Essence of Vietnam

An exploration of the country’s vivacious character

  • Experience the Saigon street scene—from temples and markets to café culture
  • Luxurious city hotels and charming, comfortable countryside abodes
  • Behold the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Hoi An, Hue, and—if you opt for the extension—Halong Bay
Essence of Vietnam with GeoEx
Trip Type: Sample Itinerary
Trip Length: 11 Days
Activity type(s): Cultural Tour
Trip Extensions: Angkor Extension
Laos Extension

With its sweeping coastline, majestic mountains, lush countryside, and fast-paced cities, Vietnam’s landscapes are as intriguingly varied as its history. Its culture has bent to many winds, yet has remained deeply, bravely rooted. This 11-day journey introduces you to the vivacious essence of Vietnam, taking you through areas most integral to its soul—all in top style.

You begin in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), exploring its convergence of past and present—historic sites and ancient temples mingle with café culture and Paris-class restaurants. Then you’re off to the verdant fields and watery landscapes of the Mekong Delta, where river life bustles and green expanses calm. From here you fly north to the old port of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a shopper’s idea of heaven. Two days in the old imperial capital of Hue, with its pagodas and palaces, offer a look at the traditional Vietnamese way of life before you wing your way to Hanoi to cap off your trip with markets and French colonial treasures.

Have more time? We’ve designed a convenient trip extension to magical Halong Bay, where limestone towers rocket out of sapphire seas.

Vietnam tour map

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Day 1: arrive in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Days 2 & 3: Saigon
  • Day 4: to the Mekong Delta
  • Day 5: fly to Danang, drive to Hoi An
  • Day 6: Hoi An
  • Day 7: drive to Hue
  • Day 8: Hue
  • Day 9: fly to Hanoi
  • Day 10: Hanoi
  • Day 11: depart Hanoi.

  • Optional Halong Bay Extension:
  • Day 11: drive to Halong Bay, embark on cruise
  • Day 12: cruising, disembark, drive to Hanoi
  • Day 13: depart.