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- Day 1: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
- Day 2: HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & City Sightseeing
- Day 3: HCM City – Cruise the Song Xanh Sampan
- Day 4: Cai Rang Floating Market – Can Tho
- Day 5: Can Tho – Flight to Phu Quoc Island
- Day 6: Phu Quoc Island – Day at leisure
- Day 7: Phu Quoc Island – Day at leisure
- Day 8: Phu Quoc Island – HCM City – Departure
Vietnam’s southern region has always been a highlight for any Vietnam trip. Start with a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Cu Chi tunnels, where you can actually try squeezing through this underground maze of tunnels. See the exciting life in Ho Chi Minh City before exploring the Mekong Delta’s coconut leaf framed waterways. Watch the locals trading fruit and necessities from their boats in Cai Rang floating market and Can Tho – the ‘Western Capital of Vietnam’. Reward yourself by unwinding, and relax on the numerous idyllic beaches of Phu Quoc island.
Arrival in Ho Chi Minh CityDay 1
Xin Chao! Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Upon arrival, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you at the arrivals lounge, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the city centre.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of HCM City, still called Saigon by the locals. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at Bloom restaurant. Your visit will ‘Make A Difference’ to this Culinary Vocational Training facility developed by the charity ‘Aid to Children Without Parents’ that provides training to disadvantaged young people in the hospitality industry enabling them to become self-reliant.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & City SightseeingDay 2
After breakfast, you and your family will be met by your private guide and driver and taken to Cu Chi, a small community located northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its network of deep tunnels that provided shelter and an effective source of infiltration for the Viet Cong during the later years of the Vietnam War.
Upon arrival, you will watch the original film footage from the period, followed by a walk through the reserve. The hidden network of Viet Cong tunnels is believed to stretch to “hundreds of miles,” in total length, housed living quarters, storage rooms, makeshift hospitals, and kitchens…etc. Although originally very narrow, some parts have been widened for the tourists and you have the opportunity to explore parts of the system.
Try some of the main food of the Viet Cong Soldiers with a cassava tasting served with tangy tea. After that transfer to your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
Spend the rest of the day visiting some of Ho Chi Minh City’s key highlights. We’ll tailor your tour to suit you, but we particularly recommend visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, the historic Rex Hotel, the General Post Office, renowned for its architecture, and Ben Thanh Market.
Later stop at the Reunification Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum to learn more of Vietnam’s turbulent past.
Proceed to the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda before finishing in fine style with a sundowner at the top of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Cruise the Song Xanh SampanDay 3
After breakfast, your tour guide and driver will collect you from the hotel and transfer you to Cai Be town, located in the Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival, you will board the boutique Song Sanh Sampan and begin cruising. From the Sampan you will be able to observe life as it plays out onshore – people going about their daily activities against picturesque landscapes – while your attentive crew serves tea and seasonal fruit. Before arriving at Sa Dec, you will stop at various points along the river for a look into some of the cottage industries of the region including a brick factory where everything is made by hand. You will pass the monkey bridges and tiny villages to visit a Cao Dai temple.
Arrive in Sa Dec and stroll to the outdoor market. Visit one of the highlights of the charming town, the ancient house of Huynh Thuy Le, a real-life character in the celebrated novel and film “The Lover” by Marguerite Duras.
Lunch will be served on board while cruising towards Can Tho along a narrow canal teeming with life. You will also explore the countryside surroundings by local rowboat. Your last stopover before sunset will be at an ancient house (a “Nha Co” in Vietnamese), dating back to the 19th century. The owner will welcome you and a candlelit dinner is served in this authentic countryside setting.
After dinner, return on board while the Song Xanh Sampan continues its way towards the Hau River.
Overnight on board Song Xanh Sampan
Cai Rang Floating Market – Can ThoDay 4
Wake up early to visit the famous Cai Rang Floating Market which operates daily starting from 5:00 am. Breakfast will be served on board while the Song Xanh navigates towards the market among local barges loaded down with fruits and vegetables from the Delta, making for some stunning photos.
