the beautiful capital of Vietnam by yourself, at your leisure. Wander around and enjoy the fresh air around Sword Lake - a good idea for you after the long flight.

In the late afternoon, our guide will pick you up to enjoy the Water Puppet Show, an interesting art form only found in Vietnam. 

After that, we will enjoy a delicious welcome dinner at a lovely restaurant.

After dinner, we'll go back to the hotel and again have free time to explore Hanoi at night, especially the Old Quarter with its 36 ancient streets. Stay overnight at hotel in Hanoi.

 Meals:  Dinner

 Notes: If you arrive late the Water Puppet show will be seen in the next day

Hoa Lo Prison

 Activities: Visit the most interesting destinations in Hanoi including the Ho Chi Minh Complex, one of the museums in Hanoi (Vietnam Military History Museum, Museum of Art, Hoa Lo Prison or the Ethnology Museum) and Temple of Literature.

Hanoi will surprise all clients visiting Vietnam with its traffic, culture, food and so on. 

The second day of your Vietnam 12 day itinerary, you will have a full day to explore Vietnam’s historical capital. After breakfast, your private guide will pick you up at the hotel to start our day tour. We will head straight to the Ho Chi Minh Complex - the most solemn place in Hanoi. The complex consists the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (closed on Monday and Friday), Ba Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh's House on Stilts and the One Pillar Pagoda - one of the longest standing cultural relics in Hanoi.

After that, we will visit one of the famous museums in Hanoi such as the Vietnam Military History Museum, Museum of Art, Hoa Lo Prison - also called "Hanoi Hilton” (a nickname given by US pilots during the Vietnam war), or the Ethnology Museum with its outstanding representation of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.

Have lunch at local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we will have a chance to discover the thousand-year old Temple of Literature - the first University of Vietnam and also the symbol of Vietnamese education.

Then we will take a walk around the Old Quarter so you can explore its 36 interesting streets, each named for the merchandise or business located nearby. Our walk will enable you to observe all the aspects of Hanoi daily life - both personal and commercial. Day 2 of Highlights of Vietnam 12 days ends in Hanoi.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch

 Notes: Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum is usually closed from September to November for annual maintenance. In that case, we will visit outside.

Sampan boat trip in Tam Coc

 Activities: Row boating along the Ngo Dong river and then visiting Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) - the ancient capital of Vietnam.

In the morning, our driver and guide will pick you up at your hotel for the tour of Tam Coc – Hoa Lu. It will take 2 hours to drive from Hanoi to Tam Coc (means Three Grottoes). We will enjoy the rowing boat trip along the Ngo Dong River leading to three grottoes. You will go through 3 famous tunnel caves and have the opportunity to view and photograph the unique mountains and rivers in this area.

After that, we will go back to the harbor for lunch in the local restaurant.

Continuing our day tour we will head to Hoa Lu - one of the ancient capitals of Vietnam. Hoa Lu Ancient Capital is a special cultural-historical complex where many important historical events occurred. You will learn more about the history of Vietnam through the legends and stories told by our guide.

We will come back to Hanoi for our overnight stay.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch

floating village in Halong Bay

 Activities: Cruise among the islands on Halong Bay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit one of the most beautiful caves of the bay.

Today you will visit the most highlighted destinations in your Vietnam 12 day itinerary.  No clients should miss that destination for their Northern Vietnam part

8.00 am: Our tour guide and driver will pick you up for the 3.5-hour drive to Halong Bay. On the way to Halong, you will have a chance to see some rural areas of Vietnam throughout the Red River Delta, a perfect opportunity to photograph Vietnamese farmers tilling the large green fields.

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage and voted as a Wonder of Nature by the New 7 Wonders Foundation, Halong Bay will be a destination well worth your visit. Today we will enjoy the Halong Bay cruise for 2 nights.

Upon your arrival in Halong Bay, board your cruise, then have welcome lunch on board.

In the afternoon, you can participate in some onboard activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) like kayaking, swimming or visiting the caves, or you can simply relax and enjoy the magnificence of the stunning views in Halong Bay.

We will set anchor among the karst formations where we will stay overnight.

