- 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 will 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 will be yours to explore at your leisure. Dinner will be on your own.
Inquire this trip
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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 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.
"Laos, Cambodia, Thailand"
We needed a 2-week break after a freezing and miserable Melbourne winter and visit Asia – but not VN, Bali, etc. Laos was suggested by Helen at Indochina (found her in an ad) and we had 12 nights through the region in excellent hotels, with great guides. Nothing went wrong really – one minor glitch was fixed with a Whatsapp message. So good planning and great real-time support available.
"Help with the Vietnam trip planning"
I am visiting Vietnam in the first week of Jan 2020. I reached out to Indochina Pioneer for help planning my trip. Though I did not eventually engage them due to my shortened vacation plan, Indochina Pioneer was very helpful and professional in providing all the insights into the trip. Especially Ms. Phuong who has been very patient with all my questions. I even offered to pay them a token amount for all their help which Indochina Pioneer politely denied. I wish to engage them in my next trip to Vietnam.
Kerri SMaryland, USA
My visit to Thailand and Vietnam was a trip of a lifetime! Lizzie diligently worked with me to create a trip that included everything that I wanted to see and do—-learn about the country, culture and foods. Everything about the trip was perfect. Hotels, tours and most especially the tour guides! The tour guides were so knowledgeable and flexible and I feel so blessed to consider them my friends now. They really made the trip for me!
Lizzie Pham, I can’t sing your praises enough for your attention to detail! You and everyone I met along my adventure have a special place in my heart. You opened my eyes to amazing places and people. I can’t wait to explore more countries with you!
This is the second time we used Indochina Pioneer. Earlier this year we used them for a great tour of Thailand and this time for another great tour in Vietnam. We are very lucky to of worked with Kata Tran, and she spent much time in helping us customize a tour based on the amount of time we wanted to spend in Vietnam. We really feel spoiled that we can arrange a private tour and customize the tour further throughout the tour. We have been so happy to have private tours as tours are the most efficient but we were always turned off by large tours and everyone following someone carrying a flag. With a private tour, we can call the shots as there will be a place that we want to spend more time and places we want to spend less time. The tour guides and driver coordinate perfectly so as we finish one place, our van would be waiting for us with the air condition on and cold water. I actually asked one of the tour guides that were subcontracted by Indochina Pioneer and was very pleased when they said that really enjoyed working with Indochina Pioneer because they can see that Indochina Pioneer really wants the best for their customers and that to ensure that, they hire the best subcontractors and take care of them also so everyone is happy. I hope Indochina Pioneer and Kata Tran prosper and grow larger and there are other places that we want to travel and would like to use Indochina Pioneer again and again.
Trish WBig White, Canada
"Superb Travel Agency and Consultant Kata Tran"
We have just returned from a 17-day excursion in Southern Vietnam, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Kata Tran was EXCELLENT to deal with. She listened to what we wanted to do for our tour and she delivered! The guides and drivers were great. The guide’s knowledge of the sites and English was very good and the drivers were timely and caring. They always had a cold bottle of water and a cleansing towel ready for us when we returned from visiting a site. The whole tour unfolded on time and without a hitch. The highlight of our trip was visiting the Patara Elephant Park outside of Chaing Mai, Thailand, where we spent a full day with the elephants: learning about them and being taught how to communicate with them; feeding them; watering them; riding them in the jungle for 45 minutes; then bathing them. It was WONDERFUL. Kata recommended this particular Farm for an elephant experience and we were so happy because we had heard from others about their disappointment at some other elephant sanctuaries/excursions. Patara Farm is associated with the Veterinary Department of Chiang Mai University so you know the animals are well cared for and it shows.
We were disappointed with our hotel in Bangkok and Kata and the guide did everything they could to ensure our happiness and they definitely accomplished their goal.
I would HIGHLY recommend Indochina Pioneer and Patara Elephant Farm
John MMelbourne, Australia
"BRILLIANT TRAVEL AGENCY AND CONSULTANT (MS HIEN PHAM)!"
In 21018 we visited the southern half of Vietnam and loved it so much that we decided to do a 16-day tour of the north in March 2019.
We had a fairly good idea of where we wanted to go and stay (eg. A few days in Ha Noi, an overnight cruise on Ha Long Bay, stay in a mountain village, visit Hoi An, etc, etc), but we had no specific hotels or tours in mind.
Enter Indochina Pioneer and Ms. Hien Pham who was assigned to us. I found the company on the internet and after checking a few Trip Advisor recommendations I contacted them and began putting the details of our tour together (based largely on Hien’s recommendations).
She was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!!! So patient, understanding and she left nothing to chance!!! And all at a very reasonable price (better quality – but cheaper than Australian package deals!!!) Everything (and I do mean EVERYTHING) went as she planned it. The great accommodation (eg. The Apricot Hotel in Ha Noi was outstanding – see my separate review), the tours, the local city guides, the transfers, etc, etc, all went well).
I can’t recommend Ms. Hien Pham and Indochina Pioneer highly enough. Book your tour with them – you won’t regret it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Best Cambodia/Laos/Vietnam trip"
We chose Indochina Pioneer and they put together the best-customized tour for us. The timings were well planned and it became one of the memorable tours for us. Hien from Indochina was very helpful in planning. We were very particular about places, and she helped us to plan what we want. We started from Cambodia (Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake), then Laos (Luang Prabang), and then to Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Thien Duong Cave, Ba Be, Cao Bang, Ban Gioc Waterfalls). Every day we had a blast. The service was really good. And I’m booking through them again to Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia. And that tells how good they are. Thanks to Indochina Pioneer and special thanks to Hien for planning the best trip for us.
"Best Myanmar trip"
We decided to choose Indochina Pioneer to plan a trip to Myanmar with our family. It was 17 days length trip only in Myanmar. This was an amazing experience and an excellent country to visit. Ms. Hien was very helpful to plan our itinerary, ad hoc to our needs. Tour guides have mostly good knowledge and good English. Especially Mr. Cho and Ms. Thin were really good tour guides, we liked them a lot.
"Splendid personalised tour of Vietnam and Cambodia"
Following a recommendation we chose Indochina Pioneer to put together our bespoke tour. Sales Manager Kata Tran took on board our requirements and offered a proposal which we then fine-tuned into an excellent itinerary. We had a really splendid holiday. Different guides at different locations were all good and three were outstanding. Our boutique hotels were mostly very good and we found the service offered was always delightful – the same for restaurants. The high spots of our holiday were the gentle trekking in Sapa, the wonderful Ha Long Bay cruise (outstanding food on our boat), Hanoi city and the street food, Hoi An so charming, exciting Saigon, the high-speed boat ride up the Mekong and the fantastic Angkor temples in Cambodia. We built two relaxation breaks into our tour, primarily to meet up with friends and family but this was also useful to catch breath in the middle of the tour. We were very pleased with the arrangements made by Indochina Pioneer although it would probably have been best to travel from Phnom Penh to Siam Reap by air rather than by bus. Cambodia was very, very hot at this time of year.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer for similar tours in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Jerry Ray BowlingUSA
"Worry-free Vietnam travel!"
Reliable and caring. You name it and Ryan has the know-how to plan it. From a hassle-free airport taxi to your place of relaxation, day trekking in Nhin Binh and rowing a Sampan in a National park and of course the 2-night Halong Bay Junk Boat. The quality of communication during planning, the freedom to ask questions, make changes and make even more changes were without pressure. Our day tour guide Cuong was simply wonderful in conversation and culture and share a few recipes with my wife!
This was my 1st experience using a tour service and I will honestly say… its the only way to travel Vietnam, see what you want to see, have reliable timely transportation, professional safe drivers and a plan. These agents and supporting cast are sincere in the duties to the customer and your experience in Vietnam.
On another note, I had forgotten an item. Contacted them, and both went out of there way to ensure my item was returned. So grateful
Next tour Sapa, Lao Cai, Hai Phong