The ‘Food lover’s tour of Vietnam’ is one that you would never want to miss! Discover the renowned landmarks and the worldwide famous cuisine of Hanoi with the iconic “Pho”. Explore the lovely streets of Hoi An and join a cooking class to cook a Vietnamese meal. Get to know the culture and art of Hue cuisine – one of the most famous food hubs in the country, and enjoy a special Emperor’s Royal Banquet. Head out on a foodie tour with XO motor-riders in Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City). Enjoy a variety of activities from biking, boating to tasting local cuisine, wines, and fruits in Mekong Delta.
- Day 1: Landing in Hanoi – Airport Transfer
- Day 2: Discover Hanoian Food Cultures
- Day 3: AM: Drive to Halong Bay – PM: Explore the Bay & Overnight onboard
- Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Danang/ Hoi An
- Day 5: AM: Farming & Cooking Class – PM: Hoi An Walking Tour
- Day 6: Free Day in Hoi An
- Day 7: Drive to Hue: Hue Cuisine – Culture & Art – Evening Royal Banquet
- Day 8: Hue Ancient Citadel & Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City Tour – Evening Foodie Tour with Moto-riders
- Day 10: Mekong Delta: Biking, Boating, Tasting wines & Fruits
- Day 11: See the Lively Bartering at Cai Rang Floating Market
- Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
Landing in Hanoi – Airport TransferDay 1
A warm greeting will wait for you at Noi Bai International airport; your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge and transfer you to your hotel in downtown Hanoi. While every effort is made to have your room available upon arrival, check-in time is at 02:00 pm; your room may or may not be ready before this time. Your tour guide will provide additional details regarding your stay, and you will be able to ask any questions you may have. The rest of the day will be at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Discover Hanoian Food CulturesDay 2
Dive into the sights, sounds, and smells of Hanoi. Your guide and driver will collect you from the hotel lobby to start your trip with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh complex on the site where he declared Vietnam’s independence in 1945, and see the reverence with which Vietnamese people treat their “Uncle Ho”. Other sites that we will visit with our local guide include House 54, Stilt House, Presidential Palace, and the One Pillar Pagoda.
You will then visit the Temple of Literature. Originally built in honor of Confucius by Emperor Ly Thanh Tong in 1070, a university was added to the grounds six years later. The university provided education to the royal family and children of the aristocracy or “mandarins”. The University remained here until Emperor Gia Long moved the countries administrative capital from Hanoi to Hue in the 18th century.
After a morning visit, you will have Pho for lunch at Pho Huyen, a Vietnamese Noodle shop. Some of the local people call this world-famous Noodle soup “Mac-Noodles” since it is as popular here as MacDonalds is in other parts of the world! At the restaurant, your tour guide will explain the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and also tell you which special ingredients are needed for you
Tasting Vietnamese Tea in a local shop. Tea plays a major role in Vietnamese culinary culture, and the locals tend to favor light, flower-infused varieties. A shop owner is a person who has a strong passion for Vietnam’s ancient tea culture. Meeting him & chatting to learn how to make flower-teas, & learn more about one of the beauties in Vietnamese Cuisine.
Return to your hotel for some rest before starting the evening local food discovery.
We will start our walking tour at Hanoi’s largest covered market, Dong Xuan. Along the perimeter of the market, dozens of street hawkers sell a staggering variety of produce from live seafood to exotic fruits and spices. Your expert English-speaking local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes.
Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we will tempt our taste buds with the famed Hanoi dish Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continue into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, we will wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes, where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago.
Our next stop will be Banh My 25 shop “French Baguette”, a little food stall with a few typical tiny Vietnamese chairs on the sidewalk where we enjoy the delicious and fresh baguettes while observing the neighborhood.
Move on to Hanoi Food Culture at Phat Loc Street, where we will sample some Bun Cha consisting of vermicelli, herbs and grilled pork. At this Hanoi’s best-kept secrets, a hidden café, we will watch the demonstration and then try some egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy.
Continue to other food stalls in Hang Bo and Ho Hoan Kiem Street, where we’ll try some dishes such Che “Vietnamese style pudding” and Nom “papaya salad with beef”.
It’s the time for dessert as we’ll venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced – this specialty is one not to be missed!
