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.
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!
"Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia"
We are three friends who booked a private 26-day tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with Indochina Pioneer and had an amazing time. Our travel agent, Sally, was not only a great professional, but also an amazing person, personable, sweet and eager to do anything possible to turn our trip into a unique travel experience. She was in daily contact with us, making sure that everything would be perfect for us and she was available 24/7. Everything was beyond our expectations: hotels, activities, guides, transportation, meals, etc. The itinerary itself was set to meet our needs as historians, combining visits to archaeological sites and museums, with leisure activities and cultural events.
There are no words strong enough to recommend Indochina Pioneer and, especially, Sally. Special thanks to Cong, our guide in Hoi An, Lao, our guide in Sapa, Mon, our guide in Vientiane and Vuthi, our guide in Siem Reap. We learned so many things from these amazing, always smiling, intelligent people, not only about the history of their countries, but also about their culture and modern life in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Overall, we feel like we booked a tour and in the end, we got ourselves one-in-a-lifetime- experience.
"Vietnam /Thailand Trip"
Here we are already a week back home in the US from three weeks in Asia. The continued changes/challenges that are occurring all around our world right now are such a strange and unique phenomenon. I hope everything is going alright on your end, both professionally and personally, in regarding the CoVid-19 issues. WOW!
Since we’ve been home….and even while Mary and I were in Asia….we both remarked on repeated occasions about how fortunate we felt to be able to experience the parts of Asia that we did….and do it the way we did! It was only by way of the assistance that you put into place through the guide services and drivers that we could’ve come away with having such a truly FANTASTIC journey!!
I cannot adequately put into words what a benefit it was to have employed your service for this trip. We are tremendously thankful to you for your flexibility in working with us using our itinerary and blending what we had in mind with what additional experiences might complement our plans. Thank you for working on our behalf to get us into the wonderful hotel accommodations in the various areas. To expound on that a bit…. In Can Tho, we stayed at the Lighthouse B & B. Not knowing what to expect about ANYTHING prior to our arrival….then,….becoming aware of the modest way of life…the poverty that exists in that area….we were STUNNED to be treated to such a fabulous place to stay in the LightHouse!!! Beyond all dreams/expectations! MARVELOUS in every single way!! People make such a big difference…and that was so true at the Lighthouse. Despite our inabilities for fluent communication in Vietnamese, the staff at the hotel were so accommodating, friendly and made us feel so welcome. We had the opportunity to meet the owner just prior to leaving…..such a privilege to meet her and express to her our gratitude.
The second place we stayed at was the Riverside Resort in HoiAn. Such a unique, paradise-like place! Again…the PEOPLE! I hate to used the same words again and again, but, so WONDERFUL was that whole experience!! I could easily see coming back to Hoi An and spending a week or more just at that Resort and in browsing around the Old City and surrounding areas of DaNang.
The Liberty Central Hotel in Saigan felt special too. We couldn’t get over at so many of these hotels…..each one of these hotels….the FOOD was beyond remarkable! Such an array of choices and taste sensations! An apparent tradition in Asia is the welcome drink….what a great thing! It is such a nice gesture…not at all expected, and so revitalizing to a traveler/tourist. The people who worked at every single hotel in which we stayed were so warm and accommodating…such easy people with whom to engage.
The Lapis Hotel in Hanoi …..again….more of the same ….just great!
Inasmuch as every Hotel was wonderful…if there was one that was not quite as great as we’d come to expect, it would be the Siam Hotel in Thailand. The room was darker…older, a tad bit less appealing…overlooked less ‘scenic’ things….BUT….once again, the people are what can really make a difference. A gentleman that sits at the door made a recommendation to us for massages….and with the location being some distance from us…he made arrangements for someone from the hotel to take us there!! Unbelievably nice!!
I need to point out also how great the guides were that accompanied us in our travels. Each one was refreshing, energized, informed and all were delightful. We probably connected most with our guide in DaNang though. “Toan” was our guide throughout the area of DaNang. He was SO fun…and connected with us so easily…amazing. We had such a great time with him that we felt like we’d known him for a long long time. He was kind of like a little ‘Mother Hen’ the way he watched out over us…and he had such a terrific sense of humor that we were laughing so much of the time.
It wasn’t my intent in writing to you …to write so much. It’s just flooding from me; all the memories of such an unforgettable time that I will carry in my soul for the rest of my life.
