Explore the best of northern Vietnam with us in 8 days! Navigate the streets in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and its historic sites and enjoy the delightful street food on our food tour, some dishes are only known by the local experts. visit the “Halong Bay in land” – Ninh Binh, renowned for its magnificent landscape of limestone mountains, fertile rice fields and scenic rivers on a boat trip and also on a leisure bike ride to see local villages. In Sapa, you will trek through the lush forest to visit Cat Cat village and other hill tribe villages before heading to the peak of Fansipan – “The Rooftop of Indochina”. Mingle in the wonderful scenery of limestone karst and spectacular caves of Halong Bay while enjoying delicious fresh seafood on the cruise deck.
- Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival – Evening Food Tour and Nightlife Experience
- Day 2: Hanoi Morning City Tour – Afternoon Shopping Spree
- Day 3: Hanoi – Day trip to Hoa Lu & Tam Coc – Overnight train to Lao Cai (Sapa)
- Day 4: Sapa Arrival – Visit Cat Cat Village – Fansipan Legend Cable Car
- Day 5: Sapa – Explore Ma Tra & Ta Phin Village – Transfer to Hanoi
- Day 6: Hanoi – Transfer to Ha Long Bay – Overnight onboard
- Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Evening at leisure
- Day 8: Hanoi 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.
Hanoi – Arrival – Evening Food Tour and Nightlife ExperienceDay 1
Arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport, collect your luggage and 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.
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. Have a rest before the exciting evening food adventure and nightlife experience at 17.00.
17:00 – 20:30
Your guide will take you on a walking tour of Hanoi Old Quarter combines with food tasting and off-the-beaten-track sightseeing. This tour is designed to give you the confidence to go out and try street food on your own when you visit a heaven of street food as Vietnam. You’ll also discover a different Hanoi – not beautiful decorating restaurants. This tour is a delicious and fun way to explore Hanoi just like a local.
During our walk, you will have plenty of opportunity to interact with the locals and sample various street food such as Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steam Rice Rolls), Banh Mi (Vietnamese baguettes), Bun Cha (grilled pork with vermicelli and herbs), Nom du du (papaya salad) and Banh Xeo (Vietnamese Pancake).
For dessert, we will 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!
Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best-kept secrets, a hidden café. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the city that still serves egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy that we will sample. Or, if coffee is not your style, a cold beer awaits!
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (_/_/Dinner) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi Morning City Tour – Afternoon Shopping SpreeDay 2
8:00 – 8:30
After breakfast, your adventure tour in Vietnam will begin as your private tour guide picks you up and takes you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi, famed for its tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, and a thousand years of history. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Thang Long Citadel (the most recent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vietnam), built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet (former Vietnam)
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– One Pillar Pagoda, one of the most iconic temples in Vietnam
– Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
Today 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.
After lunch, return to your hotel for some rest before strolling along the iconic Hoan Kiem lake and the most exciting shopping part of the Old Quarter including Hang Gai– Hang Bong – NhaTho street, the best place to pick up some high quality, fashionable silk items, lacquerware, embroidered goods, and ethnic-minority crafts; Hang Dau (Shoes street), where hundreds of shoe-sellers lining. Most of the footwear consists of brand names made at Vietnamese factories that have been rejected as seconds, making them a great purchase with usually only a small imperfection. There are also plenty of fake North Face items, Samsonite bags where Hang Dau Street meets Lo Su.
15.00 – 15.30
Be picked up by the private car for a 20-minute drive to Japanese retail giant AEON Shopping Mall. Here you can spend 1 – 2 hours at the huge Japanese food court, shopping for local brand clothes (Cafina, Bata, The Blue Exchange, etc.) at a remarkably good price, as well as households and other stuff. Finish your shopping and get back to the hotel at about 18.00.
Note: The city tour program is flexible. Our guide would be more than happy to adjust the tour itinerary at your needs. You can skip one site or add another if you so wish.
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi – Day trip to Hoa Lu & Tam Coc – Overnight train to Lao Cai (Sapa)Day 3
Ninh Binh province is located in northern Vietnam, about 100km south of Hanoi. With its hundreds of limestone cliffs emerging from the ground scattered across the rice fields, this region is appropriately nicknamed the “Halong Bay in land”.
