Explore Vietnam in-depth to gain an insight into life in this wonderful Southeast Asian country. Join a city tour in Hanoi to its most iconic sites. Sail through the breathtaking turquoise waters and limestone islands of Ha Long Bay. Cycle through the hill tribe villages of the idyllic valley of Mai Chau. In Ninh Binh, travel through the spectacular landscape with endless rice paddies, tranquil river, limestone mountains and stunning caves. Visit Vietnam’s first Ramsar site in Nam Dinh and explore the World’s biggest caves in Phong Nha. Explore the historic sites of Hue and its beautiful outskirts, then head to Hoi An – Vietnam’s most charming town. Spend time winding your way through Hoi An Ancient town and discover My Son Sanctuary. Enjoy a full day Elephant experience and meet the Hill tribes in the Central Highlands. Snorkel and sunbathe on the palm-lined golden sand beaches of Nha Trang. Cruise down the lush waterways of the Mekong River. Venture to Ho Chi Minh City’s historic sites and to Cu Chi Tunnels.
- Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
- Day 2: Hanoi – Full day City Tour & Local food discovery
- Day 3: Hanoi – Authentic Local Cooking Class
- Day 4: Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Day 5: Halong Bay – Hanoi
- Day 6: Hanoi – Mai Chau
- Day 7: Mai Chau - Cycling the countryside
- Day 8: Mai Chau – Ninh Binh
- Day 9: Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh
- Day 10: Nam Dinh – Day train to Dong Hoi – Phong Nha
- Day 11: Discover Phong Nha Cave and Paradise Cave
- Day 12: Phong Nha – Dong Hoi – Day train to Hue
- Day 13: Hue – Full day City tour
- Day 14: Hue – Da Nang – Hoi An
- Day 15: Hoi An – Walking & Food Tour
- Day 16: Hoi An – My Son Holly Land
- Day 17: Hoi An – Day at leisure
- Day 18: Hoi An – Da Nang – Flight to Buon Ma Thuot
- Day 19: Buon Ma Thuot – Elephant experience full day
- Day 20: Buon Ma Thuot – Lak Lake – Da Lat
- Day 21: Da Lat – Full day City tour
- Day 22: Da Lat – Nha Trang
- Day 23: Nha Trang – Discover the Bay with Emperor Cruise
- Day 24: Nha Trang – Day at leisure
- Day 25: Nha Trang – Day at leisure
- Day 26: Nha Trang – Flight to Can Tho – Bassac Cruise
- Day 27: Cai Be – Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 28: HCM City – Sightseeing tour full day
- Day 29: HCM City – Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi tunnels
- Day 30: 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.
Arrival in HanoiDay 1
A warm greeting awaits at Hanoi International Airport; your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge and transfer you directly to your hotel in downtown Hanoi. Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions along the way and will assist you with check-in and registration at the hotel.
The rest of the day is at your leisure. You might choose to take a stroll through the narrow lanes of the Old Quarter, or perhaps enjoy a gentle walk around Hoan Kiem Lake, a short walk from your hotel. It’s beautifully lit up at night.
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 Tour & Local food discoveryDay 2
Today with the help of your private guide and driver, you will get to explore the city’s major attractions. You will also sample Hanoi’s authentic local dishes away from the tourist trails, hunkering down with the locals on the street at a variety of atmospheric food stalls.
Begin with a visit to the Ho Chi Minh Complex including his Mausoleum, the Presidential Palace, the historic Stilt house, and the One Pillar Pagoda.
From Ho Chi Minh Complex, you will take a short leisurely walk through the small laneways toward Huu Tiep Lake. You will explore the grounds of a 400-year-old temple, followed by a stroll through traditional local market streets to see the B52 crash site at the lake. This US bomber was shot down during the 1972 bombing raids of Ha Noi, a poignant reminder of Vietnam’s recent history.
Take a short drive to the outskirt of Hanoi to visit the Museum of Ethnology exhibiting the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups in Vietnam. Some of them you will meet during your trip to Mai Chau.
Today you will have Pho for lunch, a Vietnamese Noodle shop. Some of the local people call this world-famous Noodle soup “Mac-Noodles” since it is as popular here as MacDonalds is in other parts of the world! At the restaurant, your tour guide will explain the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and also tell you which special ingredients are needed for you.
After lunch, you will visit the Temple of Literature, a Confucius temple and also the first University of Vietnam. Next is Hoa Lo (so-called Hanoi Hilton), a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War.
Embark on a fun cyclo (rickshaw) ride through the French colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quater, pass the French-style villas, the Vietnam History Museum, the heritage Metropole Legend Hotel and the Opera House, name to a few.
Enjoy a cup of unmissable Egg coffee at Pho Co Café with a stunning view of Hoan Kiem Lake and the surroundings.
The day comes to an end with a Walking and Food tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter (in contrast to the French Quarter). During the food tour with the help of your personal tour guide, you will have a chance to experience one of the world’s greatest street food cities and unlock the hidden secrets of the Old Quarter and its cuisine.
