- Day 1: Hanoi – Arrival
- Day 2: Hanoi - Full-day City tour
- Day 3: Hanoi traditional villages - Night train to Sapa
- Day 4: Arrival Sapa – Trekking to hill tribe villages - Home-stay
- Day 5: Back to Sapa
- Day 6: Sapa – Bac Ha Sunday Market – Night train to Hanoi
- Day 7: Hanoi – Halong Bay - Overnight on board
- Day 8: Halong Bay – Ninh Binh
- Day 9: Ninh Binh Sightseeing by bicycle - Overnight train to Hue
- Day 10: Hue Arrival - Sightseeing tour
- Day 11: Hue outskirt tour – Drive to Hoi An
- Day 12: Hoi An Sightseeing
- Day 13: Hoi An – My Son Holly Land
- Day 14: Hoi An – Da Nang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 15: HCM City – Cao Dai Temple – Cu Chi tunnels
- Day 16: HCM City – Vinh Long – Can Tho
- Day 17: Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market - Back to HCM City
- Day 18: HCM City – Departure
- This itinerary is a privately guided tour, designed just to show you what is possible.
- We can tailor this trip, it's inclusions and the accommodations, to meet your requirements, budget, and interests.
Hanoi – ArrivalDay 1
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. Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions along the way about your Vietnam Cambodia tour package, 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
Hanoi - Full-day City tourDay 2
After breakfast, your Vietnam Cambodia 2 week holiday starts when your private tour guide picks you up for 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.
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the Presidential Palace
– The One Pillar Pagoda, an important symbol for Hanoians
– Huu Tiep Lake and the Downed B-52
– History Museum, formerly home to the École Française d’Extrême Orient in Vietnam
Lunch will be served at one of many breathtaking restored colonial villas.
After lunch, your tour continues.
– 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
– A cycle rickshaw ride through Hanoi’s French Quarter, characterized by wide tree-lined streets, majestic French buildings and sidewalk cafes
The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi traditional villages - Night train to SapaDay 3
Your private guide will escort you to an old fashioned village Tho Ha. This village with more than 600 years of history initiated with their handicraft ceramic which remains the traces on the walls of old houses. Nowadays the villagers live on their new job of making rice paper
Leaving Tho Ha Village you continue to visit the famous Bat Trang pottery village for some other fantastic photo opportunities before going back to our hotel and rest.
Your guide and driver will transfer you to a local restaurant for dinner, and then we get to Hanoi railway station for our night train to Sapa.
Overnight on A/C train
Arrival Sapa – Trekking to hill tribe villages - Home-stayDay 4
You rise early in the morning in Lao Cai station. You will be collected by your private guide and driven in a private vehicle for 1 ½ hour trip to Sapa, check in our hotel day room for refreshment, breakfast and preparing for your gear. With your guide you will start your trek down hill to Lao Chai for breathtaking scenery of rice terraces and interact with H’mong and Yao tribal people. Stop at a streamside hut for a picnic lunch.
You will continue your trek for 2 hour to get to Ta Van village for your home-stay. While your host and local guide prepare your dinner, it’s your time to wander around the village and to the stream for great photo opportunities.
You will enjoy dinner cooked and served by the host family. Tonight you will stay overnight in the home-stay.
Overnight at Ta Van
Back to SapaDay 5
After a simple breakfast you will bid goodbye to the host and trek for almost 3 hours through paddy fields and bamboo forest. Even tually you will reach Giang Ta Chai, a village of Red Zdao minority. Here you will enjoy a short rest by the water fall, then proceed to the meeting point where the driver will take you back to Sapa town.
Check in your hotel then it’s your free time to explore this little Sapa town and its central market.
Overnight in Sapa
Sapa – Bac Ha Sunday Market – Night train to HanoiDay 6
After breakfast and check out of your hotel, you will leave Sapa and drive to Bac Ha Sunday Market, one of the famous hill tribe markets in the region. This traditional colorful market offers the best exposures for you cameramen.
After exploring the market, you will enjoy a simple lunch at the local restaurant. Then drive back to Lao Cai town where you make a stop at Vietnam – China border for your picture taking before going to a restaurant at Lao Cai railway station for a rest and dinner (on your own).
Your local private guide will say goodbye to you before boarding your night train back to Hanoi tonight.
