- Active Adventure
- Culture & Heritage
- Home Stay
- Learning Discovery
- Nature & Landscapes
- Ocean Cruising
- Off The Beaten Path
- Tours for Couples
- Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 2: HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & City Sightseeing
- Day 3: HCM City – Mekong Delta Discovery & Homestay
- Day 4: Cai Be Floating Market – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi An
- Day 5: Hoi An – Walking & Food Tour
- Day 6: Hoi An – Biking to Local Villages
- Day 7: Hoi An – Trekking in Bach Ma National Park – Hue
- Day 8: Hue – Full day City tour
- Day 9: Hue – Day train to Phong Nha
- Day 10: Phong Nha – Tan Hoa – Ken Cave – Tu Lan Campsite
- Day 11: Tu Lan Cave – Kim Cave – Hung Ton – Tan Hoa – Phong Nha
- Day 12: Phong Nha – Flight to Hanoi
- Day 13: Hanoi – Bac Can – Ba Be Lake
- Day 14: Ba Be Lake – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfall
- Day 15: Cao Bang – Hanoi
- Day 16: Hanoi – Hai Phong – Lan Ha Bay
- Day 17: Lan Ha Bay – Hai Phong – Hanoi
- Day 18: Hanoi – Departure
Go beyond and explore a truly authentic image of Vietnam in 18 days with a variety of activities carefully weaved into the itinerary. Visit the attractive sites in Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi tunnels and glide on the rivers of Mekong Delta. In Hoi An and Hue, discover their unique charms with a walking and food tour, and more biking and boating trips to their must-see sites. Find the gate to another dimension by venturing inside the incredible caves in Phong Nha National Park, and marvel at the wonderful sights hidden underneath their roof. Enjoy the delicacies of Hanoi before travelling to Be Ba National Park and Cao Bang, which are home to lush greenery and Ban Gioc waterfall – the most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam. Mark the end of this adventure with a cruise trip around the extraordinary limestone karsts and islets of the famous Halong Bay.
Arrival in Ho Chi Minh CityDay 1
Xin Chao! Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Upon arrival, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you at the arrivals lounge, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the city centre.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of HCM City, still called Saigon by the locals. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at Bloom restaurant. Your visit will ‘Make A Difference’ to this Culinary Vocational Training facility developed by the charity ‘Aid to Children Without Parents’ that provides training to disadvantaged young people in the hospitality industry enabling them to become self-reliant.
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 HCM City
HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & City SightseeingDay 2
After breakfast, you will be met by your private guide and driver and taken to Cu Chi, a small community located northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its network of deep tunnels that provided shelter and an effective source of infiltration for the Viet Cong during the later years of the Vietnam War.
Upon arrival, you will watch the original film footage from the period, followed by a walk through the reserve. The hidden network of Viet Cong tunnels is believed to stretch to “hundreds of miles,” in total length, housed living quarters, storage rooms, makeshift hospitals, and kitchens…etc. Although originally very narrow, some parts have been widened for the tourists and you have the opportunity to explore parts of the system.
Try some of the main food of the Viet Cong Soldiers with a cassava tasting served with tangy tea. After that transfer to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Spend the rest of the day visiting some of Ho Chi Minh City’s key highlights. We’ll tailor your tour to suit you, but we particularly recommend visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Rex Hotel, the General Post Office, renowned for its architecture, and Ben Thanh Market.
Later stop at the Reunification Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum to learn more of Vietnam’s turbulent past.
Proceed to the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda before finishing in fine style with a sundowner at the top of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Mekong Delta Discovery & HomestayDay 3
After breakfast, your private guide and driver will take you out of HCM City in a private vehicle and onto some beautiful country roads to Ben Tre Town, in the Mekong Delta, known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam.
Upon arrival, you will be met by the local guide and embark on a boat trip on the mighty Mekong River. You will ride across the wide branches of the Mekong river, called Cua Dai & Cua Tieu, 30km far from the Eastern sea. Pause to visit a local factory where the locals make coal from coconut hard-shell.
Arrive at Tam Hiep island. You will get off the boat and take a bicycle ride on small village paths through lush orchards to arrive at a local farm where people plant the creepers (called LA SAM) to make herbal jelly. You will pick up some leaves, make & taste this jelly.
Ride back to the boat. A delicious lunch will be served on board while the boat continues to cruise towards Vĩnh Long.
