Build Your Own Trip

Overview

  • Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival
  • Day 2: Hanoi - Full-day City tour
  • Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay – On board a junk boat
  • Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi An
  • Day 5: Hoi An – Walking Tour – Boat ride on Thu Bon River
  • Day 6: Hoi An – Drive to Hue
  • Day 7: Hue – Full-Day Tour
  • Day 8: Hue – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Day 9: HCMC City – Full day City tour
  • Day 10: HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta) – Evening flight to Siem Reap
  • Day 11: Siem Reap – Angkor Temples – Full-Day Tour
  • Day 12: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Banteay Srei
  • Day 13: Siem Reap – Tonle Sap boat trip – Flight to Bangkok
  • Day 14: Bangkok – Full-Day City Tour
  • Day 15: Bangkok – Ayutthaya
  • Day 16: Bangkok – Departure
  • Extra days: A side trip to Phuket (Optional)

Full Itinerary

[*Notes]

- 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.

Hanoi – Arrival

Your private tour guide will meet you at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport and will escort you by private car to your selected hotel in Hanoi (travel time approximately 1 hour). Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions about your Indochina holiday itinerary along the way, and will assist you with check-in and registration at the hotel.

Lunch and dinner will be on your own, but your guide will recommend excellent options for your preferred cuisine – we highly recommend trying Hanoi cuisine for a true immersion experience.

Note: 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.

Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: None


Hanoi – Full-Day City Tour & Food Tour

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and your tour of Indochina starts with 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.
Visits:
– Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– Ho Chi Minh’s private home, a wooden stilt-house surrounded by lush gardens
– Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest Buddhist Pagoda in Hanoi, is located on a small island near the southeastern shore of Hanoi’s West Lake.
– Museum of Ethnology which focuses on the 54 officially recognised ethnic groups in Vietnam.

Lunch will be served at Pho Huyen, a Vietnamese noodle shop. Some locals call Pho Huyen’s world-famous noodle soup “Mac-Noodles” since it is as popular here in Hanoi as MacDonald’s is in other parts of the world! At the restaurant, your private tour guide will explain to you the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and educate you on the special ingredients used.

Afternoon
After lunch, your full-day city tour continues.
Visits:
– Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
– Hoa Lo prison (known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the American war)
– A stroll around the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake
– Ngoc Son Temple
– A performance at the Water Puppet Theatre, a folk tradition from the villages in the rice fields dating back almost 1000 years

There will also be 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.

After the cycle rickshaw ride, you will take a walking food tour through the narrow alleyways of the old streets in the Old Quarter and sample some of the most delicious Vietnamese foods such as Omai, Nom, Banh Cuon, Pho and Banh My. This food tour is a delicious and fun way to explore Hanoi just like a local, designed to give you the confidence to try street food on your own in Vietnam.

Overnight in Hanoi
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Hanoi – Halong Bay – On board a junk boat

Morning
After breakfast and check out, 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 (travel time approximately 4 hours). Halong Bay is an area of great natural beauty, with sparkling waters studded with thousands of islets covered in rich green foliage, sheer cliffs and mystical caves. There will be a stop en route for photos and refreshments.

You will arrive at the docks around midday, and you will board a traditional wooden junk boat for a relaxing and unforgettable cruise around the breathtaking and unique limestone mountain islands, a most idyllic way to travel in Indochina. A sumptuous local seafood lunch will be served as you cruise this spectacular bay.

Afternoon
You will visit one of the most stunning caves of Halong Bay, and there will be a stop at Ti Top beach, where you can take a refreshing swim in the waters of this quiet beach, or sunbathe on the sundeck. There will also be an opportunity to take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay. You will return to your boat to spend the night, after a delicious dinner served on board.

(Note: Program may differ slightly based on your selected cruise ship. An extra night can be added to the program. If your time is flexible, we highly recommend it).

Overnight on board.
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner)



Halong Bay – Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi An

Morning
Wake up early if you can to see the sun rise over the spectacular horizon, reflected in the pristine waters of the bay. Relax and enjoy your breakfast while sailing around this natural wonder. Once the boat has docked, you will be driven back to Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport for a short flight to Da Nang.

