- Active Adventure
- Culture & Heritage
- Home Stay
- Learning Discovery
- Nature & Landscapes
- Ocean Cruising
- Off The Beaten Path
- Tours for Couples
- Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
- Day 2: Hanoi – Pu Luong – Hang village
- Day 3: Hang Village – Kho Muong village
- Day 4: Kho Muong – Cao Hoong Village
- Day 5: Cao Hoong – Hin Village
- Day 6: Hin – Son Village
- Day 7: Son – Hanoi
- Day 8: Hanoi – Day at leisure
- Day 9: Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Day 10: Halong Bay – Kayaking Full-day
- Day 11: Halong Bay – Hanoi
- Day 12: Hanoi – Departure
‘Pu Luong and Halong Adventure’ is the journey you did not know you needed to experience until now! Travel to the Pu Luong Nature Reserve in northern Vietnam, home to many ethnic minority tribes. Discover life on the mountains, between lush forests of the Thai and Muong people, admire their simple way of life and the well-preserved traditions in the local villages. Enjoy the spectacular views of terraced rice fields, endless verdant valleys, and tranquil rivers adorned with silhouettes of local houses. Tour Hanoi’s cultural attractions and hear the history of Vietnam’s thousand-year-old capital. On a traditional junk boat, enjoy your time and cherish the wonderful sight of limestone karsts soaring from the water in Halong Bay. You can also explore a stunning lagoon in the area while kayaking.
Arrival in HanoiDay 1
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Hanoi. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Pu Luong – Hang villageDay 2
After breakfast, you will meet your private tour guide and driver then depart Hanoi for a 4-hour drive to Pu Luong Natural Reserve.
Enjoy a lunch break in Mai Chau valley and continue to drive further into the reserve where you will begin a trek (approx. 2.5 hours) to the Thai village of Hang. Spend the night with a local Thai family who will be your hosts in a traditional house built on stilts, whilst enjoying their hospitality, discover a little more about their lives and culture.
Overnight in Hang Village
Hang Village – Kho Muong villageDay 3
This morning you will have an opportunity to stroll around Hang village before trekking. Today you will be walking for approximately 6 hours. Along the way, pass through several Thai villages and hamlets before arriving at the village of Kho Muong. This is a Muong minority village and you will be their guests for the night.
Overnight in Kho Muong Village
Kho Muong – Cao Hoong VillageDay 4
Today you will have a full day trek as you climb to the summit of Pu Luong Mountain. En route, you will pass through a number of small hamlets and minority villages. At the summit, the panoramic views of Pu Luong are magnificent. The climb to the top takes around 8 hours with a further 2 hours for the descent to the village of Cao Hoong where you will stay overnight at a local home.
Overnight in Cao Hoong Village
Cao Hoong – Hin VillageDay 5
Your hike through the verdant countryside today will take around 6 hours as you encounter local villagers doing their daily works cultivating the fields and herding buffalo. In the afternoon, you will arrive at the village of Hin and check into a local homestay. Enjoy dinner and spend the night with the local family.
Overnight in Hin Village
Hin – Son VillageDay 6
Departing Hin village, you will have a 6-hour trek to your next homestay in Son village. This village is located on the slopes of the mountain and as such offers a cooler location.
Overnight in Son Village
Son – HanoiDay 7
You will leave Son village and walk through several hamlets and villages for approximately three hours. You will then rendezvous with the awaiting vehicle that will take you back to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Day at leisureDay 8
Today will be at your leisure to rest and catch up on some sleep after the Pu Luong adventure. However, if you want to be active, you can head out to explore the charming city of Hanoi with its Old Quarter, French Quarter and many historical, cultural attractions such as Museum of Ethnology, Temple of Literature, “the Hanoi Hilton”…
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Halong BayDay 9
After breakfast, your private guide and driver will pick you up and take you in a private vehicle through the horizon of the Red River delta to the magnificent Halong Bay with a coffee stop en-route.
Around midday, you will arrive at Halong bay, check into a traditional junk boat to start your cruise to the World heritage site while your seafood lunch is served on board.
In the afternoon, you will visit Sung Sot cave then try your hand with some short distance kayaking around the area. You will then dine and enjoy your night on board.
Overnight on board
Halong Bay – Kayaking Full-dayDay 10
While enjoying your breakfast on board, your junk boat will cruise to the area of Ba Ham, where one of the largest floating villages of Halong bay located. Right in the area, there is a stunning lagoon connected to each other by long and dark water caves. You will spend the whole morning kayaking and exploring this lagoon and see the Ba Men temple which is small but extremely sacred to the local fishermen.
Back to your junk boat for lunch and after that cruise to Hang Doi spot which is a part of Cat Ba National Park.