After lunch, you will spend time to relax onboard and take in the stunning scenery along the way. This moment gives you a unique opportunity for a glimpse of the very varied life on the banks as well as on the water.
Arrive at Ut Trinh homestay in the late afternoon where you will be welcomed by the family hosts. Check into your room and enjoy a nice and hot shower. Then roll into the kitchen to join the family to prepare your dinner.
Enjoy a delightful dinner with Mekong specialties such as Elephant Ear Fish. Take a chance to talk to the family hosts and learn about their lifestyles and tradition. You will spend the night sleeping at this simple but elegant homestay built in the style of a local house. Bedding; a mosquito net, clean linens, mattresses, and pillows are provided.
Overnight at a local homestay in Vinh Long
Cai Be Floating Market – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi AnDay 4
After an early breakfast and check out you will bid a fond farewell to your family hosts and get on the boat again for a ride across the Mekong River to visit Cai Be Floating Market. Recently, the market is becoming less crowded and smaller as fruit trading is mostly now done by trucks due to the bridge being built. However, this is still a great opportunity to see a local market and the trade being conducted traditionally on a smaller scale.
Leaving the market you will get on a rowboat which will take you deeper into the countryside on smaller canals to enjoy the peaceful time.
Arrive at Phong Island you embark on a bicycle ride on quiet village paths seeing the local daily life up close. You will ride past orchards, schools, churches, pagodas, and traditional houses. On the way, you will make some stops to see how the local people make rice-net for spring-rolls, sewing coconut-leaves for cottage roof and especially see how they wave the dried water-hyacinth to make various products such as baskets, bags, hats, wallets, and shoes.
Ride back to the boat and cruise toward Cai Be pier where your driver will take you back to Ho Chi Minh Airport for a short flight to Da Nang, in the central of Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Da Nang Airport, you will be picked up by your private guide and driver and taken to the resort near Hoi An Ancient Town. After checking in, spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
From the 16th to the 18th century the UNESCO recognized Hoi An was once a thriving international commercial port. French, Chinese and Japanese architecture is evident throughout and such is its diversity the town now boasts some of the country’s most interesting and delicious cuisine.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Walking & Food TourDay 5
The whole morning will be free at your leisure. Enjoy late breakfast and the comforts of your resort.
Your tour guide will pick you up and take you to the Ancient Quarter of Hoi An, where you will embark on a walking tour visiting the major attractions such as Chua Ong Pagoda, Tan Ky Ancient House, Fujian Assembly Hall, and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Continue to visit the Precious Heritage Museum, home to the permanent exhibition of Réhahn’s Precious Heritage Collection. While transporting you to the furthest reaches of Vietnam, the collection will unveil the rich cultural tapestry of the ethnic tribes
The highlight of the day is the visit to the Reaching Out Tea House, a welcome little oasis of calm in the busy, vibrant Old quarter, owned and operated by the mute and deaf people. Here you will be treated with delicious cakes and incredible tea in the Eastern style.
Move on to the house of a lantern craftsman. There, you can observe the lantern craftsman’s technique before hands-on work through each stage of lantern-making under the guidance of the enthusiastic craftsmen: from bending it into the frame, cutting cloth, gluing, to completing lanterns. Before this trip concludes, you will have your own lantern created by your own hands.
Now, it’s time for your Hoi An street food discovery tour. With your guide, you will weave in and out the tiny alleyways, get to chow down with the locals at stalls you’d never discover on your own. Every day at 4 pm, Hoi An’s streets filled with a myriad of street food carts, stalls, and vendors. The street food tour is a great introduction for you to enjoy a few of the Hoi An specialties cooked up by the locals, to introduce you to the faces behind the stock pots and to teach you how the Hoi An locals deal with those condiment trays!
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Biking to Local VillagesDay 6
After breakfast, your private guide will pick you up for a leisurely biking tour to the peaceful island of Cam Kim. This car-free island is perfect for cycling excursions.
(Note: you don’t know how to ride bicycles, please use our scooter “XE OM” services with little additional charges)
After being collected from your hotel, a short bicycle competency test will be given. The first part starts with 13km (8 miles) cycling on small paved paths. Peddle your way through palm forests, across bridges and fields of water buffalo. Ride along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices.
Upon arrival at Tra Nhieu, you will set out to explore this beautiful rural village. Paddle around the village and stop to see the local people make sleeping mats by hand. Later you will be welcomed by a local family where you will be served a delicious home-hosted lunch. Take a chance to talk to the family hosts and learn about their lifestyles and tradition.