Overnight in Hanoi
AM: Drive to Halong Bay – PM: Explore the Bay & Overnight onboardDay 3
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay (travel time approximately 4 hours).
You will arrive at the docks around midday, and you will board a traditional wooden junk boat for a relaxing and unforgettable cruise around the breathtaking and unique limestone mountain islands. A sumptuous local seafood lunch will be served as you cruise this spectacular bay.
You will visit one of the famous caves of Halong Bay, and there will be a stop at Ti Top Mountain, where you will climb to the top for a stunning panoramic view of Halong Bay.
Take part in a cooking demonstration onboard. It is then followed by a scrumptious dinner. For the night activities, you can try some squid fishing, unwind on the top deck and enjoy a glass of cocktail. Then return to your cabin for a good night sleep.
(Note: Program may differ slightly base on cruise ships)
Overnight on board
Halong Bay – Hanoi – Fly to Danang/ Hoi AnDay 4
In the morning, enjoy breakfast on your junk boat as you take in the scenic treasures of the bay. There will be an opportunity for you to kayak on the bay’s placid waters to access some of the sites inaccessible by the larger boats, including a cave.
Lunch will be provided onboard before arriving back at the dock, where you will be picked up by your private driver and taken back to Hanoi. In the early evening, you will take a short flight to Da Nang. Upon arrival, you will go to the hotel in Hoi An.
Overnight in Hoi An
AM: Farming & Cooking Class – PM: Hoi An Walking TourDay 5
After being collected from your hotel, a short bicycle competency test will be given. For those uncomfortable with a pushbike, then the private car can be arranged. The tour starts by cycling along level ground to the Thu Bon River to visit a local fishing village.
Ride along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices. Peddle your way through palm forests, across bridges, fields of water buffalo…
Take a short break at a local family in Cam Thanh Village before enjoying a fun ride on the traditional Basket Boat (round boat) in the Water Coconut Palm Forest. Learn how to sail the basket boat and spend your time to catch fishes and “purple crabs” in the Canal.
Continue to ride our bike to Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village, where a large variety of vegetable is produced for the local community. At the village, you will be shown the environmentally sustainable practices which the local villagers have used for centuries and is still being used extensively today.
After some farming practices, we will head to a family in the local village to do a private cooking class (www.kumquathoian.com). Then, enjoy a foot massage and the traditional herbal foot dip. We will then ride back to the hotel to rest during the day.
In the afternoon, you will start your exploration in the ancient town of Hoi An, a beautiful place that once was an important commercial port to where Chinese, Japanese and European merchants used to come to trade their goods. This makes Hoi An a town that clusters a cultural legacy similar to much bigger and populated cities. After some time of being forgotten, this town has come back as an important tourist destination, and in 1999, it was listed as a World Heritage Site. Fortunately, its architecture and lifestyle haven’t really changed from those in the past.
This is a fact you will be able to verify the moment you are taking a pleasant stroll through the narrow streets of Hoi An’s old quarter and visiting the traditional merchants’ homes. Of course, you will get the chance of seeing the iconic Japanese Covered Bridge, built at the end of the sixteenth century by the Japanese community living in Hoi An, so they could communicate with the Chinese neighborhoods located on the other side of the river, and the colorful town’s market.
Later, you will go back to the hotel. You will have the rest of the day free so you can discover this fascinating place at your own pace. You can rest or go to the beach maybe.
Overnight in Hoi An
Meals: (Breakfast/ Lunch/_)
Free Day in Hoi AnDay 6
Spend the whole day in Hoi An. Sunbathe on the beach, go shopping, or become familiar with the quaint streets of Hoi An. Hoi An is a paradise for a family holiday. Lunch will be on your own.
We recommend you to hire a bicycle to ride to the beautiful Cua Dai Beach or take part in a cooking class. For the cooking class, your cooking instructor will take you through Hoi An’s riverside market, always a hive of activity, to purchase the ingredients before returning to the restaurant to learn how to prepare a Vietnamese meal, which you will get to enjoy afterward!
Overnight in Hoi An
Drive to Hue: Hue Cuisine – Culture & Art – Evening Royal BanquetDay 7
We will drive north to Hue – a romantic town in the central of Vietnam. Our 4.5-hour trip, hugging the coastline along the Eastern Sea, provides breathtaking views that grow ever more spectacular as we wind our way up Hai Van Pass (“Pass of the Clouds”). On the way, you will stop to visit some sites, such as Non-Nuoc Stone Carving Village, Marble Mountain, Lang Co Beach & Hai Van Pass.
