- 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 will wait for you at an International airport in Bangkok; our representative and driver will meet you in the arrival 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 will start to discover Bangkok with your private tour guide and driver. A ride through interesting parts of Bangkok will take 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 will be 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 will continue 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 will drive north to Ayutthaya. Your first visit will be 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 will 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 will 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 will take your ride back to Bangkok. In the evening, you fly to Chiang Mai.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by our local guide and driver. They will send you to the hotel in downtown Chiang Mai. Dinner will be on 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 will be 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 the morning tour, you will be transferred to Chiang Mai International Airport. In the early afternoon, you’ll fly to Ho Chi Minh City.
Flight lands in Tan Son Nhat International Airport. You will be welcomed by our local guide and driver. After greetings, you will be transferred 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 observing 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 will 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 will witness the development of an interesting skyline.
After lunch, you will be transferred to Tan Son Nhat Airport. In the afternoon, you fly to Phu Quoc Island.
Upon arrival, you will be 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. On 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 will be a free day. You can visit the local market, take a scuba diving class, bicycle around the island or just relax on 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 will fly to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.
Upon arrival, you will be welcome 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 will 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 will 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 will 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 onboard. It will then be 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 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 arriving 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 will 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.
Inquire this trip
We are a member of:
We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT
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
"A Foodie & Adventure Trip to Vietnam with Friends"
I took a trip to Vietnam with 3 girlfriends in September and we had an absolute blast. Although we only went for 10 days we filled every moment with adventures and experiences across 5 different destinations in Vietnam. Where this could have been an exhausting nightmare, it wasn’t due to the expert travel arrangements done for us my Kata at Indochina Pioneer.
Our English speaking guides were incredible, the arrangements flawless and the hotels chosen and experiences suggested by Kata were spot on. Thank you Indochina Pioneer
"Wonderful family holiday – exceptional customer service"
Our family of four (myself, husband and two boys) just returned to Australia from a wonderful 16 day trip to Vietnam. Kata organised and tailored a trip in line with the places we wanted to see and organised transport, private tour guides, drivers and excellent accommodation for each place. It was our great pleasure to see beautiful Vietnam from the north to the south and we came back with many fond memories of the sights and the people, including our wonderful, knowledgeable, English speaking tour guides. Kata was always available to help and assist with any queries before and during our trip. Her fantastic organising, advice and outstanding service helped ensure we had an amazing trip. We highly recommend Indochina Pioneer. Highlights were the enchanting Halong Bay, Sapa and Mekong Delta (Can Tho). Thank you, Kata!
"Professional & Excellent Customer Service"
I have had the pleasure of working with Ryan for the last few weeks to get an itinerary down for a trip to Vietnam. Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to postpone the trip, but I was extremely impressed with the amount of time and detail Ryan put into making our itinerary. Fingers crossed we are able to make a trip work in the future!
"Fun family vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos"
We had a great experience with Indochina Pioneer. Elly was our travel consultant and helped us plan a family-friendly trip. She tailored our itinerary and made numerous modifications based on our questions and suggestions. Our family of six, with kids ages 5-13 all enjoyed activities that included basket boat, foot massages, lantern making in Hoi An; Cu Chi tunnels and Mekong Riverboat ride near Saigon; elephant riding, waterfall, bear sanctuary in Laos; Angkor Wat, waterfall and floating houses in Cambodia. Hotels were great. The guides all spoke English well and were accommodating for any itinerary changes based on kids preferences. And the price was very reasonable for what we received. I highly recommend them.
"Great Experience in Vietnam and Cambodia"
Our family of five just got back from a wonderful experience exploring Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon, the Mekong Delta, and the Angkor temples. Kata Tran customized a tour based on our interests (and not only kept in touch with us via WhatsApp during our visit but also took the time to meet us in Hanoi), the local guides were knowledgeable and spoke excellent English, and the drivers delivered us safely to our destinations (no small feat given the often challenging traffic patterns) and kept us hydrated. Highlights were the Hanoi street food tour with Trang, visiting the Ba Na Hills Golden Bridge with Snow, biking through rice fields with Toan and a cooking class at the Kumquat Hoi An restaurant, crawling through Cu Chi tunnels and exploring Saigon and the Can Tho floating markets with Hiep, and ascending to the “Heaven” level of Angkor Wat with the assistance of Mister Pasquale.
We wanted a trip for 2 of us, somewhat last minute, and didn’t feel like putting in all the effort to plan it. Hien skyped with us and put together a trip that was AMAZING. We loved Cambodia, but suggest 2 half-day tours of the temples instead of one or two all-day tours. You will get templed-out. Everything will blur together. Definitely try The Bug Cafe. It’s definitely something to talk about later. Our favorite city in Vietnam was Hoi An and we wouldn’t have thought of it if it wasn’t for Hien. Bring your favorite dress and they will remake it for you in 48 hours, buy leather, and try all the delicious food. We highly suggest adding on a cooking class or a lantern class. Hien even came and met up with us at the end of our trip to meet with us personally.
All excellent. Fantastic travel agent. Elena was fantastic and very kind. A great professional. No doubt highly recommended.
"Very enjoyable tour by Indochina Pioneer!"
Used agent Lizzie who looked after us very well from start to finish. We wanted boutique hotels with pools as like to steer clear of large multinationals and each one selected was superb. We had done our research prior so knew where we wanted to stay so Indochina Pioneer was flexible. Coming from NZ, we found Halong Bay disappointing – polluted water and too many boats. But loved Luang Prabang, Laos just a 45 min flight from Hanoi. It was the highlight for us. No large tour groups & lovely colonial French architecture. Quieter than Viet’s hot spots. Buddhist culture, elephant conservation, serene waterfalls.
Lizzie kept in touch the whole way & adapted our itinerary as requested. Our guides in Hanoi and Laos were excellent. Use a Vietnam based agent like Indochina Pioneer to plan your land content. Nothing beats the local knowledge and back up if things go wrong. Thanks Lizzie & Indochina Pioneer for a great trip.
"Fulfilled Promises – Use Indochina Pioneer when traveling to Asia"
For about a month, I solo traveled through Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia and enjoyed the most beautiful trips of my life. Although nervous about doing this trip alone, Mr. Lam Duong promised my safety came first. Each guide in each city took care of me like I was family. Everywhere I went throughout SE Asia, the guides and the locals make you feel at home. The sights are one thing, but the culture is true beauty. I had a blast every single day knowing I was safe, and knowing that I had a full itinerary every day. Each guide was flexible to the itinerary as well. If you are ever planning on traveling to Asia, I 100% recommend using Indochina Pioneer. My itinerary was fantastic, my guides took care of me, and the hotels were beautiful. Thank you again for all of your help Lam!
Must See Destinations: Hoi An, Sapa, Siem Reap, Luang Prabang.
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!