Build Your Own Trip

Overview

This trip is tailor-made so that you can discover Myanmar in depth without missing its most important destinations. Explore the sacred pagodas and monasteries in Mandalay. Visit the striking Thanboddhay Pagoda, the Bodhi Tataung Laykyun Sekkya standing Buddha statue, Pho Win Daung temple complex and Shwe Ba Daung cave temple, each of which will leave you amazed with their incredible architecture. Ride on a riverboat to Bagan and discover the most stunning structures observe life in the local villages. From Kalaw, enjoy the scenic trek to Inle Lake and its beautiful surrounding and meet the “long neck” tribal women. In Yangon, venture to the famous Golden Rock, continue to other notable sites and fascinating caves. Enjoy the colonial walking tour around Yangon to learn about the history of this charming city.

  • Day 1: Arrival Mandalay
  • Day 2: Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing at Sunset
  • Day 3: Mandalay – Monywa – Boditahaung, hanboddhay & Shweguni Pagoda
  • Day 4: Monywa – Po Win Taung – Shwe Ba Hill
  • Day 5: Monywa – Pakokku – Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Bagan
  • Day 6: Bagan Temple Tour
  • Day 7: Bagan – Discovery local Villages
  • Day 8: Bagan – Flight to Heho – Train to Kalaw
  • Day 9: Kalaw – Htee Tein Trek – Overnight in monastery
  • Day 10: Htee Tein – Trek to Than Daung – Inle Lake
  • Day 11: Inle Lake – In Dein & Ywama
  • Day 12: Inle Lake – Flight to Yangon – Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)
  • Day 13: Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) – Kinpun – Hpa An – Kyauk Kalap Pagoda
  • Day 14: Hpa An – Mount Zwekabin Trek – Saddan Cave
  • Day 15: Hpa An – Kawgun Cave – Yangon
  • Day 16: Train Ride – Sule Pagoda – Colonial Walking Tour – Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Day 17: Departure Yangon

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 Mandalay

Upon your arrival in Mandalay, get welcomed by your tour guide and driver, and transferred in a private vehicle to your hotel for check-in.

Overnight in Mandalay



Mandalay – Mingun – Sagaing at Sunset

Morning
Visit Mahamuni Pagoda, the second most sacred image in Myanmar next to the Shwedagon Pagoda. Continue to visit local artisan’s workshops of gold leaf making, woodcarving and marble carving. Next, visit Golden Palace Monastery famous for its intricate woodcarvings.

Afternoon
After lunch, continue to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known as the world largest book due to the Buddhist scripture carved on 729 marble slabs. Before sunset visit a 200-year-old teak bridge, the most photographic site in Myanmar.

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


Mandalay – Monywa – Boditahaung, hanboddhay & Shweguni Pagoda

Depart Mandalay, you will drive to Monywa (140 km – 4 hours). Upon arrival, you will visit Thanboddhay Pagoda. Inside you will see thousands of Buddha images (reportedly over 500,000) decorating every wall, archway and niche. The buildings in the compound have interesting jataka reliefs.

Continue to visit the Bodhi Tataung Laykyun Sekkya standing Buddha statue. At 116 metres, it is the second tallest statue in the world (and second tallest Buddha). It is located at the back of a large religious site with Bodhi trees, gardens containing hundreds of sitting Buddhas, and a huge reclining Buddha lying in front of the Laykyun Sekkya.

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

Monywa – Po Win Taung – Shwe Ba Hill

Rise early to take the ferry to the other side of the Chindwin River where you board a pick-up to see the seldom visited 15th Pho Win Daung temple complex where more than 450,000 sandstone Buddhas were carved in the hillsides in caves, alcoves, or tiny niches. The cave murals are still intact with indigo blues and soft pastels. Then, visit Shwe Ba Daung, which features unique pavilions cut from the surrounding sandstone and filled with Buddha’s images.

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

Monywa – Pakokku – Ayeyarwady River Cruise – Bagan

After breakfast, drive (approx. 4 hrs) to Pakokku to experience a genuine indigenous regional open-air market. Then take a private local boat across the Ayeyarwaddy River to Bagan (approx. 3 hrs by boat). Arrival Bagan and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day will be at your leisure.

