- Day 1: Arrive in Bangkok
- Day 2: Bangkok Tour of Grand Palace and Wat Bo
- Day 3: Visit Ayutthaya & Fly to Chiang Mai
- Day 4: Elephant Owner For a Day (Group tour)
- Day 5: Chiang Mai Morning Tour – Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 6: Full day of Mekong Delta – Ben Tre Coconut Town
- Day 7: Ho Chi Minh City Tour – Fly to Phu Quoc Island
- Day 8: Phu Quoc Island – Beach Relaxation
- Day 9: Phu Quoc Island – Beach Relaxation
- Day 10: Fly to Hanoi & City Tour
- Day 11: Hanoi – Halong Bay – Caving and Kayaking in The Bay
- Day 12: Halong Bay – Hanoi
- Day 13: Hanoi – 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.
Arrive in BangkokDay 1
A warm greeting awaits at an International airport in Bangkok; our representative and driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge and transfer you to your hotel in downtown Bangkok. 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.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok Tour of Grand Palace and Wat BoDay 2
After breakfast at the hotel, you start to discover Bangkok with your private tour guide and driver. A ride through interesting parts of Bangkok takes you to your first stop at the Golden Buddha. The statue, which can be disassembled into nine pieces, was housed in a wat in Ayutthaya until the mid-19th century, and its provenance from Ayutthaya excludes the possibility of it having been made after about 1750. Your next visit is to the Reclining Buddha.
The chapel and the reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas,} were built by Rama III in 1832. The image of the reclining Buddha represents the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The posture of the image is referred to as Sihasaiyas, the posture of a sleeping or reclining lion.
After lunch, you will visit the Grand Palace. Probably the most visited and remembered landmark of Thailand, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is where every visitor must pay a visit at least once in their lifetime. The Grand Palace served as a significant royal residence until 1925 and is now used for ceremonial purposes only. Explore the Coronation Hall, Funeral Hall, and the famous Emerald Buddha.
Your trip continues with a long-tail boat ride along the canal to see Thai houses and typical rural life as well as a visit to the Temple of Dawn before ending your day.
Overnight in Bangkok
Visit Ayutthaya & Fly to Chiang MaiDay 3
After breakfast at the hotel, you drive north to Ayutthaya. Your first visit is to Wat Phu Khao Thong, originally built in 1387 by the second king of the Ayutthaya kingdom, an impressive monument in North-western part of Ayutthaya. When the Burmese took over Ayutthaya in 1569, the Burmese king built a Mon-style chedi (or pyramid) on top of the former temple to celebrate his victory over Ayutthaya and the Siamese.
Continue to the Ayutthaya Historical Park and visit the ancient palace ground. Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, once a royal temple lying beside the Grand Palace, was once the most significant temple during Ayutthaya period. Adjacent to Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is Viharn Phra Mongkolbopit, an impressive building that houses a large seated bronze Buddha image. Its rebuilt pristine hall was believed to be a replica of the old Assembly Hall of Ayutthaya.
After a delicious Thai lunch, you move on to Wat Lokaya Sutha to see the largest reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya at 8 meters high and 42 meters long. The Buddha image was made of brick and covered with plaster.
You continue to Wat Mahathat, a classic temple ruin of Ayutthaya and famous for the picturesque Buddha head engulfed by the Bodhi tree roots. The foundation size, remaining prangs, and towers attest the significance during its time. Late in the afternoon, you take your ride back to Bangkok. In the evening, you fly to Chiang Mai.
Upon arrival, you are welcomed by our local guide and driver. They will send you to the hotel in downtown Chiang Mai. Dinner is your own arrangement.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Elephant Owner For a Day (Group tour)Day 4
Patara Elephant Farm invites you to hands-on experience on participating, sharing responsibilities and taking care of an elephant. “Elephant Owner for a Day” is a special program created for everyone to learn and interact with elephants as what an owner would do daily, during which time you are trained to approach your elephant correctly, know the elephant’s temperament, feed and check its health, learn about and take care of your own elephant, bathe and brush it in the river, learn how to ride on its neck, and communicate through different spoken commands. You will get a chance to bare-back riding to visit forest, waterfalls or local temples. The program is a specialized and meaningful activity to create trust and relationship between you and your elephant
With conservation philosophy “Extinction is Forever”, Patara Elephant Farm honored to encourage people to try, at least once in their lives, to experience this very special and sacred animal that should be treasured. Give yourself an opportunity to share the once-in-a-lifetime experience with the elephants; you will be touched by their beautiful hearts and will be brought closer to their special world.
Duration: Morning Session 7:30 am.-3:30 pm. (Include traveling time)
Suggestion: T-shirt, long pants, extra clothes, sandals or slippers, sunblock lotion, insect spray, swimming suit
The trip “Elephant Owner for a Day” is a specialized and meaningful day trip with happy elephants and their babies.
