- Beach Escapes
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- Off The Beaten Path
- Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 2: HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & City Sightseeing
- Day 3: HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta)
- Day 4: HCM City – Flight to Tuy Hoa – Whale Island
- Day 5: Whale Island
- Day 6: Whale Island
- Day 7: Whale Island – Tuy Hoa – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi An
- Day 8: Hoi An – Walking & Food Tour
- Day 9: Hoi An – Biking to Local Villages
- Day 10: Hoi An – Day train to Hue
- Day 11: Hue – Half-day City Tour – Flight to Hanoi
- Day 12: Hanoi Backstreet Tour – Local Touch, Local Food & Local Culture by Gaz69 Jeep
- Day 13: Hanoi – Hai Duong – Being a Farmer for a Day
- Day 14: Hanoi – Hai Phong – Lan Ha Bay
- Day 15: Lan Ha Bay – Hai Phong – Hanoi
- Day 16: Hanoi – Departure
This ‘Vietnam Family Vacation’ is tailor-made so that your family will have the best time in our country. Start your holiday in Ho Chi Minh City – Vietnam’s metropolis, enhanced with a day trip to the Mekong Delta region. Travel to Whale Island and unwind on its pristine sandy beaches. Explore Hoi An with a walking and food tour, followed by an excursion to its countryside. Gain an insight into the history of Hue before discovering the ‘real’ Hanoi and its unrevealed parts. Experience a farmer’s life for a day, then celebrate this family trip with an overnight cruise in Lan Ha Bay, renowned for the spectacular limestone karsts rising from the water.
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 and your family 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 driven 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 back to the 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 ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House, the historic Rex Hotel, the Central Post Office, renowned for its architecture, and Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Later stop at the Reunification Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum to for an insightful, yet sombre, look into Vietnam’s military history and turbulent past.
Proceed to the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda before finishing the day in fine style with a sundowner at the top of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta)Day 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, famous for its vast rice fields, numerous waterways, and beautiful landscapes. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, rice, sugar cane, and coconuts.
After the two-hour drive through the lush farming land, you will arrive in Ben Tre where you will set out on a motorized boat trip on narrow channels winding through the coconut forest. During the boat ride, you will stop at the local cottage industries to see how the local people make bricks and weave sleeping mats by hand. Learn about their craft handed down through generations.
Take a leisure walk along the village lanes, visiting the local homes to try fresh fruits, taste delicious honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. Continue to visit another workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced and a wide range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.
Next, take a small sampan 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 HCM City which seems far, far away.
Enjoy sitting in the back a Motor Cart (xe lôi) passing local hamlets, rice fields, coconut groves, and lush orchard farms while meeting with local people.
After finishing your sightseeing tour your guide will take you to a riverside restaurant for lunch with local specialties then return to the pier and drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
This evening you will be free to visit the night market to discover the authentic local cuisine or simply enjoy a glass of cocktail on the rooftop bar of the historic Rex Hotel.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Flight to Tuy Hoa – Whale IslandDay 4
After breakfast and check out your private driver will collect you from your hotel and take you to the airport for a short flight to Tuy Hoa, a coastal city on the South Central Coast of Vietnam.
Upon arrival at the Tuy Hoa airport, you are picked up by your private driver and transfer to the tropical island retreat of Whale Island, located along the sandy white beach of stunning Van Phong Bay.
After 1,5 hours driving, you will arrive at the Jetty and then take a boat transfer for 20 minutes to Whale Island resort on the Island for check-in.
Nestled amongst swaying coconut palms and a pristine sand beach, Whale Island resort is an idyllic tropical paradise. The resort accommodates all travelers in its individual, double, family or connecting bungalow. On the beachside and its unique landscape view or in the peaceful tropical garden, each bungalow has its own shower room and comes with fans and beds furnished with mosquito nets.
Take your time to unwind and relax or while away the rest of the day swimming in the turquoise waters.
Overnight in Whale Island
Whale IslandDay 5
The whole day will be at your leisure. You and your family can join a snorkeling trip. The snorkeling boat leaves the Resort every morning, as far as the water conditions allow it, to explore a coral reef close by Whale Island. The trip includes lunch and a visit to a local fishing village and a Whale temple.
Overnight in Whale Island
Whale IslandDay 6
Another free day for you to relax and unwind at the beach. If you want to be active, you can rent snorkel gear, kayaks, canoes or a catamaran from the beach hut. At your request, one of your water sports staff could advise you about the use of the equipment or could even take you around the island.
