- 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.
Bangkok ArrivalDay 1
Arrive in Bangkok, be welcomed by your private guide and driver, and then transferred to your hotel. Check in and enjoy your time of leisure. All meals are on your own arrangement.
Overnight in Bangkok
Tour of Bangkok CityDay 2
Enjoy your early breakfast then take your drive straight to the Grand Palace to be one of the first visitors of the day! (just to avoid the crowds). You explore this well known site of Thailand which includes the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, The Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House and The Funeral Palace.
You also see the Emerald Buddha Temple (WatPhraKaew) and Wat Pho – the most extensive temple in Bangkok with a colossal reclining Buddha and the Chedi of the Kings.
After lunch you travel by long tail boat through the Klongs to see the family homes, temples and local life. You make your final stop of the day at the Temple of Dawn.
At around 16:00 PM you get back to your hotel and enjoy your time of leisure.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Bangkok – KanchanaburiDay 3
Depart early for the DamnoenSaduak Floating Market which is 110 kms west of Bangkok. On your journey today, pass leisurely by rice paddies and salt fields. You will make a stop en–route to visit a farmhouse and watch locals produce sugar from coconut. The tour continues with a 30 minute speedboat trip along fruit plantation to see Thai houses and the traditional way of life.
Arrive at the DamnoenSaduak Floating Market and be fascinated by boats of various shapes and sizes used by local merchants to ferry their goods. You can hire a small boat to navigate your way along the market for to shop for local products.
After the market, you visit a wood carving factory.
Arrive in Kanchanaburi town by midday. You spend time visiting the world–famous bridge over the River Kwai, a part of the Death Railway constructed by Allied prisoners of war. You have the opportunity to take a train ride on Death Railway through magnificent scenery, passing over the original wooden viaduct constructed by Allied POWs.
After lunch at local restaurant you leave Kanchanaburi, passing green paddy fields, villages, and temples then return to Bangkok.
Arrive to your hotel in late afternoon, check in and rest for the day.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – Flight to Chiang RaiDay 4
Morning transfer to the airport to take a short flight to Bangkok and then transfer via another flight to Chiang Rai.
Upon arrival in Chiang Rai, you will be met and greeted by your local guide and driver. Start your tour in Chiang Rai city with a visit to Wat Prakaewand King Mengrai Monument. Next, visit White temple, one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. The temple outside the town of Chiang Rai attracts a large number of visitors, both Thai and foreign, making it one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions.
Finish the tour and transfer to the hotel in downtown to check in. And free time as your leisure.
Overnight in Chiang Rai
Chiang Rai – Chiang MaiDay 5
Breakfast at the hotel and check out, then start tour to visit to the infamous Golden Triangle renowned for centuries as the centre of the opium trade. From a hilltop viewpoint, marvel at the splendor of the mighty Mekong joining with the Ruak and forming the actual “Triangle” with Laos Burma and Thailand.
Take a long tail boat along a river. Then free shopping at Mae Sai Boarder. On the way to Chiang Mai stop to relax at Mae Khajan Hot spring. Visit Long Neck village before driving to Chiang Mai for the night.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai city tourDay 6
Depart your hotel (Note: Take away breakfast from the hotel) and arrive at the foot hill of DoiSuthep mountain in time to buy offerings and join the locals during the daily alms giving ceremony. This is a serene Buddhist procession where dozens of monks walk barefoot through the street collecting food and everyday items. Continue up the mountain to WatDoiSuthep and climb the 309 steps of the Golden Naga staircase to reach its golden pagodas. After a visit to DoiSuthep, continue to discover one of the best–kept secret temples of Chiang Mai, WatPalad, known as the Temple below the Temple. This temple is a significant element of the Chiang Mai area’s history with its temple grounds aged beyond 650 years old.
Next, proceed to WatUmong, built in the 14th century, a heavily forested temple covered by moss and small plants offering a unique yet charming sense of natural decay. After a walk through its mysterious tunnels you reach the Viharn of the temple to experience your own private blessing ceremony.
After that, enjoy this lovely day with a delicious bowl of Khao Soy. This famous Northern Thai dish is a combination of coconut cream, crispy noodles and plenty of spice that is sure to delight!