After lunch, you will visit a fishing hamlet and have fun with a fisherman by trying to cast a fishing-net for fish, shrimp, and crab. After that continue to cycle for another 3km (1,8 miles) to the other side of the island where you will visit Kim Bong carpentry village, renowned for shipbuilding and traditional woodworking products. Nestled along the river Kim Bong is home to generations of craftsmen from all over Vietnam who moved to Hoi An centuries ago when it was a bustling trade port.
At the village take your time to wander around the many workshops, chat up the friendly craftsmen and simply admire their age-old art. Continue to visit several local homes to observe how people make rice wine, rice noodles, and rice paper.
At the end of the tour, ride back to your hotel where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Trekking in Bach Ma National Park – HueDay 7
After breakfast and check out you will be picked up by your private and driver and depart Hoi An for an adventurous trip into the Bach Ma National Park, old French Hill station stretching out over some 40,000 unspoiled hectares and offering great hiking trails and waterfalls.
Note: Make sure you have sunscreen and a hat, good hiking shoes, swimming suits, and comfortable long pants.
En route, you will pause at Cau Hai Lagoon to take some stunning pictures of the lagoon and learn about the life of the local fishing village.
Upon arrival at Bach Ma, you will visit the Information Center, which is located near the park gate. Here, you will be introduced to Bach Ma National Park’s biodiversity potential, learn more about its significance and conservation of the fauna and flora. On display are many samples and pictures of animals of the Park.
After visiting the information center, you will be picked up again and driven up to near 1400m top where Bach Ma Sea Observatory Post is. Here you will be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the mountain ranges, lagoons, beaches, and villages.
Drive downhill for about 15 mins, you will alight to your trekking point. The adventure begins here. You will trek along the Five Lakes Trail, which is named after the cascade of five small lakes along the route. You will a chance to swim in the crystal clear emerald pool of the cascades in the middle of the jungle.
After enjoying a picnic lunch near the Five Lakes you will continue trekking to majestic Waterfall of Do Quyen about 300m in height. Enjoy the beautiful view of water falling to the rocks and the lush forest below. Descend to the foot of the waterfall by negotiating more than 600 steps. It’s a real challenge but rewarding with the chance to have a great view and beautiful pictures.
Trek back to the car park where your driver is waiting for you and transfer to your hotel in Hue where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Full day City tourDay 8
After breakfast, you will explore Hue UNESCO World Heritage Site. With the help of your private guide and driver, you will get to see some of Hue’s important historical sights.
– Take a cyclo (rickshaw) ride through the ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax.
– From the lake, proceed to the ancient and atmospheric walled Citadel which contains the former Imperial Palace and the Forbidden Purple City.
– Hue Royal Antiquities Museum houses a fine collection of antique pieces belonging to the royal family.
– The impressive tomb of Emperor Tu Duc and the Vietnam’s only Coliseum.
Today you will visit a local Buddhist Pagoda where you will be treated a delicious vegetarian lunch cooked and served by the nuns. Take the opportunity to learn about the religion Buddhism or just get to know your friendly hosts.
Embark on a dragon boat ride on the romantically named Perfume River. During the boat cruise, you will stop to visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda – Hue’s most famous religious site. Explore the pagoda’s landscaped gardens, the seven-storey octagonal tower and watch the monks chanting.
The tour comes to an end with a visit to Truc Chi Garden, the crafting bamboo paper art workshop. You will have a chance to meet one of the students there and be treated to hands-on experience to learn how to use the etching technique with bamboo pulp to create artworks.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Day train to Phong NhaDay 9
You will have the whole morning free at your leisure. Breakfast will be served at the hotel and check out of the room at midday.
Your guide and driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to Hue Train station to catch the day train (soft seats with air conditioning) to Dong Hoi.
The three-hour train journey will be an interesting experience because it allows you to see the stunning scenery along the way and especially crossing Vietnam’s former DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). The DMZ was the former border between North and South Vietnam before the reunification. Historically it was a narrow band of terrain extending from the Laos border to the coast, five kilometers on either side of the Ben Hai River, roughly on the 17th parallel north of latitude.
Your private guide and driver will meet you at Dong Hoi Train Station and transfer you to the Chay Lap Farmstay in Phong Nha for check-in. The rest of the evening will be yours at leisure.