Upon arrival at Da Nang airport, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in Hoi An to check in.

Overnight in Hoi An
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Hoi An – Walking Tour – Boat ride on Thu Bon River

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a half-day walking tour of Hoi An through the narrow winding streets of the Ancient Quarter. From the 16th to the 18th century, Hoi An was a thriving international commercial port. Today it is a quaint riverside town popular with tourists for its eclectic architecture, tailor shops, and cafes.
Visits:
– Chua Ong Pagoda
– The Assembly Hall
– The 200-year-old Tam Ky house
– The Japanese Covered Bridge
– Hoi An central market

During the walk, you will also have a chance to attend a cultural show with traditional music and dance performances.

Afternoon
Following lunch you will embark on a boat to cruise down the Thu Bon River and visit the villages of Kim Bong and Thanh Ha to see hand crafted ceramics and the construction of boats by local artisans.

Finish the boat trips you will return to Hoi An. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure. Hoi An has an abundance of tailors who can produce a custom suit in 24 hours or less, at very reasonable prices.

Overnight in Hoi An
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Hoi An – Drive to Hue

Morning
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and have lunch on your own.

Afternoon
Your private driver will pick you up for the drive to the Imperial City of Hue (travel time approximately 4 hours). 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. You will see miles of pristine beaches, travel past villages, and at times drive alongside the tracks of the famous Reunification Railway.

There will be stops en route to take pictures and visit the Marble Mountains, a cluster of five marble and limestone hills.

You will arrive in Hue in the evening. After checking in to your hotel, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.

Overnight in Hue
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Hue – Full-Day Tour

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a full-day adventure tour of Hue that is sure to please you.

Visits:
– 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.
– The impressive tomb of Emperor Tu Duc

Continue on to the grapefruit village of Thuy Bieu. This ancient village specializes in the plantation of grapefruits, and is famous for their quality. In the past, the grapefruits cultivated were exclusive to the royal family. The village contains many centenarian houses that were lost among the fruits trees, especially the grapefruits trees – all the ‘lost’ houses have been covered with greenery. The characteristics of these houses and gardens contribute to the preservation of the customs and traditions of the Vietnamese culture and architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty.

Upon arrival you will have a leisurely walk through the Thuy Bieu village, visiting an old temple dedicated to the education of the village, a school, and a family that owns three of the older houses. These buildings are characterized by engravings and sculptures in wood: dragons, phoenixes and other natural landscapes on columns, beams and rafters.

You also visit a local market where you can buy educational supplies such as notebooks, pencils, pens, etc. to offer as donations to the orphanage. Then return to the family you visited earlier at Thuy Bieu village. You will participate in the preparation of your lunch with the family.

Afternoon
After lunch, enjoy a medicinal herbal foot massage.

After the relaxing massage, you will embark on a dragon boat to cruise the Perfume River. During the cruise, you will see the swimming pavilion and the Imperial City, as well as visit the Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) Pagoda, the symbol of Hue. You will get to see the sun set aboard the dragon boat before returning to Hue.

Overnight in Hue
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)


Hue – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon – Cu Chi Tunnels

Morning
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Hue 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 to the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels, an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by the Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. The tunnels are a sobering insight into the dedication of the Viet Cong who lived almost entirely underground in the narrow and claustrophobic tunnels, for up to 10 years! Upon arrival, you will watch a brief introductory video on the Cu Chi Tunnels, followed by a walk through the reserve. During the walk, you will see:

– the Secret Entrance to the tunnels
– workshops for the handmade weapons
– the clinic, commander, meeting and kitchen bunkers

If you are feeling brave, you can crawl inside the Cu Chi Tunnels to experience how difficult life must have been, and discover the 3 underground levels. After the visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels, you will return to HCM City where the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



HCMC City – Full day City tour

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up for a tour around HCM City to visit the city’s historical landmarks, one of the most active days on your vacation in Indochina. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.