It’s a great day out for visitors who want to be with, learn, take care for elephants and riding elephant bareback as what’s an elephant caretaker would do daily to keep elephants healthy.
The farm welcomes all including children and those with disabilities
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai Morning Tour – Fly to Ho Chi Minh CityDay 5
The Chiang Mai temple tour is the perfect chance to sample the most famous and beautiful of the city’s 36 Buddhist temples (Wats), both inside the city walls and in the nearby countryside.
Start your Chiang Mai temple tour with a pick-up from your hotel in the city before the start of the tour. From there you’ll visit Wat Chedi, an ancient structure in Central Chiang Mai first constructed in 1411. The temple once rose over 278 feet (84 meters) above the city before it was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545. A glance inside the temple to observe statues of guardian spirits that some say protect the temple to this day.
The tour will also ascend the rolling hills surrounding the Chiang Mai to experience the immaculate Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, perched high above the urban center near the summit of the peak of Doi Suthep. The final staircase leading to the site is adorned with the impressive body of the mythical dragon-headed serpent, or Naga, snaking its way down 306 steps. Over the course of the tour, gain first-hand insight into habits of the temples’ Buddhist monks as they go about their daily routines, plus plenty of opportunities to photograph historic environs of Chiang Mai and the majestic views from the foothills surrounding the city.
After morning tour, you are transferred to Chiang Mai International Airport. In the early afternoon, you fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
Flight lands in Tan Son Nhat International Airport. You are welcomed by our local guide and driver. After greetings, you are driven to the hotel in downtown.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Full day of Mekong Delta – Ben Tre Coconut TownDay 6
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to the heart of the Mekong Delta. The Mekong Delta, popularly known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, is famous for its vast rice fields, numerous waterways, and beautiful landscapes.
On the way, about 1.5 hours into the drive, you will stop at Ben Tre town where you will embark on a boat trip on the Ben Tre river exploring the coconut villages and observe various local industries along the way. You will see how bricks & sleeping mats are made, as well as visit a coconut workshop. You will also take a trip through rice and vegetable fields by motor cart (Xe Loi), and return to the docks for lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, your journey will continue through the fields and towns of the Mekong to come back to Ho Chi Minh City.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City Tour – Fly to Phu Quoc IslandDay 7
You start the city tour to explore great architectures in one of our largest cities in Vietnam.
The architecture of Ho Chi Minh City is a splendid mix of Vietnam’s historical heritage, from French colonial villas to modern steel and glass monuments.
The top architectural sights for tourists date back to the time when Saigon, the “Pearl of Indochina” was the capital of French Indochina. More has been added to the cultural heritage since then and we see interesting times ahead in terms of modern architecture.
Based on the Hotel de Ville in Paris (Paris City Hall), Saigon’s City Hall was finished in 1908. It proudly sits at the beginning of Nguyen Hue Street, showing off a beautiful building style. Nowadays it harbors the main office of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and is closed to the public.
The Central Post Office is a popular tourist spot and THE place in HCMC to send postcards from. And of course, a famous monument among travelers for its beautiful paintings and architecture, finished 1891 by Gustave Eiffel, a splendid French engineer who also built the Eiffel Tower.
The Reunification Palace is an important historical landmark and a popular tourist attraction because the day the building’s main gate was broken in 1975 marks the end of the American War. The palace was designed by Ngo Viet Thu for South Vietnam’s former President.
The Saigon Opera House is also a famous landmark and popular site for tourists in Ho Chi Minh City. It was built in 1897 by the French architect Eugene Ferret and is open to visitors during events.
The architecture in Ho Chi Minh City evolved from the colonial time, over the period of South Vietnam and the reunification until today. More skyscrapers and other interesting, modern monuments are in the planning and in the making, so you witness the development of an interesting skyline.
After lunch, you are transferred to Tan Son Nhat Airport. In the afternoon, you fly to Phu Quoc Island.
Upon arrival, you are welcomed by a private driver. He will take you to your beach resort. After checking in, the rest of the day will be at leisure, perhaps relaxing at the stunning beach. Phu Quoc Island is an undiscovered paradise in the warm turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand, about 50 km from the Vietnamese mainland. In Phu Quoc, you’ll find beautiful beaches, an untouched natural environment, a relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals and fantastic scuba diving.
Overnight in Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island – Beach RelaxationDay 8
Today is a free day. You can visit the local market, take a scuba diving class, bicycle around the island or just relax at the hotel beach.
Overnight in Phu Quoc
Phu Quoc Island – Beach RelaxationDay 9
Another free day. You may want to enjoy some more beach time, or perhaps play a game of water polo.