Notes: The city tour program is flexible. Our guide would be more than happy to modify the itinerary to suit your needs. You can skip one site or add another if you so wish.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Authentic Local Cooking ClassDay 3
Vietnamese cuisine is famous for its diversity in cooking styles, ingredients, ways of serving and especially for its healthiness. As the heart of the country, Hanoi embodies all finest around Vietnam, where the cuisine is entitled the most attractive and typical.
Today you will embark on a fun excursion to the outskirt of Hanoi to join an authentic and traditional cooking class with typical Northern Vietnam dishes.
Meet your private guide and drive out of the city to the Ngoc Thuy Market – a vibrant and authentic local market. Here your Chef will greet and guide you around the market, demystify the local produce, explain the market culture and encourage you to taste some of its most exotic ingredients. Try your bargain skill and buy fresh ingredients for the cooking class’s menu. After your Vietnam trip, you surely can bargain anything you want to buy.
At the market, you can enjoy tasting scrumptious local-style breakfast (steamed rice rolls, Noodle soup with beef, fruits…).
After the shopping, you will pay a visit to the Temple of Hero Ly Thuong Kiet, a local pagoda and a local herb garden (herbs and spices play an essential role in Asian cuisine).
Proceed to the cooking school where you will roll into the kitchen and start cooking 4 main dishes of a traditional meal. You will be carefully guided step-by-step by your professional chef to make your own Masterpiece.
After the hands-on lesson, you will sit down and with your personal Chef eat what you have together cooked. Engage in more conversation with your chef who will share some of her kitchen secrets and tips, which led to the creation of her cooking classes.
Bid a fond farewell your chef and wind your way back to the city where you spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Halong BayDay 4
After breakfast and check out, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay where you will board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk Boat that is your home for the evening. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters of the bay provide an ethereal backdrop for your leisurely cruise.
Upon arrival you’ll be welcomed aboard your Stylish Junk boat, each with its own individual route, to begin your cruise around the bay’s thousands of limestone islets and caves.
After a delicious lunch on board, you will spend time to sunbathe on the sundeck and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the bay.
Later you will visit Sung Sot Cave “Grotte des Surprises” a hidden gem of mother nature. Float peacefully through magnificent limestone formations containing thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.
Continue to cruise. As you weave your way through the islands, you’ll come across secluded bays, white sandy beaches, and floating villages.
There is plenty of leisure time to enjoy activities both onboard and around the fantastical scenery of the Bay. Pamper yourself at the cruise spa or swim in the emerald waters.
Toward the end of the day, you will sail to the overnight mooring area. During this time – the magical “blue hour” – Halong Bay reveals its true, magnificent beauty. You have a chance to attend the chef’s cooking demonstration or enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before a scrumptious dinner.
The rest of the evening will be at leisure. You can watch a movie or join the crew for squid fishing before retiring to your room for a restful sleep.
Note: If your time permits, we would highly recommend an additional night on board which gives you a lot more time to relax and take in the amazing landscape. You’ll get to cruise deeper into the Bay where it’s more beautiful and less crowded.
Overnight on board in Halong Bay
Halong Bay – HanoiDay 5
The graceful practice of Tai Chi eases you into your day as is the local custom. Join a ‘Local Specialist’ on the deck of the Junk boat for a morning class in exquisite natural surrounds. You’ll have time for an early morning swim at one of Halong Bay’s quiet beaches and, if you’re feeling energetic, hop on a kayak and paddle through the Dark and Bright Caves admiring the glittering stone walls.
Return to the Junk boat to check out of the cabin then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port.
Return to the Junk boat to check out of the cabin then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port.
Upon returning to your mainland your guide and driver will take you back to Hanoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Mai ChauDay 6
You will meet your private guide and driver at your hotel and embark on a four-hour scenic drive through the picturesque countryside of green paddy fields and spectacular mountains to Mai Chau; home to many of Vietnam’s 54 indigenous minority tribes. Set in an idyllic valley, hemmed in by hills, Mai Chau is a world away from the bustling Hanoi.
Arrive Mai Chau around midday and check into the charming Mai Chau Ecolodge. Nestled in the Mai Chau valley surrounded by mountains and paddy fields Mai Chau ecolodge is an oasis of peace, where you can totally regenerate.
Your guide will take you on a walking tour (or cycling if you wish) of Pom Coong and Lac villages. With stilt houses and lush, green rice paddy fields, Ban Lac and Pom Coong are quaint and serene ethnic Thai villages with many lovely and hospitable inhabitants. During the walk, you will be introduced to a local family. Have conversations on their life, festivals, and culture of the natives.
Continue your day to visit Mo Luong caves and Chieu caves. Two natural cavern systems with thousand-year-old stalactites and stalagmites are mother nature’s magnificent works of art. Filled with mineral structures of all shapes, sizes, and colors, these caves give you the feeling similar to that you get wandering into an ancient world of primitive creations. Such a unique experience cannot be ignored by those adventurous at heart.
You also pay a visit to Thai ethnographic museum. More than 1000 items on display are closely tied to the Thai’s everyday life. You will get to see hunting tools, ritual costumes, bowls, dishes, antique coins, musical instruments, hundreds of years old books, and so on. These authentic pieces of history represent the development of Thai culture over centuries.