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



Bagan Temple Tour

Morning
Begin your exploration by visiting a busy local market and gaining an insight into Bagan’s bustling market atmosphere. You will spend the day exploring the architectural masterpieces of this amazing town by visiting a diverse selection of the most important pagodas and temples.

Late afternoon
Climb to the top of the Temple for sunset views. Sit back relax and be amazed by the beauty of Bagan as you watch the sun slowly set behind the ancient pagodas.

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



Bagan – Discovery local Villages

Morning
More than just temples, our tour introduces you to Bagan’s history, culture and local lifestyles. Today, observe the authentic village lifestyle lived by most people in Myanmar by visiting villages near Bagan. Then, get to know Bagan from a different perspective as you explore the area by pony cart. The cart can explore areas that cars are unable to enter giving a unique perspective of Bagan.

Late afternoon
Transfer to the jetty where a private wooden river boat is waiting. Sitting under the shade or on the open-deck, you’ll be treated to fabulous views as you cruise down the Irrawaddy River to Shwezigon Pagoda. Enjoy a spectacular sunset on a private boat tour on the river during sunset time will hopefully show you a spectacular sunset. Relax and enjoy the scenery.

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



Bagan – Flight to Heho – Train to Kalaw

Morning flight to Heho. Then, drive to Kalaw or take a train to Kalaw (train departs at 9:20 am). Arrive in Kalaw and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy your free day at leisure.

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



Kalaw – Htee Tein Trek – Overnight in monastery

Morning
Get an early start on your two-day trekking trip. The road and trail go through beautiful scenery. On the way, visit the villages of Palaung, Danu, Pao and Taung Yoe. Your local station tour guide will introduce you to the villagers and will show you the traditional ways of life.

Afternoon
After lunch, you’ll visit Hinkhagone, a Palaung village. The path goes up and down and along the way, you will see plantations for tea leaves, coffee, cordial leaves, mustard, ginger, malt rice, cabbage, cauliflower and sesame. Late afternoon, you will arrive in Teetain, a typical Pao village. We will see a lot of native plants along this way especially Ginger. Dinner and overnight in the village.

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



Htee Tein – Trek to Than Daung – Inle Lake

Morning
After breakfast, continue the 5-hour trekking trip to the shore of Inle lake. The trail goes through the beautiful scenery of the bamboo forest. The native people of Pao, Taung Yoe and Intha along the way grow their fruits; banana, papaya, potato and beans. Lunch at lower Thandaung village.

Afternoon
Following lunch, you’ll transfer by boat to your hotel in Inle Lake. The rest of the day free at your own leisure.

Overnight in Inle Lake
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Inle Lake – In Dein & Ywama

Morning
Enjoy a full-day tour by boat in Inle lake. The five Buddha images of Phaung Daw U Pagoda are the holiest in Inle Lake. Next, visit a unique monastery on Lake Nga Phe Kyaung, near Ywama village where the local monks have trained the cats to jump through hoops. It is now affectionately known as the jumping cat Monastery. Then, you will visit the fascinating village of Indein, with its complex of ancient shrines and stupas and walk though exotic colonnades of stairways and shop stalls.

Afternoon
You’ll visit the “long neck” tribal women, and weaving and craft villages perched on stilts. See the lake’s unique “leg rowers” – the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar. It is a feast for the senses and a photographer’s dream.

Overnight in Inle Lake
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Inle Lake – Flight to Yangon – Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)

Morning flight back to Yangon. Then, leave Yangon and enjoy a scenic journey by road to Golden Rock (Drive via Bago: 194 km – 5 hours).

On the way, stop to visit the Allied War Memorial Cemetery at Htaukkyant. Then, arrive at Golden Rock base camp and take an open truck to the ‘upper area’ about 1 hour. Once at the pagoda, you can enjoy a spectacular view, which is particularly beautiful at sunrise or sunset. The whole site has a magical feeling.

