Days

14

Price

$3570

Departs 

15 Oct 2017

Finishes 

28 Oct 2017

 

Join Ron on a private 14 day Indochina adventure through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

Travel from Bangkok to Hanoi, experiencing the delights of northern Thailand, the laidback river lifestyle of Laos, the wonders of Angkor Wat and the cultural richness of Vietnam. This is an adventure full of beauty and contrast that will introduce you to the delicious cuisine, friendly people, beautiful landscape and cosmopolitan cities of these fascinating countries all through the eye of a veteran global photographer.

 

Start: Bangkok, Thailand

Finish: Hanoi, Vietnam

Countries: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam

Code: TH-GUSI171015

Style: Custom

Theme: Photography

 

 Highlights

  • Travel with Veteran Global Photographer Ron Wyatt
  • Acquaint yourself with frenetic Bangkok, a wonderland of excellent street food, enchanting canals and sprawling marketplaces
  • Participate in centuries old local traditions by offering alms to Monks and make an offering at a temple
  • Discover the highlights of refined Luang Prabang with a guide, and see why UNESCO rates this city so highly
  • Catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple complex, one of Southeast Asia’s most stunning sights
  • Cruise the sea of the limestone karst studded Halong Bay
  • Hike through the rolling rice terraces, waterfalls, mountains and lush green hills of Sapa and you’ll quickly realize why this has become an iconic image of Vietnam

 

How to book

Booking as part of a Private Departure is a two-step process.

Step 1. Please submit your information in the form to the right.  Once the information has been received you will be tentatively booked onto the trip.  We will email you a booking link where you can securely pay your deposit via the Intrepid Travel website.

Step 2. To finalize your booking, you must log in to the Intrepid Travel website and pay your deposit. Your place on the trip is only be confirmed once a deposit has been paid.  Please follow the instruction in the email to log into the Intrepid Website, pay your deposit, and update your personal information.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please call Intrepid Travel Custom and Private Groups at 855-394-3021. We are available Monday – Friday from 8:00am – 8:00pm EST.

Please fill in details below

 

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. On arrival at the airport, you will be met by airport representative and transferred to your hotel.

This evening you will get into everything you’ve been waiting for – bring on the food! With your local guide, you’ll head to a market specializing in Chinese religious products and fresh food. At night, this area is filled with street stalls and becomes one giant and extremely tasty food bazaar.

With a belly full of Bangkok treats, you’ll continue on this food tour. You’ll stop off at Talat Pak Khlong, the largest wholesale flower and vegetable market in Bangkok, an area rich in color and vitality, and the perfect spot to take some bright Bangkok photos.

This Chinatown Food Discovery tour is not only an opportunity to sample all the yummy delights that Chinatown has to offer, although we must admit that is a serious pro! It’s all that food, plus history, culture, and local life.

Transfer: Arrival Transfer included on individual basis

 

Included Activities

  • Dinner at Bangkok Chinatown
  • Talat Pak Khlong, the largest wholesale flower and vegetable market

 

Accommodation

Nouvo City hotel or similar

 

 

You’ll begin this Bangkok tour by hopping on a local public bus and heading over to the Grand Palace. Your local guide will tell you all about the history behind the Palace and the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew, considered to be the spiritual center of the nation.

You’ll move on to Wat Po, another temple that is integral to the Buddhist religion in Thailand. It’s home to the infamous golden reclining Buddha and is the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. This is one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok, and with our local guide, you’ll hear secret stories and learn local knowledge.

You’ll continue by walking down to the Chao Phraya River, or River of Kings, where you’ll board a longtail boat. The name of the river perfectly reflects this part of the tour; you’ll feel like royalty on your relaxing journey down the River of Kings! This is the reason why Bangkok is known as the ‘Venice of the East’, and you’ll explore this nickname further on this Bangkok boat tour as you glide through the network of ‘khlongs’, or canals. Many of the khlongs have been filled in over the years and converted into roads. These roads have turned into little Thai communities, and as you swoop through the waters you’ll discover insights into these little communities.

Dress standard: Dress requirements to enter the Grand Palace are very strict. Please ensure you wear dark colored pants or skirts that are ankle length and a dark colored t-shirt, shirt or blouse and covered shoes are suitable. A respectable black or white collared shirt is what the Thais wear. If you are unable to wear black, you can pin a black bow tie on your arm which we can offer. Please note the authorities will likely deny the entire group entry if anyone is not dressed appropriately.

Late afternoon transfers to Bangkok airport for your flight to Chiang Mai say goodbye to Bangkok and your local guide. On arrival at Chiang Mai airport, you will be met by Chiang Mai local guide and transferred to your hotel. Check in and free at leisure.

