Embark on this exciting tour to visit all World Heritage Sites of Vietnam! Discover Hanoi’s most iconic sites and its delicious food. Enjoy the majestic beauty of Halong Bay with an overnight on cruise. Discover a myriad of underground streams and grottos in Ninh Binh. Explore the glamorous Phong Nha Cave. Head to Hue for the famous Imperial Citadel and stroll through the lovely streets of Hoi An Ancient Town. Visit Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) landmarks and go on a discovery day in lush green Ben Tre – the home of coconut in Mekong Delta. Crawl through the legendary Cu Chi tunnels.
- Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
- Day 2: Hanoi – Full day City Tour
- Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Day 4: Halong Bay – Yen Duc Village – Hanoi
- Day 5: Hanoi – Ninh Binh
- Day 6: Ninh Binh – Day train to Dong Hoi – Phong Nha National Park
- Day 7: Discover Phong Nha & Paradise Caves
- Day 8: Dong Hoi – Day train to Hue
- Day 9: Hue – Full day City Tour
- Day 10: Hue – Hoi An
- Day 11: Hoi An – Walking & Food Tour
- Day 12: Hoi An – My Son Holly Land
- Day 13: Hoi An / Da Nang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi Tunnels
- Day 14: HCM City – Sightseeing tour full day
- Day 15: HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta)
- Day 16: 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
Xin Chao! Welcome to Ha Noi, Vietnam.
Your private guide and driver will meet you in the arrivals lounge and take you directly to the hotel. Please look for the Indochina Pioneer welcome signboard with your name on it.
Your knowledgeable guide will be happy to answer any questions along the way regarding your 16-day holiday in Vietnam and will assist you with check-in and registration at the hotel.
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 Hanoi
Hanoi – Full day City TourDay 2
After breakfast, your Vietnam Holiday will begin as your private tour guide picks you up and takes you on a full-day city tour of Hanoi, famed for its tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, and a thousand years of history. Below are the recommended sites, but of course, your guide will be happy to modify the list based on your preferences.
– Thang Long Citadel (the first UNESCO World Heritage Site on your list), built in the 11th century by the Ly Viet Dynasty, marking the independence of the Dai Viet (former Vietnam)
– Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Stilt House and the Presidential Palace
– One Pillar Pagoda, one of the most iconic temples in Vietnam
– Huu Tiep Lake, where you will be able to see the Downed B-52, an interesting slice of history nestled in the day to day life of the residents of Hanoi
– the impressive Women’s Museum
Lunch will be served at KOTO (Know One Teach One), a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
You will continue to visit;
– The Temple of Literature (a Confucius temple considered the first National University of Vietnam)
– Hoa Lo prison (known as the “Hanoi Hilton” during the Vietnam War)
– A stroll around the iconic Hoan Kiem Lake to visit Ngoc Son Temple
Meander onwards to Hanoi Old Quarter and explore the maze of laneways of this historic neighborhood. Home to inwardly leaning wooden shophouses and decrepit colonial villas, the Old Quarter is an explosion of local flavour, and your personal guide will be able to steer you through the tangle of lanes to find delectable local eateries and uncover new favourite dishes.
After the walking and food tour return to your hotel where the rest of the evening is at your leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Halong BayDay 3
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 (the second UNESCO World Heritage Site on your list) 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 – Yen Duc Village – HanoiDay 4
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.
Upon returning to your mainland your guide and driver will take you back to Hanoi. En route, you will stop at Yen Duc, a beautiful and typical village of Northern Vietnam, where you can stroll around the village, meet the locals, and learn about their daily life. You will also watch a traditional water puppet show performed by the local artists.
After the show, return to Hanoi where you spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Ninh BinhDay 5
After breakfast and check out you are picked up by your private guide and driver for departure to the dramatic mountain scenery of Ninh Binh. Just three hours away from Hanoi, Ninh Binh has remained relatively untouched offering striking limestone karst scenery and a myriad of underground streams and grottos.
Upon arrival, you will set out to explore the Trang An eco-tourism complex (the third Unesco World Heritage site on your list), and its staggering karst landscapes, replete with secret grottoes, towering peaks, and tranquil streams. Board a sampan for a journey through Trang An’s spectacular network of caves, archways, and grottoes, including Sang Cave, Toi Cave, Ba Giot Cave, and Sinh Cave.
After lunch, you will continue to visit 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.
On 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 – Day train to Dong Hoi – Phong Nha National ParkDay 6
After breakfast and check out of the hotel, you will be transferred to Ninh Binh Railway station to catch the day train to Dong Hoi. The train ride is 9 hours and you will have the four-berth soft sleeper compartment with air conditioning, nice and comfy.
Upon 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 & Paradise CavesDay 7
After breakfast depart for your exploration of Phong Nha Cave (the forth Unesco World Heritage site on your list), 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
Dong Hoi – Day train to HueDay 8
You will have the whole morning at your leisure. Breakfast will be served at the Farmstay and check out of the room at midday.