Arrive at the hotel in Hue at mid-noon. You will be served a light lunch with some specialties of Hue:
– Com Hen (Clam Rice)
– Nem Lui (Hue Lemongrass Skewers)
– Banh Beo (Steamed Rice Cakes) …
– Bun Thit Nuong (Vermicelli Noodles With Grilled Pork) …
– Banh It Ram (Fried Sticky Rice Dumplings)
The afternoon will be time for visiting the Hue’s most impressive tombs Tu Duc Tomb to learn more about Royal’s life, and visit the Incense and Conical Hat making villages. Return to the city center and if time and weather permit, we could admire the glorious sunset. Drive back to the hotel.
***For a group from 4 pax: Enjoy Emperor’s Royal Banquet – a special dinner in your trip.
Upon arrival at the traditional restaurant, you will be given colorful imperial costumes so you can dress up as Emperors, Queens, Mandarins, and Concubines.
You will be entertained by traditional Hue Imperial Court music and served a multiple course meal in the royal tradition of the Imperial Court.
Each dish is exquisitely prepared to symbolize the dragon, the phoenix, and the peacock. A truly unique experience
Overnight in Hue
Meals: (Breakfast/Light Lunch/_)
Hue Ancient Citadel & Fly to Ho Chi Minh CityDay 8
You will be picked up at your centrally located hotel in Hue for exploration of Dong Ba market, an exciting market filled with colorful sights, sounds, and smells. You will be introduced to local vendors and traditional foods.
Then, you will be doing a leisure boat trip along the Perfume River to visit the towering Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous Vietnamese landmarks.
Continue your journey to discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed wonder of the Citadel including the Forbidden Purple City then make your way to the Hue Royal Antiques Museum to see a collection of ornaments, where preserves royal treasures has a history with many changes
Satisfy your hunger with a popular dish called bún bò Huế which contains rice vermicelli (bún) and beef (bò). This is a signature of the city. You will be transferred to Phu Bai Airport. In the afternoon, you will fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our local driver. From Tan Son Nhat airport, we will be transferred to the hotel and check-in. The remaining of the day will be free at your leisure.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: (Breakfast/Light Lunch/_)
Ho Chi Minh City Tour – Evening Foodie Tour with Moto-ridersDay 9
Let’s start the morning tour in the most dynamic city in Vietnam. You will start the city tour to explore great architectures in one of our largest cities in Vietnam.
The architecture of Ho Chi Minh City is a splendid mix of Vietnam’s historical heritage, from French colonial villas to modern steel and glass monuments.
The top architectural sights for tourists date back to the time when Saigon, the “Pearl of Indochina” was the capital of French Indochina. More has been added to the cultural heritage since then and we see interesting times ahead in terms of modern architecture.
Based on the Hotel de Ville in Paris (Paris City Hall), Saigon’s City Hall was finished in 1908. It proudly sits at the beginning of Nguyen Hue Street, showing off a beautiful building style. Nowadays it harbors the main office of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and is closed to the public.
The Central Post Office is a popular tourist spot and THE place in HCMC to send postcards from. And of course, a famous monument among travelers for its beautiful paintings and architecture, finished 1891 by Gustave Eiffel, a splendid French engineer who also built the Eiffel Tower.
The Reunification Palace is an important historical landmark and a popular tourist attraction because the day the building’s main gate was broken in 1975 marks the end of the American War. The palace was designed by Ngo Viet Thu for South Vietnam’s former President.
The Saigon Opera House is also a famous landmark and popular site for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City. It was built in 1897 by the French architect Eugene Ferret and is open to visitors during events.
The architecture in Ho Chi Minh City evolved from the colonial time, over the period of South Vietnam and the reunification until today. More skyscrapers and other interesting, modern monuments are in the planning and in the making, so you witness the development of an interesting skyline.
Return your hotel in downtown at noon. The whole afternoon will be free at your leisure.
In the evening, you can do a Foodie tour with XO tours (joining in a group)
Sample the most amazing dishes that Vietnam has the offer! Taste your way through cuisine from North Vietnam, Hue and the South. The Foodie is the most acclaimed Vietnam Food tour, and is designed to introduce you to the dishes and desserts that most food blogs and other tours don’t really touch upon!
