- Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival – Drive to Mai Chau
- Day 2: Mai Chau – Ninh Binh – Trang An Complex – Hoa Lu Temples
- Day 3: Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh National Park – Local Homestay
- Day 4: Hanoi – Transfer to Ha Long Bay/ Bai Tu Long Bay
- Day 5: Halong – Yen Duc Village – Hanoi
- Day 6: Hanoi City Tour
- Day 7: Hanoi City - 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.
Hanoi Arrival – Drive to Mai Chau – Evening Home-hosted dinner and Thai MassageDay 1
Arrival at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport, collect your luggage process through custom. Your private tour guide and driver from Indochina Pioneer will be waiting for you outside the baggage claim/ custom area to transfer you in a private vehicle to Mai Chau through a spectacular mountain range. This is an authentic hill tribe region and a fantastic base for treks, local markets, and villages. Arrive after mid-day, we will check into the hotel and free for lunch.
Later in the afternoon, we will explore the surrounding villages on foot, meeting local people and learning about their lives raising crops and livestock. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner cooked and served by the local family. You can join a local traditional dance show performed by the White Thai people (optional). Enjoy the traditional Thai massage to help you unwind and relieve any aches and pains during the whole traveling.
Overnight in Mai Chau
Meals: (Welcome dinner) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Mai Chau – Ninh Binh – Trang An Complex – Hoa Lu TemplesDay 2
After breakfast, we will depart Mai Chau and wind our way for 4 hours to Ninh Binh where we take an amazing rowing boat to visit Trang An Ecotourism area. Trang An Eco-Tourism complex is a home of 600 kinds of flora and over 200 kinds of fauna that many of them in the Red book of Vietnam. It is also a gathering of 31 valleys, 48 cross-water caves and we will visit 3 to 6 of them.
Arrival Ninh Binh, we will head to a local restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, we will embark on the rowing boat, we can enjoy the fresh air, clean and clear water with underwater grass. Experience ourselves the feeling and emotion when we are on the water caves.
Return to the Wharf and transfer to visit Hoa Lu ancient Capital city of Vietnam between 968 & 980AD. Here we will visit the ancient temples of King Dinh and King Le.
Finish the day tour and drive to the hotel to check in.
Overnight in Ninh Binh
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh National Park – Local HomestayDay 3
We will depart Ninh Binh in the morning and drive for 03 hours to Nam Dinh Province, 150 km south-west of Hanoi in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. On the way, we will stop to visit the Ancient Co Le Pagoda dating back to the 10th century. This is one of the biggest and nicest pagodas in North Vietnam. Besides its special architecture, Co Le pagoda has the largest bell in Vietnam.
We will then continue on to Nam National Park, formally known as a Nature Reserve of the area and later became Vietnam’s first Ramsar site, for the conservation of wetlands.
We’ll embark on a boat trip to discover the wetland. After a one-hour boat trip through the National Park, we arrive at a Clam Hut where we will be served a delicious seafood lunch. We can rest and relax in the Hut for a while before transferring back to the mainland. From here we will be picked up and driven to a local homestay where we will spend the night with our host family.
Alternatively, if you are not keen on the homestay we can always replace it by the hotel in the City without any surcharge.
Overnight in Nam Dinh
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi – Transfer to Ha Long Bay/ Bai Tu Long Bay – Overnight onboardDay 4
After breakfast, your guide and driver will collect you from the hotel and drive you 4 hours (140km) to Halong City and port. As Halong Bay is so popular, there is usually a crowd of boats at the docks -please be reassured that the cruise itself will be scenic and relaxing.
12.00 – 12.30 approx
Arriving Tuan Chau marina. Welcome aboard the cruise. Refresh with our welcome drink. Meet the captain, crew in the cruise briefing.
Check into your cabin. Time to refresh and unwind.
Set sail as lunch is served.
Join us for a typical local lunch in the dining room or at the outdoor dining area. Mingle yourself in the stunning views of the Bay and it’s dramatic limestone islets as we sail through the calm emerald waters heading to Maze cave.
Arrive at Amazing cave (hang SửngSốt), explore the cave and find out how the cave was named Amazing.
Reach to the peak point of the cave for a breathtaking panoramic view of the bay.
Back to the boat, our cruise will take you to a stunning tranquilizing isolated lagoon for swimming or just simply relaxing on the boat with our spa service and mingle in the picturesque seascape.
Heading back toward the sleeping area.