Meet your tour guide at your hotel and start a 2-hour road trip toward Ninh Binh Province.
Around 10:00 am, you will arrive at Hoa Lu. Here you will visit the Ancient Capital with the remaining two temples of Dinh King and Le King. This visit offers you a chance to learn more about part of feudal dynasties in Vietnamese history, as well as the old feudal architecture of Vietnamese Temples.
Leaving Hoa Lu, you will proceed to Tam Coc. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant (service local specialties. Vegetarian meal is upon request).
After lunch, you will take a 5-minute walk to the docks to embark on a three-hour boat trip to visit Tam Coc (you will sit on a sampan boat with local rower). Known as “Halong Bay on land”, Tam Coc are three limestone caves stretching along the splendid Ngo Dong River. During the boat trip, you will enjoy the majestic and impressive natural landscapes reflexing from the spectacular Limestone Mountains, rice paddies and temples. You will also explore three caves, including Hang Ca (first cave), Hang Hai (second cave) and Hang Ba (third cave).
Return to the docks, you will enjoy a leisure bicycle ride through the village lanes. Arrive at a mountain where you will climb a few hundred steps to visit Mua Cave and a small temple of Quan Am (the Goddess of Mercy). From the top, you can enjoy the panorama view of the amazing rice paddies and the Ngo Dong River below. A perfect spot for Facebook Portrait.
After the tour, you will drive back to Hanoi where your great day trip ends at around 18:00
Tonight your guide and driver will transfer you Hanoi Train Station at Tran Qui Cap Street to board the night train to Lao Cai. The train leaves around 21:00 and arrives in Lao Cai City at 06:00 the next morning where you’ll travel 1 hour to Sapa.
Overnight on A/C train
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Sapa Arrival – Visit Cat Cat Village – Fansipan Legend Cable CarDay 4
You will arrive early in the morning at Lao Cai station (approx. 6:00). At the train exit, you will be collected by your private guide and driven in a private vehicle for 1 hour trip to Sapa, the former French Hill station.
Enjoy a short rest and breakfast at the hotel (arranged by Indochina Pioneer) before a discovery tour of Sapa and surrounding. With your guide, you will start a leisure trek downhill to Cat Cat village for the breathtaking scenery of rice terraces. As you walk through these villages nestled in the valleys below Sapa, you will meet some of the local ethnic minority people such as Black H’mong and Red Dzao.
Leaving Cat Cat villages, you will enjoy a fun motorcycle ride for 15 minutes to drive uphill to Sapa. Check in to your hotel room and rest afterward.
In the afternoon, your guide and driver will transfer you to Fansipan Legend Cable station, which is about 15km away from the Sapa center. Here you will enjoy the cable car ride from the base of the 3,143-metre Fansipan Mountain to its highest peak within 15 to 20 minutes when it normally takes one-two days to trek to the top of the famous Fansipan Mountain, so-called the Rooftop of Indochina. Kindly note that there is no presence of tour guide in this activity.
Area information: Sapa
Sapa is an incredibly picturesque village that lies on the Hoang Lien Son mountain range near the Chinese border in northwest Vietnam. It is called as “the Tonkinese Alps” You can see many hill tribe people, their villages, rice terraces, lush vegetation, and Fansipan, the highest peak in Vietnam.
Overnight in Sapa
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Sapa – Explore Ma Tra & Ta Phin Village – Transfer to HanoiDay 5
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll begin the day with a 3km trek through the breathtaking landscape to Matra village, where you will come across the impressive ruins of a church dating back to the French occupation in the early 1900s. Take a minute to explore this intriguing sight and take some photos.
Have picnic lunch on the way.
In the afternoon, trekking to the village of Ta Phin you will be able to meet both Black Hmong and Red Dao minorities. The Red Dao is known for its expertise in herbal medicine as well as usage of plants from the land to treat many illnesses. Your guide will be able to introduce you to some Red Dao women who can tell you more about their many remedies.
A Red Dao herbal medicine bath (this is an option, booking is upon request) can be arranged for you to experience at Red Dao Spa Sapa. After that transport will be provided from Ta Phin back to your hotel in Sapa town.