Overnight in Golden Rock
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) – Kinpun – Hpa An – Kyauk Kalap Pagoda

Depart Kyaikhtiyoe, in the early morning when the sun is still rising, stroll around the hill sites and return to the hotel for breakfast. Then back to base camp by the truck. Arrive at base camp, and start with a scenic drive to Hpa An, visiting several fascinating sites along the way. Just outside of the city, guests will stop at Kha Yon Cave, a beautiful natural cave where locals come to worship and pray for good health and prosperity. In addition to the many Buddha statues, the cave also contains many beautiful stalagmites and stalactites which have formed over the centuries.

The next stop will be Kadoe Kawnat village, where guests will visit Kawnat Monastery. This magnificent monastery with its beautiful woodcarving was built a century ago by a villager named U Nar Ouat, who was famed for his wealth and generosity. It was because of his donation that this religious site was built nearby his village. Upon arrival at Hpa An, you will first visit Kyauk Kalat, a pagoda which is built on layers of natural rock formations. Flanked by a lake, the scenery guarantees a great photo opportunity.

Finish the tour transfer to the hotel for check-in.

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

Hpa An – Mount Zwekabin Trek – Saddan Cave

This morning, you will proceed to the foot hill of the 722-meter-high Mt. Zwe Kabin. This sacred mountain has several thousand identical Buddha statues lined up at its base. Then, you will visit Saddan Cave.

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

Hpa An – Kawgun Cave – Yangon

After breakfast, you will visit Kawgun Cave, also known as the “Cave of the Ten Thousand Buddhas”. When walking through the cave, you will see more than 2,000 votive tablets of Lord Buddha and Mon inscriptions. One inscription is so ancient that, to this day, no scholar has been able to interpret it. Then, drive back to Yangon.

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

Train Ride – Sule Pagoda – Colonial Walking Tour – Shwedagon Pagoda

Morning
After breakfast, drive to the train station for the train ride for about 1 hour. Enjoy the authentic lifestyle of locals and take in the beautiful scenery. Then, enjoy a private tour and drive through downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings, many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia.

Afternoon
Continue with a walking tour of the colonial street. You’ll start at the post office – a lovely historic building, pass by the Strand Hotel, the Buddhist landmarks of Sule Paya, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument along the way.

Stop for a photo at the Karaweik Hall royal floating barge. Nothing will prepare you for Shwedagon Pagoda, with its glittering gold stupa. At the pagoda observe local pilgrims and monks offering their devotions and enjoy the amazing sunset view at Shwedagon Pagoda.

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

Departure Yangon

After breakfast, day at leisure until your private driver collect you from your hotel and transfer you back to Yangon airport for your International departure flight.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Inquire this trip


We are a member of:

We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT

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)

  • Domestic flights within Myanmar
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s Not Included?

  • Your International Flights to and from Myanmar
  • Myanmar 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 Myanmar, Step-by-Step

Myanmar (previously known as Burma) is a perfect destination for travelers looking for a unique get-away to a beautiful and exotic locale. This tropical country offers travelers an amazing landscape and a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Southeast Asia’s traditions. However, as a country that has only just recently opened its doors to tourism, Burma still retains an air of mystery, making it all the more intriguing.

With nearly 2,000 miles of coastline and a handful of mountain ranges, Myanmar has more than its share in natural beauty. Trek through the rolling green hills, discover Sagar to the south of Inle Lake, cycle to markets and ruins, boat around floating villages, sample well-spiced Burmese cuisine, and visit mysterious temples. You will get to not only discover, but also really live in this unique cultural atmosphere.

In exploring Myanmar, you will also enjoy the perfect combination of luxury and adventure.

Most popular sites of Myanmar

• Breathtaking Bagan bags a well-deserved top spot on this list of the best places to visit in Myanmar. Seeing Bagan by the hot-balloon is becoming increasingly popular, and offers a truly unique view of this 26-square-mile land of temples.

• The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded stupa located in Yangon, Myanmar. The 99-meter-tall (325 ft) pagoda is situated on Singuttara Hill, to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, and dominates the Yangon skyline.

• Inle Lake – for an excellent view of the verdant, bucolic side of Myanmar.

