- Day 1: Phnom Penh Arrival
- Day 2: F/D Phnom Penh Tour
- Day 3: H/D Phnom Penh Tour – Fly to Siem Reap
- Day 4: F/D Siem Reap
- Day 5: F/D Siem Reap
- Day 6: Flight Siem Reap – Luang Prabang
- Day 7: F/D Luang Prabang city + Kuang Si waterfall by boat
- Day 8: F/D Luang Prabang – Shangri Lao Mahout Experience
- Day 9: Luang Prabang – Nahm Dong Park – PM Fly to Vientiane
- Day 10: Vientiane – Buddha Park
- Day 11: Vientiane 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.
Phnom Penh ArrivalDay 1
A warm greeting awaits at Phnom Penh International airport; your private guide and driver will meet you at the arrivals lounge and transfer you to your hotel in downtown.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
F/D Phnom Penh TourDay 2
Today, you’ll start to visit the Victory Monument, and the terracotta red National Museum also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art – notably sculptures – from throughout the ages. Visit the nearby Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90 kilograms and a small 17th-century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha.
Back to the city for the Toul Tom Pong Market (Russian Market) is the city’s best place to shop for art objects, including textiles, antiques, wood and marble carvings, ritual objects and old Indochinese coins.
End the afternoon with the visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh’s namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree-lined avenues of the city during sunset.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
H/D Phnom Penh Tour – Fly to Siem ReapDay 3
In the morning, after breakfast, we head out of Modern City to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center which is well worth a visit if your family are animal lovers. Occupying a vast area of 6,000 acres south of the capital, this wildlife sanctuary focuses on rescue, rehabilitation, care and release of wildlife and is an ideal place to see over 1,200 Cambodian animals, including crocodiles, deer, elephants, gibbons, leopards, lions, tigers, sun bears, ginormous pythons, birds etc. Most of these creatures were rescued from poachers and traffickers, and are kept in excellent, spacious enclosures where they are allowed to roam free. They will be well cared for here at the reserve until they recover when they will be released back into the wild. The center has been receiving help from Wildlife Alliances, Free the Bears and other international wildlife NGOs to improve and expand the enclosures over the years. Transfer to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, you’ll be met and transferred to the hotel for check-in.
Overnight in Siem Reap
F/D Siem ReapDay 4
At 4.45am, you may wish to wake up early and set out for Angkor Wat, in front of the water lily pond, enjoying the temple’s reflection and the sunrise over the complex. Then, we start we start to explore the intricately carved remains of Angkor Wat, one of the world’s most impressive temple sites. The temple still displays hundreds of fine carvings of Apsara and scenes from Hindu mythology. The Khmer constructed the temple between the 9th and 13th Centuries. Strolling around the massive hallways, you will find many small shrines still in use by the Cambodians. Back to the hotel for breakfast.
– If you wish to sleep in and avoid waking up at 4:45 am, you can start your day later in the morning
– You can have your breakfast at the hotel before heading out for the sunrise if you prefer
In the afternoon, you head 30km north to visit the captivating and beautiful temple of Banteay Srei or ‘Fortress of the Women’. The journey allows you to experience the beautiful Cambodian countryside as you pass through small typical villages. Banteay Srei is the birthplace of Khmer classical style architecture. One of the smallest temples in the region, Banteay Srey is also one of the most beautiful, showcasing the most exquisite, deep and complex carvings in all Khmer architecture. Also, pay a visit to the Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre (BBC) which is one of the most visited tourist spots in the country, with the largest butterfly exhibition in Southeast Asia.
Overnight in Siem Reap
F/D Siem ReapDay 5
After leisurely breakfast, we drive to visit the walled city of Angkor Thom, the royal city itself, covering four square miles and located in the complex’s geographic center. The Bayon is an awesome sight. At first glance, the complex seems a shapeless mass of stone. Suddenly, further scrutiny reveals a face, enigmatic and silent, watching with half-closed eyes. Soon, another face is made out, and another, and still yet another, until they are all around – silent, heavy, and impressive, starting from a primitive remote past. We then go on to the surroundings of the complex including the Baphou, Elephant Terraces, King’s Terrace and Royal Palace area.
Then, continue to explore the picturesque Ta Prohm, which has nearly disappeared into the jungle and remains overgrown, an oddly haunting and exotic scene. The magnificent roots of a tree, pushing between the huge stone blocks of the temple in a sort of embrace, evoke feelings that you will remember forever.
Early in the evening, you will be taken by Tuk Tuk on an openly aired tour through the suburban streets of Siem Reap, and afterward, attend blessing ceremony by Buddhist monks for happiness, prosperity, and safety for your journey.
Tonight the tour guide will see you again and transfer you to see the remarkable Phare Circus troupe perform a live show that blends circus arts with riveting theater, dance and music to tell uniquely Cambodian stories — historical, folk and modern.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Flight Siem Reap – Luang PrabangDay 6
In the morning, drive about 45 minutes into the countryside near Siem Reap, stopping en route to visit a local village, arriving at a boat quay for a 1½ hour ride on Tonle Sap Lake, also known as the Great Lake of Cambodia, where we will see many communities on floating houses and boats, including schools, markets, police stations, children playing and swimming, and fresh water aquariums with different fish species displayed – a wonderful example of floating village life.
Also, an ox cart tour is a safe journey in Cambodian village bear by the rural area. Take Ox-cart riding for 30-40 minutes around a typical village to enjoy the natural beauty of Cambodia countryside. You will also stop along the road to take photos of real Cambodian life and houses on stilt.
Then, you’ll be met and transferred to the airport for the flight to Luang Prabang. On arrival at the Luang Prabang airport, you will be met and transferred to check in the hotel.
Overnight in Luang Prabang
F/D Luang Prabang city + Kuang Si waterfall by boatDay 7
After breakfast, we visit the Royal Palace Museum, which hosts a range of interesting artifacts. Our next stop in the city is the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. From there, we take the boat downstream the Mekong river to Ban Sing, enjoying the peaceful scenery of the countryside. We then transfer to the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall where you can cool off with a refreshing swim in the pools or walk along the forest trails. You can also see up close Asiatic bears at the Bear Rescue Centre along the jungle walk to the waterfall.
Arriving in Luang Prabang, we will also take a look at the Traditional Art & Ethnology Center to learn about the many Lao ethnic groups.
From there, we ascend the 329 steps to the top of Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view of the city and its glowing reflection on the Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Overnight in Luang Prabang
F/D Luang Prabang – Shangri Lao Mahout ExperienceDay 8
● 8:30 am – 9:00 am: Pick up by our English-speaking guide from your hotel lobby within Luang Prabang, Laos
● Arrival at Shangri Lao Resort: Welcome greeting by your guide and participate in a short briefing about elephants
● Receive Bottle: To reduce plastic bottle usage, we give out reusable aluminum water bottles that you will fill up and refill with water and take home with you after the tour
● Elephant Feeding: Get up close and personal with elephants, including one baby elephant
● Explore Elephant Village: Visit elephant hospital, museum, photo gallery and dung paper making area
● Mahout Training: Receive your basic mahout training on how to control an elephant just like a mahout!
● Bareback Elephant Ride: Enjoy the impressive experience of a 1 km bareback elephant ride! One person per elephant
● Lunch: Dine at our Shangri Lao Restaurant. A three-course set menu lunch is served (vegetarian options available)
● Bathe Your Elephant: Take your own elephant down to the Nam Khan River for an exhilarating once in a lifetime bathing experience!
● Boat trip to the Tad Sae Waterfall: Take a traditional Lao long boat to the Tad Sae Waterfall and relax, dip your feet or take a swim in the clear, cool water
● Depart: Transfer back to your Hotel in Luang Prabang between 3:30 pm and 4:00 PM
Overnight in Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang – Nahm Dong Park – PM Fly to VientianeDay 9
After departing at 8:30 am from your hotel, transfer to Nahm Dong park, which locates in Ban Xiengmouk, 10Km from the city center. Arriving at the park, we will have a short welcome by the park manager before joining the morning activities here. We will first start with the Zipline flying over the jungle and the waterfalls admiring the amazing evergreen scenery. The zipline will take about 1 hour. Then we will walk back via the jungle trail crossing some flying bridges, small streams, and clear natural pools, where you can take a refresh splash if you wish so. The picnic lunch will be served at the viewpoint where you can spread your view over the region, including the view of mount Phousi in the city center. You are free to take some rest at one of the viewpoints salas or continue the exploration of the park and the nearby village.
We then transfer back to the airport to take the flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Vientiane
Vientiane – Buddha ParkDay 10
In the morning, we will first visit Wat Si Muang, which is very famous for its supernatural power. We then transfer out to see Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures on the Mekong Riverside meadow, close to the Friendship Bridge. There are approximately 200 religious images dating back over 500 years, which were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe.
In the afternoon, we see the major sights of the capital; including the oldest Wat Sisaket, the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image.
On the way to Lao’s national icon, the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa, we stop en route to take some pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph. A spectacular view over the Mekong River at sunset is a perfect way to finish the day.
Overnight in Vientiane
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.
- 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 flights within Cambodia and Laos
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Cambodia & Laos
- Cambodia & Laos 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
"Indochina Pioneer – Great Tour Organizer"
I arranged a 28 day customized tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand in January, 2016 the assistance of Indochina Pioneer. Lam, the principal of the company, was fabulous to deal with. He made many suggestions, booked all of our drivers and local tour guides, hotels, admission tickets, and even some restaurants. All of his choices were excellent, and when there was a need to make a last minute change, he was readily available. His tour included many extras that other tour organizers did not include, and he made sure that we visited off the beaten track places, took local tours that the big groups do not see, and that our hotels were carefully chosen to be very central and more of a local boutique nature. Lam never hesitated to make sure that our trip was going well as we travelled, and even made a point of meeting us at our stop in Hanoi and sent flowers to me on my birthday. The tour was priced very favorably compared to 3 others I contacted, and all of our guides were excellent. I would highly recommend this company and Lam in particular to anyone wanting to arrange a local tour or a detailed itinerary of Indochina.
"2nd Time….just as great"
This is the second time I have used Indochina Pioneer. They excelled again. This time, we had 5 Rotarians who had completed a project in Cambodia, and needed some holiday time afterwards. We booked an 8 night Hanoi/Sapa/Halong Bay tour.
Again, the Indochina Pioneer Team performed beyond my expectations. On time, knowledgeable and flexible at all times.
We had a small problem with our van after the 5 hour drive to Sapa. By breakfast the next day, we had a new van and driver to look after us for the rest of our journey.
We got a great upgrade on the Halong Bay cruise.
I can’t commend Indochina Pioneer highly enough. If you want further details, please PM me directly, if I go again in Indochina, it will only be with Indochina Pioneer.
"First trip to Vietnam"
As this was our first trip to Vietnam we decided to us Indochina Pioneer-and Mr Lam provided us with a 17 day itinerary. Thank you for arranging a most relaxing holiday, and we enjoyed every minute with our guides, Mr Dong (Hanoi), Mr Thoung and driver Mr Hai (Hoi An-Hue) Mrs Yen from Ho Chi Minh City and Mr Tom from the Dragon Peal No 1. Their warmth, friendliness and good humour has made our trip most memorable. The guides all did an excellent job with their knowledge on places visited as well as the history of Vietnam. Our visit to Halong Bay was unfortunately very cold, but was still made enjoyable, and guests still participated in canoeing and visiting the floating fishing village. Although there were many highlights with the sounds, smells and overall busy day to day life especially in the markets, my favourite highlight was in Ho Chi Minh City with a park becoming one enormous flower market and the boats on the river covered in flowers ready to sell, all for the Tet festival. We wished we stayed a few extra nights to enjoy the Tet festivities. Yes I would definitely recommend Indochina Pioneer to anyone wishing to travel to Vietnam, and will use this company again.
"An amazing trip"
In my younger years I spent months backpacking on the cheap around Asia. I now have more money, less time and a family. I found Indochina Pioneer on-line and contacted Mr Lam for our recent trip to Cambodia. He was full of information, answered all of my many questions, suggested great ideas, incorporated my changes and organised all smoothly.
I wanted airport transfers and to organise hotels before we left. Mr Lam suggested a range of hotels to choose from all of which were good. Internal transfers and flights were also organised. We only wanted tours for Angkor Wat and The Killing Fields which Mr Lam arranged. Our other days were left free for us to choose what we wanted. The tour consisted of myself, my husband and twin sons which was perfect. The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful, as were the drivers.
Mr Lam suggested we get a speed boat from Chau Doc, Vietnam to Phnom Penh up the Mekong River which was a great way to travel. The crocodile farm on the way was well worth the lunch stop.
I would recommend Indochina Pioneer as a great tour company for families. My in-laws are travelling with them later in the year. I am currently planning another trip to Laos using Indochina Pioneer again.
For someone who doesn’t like or do package tours having a private tour for my family was just perfect.
It was great to have a relaxing vacation and indochina took
Care of everything. Loved Hanoi and Halong Bay!
"Fantastic trip amazing service"
Fantastic trip from start to finish. All our expectations were met and exceeded from the moment we booked the trip with Mr Lam to our last day.
