- 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.
Hanoi – Duong Lam – Nghia LoDay 1
Your private guide and transport will pick you up at your hotel to leave the bustling streets of Hanoi to travel past verdant rice paddies and farmland along Highway 32. After a one hour drive you will reach Duong Lam Ancient village ‐ a rich historical site with fascinating old houses, churches and a temple of the two famous Kings, Phung Hung and Ngo Quyen. Despite the passing of time, these relics have been very well preserved, retaining the original features of our ancient houses. You will then take a walk around this old village, a great photo opportunity; and get to meet the local people and observe their daily life. After that, you will go on a short bicycle ride to the outskirts of this village to allow more picture taking.
You will enjoy a home cooked lunch here, prepared and served by a local village family.
After lunch you will continue on to Nghia Lo. Nghia Lo is situated along a beautiful mountain ridge with lush forests, tea plantations, rice terraces and gum trees, with stunning picturesque valleys. This area is home to Thai, Nung, H’mong, La Ha and Ma ethnic minority tribes. You will arrive in the late afternoon and check into our hotel. The rest of your day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.
Overnight in Nghia Lo
Nghia Lo – Tu Le – Mu Cang Chai – Than UyenDay 2
Early this morning, after breakfast, your private tour guide will take you to the local market in Nghia Lo Town, where you can explore and shop for local handicrafts. After this, you will continue on to Mu Cang Chai, known for its terraced fields, which are mainly rice paddies. They create a stunning landscape stretching down the mountainside. Wooden houses and guard boxes can be spotted between the terraced fields. This area is a definite photo opportunity!
You will enjoy a beautiful scenic drive today. While climbing over the mountain pass to Mu Cang Chai you might be able to see the H’mong, La Ha and Dzao minority people along the way. Descending to the valley below, we arrive in the town of Than Uyen where you will spend the night in a hotel.
Overnight in Than Uyen
Than Uyen – Quynh Nhai – Son LaDay 3
This morning, you will depart Than Uyen after breakfast for a short drive to Quynh Nhai. After arriving in this peaceful town, you will stop for lunch.
After lunch, you will take a 01 hour boat trip around the picturesque reservoir here, dotted with islets. The water from this reservoir supplies the Son La Dam, the largest hydroelectric power station in Southeast Asia.
After the boat trip you will continue your journey to Mai Son town by a 02 hour drive. After arriving at Mai Son, you will go to the home of a local family where you will be spending the night. Tonight your hosts will cook a delicious local style dinner for you. They will take you into their garden to pick fresh vegetables and also show you how to select the best chicken for the meal.
You can then sit back and relax with a cold beer while watching them prepare your meal!
Overnight in Son La
Mai Son – Moc ChauDay 4
After breakfast, you can take some photos with your host family before bidding them farewell. You will then take the 03 hour drive to Moc Chau Highland. Moc Chau Plateau is blessed with the most wonderful natural scenic beauty, with boundless meadows where grazing cows offer an unlimited supply of milk!.
Around noon we will arrive in Ban Doi, a small black Thai village with a community-based tourism project. Ban Doi is an untouched village nestled in a lush valley. This village is known for its bamboo “stilt houses” which are elevated 10–12 feet off the ground in order to avoid water damage, and also serves to shelter animals from the elements.
After checking into one of the stilt houses you will have lunch.
After a short rest you can take a gentle walk throughout the village. You will also visit one of the tea plantations and the and Dai Yem waterfall. This evening, you will be served a local style dinner by your Thai hosts and enjoy their company.
Overnight in Moc Chau
Moc Chau – HanoiDay 5
After breakfast, you will leave Ban Doi and drive to Phieng Canh, a H’mong tribe hamlet situated in a middle of nowhere. From the main road, you will take a one hour walk along the corn and rice fields to access this remote village. The location is very scenic, and the dwellers are truly hospitable. You will take a trip back in time in this charming village, until your private tour guide brings you back down to earth when you return to the main road! Here you will be met by your private driver for the journey back to Hanoi.
On the way back your private van will stop for lunch at Giang Mo village, home of the Muong minority people. These people have similar houses to the Thai people but a very different lifestyle and culture, further illustrating the rich diversity of Vietnamese ethnic groups.