• U Bein Bridge – the longest and oldest teakwood bridge in the world

• Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock ), a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees.

• Shwenandaw Monastery is a historic Buddhist monastery located near Mandalay Hill, Mandalay Region, Myanmar.

• National Kandawgyi Gardens – home to over 500 different flower species

• Bagaya Kyaung – a 200-year-old Buddhist monastery

Like most Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar has two main seasons: dry and wet.
The dry season runs from October to May, and the wet season from June to October. Generally, most people prefer to travel during the drier months, but even during the wet season, the northern and central regions of Myanmar are cooler and drier than the southern parts, making year-round travel possible.

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Myanmar. Visa-free travel for 14 days, or longer in some cases, is permitted only to citizens of Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos.

E-visa

In addition to getting visas at embassies and consulates, Myanmar has an online e-visa system. It is designed to make the process of application simpler for visitors – particularly those from countries that do not have a Burmese embassy. For e-visa applications, please visit the official Ministry of Immigration e-visa website.

E-visas are currently only valid for entry at Myanmar’s three main international airports: Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, as well as overland travel to Myanmar via the Thai-Myanmar border points of Mae Sai / Tachileik, Mae Sot / Myawaddy and Ranong / Kawthaung only. The e-visa is not valid for China, India, Thai or any other land border entry points.

Tourist visas are valid for 28 days and costs around USD$50, which can be extended an extra 14 days at a cost of USD$3 per day, plus a one-time USD$3 administration fee. It is important to be ready with the correct change at your departure point as change will not be provided. Bear in mind that if you overstay, you might encounter some difficulties booking travel and/or hotels during your overstay period, as not all service staff are aware of the overstay allowance.

Notes

Do not apply for your visa too early: the period for visa validity (i.e. your Burmese entry date) may range from 1 to 3 months.

Do not apply for your visa too late: embassies and consulates can take 2 weeks or more to process your application, but this varies from country to country. If you are from a country that does not have a Burmese embassy or consulate, it will take longer still.

If you wish to apply for a physical visa, the visa photo criteria are 5 cm high x 3.5 cm wide on a white background, no glasses and no smiling.

You must have a passport that is valid for at least six months after your departure from Myanmar.

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

Client reviews

We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.

Excellent 98%
Very good 2%
Average 0%
Poor 0%
Terrible 0%
ICP customer
Marion
Tokyo, Japan

"Awesome service"

We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!

Mar 31, 2020
TripAdvisor
ICP customer
Mary
Wisconsin, USA

"Lifetime of Memories"

Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.

We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com.vn/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751994054-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 29, 2020
TripAdvisor
ICP customer
David G

"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"

If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751470744-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 20, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Lidia

"Excellent from the very beginning"

We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751425461-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 19, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Panos
Athens, Greece

"Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia"

We are three friends who booked a private 26-day tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with Indochina Pioneer and had an amazing time. Our travel agent, Sally, was not only a great professional, but also an amazing person, personable, sweet and eager to do anything possible to turn our trip into a unique travel experience. She was in daily contact with us, making sure that everything would be perfect for us and she was available 24/7. Everything was beyond our expectations: hotels, activities, guides, transportation, meals, etc. The itinerary itself was set to meet our needs as historians, combining visits to archaeological sites and museums, with leisure activities and cultural events.

There are no words strong enough to recommend Indochina Pioneer and, especially, Sally. Special thanks to Cong, our guide in Hoi An, Lao, our guide in Sapa, Mon, our guide in Vientiane and Vuthi, our guide in Siem Reap. We learned so many things from these amazing, always smiling, intelligent people, not only about the history of their countries, but also about their culture and modern life in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Overall, we feel like we booked a tour and in the end, we got ourselves one-in-a-lifetime- experience.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r751280292-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 18, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Ruth Achterhoff-Aust
USA

"Vietnam /Thailand Trip"

Mr. Lam….

Here we are already a week back home in the US from three weeks in Asia.  The continued changes/challenges that are occurring all around our world right now are such a strange and unique phenomenon.  I hope everything is going alright on your end, both professionally and personally, in regarding the CoVid-19 issues.  WOW!