Included Activities

  • Grand Palace
  • Wat Po
  • Klong tour

Accommodation

Nouvo City hotel – Day room

Raming Lodge Hotel or similar

 

Get up close and personal with Chiang Mai's Buddhist way of life on this cultural Chiang Mai tour for adventurers and soul seekers.

Start your Chiang Mai tour with a scenic drive in a songthaew - an iconic public bus. As you make your way down Suthep Road, stop by Kad Ton Payom, a flea market well known for its northern Thai cuisine. Afterwards, offer alms to monks to ‘make merit’, then enjoy a traditional style Chiang Mai breakfast.

Next we'll make our way to Wat U-Mong, a 600-year-old temple famed for its large painted pagoda and underground tunnel. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and perhaps take the opportunity to talk with the abbot about Buddhism and Dharma.

From there, our Chiang Mai tour will pay a visit Wat Suan Dok temple, where you can mingle with monks and learn about their way of life. Take some time out to learn basic meditation, and cap the day off by making an offering to the Sangkhatharn.

Dress standard: Dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate.  As this trip visits religious sites, please ensure your knees and shoulders are covered.

Enjoy an evening out by having a Khantoke Dinner, the customary northern Thai style of eating with food being served in large platters at low tables while you sit on mats on the floor.

As you enjoy your meal, let yourself be entertained by a selection of northern cultural performances including the charming Fon Lep (Thai Finger Dance), Ram Dab (Thai Sword Dance), Fon Thiean (Thai Candle Dance), and Ram Wong (Group Dance).

To end the evening, there is a special hilltribe show performed by various members of Yao, Lahu, Meo, Lisu, and Karen hilltribe.

Included Activities

  • Chiang Mai Mind & Soul Urban Adventure
  • Discover local Buddhism practices and rituals at Chiang Mai temples
  • Participate in centuries old local traditions by offering alms to Monks and make an offering at a temple
  • Gain insight into Buddhism and Dharma at Wat U-Mong
  • Experience the practice of ‘making merit’ to the Sangkha or monks at Wat Suan Dok
  • Grab a typical northern Thai breakfast
  • Ride in a songthaew, an iconic local public bus

Accommodation

Raming Lodge Hotel or similar

 

Transfer to Chiang Mai airport for flight to Luang Prabang. Once the heart and soul of the ancient Lao Kingdom (Lan Xang) and designated a World Heritage site in 1995, Luang Prabang is endowed with a legacy of historic red-roofed temples and French-Indochinese architecture, not to mention some of the country's most refined cuisine, a multi-ethnic population and rich culture. It’s a wonderful place to wander the side streets and dusty lanes and seemingly step back into another era. In the late afternoon, you’ll visit the National Museum at the former Royal Palace, a building that combines French colonial and traditional Lao architecture. The collection of treasures and artifacts reflects the richness of Lao culture, dating from the days of the early kings right through to the last sovereign, who was deposed in 1975. A large hill called Mt Phu Si dominates Luang Prabang's skyline, topped by a glittering golden stupa. You’ll climb the 328 zig-zag steps up to the sacred gilled stupa and big drum of the Phu Si Temple for a panoramic view of Luang Prabang and its surrounds at sunset.

Notes: Please note that the flight time today is subject to change, depending on availability. Your local guide will advise you of the pick-up time from your hotel. On arrival in Luang Prabang you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.

Transfer: Arrival transfer included on group basis

Included Activities

  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si

Accommodation

Luang Prabang Legend or similar

 

Travel with your local guide approximately 25 kilometers along the Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves. On the way, you’ll have the opportunity to stop at the small village of Ban Xang Hai, which means Jar-Maker Village, so named because this used to be the local cottage industry here. Nowadays, the jars come from elsewhere and the village residents fill them with fiery lao lao (the local rice wine). The Pak Ou Caves consist of two sacred limestone caverns filled with Buddha images of all styles and sizes, brought by devoted villagers over the centuries. The lower cave, known as Tham Ting, is entered from the river by a series of steps and can easily be seen in daylight. The higher cave, Tham Phum, is deeper and requires a flashlight for viewing. You will enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Luang Prabang, stopping at the silk-weaving village of Ban Phanom on the way. Back in Luang Prabang, maybe sip an evening drink on the veranda of the wonderful colonial-style Villa Santi Hotel.

Included Activities

  • Village Visits- Ban Xang Hai and Ban Phanom
  • Pak Ou Caves

Accommodation

Luang Prabang Legend or similar

 

Say goodbye to Laos as you make your way to Cambodia. Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for your departure flight.

Transfer: Departure Transfer included on group basis

 

Welcome to Cambodia!

