- 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 NoiBai 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 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 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 travelling.
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 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 head to a local restaurant for lunch.
After lunch we embark on the rowing boat, we can enjoy the fresh air, clean and clear water with under water 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 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 biggest and nicest pagodas in North Vietnam. Besides its special architecture, Co Le pagoda has the largest bell in Vietnam.
We 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 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 are 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. Mingling 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 breath taking 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 ideal time to make acquaintance with new friends, sharing your traveling experience or simply watching the sunset.
An authentic Vietnamese menu is 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 about this fascinating floating village and its local community.
Take your option either exploring the village yourself on 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 pass by other beautiful highlights in the bay.
You will join with 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 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 (Vietnames baguettes), Nom Du Du (papaya Salad with beef), Bun Cha (grilled pork with vermicelli) and especially the amazing Egg Coffe. You 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 begins 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 remarkable good price, as well as households and other stuffs. Get back to the hotel at about 18.00. Maybe have a shower or rest before relax 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 is on your own leisure. Breakfast is still included and check out is 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
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.
"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.
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.
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!
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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.