Overnight in Phu Quoc Island
Fly to Hanoi & City TourDay 10
Our driver will see you in the lobby of the hotel. He will send you back Phu Quoc Domestic Terminal. Today, you fly to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
Upon arrival, you are welcomed by our Vietnamese guide and driver. After greetings, they will send you to a local restaurant in downtown for a light lunch.
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, you start the city tour with a visit to the Soviet-style Ba Dinh Square where Ho Chi Minh read out the declaration of the nation’s independence in 1945. We visit the museum dedicated to Ho Chi Minh before passing through his Mausoleum; escorted by the soldiers in full regalia (you will be asked to remove hats if entering, and no shorts or vests are allowed either). As you leave, you will be able to walk through the gardens of the Presidential Palace before seeing “Uncle Ho’s” house; the humble dwelling he built (based on a traditional Vietnamese stilt house) and where he lived for the last ten years of his life.
We will then continue to the One Pillar Pagoda and the 900-year old Temple of Literature, the principal Vietnamese Confucian sanctuary, and its historical center of learning. Made up of five courtyards, this is one of the few remnants of the original city.
Visit Ngoc Son Temple before attending a water puppet show, a typical art unique to North Vietnam, with traditions dating back over a thousand years.
We finish the day with a cyclo (rickshaw) tour of the Old Quarter, where each street is named after the trade (or guild) that has carried on there for centuries such as Hang Bac (Silver Street) and Hang Trong (Drum Skin Street). The trade spills onto the street, mixing with the herbal scents for sale and the atmosphere is lively and sociable.
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Light Lunch/_)
Hanoi – Halong Bay – Caving and Kayaking in The BayDay 11
After breakfast and check out, the luxury shuttle bus and driver from cruise company will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay (travel time approximately 3 hours).
You will arrive at the docks around midday, and you will board a traditional wooden junk boat for a relaxing and unforgettable cruise around the breathtaking and unique limestone mountain islands. A sumptuous local seafood lunch will be served as you cruise this spectacular bay.
You will visit one of the famous caves of Halong Bay, and there will be a stop at Ti Top Mountain, where you will climb to the top for a stunning panoramic view of Halong Bay.
Take part in a cooking demonstration on board. It is then followed by a scrumptious dinner. For the night activities, you can try some squid fishing, unwind on the top deck and enjoy a glass of cocktail. Then return to your cabin for a good night sleep.
(Note: Program may differ slightly base on cruise ships)
Overnight on board
Halong Bay – HanoiDay 12
In the morning, enjoy breakfast on board your junk boat as you take in the scenic treasures of the bay. There will be an opportunity for you to kayak on the bay’s placid waters to access some of the sites inaccessible by the larger boats, including a cave.
Lunch will be provided onboard before arrival back at the dock, where you will be picked up by a luxury van & driver from Cruise Company and taken back to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Light breakfast/Brunch/_)
Hanoi – DepartureDay 13
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday as this mark the end of your 13 day trip to Vietnam & Thailand. Your private driver will pick you up and take you back to Noi Bai International airport for your departure flight home.
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.
- 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 Thailand and Vietnam
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Thailand and Vietnam
- Thailand and 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
Simon TeevanSaudi Arabia
"10 out of 10!"
Just back from a fantastic 2 weeks in Cambodia & Vietnam, all organised by the fantastic Kata Tran in Indochina Pioneer. Cannot recommend them highly enough. They gave us great options from which to choose in terms of places to visit, hotels to stay in, tours to take, etc. And, they were very flexible regarding any changes we wanted to make. All guides were great – all locals with great English and very knowledgeable. 10 out of 10!
Chris CLas Vegas, United States
"Family Fun in Thailand"
Amazing Vietnam private tour
We stayed in Bangkok (3 Nights), Chiang Rai (1 Night), Chiang Mai (3 Nights) and had a guide the entire trip from the airport for pick up in Bangkok to the airport on departure in Chiang Mai. The tour was very well put together and Lam with Indochina Pioneer was more than accommodating to our changes for what probably seemed like a million back and forth emails. Aurora (our guide in Bangkok) was absolutely amazing, not only for us, but also our children (3 and 7). everything we mentioned she made sure we did or at least knew how to do it when we were done for the day with our tour. Our guide in Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai (Tree) was also amazing in showing us more than we could have imagined in Northern Thailand.
Hermish KumarUnited Kingdom
"Wonderful stress free tour of Vietnam"
We had such a great holiday with Indochina Pioneer.The whole trip was so much fun and we saw and experienced so many beautiful things. Our guides were great Viet in Hanoi was superb – he spoke and understood English really well and took us to some different local places as we had discussed with him Yao in Sapa also spoke and understood good English and was really helpful on the trek
Banh in Hoi An / Hue had good English and was very informative
Sam in Ho Chi Minh had average English but he is so knowledgeable, helpful and easy to be with.
