- Day 1: Kathmandu - Arrival
- Day 2: Kathmandu Exploration Day
- Day 3: Kathmandu – Bandipur
- Day 4: Bandipur – Pokhara
- Day 5: Pokhara – Naudanda – Pokhara
- Day 6: Pokhara Exploration Day
- Day 7: Pokhara – Chitwan
- Day 8: Chitwan Exploration Day
- Day 9: Chitwan – Kathmandu
- Day 10: Kathmandu – 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.
Kathmandu - ArrivalDay 1
On arrival you will be welcomed and received on your arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), Kathmandu by our staff member. You will then be transferred and checked into hotel. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Kathmandu
Kathmandu Exploration DayDay 2
After breakfast, you will go for the Kathmandu sightseeing tour. You are going to take part in the UNESCO CULTURAL HERITAGE TOUR today which includes:
Swoyambhunath – The oldest Buddhist Stupa in Kathmandu Valley, a beautiful abode for lots of monkeys thus also known as Monkey Temple, is also a perfect vantage point to see Kathmandu valley.
Pashupatinath- A holy pilgrimage for Hindus and Hindu Crematorium, watch as the Hindu dead bodies are cremated in the most unique way in the world; we come across men with ash rubbed body, matted locks and dreaded look which is typical look of a Hindu Holy Men known as Sadhus.
Boudhanath- the biggest Buddhist temple in the world; a site for Tibetan Buddhism where we can visit monasteries, watch the Holy Monks busy in their chanting ritual going around the temple.
Patan Durbar Square- A Medieval Royal Palace area which is also known as the city of fine arts, we can see the finest example of metal and stone carving back to 14th century and also the amazing Nepali Architecture.
Overnight in Kathmandu
Kathmandu – BandipurDay 3
In the early morning (around 5.30 AM), you will go for Everest experience mountain flight and back to hotel around 8 Am, then enjoy a lovely breakfast. After checking out, an about 5 hours’ drive takes you to a beautiful village of Bandipur where you can enjoy the countryside nature. The village itself gives the impression of a medieval town and the walk along the village street is wonderful. Drive to Bandipur is very scenic alongside a beautiful river passing through many small towns. The view of the Annapurna, Manaslu and many other mountain ranges from Bandipur is spectacular.
Overnight in Bandipur
Bandipur – PokharaDay 4
After an early breakfast and checking out, you will go to Pokhara. A two and half hours’ drive takes you to the amazingly beautiful city of Pokhara 200 km west of Kathmandu. This is another scenic drive although a shorter one. Once you reach Pokhara, check into hotel and have some free time until the lunch. After lunch, get ready for a serene and beautiful walk along the lake Fewa. As you take stroll along the lake you can enjoy the view of the beautiful mountain peaks in the Annapurna range. Have relaxing evening.
Overnight in Pokhara
Pokhara – Naudanda – PokharaDay 5
This morning, you will wake up early and drive to Sarangkot, a beautiful hill in Pokhara famous for Sunrise, for 35 minutes. A real Closed-up look of the Annapurna and Fishtail, and the unparalleled Sunrise from there makes a perfect start of our day. Enjoy the Mountain View breakfast after the sunrise and prepare for an about three (3) hours walk to Naudanda on a very gentle trail. You will be walking through beautiful mountain village immersing into the cultural and natural beauty of the area. Once finishing your hike, you can enjoy the meal in a mountain restaurant. After lunch and relax time, your trip will continue. You will drive for about half hour to a spiritual center of beautiful Buddhist monastery at Hemja. Explore the surrounding of the monastery until the prayer starts at three. Feel high in spirituality as you enjoy the chanting of the rituals by the Buddhist monks; immerse into the meditative atmosphere for about one and half hours before the prayer end s. Drive back to Pokhara, relax at hotel and enjoy the leisure time.
Overnight in Pokhara
Pokhara Exploration DayDay 6
After breakfast you will go to the lake, hire a boat to cross it and hike up to World Peace Stupa, a nice hiking destination in Pokhara which will take about one hour to reach the top. It’s a beautiful viewpoint and a Buddhist Pilgrimage as well. You will be picked up from Peace Stupa and driven down to visit Davis falls and an ancient and longest cave in South Asia. Drive back to Pokhara and enjoy a free afternoon. You can choose to do some adventure activities like Paragliding, ultra light flight, bungee jump and Zip flyer as well with an extra cost.
Overnight in Pokhara
Pokhara – ChitwanDay 7
After breakfast, you will start driving to Chitwan National Park. It takes about 4 hours to reach this beautiful National Park to the down south of Nepal. Chitwan national park was once the hunting ground of British and Nepalese aristocrats. However today the animals – which includes elephant, rhinoceros, tiger, leopard and deer – are protected strictly. The greatest thrill here is to scout for wildlife on the back of an elephant. This national park is enlisted in the UNESCO’s Natural Heritage Site
Overnight in Chitwan
Chitwan Exploration DayDay 8
You will spend the whole day in Chitwan National Park for exciting activities like: jungle walk, elephant riding, village visit, canoeing, visiting elephant breeding center, bird-watching etc. Your tour guide will lead you go through all the activities, giving you deeper insights about the wildlife, flora and fauna in the national park. The interesting wild and aquatic life of rhinoceros, deer, bear, crocodile, and different birds will definitely make your day! In the evening you can enjoy the Tharu cultural show. Tharus are aboriginal people of the area who have their own language, culture and tradition.