Summit on the sundeck watching the sunset, enjoy our pre-dinner local wine appetizer. It’s an ideal time to make acquaintance with new friends, sharing your traveling experience or simply watching the sunset.
An authentic Vietnamese menu will be served.
After dinner, reward yourself with a large selection of cocktails at our bar, or take for you one of our onboard activities: book reading, games, movies, and squid fishing, etc.
Overnight on board
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Halong – Yen Duc Village – Hanoi – Evening Food Tour and Nightlife experienceDay 5
For the early risers, join us for a Tai Chi session on the sundeck. Tai chi helps focus the mind and condition the body, joining Tai Chi session to full charge your energy for the day.
07.00 – 08.00
Local breakfast is served.
Our guide will brief you information and the highlights of this fascinating floating village and its local community.
Take your option either exploring the village yourself on a kayak or comfortably capture the daily life of the fishermen on bamboo boat rowed by the locals.
Check out the cabins, at your leisure while our cruise taking you to pass by other beautiful highlights in the bay.
You will join our short class of Cooking demonstration, how to make spring rolls before an early lunch is served.
Ready to get off the boat.
11.45 – 12.00
Disembark the boat, your guide and driver will bring you back to Hanoi. On the way back we stop to visit the charming Yen Duc Village, a typical authentic Northern village. Here we will attend a traditional water puppet show performed by the local artists. While watching the show, we will enjoy plenty of local snacks.
Get back to our hotel in Hanoi. Have a rest before the exciting evening food adventure and nightlife experience.
Your private guide will collect you at the hotel and take you out for the evening food tour.
We will wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where we can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago. This will bring us lots of sights and sounds of the evening in Hanoi.
During our walk we will have plenty of opportunity to interact with the locals and sample various street food such as Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steam Rice Rolls), Banh My (Vietnamese baguettes), Nom Du Du (papaya Salad with beef), Bun Cha (grilled pork with vermicelli) and especially the amazing Egg Coffe. You will also venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced – this specialty is one not to be missed!
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi City Tour – Afternoon shopping in Hanoi – Evening Enjoying Vietnamese MassageDay 6
After breakfast, your adventure tour in Vietnam will begin as your private tour guide picks you up and takes you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi, famed for its tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, and a thousand years of history. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Thang Long Citadel (the most recent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vietnam), built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet (former Vietnam)
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– One Pillar Pagoda, one of the most iconic temples in Vietnam
– Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
Lunch will be served at KOTO (Know One Teach One), sponsored by an NGO (a non-governmental organization) for the disadvantaged children of Hanoi. The staff is former street children being trained in culinary and hospitality skills.
After lunch, return your hotel for some rest before strolling along the iconic HoanKiem lake and the most exciting shopping part of the Old Quarter including Hang Gai– Hang Bong – NhaTho street, the best place to pick up some high quality, fashionable silk items, lacquerware, embroidered goods, and ethnic-minority crafts; Hang Dau (Shoes street), where hundreds of shoe-sellers lining. Most of the footwear consists of brand names made at Vietnamese factories that have been rejected as seconds, making them a great purchase with usually only a small imperfection. There are also plenty of fake North Face, Samsonite bags where Hang Dau Street meets Lo Su.
15.00 – 15.30
Be picked up by the private car for a 20-minute drive to Japanese retail giant AEON Shopping Mall. Here you can spend 1 – 2 hours at the huge Japanese food court, shopping for local brand clothes (Canifa, The Blue, etc.) at a remarkably good price, as well as households and other stuff. Get back to the hotel at about 18.00. Maybe have a shower or rest before relaxing your whole body with the Vietnamese traditional massage 90’ at the SF Spa center (check review)
Note: the city tour program is flexible. Our guide would be more than happy to adjust the tour itinerary at your needs. You can skip one site or add another if you so wish.
Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
Hanoi City, free time - DepartureDay 7
Today will be on your own leisure. Breakfast will still be included and check out will be at mid-day.
Depending on your departure time a private driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you back to the airport for your departure flight.
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_) – Halal Food Available Upon Request
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)
- All domestic flights
- Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights Vietnam and Cambodia 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.
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!
"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.
"Vietnam /Thailand Trip"
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!!
Ruth Achterhoff-Aust…on behalf of both myself, and Mary Young.
"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!
Jonathan TambioCalifornia, 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!!!
"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.
Alan TurnerBelfast, 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.