We will take you to the most popular street stalls and hidden alleyways in the city and show you where the locals really love to eat! So save your appetite, delight your palate and let us fill your tummy with delicious and authentic Vietnamese Food!
Our foodie tour focuses on street food dishes that most people outside of Vietnam have never had a chance to experience. Unlike most other Vietnam food tours, we won’t serve you Pho, Spring Rolls, Vietnamese Pancakes, or Banh Mi Sandwiches. We also won’t make you eat dog meat, bugs, organs, raw food or anything too weird.
The foodie tour is only available in the evenings when most of the street vendors open for business. All food & drinks are included in the price! You get at least 10 entrees (including lots of seafood), dessert and drinks (beer, soft drinks, water & tea) on this tour. The portions are generous, and we will keep on ordering food as long as you keep eating!
The food is not just a gastronomic tour, but a great way to see parts of the city that the majority of tourists do not get to see. Most visitors to Ho Chi Minh City are stuck in District 1; on this tour, we will take you to 5 other popular districts and show you how real Vietnamese people live, work and eat! The Foodie combines our Saigon By Night Tour with stops for amazing food and lasts about 4.5 hours. We will give you plenty of time in between each stop in order for you to rest your stomach.
By far our most popular tour, the foodie is great fun and the perfect way to discover some of the lesser-known dishes that the locals love to eat. But do not take our words for it, read the reviews about our Foodie tour by 1010 “Chopped” winner and New York Chef, Mario Tolentino, and another great write -up by beautiful Aussie expat Dani Moger, who despite having lived in Ho Chi Minh City for 18 months, said she was bowled over by the food and parts of the city that she never even knew existed.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Mekong Delta: Biking, Boating, Tasting wines & FruitsDay 10
Start your day with a pick-up from your centrally located hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Then head to the city of My Tho by bus. During the 1.5-hour bus drive to My Tho, learn about the cultures of the local people and enjoy the nice scenery of green rice fields. Visit Vinh Trang pagoda, the biggest pagoda in Mekong Delta. Continue to My Tho and take a boat trip along Mekong River. During the cruise, see fish cages and floating houses on the river. The boat will take you to a small canal, where you can escape the busy town. The cruise through the coconut trees lined canal will take you to a coconut island in Ben Tre. Disembark, walk around the village and visit a local family to enjoy tropical fruit, taste honey tea, honey wine and listen to Vietnamese traditional music, performed by the villagers.
Continue walking on the village’s road to a coconut candy shop to learn how to make candy and see some handicrafts made from coconut trees. Take a walk through the village and discover many kinds of fruits, flowers, trees, and local houses. Take your time and take nice photos while enjoying the natural scenery. Then, head to a local restaurant and enjoy a local Vietnamese lunch under the tree shade. After lunch, you will have free time to walk or bike around the village, then travel by ferry and bus to Can Tho, the heart of Mekong Delta. Stay overnight in the hotel.
Overnight in Can Tho
See the Lively Bartering at Cai Rang Floating MarketDay 11
Enjoy breakfast and then take a leisurely boat trip to explore the picturesque tributaries of the Lower Mekong River.
After, proceed to visit the Cai Răng floating market, which is the liveliest in the whole region. Take in the beautiful scenery and the daily activities of the locals who live along the Mekong canals.
Next, you will roam through the village, see fruit gardens and visit a rice husking mill and rice noodles making the shop.
Then, head back to the riverside for lunch before traveling back to Ho Chi Minh City where you will arrive at around 4:00 PM with unforgettable memories.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City – DepartureDay 12
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday as this will mark the end of your 12 day trip to Vietnam. Your private driver will pick you up and take you back to Tan Son Nhat International airport for your departure flight home.
Inquire this trip
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Let’s check out the Best Deals for this TIME PERIOD. These are Special Offers that can disappear at any time. Book Now before it is too late. Don’t Delay!