Since we’ve been home….and even while Mary and I were in Asia….we both remarked on repeated occasions about how fortunate we felt to be able to experience the parts of Asia that we did….and do it the way we did!  It was only by way of the assistance that you put into place through the guide services and drivers that we could’ve come away with having such a truly FANTASTIC journey!!

I cannot adequately put into words what a benefit it was to have employed your service for this trip.  We are tremendously thankful to you for your flexibility in working with us using our itinerary and blending what we had in mind with what additional experiences might complement our plans.  Thank you for working on our behalf to get us into the wonderful hotel accommodations in the various areas.  To expound on that a bit…. In Can Tho, we stayed at the Lighthouse B & B.  Not knowing what to expect about ANYTHING prior to our arrival….then,….becoming aware of the modest way of life…the poverty that exists in that area….we were STUNNED to be treated to such a fabulous place to stay in the LightHouse!!!  Beyond all dreams/expectations! MARVELOUS in every single way!!   People make such a big difference…and that was so true at the Lighthouse.  Despite our inabilities for fluent communication in Vietnamese, the staff at the hotel were so accommodating, friendly and made us feel so welcome.  We had the opportunity to meet the owner just prior to leaving…..such a privilege to meet her and express to her our gratitude.

The second place we stayed at was the Riverside Resort in HoiAn.  Such a unique, paradise-like place!  Again…the PEOPLE!  I hate to used the same words again and again, but, so WONDERFUL was that whole experience!!  I could easily see coming back to Hoi An and spending a week or more just at that Resort and in browsing around the Old City and surrounding areas of DaNang.

The Liberty Central Hotel in Saigan felt special too.  We couldn’t get over at so many of these hotels…..each one of these hotels….the FOOD was beyond remarkable!  Such an array of choices and taste sensations!  An apparent tradition in Asia is the welcome drink….what a great thing!  It is such a nice gesture…not at all expected, and so revitalizing to a traveler/tourist.   The people who worked at every single hotel in which we stayed were so warm and accommodating…such easy people with whom to engage.

The Lapis Hotel in Hanoi …..again….more of the same ….just great!

Inasmuch as every Hotel was wonderful…if there was one that was not quite as great as we’d come to expect, it would be the Siam Hotel in Thailand.  The room was darker…older, a tad bit less appealing…overlooked less ‘scenic’ things….BUT….once again, the people are what can really make a difference.  A gentleman that sits at the door made a recommendation to us for massages….and with the location being some distance from us…he made arrangements for someone from the hotel to take us there!!  Unbelievably nice!!

I need to point out also how great the guides were that accompanied us in our travels.  Each one was refreshing, energized, informed and all were delightful.  We probably connected most with our guide in DaNang though.  “Toan” was our guide throughout the area of DaNang.   He was SO fun…and connected with us so easily…amazing.  We had such a great time with him that we felt like we’d known him for a long long time.  He was kind of like a little ‘Mother Hen’ the way he watched out over us…and he had such a terrific sense of humor that we were laughing so much of the time.

It wasn’t my intent in writing to you …to write so much.  It’s just flooding from me; all the memories of such an unforgettable time that I will carry in my soul for the rest of my life.

Thank you for taking my texts/calls when we were in the midst of the vacation and seemed to bump into temporary glitches….they all fixed themselves quickly, but I reached out just to create some awareness in case there was a problem of which early awareness could make a difference.  Thank you also for encouraging us to maintain the plan to participate in the motorcycle tour with Vietnam Backstreets.  Our tour guide was “Boo”….and there was another driver….think his name was “Hue”….”Boo” caused me to forget my worries and trust that I’d be alright riding on the back of his cycle.  Both Mary and I had our reservations about doing that part of the tour….and both of us have said to each other how thankful we are that we DID it!  LOVED it!!