Being one of the famous chef Gordon Ramsay’s destinations on his trip to Vietnam, Mai Chau offers an array of exotic native food. Tonight you will enjoy a delicious home-hosted dinner. Delight your taste buds with traditional dishes and try some rice wine made in the village.
After dinner, you will return to Mai Chau Lodge to attend a traditional dance show performed by the White Thai.
Overnight in Mai Chau
Mai Chau - Cycling the countrysideDay 7
After breakfast, meet your guide again and set out on a fun cycling tour of the local valleys. Your first 6-mile ride snakes its way through Chieng Chau and Van Mai villages passing seldom-seen countryside. En route, pause to meet a local hill tribe community in Van Mai village and learn about their enduring cultural traditions.
(Note: you don’t know how to ride bicycles, don’ worry. The private car and driver are always available for your excursion)
Continue another 6-mile ride to the Thai village of Cun Pheo on a mix of good single track paths and undulating rough jeep trails. The views are stunning as the ride passes through many villages and across lush rice paddies. Unique to this area are fan palms, grown specifically to use for roofing. You will pass hot springs, cycle across suspension bridges and follow the contours around beautiful terraced rice fields.
Around midday, you will arrive at Ban Buoc, a scenic village of White Thai minority people. Spend time to stroll around this peaceful village. Eventually, you will visit a local family where you will be treated a delicious home-hosted lunch.
Bid a farewell to the host family, pick up your bikes and cycle back on the scenic route to Mai Chau where you spend the second night at the beautiful Mai Chau Ecolodge.
Overnight in Mai Chau
Mai Chau – Ninh BinhDay 8
From Mai Chau, leave the lush fields behind and head to the dramatic mountain scenery of Ninh Binh. Just three hours away from Mai Chau, Ninh Binh has remained relatively untouched offering striking limestone karst scenery, similar to that found in busier Halong Bay.
Arrive Ninh Binh around midday and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
Embark on a traditional sampan ride through the flooded mountain scenery to the reservoir at Van Long Nature Reserve – the largest wetland in northern Vietnam. This is also where many of the scenes from the movie Kong: Skull Island took place. Float past poetic landscapes and rolling jungle hills that are perfect for photos.
The next destination is Hoa Lu, the location of the Ancient Capital of Vietnam dating back to the 11th century. Having been eroded over the millennia, the dilapidated ruins have nearly been absorbed by the spectacular scenery creating a mystical atmosphere that will be sure to titillate your imagination.
Upon arrival dive into the history at the remaining two temples of Dinh and Le Emperors. Restored in the 17th century but the temples are believed to be built on the original foundations of the old palaces from the 11th and 12th centuries.
Hop on a bike for a leisurely ride through the area, limestone karsts towering above you as you ride along backroads and beautiful scenery. Arrive at Mua Cave Mountain where you enjoy a short hike which leads you to an incredible viewpoint with a spectacular sight of the Ngo Dong River below that cuts its way around the towering mountains.
Transfer to Tam Coc Garden boutique resort for your overnight stay. Surrounded by stunning rice paddies and limestone formations Tam Coc resort is an oasis that lets you escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in the middle of the most incredible landscapes.
Overnight in Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh – Nam DinhDay 9
After breakfast, you will depart Ninh Binh and drive 3 hours to Xuan Thuy National Park in Nam Dinh Province, 150 km south-west of Hanoi in the coastal zone of the Red River Delta. On the way, you will pay a visit to the Ancient Co Le Pagoda dating back to the 10th century.
The next stop is Vi Khe Village, one of the largest bonsai villages in Vietnam. You can see the bonsai in various shapes, such as a phoenix, dragon, horses, unicorn… or the symbol of the Temple of Literature.
Continue on to Xuan Thuy National Park, formally known as a Nature Reserve of the area and later became Vietnam’s first Ramsar site, for the conservation of wetlands. Xuan Thuy National Park is located in the Giao Thuy district forming part of the UNESCO Red River Biosphere Reserve. It is a rich, bio-diverse, coastal wetland that houses about 220 species of birds, 110 aquatic plants and 500 other aquatic organisms.
Around mid-day, you will arrive at the Xuan Giao Commune near the National Park. Here you will embark on a boat trip to discover the wetland. After a one-hour boat trip through the National Park, you will arrive at a Clam Hut where you will be served a delicious seafood lunch. Rest and relax in the Hut for a while before transferring back to the mainland.
After a short rest, you will commence a leisure sightseeing tour around the Giao Xuan Commune and through the villages. Walk 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. You will also visit the ancient houses, Catholic churches, and the Agriculture Museum. If it is a sunny day you can visit the salt fields to watch the locals making salt. You can try to become a salt-farmer!
Proceed to the bird station (applied for the wintertime from Nov – Mar) to watch various species of birds of East Asia – Australia flyways such as Black-faced Spoonbill, Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Spotted Greenshank, Saunders’s Gull and Asian Dowitcher…etc.