Disembark at Can Tho Jetty and transfer to the hotel for check-in.
Take a guided tour of this charming city. Known as the “Western Capital of Vietnam”, Can Tho, the largest city in the Mekong Delta, is a beautiful area drawing influences from the Khmer, Chinese, and French.
You will first visit the Ancient House of Binh Thuy, an outstanding example of Western and Oriental architectural elements.
Next is the Can Tho Grand Prison which will give you a chilling insight into Vietnam’s past.
End your afternoon with a visit to a family Cacao farm where you can see the whole process of chocolate making from the plant to the ready product. The owner will explain and demonstrate things and also your own guide does.
Enjoy your leisure time. You may visit the Can Tho Night Market that runs along the river, a perfect place to try some delicious street food as well as buying some souvenirs.
Overnight in Can Tho
Can Tho – Flight to Phu Quoc IslandDay 5
After breakfast transfer to Can Tho Airport for a short flight to Phu Quoc Island, a stunningly beautiful and peaceful tropical paradise that floats in the warm and sparkling cobalt waters off the Gulf of Thailand. Despite being fringed by perfect white sand beaches and tropical waters, the tear-shaped island of Phu Quoc is still relatively undiscovered.
On arrival, transfer to the beach resort for check-in. Spend the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island – Day at leisureDay 6
The whole day is at your leisure. You can spend time exploring the rustic fishing villages and unspoiled beaches that dot the landscape. Watching the sunset on the beach with a few cocktails shouldn’t be missed. Phu Quoc is also a great place to sample some of Vietnam’s best seafood, with regional specialities of sea snake, octopus, shrimp and lobster.
Overnight in Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island – Day at leisureDay 7
Today is another free day for you to enjoy everything that Phu Quoc has to offer. Spend time to chill out at the beach or book a diving trip. The warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand make Phu Quoc a great spot for diving and snorkeling. The reefs that surround the island abound with colourful marine life while the clear waters guarantee a great view. The best time to do this is from November until March.
Overnight in Phu Quoc Island
Phu Quoc Island – HCM City – DepartureDay 8
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out of the resort by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to Phu Quoc airport to board a short flight back to HCM City and then transfer via your departure flight or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Discover the spectacular maze of Cu Chi tunnels below ground. See the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City
- A cruise along the waterways and a friendly guesthouse with local fare gets you up close and personal with life on the legendary Mekong Delta.
- Discover an island paradise off the south coast of Phu Quoc. Lounge and make the most out of your relaxing on the beach
- 7 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 1 dinner and 2 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax, and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Vietnam, the entry visa to Vietnam, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
How to Plan a successful Trip to Vietnam, Step-by-Step
Why to visit Vietnam
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
How to Book a Tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to visit Vietnam
Vietnam, the S-shaped country, also commonly likened to the shape of a dragon, is located to the west of the South China Sea. The perfect combination of colonial elegance and rustic charm, it guarantees to satisfy all types of travelers with its rich experiences made all the more special by its charming people.
With cities to explore, temples to admire, and green countrysides to roam, there is plenty to see and do in Vietnam. Known as a colorful and diverse country from the wild mountainous north, with its myriad of ethnic communities, to the sleepless city of Ho Chi Minh City (previously known as Saigon) on the edge of the Mekong Delta, it is difficult to pick just one region to visit when coming to Vietnam.
The charming capital of Hanoi is a fascinating mix of fading colonial buildings and national monuments; the scenery of Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is bound to leave you speechless; Hue, home to the old Kings of Vietnam, appears to have been frozen in time for several hundred years with its ancient atmosphere and architecture.