Overnight on A/C train
Hanoi – Halong Bay - Overnight on boardDay 7
Arrive to Hanoi early in the morning, your guide will pick you up from train station and help you check in your day use hotel rooms for shower and repacking your luggages. Your breakfast is served in a Hanoi restaurant/ hotel. You will then drive for 4 hours to Halong Bay with many photo stops en-route to capture farmers’ activities on their rice/vegetable fields.
Arrive to Halong Bay, board your traditional junk, enjoy seafood lunch and start your shooting campaign while you cruise amongst thousands of limestone cliffs arising from the emerald water of World Heritage Halong Bay. Your junk passes by some floating fishing villages, famous limestone rock formations. The cruise journey also includes a visit to Sung Sot – the largest cave in the bay.
You will have a chance to climb summit of the Titov Island to shoot the sunset over Halong Bay before dinner and rest for our night on board.
Overnight on board
Halong Bay – Ninh BinhDay 8
Enjoy our breakfast and morning cruise with an early lunch before getting back to the dock. We then drive straight to Ninh Binh town with photo stops en-route.
Arrive to Ninh Binh you will check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
Overnight in Ninh Binh.
Ninh Binh Sightseeing by bicycle - Overnight train to HueDay 9
Eat well at breakfast as your activities today are tough. You choose your bicycle (or by private car if you are not keen on cycling) and start cycling through picturesque countryside to Hoa Lu formal citadel, visiting King Dinh and Kinh Le temples then continue your ride on to Tam Coc. This cycling path is another paradise for photographers.
Arrive to Tam Coc area, have lunch in a local restaurant, leave your bikes there then take our 2 hours rowing boat ride through a heaven like scenery combining limestone karst and rice paddies and river. Your boat also takes you through 3 water caves with side lagoons for our photos. Back to the dock you take our bicycles and go back to your hotels for your shower.
Have your dinner (at your own account) and catch your night train to Hue. The train ride is 11 hour and you will arrive in Hue around 8:00 the following morning.
Overnight on A/C train
Hue Arrival - Sightseeing tourDay 10
On arrival in Hue, you will be collected by your private guide and transferred in a private vehicle to check in your hotel, enjoy breakfast and rest afterwards.
Your guide and driver will take you to a Buddhist monastery for a vegetarian lunch.
After lunch you visit the Emperor Khai Dinh Mausoleum, considered one of the most beautiful and picturesque works of architecture of the Nguyen Dynasty. This large mausoleum took only 3 years to construct and reflects a mix of Asian and European styles.
Continue you to visit the Royal Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled the country from 1802 till 1945. Learn about the history of the place and discover your good spot for our shoots.
Transfer to the docks to embark on a dragon boat to cruise the Perfume River. During the cruise, you will visit the Thien Mu (Heavenly Lady) Pagoda with its characteristic seven-tiered tower. You will also see the Austin car which took Monk Thich Quang Duc to Saigon where he famously set himself on fire in 1963 as a dramatic protest against the unfair treatment of Buddhists by the Diem regime.
Dinner is on your own. We recommend Mandarin Café to meet and talk to Mr. Phan Cu, a famous Hue photographer, and of course to enjoy his works.
On returning to your hotel in Hue, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue outskirt tour – Drive to Hoi AnDay 11
After breakfast depart Hue you will drive south to Da Nang and Hoi An. Today you will enjoy one of the most scenic drives over Hai Van Pass. From the summit you can enjoy the spectacular of the coastline and Da Nang city below.
Reaching Da Nang you will stop to visit My Ke Beach and the Marble Mountain. Then continue to drive to the nearby town of Hoi An.
Arrive to Hoi An, check in your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure.
Over night in Hoi An.
Hoi An SightseeingDay 12
You will spend the morning on a walking tour winding through the narrow streets of the Ancient Quarter.
– Chua Ong Pagoda
– The Assembly Hall
– The 200-year-old Tam Ky house
– The Japanese Covered Bridge
– Local markets
Lunch will be served at a local Vietnamese restaurant.
After lunch, you will embark on a short boat trip to visit Thanh Ha handicraft ceramic village, and Kim Bong Carpentry Village, famous for its carpentry and traditional woodworking products.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – My Son Holly LandDay 13
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to My Son Sanctuary.
My Son is a cluster of abandoned and partially ruined Hindu Temples constructed between the 4th and 14th centuries by the kings of Champa. The temples are dedicated to the worship of the god Shiva, known under various local names, the most important of which is “Bhadresvara”. The temples are in a valley roughly 2 km wide, surrounded by two mountain ranges. It was the site of religious ceremonies for the Kings of the Champa dynasty, and was also a burial place of Champa royals and national heroes. The My Son temple complex is one of the foremost temple complexes of Hinduism in South East Asia and is the foremost heritage site of this nature in Vietnam. Though much of the complex has been destroyed over time, there are still many majestic ancient temples to see in this area.