Transfer to a local home in Xuan Giao Communie where you will enjoy a delicious home-hosted dinner and spend the night with the family. Clean and comfortable bedding is provided for your stay.
Overnight in Xuan Giao Nam Dinh
Nam Dinh – Day train to Dong Hoi – Phong NhaDay 10
Start your day with a leisurely bicycle ride (or by car) around the commune, enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the ocean and then visit the local Fishmarket. Here you can watch fishermen bring in their overnight catch. Hundreds of people from the surrounding villages rush to this wholesale market for the best buys of the day.
Return to the local home. Along the way, you will pause to visit a local fish-sauce making family where you can see the traditional methods of making this delicious sauce.
After breakfast and check out of the homestay, you will be transferred to Nam Dinh Railway station to catch the day train to Dong Hoi. The train ride is 8 hours and you will have the four-berth soft sleeper compartment with air conditioning, nice and comfy.
On arrival in Dong Hoi, your private guide and driver will greet you at the train exit and transfer you to Chay Lap Farmstay and Resort where you will enjoy two lovely nights. Nestled between breathtaking karst mountains away from the tourist trails, Chay Lap is a true gem in Phong Nha & Ke Bang National park.
Overnight in Phong Nha National Park
Discover Phong Nha Cave and Paradise CaveDay 11
After breakfast depart for your exploration of Phong Nha Cave, the world’s longest limestone cave. Part of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the cave was used as a hospital and munitions store during the Vietnam War. You will access the cave by boat along the Son River and once inside, you will be amazed by the cave’s fine sand beaches, the spectacular milky-white stalagmites, and stalactites.
Continue to visit the historic Tam Co Cave which has a fascinating war-time history.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to visit the famous Thien Duong Cave, also known as Paradise Cave. Discovered by scientists of the British Caving Research Association in 2005, the Paradise cave is an ethereal complex of skyscraper-high stalagmites and stalactites that hang like the pipes of oversized church organs. The first 1 km (0.6 miles) is open to visitors and lit with the aplomb of a cathedral, with wooden steps and walkways navigating the uneven floor.
Return to the Farmstay in the late afternoon where you spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Enjoy the comforts of the Farmstay or for those who wish there is the option to cycle around the local villages.
Overnight in Phong Nha National park
Phong Nha – Dong Hoi – Day train to HueDay 12
You will have the whole morning free at your leisure. Breakfast will be served at the Farmstay and check out of the room at midday.
Your guide and driver will collect you from the Farmstay and transfer you to Dong Hoi Train station to catch the day train (soft seats with air conditioning) to Hue, a Unesco World Heritage site and the former capital of Imperial Vietnam from 1802 to 1945.
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 the train station and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the evening will be yours at leisure. Your guide will recommend a good restaurant near the hotel for your dinner.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Full day City tourDay 13
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.
– The ancient and atmospheric walled Citadel 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 old 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 – Da Nang – Hoi AnDay 14
After breakfast, depart Hue, you will drive south to Da Nang and Hoi An for four hours along the coast. Today you will enjoy one of the most scenic drives over Hai Van Pass (Sea Cloudy Pass). From the summit, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the coastline and Da Nang city below.
Arrive in Da Nang you will pause to visit the Marble Mountain, Cham Museum and the white sandy 20-mile stretch of My Khe Beach which was home to American GIs during the war.
Continue to drive and arrive in Hoi An around midday. Check into your boutique resort, just a stone’s throw from the old town.
Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure. Enjoy the facilities of the resort or stroll around the Old town. You will find authentic Vietnamese culture, with paper lanterns lining the streets and delectable riverside restaurants.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Walking & Food TourDay 15
The whole morning is 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 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 – My Son Holly LandDay 16
After an early breakfast, your private guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to My Son Sanctuary – lies in a geological basin surrounded by a ring of mountains, about an hour inland from Hoi An. The indigenous Cham tribes chose this easily defendable location to build the capital of their empire, which grew steadily between the 4th and 13th centuries. Used as a military base by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War, My Son was heavily bombed, but many ruins remain standing. In 1999, UNESCO designated My Son a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Upon arrival, you will enjoy a walking tour for two hours around this historic complex. Learn about the original building techniques applied during construction and the traditional materials that were used, such as timber, brick, and stone. You will also look out for the numerous craters that were left here by American bombs from the war in the 1960s and 70s.
After exploring the ruins, you will have a chance to watch the traditional Apsara Dance beside the historic temples. The ladies will give a dance demonstration to the sounds of panpipes and drums, wearing colorful traditional costumes and cone-shaped hats.
Back to your hotel in Hoi An. Stop en route to visit a rice paper workshop to test your culinary skills and learn how to make a delicious local snack. You will then sit back and enjoy your creations with a cup of Vietnamese coffee and engage in a friendly chat with our hosts about the rural way of life here.
Free time at leisure. There’s so much to do in this paradise: explore the local market and try it’s street food (try Lao Cau and White Rose Dumpling), get some tailoring done within 24 hours, join a hands-on cooking class.
