- Day 1: Siem Reap – Arrival
- Day 2: Siem Reap – Angkor Temples – Full-Day Tour
- Day 3: Siem Reap: Angkor Wat - Bantaey Srei - Flight to Hanoi
- Day 4: Hanoi – Full-Day City Tour
- Day 5: Hanoi – Day trip to Ninh Binh
- Day 6: Hanoi – Halong Bay – On board a junk boat
- Day 7: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Flight to Hue
- Day 8: Hue – Full-Day Tour
- Day 9: Hue – Danang – Hoi An
- Day 10: Hoi An – Walking Tour
- Day 11: Da Nang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City/ Saigon
- Day 12: HCM City – Day trip to My Tho (Mekong Delta)
- Day 13: HCM 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.
Siem Reap – ArrivalDay 1
Your private tour guide will meet you at Siem Reap airport and will escort you by private car to your selected hotel in Siem Reap. Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions along the way about your 2 week adventure in Vietnam and Cambodia, and will assist you with check-in and registration at the hotel. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Lunch and dinner will be on your own, but your guide will recommend excellent options for your preferred cuisine – we highly recommend trying Cambodian cuisine for a true immersion experience.
Note: For the Cambodian Visa on Arrival, please make sure you have 1 passport sized 3 cm x 4 cm photo and $30 for the stamping fee.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Angkor Temples – Full-Day TourDay 2
After breakfast, your first stop of your travel package in Vietnam and Cambodia will be a full-day discovery tour of the Angkor Temples. Your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a drive through the jungle, passing local villages and shops, and your tour will start at the south gate of Angkor Thom City. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your
– Angkor Thom City
– Bayon – The Bayon has fifty-four towers decorated with more than two hundred enigmatic smiling faces
– Terrace of Elephants
– Victory Gate
– Banteay Kdei (“Citadel of Chambers”)
After lunch, you will explore The beautiful Ta Prohm Temple, overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere.
Continue to visit Preah Khan, in Preah Khan Baray. This was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, and was originally designed for medical purposes (ancient wise-men believed that soaking in these pools balanced the elements of a person’s body, thus curing ailments and diseases). It is one of the many hospitals that King Jayavarman VII built. The site was built in the second half of the 12th century, and is supposedly the spot where the King fought a crucial battle against the Cham.
Following your visit to Preah Khan, you will visit Pre Rup, where you will enjoy the view of the sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple. Later, your guide will take you back to Siem Reap, and the rest of the evening will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap: Angkor Wat - Bantaey Srei - Flight to HanoiDay 3
Morning (pick up at 5:00am)
This morning, you will watch the sun rise at the Angkor Wat Temple, a highlight of your tour in Cambodia. Your private tour guide will take you to Angkor Wat, where you will have your breakfast whilst enjoying the view. After breakfast, you will spend the morning exploring Angkor Wat, considered by many as an architectural masterpiece of the Cambodian Ancients.
Next, you will visit the exquisite Banteay Srei (“Citadel of the women”), the jewel of Khmer art, and set deep in the jungle. Banteay Srei was carved from red sandstone, with elaborate decorative wall carvings which are well preserved to this day.
After lunch, your private tour guide will pick you up for a motorized boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake, Asia’s largest inland lake, which harvests the largest amount freshwater fish in the world. This lake swells to ten times its normal size during the wet season. Here, you will interact with the locals, see the school, hospital, church, fishing farm, crocodile farm and the souvenir shop in the floating village.
In the late afternoon, you will be driven to Siem Reap airport for a short flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival in Hanoi, for the Vietnamese Visa on Arrival, please make sure you have 2 passport sized 4 cm x 6 cm photos and $25 for the stamping fee. After you have gone through customs, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in Hanoi to check in. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Full-Day City TourDay 4
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum & the Presidential Palace
– Tran Quoc Pagoda
– Huu Tiep Lake and the Downed B-52
– Museum of Ethnology
Lunch will be at a local restaurant where you will be served delicious local Hanoi cuisine.
After lunch, you will continue to visit The Women’s Museum and the Temple of Literature. Then you will take a cycle rickshaw ride through the French Quarter to admire the well preserved colonial buildings such as the Hanoi Opera House and the Sofitel Legend Metropole, as well as the Old Quarter. After the 1 hour cycle rickshaw ride, you will enjoy a performance of the traditional water puppet show, a typical northern Vietnamese art form.
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Day trip to Ninh BinhDay 5
After breakfast and checkout, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Ninh Binh, a natural and cultural heritage (travel time approximately 3 hours). Upon arrival at Hoa Lu Ancient capital you will start visit the remains of the temples dedicated to King Dinh and King Le, the two heroes who lived in the 10th century and chose Hoa Lu to build the citadel of the capital city (968 to 1009).
Leaving the temples we will enjoy a leisure bicycle ride (or transfer by car) through local villages and country roads passing the dramatic limestone cliffs set in the rice paddies. After one hour riding you will reach the picturesque setting of Tam Coc. Here you have lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, transfer to the docks to take a leisurely sampan ride on a creek, winding through large stretches of rice paddies. During the sampan ride, the beautiful natural scenery of limestone peaks and fertile green valleys, referred to many as the “dry Halong Bay,” will amaze you.
In the late afternoon, your private tour guide will take you back to Hanoi. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Halong Bay – On board a junk boatDay 6
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to the northern city of Halong to board your junk boat for your overnight cruise. You junk boat will cruise in the Halong Bay, where you will be served a delicious lunch on board.