Pascal in Cambodia was really great and took us to some great locations for different photo opportunities
The hotels were also very good.
Boss Legend Hanoi – great
Sapa – rooms were a bit cold and we had to request a heater but much better the second night
Halong Bay – a fantastic trip would have loved to have stayed for longer!
Hoi An – lovely modern hotel – superb location
Hue – originally we declined a room on the 9th floor which we had been told would be noisy and were given a room on floor 6 – this was dark and we were moved the next day to a balcony room on floor 8 which was perfect.
Ho Chi Minh – lovely hotel and location
Siem Reap – lovely hotel and pool area
Overall everything Indochina Pioneer had booked for us went really smoothly and made our trip so enjoyable
We have already passed your details on to several friends back in the UK who are also contemplating a trip to Vietnam
I hope we will be able to use ICP services again on our future trips to Myanmar, Laos and China
"Our fantastic Vietnam trip with Indochina Pioneer"
A couple of our close friends, my wife and I were planning to visit Vietnam for a while, but were not sure if we should do this on our own, or to use one of the travel agencies in Vietnam. A month or two later, a friend of my wife mentioned that she has just come back from Vietnam, used Indochina Pioneer to advise her on the itinerary and get trip organized. She told us she was totally impressed with them. Before contacting Nam Duong, we did some research and were fully impressed, as Indochina Pioneer’s reviews were outstanding. To make long story short, we asked Nam to prepare the itinerary for a two weeks tour of Vietnam. The response was prompt, we loved Nam’s proposal and two weeks later we were on our way.
Everything from the pickup at the airport, hotel choice, vehicles and especially the team of local guides were superb! We spent two weeks sightseeing and learning the history of Vietnam while visiting Saigon and Mekong delta, Hue, Hoi An, Danang, Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. We took millions of pictures and left with unforgettable memories of wonderful people we met during our trip and are grateful to Nam Duong and his team for getting this organized. We strongly recommend Indochina Pioneer. They did absolutely superb job. Thank you, Nam and your team!
"Enjoy the Indochina Pioneer Experience"
I have used this company twice to book a trip to Viet Nam and a 2nd trip to Viet Nam and Cambodia.
I have also recommended this company to many local friends. I was so happy and pleased with meeting my agent Kata Tran. She is wonderful person, extremely organized and so trustworthy. All of the recommendations that I made to friends were also thrilled with Kata’s service and the professionalism of Indochina Pioneer.
Not only do they provide competitive prices but they have private drivers and guides who are locals. As a result, tourists get a local perspective from very well trained professional guides. The accommodations, food and cars were top notch. Please don’t miss the Indochina Pioneer experience you will not be disappointed.
"Amazing Vietnam private tour"
This is the 1st time we’ve been to Vietnam and we absolutely love it.
Big thanks to Kata (our tour organiser), who has been very accommodating to our requests. The tour was well organised and everything flowed smoothly.
We stayed in Hanoi (2 nights), Halong Bay (1 night) and Hoi an (2 nights), wished we could have stayed longer. Great hotels with delicious breakfast, excellent halong bay cruise and friendly tour guides (Tony from Hanoi and Snow from Danang) and drivers.
Big thumps up to Indochina Pioneer.
"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.
"It truly was an amazing experience"
For my husband’ birthday he wanted a trip to Vietnam. From north to south, Indochina Pioneer took care of everything. We had wonderful tour guides, and the trip kept getting better, and better. Something we couldn’t imagine, as each destination was amazing. Our hotels were great, food was awesome, and the culture we received was something we will never forget. Our tour guides, Mr. Tony in Ha Noi, Ms. Lindh in Hoi An, and Mr. Som in Ho Chi Minh City, were the best! I cannot imagine seeing and doing all we did without their guidance. It truly was an amazing experience!
"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.
"The tour was excellent"
We asked Lam at Indochina Pioneer to arrange a tour for 2 couples that would include a week in Cambodia, a week in Laos and 2 weeks in the northern part of Vietnam. We had done the southern part of Vietnam 2 years ago. We were not disappointed.
The tour was excellent, we had a private mini bus with driver and an English speaking guide, that was from each area we visited. All flights, pickup / drop off at of each the airports within these countries was arranged by our tour representative, as well as hotels and any admission to tourist sites.
The tours were very impressive, we got to see the so many great attractions from amazing ancient heritage sites to country and mountain vistas.
There were no hiccups in our time touring these countries, everything flowed smoothly, and we were in control of our time. If we had seen enough temples for that day then we would cut it short and pick something else to see or just call it a day. The guide and drivers were very flexible to meet our needs.
We have passed on Lam’s name and Indochina Pioneer contact data to several friends, and 1 couple has used them recently to visit Thailand and Vietnam and after talking with them they were very impressed with the service.
I am sure we will be using Lam again in the future.