Special Promotional Prices (valid: July 22 – September 22, 2019). This deal is applied to all trip starting from NOW until 30th December 2019. The quotation currency is USD.
|Group Size||1pax||2pax||3pax||4pax||5pax||6pax||Single Sup|
Hanoi: The Hanoian Hotel/ Deluxe room www.thehanoianhotel.com
Halong Bay: Swan Halong Cruise/ Deluxe cabin swancruiseshalong.com
Hoi An: Atlas Hotel & Spa/ Superior City View atlashoian.com
Hue: Cherish Hue Hotel/ Deluxe City View cherishhotel.com
Ho Chi Minh City: Sanouva Saigon Hotel/ Premier Deluxe room www.sanouvahotel.com
Can Tho: Iris Can Tho Hotel/ Premium Superior www.irishotelcantho.vn
Hanoi: Hanoi Pearl Hotel & Spa/ Deluxe Window www.hanoipearlhotel.com
Halong Bay: Huong Hai Sealife Cruise/ Suite balcony huonghaisealifecruise.com
Hoi An: Silk Village Hoi An Resort & Spa/ Deluxe Garden www.hoiansilkvillage.com
Hue: Eldora Hue Hotel/ Deluxe room www.eldorahotel.com
Ho Chi Minh City: Alagon D’Antique Hotel& Spa/ Deluxe window www.alagonhotels.com
Can Tho: Vinpearl Can Tho Hotel/ Deluxe City View www.vinpearl.com
Hanoi: Apricot Hanoi Hotel/ Sketch room apricothotels.com
Halong: Huong Hai Sealife Legend Cruise/ Suite balcony www.sealifegroup.com
Hoi An: Palm Garden Beach Resort/ Superior Garden View palmgardenresort.com.vn
Hue: Best Western Premier Hotel/ Deluxe room www.indochinepalace.com
Ho Chi Minh City: Majestic Saigon Hotel/ Colonial City Deluxe majesticsaigon.com
Can Tho: Victoria Can Tho Resort/ Superior room www.victoriahotels.asia
Special Benefits Added:
- Free visa approval letter
- One free local sim card
- Special secret souvenir created by Indochina Pioneer
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
- 2 domestic flights in Vietnam with Vietnam Airlines
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights from and to Vietnam
- Vietnam entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips for guides and drivers
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
How to Plan a successful Trip to Vietnam, Step-by-Step
Why to visit Vietnam
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
How to Book a Tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to visit Vietnam
Vietnam, the S-shaped country, also commonly likened to the shape of a dragon, is located to the west of the South China Sea. The perfect combination of colonial elegance and rustic charm, it guarantees to satisfy all types of travelers with its rich experiences made all the more special by its charming people.
With cities to explore, temples to admire, and green countrysides to roam, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Known as a colorful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north, with its myriad of ethnic communities, to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) on the edge of the Mekong Delta, it is difficult to pick just one region to visit when coming to Vietnam.
The charming capital of Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments; the scenery of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is bound to leave you speechless; Hue, home to the old Kings of Vietnam, appears to have been frozen in time for several hundred years with its ancient atmosphere and architecture.
With a 3260km coastline, Vietnam is home to many top-tier beaches; the country’s most unsung beauties. My Khe beach – “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” as described by Forbes – offers blue skies, smooth white sand, clear & warm water year-round. Phu Quoc island, boasting several luxury resorts, is also a favorite escape for the rich and famous. The abundance of mountains, rainforests, and natural lakes also makes Vietnam a great destination for trekking, hiking, mountain biking, sea and river kayaking, and classic overland tours.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Vietnam
• Sapa & Mai Chau – visit the hill tribe villages and plantations
• Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam
• Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam
• Hoi An – the kitchen of Vietnam and paradise on Earth
• Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) – the economic heart of Vietnam
• The Cu Chi Tunnels – walk through the history of the Vietnam War
• Mekong Delta – see the floating markets
When to Go
Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate varies surprisingly from region to region. Therefore this charming land is well-known as an “all-year-around” available destination for travelers.
In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In the central region, from Nha Trang to Hue, sunshine lasts throughout the year, except for the months of November and December when heavy rainfalls occur. Dalat, at an altitude of 1500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers that don’t last very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
Almost all visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, although some exemptions apply for citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements with Vietnam. Depending upon the nationality and passport of the applicant, a tourist visa can be obtained at the Vietnamese diplomatic office or consulates in foreign countries. Visas can also be obtained with the help of a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, known as a “Visa on Arrival”. Visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry, as requested at the time of application.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The easiest way is to get your visa through a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, such as Indochina Pioneer. We can quickly and efficiently organize your pre-arranged VOA if you wish. Our visa processing fee is a reasonable rate of USD$10 / person only. Except for American citizens who are required to pay a stamping fee of USD$135 to get a 1-year, multiple-entry tourist visa, other nationalities need to pay just USD$25 / person for a single entry and USD$50 / person for multiple entries.