Thank you for taking my texts/calls when we were in the midst of the vacation and seemed to bump into temporary glitches….they all fixed themselves quickly, but I reached out just to create some awareness in case there was a problem of which early awareness could make a difference. Thank you also for encouraging us to maintain the plan to participate in the motorcycle tour with Vietnam Backstreets. Our tour guide was “Boo”….and there was another driver….think his name was “Hue”….”Boo” caused me to forget my worries and trust that I’d be alright riding on the back of his cycle. Both Mary and I had our reservations about doing that part of the tour….and both of us have said to each other how thankful we are that we DID it! LOVED it!!
The recommendation has been made to every person I know who may be traveling to Asia to get in touch with INDOCHINA PIONEERS to help them with planning their trip. This trip is like no other I’ve ever taken before, and I’m sure such a trip could never be repeated in future trip that could even begin to compare with this one. Strangely enough, Co-V issues worked in our favor…and the timing was spot on! (GULP!) We arrived in Asia before things had festered up all over the world like they did in the weeks we were IN Asia…and then, we got back to the US just in the ‘nick of time’ before all the stringent restrictions were put into place all over! Who KNEW?!!!!
Just wanted to let you know what a great job you and everyone associated with you did….and how much we appreciated it all.
Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU!!
Ruth Achterhoff-Aust…on behalf of both myself, and Mary Young.
"Great Experience during Corona Virus"
We had a tour in March 2020 which was provided by Ryan Mac. He was very helpful in creating a tour according to our interests and wishes. Hung, our tour guide, was excellent he told us a lot of information about Vietnam, cultural and historical wise. During the tour he also changed plans in consolation with us. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus had made us changed several destinations we have planned to go to.
But he always had an alternative option for us so that we continued our trip but with another great alternative.
All and all we were in very good hands. We can only recommend Ryan, Hung and Indochina Pioneer. We will definitely book a tour by Indochina Pioneer on our next trip in Vietnam. Many thanks!
Jonathan TambioCalifornia, USA
"Multi-Country Tour – UNESCO World Heritage Sites"
An amazing adventure. Mr. Ryan Mac assisted with customizing the UNESCO World Heritage Sites tour for our needs. We weren’t interested in certain tours listed on their brochure, and he suggested different activities for us. 3 different countries, 6 different guides – Soukon in Siem Reap; Oun in Luang Prabang; Vito in Hanoi; Huong in Nha Phong; Trang in Hue/Hoi An; and Kim Sa in Ho Chi Minh City – all different personalities, all professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Even though there were a lot of sites to see, activities to do – traveling with an elderly mother, they showed patience and understanding, taking care to assist my mom with large, uneven steps, stairs, and other obstacles that would hinder most mobility-challenged individuals. Our drivers took care to keep us safe on the road as we traveled to and fro, maneuvering through the traffic to get us to our destinations. This was a stress-free, relaxing vacation!. I highly recommend Indochina Pioneer, as well as Mr. Ryan Mac!!!
"Very accommodating, excellent guides"
Kata worked with us to create a tour that went where we wanted to go. We started planning with one of their itineraries, and then asked for a lot of changes to make it own our tour. Kata accommodated every request without a problem. All of the guides were good, some were excellent (Trang in Dalat, Cong in Hue/Hoi An, Vito in Hanoi). The hotels and private cars were all very good. The restaurants they include in the tour are usually higher-end restaurants that make Vietnamese food for tourists. If we were to do it over, we would ask them to take us to more restaurants where Vietnamese people eat, and I’m sure they would have no problem doing that. I have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer.
Alan TurnerBelfast, United Kingdom
"Top class company"
Booked a 15 tour of Cambodia & Vietnam with these guys. And what a tour it was.
On arrival, they were there at the airport to greet us. And for the following 15 days, the looked after us wonderfully. Every day they were at our hotel with guide and driver in great air con, cars with cold water bottles. We used 5 different guides in various city’s
And each one was great. Well dressed, great local knowledge and very helpful. All on time and happy to change things to suit us. They booked all our hotels and internal flights and paid for all entrances to temples boat trips etc.
They brought us to the airports and helped with check-ins. Nothing was a problem.
I can honestly say it the best tour company we have used in 35 years traveling.
A special thanks to Phuong Nguyen who organised the entire trip for us she was amazing. I changed my mind lots of times and she just adjusted things to suit us.
She even called our hotel in Hanoi to check on us.
What an asset for her company.
Indochina Pioneer is a great company. I would strongly recommend them. 5 stars.