The beautiful beach of An Bang is only 5km away from the Ancient Town. You can ride the bicycle there for some swim and relaxing time.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Day at leisureDay 17
Today is completely a free day for you in this paradise. Revisit the Ancient Town again and enjoy everything that Hoi An has to offer you; from many great restaurants to lovely cafes and pastry shops. You can consider joining a Yoga or Tai Chi Qigong class at Nomad Yoga Hoi An. Apart from the classes, you can mingle with other like-minded souls.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Da Nang – Flight to Buon Ma ThuotDay 18
After breakfast, your private driver will transfer you to Da Nang Airport for a short flight to Buon Ma Thuot in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Upon arrival, you will be met by your private guide and driver and taken directly to your hotel in the City center for check-in.
Set out to explore Buon Ma Thuot, the coffee capital of Vietnam which has played a key role in Vietnam’s success as the world’s top Robusta exporter, and second coffee exporter after Brazil.
Start with a visit to Trung Nguyen coffee village, a lovely garden filled with fountains, interesting architects and of course lovely coffee! Here you can learn about Vietnamese coffee culture, coffee trees, the coffee processing industry.
The next stop is the impressive Ethnographic Museum. The exhibits here will give you an insight into the lives and cultures of the ethnic minority people of the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
Proceed to Kien Cuong Civet Coffee Garden. You will meet the owner Mr. Kien Cuong “the king of coffee” who will tell you how he farms and processes the famous Civet-coffee (the most expensive coffee in the world).
Continue to visit AkoDhong village, home to Ede Ethnic Minority who lives in the long house-on-stilts. At the village, you pause at the village chief’s house (Ama H’Rin house) and learn about the Ede people and their Matriarchal Society.
Return to Buon Ma Thuot in the late afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot
Buon Ma Thuot – Elephant experience full dayDay 19
After an early breakfast, your private guide and driver will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Yok Don National park to join with the team from the Elephant Conservation Project.
Upon arrival, after a brief introduction, you will meet the elephant caretakers and enjoy a full day exploring the forest in search of the three elephants who now freely roam the national park. Your guide will tell you about each individual elephants’ personality, their background and why they are living in Yok Don National Park. The ethnic minorities in this area have a long history of training and working with elephants and your guide can share these stories too.
During the trek, your guides will share their knowledge of the national park, pointing out the many species of plants and wildlife inhabiting this forest, and showing you the plants used in traditional medicine by some of the local ethnic minority people.
You may even encounter signs of the rare wild elephant community within the park, such as their footprints, foraging signs or dung.
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the middle of the park.
After lunch, you will continue to trek until you reach the elephants’ home deep in the jungle. You will have a chance to meet the Elephants and take part in washing them (30 minutes) and feeding them bananas and sugar cane. As the centre focuses on the conservation and ethical treatment of the elephants, they no longer allow elephant rides, but this just makes for a better experience as the elephants are happier and healthier.
Finish your fabulous day and wind your way back to Buon Ma Thuot.
Overnight in Buon Ma Thuot
Buon Ma Thuot – Lak Lake – Da LatDay 20
After breakfast and check out your private guide and driver will take visit the famous waterfalls of D’ray Nur and Dray Sap. Fed by the Srepock River, a major tributary of the Mekong River that flows from the Central Highlands into northeastern Cambodia, Dray Nur and Dray Sap waterfalls are definitely the must-sees.
Upon arrival, take a short walk through some lush forest and around the base of the waterfall. If you’re really feeling adventurous you can walk under a small portion of the waterfall and rinse off.
Depart Buon Ba Thuat you will be driven to Lak Lake. Vast, tranquil and fringed by rolling hills, Lak Lake is the Central Highland’s largest natural freshwater lake. Take a boat trip on the lake and visit a local village, home to the Mnong people, a tribe that relies on the lake for their livelihood and they can be seen fishing in traditional dugout canoes.
After the boat trip, pay a visit to Bao Dai Villa where the last King of Vietnam used to live. Perched on top of a hill, the building was one of the emperor’s many, many holiday homes in the Central Highlands, a region he frequented to indulge in one of his favourite pastimes, hunting.
Continue your road journey south passing through spectacular mountain scenery, to the former French colonial hill station of Dalat. The high altitude, cool climate and natural beauty are what first drew the French colonialists here in the first half of the 20th century. It flourished as an alpine/lakeside summer holiday town, garnering it yet a nickname, “Le Petit Paris” or little Paris.
Arrive Da Lat in the late afternoon and check into your resort. The remainder of the day will be at your leisure.
Overnight in Da Lat
Da Lat – Full day City tourDay 21
After breakfast, you will meet your guide and driver again and embark on a sightseeing tour around Dalat. First, you will visit Bao Dai’s Summer Palace that sits on a hill just outside the main centre. Bao Dai was the last Emperor of Vietnam and the Palace has been preserved exactly as he left it in 1954. It is a classic example of art deco that is the city’s major attraction in itself.
Next, visit Truc Lam Zen Monastery (the biggest Zen University of Vietnam at present) surrounded by pine forest. You have an option to take the cable car descending down 300 meters to visit Tuyen Lam Lake which looks like a paradise.
Move on to Hang Nga Crazy House (also known as Hang Nga Guesthouse). Standing in stark contrast to Dalat’s French colonial villas, the bizarre avant-garde guesthouse is a maze of spiral staircases, sculptural bedrooms, undulating surfaces, swirls of bright colors, narrow bridges and hidden nooks.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you will continue to visit Xuan Huong Lake and Lam Ty Ni Pagoda where the folkloric a Buddhist monk, Vien Thuc, produces his abstract paintings and writes poetry.
Proceed to XQ Embroidery workshop and art gallery where you can learn about the history of Vietnamese art and enjoy numerous handmade embroidering masterpieces.
End the tour at the town’s bustling central market, renowned for its fresh flowers, vegetables and fruit that is rarely found in a tropical country. Weave in and out the tiny alleyways and join the locals by pulling up a plastic stool and sampling one of the many street food offerings; barbecued pork, grilled vegetables and especially Da Lat pizza, a round rice paper, covered in egg-bound toppings, and grilled over charcoal.
Overnight in Da Lat
Da Lat – Nha TrangDay 22
After breakfast, depart Da Lat for the four-hour drive to Nha Trang along a scenic road through the Ngoan Muc Pass, passing tea plantations, forests and tribal villages.
Upon arrival at Nha Trang, check-in to your selected resort and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Nha Trang is best known for its palm-lined golden sand beach, which stretches for four miles, and its climate. The town enjoys an average of 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius.
The evening is free for you to explore Nha Trang, with its many open-air bars and great restaurants.
Overnight in Nha Trang
Nha Trang – Discover the Bay with Emperor CruiseDay 23
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to Nha Trang Port to board the Emperor Cruise.
Upon arrival, you will receive a warm welcome by the cruise Captain and his crew followed by a short introduction about Nha Trang Bay, the locals, the food, the culture, safety precautions, and the Emperor Cruises Junk.
Start sailing through the spectacular landscape of Nha Trang Bay. Enjoy the welcome drinks while the guitar player will bring you deep in classical music.
At lat morning you will arrive at Mini Beach where you can either go swimming, kayaking, snorkeling. Alternatively, just relax under the big trees, enjoy the stunning views of the bay and Emperor Cruises’ sails against the emerald waters.
Besides, there are many other activities on the beach that you can join such as Diving, Jetski, Parasailing and Banana boat.
Today you will be served a sumptuous set lunch on board with local beers, soft drink, fine wine, or premium spirits as the boat anchors near Hon Tre Island with its tranquil lagoon.
After lunch you can go fishing, relaxing or visiting a Fish farm for exploring the beautiful landscape by the unique basket boat.
Cruise back to Nha Trang Port passing Vung Ngan floating village and Vinpearl Island, before catching a glimpse of the Bao Dai Villas as you return to the mainland.
Transfer back to your resort where you spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Nha Trang
Nha Trang – Day at leisureDay 24
The whole day is free at your leisure. Enjoy the comforts of the resort, indulge in spa treatments or just relax on the white sand beach.
Overnight in Nha Trang
Nha Trang – Day at leisureDay 25
Enjoy another day at leisure in Nha Trang.
Overnight in Nha Trang
Nha Trang – Flight to Can Tho – Bassac CruiseDay 26
After breakfast, your driver will transfer you to Nha Trang airport for a short flight to Can Tho, located in the heart of the Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival at Can Tho Airport, you will be picked up and driven to Ninh Kieu pier where you will board the Bassac Vessel, a beautifully crafted wooden boat offering the style and elegance of traditional rice barges typical to the Mekong Delta, that is your home for the evening.
After a welcome drink, introduction to the boat and crew, you start cruising downstream of the Hau river.
Enjoy a delectable lunch on the boat’s upper deck.
During the afternoon there is an opportunity to disembark and walk around local villages and learn about the villagers’ way of life; such as how they grow rice, fruit, and vegetables. You will pause at some of the local cottage industries that operate along the river banks, providing a living for the river people.
Board back, rest on the deck and enjoy the sunset. Tonight you will be served a scrumptious dinner while the Bassac is cruising along Mang Thit River towards her anchorage point for the night.
Overnight on Board the Bassac Vessel
Cai Be – Ho Chi Minh CityDay 27
An early breakfast will be served while the boat cruises on the way to Cai Be.
The Bassac crosses Co Chien river and then slips into the Chợ Lách canal, in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the river traffic, between markets and churches, giving you a unique opportunity for a glimpse of the very varied life on the banks as well as on the water.
Arrival near Cai Be, check-out and transfer to a rowing boat for a quiet visit through a small canal if the tide allows.
Rendez-vous with a local boat, which will take you to shore for a visit of Cai Be’s local cottage industry.
The tour will end at Cai Be town where your guide and driver are waiting for you and transfer directly to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals.
Arrive and check into your hotel in the City center. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at leisure to explore the city on your own or visit the Night market and enjoy delicious local food.
Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City
HCM City – Sightseeing tour full dayDay 28
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you on a full-day city tour of HCM City. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– the War Remnants Museum
– the Reunification Palace
– the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral with its French colonial architecture
– the General Post Office (designed by Gustave Eiffel)
– the Opera House and the City Hall
Lunch will be at a local restaurant where you will be served delicious local cuisine again.
After lunch, you will visit the Fito Museum, tucked away in a quiet corner of the busy city the museum displays the tools of traditional Vietnamese medicine.
Continue to visit the Jade Emperor Pagoda and then wind through City’s vibrant streets to Cho Lon (China Town) and its bustling markets.
End your day with a visit to the top of the Bitexco Tower for a sundowner with the city’s best views.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Cao Dai Temple & Cu Chi tunnelsDay 29
After breakfast, you will be met by your 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.
Depart Cu Chi you will be transferred to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh Province. On arrival, set out to explore the sacred temple and learn more about the fascinating Cao Dai religion, which borrows elements from Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. You will then take part in the midday mass, admiring the monks in their colorful robes and listening to the mesmerizing chants.
After lunch at a local restaurant you will be driven back to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon and evening at leisure.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – DepartureDay 30
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Ho Chi Minh International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
We are a member of:
We are a fully licensed company:
License No: 01-327/2014/TCDL-GPLHQT
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
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!
"Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia"
We are three friends who booked a private 26-day tour of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia with Indochina Pioneer and had an amazing time. Our travel agent, Sally, was not only a great professional, but also an amazing person, personable, sweet and eager to do anything possible to turn our trip into a unique travel experience. She was in daily contact with us, making sure that everything would be perfect for us and she was available 24/7. Everything was beyond our expectations: hotels, activities, guides, transportation, meals, etc. The itinerary itself was set to meet our needs as historians, combining visits to archaeological sites and museums, with leisure activities and cultural events.
There are no words strong enough to recommend Indochina Pioneer and, especially, Sally. Special thanks to Cong, our guide in Hoi An, Lao, our guide in Sapa, Mon, our guide in Vientiane and Vuthi, our guide in Siem Reap. We learned so many things from these amazing, always smiling, intelligent people, not only about the history of their countries, but also about their culture and modern life in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Overall, we feel like we booked a tour and in the end, we got ourselves one-in-a-lifetime- experience.
"Vietnam /Thailand Trip"
Here we are already a week back home in the US from three weeks in Asia. The continued changes/challenges that are occurring all around our world right now are such a strange and unique phenomenon. I hope everything is going alright on your end, both professionally and personally, in regarding the CoVid-19 issues. WOW!
Since we’ve been home….and even while Mary and I were in Asia….we both remarked on repeated occasions about how fortunate we felt to be able to experience the parts of Asia that we did….and do it the way we did! It was only by way of the assistance that you put into place through the guide services and drivers that we could’ve come away with having such a truly FANTASTIC journey!!
I cannot adequately put into words what a benefit it was to have employed your service for this trip. We are tremendously thankful to you for your flexibility in working with us using our itinerary and blending what we had in mind with what additional experiences might complement our plans. Thank you for working on our behalf to get us into the wonderful hotel accommodations in the various areas. To expound on that a bit…. In Can Tho, we stayed at the Lighthouse B & B. Not knowing what to expect about ANYTHING prior to our arrival….then,….becoming aware of the modest way of life…the poverty that exists in that area….we were STUNNED to be treated to such a fabulous place to stay in the LightHouse!!! Beyond all dreams/expectations! MARVELOUS in every single way!! People make such a big difference…and that was so true at the Lighthouse. Despite our inabilities for fluent communication in Vietnamese, the staff at the hotel were so accommodating, friendly and made us feel so welcome. We had the opportunity to meet the owner just prior to leaving…..such a privilege to meet her and express to her our gratitude.
The second place we stayed at was the Riverside Resort in HoiAn. Such a unique, paradise-like place! Again…the PEOPLE! I hate to used the same words again and again, but, so WONDERFUL was that whole experience!! I could easily see coming back to Hoi An and spending a week or more just at that Resort and in browsing around the Old City and surrounding areas of DaNang.
The Liberty Central Hotel in Saigan felt special too. We couldn’t get over at so many of these hotels…..each one of these hotels….the FOOD was beyond remarkable! Such an array of choices and taste sensations! An apparent tradition in Asia is the welcome drink….what a great thing! It is such a nice gesture…not at all expected, and so revitalizing to a traveler/tourist. The people who worked at every single hotel in which we stayed were so warm and accommodating…such easy people with whom to engage.
The Lapis Hotel in Hanoi …..again….more of the same ….just great!
Inasmuch as every Hotel was wonderful…if there was one that was not quite as great as we’d come to expect, it would be the Siam Hotel in Thailand. The room was darker…older, a tad bit less appealing…overlooked less ‘scenic’ things….BUT….once again, the people are what can really make a difference. A gentleman that sits at the door made a recommendation to us for massages….and with the location being some distance from us…he made arrangements for someone from the hotel to take us there!! Unbelievably nice!!
I need to point out also how great the guides were that accompanied us in our travels. Each one was refreshing, energized, informed and all were delightful. We probably connected most with our guide in DaNang though. “Toan” was our guide throughout the area of DaNang. He was SO fun…and connected with us so easily…amazing. We had such a great time with him that we felt like we’d known him for a long long time. He was kind of like a little ‘Mother Hen’ the way he watched out over us…and he had such a terrific sense of humor that we were laughing so much of the time.
It wasn’t my intent in writing to you …to write so much. It’s just flooding from me; all the memories of such an unforgettable time that I will carry in my soul for the rest of my life.
Thank you for taking my texts/calls when we were in the midst of the vacation and seemed to bump into temporary glitches….they all fixed themselves quickly, but I reached out just to create some awareness in case there was a problem of which early awareness could make a difference. Thank you also for encouraging us to maintain the plan to participate in the motorcycle tour with Vietnam Backstreets. Our tour guide was “Boo”….and there was another driver….think his name was “Hue”….”Boo” caused me to forget my worries and trust that I’d be alright riding on the back of his cycle. Both Mary and I had our reservations about doing that part of the tour….and both of us have said to each other how thankful we are that we DID it! LOVED it!!
The recommendation has been made to every person I know who may be traveling to Asia to get in touch with INDOCHINA PIONEERS to help them with planning their trip. This trip is like no other I’ve ever taken before, and I’m sure such a trip could never be repeated in future trip that could even begin to compare with this one. Strangely enough, Co-V issues worked in our favor…and the timing was spot on! (GULP!) We arrived in Asia before things had festered up all over the world like they did in the weeks we were IN Asia…and then, we got back to the US just in the ‘nick of time’ before all the stringent restrictions were put into place all over! Who KNEW?!!!!
Just wanted to let you know what a great job you and everyone associated with you did….and how much we appreciated it all.
Thank-you, thank-you, THANK-YOU!!
Ruth Achterhoff-Aust…on behalf of both myself, and Mary Young.
"Great Experience during Corona Virus"
We had a tour in March 2020 which was provided by Ryan Mac. He was very helpful in creating a tour according to our interests and wishes. Hung, our tour guide, was excellent he told us a lot of information about Vietnam, cultural and historical wise. During the tour he also changed plans in consolation with us. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus had made us changed several destinations we have planned to go to.
But he always had an alternative option for us so that we continued our trip but with another great alternative.
All and all we were in very good hands. We can only recommend Ryan, Hung and Indochina Pioneer. We will definitely book a tour by Indochina Pioneer on our next trip in Vietnam. Many thanks!
Jonathan TambioCalifornia, USA
"Multi-Country Tour – UNESCO World Heritage Sites"
An amazing adventure. Mr. Ryan Mac assisted with customizing the UNESCO World Heritage Sites tour for our needs. We weren’t interested in certain tours listed on their brochure, and he suggested different activities for us. 3 different countries, 6 different guides – Soukon in Siem Reap; Oun in Luang Prabang; Vito in Hanoi; Huong in Nha Phong; Trang in Hue/Hoi An; and Kim Sa in Ho Chi Minh City – all different personalities, all professional, knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Even though there were a lot of sites to see, activities to do – traveling with an elderly mother, they showed patience and understanding, taking care to assist my mom with large, uneven steps, stairs, and other obstacles that would hinder most mobility-challenged individuals. Our drivers took care to keep us safe on the road as we traveled to and fro, maneuvering through the traffic to get us to our destinations. This was a stress-free, relaxing vacation!. I highly recommend Indochina Pioneer, as well as Mr. Ryan Mac!!!
"Very accommodating, excellent guides"
Kata worked with us to create a tour that went where we wanted to go. We started planning with one of their itineraries, and then asked for a lot of changes to make it own our tour. Kata accommodated every request without a problem. All of the guides were good, some were excellent (Trang in Dalat, Cong in Hue/Hoi An, Vito in Hanoi). The hotels and private cars were all very good. The restaurants they include in the tour are usually higher-end restaurants that make Vietnamese food for tourists. If we were to do it over, we would ask them to take us to more restaurants where Vietnamese people eat, and I’m sure they would have no problem doing that. I have no hesitation in recommending Indochina Pioneer.
Alan TurnerBelfast, United Kingdom
"Top class company"
Booked a 15 tour of Cambodia & Vietnam with these guys. And what a tour it was.
On arrival, they were there at the airport to greet us. And for the following 15 days, the looked after us wonderfully. Every day they were at our hotel with guide and driver in great air con, cars with cold water bottles. We used 5 different guides in various city’s
And each one was great. Well dressed, great local knowledge and very helpful. All on time and happy to change things to suit us. They booked all our hotels and internal flights and paid for all entrances to temples boat trips etc.
They brought us to the airports and helped with check-ins. Nothing was a problem.
I can honestly say it the best tour company we have used in 35 years traveling.
A special thanks to Phuong Nguyen who organised the entire trip for us she was amazing. I changed my mind lots of times and she just adjusted things to suit us.
She even called our hotel in Hanoi to check on us.
What an asset for her company.
Indochina Pioneer is a great company. I would strongly recommend them. 5 stars.