Returning to Hoi An, the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Da Nang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh CityDay 14
Your private driver will collect you and take you to Da Nang Airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (also known as Saigon).
Upon arrival to Saigon, you will be met by your Saigonese Guide and transferred in a private vehicle to the hotel in downtown to check in. Free time for your leisure afterwards.
Your guide will take you out for lunch in the famous Pho 2000 restaurant for a typical Vietnamese pho noodle. After lunch you will visit the War Remnant Museum, The Notre Damn Cathedral, Opera House and the General Post Office. Your tour also uncludes a visit to Jade Emperor Pagoda, one of the most spectacularly atmospheric temples in Ho Chi Minh City
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
HCM City – Cao Dai Temple – Cu Chi tunnelsDay 15
We recommend late and full breakfast this morning as you will skip lunch.
At about 9.am we depart to Tay Ninh to visit the Holy Cao Dai Temple. One of the most striking temples of Southeast Asia, the Cao Dai Great Holy See Temple has a unique architectural style that reflects the blended religious traditions of Caodaism, which combines elements of Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianis. We arrive at the temple around mid-day and attend the amazing and unique mid-day service which you will never ever see anywhere in the world.
Having lunch in a local restaurant before you continue to drive to Cu Chi tunnel for our exploration of the famous underground tunnel system. Cu Chi tunnels is an incredible underground tunnel network constructed by Vietnamese resistance fighters during the long struggle for independence. The tunnels, over 250km in length and up to three levels deep in places, played a huge part in the Viet Cong’s victory over the Americans, allowing them to control a large rural area surrounding Ho Chi Minh City.
Back to HCM City in late afternoon. Dinner is on your own.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Vinh Long – Can ThoDay 16
Your tour starts with a drive through the Mekong Delta to Cai Be floating market. From here we board our river boat for a cruise along the endless waterways of the mighty Mekong. You will arrive at the lush orchards of Vinh Long where the lunch will await you at a fruit orchard where family descendants will welcome you with a cup of warm green tea.
After lunch wind your way to the city of Can Tho, which is considered to be the heart of the Mekong Delta. Here you will spend the night at your hotel.
Overnight in Can Tho
Can Tho – Cai Rang Floating Market - Back to HCM CityDay 17
Rise early for a boat trip to the Cai Rang market, the biggest floating whole-sale market of the Mekong region. Here you will have a chance to practice your bartering skills! The market is filled with small boats darting through the water as vendors sell their wares.
Continue along narrow canals, stopping at a fruit orchard to taste some of the succulent fruit in season before making a short walk to Ba Bo bridge (water level allowing).
Return to your hotel in HCM City. Check in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free at your leisure. Tonight your guide will take you out for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight in HCM city
HCM City – DepartureDay 18
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday as this mark the end of your 2-week vacation in Vietnam. Your private driver will pick you up and take you to the Da Nang airport for your departure flight home.
This Vietnam In Depth Tour is crafted to dig into the most authentic features Vietnam has to showcase, and upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best route and service choices. 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.
- Discover Hanoi’s best known landmarks, enjoy Hanoi food
- Experience the Russian style night train to Sapa and to Hue.
- Enjoy colorful Sapa hill tribe markets, local tribal villages and stunning landscape
- Spend a night for quality time on board an overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay.
- Visit Imperial Citadel and Emperor Mausoleums in Hue.
- Climb the Marble Mountain, Walk through charming town of Hoi An and taste the local food.
- Have fun with beach time, cooking class, or get some cloth made in Hoi An.
- Visit Ho Chi Minh City landmarks: War Remnant Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Reunification Palace. Crawls of the Cu Chi Tunnels.
- Enjoy a discovery day in lush green Vinh Long, and Floating Market in Can Tho
- 17 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 5 dinners and 11 lunches at well-selected restaurants (Vegetarian/ Halal food upon request)
- Private Tour Guide in each City of visit (Other languages upon request)
- Private driver with air-conditioned vehicle for daily tours or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
- Hand-picked Restaurants and Hotels. (Specified in each quotation)
- Entrance Fees/ Admission for all sightseeing. Well selected activities with some possible extra supprises.
- All airport transfers
- Tour includes regular route PLUS off the beaten track visits.
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, 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@example.com with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook