Build Your Own Trip

Overview

  • Day 1: Arrival Danang/ Hoi An
  • Day 2: Hoi An Sightseeing
  • Day 3: Hoi An - Flight to Pleiku
  • Day 4: Kontum – Pleiku – Buon Ma Thuot
  • Day 5: Buon Ma Thuot – Nam Ka
  • Day 6: Nam Ka – Buon Triet Lake
  • Day 7: Buon Triet – Lak Lake - Dalat
  • Day 8: Dalat – Pinhatt Mountain
  • Day 9: Pinhatt Mountain – Dalat – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City
  • Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple
  • Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City – Can Tho
  • Day 12: Can Tho - Cai Rang Floating Market - Soc Trang
  • Day 13: Can Tho – Vung Liem
  • Day 14: Vung Liem – Ho Chi Minh City
  • Day 15: Departure Ho Chi Minh City

Full Itinerary

[*Notes]

- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.

Arrival Danang/ Hoi An

Arrive at Da Nang Airport and private transfer to your hotel in Hoi An. Remainder of the day is free at leisure.

Overnight in Hoi An


Hoi An Sightseeing

Morning
You have an early morning pick-up for the boat trip to village of Duy Hai. Here you can watch fishermen bring in their overnight catch and see how the fish are smoked and dried. You are offered coffee and snacks with a local family before cycling back to Hoi An. Upon arrival you have another boat ride, this time on the Thu Bon River as you cruise upstream to the villages of Thanh Ha and Kim Bong, renowned for pottery and carpentry. Visit the local workshops where the handicrafts are made before returning to your hotel around midday.

Afternoon
Enjoy a cycling trip to Hoi An’s most popular attractions: the Quan Cong Temple, the Japanese Bridge, Old Merchant House, Chinese Assembly Halls and the local markets. You also visit a lantern maker to see how these delicate things are made. You will have the chance to create your own lantern as a souvenir.

Overnight in Hoi An
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Hoi An - Flight to Pleiku

Morning
After breakfast and check out transfer to Da Nang Airport for the short flight to Pleiku. Upon arrival in Pleiku you drive to Kontum where you have a tour of the town including the museum, wooden church, an orphanage and the Kon K’Lor suspension bridge. Later you start hiking to the villages of Kon Ko Lor Lor I and Kon Ko Lor II. You have a picnic lunch on the way.

Afternoon
Board a wooden boat on the Dakbla River to the village of Kon Ko Tu, home to the Bahnar minority people, where you are guests for the night. You take dinner at a local home.

Overnight in Pleiku
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

Kontum – Pleiku – Buon Ma Thuot

Morning
Depart Kontum for Buon Ma Thuot via Pleiku where we visit Phun village, a village of the Jarai ethnic group, best known for their cemeteries adorned with wooden statues.

Afternoon
Leave Pleiku for Buon Ma Thuot, stopping at coffee, rubber and pepper plantations along the way.

Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Buon Ma Thuot – Nam Ka

Morning
Visit the Ethnology Museum, containing lots of information and artifacts from the region’s ethnic minorities. After this you proceed to two of the most impressive waterfalls in the Central Highlands: Dray Sap and Dray Nu.

Afternoon
Drive roughly 90km to the village of Nam Ka before walking the final 3km to your local home for the night. The homestay is in Rai, an Ede minority village. Your accommodation will be a traditional long house on stilts. It’s very simple but clean and comfortable.

Overnight in Nam Ka
Meals: (Breakfast/_/Dinner)

Nam Ka – Buon Triet Lake

Morning
Trek through evergreen forest to Buon Triet Lake and will involve a climb as well as descending through forest as well as crossing a stream. Along the way you will see tropical birds, forest wildlife and some ethnic tribes- people.

Afternoon
You take to paddle boats and ride across beautiful Buon Triet Lake with the opportunity for a swim. This evening is spent in Jatu village where your hosts are the M’Nong minority.

Overnight at a local home stay
Meals: (Breakfast/_/Dinner)

Buon Triet – Lak Lake - Dalat

Morning
After breakfast, head to Lak Lake. The journey takes us past ethnic villages, rice fields and rivers. You cross Lak Lake by dug-out canoe to M’Lieng village where you have time to walk around to find out more about daily life in the Central Highlands. Later you can take an elephant ride.

Afternoon
Depart Lak Lake for Dalat, arriving in the evening and checking in to your hotel.

Overnight in Dalat
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Dalat – Pinhatt Mountain

Morning
Depart Da Lat and drive Robin Hill for a trek through the pine forest to Paradise Lake. You stop at a coffee farm en route to the base of Pinhatt Mountain (1696m). Your climb to the top should take roughly 45 minutes.

Afternoon
After lunch you descend in to the tropical forest to your campsite where you can do some fishing and swimming. Spent the night at camp in tents.

Overnight in Pinhatt Mountain
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)

 

Pinhatt Mountain – Dalat – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City

Morning
After breakfast you embark on another jungle trek. Today will be harder than yesterday and last for at least 4 hours before you stop at a local village.

Afternoon
Return to Dalat and then transfer to the Airport for the evening flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Upon arrival you will be met and driven to the hotel to check in.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)


Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels and Cao Dai Temple

Morning
After breakfast you leave the city behind and drive through the countryside to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Before entering the tunnels you have a short introductory video showing how the tunnels were constructed. You then spend the next hour exploring the maze of tunnels. On display are various mantraps and the remains of an American tank as well as numerous bomb craters made by 500 pound bombs dropped by B52 bombers.

Afternoon
Continue to Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border which is home to the unique Cao Dai sect, whose patron saints include Joan of Arc, Victor Hugo and Winston Churchill to name a few. The religion is a fusion of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity. Here we will witness the colourful mid-day service. You return to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) late afternoon.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Ho Chi Minh City – Can Tho

Morning
Leaving HCM City you drive through the lush Mekong Delta to the town of My Tho. Upon arrival, you board your boat to visit the islands, passing fishing villages and orchard gardens before disembarking at Thoi Son Island to find out about bee farms, coconut candy making amongst other locally made products.

Afternoon
After lunch at a local restaurant you drive to Can Tho, in the heart of the Mekong Delta. The remainder of the day is free to relax or explore the city.

Overnight in Can Tho
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Can Tho - Cai Rang Floating Market - Soc Trang

Morning
An early start, as you take a boat trip along the myriad waterway of the mighty Mekong River to Cai Rang Floating Market where hundreds of boats laden with fruits, vegetables and fish jostle for trade. After visiting a second floating market you head to Soc Trang to see the famous Khmer, Clay and Bat Pagodas.

Afternoon
After lunch at a local restaurant in Soc Trang you return to Can Tho. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.

Overnight in Can Tho
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Can Tho – Vung Liem

Morning
Depart Can Tho you take the small country roads to Vung Liem and the lodge where you will spend tonight.

Afternoon
After a traditional lunch you are taken by rowboat through the canals to a ‘pop rice factory’. You also visit a colorful Cao Dai temple nearby. Returning to the lodge you pick your bicycles and take to the quiet village roads passing by a duck farm, dragon fruit gardens, and a coconut fabric factory. This is a real chance to discover a rural Vietnam that most visitors never get to see. Later back at the lodge you are shown how the locals prepare a traditional meal.

Evening
Enjoy dinner at the Lodge. The last activity of the day is a walk with locals using traditional torches made of dried coconut leaves to a neighbour’s house where you are treated to a traditional musical performance.

Overnight in Vung Liem
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)



Vung Liem – Ho Chi Minh City

Morning
After enjoying a quiet breakfast at the lodge we can either cycle or be rowed to a local school and the 200 year old Chua Xu temple where locals and visitors from other provinces come to pray. Why not try and learn some Vietnamese from th children or teachers at the school. Later we will try our hand at weaving with water coconut leaves. The leaves are a key building material in the Mekong Delta and used to build the walls and roofs of homes.

Afternoon
Return by road to Ho Chi Minh city. Enjoy your last night in this city before going home.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Departure Ho Chi Minh City

After breakfast your private driver will transfer you to the airport for your departure flight home.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Useful Information

This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and 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 suite your requirements.

What’s Included?

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

  • Vietnam Domestic Flights
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s Not Included?

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

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

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

Vietnam, the S-shaped country, also commonly likened to the shape of a dragon, is located to the west of the South China Sea. The perfect combination of colonial elegance and rustic charm, it guarantees to satisfy all types of travelers with its rich experiences made all the more special by its charming people.

With cities to explore, temples to admire, and green countrysides to roam, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Known as a colorful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north, with its myriad of ethnic communities, to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) on the edge of the Mekong Delta, it is difficult to pick just one region to visit when coming to Vietnam.

The charming capital of Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments; the scenery of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is bound to leave you speechless; Hue, home to the old Kings of Vietnam, appears to have been frozen in time for several hundred years with its ancient atmosphere and architecture.

With a 3260km coastline, Vietnam is home to many top-tier beaches; the country’s most unsung beauties. My Khe beach – “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” as described by Forbes – offers blue skies, smooth white sand, clear & warm water year-round. Phu Quoc island, boasting several luxury resorts, is also a favorite escape for the rich and famous. The abundance of mountains, rainforests, and natural lakes also makes Vietnam a great destination for trekking, hiking, mountain biking, sea and river kayaking, and classic overland tours.

Most popular sites of Vietnam

• Sapa & Mai Chau – visit the hill tribe villages and plantations
• Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam
• Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam
• Hoi An – the kitchen of Vietnam and paradise on Earth
• Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) – the economic heart of Vietnam
• The Cu Chi Tunnels – walk through the history of the Vietnam War
• Mekong Delta – see the floating markets

Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate varies surprisingly from region to region. Therefore this charming land is well-known as an “all-year-around” available destination for travelers.

In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

In the central region, from Nha Trang to Hue, sunshine lasts throughout the year, except for the months of November and December when heavy rainfalls occur. Dalat, at an altitude of 1500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.

In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers that don’t last very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.

Almost all visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, although some exemptions apply for citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements with Vietnam. Depending upon the nationality and passport of the applicant, a tourist visa can be obtained at the Vietnamese diplomatic office or consulates in foreign countries. Visas can also be obtained with the help of a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, known as a “Visa on Arrival”. Visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry, as requested at the time of application.

Visa on Arrival (VOA)

The easiest way is to get your visa through a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, such as Indochina Pioneer. We can quickly and efficiently organize your pre-arranged VOA if you wish. Our visa processing fee is a reasonable rate of USD$10 / person only. Except for American citizens who are required to pay a stamping fee of USD$135 to get a 1-year, multiple-entry tourist visa, other nationalities need to pay just USD$25 / person for a single entry and USD$50 / person for multiple entries.

VOA procedure

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

Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.

  • Once we have received your information, we will secure a Visa Approval Letter for you. This usually takes about 2 – 4 working days (ie. excluding weekends). We will then send you the letter via email or fax. You must present this letter upon boarding your flight. Also, you will need to prepare two photos (6 cm high x 4 cm wide – white background, no glasses, no smiling).
  • On arrival at the airport (in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City) please find the Visa on Arrival window/counter where you will hand over your passport and photos, and be given a simple form to fill out. Pay the stamping fee of USD$25 for the single entry and USD$50 for multiple entries. The staff at the airport will shortly return your passport with your visa, after which you will be allowed to exit the airport.

Visa exemptions

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

Asia

  • Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
  • Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
  • Japan, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 15 days)

Europe

  • Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom (maximum stay of up to 15 days)

Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Vietnamese embassy/consulate :

South Asia – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka

Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa

E-visa

Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese government officially launched the electronic visa plan for foreign tourists of certain countries visiting Vietnam. To apply for an e-visa, please visit http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn. For the list of

countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, click here.

Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:

Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.

Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.

Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!

In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (MR. LAM) or +84 983 145 799 (MR. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!

Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!

It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!

Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!

Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.

Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.

And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!

Booking Amendment & Cancellations:

Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at sales@indochinapioneer.com with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.

Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!

Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉

Essentials

  • Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
  • Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
  • Day pack for your personal needs during the day
  • Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
  • Cell phone and cell phone charger
  • Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
  • Travel plug/international adapter
  • Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
  • Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution

 

Best to bring along

  • First aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Refillable water bottle with filter

 

Wardrobe

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
  • Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
  • Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
  • Hat & sunglasses
  • Bathing suit

 

Optional comforts

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