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Embark on this tour to discover the hearts of Vietnam and Cambodia. Experience Hanoian culture by diving into the sights, sounds and smells of the capital, you will make visits to its most iconic landmarks and taste the local dishes. The next stop will be Halong Bay, where you will have ample time to admire its spectacular limestone mountains with a night spent on board. Welcome a new day with the breathtaking sight of sunrise over Halong Bay before making your way to Siem Reap, where Angkor Wat – one of mankind’s greatest construction, is located. You will have a whole day to navigate between the ancient passages of the prominent temple and marvel the stunning sight of Angkor Wat until the sun goes down over the horizon. This tour will be an experience that you’ll never forget!
- Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
- Day 2: Hanoi – Fullday City Tour & Local food discovery
- Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi
- Day 5: Hanoi – Flight to Siem Reap
- Day 6: Siem Reap – Full-day Temple Exploration
- Day 7: Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake – 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.
Arrival in HanoiDay 1
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
We have left this afternoon free for you to relax, unwind, and become accustomed to your new surroundings. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Fullday City Tour & Local food discoveryDay 2
Today with the help of your private guide and driver, you will get to explore the city’s top attractions, sample Hanoi’s authentic local dishes away from the tourist trails, hunkering down with the locals on the street at a variety of atmospheric food stalls.
Begin with a tour of Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex where the Vietnamese people honour the country’s ‘Great Father’. Here you’ll visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh and his House on Stilts to observe how he lived and how his life unfolded to become one of modern history’s greatest names. Nearside his house is the miniature 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple of historical and cultural significance.
From HCM Complex, you will take a leisurely walk through the small laneways toward Huu Tiep Lake. Explore the grounds of a 400-year-old temple, followed by a stroll through traditional local market streets to see the B52 crash site at the lake. This US bomber was shot down during the 1972 bombing raids of Ha Noi, a poignant reminder of Vietnam’s recent history.
Take a short drive to the outskirt of Hanoi to visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the 54 recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam. Some of them you will meet during your trip to Sapa.
Today you will have Pho for lunch, a Vietnamese Noodle shop. Some of the local people call this world-famous Noodle soup “Mac-Noodles” since it is as popular here as MacDonalds is in other parts of the world! At the restaurant, your tour guide will explain the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and also tell you which special ingredients are needed for you.
After lunch, continue to visit the millennia-old Temple of Literature and explore its role in the country’s past, as both a university and a Confucius temple. Next is Hoa Lo (so-called Hanoi Hilton), a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War.
Embark on a fun cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi) ride through the French colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quater, past the French-style villas, the Vietnam History Museum, the heritage Metropole Legend Hotel and the Opera House, name to a few.
Enjoy a cup of unmissable Egg coffee at Pho Co Café with stunning views of Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, and the surroundings.
Finish the day with a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter (in contrast to the French Quarter) to discover the street food scene in Hanoi where it feels like you are never further than a few metres from a street food stall. Your guide will talk you through the ingredients and the different herbs of each dish, while you are crouching on tiny plastic stools in a back alley. Sample delicious dishes like Nom Du Du (green papaya salad), Banh Mi Pa Te (a sandwich that reflects Vietnam’s culinary heritage), and the famous Hanoi dish Bun Cha (grilled pork and noodles).
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Halong BayDay 3
After breakfast and check out of your hotel, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay where you will board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk Boat that is your home for the evening. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters of the bay provide an ethereal backdrop for your leisurely cruise.
Upon arrival you’ll be welcomed aboard your Stylish Junk boat, each with its own individual route, to begin your cruise around the bay’s thousands of limestone islets and caves.
After a delicious lunch on board, you will spend time to sunbathe on the sundeck and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the bay.
Later you will visit Sung Sot Cave “Grotte des Surprises” a hidden gem of mother nature. Float peacefully through magnificent limestone formations containing thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.
Continue to cruise. As you weave your way through the islands, you’ll come across secluded bays, white sandy beaches, and floating villages.
There is plenty of leisure time to enjoy activities both onboard and around the fantastical scenery of the Bay. Pamper yourself at the cruise spa or swim in the emerald waters.
Toward the end of the day, you will sail to the overnight mooring area. During this time – the magical “blue hour” – Halong Bay reveals its true, magnificent beauty. You have a chance to attend the chef’s cooking demonstration or enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before a scrumptious dinner.
The rest of the evening will be at leisure. You can watch a movie or join the crew for squid fishing before retiring to your room for a restful sleep.
Note: If your time permits, we would highly recommend an additional night on board which gives you a lot more time to relax and take in the amazing landscape. You’ll get to cruise deeper into the Bay where it’s more beautiful and less crowded.
Overnight on board in Halong Bay
Halong Bay – HanoiDay 4
The graceful practice of Tai Chi eases you into your day as is the local custom. Join a ‘Local Specialist’ on the deck of the Junk boat for a morning class in exquisite natural surrounds. You’ll have time for an early morning swim at one of Halong Bay’s quiet beaches and, if you’re feeling energetic, hop on a kayak and paddle through the Dark and Bright Caves admiring the glittering stone walls.