Continue to cruise among hundreds of islets, discovering unspoiled pockets of Halong Bay. Head out in a rowboat or a hire a kayak to explore the Dark and Bright Lagoon. There is plenty of time to relax on the junk’s sun deck, take advantage of the Spa services and sip a cocktail or two, before a cooking demonstration in the evening. Later you will earn to create traditional Vietnamese dishes with the boat’s own chef and try more delicacies at dinner. Following dinner you can take the opportunity to try your hand at squid fishing before the day is done!
(Note: Program may differ slightly based on cruise ships)
Overnight on board
Halong Bay – Hanoi – Flight to HueDay 7
Wake early to start your day with Tai Chi on the sundeck, as the sun rises over the bay. After a light breakfast, discover one of Halong Bay’s biggest and most beautiful caves, Surprise Cave. Enjoy a final extravagant brunch before sailing back to the harbour.
Back on the ground, you will be picked up by your private tour guide and taken back to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport for the evening flight to Hue. On the way, you will stop at Phu Lang ceramic village, one of the last remaining pottery villages in Northern Vietnam which has been producing ceramics since the 13th century.
Upon arrival in Hue, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in downtown Hue to check in. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Full-Day TourDay 8
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you for a cruise on the Perfume River. During the cruise, you will visit the Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) Pagoda with its characteristic seven-tiered tower, founded in 1601 by Lord Nguyen Hoang.
Our morning visits also include
– The Tu Hieu Pagoda
– The impressive tomb of Emperor Tu Duc.
– The village of Incense stick making
– Vong Canh Hill “bird eyed view point” where you can enjoy breathtaking of the Perfume River below.
You will then head to a Buddhist Monastery for a vegetarian lunch. Here, you will have the opportunity to interact with them and learn more about Buddhism.
After lunch, your tour continues.
– The ancient walled Citadel to see the former Imperial Palace, closely modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing – significant damage was caused by French aerial bombings and the Tet Offensive of 1968, however, much of the city has now been restored thanks to UNESCO funding. The Imperial City is one of Vietnam’s seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Imperial Enclosure was a former capital of Vietnam and home to the Nguyen Dynasty, the last monarchy in Vietnam.
– A walk through Dong Ba Market, where locals purchase their fresh produce
On returning to your hotel in Hue, the rest of the afternoon will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Danang – Hoi AnDay 9
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up for the drive to Hoi An. During this scenic drive, you will get to see the stunning Hai Van (Ocean Clouds) Pass which offers spectacular scenery and views of the coastline below. There will be stops along the way to visit the rustic fishing village of Lang Co, the Cham Museum, and the Marble Mountains.
After checking into your hotel in Hoi An, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Walking TourDay 10
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a walking tour of Hoi An.
– Museum of Trade Ceramics
– Hoi An Central market
– Phuc Kien Congregation House
– The 200-year-old Tam Ky house
– The Japanese Covered Bridge
– Attend Cultural show at Traditional Theater
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant where you will try some of the most delightful local cuisines. Hoi An is considered as the kitchen of Vietnam.
After lunch you will take a short boat trip to a nearby island to visit the villages of Kim Bong and Thanh Ha to see hand crafted ceramics and the construction of boats by local artisans.
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.We suggest you join a local cooking class and try to learn some of Hoi An’s best dishes.
Overnight in Hoi An
Da Nang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City/ SaigonDay 11
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Da Nang airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City), previously known as Saigon.
Upon arrival in HCM City your private tour guide will take you on a tour of the city. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Reunification Palace (the former Presidential Palace), which was once headquarters for the Saigon government during the War
– War Remnants Museum, which displays relics from the War
– Notre Dame Cathedral
– Jade Emperor Pagoda, built in 1909 in honor of the supreme Taoist god (the Jade Emperor or King of Heaven, Ngoc Hoang) – this is one of the most impressive temples in HCM City, filled with statues of deities and heroes
– Dong Khoi Street and Nguyen Hue Boulevard, known for their elegant shops, galleries and restaurants
– The Opera House, a popular backdrop for wedding photos, now used as a Municipal Theatre. This area is rich with history from the times of the French invasion to the filming of Phil Noyce’s “The Quiet American.”
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Day trip to My Tho (Mekong Delta)Day 12
After breakfast, your private driver will pick you up and take you for a short-drive to My Tho. Upon arrival, you will meet the local guide and embark on a motorboat and heading out on the mighty Mekong to Con Qui Islet. In contrast to many of the overly visited Mekong islands, we choose Con Qui for its quieter, less crowded, and more authentic slice of Mekong life. Hop on a bike (or horse cart) and savor the leisurely time to explore and pedal through this green and unspoiled island. Make frequent stops for photos and glimpses and of the daily lives of local villagers.
You’ll then take a small boat as you are rowed quietly along the thick mangroves of Vam Xep, a small canal with little village houses dotted along its sides. Get off the boat to enjoy some honeyed tea at the ‘Coconut Artisan’ village to check out the workshops where a range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.
You will next take a small sampan along Vam Chua canal, gliding peacefully along the hidden waterways surrounded by immense variety of tropical plants. The quiet, rural setting is a welcome and restorative retreat to the frenetic buzz of Saigon which seems far, far away.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you will finish the tour and drive back to Ho Chi Minh City. The remainder of the day is free.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City– DepartureDay 13
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 HCM City airport for your departure flight home.
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)
- Domestic flights within Vietnam and Cambodia
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to and from Vietnam and Cambodia
- 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.
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.
It was great to have a relaxing vacation and indochina took
Care of everything. Loved Hanoi and Halong Bay!
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.
"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.
"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.
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!
"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.