After lunch you will wind your way back to Hanoi, arriving at your hotel around 4:00 pm. The rest of the day is yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- 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
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.
"12 days in Myanmar"
Kata Tran has organised many holidays for me – in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. All excellent. She organised a 12 day trip to Myanmar in January 2016 with a few days each in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle. Great guides and drivers. Lovely hotels. Terrific boat trip from Mandalay to Bagan. Day trip to old colonial Maymyo. Highly recommended. Kata always listens carefully to what you want and is very flexible.
goodtravelfort lee, nj
"Fantastic 17 days in Vietnam and Cambodia"
The best thing about Duong Dai Lam (Lam) from Indochina Pioneer is that he listens. We are interested in history, architecture and food, and really appreciate good views.
Our trip provided these things and more:
– In every city we had gorgeous hotels with fabulous views, with a number of upgrades. Hotels appreciated Indochina Pioneer business.
– Halong Bay cruise was one of the highlights – small, comfortable boat with great food and most incredible landscapes. How did they get such a good chef for a 10 cabin boat?
– Lam suggested many off the beaten track attractions that helped us to understand and appreciate the country.
– Our tour guides in every place were knowledgeable about history and architecture, forthcoming with cultural and lifestyle information
– They were very flexible both in planning, and trip changes when the weather did not cooperate. For example – we don’t ride bicycles, so we ended up doing one day tour on the back of 2 scooters. Fun!!!
– Street food tour with Luu in Hanoi was fun, delicious and educational. We kept eating on the street throughout the trip. No food poisoning, just delicious food.
– Private cars were medium size SUVs immaculately maintained and drivers were safe.
I infrequently gush – see my other reviews. But this was one of our best trips, and the private tour ended up costing less than a comparable group tour booked from US.
"First trip to Vietnam"
As this was our first trip to Vietnam we decided to us Indochina Pioneer-and Mr Lam provided us with a 17 day itinerary. Thank you for arranging a most relaxing holiday, and we enjoyed every minute with our guides, Mr Dong (Hanoi), Mr Thoung and driver Mr Hai (Hoi An-Hue) Mrs Yen from Ho Chi Minh City and Mr Tom from the Dragon Peal No 1. Their warmth, friendliness and good humour has made our trip most memorable. The guides all did an excellent job with their knowledge on places visited as well as the history of Vietnam. Our visit to Halong Bay was unfortunately very cold, but was still made enjoyable, and guests still participated in canoeing and visiting the floating fishing village. Although there were many highlights with the sounds, smells and overall busy day to day life especially in the markets, my favourite highlight was in Ho Chi Minh City with a park becoming one enormous flower market and the boats on the river covered in flowers ready to sell, all for the Tet festival. We wished we stayed a few extra nights to enjoy the Tet festivities. Yes I would definitely recommend Indochina Pioneer to anyone wishing to travel to Vietnam, and will use this company again.
"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.
"2nd Time….just as great"
This is the second time I have used Indochina Pioneer. They excelled again. This time, we had 5 Rotarians who had completed a project in Cambodia, and needed some holiday time afterwards. We booked an 8 night Hanoi/Sapa/Halong Bay tour.
Again, the Indochina Pioneer Team performed beyond my expectations. On time, knowledgeable and flexible at all times.
We had a small problem with our van after the 5 hour drive to Sapa. By breakfast the next day, we had a new van and driver to look after us for the rest of our journey.
We got a great upgrade on the Halong Bay cruise.
I can’t commend Indochina Pioneer highly enough. If you want further details, please PM me directly, if I go again in Indochina, it will only be with Indochina Pioneer.
"An amazing trip"
In my younger years I spent months backpacking on the cheap around Asia. I now have more money, less time and a family. I found Indochina Pioneer on-line and contacted Mr Lam for our recent trip to Cambodia. He was full of information, answered all of my many questions, suggested great ideas, incorporated my changes and organised all smoothly.