Continue to visit the Three Kings Monument, followed by Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center, located in an old building of elegant architectural design built in 1927. Standing on the location of a former royal hall, the building was used as the central administrative office of Phayap administrative unit of Siam, and later as the Provincial Hall of Chiang Mai. (Note: Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Center is closed on Mondays and during Songkran festival. Open from Tuesday – Sundays: 08:30 – 17:00)
Later, discover the lost city of WiangKumKam, “The Underground Empire,” one of the greatest cultural and historical significances. Following a massive flood, the city of WiangKumKam vanished without a trace. For over 200 years, WiangKumKam became a lost civilization buried under layers of earth. You explore the main ancient ruined temples by bicycle: WiangKumKam, WatChedi Liam, Wat Phraya MengRai, WatKan Thom, and Koo Paa Dom.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai – Day trip to Elephant Nature ParkDay 7
Today you will enjoy a full day visit to Elephant Nature Park; a natural home and sanctuary for elephants, buffalos, dogs, cats, birds and many other rescued animals.
Your visit starts with a picturesque drive through the rural countryside to Elephant Nature Park. You will hear the personal stories of rescued and orphaned elephants. See how they became a proud herd and free from abuse for the first time in their lives.
Many find their visit to Elephant Nature Park rewarding and very relaxing. Observe free roaming elephants (no riding), and other rescued animals enjoying the natural surroundings of our sanctuary.
Your visit helps support our regional projects and offers an invaluable opportunity of helping elephant conservation.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
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 Thailand
- Thailand 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 Thailand, Step-by-Step
Why to Visit Thailand
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Thailand Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to Visit Thailand
Thailand, the wondrous kingdom, the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, and the only Southeast Asian nation that has never been colonized by a European power. With endless attractions for visitors of all budgets and interests, Thailand is the paramount beacon beckoning travelers from all over the world to Southeast Asia.
For those wanting to learn more about Thai culture, take a stroll through the impressive Buddhist temples, and join a cooking class to learn Thai culinary arts. More of a nature person? Explore the spectacular islands and bask on world-class beaches, see some exotic wildlife, and tour the country’s landscapes. Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui offer life in paradise with their miles of pristine sand and crystal water. Looking for a more modern experience? Shopaholics will find Bangkok a heaven with its millions of product types, brand names and prices at every corner, either at an affordable market or a luxury mall. The nightlife is also guaranteed to please the party crowd. Most importantly, everywhere you go, you will be warmly greeted by the Thai locals, whose dazzling smiles established Thailand as the ‘land of smiles’.
From five-star pampering, adrenaline-fueled activities, shopping in stylish boutiques, sun tanning on some of the best beaches in the world, to taste the fantastic cuisine, Thailand has something for everyone.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Thailand
• Bangkok – visit temples by day and bar hop by night
• Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui – relax on beaches with white sands and crystal-clear waters
• Hill tribes in the north – trek with the locals
When to Go
The climate varies throughout this country, makes it possible to visit all year round. The best time to visit Thailand is between November and February when the weather is at its best. Much of the country experiences a typically tropical climate consisting of two seasons: dry and wet.
In northern Thailand, the dry season with cooler temperatures falls between November and May, with heavy rainfall between June and October.
In the south, the climate differs between the east and west coasts. The weather on the east coast is good for most of the year, with the lowest rainfall in January and February, and the highest in November. The west coast is more favorable during the winter months when diving and snorkeling will be at its best.
Obtain a Thailand Visa
Passengers arriving via an international airport will be given a 30-day visa exemption stamp, however, those with back-to-back visa exempt entries might be questioned. As of December 31st, 2016, the number of visa exemption entries at a land border has been limited to two per the calendar year, for a maximum of 30 days each time. For those who would prefer to get a visa, a valid tourist visa offers a maximum of a 60-day stay.
The Thai visa photo criteria are 6 cm high x 4 cm wide with a bright background color.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Thailand for a certain amount of time:
- Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 90 days)
- Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brunei, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia(unlimited), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Slovak, Slovenia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom and USA
(maximum stay of up to 30 days when entering Thailand at an airport, plus 2 extra 30-day exemptions at a land border in a calendar year)
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The citizens of countries that are eligible for a VOA to enter Thailand can NOT enter Thailand at any Thai / Cambodian border: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
All other foreign citizens must obtain a Thai visa from their nearest Thai embassy/consulate.
Note: It is recommended to keep a copy or record with your camera, your passport, visa, most recent entry stamp, and your embarkation card.
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.
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!
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
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!