The recommendation has been made to every person I know who may be traveling to Asia to get in touch with INDOCHINA PIONEERS to help them with planning their trip.  This trip is like no other I’ve ever taken before, and I’m sure such a trip could never be repeated in future trip that could even begin to compare with this one.  Strangely enough, Co-V issues worked in our favor…and the timing was spot on!  (GULP!)   We arrived in Asia before things had festered up all over the world like they did in the weeks we were IN Asia…and then, we got back to the US just in the ‘nick of time’ before all the stringent restrictions were put into place all over!    Who KNEW?!!!!

Just wanted to let you know what a great job you and everyone associated with you did….and how much we appreciated it all.

Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU!!

Sincerely,

Ruth Achterhoff-Aust…on behalf of both myself, and Mary Young.

Mar 18, 2020
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ICP customers
Sven Clausen
Germany

"Great Experience during Corona Virus"

We had a tour in March 2020 which was provided by Ryan Mac. He was very helpful in creating a tour according to our interests and wishes. Hung, our tour guide, was excellent he told us a lot of information about Vietnam, cultural and historical wise. During the tour he also changed plans in consolation with us. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus had made us changed several destinations we have planned to go to.

But he always had an alternative option for us so that we continued our trip but with another great alternative.

All and all we were in very good hands. We can only recommend Ryan, Hung and Indochina Pioneer. We will definitely book a tour by Indochina Pioneer on our next trip in Vietnam. Many thanks!

ICP customers

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750970656-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 15, 2020
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ICP customer
Jonathan Tambio
California, USA

"Multi-Country Tour – UNESCO World Heritage Sites"

An amazing adventure. Mr. Ryan Mac assisted with customizing the UNESCO World Heritage Sites tour for our needs. We weren’t interested in certain tours listed on their brochure, and he suggested different activities for us. 3 different countries, 6 different guides – Soukon in Siem Reap; Oun in Luang Prabang; Vito in Hanoi; Huong in Nha Phong; Trang in Hue/Hoi An; and Kim Sa in Ho Chi Minh City – all different personalities, all professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Even though there were a lot of sites to see, activities to do – traveling with an elderly mother, they showed patience and understanding, taking care to assist my mom with large, uneven steps, stairs, and other obstacles that would hinder most mobility-challenged individuals. Our drivers took care to keep us safe on the road as we traveled to and fro, maneuvering through the traffic to get us to our destinations. This was a stress-free, relaxing vacation!. I highly recommend Indochina Pioneer, as well as Mr. Ryan Mac!!!

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750800824-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 14, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Kevin
Toronto, Canada

"Very accommodating, excellent guides"

Kata worked with us to create a tour that went where we wanted to go. We started planning with one of their itineraries, and then asked for a lot of changes to make it own our tour. Kata accommodated every request without a problem. All of the guides were good, some were excellent (Trang in Dalat, Cong in Hue/Hoi An, Vito in Hanoi). The hotels and private cars were all very good. The restaurants they include in the tour are usually higher-end restaurants that make Vietnamese food for tourists. If we were to do it over, we would ask them to take us to more restaurants where Vietnamese people eat, and I’m sure they would have no problem doing that. I have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750778160-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 13, 2020
Tripadvisor
ICP customer
Alan Turner
Belfast, United Kingdom

"Top class company"

Booked a 15 tour of Cambodia & Vietnam with these guys. And what a tour it was.
On arrival, they were there at the airport to greet us. And for the following 15 days, the looked after us wonderfully. Every day they were at our hotel with guide and driver in great air con, cars with cold water bottles. We used 5 different guides in various city’s
And each one was great. Well dressed, great local knowledge and very helpful. All on time and happy to change things to suit us. They booked all our hotels and internal flights and paid for all entrances to temples boat trips etc.
They brought us to the airports and helped with check-ins. Nothing was a problem.
I can honestly say it the best tour company we have used in 35 years traveling.
A special thanks to Phuong Nguyen who organised the entire trip for us she was amazing. I changed my mind lots of times and she just adjusted things to suit us.
She even called our hotel in Hanoi to check on us.
What an asset for her company.
Indochina Pioneer is a great company. I would strongly recommend them. 5 stars.

Link: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293924-d2211874-r750341113-Indochina_Pioneer-Hanoi.html

Mar 10, 2020
Tripadvisor