I wanted airport transfers and to organise hotels before we left. Mr Lam suggested a range of hotels to choose from all of which were good. Internal transfers and flights were also organised. We only wanted tours for Angkor Wat and The Killing Fields which Mr Lam arranged. Our other days were left free for us to choose what we wanted. The tour consisted of myself, my husband and twin sons which was perfect. The tour guides were knowledgeable and helpful, as were the drivers.
Mr Lam suggested we get a speed boat from Chau Doc, Vietnam to Phnom Penh up the Mekong River which was a great way to travel. The crocodile farm on the way was well worth the lunch stop.
I would recommend Indochina Pioneer as a great tour company for families. My in-laws are travelling with them later in the year. I am currently planning another trip to Laos using Indochina Pioneer again.
For someone who doesn’t like or do package tours having a private tour for my family was just perfect.
It was great to have a relaxing vacation and indochina took
Care of everything. Loved Hanoi and Halong Bay!
"Indochina Pioneer – Great Tour Organizer"
I arranged a 28 day customized tour of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand in January, 2016 the assistance of Indochina Pioneer. Lam, the principal of the company, was fabulous to deal with. He made many suggestions, booked all of our drivers and local tour guides, hotels, admission tickets, and even some restaurants. All of his choices were excellent, and when there was a need to make a last minute change, he was readily available. His tour included many extras that other tour organizers did not include, and he made sure that we visited off the beaten track places, took local tours that the big groups do not see, and that our hotels were carefully chosen to be very central and more of a local boutique nature. Lam never hesitated to make sure that our trip was going well as we travelled, and even made a point of meeting us at our stop in Hanoi and sent flowers to me on my birthday. The tour was priced very favorably compared to 3 others I contacted, and all of our guides were excellent. I would highly recommend this company and Lam in particular to anyone wanting to arrange a local tour or a detailed itinerary of Indochina.
keith mUnited Kingdom
"Cycling Mekong Delta and sight seeing in Saigon"
Perhaps the best way to explore the Mekong Delta area. Can Tho is a lively overnight stop with well situated lovely hotel. All hotels selected by Indo China Pioneer are well situated but don’t expect western standards in hotels beyond Can Tho. Good combination of cycling and site seeing including boat and ferry trips, workshop visits with good choice of restaurant and roadside stops for fresh fruit.
However the route rarely left normal roads and didn’t appear to be as described in the brochure. Some quiet rural roads followed but others were quite busy, particularly in the vicinity of the small towns we cycled through.
We were concerned that we were not measured for our bikes on the first day which just arrived in the back of the minibus that collected us from our hotel. The frame size for my partner’s bike was much too large for her and it was fitted with a male shaped saddle which caused her considerable discomfort on the first day. The saddle was changed on Day 2 after she refused to continue the holiday with that particular bike at the end of day 1.
The guide did not appear to be completely clear of the route at times and we needed to complete an ‘about turn’ 3 times during the trek which may be why our route didn’t appear to be as described in the brochure. Indo China guides are very knowledgeable and helpful and know many local secret gems to visit but their spoken english can be difficult to follow at times even for me as a native English speaker. Indo China Pioneer specialise in providing tailor made tours for small groups down to 2 in number and flexibility in preparing a holiday programe to suit individual customers requests including the selection of the most suitable hotel using their wealth of local knowledge. Moderately priced boutique hotels are typically chosen.
Roger CAustralia, Adelaide
"Excellent 20 day tour of Myanmar with Indochina Pioneer"
This was our first trip to Myanmar . We have traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos with Lam Duong from Indochina Pioneer in the past and having had such a great trip chose Lam to organise our Myanmar trip.
Lam chose and booked great hotels in Yangon, Kyaing Tong, Kalaw, Inle Lake , Bagan and Mandalay as well as organise excellent tour guides and drivers at those places. We wanted to do a short cruise on the Irrawaddy from Bagan to Mandalay and Lam selected Amara River Cruises which operate small extremely well founded wooden vessels. Our boat Amara 1 was excellent, comfortable and with friendly attentive staff who took us on excursions and provided us with superb food and service.
We also did a memorable balloon flight in Bagan with Balloons over Bagan which Lam organised.
Our tour organised by Lam in Myanmar was superb, we could not fault the guides and the overall balance of the itinerary.
Full marks Indochina Pioneer!