Overnight in Whale Island
Whale Island – Tuy Hoa – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi AnDay 7
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven back to Tuy Hoa Airport to catch your flight to Da Nang in the central of Vietnam.
On arrival at Da Nang airport, you will be met by your private guide and taken to your hotel in Hoi An for check-in. The rest of the day will be free 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 8
The whole morning will be free at your leisure. Enjoy late breakfast and the comforts of your hotel.
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 to 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, and 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, and gets to chow down with the locals at stalls you’d never discover on your own. Every day at 4 pm, Hoi An’s streets are 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, introduce you to the faces behind the stock pots, and teach you how the Hoi An locals deal with those condiment trays!
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Biking to Local VillagesDay 9
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 – Day train to HueDay 10
Today you will have a chance to experience the best scenic train route in Vietnam from Hue to Danang.
After breakfast, your private guide will collect you from your hotel and escort you to Da Nang Railway station to catch the day train (soft seats with air conditioning) to Hue. The 3-hour comfortable train ride passes through picturesque countryside, winds up and over the spectacular Hai Van Pass (Sea Cloudy Pass) and then skirts on the side of a mountain as you travel along the beautiful coastline.
During the journey, you will have a chance to meet the friendly locals on board and make new friends on the journey!
Arrive at the Hue Train Station and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy your rest afterward.
Meet your private guide and head out to visit the ancient and atmospheric Walled Citadel, a vast complex built in the early 19th century containing the former Imperial Palace and the Forbidden Purple City. The original walls stretched for 10 km, and a wide moat surrounds them. The bombing during the Vietnam-American War has destroyed most of the buildings that you will see, but the monuments that remain provide a fascinating glimpse into the court life of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal dynasty of Vietnam.
Leaving the royal city you will join the local crowds in kite flying, a popular Hue activity. Except on rainy days, hundreds of kites can be seen soaring in the skies over the Imperial Citadel every afternoon.
Continue your afternoon with a guided visit to the traditional village of Hue Kite. Here you will meet Mr. Cu, a third-generation kite maker and director of ‘Kite Flying Club’ in Hue, who will introduce you to his passion: the making and decorating of kites. With his assistance, you will draw and assemble for creating a type of traditional kite – Dong Noi Kite by yourself. When finished, you can keep the kite as a souvenir.
End your day at Dong Ba Market which runs along the north bank of Huong (Perfume) River. You will have a chance to discover a favourite Noddle shop by Anthony Bourdain – the World Famous Chef and TV Producer. Sample the best Bun Bo Hue “Hue Noddle soup”.
Return to the hotel in the evening where you will spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Half-day City Tour – Flight to HanoiDay 11
Today you will continue to explore Hue UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After breakfast, meet your guide and driver and transfer you to the wharf for your 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.
At the end of the boat ride, you will be picked up and driven to the outskirt to visit the Imperial Tomb of Minh Mang, a majestic complex of courtyards, pavilions, and temples in a beautiful natural setting.
Pay a visit to Uu Dam Orphanage, home to 50 orphaned children of all ages. Gain insight into their daily activities as well as the effort to take care of children. Chat with the children to understand their life at school as well as their dreams, before teaching them basic English, or join them in some games. Roll up your sleeves to prepare a vegetarian lunch for the kids and join them for lunch.
After lunch, continue to visit Vietnam’s only Ancient colosseum “Tigers Arena” which was reserved for the battles between elephants and tigers. Most of the time, it was organized for the pleasure of the royal family and a part of the population.
Later, transfer to Hue Airport to board a short flight to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. On arrival, you will be met by your private guide and driver and take you to your hotel in the Old Quarter to check-in. Spend the remainder of the evening at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi Backstreet Tour – Local Touch, Local Food & Local Culture by Gaz69 JeepDay 12
Today you will join the amazing Jeep Tour, a fun way to enjoy the sights, sound, and aromas of Hanoi on an open-air war-time jeep car. This promises to be a one-of-the-kind experience.
After breakfast, you will be greeted by your guide and driver at your hotel lobby for some safety briefing then begin your adventure!
On the first part of your Hanoi Jeep tour, you will discover the REAL HANOI with a day in the life experiences, featured with the parts-unknown of the city with slices of life in the maze of backstreets, tiny alleyways, local homes, schools, random markets, experiencing where & how locals live, work and play.
