- Day 1: Bangkok Arrival
- Day 2: Bangkok – Full day city tour
- Day 3: Bangkok – DamnoenSaduak Floating Market & Ayutthaya Ancient City
- Day 4: Bangkok – Flight to Krabi
- Day 5: In Krabi
- Day 6: Krabi - Day tour to Phi Phi by Speedboat (group tour)
- Day 7: In Krabi
- Day 8: Krabi – Flight to Koh Samui
- Day 9: In Koh Samui
- Day 10: In Koh Samui
- Day 11: Koh Samui - Day Tour Angthong National Marine Park (group tour)
- Day 12: Koh Samui – 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.
Bangkok ArrivalDay 1
Upon arrival in Bangkok, you will be met in the arrivals area by your local guide holding a name-board. After a warm welcome and brief introduction, take a private airport transfer to your hotel for assistance with check-in. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – Full day city tourDay 2
After breakfast meet your tour guide at the hotel lobby and start the tour to the Grand Palace, one of the most magnificent palaces in the world and the Temple of Emerald Buddha, built in 1782 by King Rama I, as the royal residence and the seat of the government. The palace added on many royal buildings by later kings until the complex now has many architectural styles from Thai to European. But they are still very much the original Thai style buildings and traditional structures. The Royal palace compound is divided into four sections.
Next visit the Temple of Reclining Buddha or Wat Pho (Wat Phra Chetuphon) (5 meters long and 1.5 meters wide), the home of the most beautiful and famous Reclining Buddha. The temple housed the 46 meter long Reclining Buddha image which is the second largest reclining Buddha in the country, (the largest reclining Buddha is 50 meters long at Wat Khun in Pramun, Angthong province). Wat Pho is the centre for the teaching and preservation of traditional Thai medicine and Thai massage.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you continue to visit the City Pillar Shrine consisting of a square building with openings on all four sides. Inside the shrine, there is a small Buddha image that can predict whether one’s wish.
Continue on to Wat Suthat, better known for the towering red Giant Swing that stands at its entrance, is one of the oldest and most impressive temples in Bangkok. It features an elegant chapel with a sweeping roof, magnificent wall murals and exquisite hand-carved teakwood door panels.
Before getting back to the hotel you will visit Wat Traimit, the temple of the golden Buddha 5.5 tone of solid gold, sculptured in Sukhothai style.
Overnight in Bangkok.
Bangkok – DamnoenSaduak Floating Market & Ayutthaya Ancient CityDay 3
You leave the hotel at 06:30am for the floating market, enjoy scenic drive through towns small villages paddy fields, prawn & salt farms and observing Thai people going about their daily business.
Arrive at a nearby pier to embark on a cruise to the DamnoenSaduak Floating Market by long–tail boat, a journey that takes you down picturesque canals lined with traditional Thai culture.
You then continue to Ayutthaya and discover historical sites in this ancient land. You visit the WatPhananchoeng – built in A.D. 1325, which is the most reserved monastery by the inhabitants of Ayutthaya. You also visit WatYaiChaimongkhon to see the large pagodas, built to celebrate the victory of his single–handed combat on the elephant’s back during Ayutthaya capital.
After lunch in a Riverside Restaurant you visit WihanPhraMongkhonBophit. PhraMongkhonBophit, a large bronze cast Buddha image was originally enshrined in the open area outside the Grand Palace and later covered by a building in the reign of king Songtham. During the fall of Ayutthaya, the building was badly destroyed by fire. The one currently seen was reconstructed, but does not have as beautiful craftsmanship as the previous one. The open area east of the sanctuary was where the royal cremation ceremonies took place.
Your next visit is to WatPhra Si Sanphet. This is the most important temple within the Royal Palace compound and the original from which the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok was copied. Three outstanding Ceylonese style pagodas were built during the 15th century to enshrine the ashes of three Ayutthaya kings.
At around 03:00pm you leave from Ayutthaya, pass green paddy fields, villages, and temples then return to Bangkok. You may stop enroute for refreshments and shopping before heading back to your hotel.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – Flight to KrabiDay 4
Meet at the hotel after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Krabi, the capital of southern Thailand’s Krabi Province, is a resort town lies in an area of limestone karsts and mangrove forest.
On arrival, meet and transfer to the resort for the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Krabi
Krabi - Day tour to Phi Phi by Speedboat (group tour)Day 6
08.00am: Pick up from the HOTEL.
09.00am: Depart from Nopparattara Pier.
Places & activities:
- Bamboo Island swimming snorkeling and Relax on the beach.
- Phi Phi Lay Viking Cave where they can get Pi Leh Bay, beautiful lagoon, and Crystal pool.
- Loh Sama Bay enjoy with colorful fish.
- Maya Beach the location of the famous movies “The Beach”Phi Phi Don
- Lunchtime at the restaurant, shopping and relax on the beach.
- Monkey beach for more fun snorkeling Colorful coral
16.30pm: Transfer back at your hotel
What to bring? Suns lotion/Sunglass/Hat and towel/Camera with a Plastic bag or waterproof case/swimming suite.
Overnight in Krabi
Krabi – Flight to Koh SamuiDay 8
Free time at your leisure until transfer to Krabi Airport for a short flight to Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island, lies in the Gulf of Thailand off the east coast of the Kra Isthmus. It’s known for its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves and dense, mountainous rainforest, plus luxury resorts and posh spas.
Arrival in Samui Airport, meet your private driver and transfer to hotel/ resort.
Overnight in Koh Samui
In Koh SamuiDay 10
Another relaxing day in Koh Samui. No planned activities.
Overnight in Koh Samui
Koh Samui - Day Tour Angthong National Marine Park (group tour)Day 11
08.00am: Pick up time from your residence.
Tours & activities:
- Meeting point at our Koh Samui or Koh Phangan office.
- Enjoy your continental breakfast (coffee, tea, cookies, fresh fruit).
- Board the speed boat to Ang Thong Marine Park – about 45 minutes away, from Samui about 60 minutes away.
- Snorkeling at the best spot at Koh Wao or Koh Tay Plaow.
- Inner Emerald Lake – Talay Nai – short walk to the most incredible viewpoint to see all 42 Islands of Angthong National Marine Park – Thailand.
- Sightseeing around Angthong Marine Park – Explore Monkey Island, cruise around Angthong National Marine Park.
12.30pm: Beach Front Buffet Lunch at one of the best beach at Koh Sam Sao Island Kayaking, view point climb, relaxing or snorkeling.
“Say Bye Bye to Angthong Marine Park”.
16.30pm: Transfer back to your residence.
What to bring? Sunscreen/Sunglass/Hat/Beach Towel/Waterproof bag/swimming suite
Overnight in Koh Samui
Koh Samui – DepartureDay 12
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then meet at the appointed time for your departure transfer to Koh Samui Airport for your flight back to Bangkok and connecting flight home. Checkout is at 12 noon.
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 email@example.com 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!
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.
"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.
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.