Overnight in Phong Nha
Phong Nha – Tan Hoa – Ken Cave – Tu Lan CampsiteDay 10
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to the Oxalis Adventure office in Tan Hoa, located 70km from Phong Nha where you will meet your expert guide and the porter team. Here you will get prepared for the adventure of a lifetime; the amazing trek through the Tu Lan Cave System, one of Vietnam’s greatest outdoor wonders.
Grade: Easy to moderate trekking
Distance: 12km of trekking including up to 2km of caving
Elevation: 300m in total
Swim: 1km swimming in the caves
After some briefing and tour preparation, the trek starts at Ta Van village with a flat path past peanut fields and grazing buffalo and cows. A river crossing leads to a short but steep and rocky uphill section, followed by a downhill descent into a lush valley. Cross the valley on a flat path to enjoy a picnic lunch in the entrance of Hung Ton Cave.
More hills and jungle trekking before you drop down to Tu Lan Valley and your camp for the night. Composting toilets are provided at camp.
Finish off the day with a swim into Ken Cave, the natural swimming pool. Spend the evening enjoying the dinner prepared by your porter team. Play some cards, chat or just enjoy the natural sights and sounds.
Overnight at camp in tents
Tu Lan Cave – Kim Cave – Hung Ton – Tan Hoa – Phong NhaDay 11
After an amazing night sleep, a beautiful breakfast is set out for you. After that get ready for the second-day adventure.
Today you will trek and swim through three caves: Tu Lan Cave, Kim Cave and Hung Ton Cave. In Hung Ton Cave you will climb a metal ladder with the extra protection of a safety line. Beautiful views from the entrances into the jungle, refreshing swims, dry passages and amazing formations will give you many opportunities for photos.
After completing the third cave, you will return to Ta Van Village where you started on the first day. Snacks will be provided on the way and lunch in the village is served after a welcome shower.
Bid a fond farewell to your guide and the porter team then transfer back to the Farmstay where the balance of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Phong Nha
Phong Nha – Flight to HanoiDay 12
After breakfast, you are collected by your private driver and transferred to Dong Hoi airport for a short flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.
Your private guide and driver will pick you up at Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. Free to relax afterward.
Your tour guide will meet you again and take you on a cycle/ rickshaw ride through the French Quarter to admire the well preserved colonial buildings and boulevard streets with sidewalk cafes and shops. After the cycle rickshaw ride, you will take a walking tour through the narrow alleyways of the old streets in the Old Quarter (in contrast to the French Quarter) and discover the multitude of items sold here.
During our walk, you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the locals and sample various street food, such as Banh Cuon (Vietnamese Steam Rice Rolls), Banh My (Vietnamese baguettes), Bun Cha (grilled pork with vermicelli and herbs), Nom du du (papaya salad). You will also enjoy a bowl of special Noodle soup (called Pho), which is a favorite of Hanoi residents.
For dessert, we will venture down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced – this specialty is one not to be missed!
Your local guide will then take you to one of Hanoi’s best-kept secrets, a hidden café. This hard-to-find café is one of the few left in the city that still serves egg coffee, a scrumptious local delicacy that we will sample. Finish your day walking down the city’s railway tracks and then stop for a home-brewed beer, the renowned Bia Hoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Bac Can – Ba Be LakeDay 13
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your guide and driver for the five-hour journey to Ba Be Lake in Bac Can province, northeast of Vietnam, approximately 150 miles (230 kilometers) from Hanoi.
En route, you will stop at Thai Nguyen Province to visit the Museum of the Cultures of Vietnam’s Ethnic Groups where you can browse the objects, photographs, and exhibits that give a better understanding of the various ethnic groups and their agricultural tools, handicrafts and traditional costumes worn for worship. Some of the ethnic people you will get to meet on your trip.
Continue on to Ba Be National Park. Along the way, you will enjoy the marvelous views of rice paddies, tea plantations and bamboo paddlewheels on the banks of the river. Arrive at Cho Ra town around midday and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Arrive at Boc Lom Quay and transfer to your kayaks. Then paddle down the Nang River towards Ba Be Lake. You will enjoy the dramatic landscapes of chalky cliffs, not bare, but with small wild gardens clinging to the flanks and lianas with their long roots seeking the earth.
Finish the boat trip and transfer to Pac Ngoi, a scenic village of the Tay ethnic people where you will stay overnight at a local thatched house. After check-in and a short rest, you will take a walk around the village, meet and interact with the local people.
Tonight you will enjoy a delicious dinner cooked and served by the family. You may want to join them in the cooking activity. This is great fun.
