Build Your Own Trip

Overview

Engage in a real discovery of Hanoi and Halong Bay. Let us tell you the stories behind the impressive landmarks of Hanoi, some of which covered the dark time of war and the victories of Vietnamese – Hoa Lo Prison, House 54 and Presidential Palace, and some embrace the tales from hundreds of years of history – the One Pillar Pagoda and Temple of Literature. Enjoy a cyclo ride tour around the Old Quarter and the Water Puppet show. Head to Halong Bay and find your way between the karst mountains on a cruise to explore this extraordinary site – a perfect wrap up for a Vietnam adventure!

  • Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi
  • Day 2: Hanoi City Tour – Water Puppet Show
  • Day 3: Hanoi – 25-minutes Flight over Halong Bay – Overnight on Cruise
  • Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi
  • Day 5: Hanoi – Departure

Full Itinerary

[*Notes]

- 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.

Arrive in Hanoi

Arrival at Noi Bai International Airport, collect your luggage process through custom. Your private tour guide and driver from Indochina Pioneer will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim/ customs area to transfer you in a private vehicle to the hotel downtown.

Note:
– For the Vietnamese Visa on Arrival, please make sure you have 2 passports sized 4 cm x 6 cm photos and $25 for the stamping fee.
– For all bookings made by 28th Feb 2019, a complimentary welcome Dinner is applied.

Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (_/_/Complementary welcome dinner)


Hanoi City Tour – Water Puppet Show

After breakfast, 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 outside of 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 also visit the Temple of Literature, the first university of Vietnam.

Afternoon, you will continue to see Hoa Lo Prison. Nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton”, the prison was used to house Vietnamese political prisoners, as well as French and American prisoners of war, and offers a fascinating and chilling glimpse of prison life. Most of the original prison was demolished in 1996 to make way for the Hanoi Towers (now Somerset Grand Hanoi) serviced apartment and office complex, but the southernmost corner has been preserved and reopened to the public as a memorial to the revolutionaries who died here in atrocious conditions. Visitors can view the original cells, complete with leg-irons, along with a selection of bilingual (Vietnamese and English) displays illustrating the horrors of life in the prison during the French colonial period.

Later afternoon, you will have a cyclo ride tour around the Old Quarter to experience the exciting local daily life of Hanoians. Evening, you will enjoy the Water Puppet show.

Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Hanoi – 25-minutes Flight over Halong Bay – Overnight on Cruise

Halong Bay will be your destination today. Your private guide and driver will collect you from the hotel and take you on a 3-hour journey on a scenic road with plenty to see along the way. You may even have some photo opportunities on the way.

11:30 Board the seaplane for a 25-minute flight over the unbelievable panorama of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

12:55 Land at Tuan Chau Marina and transfer to the boat cruise.

Board your boat in Halong Bay. Then enjoy a delicious seafood lunch while soaking up the magnificence of the UNESCO Heritage area.

After lunch, you will visit Sung Sot Cave (Amazing Cave) – one of the largest caves in Halong Bay, before climbing Titop Mountain for some panoramic views of the stunning sunset over Halong Bay. You will have our dinner back on your boat and settle in for a relaxing sleep onboard your junk boat.

Note: each junk operates a different itinerary and onboard facilities may vary. Your consultant will be very happy to discuss each option with you.

Overnight on board
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)



Halong Bay – Hanoi

Wake up with the sunrise, join a Tai Chi lesson on the sundeck. You will then enjoy a buffet brunch on board while continuing to cruise and head back to the shore. Disembark, meet your tour guide and driver again, you will drive back to Hanoi.

Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Brunch/_)



Hanoi – Departure

After breakfast at the hotel, you will have free time to discover the city on your own.
Later, you will be transferred to the airport for departure.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Inquire this trip


We are a member of:

We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT

Useful Information

This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!

Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.

What’s Included?

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
  • Private Vehicles and Drivers
  • Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)

  • Domestic flight
  • Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s Not Included?

  • Your International Flight to and from Vietnam
  • Vietnam entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
  • Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
  • Any bank fees or charges at your end

  • Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Tips for guides and drivers

How to Plan a successful Trip to Vietnam, Step-by-Step

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.

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

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.

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.

VOA procedure

  • To apply for your VOA please email us the following information:
  • Arrival and departure dates
  • Full passport details:
  • Passport number
  • Name
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • 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.

Visa exemptions

The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain amount of time:

Asia

  • 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)

Europe

  • 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

E-visa

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.

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 sales@indochinapioneer.com 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 Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉

Essentials

  • 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
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Refillable water bottle with filter

 

Wardrobe

  • 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

 

Optional comforts

  • Ear plugs & eye mask
  • Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
  • Lightweight travel towel
  • Local language phrasebook

Client reviews

Excellent 98%
Very good 2%
Average 0%
Poor 0%
Terrible 0%
ICP customer
Jane Doe
USA

"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!

Dec 6, 2019
Trip Advisor
ICP customer
Andrew
Australia

"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.

Nov 20, 2019
Trip Advisor
Pawan Sachdeva
Singapore

"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.

Nov 19, 2019
Trip Advisor
ICP customer review
Kerri S
Maryland, USA

"Lifetime Adventure"

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!

ICP customer review ICP customer review  ICP customer review

Nov 10, 2019
Trip Advisor
Laurence chew
USA

"Vietnam Tour"

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.

   

Nov 6, 2019
Trip Advisor
Trish W
Big 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

Nov 5, 2019
Trip Advisor
John M
Melbourne, 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amiana resort - ICP customer review Kindergarden graduation - ICP review Apricot hotel - ICP review Vietnam mountain village - ICP review

Nov 2, 2019
Trip Advisor
ICP customer reivew
Selva Ganesh
India

"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.

Nov 1, 2019
Trip Advisor
ICP customer review
Mario Enrique
Mexico

"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.

Oct 31, 2019
Trip Advisor
ICP customer review
Roger
Banbury, UK

"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.

Oct 27, 2019
Trip Advisor