The hotel will allow you to have some shower at their restroom. Then collect your luggage and catch the Express Bus to return Hanoi. The bus leaves at 16:00 and gets back to Hanoi around 22:00. Enjoy a good night sleep and get ready for the Halong Bay trip tomorrow. The relaxing cruise trip will certainly be a happy ending. You deserve it!
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi – Transfer to Ha Long Bay – Overnight onboardDay 6
07:45 – 8:15
After breakfast, you are collected from the hotel lobby and transferred 4 hours (140 km) from Hanoi to Halong Bay. As Halong Bay is so popular, there is usually a crowd of boats at the docks -please be reassured that the cruise itself will be scenic and relaxing.
12.00 – 12.30 approx
Arrive at Tuan Chau marina. Welcome on the cruise and refresh with our welcome drink. Meet the captain and the crew in the cruise briefing. Check-in your cabin. Time to refresh and unwind.
Set sail as lunch is served.
Join us for a typical local lunch in the dining room or at the outdoor dining area. Mingle yourself in the stunning views of the Bay and its dramatic limestone islets as we sail through the calm emerald waters heading to Maze cave.
In the late afternoon, we’ll arrive at Amazing cave (hang Sửng Sốt), explore the cave and find out how the cave was named Amazing.
Reach to the peak point of the cave for a breathtaking panoramic view of the bay.
Back to the boat, our cruise will take you to a stunning tranquilizing isolated lagoon for swimming or just simply relaxing on the boat with our spa service and mingle in the picturesque seascape.
Heading back toward the sleeping area.
In the evening, from the summit on the sundeck, watch the sunset while enjoying our pre-dinner local wine appetizer. It’s an ideal time to make acquaintance with new friends, sharing your traveling experience or simply watching the sunset.
A dinner with an authentic Vietnamese menu will be served.
After dinner, reward yourself with a large selection of cocktails at our bar, or take for you one of our onboard activities: book reading, games, movies, and squid fishing…
Area information: Ha Long Bay
Halong means: “Descending Dragon” in Vietnamese and it is not difficult to see why the bay got its name. It is an area of great natural beauty, with waters studded with thousands of islets covered in green foliage, sheer cliffs, and caves. The bay was used by smugglers in times past, seeking hiding places in the countless hidden inlets and caves. The islands are cut into dramatic formations and local legends and stories abound, inspired by the shapes which have been likened to chickens, dragons, and on a more modern twist, General De Gaulle’s nose.
Overnight on board
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Evening at leisureDay 7
7:00 – 8:00
Local breakfast will be served on board.
– Mingle yourself in the stunning views of the Bay and its dramatic limestone islets as we sail through the calm emerald waters heading to Luon Cave (Hang Luồn)
– Take your option either exploring the cave yourself on a kayak or comfortably on bamboo boat rowed by the locals.
Check out the cabins, at your leisure while your cruise taking you to pass by other beautiful highlights in the bay.
You will join a short class of cooking demonstration, learning how to make spring rolls before an early lunch is served.
Return to the shore and disembark from the cruise as our crew says farewell. Wind your way back to Hanoi with a stop en route for refreshment.
15.00 – 17:00
Return to your hotel in Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/ _) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi City – DepartureDay 8
Today will be on your own leisure. Breakfast will still be included and check out will be at mid-day.
Depending on your departure time, a private driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you back to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Inquire this trip
We are a member of:
We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT
- 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)
- Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
- Your International Flights from and to 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
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
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
"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.
Jerry Ray BowlingUSA
"Worry-free Vietnam travel!"
Reliable and caring. You name it and Ryan has the know-how to plan it. From a hassle-free airport taxi to your place of relaxation, day trekking in Nhin Binh and rowing a Sampan in a National park and of course the 2-night Halong Bay Junk Boat. The quality of communication during planning, the freedom to ask questions, make changes and make even more changes were without pressure. Our day tour guide Cuong was simply wonderful in conversation and culture and share a few recipes with my wife!
This was my 1st experience using a tour service and I will honestly say… its the only way to travel Vietnam, see what you want to see, have reliable timely transportation, professional safe drivers and a plan. These agents and supporting cast are sincere in the duties to the customer and your experience in Vietnam.
On another note, I had forgotten an item. Contacted them, and both went out of there way to ensure my item was returned. So grateful
Next tour Sapa, Lao Cai, Hai Phong