Overnight in Ba Be Lake
Ba Be Lake – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc WaterfallDay 14
Get up early to watch the sunrise over the lake followed by breakfast at the homestay.
Bid a fond farewell to your family hosts and depart for a scenic drive to Cao Bang close to Vietnam’s northern border with China. Stop en route to explore the Hua Ma Cave, one of the least touristy caves not only in the north but in the whole of Vietnam, which locals still regard as a religious site.
On the way, you will pay a visit to the village of Phuoc Sen, home to Nung minority people. This is a small village famous for the production of farming tools. Like the Tays, the Nungs largely live by farming the terraced rice paddies that you will see all around.
At midday, you will arrive in Cao Bang and check into your hotel room. It’s then followed by lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, transfer to Ban Gioc waterfall where you will board the bamboo raft for the most up-close discovery of the most beautiful Waterfall in Vietnam. The trip will continue with a visit to Nguom Ngao limestone Cave which is 2 km away from Ban Gioc waterfall.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon where the balance of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Cao Bang
Cao Bang – HanoiDay 15
After breakfast, you will depart Cao Bang and wind our way back to Hanoi. It is a journey of approximately 185 miles (310 kilometers) through vertiginous rice paddies and remote villages. You will get the chance to stop at an ethnic village known for its tobacco production.
Arrive in Hanoi in the late afternoon and check into your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Stroll around the old town and do some shopping. Get yourself ready for the amazing boat trip in Lan Ha Bay tomorrow.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Hai Phong – Lan Ha BayDay 16
After breakfast, your private guide and driver will collect you from your hotel and take you to the port city of Hai Phong, where you board the stylish Junk Boat that is your home for the evening.
On arrival around midday, you’ll be welcomed aboard your boat, each with its own individual route, to begin your cruise around the Lan Ha bay. Lying south and east of Cat Ba Island, the 300-or-so karst islands and limestone outcrops of Lan Ha are just as beautiful as those of Halong Bay but more isolated and untouched.
After checking into your cabin, a delicious lunch will be served, enjoy the delightful Vietnamese cuisine along with fantastic panoramic views of the passing scenery.
Relax on the terrace deck or on your private balcony and soak in the enchanting aura which emanates from the surreal seascape.
Continue the journey, the Junk boat snakes her way past the islets of Con Vit and Gia Luan, their karsts (limestone formations) rising dramatically from the bay.
Late afternoon you will reach the shore of a small lagoon on Cat Ba Island, hop on bicycles (electric cart transfers are also available) for a sightsing tour along small paved roads towards Viet Hai village. Little has changed in Viet Hai since the ancestors of the 80 households settled here centuries ago. Situated in a valley within Cat Ba National Park and surrounded on all sides by forest and mountains, the locals are isolated from the island’s other villages and towns. Here you have the unique and authentic opportunity to meet the local inhabitants, learn about the fruits and vegetables grown in the valley, have a glimpse of local households and try some homemade liquors.
Return to your Junk boat for a cooking demonstration with the chef. Learn about local ingredients as well as the preparation of classic Vietnamese dishes.
As the sun sets, you will arrive at a tranquil anchor spot for the night. In this hidden spot, you can revel in the memories of the day’s adventures with a cocktail under the stars.
After a scrumptious dinner, you may like to unwind at the bar with a digestif, watch a movie in the cinema, or have some fun fishing for squid before retiring to your room.
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 Lan Ha Bay
Lan Ha Bay – Hai Phong – HanoiDay 17
Wake up early and join the Tai Chi session on the terrace deck to ease your mind and muscles with the first rays of the sun touching the water. Coffee, tea and breakfast pastries await you in the dining room to start the new day.
It is time for Junk boat to lift her anchors and cruise toward Frog Lake, a secluded spot perfect for our morning excursion. Go for a refreshing “bay swim” or explore this captivating marine landscape via kayak. The cliffs stretch vertically out of the water and you feel a sense of freedom while meandering through this green medley of water and tree-topped islets.
Return to the Junk boat to check out of the cabin. Then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to the pier.
Return to Got pier in Hai Phong city, your private driver is waiting for you and take you back to Hanoi.
After checking into your hotel, spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. Stroll around the Old town or visit Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple, a short walk from your hotel. It’s beautifully lit up at night.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – DepartureDay 18
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Hanoi International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
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 suit your requirements.