We had one minor problem during our stay and it was sorted immediately with profession
And made our trip the most memorable holiday ever.
Mr Lam customised our trip to suit us and we loved all of our guides and drivers.
We were even lucky enough to be invited to the companies end of year party and got to meet everyone who made our holiday so special. I can’t recommend this company enough and that’s something coming from someone in the tourist industry. Well done indoctrination pioneer.
"12 days in Myanmar"
Kata Tran has organised many holidays for me – in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. All excellent. She organised a 12 day trip to Myanmar in January 2016 with a few days each in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle. Great guides and drivers. Lovely hotels. Terrific boat trip from Mandalay to Bagan. Day trip to old colonial Maymyo. Highly recommended. Kata always listens carefully to what you want and is very flexible.
Roger CAustralia, Adelaide
"Excellent 20 day tour of Myanmar with Indochina Pioneer"
This was our first trip to Myanmar . We have traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with Lam Duong from Indochina Pioneer in the past and having had such a great trip chose Lam to organise our Myanmar trip.
Lam chose and booked great hotels in Yangon, Kyaing Tong, Kalaw, Inle Lake , Bagan and Mandalay as well as organise excellent tour guides and drivers at those places. We wanted to do a short cruise on the Irrawaddy from Bagan to Mandalay and Lam selected Amara River Cruises which operate small extremely well founded wooden vessels. Our boat Amara 1 was excellent, comfortable and with friendly attentive staff who took us on excursions and provided us with superb food and service.
We also did a memorable balloon flight in Bagan with Balloons over Bagan which Lam organised.
Our tour organised by Lam in Myanmar was superb, we could not fault the guides and the overall balance of the itinerary.
Full marks Indochina Pioneer!
keith mUnited Kingdom
"Cycling Mekong Delta and sight seeing in Saigon"
Perhaps the best way to explore the Mekong Delta area. Can Tho is a lively overnight stop with well situated lovely hotel. All hotels selected by Indo China Pioneer are well situated but don’t expect western standards in hotels beyond Can Tho. Good combination of cycling and site seeing including boat and ferry trips, workshop visits with good choice of restaurant and roadside stops for fresh fruit.
However the route rarely left normal roads and didn’t appear to be as described in the brochure. Some quiet rural roads followed but others were quite busy, particularly in the vicinity of the small towns we cycled through.
We were concerned that we were not measured for our bikes on the first day which just arrived in the back of the minibus that collected us from our hotel. The frame size for my partner’s bike was much too large for her and it was fitted with a male shaped saddle which caused her considerable discomfort on the first day. The saddle was changed on Day 2 after she refused to continue the holiday with that particular bike at the end of day 1.
The guide did not appear to be completely clear of the route at times and we needed to complete an ‘about turn’ 3 times during the trek which may be why our route didn’t appear to be as described in the brochure. Indo China guides are very knowledgeable and helpful and know many local secret gems to visit but their spoken english can be difficult to follow at times even for me as a native English speaker. Indo China Pioneer specialise in providing tailor made tours for small groups down to 2 in number and flexibility in preparing a holiday programe to suit individual customers requests including the selection of the most suitable hotel using their wealth of local knowledge. Moderately priced boutique hotels are typically chosen.
goodtravelfort lee, nj
"Fantastic 17 days in Vietnam and Cambodia"
The best thing about Duong Dai Lam (Lam) from Indochina Pioneer is that he listens. We are interested in history, architecture and food, and really appreciate good views.
Our trip provided these things and more:
– In every city we had gorgeous hotels with fabulous views, with a number of upgrades. Hotels appreciated Indochina Pioneer business.
– Halong Bay cruise was one of the highlights – small, comfortable boat with great food and most incredible landscapes. How did they get such a good chef for a 10 cabin boat?
– Lam suggested many off the beaten track attractions that helped us to understand and appreciate the country.
– Our tour guides in every place were knowledgeable about history and architecture, forthcoming with cultural and lifestyle information
– They were very flexible both in planning, and trip changes when the weather did not cooperate. For example – we don’t ride bicycles, so we ended up doing one day tour on the back of 2 scooters. Fun!!!
– Street food tour with Luu in Hanoi was fun, delicious and educational. We kept eating on the street throughout the trip. No food poisoning, just delicious food.
– Private cars were medium size SUVs immaculately maintained and drivers were safe.
I infrequently gush – see my other reviews. But this was one of our best trips, and the private tour ended up costing less than a comparable group tour booked from US.