Your 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 (the forth Unesco World Heritage site on your list) explore 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 9
After breakfast, your private tour guide and driver will pick you up and take you to the outskirt to visit the local market of Thanh Toan. People from the surrounding areas gather here every morning to trade and buy their daily food. You will walk around the market stalls, talk and mingle with the locals. Nearby is the ancient Thanh Toan Covered Bridge dating back to the 1700s, and the Cultural Museum which displays Vietnamese agricultural life.
Head back to the city centre to take a cyclo (rickshaw) ride through the ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax. From here you will explore the Imperial City (the fifth Unesco World Heritage site on your list) with walls six miles in length; inside are the palaces and halls of the Mandarins and the remains of the Forbidden Purple City.
Travel to the surrounding countryside to see the final resting place (royal tomb) of King Khai Dinh, designed in traditional Vietnamese style with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue.
A vegetarian lunch will be served by the nuns at a Buddhist Pagoda. Take the opportunity to learn about the religion Buddhism or just get to know your friendly hosts.
After lunch, continue to visit Vietnam’s only Ancient colosseum; the site of elephant and tiger fighting.
Embark on the Dragon boat trip cruising down the famous Perfume River. En route you will make a quick stop, get off the boat to visit 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.
Your day comes to an end at 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.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Hoi AnDay 10
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 where 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 11
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 (the sixth Unesco World Heritage site on your list) 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 12
Depart early in the morning (to avoid the crowds) for the exploration of My Son Sanctuary (the seventh Unesco World Heritage site on your list) – 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.
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.
Head back to town. 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 / Da Nang – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City/ Saigon – Cu Chi TunnelsDay 13
After breakfast and check out, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (HCM City), previously known as Saigon.
Your private guide and driver will meet you at HCM City airport and take you 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, a section of the tunnels has been widened so you will have the opportunity to explore parts of the system to get a feel for what the underground life must have been like.
Please note that these tunnels will be hot and can get claustrophobic, so there is an option if you’d like to view from above ground.
Try some of the main food of the Viet Cong Soldiers with a cassava tasting served with tangy tea. After that transfer your hotel in Ho Chi Minh City.
After experiencing the Tunnels you will be driven to your hotel in the city centre for check-in. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Sightseeing tour full dayDay 14
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 contains displays of military aircraft, weaponry and a collection of harrowing photographs taken during the war.
– the Reunification Palace (the former Presidential 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
You also have a chance to pass by the Former U.S. Embassy (now becoming the Consulate General of the United States) and the Saigon villa of General Westmoreland.
Lunch will be served at the renowned Pho 2000 Restaurant, where former US president Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea once patronized.
After lunch, you will visit the unique 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 atmospheric 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 – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta)Day 15
After breakfast, your private guide and driver will take you out of HCM City in a private vehicle and onto some beautiful country roads to Ben Tre Town in the Mekong Delta, famous for its vast rice fields, numerous waterways, and beautiful landscapes. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, rice, sugar cane, and coconuts.
After the two-hour drive through the lush farming land, you will arrive in Ben Tre where you will set out on a motorized boat trip on narrow channels winding through the coconut forest. During the boat ride, you will stop at the local cottage industries to see how the local people make bricks and weave sleeping mats by hand. Learn about their craft handed down through generations.
Take a leisure walk along the village lanes, visiting the local homes to try fresh fruits, taste delicious honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. Continue to visit another workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced and a wide range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.
Next, take a small sampan through palm-fringed back canals, gliding peacefully along the hidden waterways surrounded by an immense variety of tropical plants. The quiet, rural setting is a welcome and restorative retreat to the frenetic buzz of HCM City which seems far, far away.
Enjoy sitting in the back a Motor Cart (xe lôi) passing local hamlets, rice fields, coconut groves, and lush orchard farms while meeting with local people.
After finishing your sightseeing tour your guide will take you to a riverside restaurant for lunch with local specialties then return to the pier and drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.
This evening you will be free to visit the night market to discover the authentic local cuisine or simply enjoy a glass of cocktail on the rooftop bar of the historic Rex Hotel.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – DepartureDay 16
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 World Heritage Sites of Vietnam Tour is tailor-made to present all the Vietnamese UNESCO World Heritages, 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 suit your requirements.
- Discover Hanoi’s best-known landmarks, enjoy authentic local food
- Spend a night for quality time onboard an overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay.
- Unveil the spectacular network of caves, archways, and grottoes in Ninh Binh
- Explore the glamorous Phong Nha Cave (the world’s largest cave), enjoy a day ride train through the DMZ
- Visit Imperial Citadel and Emperor Mausoleums in Hue.
- Climb the Marble Mountain, Walk through the charming town of Hoi An
- 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. Crawl through the legendary Cu Chi Tunnels.
- Enjoy a discovery day in lush green Ben Tre town – Home of coconut in Mekong Delta
- 15 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 3 dinners and 7 lunches at well-selected restaurants (Vegetarian/ Halal food upon request)
- 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.