With a 3260km coastline, Vietnam is home to many top-tier beaches; the country’s most unsung beauties. My Khe beach – “one of the most attractive beaches on the planet” as described by Forbes – offers blue skies, smooth white sand, clear & warm water year-round. Phu Quoc island, boasting several luxury resorts, is also a favorite escape for the rich and famous. The abundance of mountains, rainforests, and natural lakes also makes Vietnam a great destination for trekking, hiking, mountain biking, sea and river kayaking, and classic overland tours.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Vietnam
• Sapa & Mai Chau – visit the hill tribe villages and plantations
• Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam
• Halong Bay – a UNESCO World Heritage site
• Hue – the ancient capital of Vietnam
• Hoi An – the kitchen of Vietnam and paradise on Earth
• Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon) – the economic heart of Vietnam
• The Cu Chi Tunnels – walk through the history of the Vietnam War
• Mekong Delta – see the floating markets
When to Go
Even though Vietnam lies entirely in the tropic zone, its climate varies surprisingly from region to region. Therefore this charming land is well-known as an “all-year-around” available destination for travelers.
In the north, from Sapa to Hanoi, there are 4 seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.
In the central region, from Nha Trang to Hue, sunshine lasts throughout the year, except for the months of November and December when heavy rainfalls occur. Dalat, at an altitude of 1500m, is cooler than the coastal area, particularly from November to March. Da Nang and Hue both experience typhoon activity from mid-October to mid-December when the climate becomes cooler, more overcast and wet.
In the south, from Ho Chi Minh City to Phan Thiet, there are two main seasons: wet and dry. The wet season falls between April and September, with sudden heavy showers that don’t last very long. The dry season spans the months of October to March, with higher temperatures and long days of sunshine, followed by cooler nights.
Obtain a Vietnam Visa
Almost all visitors to Vietnam need a visa to enter the country, although some exemptions apply for citizens of countries with reciprocal agreements with Vietnam. Depending upon the nationality and passport of the applicant, a tourist visa can be obtained at the Vietnamese diplomatic office or consulates in foreign countries. Visas can also be obtained with the help of a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, known as a “Visa on Arrival”. Visas may be either single-entry or multiple-entry, as requested at the time of application.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The easiest way is to get your visa through a licensed Vietnamese Travel Company, such as Indochina Pioneer. We can quickly and efficiently organize your pre-arranged VOA if you wish. Our visa processing fee is a reasonable rate of USD$10 / person only. Except for American citizens who are required to pay a stamping fee of USD$135 to get a 1-year, multiple-entry tourist visa, other nationalities need to pay just USD$25 / person for a single entry and USD$50 / person for multiple entries.
- To apply for your VOA please email us the following information:
- Arrival and departure dates
- Full passport details:
- Passport number
- Issuing date
- Expiry date
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport.
- Once we have received your information, we will secure a Visa Approval Letter for you. This usually takes about 2 – 4 working days (ie. excluding weekends). We will then send you the letter via email or fax. You must present this letter upon boarding your flight. Also, you will need to prepare two photos (6 cm high x 4 cm wide – white background, no glasses, no smiling).
- On arrival at the airport (in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City) please find the Visa on Arrival window/counter where you will hand over your passport and photos, and be given a simple form to fill out. Pay the stamping fee of USD$25 for the single entry and USD$50 for multiple entries. The staff at the airport will shortly return your passport with your visa, after which you will be allowed to exit the airport.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain amount of time:
- Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
- Japan, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
- Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and United Kingdom (maximum stay of up to 15 days)
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for a VOA and will have to apply at their nearest Vietnamese embassy/consulate :
South Asia – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa
Starting from February 1st, 2017, the Vietnamese government officially launched the electronic visa plan for foreign tourists of certain countries visiting Vietnam. To apply for an e-visa, please visit http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn or http://www.immigration.gov.vn. For the list of
countries whose citizens are eligible to apply for an e-visa to Vietnam, click here.
How to Book a Tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (MR. LAM) or +84 983 145 799 (MR. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at [email protected] with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
Reviews on Our Service
We 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!