This afternoon you will keep on kayaking to discover Hang Doi lagoon area with another short water cave, then you will cruise to another spot for your night anchor.
Overnight on board
Halong Bay – HanoiDay 11
After breakfast, you will kayak from your junk to Man’s head island and to Luon water cave which was in one shot of “Indochina” famous film.
Back to the junk boat. Check out and enjoy lunch onboard.
Around midday, the boat will arrive at the pier where your driver is waiting to take you back to your hotel in Hanoi. Spend the last night in Hanoi before going home.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – DepartureDay 12
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Hanoi International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
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.
- Explore Pu Luong Nature Reserve, a beautiful region of limestone cliffs, forests and terraced fields that is richly biodiverse
- Free time to wander through the bustling narrow streets of the Old Quarter lined with shop-houses
- Cruise and kayak through the enchantingly beautiful Halong Bay
- 11 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 8 dinners and 8 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
How to Plan a successful Trip to Vietnam, Step-by-Step
Why to visit Vietnam
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
How to Book a Tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to visit Vietnam
Vietnam, the S-shaped country, also commonly likened to the shape of a dragon, is located to the west of the South China Sea. The perfect combination of colonial elegance and rustic charm, it guarantees to satisfy all types of travelers with its rich experiences made all the more special by its charming people.
With cities to explore, temples to admire, and green countrysides to roam, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Known as a colorful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north, with its myriad of ethnic communities, to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) on the edge of the Mekong Delta, it is difficult to pick just one region to visit when coming to Vietnam.
The charming capital of Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments; the scenery of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is bound to leave you speechless; Hue, home to the old Kings of Vietnam, appears to have been frozen in time for several hundred years with its ancient atmosphere and architecture.
With a 3260km coastline, Vietnam is home to many top-tier beaches; the country’s most unsung beauties. My Khe beach – “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” as described by Forbes – offers blue skies, smooth white sand, clear & warm water year-round. Phu Quoc island, boasting several luxury resorts, is also a favorite escape for the rich and famous. The abundance of mountains, rainforests, and natural lakes also makes Vietnam a great destination for trekking, hiking, mountain biking, sea and river kayaking, and classic overland tours.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Vietnam
• Sapa & Mai Chau – visit the hill tribe villages and plantations
• Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam
• Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam
• Hoi An – the kitchen of Vietnam and paradise on Earth
• Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) – the economic heart of Vietnam
• The Cu Chi Tunnels – walk through the history of the Vietnam War
• Mekong Delta – see the floating markets
When to Go
Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate varies surprisingly from region to region. Therefore this charming land is well-known as an “all-year-around” available destination for travelers.
In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In the central region, from Nha Trang to Hue, sunshine lasts throughout the year, except for the months of November and December when heavy rainfalls occur. Dalat, at an altitude of 1500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers that don’t last very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
Almost all visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, although some exemptions apply for citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements with Vietnam. Depending upon the nationality and passport of the applicant, a tourist visa can be obtained at the Vietnamese diplomatic office or consulates in foreign countries. Visas can also be obtained with the help of a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, known as a “Visa on Arrival”. Visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry, as requested at the time of application.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The easiest way is to get your visa through a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, such as Indochina Pioneer. We can quickly and efficiently organize your pre-arranged VOA if you wish. Our visa processing fee is a reasonable rate of USD$10 / person only. Except for American citizens who are required to pay a stamping fee of USD$135 to get a 1-year, multiple-entry tourist visa, other nationalities need to pay just USD$25 / person for a single entry and USD$50 / person for multiple entries.
- To apply for your VOA please email us the following information:
- Arrival and departure dates
- Full passport details:
- Passport number
- Issuing date
- Expiry date
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.
- Once we have received your information, we will secure a Visa Approval Letter for you. This usually takes about 2 – 4 working days (ie. excluding weekends). We will then send you the letter via email or fax. You must present this letter upon boarding your flight. Also, you will need to prepare two photos (6 cm high x 4 cm wide – white background, no glasses, no smiling).
- On arrival at the airport (in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City) please find the Visa on Arrival window/counter where you will hand over your passport and photos, and be given a simple form to fill out. Pay the stamping fee of USD$25 for the single entry and USD$50 for multiple entries. The staff at the airport will shortly return your passport with your visa, after which you will be allowed to exit the airport.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain amount of time:
- Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
- Japan, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
- Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Vietnamese embassy/consulate :
South Asia – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese government officially launched the electronic visa plan for foreign tourists of certain countries visiting Vietnam. To apply for an e-visa, please visit http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn. For the list of
countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, click here.
How to Book a Tour
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 email@example.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 and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- 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
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- 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
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
Reviews on Our Service
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.
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"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.
"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.
"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!