- To apply for your VOA please email us the following information:
- Arrival and departure dates
- Full passport details:
- Passport number
- Issuing date
- Expiry date
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.
- Once we have received your information, we will secure a Visa Approval Letter for you. This usually takes about 2 – 4 working days (ie. excluding weekends). We will then send you the letter via email or fax. You must present this letter upon boarding your flight. Also, you will need to prepare two photos (6 cm high x 4 cm wide – white background, no glasses, no smiling).
- On arrival at the airport (in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City) please find the Visa on Arrival window/counter where you will hand over your passport and photos, and be given a simple form to fill out. Pay the stamping fee of USD$25 for the single entry and USD$50 for multiple entries. The staff at the airport will shortly return your passport with your visa, after which you will be allowed to exit the airport.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain amount of time:
- Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
- Japan, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
- Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Vietnamese embassy/consulate :
South Asia – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese government officially launched the electronic visa plan for foreign tourists of certain countries visiting Vietnam. To apply for an e-visa, please visit http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn. For the list of
countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, click here.
How to Book a Tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (MR. LAM) or +84 983 145 799 (MR. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
"Best Tour Guide Service ever!"
My partner and I felt so safe and comfortable on our tour. The tour guide and driver were so accommodating. I had so much fun and I actually miss it so much. Will be using the same tour company on my next trip!
"Laos, Cambodia, Thailand"
We needed a 2-week break after a freezing and miserable Melbourne winter and visit Asia – but not VN, Bali, etc. Laos was suggested by Helen at Indochina (found her in an ad) and we had 12 nights through the region in excellent hotels, with great guides. Nothing went wrong really – one minor glitch was fixed with a Whatsapp message. So good planning and great real-time support available.
"Help with the Vietnam trip planning"
I am visiting Vietnam in the first week of Jan 2020. I reached out to Indochina Pioneer for help planning my trip. Though I did not eventually engage them due to my shortened vacation plan, Indochina Pioneer was very helpful and professional in providing all the insights into the trip. Especially Ms. Phuong who has been very patient with all my questions. I even offered to pay them a token amount for all their help which Indochina Pioneer politely denied. I wish to engage them in my next trip to Vietnam.
Kerri SMaryland, USA
My visit to Thailand and Vietnam was a trip of a lifetime! Lizzie diligently worked with me to create a trip that included everything that I wanted to see and do—-learn about the country, culture and foods. Everything about the trip was perfect. Hotels, tours and most especially the tour guides! The tour guides were so knowledgeable and flexible and I feel so blessed to consider them my friends now. They really made the trip for me!
Lizzie Pham, I can’t sing your praises enough for your attention to detail! You and everyone I met along my adventure have a special place in my heart. You opened my eyes to amazing places and people. I can’t wait to explore more countries with you!
This is the second time we used Indochina Pioneer. Earlier this year we used them for a great tour of Thailand and this time for another great tour in Vietnam. We are very lucky to of worked with Kata Tran, and she spent much time in helping us customize a tour based on the amount of time we wanted to spend in Vietnam. We really feel spoiled that we can arrange a private tour and customize the tour further throughout the tour. We have been so happy to have private tours as tours are the most efficient but we were always turned off by large tours and everyone following someone carrying a flag. With a private tour, we can call the shots as there will be a place that we want to spend more time and places we want to spend less time. The tour guides and driver coordinate perfectly so as we finish one place, our van would be waiting for us with the air condition on and cold water. I actually asked one of the tour guides that were subcontracted by Indochina Pioneer and was very pleased when they said that really enjoyed working with Indochina Pioneer because they can see that Indochina Pioneer really wants the best for their customers and that to ensure that, they hire the best subcontractors and take care of them also so everyone is happy. I hope Indochina Pioneer and Kata Tran prosper and grow larger and there are other places that we want to travel and would like to use Indochina Pioneer again and again.