Visits:
– 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
– General Post Office (GPO), considered as the best example of classical French colonial architecture in HCM City

You will have a light lunch at the renowned Pho 2000 Restaurant, where former US president Bill Clinton once patronized.

Afternoon
After lunch, your tour continues.

Visits:
– Old US Embassy
– 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

Overnight in HCM City
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta) – Evening flight to Siem Reap

Morning
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Ben Tre town, on the way to the heart of the Mekong Delta, via some rustic country roads (travel time approximately 2 hours). The Mekong Delta, popularly known as the “rice bowl” of Vietnam, is famous for its vast rice fields, orchard farms, coconut trees, numerous waterways and beautiful landscapes.

When you arrive at Ben Tre town, you will embark on a motorized boat trip along the scenic Ben Tre River, visiting various local industries along the way such as the small local factories where bricks and sleeping mats are made. You will take a leisure walk along the village lanes visiting the local homes to sample dry fruits, and enjoy honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. You will also visit a coconut mill workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced, and a range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.

You will then take a small sampan boat through palm-fringed back canals, gliding peacefully along the hidden waterways surrounded by an immense variety of tropical plants. The quiet, rural setting is a welcome and restorative retreat to the frenetic buzz of HCMC which seems so far away.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant where you will sample some of the local cuisines.

Afternoon
After lunch, you will return to the boat to head back to docks where you are taken back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Evening
Transfer to the Airport to take a short flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel to check in.

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
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Siem Reap – Angkor Temples – Full-Day Tour (first day)

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a full-day discovery adventure tour of the remains of an ancient civilization that once ruled much of Southeast Asia, the Angkor Temples. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.

Visits:
– Angkor Thom City
– Bayon – The Bayon has fifty-four towers decorated with more than two hundred enigmatic smiling faces
– Phimeanakas
– Terrace of Elephants
– Victory Gate

Around noon, you will head back to Siem Reap to get some rest and enjoy lunch on your own.

Afternoon
Mid-afternoon, your private tour guide will pick you up to continue visiting temples of Angkor.

Visits:
– The beautiful Ta Prohm Temple, overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere
– As the sun sets on the horizon, enjoy the view from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Overnight in Siem Reap
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Banteay Srei

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up to see the Angkor Wat Temple. Angkor Wat possesses some of the longest and most intricate stone carvings. This complex is four times the size of the Vatican City, making it the largest religious site in the world. You will spend the morning exploring through the many passages, levels, and chambers that once housed many treasures of the ancient world.

Leaving Angkor Wat we continue to drive two hours to north east. Our first stop is the 10th century capital of Koh Ker. Whilst there are known to be over 200 temples within the boundaries of this ancient city, only 96 have been discovered thus far and in fact most of your morning is likely to be spent at just one; Prasat Thom, much of which is partially buried. Whilst the visitor numbers vary from one day to another they are always low, and it is not uncommon for us to have the site to yourself

Afternoon
You will continue 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. The buildings themselves are miniature in comparison to the other colossal temples around Siem Reap, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction.

Overnight in Siem Reap
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Siem Reap – Tonle Sap boat trip – Flight to Bangkok

Morning
After breakfast, 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 fresh water 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. Afterwards, you will return to town to visit Les Artisan D’Angkor and observe students learning the art of carving.

Afternoon
In the afternoon, you will be driven to Siem Reap airport for a short flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival in Bangkok, your private tour guide will take you to your hotel in Bangkok to check in.

Overnight in Bangkok
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)



Bangkok – Full-Day City Tour

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up for a tour around Bangkok.

Visits:
– The Golden Buddha – This statue is approximately 3 meters high and weighs 5.5 tones. The statue, which can be disassembled into nine pieces, was housed in a wat in Ayutthaya until mid-19th century, and its provenance from Ayutthaya excludes the possibility of it having been made after 1750.
– The Reclining Buddha – The chapel and the reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas) were built by Rama III in 1832. The image of the reclining Buddha represents the entry of Buddha into Nirvana and the end of all reincarnations. The posture of the Buddha is referred to as sihasaiyas, the posture of a sleeping or reclining lion. The statue is 15 meters high and 46 meters long, and is one of the largest Buddha statues in Thailand. The right arm of the Buddha supports its head, which rests on two box-pillows richly encrusted with glass mosaics. This statue has a brick core, which was modeled and shaped with plaster, then gilded.