Overnight in Chitwan
Chitwan – KathmanduDay 9
After breakfast, you are driving back to Kathmandu. It takes about 5 hours to reach Kathmandu. (You can also fly back with an extra cost). Later in the evening, you will go for farewell Nepali dinner with cultural show in Kathmandu and can have discussion about the trip experience.
Overnight in Chitwan
Kathmandu – DepartureDay 10
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to the airport for your departure flight home. Namaste!
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)
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Nepal
- Nepal 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
How to Plan a successful Trip to Nepal, Step-by-Step
Why to Visit Nepal
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Nepal Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to Visit Nepal
A landlocked nation between two giant neighbors, India and China, Nepal nonetheless stands apart with its distinctive, cultural heritage and natural climate with the Himalayas serving as an awe-inspiring backdrop. Despite the challenges that Nepal went through in the civil war at the turn of the 21st century, it has gradually started to stand up on its own and has settled into its current role as a unique destination on the world travel map.
As the home of 8 of the world’s 10 highest mountains, Nepal attracts thousands of trekkers each year, adventurers anxious to traverse the high-altitude homelands of Sherpas, Gurungs, and Tamangs. The lower hills have in turn become an adventure playground for climbers, kayakers, rafters and mountain bikers. But whether you are seeking for adventures or a more laid-back trip, Nepal has something for everyone.
Other less-adventurous Nepalese attractions include palaces and temples with intricate wood carvings, sculptures, and metalworks, pointing to the culmination of a rich and religious history, mighty forests, and riverine grasslands that have become the setting to some of Asia’s finest national parks. The combination of a majestic landscape and its unique culture makes Nepal a hidden treasure, like a pearl being carefully polished to perfection.
Formed from the physical convergence of mountainous and jungle landscapes, the religious amalgamation of Hinduism and Buddhism, the merging of Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan ethnicities, and the fusion of northern and southern architectural, artistic and culinary traditions, Nepal has many secrets waiting to be unearthed.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Nepal
• Annapurna Sanctuary – a trekking paradise
• Kathmandu – explore hundreds of narrow streets filled with old buildings and eclectic shops
• Boudhanath Stupa – a stunning meditative monument located in Kathmandu, one of the largest of its kind in the world
• Trishuli River, Kali Gandaki, Bhote Koshi, Marshyangdi, Karnali and the Sun Koshi – for whitewater rafting and kayaking
• Bhaktapur – an ancient city of amazing courtyards, temples, medieval squares, and statues
When to Go
Nepal has 4 main seasons, categorized into six distinct climate periods:
- Basanta (spring)
- Grishma (early summer)
- Barkha (summer monsoon)
- Sharad (early autumn)
- Hemanta (late autumn), and
- Shishir (winter)
The rainy season starts from June to September with significant downpours in the Kathmandu Valley and Pokhara. The rainfall is generally lighter in the Himalayas than Kathmandu, though the mountain peaks are often not visible due to clouds.
October to December experiences clear and dry weather. After the monsoon season, there is less dust in the air so this is the best time to visit the hilly and mountainous regions.
The temperature drops significantly from January to March, with the average temperature in Kathmandu as low as 0°C and below 0°C at higher elevations. It is possible to trek in places like the Everest region during the winter, but it is extremely cold during this time of the year and significant snowfall may prohibit going above 4,000 – 4,500 meters. The Jomosom trek is a reasonable alternative, staying below 3,000 meters with an expected minimum temperature of -10°C, and much better chances of avoiding heavy snow.
Dry and warm weather marks the months of April to June. Flowers bloom abundantly in the Himalayas, rhododendrons, in particular, adding a splash of color to the landscape. The temperature in the Terai region may reach and exceed 40°C, while Kathmandu temperatures hover around 30°C. This is the best time to undertake mountain expeditions.
Obtain a Nepal Visa
A visa to Nepal is required for all foreign nationals (except India) who wish to enter Nepal. The visa must be used within six months from the date of issue. There are three kinds of visas: Single-entry, Multiple-entry, and Transit. You may apply for your visa at the nearest Nepalese embassy or consulate, or you can obtain a Visa on Arrival.
The Nepalese visa photo criteria are 5 cm x 5 cm on a plain or white background.
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.
A single-entry visa is valid for 60 days, costs US$30, and can be upgraded to a multiple-entry visa at Kathmandu’s Central Immigration Office for US$50.
If you are planning a Nepalese tour with side trips to Tibet, Bhutan or India, it is better to apply for a multiple-entry visa, which gives you multiple trips into Nepal for a year, with each stay valid for 60 days, up to a total of 150 days in any calendar year.
If you are applying for the first time in the current year, the following fees will be charged:
- USD$25 for a 15-day multiple entry
- USD$40 for a 30-day multiple entry
- USD$100 for a 90-day multiple entry
If you just want a short stay in Kathmandu, it is possible to get a free, non-extendable 3-day transit visa at the Kathmandu airport. You will have to show that you have flight ticket out of Nepal within 3 days.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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!
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.
It was great to have a relaxing vacation and indochina took
Care of everything. Loved Hanoi and Halong Bay!
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.