Enjoy dinner on board.

In the evening, you will have an opportunity to try squid fishing or enjoy a cocktail on the top deck and see thousands of amazing islands.

Stay overnight on your cruise.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Relaxation moment in Halong bay

 Activities: Discovering the corners of Halong Bay.

Halong Bay 3 days 2 nights is a good option for the people like the local and remote area of Halong Bay in your trip in Vietnam. Today you will discover the different parts of the bay where are less tourists. 

After breakfast, we will start our journey today on a day boat to explore a more remote area of the bay. We will look for the quietest corners of Halong Bay and then go swimming or sunbathe on an island. You will have a full day to experience kayaking and relaxing in the remote area less visited than other areas. 

Lunch will be served on the day boat.

In the late afternoon, come back to the cruise boat to stay one more night on board of our  Highlights of Vietnam 12 Days.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Kayaking in Halong Bay

 Activities: Continue cruising on Halong Bay, join some activities before going back to Hanoi for the flight to Da Nang.

In the morning, you will be served breakfast on board while contemplating the scenic views surrounding you.  You can have a chance to try kayaking on the calm waters of Halong Bay and visit some sites like the caves or tunnels which cannot be reached by larger boats.

Have lunch on board before going back to the harbor. Say goodbye to wonderful Halong Bay. End of 3 day 2 night Halong Bay with a good memory of the King Kong film field. 

At the harbor, our driver will pick you up for the transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Da Nang.

When you arrive Da Nang, our tour guide and driver will take you to Hoi An for hotel check-in for your overnight stay.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch

 Notes: The itinerary for Halong Bay trip may change slightly depending on the cruise we stay.

Tourists ride buffalo

 Activities: Experiencing a water buffalo ride at the paddy farm, and enjoy a boat trip with local people.

Today we will have a nice time in our Vietnam 12 day itinerary.

At 9.00 am: Our tour guide and driver will pick you at the hotel or resort in Hoi An after breakfast. We will move to the countryside to experience more of the local lifestyle. Have you ever seen a buffalo before? In Vietnam, water buffalo are considered as the B.M.W and a friend of farmers. Our guide will help you learn about these animals including Buffalo language skills (Go, Stop, Left, Right, Back) and how to ride one! Don't be scared when riding on them, the buffalo man and our tour guide will help you during this exciting experience. Try riding a buffalo both in the fields and even in the water. This is very exciting.

After that, say goodbye to the Buffalo man and we will drive to a nearby fishing village. Here you can continue the tour by trying to ride around Basket Boat. Our guide will tell you how to use the basket boat and how to make it go, without going around in circles.

Before getting into your small basket boat, you will be supplied with a life jacket, and safety instructions (keep your hands inside the edge of your basket boat). Your camera, cell phone, wallet, sunglasses…etc. must be kept on the big boat. Be prepared to get wet when joining in on such a unique experience.

While on the boat, you can also enjoy a special performance of THUNG CHAI on the river performed by local crews. It will be one of the most interesting and special performances you have ever seen.

End the trip today and go back to our hotel. Stay overnight in Hoi An.

 Meals:  Breakfast

Hoian ancient city

 Activities: A free day in Hoi An.

Today is your free day in Hoi An - a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can take in around the colors and tastes of Hoi An Ancient town on foot or by bicycle, or take a trip to Cua Dai Beach to relax. Hoi An is a charming town and it is the best place for relaxation on the beach or town. Shopping in Hoi An is a must you should not miss. You will have a full free day to get back the energy in the middle of your Vietnam 12 day itinerary. 

Stay overnight in Hoi An.

 Meals:  Breakfast

Night market food in Ho Chi Minh City

 Activities: Transfer to Da Nang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

We will transfer from Hoi An to Da Nang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

Upon your arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, our driver will pick you up to head to the hotel in the center of the city for check-in.

After that, you will have free time in Ho Chi Minh City. You can walk around to explore some nearby places and get the feel or this bustling city. Enjoy a cup of coffee and some shopping.

Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

 Meals:  Breakfast

War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

 Activities: Visit Cu Chi Tunnels and then explore some historical destinations in Ho Chi Minh City.