On the second part you will pass by & stop at the MUST-SEEE places of this beautiful city such as Ho Chi Minh mausoleum-the Mecca of Vietnamese, The 1000-year-old Buddhist and Toasist temples of Tran Quoc, the temple of Literature, the historic train-street, the enchanting French Quarter, the hustling & bustling Old Quarter, West Lake, Hanoi Opera House & famous Long Bien Bridge...etc.
On the third part, you are taken to the peaceful & allure out-skirt villages around West Lake and Truc Bach Lake to enrich your experiences about the contrast in the harmony of life between the city center and her out-skirt as well as you would experience a hidden tranquil of Hanoi, a hectic of Hanoi with thousands of Skyscrapers in the new parts of the city. It is not only a ride but also a journey that you would learn about Hanoi before, now and then.
On the last part, you will stop at different AUTHENTIC restaurants, eateries and food stalls to savor the tastiest of the tasty dishes of Hanoi including family heirloom & secret recipe dishes, local delicacies and specialties.
The tour will finish at the hotel after midday. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore this beautiful city as you wish. You could even visit a traditional water puppet show – a real spectacle where, as the name suggests, with the aid of fireworks and music, folk stories are played out by skillful puppeteers.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Hai Duong – Being a Farmer for a DayDay 13
After breakfast, you will be picked up by your private guide and transferred in a private vehicle for two hours to the picturesque village of Ngoc Hoa in Hai Duong Province.
Upon arrival, you will be warmly welcomed by the host family with a cup of tea. Soon after that you will change into the traditional Vietnamese farmer outfits, take your working tools, including scoop plow and rake, and walk with the water buffalos to the rice field. Here you will learn how to do some farming practices.
Next, return to the local home to prepare your lunch. You will pick your own fresh vegetables from the garden, prepare all the ingredients, and cook your lunch following the instructions of the hosts. You will be amazed by how well you did once you enjoy the food that you’ve prepared for lunch.
Embark on a leisurely bicycle ride down the village lanes to see the village up close and interact with the friendly villagers. You will fall in love with this beautiful village and the warm-hearted locals. You will also pay a visit to the Ca Temple, the old temple which represents the history and spirit of the Ngoc Hoa Village.
Note: if you are not keen on the bicycle, we can replace it by the motorbike which you can sit in the back. The ride is within the village so there will be no traffic at all.
Back to the local home. You will take your bamboo rowing boat to meet and see how local fishermen make their living on the water. Learn how to fish using the fishing net in the unique local way. The breath-taking river, with its banks shaded by lychee trees, will give you an awesome photo opportunity.
Bidding goodbye to your host family, you will take a short drive to Stork Island, in Thanh Mien commune. The island is in the middle of a large natural lake and home to about ten thousand storks and herons and various species of birds such as pelicans and teals. Take a rowing boat to approach the island to see the birds closer but not walk on.
Finish the tour you will wind your way back to Hanoi. The fabulous trip will conclude once you arrive at the hotel around 17:00. Spend the evening at your leisure. Pack your bag for the overnight trip to Lan Ha Bay tomorrow.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Hai Phong – Lan Ha BayDay 14
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 15
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 16
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.
- Visit Ho Chi Minh City landmarks: War Remnant Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Reunification Palace. Crawl through the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels
- Enjoy a discovery day in lush green Ben Tre town – Home of coconut in Mekong Delta
- Discover the idyllic tropical island retreat of Whale Island. Lounge and make the most out of your relaxing on the sandy white beach
- Stroll through streets of Hoi An Ancient town and taste the delicious local food
- Join a leisurely biking tour to a local village in the peaceful island of Cam Kim
- Explore the magnificent Imperial Citadel, the Emperor Mausoleums in Hue and cruise along the Perfume River. Visit the traditional village of Hue Kite
- Discover the life experiences, best-known landmarks of Hanoi and taste authentic local food by a unique way on the Jeep
- Spend a day being a farmer, join farming and fishing activities in a Northern Vietnam province
- Take the overnight cruise trip. Admire Lan Ha Bay’s majestic beauty
- 15 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 7 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- 2 street food tours
- 1 Cooking demonstration on Lan Ha Bay boat
- An educational trip covering many of Vietnam’s popular icons
- 100% tailor-made for your family’s needs and desires
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C vehicles, 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!