- Watch the Amazing A O Show in HCM City, See the Notre Dame Cathedral
- Enjoy an unique experience stay at Co Co Riverside Lodge
- Discover the immense network of the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels
- Discovery the fascinating Ancient town of Hoi An
- Walk through the little alley streets, Enjoy the food on foot tour of Hanoi Old Quarter
- Take overnight train ride to Sapa, Discover the Hill tribe villages
- Take the overnight cruise trip, Admire Halong Bay’s majestic beauty
- 12 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 9 lunches at well-selected restaurants (vegetarian food is upon request)
- 1 street food tour
- Private guide in each City of visit
- Private driver with air-conditioned vehicle for daily tours or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- Hand-picked Restaurants and hotels
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- All Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C train, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
How to Plan a successful Trip to Vietnam, Step-by-Step
Why to visit Vietnam
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
How to Book a Tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to visit Vietnam
Vietnam, the S-shaped country, also commonly likened to the shape of a dragon, is located to the west of the South China Sea. The perfect combination of colonial elegance and rustic charm, it guarantees to satisfy all types of travelers with its rich experiences made all the more special by its charming people.
With cities to explore, temples to admire, and green countrysides to roam, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Known as a colorful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north, with its myriad of ethnic communities, to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) on the edge of the Mekong Delta, it is difficult to pick just one region to visit when coming to Vietnam.
The charming capital of Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments; the scenery of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is bound to leave you speechless; Hue, home to the old Kings of Vietnam, appears to have been frozen in time for several hundred years with its ancient atmosphere and architecture.
With a 3260km coastline, Vietnam is home to many top-tier beaches; the country’s most unsung beauties. My Khe beach – “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” as described by Forbes – offers blue skies, smooth white sand, clear & warm water year-round. Phu Quoc island, boasting several luxury resorts, is also a favorite escape for the rich and famous. The abundance of mountains, rainforests, and natural lakes also makes Vietnam a great destination for trekking, hiking, mountain biking, sea and river kayaking, and classic overland tours.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Vietnam
• Sapa & Mai Chau – visit the hill tribe villages and plantations
• Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam
• Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam
• Hoi An – the kitchen of Vietnam and paradise on Earth
• Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) – the economic heart of Vietnam
• The Cu Chi Tunnels – walk through the history of the Vietnam War
• Mekong Delta – see the floating markets
When to Go
Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate varies surprisingly from region to region. Therefore this charming land is well-known as an “all-year-around” available destination for travelers.
In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In the central region, from Nha Trang to Hue, sunshine lasts throughout the year, except for the months of November and December when heavy rainfalls occur. Dalat, at an altitude of 1500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers that don’t last very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
Almost all visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, although some exemptions apply for citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements with Vietnam. Depending upon the nationality and passport of the applicant, a tourist visa can be obtained at the Vietnamese diplomatic office or consulates in foreign countries. Visas can also be obtained with the help of a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, known as a “Visa on Arrival”. Visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry, as requested at the time of application.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The easiest way is to get your visa through a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, such as Indochina Pioneer. We can quickly and efficiently organize your pre-arranged VOA if you wish. Our visa processing fee is a reasonable rate of USD$10 / person only. Except for American citizens who are required to pay a stamping fee of USD$135 to get a 1-year, multiple-entry tourist visa, other nationalities need to pay just USD$25 / person for a single entry and USD$50 / person for multiple entries.
- To apply for your VOA please email us the following information:
- Arrival and departure dates
- Full passport details:
- Passport number
- Issuing date
- Expiry date
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.
- Once we have received your information, we will secure a Visa Approval Letter for you. This usually takes about 2 – 4 working days (ie. excluding weekends). We will then send you the letter via email or fax. You must present this letter upon boarding your flight. Also, you will need to prepare two photos (6 cm high x 4 cm wide – white background, no glasses, no smiling).
- On arrival at the airport (in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City) please find the Visa on Arrival window/counter where you will hand over your passport and photos, and be given a simple form to fill out. Pay the stamping fee of USD$25 for the single entry and USD$50 for multiple entries. The staff at the airport will shortly return your passport with your visa, after which you will be allowed to exit the airport.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain amount of time:
- Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
- Japan, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
- Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Vietnamese embassy/consulate :
South Asia – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese government officially launched the electronic visa plan for foreign tourists of certain countries visiting Vietnam. To apply for an e-visa, please visit http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn. For the list of
countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, click here.
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 protected] 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
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!