Afternoon
After lunch, your tour continues.

Visits:
– The Grand Palace – Probably the most visited and remembered landmark of Thailand, the Grand Palace in Bangkok is where every visitor must pay a visit at least once in their lifetime. The construction of the Grand Palace began in 1782 during the reign of King Rama I, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, as a royal residence, and it has been the architectural symbol of Thailand ever since. The Grand Palace served as a significant royal residence until 1925 and is now used for ceremonial purposes only.
– The famous Emerald Buddha

After touring on land, you will continue with a long-tail boat ride along the canal to see Thai houses and typical rural life as well as a visit to the Temple of Dawn.

Overnight in Bangkok
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Bangkok – Ayutthaya

Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up for a drive to Ayutthaya.

Visits:
– Wat Phu Khao Thong– Originally built in 1387 by the second king of the Ayutthaya kingdom; this is an impressive monument in the north-western part of Ayutthaya. When the Burmese took over Ayutthaya in 1569, the Burmese king built a mon-style chedi (or pyramid) on top of the former temple to celebrate his victory over Ayutthaya and the Siamese.
– Ayutthaya Historical Park
– Wat Phra Sri Sanphet – Once a royal temple located next to the Grand Palace, it was once the most significant temple during the Ayutthaya period.
– Viharn Phra Mongkolbopit, an impressive building that houses a large seated bronze Buddha. Its rebuilt pristine hall was believed to be a replica of the old Assembly Hall of Ayutthaya.

Afternoon
After lunch, your tour continues.

Visits:
– Wat Lokaya Sutha, the largest reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya at 8 meters high and 42 meters long. This Buddha is made of brick and covered with plaster.
– Wat Mahathat, a classic temple ruin of Ayutthaya and famous for the picturesque Buddha head engulfed by the Bodhi tree roots. The foundation size, remaining prangs, and towers attest to its significance during its time.

In the late afternoon, you will be driven back to Bangkok and the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.

Overnight in Bangkok
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)



Bangkok – Departure

After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to the airport for your departure flight home.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)


Don’t want to go home yet? Add a side trip to Phuket

PHUKET BEACH BREAK 5 DAYS/ 4 NIGHTS

Day 1: Bangkok – Flight to Phuket
At the airport in Bangkok, take a short connecting flight to Phuket.

Upon arrival at Phuket airport, your private driver will take you to your hotel in Phuket to check in. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.

Overnight in Phuket
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Day 2: Day trip to Phang Nga Bay by Sea Canoe
Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up for a drive to Phang Nga Bay, famous for its limestone “Sea Mountains”. You will discover the flora of this amazing landscape at Koh Panak and Koh Hong while learning more about the bay. On the way to Koh Tapu, you will also visit Pinggan Island.

You will board a boat to explore Tapu Island, also known as the “James Bond Island” from the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”, where it was partially filmed. Lunch will be served on board your boat.

Afternoon
A leisurely afternoon awaits you to enjoy the sea and weather on board your boat. In the late afternoon, you will be taken back to your hotel in Phuket and the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.

Overnight in Phuket
Meals: (Breakfast/Lunch/_)

Day 3: Phuket – Free Day
Spend the day on the beach sunbathing or swimming in the ocean.

Overnight in Phuket
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Day 4: Phuket – Free Day
Spend the day on the beach sunbathing or swimming in the ocean.

Overnight in Phuket
Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Day 5: Phuket – Flight back to Bangkok – Departure
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 Phuket airport for your flight to Bangkok, and from there, your connecting flight home.

Meals: (Breakfast/_/_)

Useful Information

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.

What’s Included?

  • 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, Cambodia and Thailand
  • Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
  • Service Charge & Government Taxes

What’s Not Included?

  • Your International Flights to Vietnam and from Thailand.
  • Thailand, 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