Back to the Junk boat. Check out of the cabin and then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port. Disembark around midday for your return drive to Hanoi.
On the way back you will stop at Yen Duc, a beautiful and typical village of Northern Vietnam, where you can stroll around the village, meet the locals, and learn about their daily life. You will also watch a traditional water puppet show.
After enjoying the show and some local snacks, wind your way back to your hotel in Hanoi where the balance of the day will be at your leisure. You can have another stroll around the town and visit the night market.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Flight to Siem ReapDay 5
You are free at your leisure in Hanoi. Enjoy late breakfast and check out of your hotel around midday.
Your private driver will collect you from your hotel and take you back to Hanoi Airport to catch a short flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, a new private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel for check-in.
Your guide and driver will take you out for a traditional Khmer dinner at the local restaurant and followed by Phare – the Cambodian Circus, an amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatic, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.
Please note: You must have both a passport and a visa to enter Cambodia. And your passport must also have at least six months’ validity remaining beyond the date that you enter Cambodia. You can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia. Make sure you have two passport-sizes photographs.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Full-day Temple ExplorationDay 6
Today you will have a full day of exploration in Siem Reap. You will experience the temple relics in a way that will really let you feel like you’ve escaped the 20th century and traveled a thousand years back to a time when life was simple and nature was surreal.
After an early breakfast, you’ll be you will be picked up by your private guide and driver. Start your discovery of the temple of the legendary city of Ta Prohm Temple, best known for its gigantic roots of vine that convent down the walls of a thousand years. Worn by time, rain, and overpowered by the jungle, this immaculate structure is hidden under the canopy will leave you feeling like you’ve stepped into the movie set of a treasure hunt adventure. Your private tour guide will give you the history and stories passed through oral tradition.
Leaving the Ta Prohm, pick up your bike and paddle through the hidden rainforest trails, get closer to the greenery and hear the sound of nature along the way to the city of Angkor Thom via the grand South Gate. Here you’ll explore the last capital of the once great Khmer Empire, with the 216 enigmatic faces of The Bayon at its centre. Still, within the ancient city walls, you’ll marvel at the view from the summit of Baphuon, the enormous temple mountain, affording unspoiled views over the surrounding ruins. You’ll round off the morning poring over the intricate bas-relief of the Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, before having a Royal Khmer lunch at the fine-dining restaurant Le Grand. The fabled Royal Khmer cuisine, handed down over the centuries by the chefs of the Royal Palaces, uses only the finest ingredients carefully blended to create a distinct epicurean experience.
Be prepared to enjoy one of the Wonders of the Ancient World: Angkor Wat. At this point, you most probably have gotten glimpses of the towers over treetops and the gates in front of passing. But now you’ll finally get to satiate that curiosity that’s grown in the last few days.
With your guide, you’ll enter Angkor Wat and learn about the stories and amazing architecture that has stunned archeologists leaving more questions than answers. Angkor Wat possesses some of the most intricate and longest stone carvings in the world. This complex is four times the size of the Vatican City making it the largest religious site in the world. Spend the afternoon adventuring through the many passages, levels, and exploring chambers that once housed one of many treasures of the ancient world. It will be an experience that you remember for a very long time.
Finish the tour and transfer back to your hotel where the balance of the day is at your leisure. Chill out and relaxing at the hotel’s swimming pool.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake – DepartureDay 7
Today you will explore the unique communities and traditional villages dot the rural countryside near Siem Reap and promise an escape to another world.
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your private guide and driver, and transferred southeast of Siem Reap to one of the largest and least-visited villages on the Tonle Sap Lake, Kompong Khleang, about 55km from Siem Reap. On the way, you will stop for hot sticky rice and then take a detour off the main highway into the countryside. You’ll wind through dirt roads and, in the rainy season, witness families working their rice paddies.
You will then continue to the Floating Village of Kompong Khleang with a population of about 10,000 people, all of whom make a living from the fishing industry. Upon arrival board a private motorized boat to visit the Kompong Khleang, the two other floating villages, and the Great lake. Explore the canals (wet season) or streets (dry season) of this incredible town. In the wet season, the houses appear to be floating, as water laps at the verandas, but in the dry season towering stilts are revealed, the houses almost like wooden skyscrapers.
During the boat ride, you will make stops to see where Bridge of Lifeworks, visit a Cambodian pagoda and a stilted home in the village to learn a little more about local life. Cruise into the open water of the lake to see a small floating village and learn some more about this incredible natural flood barrier.
You’ll end your tour with a boat ride back to the habour where your driver is waiting to take you back to your hotel.
Spend your time to relax and chill out at your hotel and enjoy the late check-out.
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel and escorts you to Siem Reap International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
We are a member of:
We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vihicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- All domestic flights
- Airport Taxes and Fuel charges
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights Vietnam and Cambodia entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
Reviews on Our Service
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.
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!