Trish WBig White, Canada
"Superb Travel Agency and Consultant Kata Tran"
We have just returned from a 17-day excursion in Southern Vietnam, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Kata Tran was EXCELLENT to deal with. She listened to what we wanted to do for our tour and she delivered! The guides and drivers were great. The guide’s knowledge of the sites and English was very good and the drivers were timely and caring. They always had a cold bottle of water and a cleansing towel ready for us when we returned from visiting a site. The whole tour unfolded on time and without a hitch. The highlight of our trip was visiting the Patara Elephant Park outside of Chaing Mai, Thailand, where we spent a full day with the elephants: learning about them and being taught how to communicate with them; feeding them; watering them; riding them in the jungle for 45 minutes; then bathing them. It was WONDERFUL. Kata recommended this particular Farm for an elephant experience and we were so happy because we had heard from others about their disappointment at some other elephant sanctuaries/excursions. Patara Farm is associated with the Veterinary Department of Chiang Mai University so you know the animals are well cared for and it shows.
We were disappointed with our hotel in Bangkok and Kata and the guide did everything they could to ensure our happiness and they definitely accomplished their goal.
I would HIGHLY recommend Indochina Pioneer and Patara Elephant Farm
John MMelbourne, Australia
"BRILLIANT TRAVEL AGENCY AND CONSULTANT (MS HIEN PHAM)!"
In 21018 we visited the southern half of Vietnam and loved it so much that we decided to do a 16-day tour of the north in March 2019.
We had a fairly good idea of where we wanted to go and stay (eg. A few days in Ha Noi, an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay, stay in a mountain village, visit Hoi An, etc, etc), but we had no specific hotels or tours in mind.
Enter Indochina Pioneer and Ms. Hien Pham who was assigned to us. I found the company on the internet and after checking a few Trip Advisor recommendations I contacted them and began putting the details of our tour together (based largely on Hien’s recommendations).
She was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!! So patient, understanding and she left nothing to chance!!! And all at a very reasonable price (better quality – but cheaper than Australian package deals!!!) Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) went as she planned it. The great accommodation (eg. The Apricot Hotel in Ha Noi was outstanding – see my separate review), the tours, the local city guides, the transfers, etc, etc, all went well).
I can’t recommend Ms. Hien Pham and Indochina Pioneer highly enough. Book your tour with them – you won’t regret it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Best Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam trip"
We chose Indochina Pioneer and they put together the best-customized tour for us. The timings were well planned and it became one of the memorable tours for us. Hien from Indochina was very helpful in planning. We were very particular about places, and she helped us to plan what we want. We started from Cambodia (Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake), then Laos (Luang Prabang), and then to Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Thien Duong Cave, Ba Be, Cao Bang, Ban Gioc Waterfalls). Every day we had a blast. The service was really good. And I’m booking through them again to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia. And that tells how good they are. Thanks to Indochina Pioneer and special thanks to Hien for planning the best trip for us.
"Best Myanmar trip"
We decided to choose Indochina Pioneer to plan a trip to Myanmar with our family. It was 17 days length trip only in Myanmar. This was an amazing experience and an excellent country to visit. Ms. Hien was very helpful to plan our itinerary, ad hoc to our needs. Tour guides have mostly good knowledge and good English. Especially Mr. Cho and Ms. Thin were really good tour guides, we liked them a lot.
"Splendid personalised tour of Vietnam and Cambodia"
Following a recommendation we chose Indochina Pioneer to put together our bespoke tour. Sales Manager Kata Tran took on board our requirements and offered a proposal which we then fine-tuned into an excellent itinerary. We had a really splendid holiday. Different guides at different locations were all good and three were outstanding. Our boutique hotels were mostly very good and we found the service offered was always delightful – the same for restaurants. The high spots of our holiday were the gentle trekking in Sapa, the wonderful Ha Long Bay cruise (outstanding food on our boat), Hanoi city and the street food, Hoi An so charming, exciting Saigon, the high-speed boat ride up the Mekong and the fantastic Angkor temples in Cambodia. We built two relaxation breaks into our tour, primarily to meet up with friends and family but this was also useful to catch breath in the middle of the tour. We were very pleased with the arrangements made by Indochina Pioneer although it would probably have been best to travel from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap by air rather than by bus. Cambodia was very, very hot at this time of year.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer for similar tours in Vietnam and Cambodia.