At 8.00 am: Our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel lobby after breakfast. We will head to the Cu Chi Tunnels - a man-made underground maze of tunnels fitted with many bamboo traps and used by the military as a place to hide from the pursuing enemy in the past. You will have a chance to enrich your knowledge by exploring this more than 200 kilometer long, web-like tunnel system. If you wish you may experience going through the tunnels yourself.

Have lunch at a local restaurant on the way back to Ho Chi Minh City. During our city tour, we will visit the Reunification Hall - a special national relic know for its historical and architectural value. The Hall is known as the former Presidential Palace. In addition,  we will also pay a visit to the War Remnants Museum, the Old Post Office, Chinatown and Ben Thanh Market - the most famous shopping destination in Ho Chi Minh City.

Around 4.30 pm: We will come back to the hotel and the evening is open for you to do as you like.

Stay overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch

mekong boat trip

 Activities: Travel to Ben Tre in the Mekong Delta, to experience the local life style and ẹnoy the regional specialties.

Mekong Delta tour is the most highlighted tour in the Southern Vietnam Tours part. You will have the memorable trip today with the boat trip in the Mekong River.

You will have an interesting day far away from the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. You can explore orchards, farms, and fisheries in Ben Tre and use a bike or a boat to see the peaceful scenery there. Enjoy the fresh atmosphere and the quiet of the countryside during a relaxing and comfortable day.

First, we will embark on a long tail boat to explore fish farms and exotic fruit farms of the Mekong waterways. We will weave our way through the orchards, paddy fields and swamplands along the river and visit a brick kiln factory, a coconut processing workshop and a local mat-weaving house. Then you will have an opportunity to experience the real Delta village life in a quiet village nearby. We can enjoy some local fresh fruits there and try to ride Xe Loi (a kind of modern motorized rickshaw) or cycle around village under rows of coconut trees.

Have lunch at a riverside restaurant.

After that, we will take another boat trip along the water coconut canals and enjoy the beauty of the tropical scenery here.

Finish our day tour today and get back to Ho Chi Minh City. You will stay the last night in Ho Chi Minh City in your Highlights of Vietnam 12 days.

 Meals:  Breakfast, Lunch

Notre Dame Cathedral

 Activities: Transfer to the airport for the flight going home or the next destinations.

The morning allows you leisure time to explore Ho Chi Minh City in your own way. After that, we will transfer to the Ho Chi Minh Airport for the flight home or to go on to your next destination.  Say goodbye to Ho Chi Minh City. The Highlights of Vietnam 12 Days ends. Hope to see you again!

You may like another 12-day tour: Vietnam Culinary Tour 12 Day

 Meals:  Breakfast

 Notes: Normally we will pick you up 3 hours before your departure flight time for your international flight and 2 hours before your departure flight time for your domestic flight but we will be flexible depending on the traffic and other condition. The picking up time will be set up when we send you the detailed itinerary and check again 1 day before your departure date.

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  •   Vietnam Visa Arrival Letter 
  •   Accommodations (Double/Twin sharing) with daily breakfast 
  •   Meals as mentioned in the itinerary 
  •   Airport pick- up/ drop- off  by AC vehicles
  •   02 Domestic flights: Hanoi – Da Nang, Da Nang – Ho Chi Minh city ( Vietnam Airlines – Economy Class)
  •   Transport by vehicles with AC for 12 day itinerary
  •   02 nights on Halong Bay cruise
  •   Boat trip in Mekong
  •   English speaking guides on tour
  •   Water (02 bottles/pax/tour day)
  •   Entrance fees  as mentioned in the itinerary


  •   Visa stamp fees for Vietnam
  •   Your flights to/from Da Nang 
  •   Meals or drinks not mentioned  in our itinerary 
  •   Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
  •   Travel insurance 
  •   Compulsory dinner in the peak season at the hotel (if any)
  •   Personal expenses 
  •   Tips for guide and driver
Price from
$ 993 /person
  • Best price guaranteed
  • Money back guarantee
  • Customizable by local experts
  • 24/7 customer support
Planning your perfect Tailor-Made trip

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