Upon arrival at the  Siem Reap international airport you will be met by your English speaking tour leader who will be waiting with a welcome sign with your names at the airport arrival station. After greeting one another, you will travel by private vehicle to the hotel.

Transfer: Arrival Transfer included on group basis

Optional Activities:

  • Siem Reap street food by night with Khmer snacks and dinner, bottle of water or fruit shake or beer 56USD/person. See description below:

Consider this epic local food adventure.Your authentic Siem Reap evening starts off with a ride on a moto-remork, an articulated moto-rickshaw that’s commonly seen on Siem Reap’s streets.

Your food-loving local guide will uncover hidden local street food treasures and beloved recommendations of local snacks, such as yellow bean cake or Khmer rice cake. You’ll also see the spices and other ingredients featured in local food, and hear about the traditional remedies and medicine.

Next, we’ll hit up a local picnic spot where stalls are set up in the early evening selling a multitude of interesting snacks. Hopefully you still have room for even more amazing Cambodian food, because our next stop is a local restaurant to sample some tasty local delicacies.

After dinner, you’ll have the option to return to your hotel or end our Siem Reap food tour at Pub Street – a convenient spot - it’s perfect for exploring local bar and café life. Alternatively, our local guide will be happy to provide other recommendations for a great night out.

Accommodation:

Navutu Dream Resort and Spa hotel or similar

 

This morning pickup at 05:00am from the hotel and start your Angkor adventure by watching predawn sunrise over the Angkor Wat temple. This is a great photo opportunity to witness the natural beauty of this acient temple and easily the most famous and best-preserved of all temples within the Angkor Wat. We then move on to Angkor Thom visiting Bayon, with its 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatic smiling faces. Examples include Phimeanakas, Baphoun, Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. We finish the morning with a stop at the South Gate of Angkor Thom City where the gods and demons line the road leading to the gate struggling in a cosmic tug-of-war.

Return to town for lunch at the NGO restaurant, Marum resturant. After enjoying lunch, head back to see Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider) temple, which was made famous by the movie Tomb Raider. Feel like one of the early explorers as you visit this temple which has been left to be reclaimed by the jungle.

Included Activities:

  • Siem Reap - 3days Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap – Angkor Wat temple for sunrise, Angkor Thom city temples, Ta Prohm temple

Accommodation:

Navutu Dream Resort and Spa hotel or similar

Take an early morning trip through the countryside to the small village of Kbal Spean. On the way to Kbal Spean, try sugar palm candy and see how the fruit is harvested.

Upon arrival at Kbal Spean, visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, which is home to animals that have been saved from trafficking. Creatures housed here include gibbons, monkeys, anteaters, storks, snakes, giant ibis, turtles, and the bright eyed and cuddly slow loris (the ACCB is closed Sundays and public holidays).

There will be an option to take a relatively easy uphill jungle trek (about 40 minutes) to the River of a Thousand Lingas. Here you can encounter Hindu sculptures which were carved into the river's granite banks and bed more than a thousand years ago. It is a 1.5km uphill walk to the carvings, but well worth the climb for the view of the valley below. Ensure you have suitable footwear and carry water if you intend to do the walk.

Enjoy lunch at the Bong Thom home stay, known for growing organic vegetables. Return to the temple of Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. Considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of Angkor art, this temple boasts some of the finest and best-preserved stone carvings in the site.

On the way back to the town you can capture the beautiful sunset by climbing one of the oldest buildings in the Angkor complex, the brick pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Included Activities:

  • Siem Reap - Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity
  • Siem Reap – Visit Banteay Srei temple, Kbal Spean
  • Siem Reap – Sugar palm candy production visit; Pre Rup temple 

Accommodation:

Navutu Dream Resort and Spa hotel or similar

 

Depart Cambodia and transfer to the Siem Reap international airport with your English speaking tour leader.

Transfer: Departure Transfer included on group basis

 

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam.

You will be met on arrival in Hanoi airport and transferred to your hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting.

Transfer: Arrival Transfer included on group basis

The capital of Vietnam is a charming city with a population of over six million. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and its thriving Old Quarter, which is an architectural museum piece with blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a 1930s provincial French town. As Vietnam develops to compete with other South-East Asian countries, the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake reflects the contrasts of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and the tangle of ancient streets in its still surface. You are free to explore and take photos for the rest of the day.

Accommodation

May De Ville City Centre - Han Thuyen or similar

Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin (approximately four hours). The bay is dotted with sandy coves, grottos and 1,600 limestone islands, which have been formed over millennia by wind and water erosion. Board a private boat and cruise the bay, exploring island caves and even enjoying a swim in the South China Sea. To end the day, spend a peaceful night aboard the boat beneath the night sky.

The sailing junk has twin share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar to enjoy lunch, dinner and breakfast.

Included Activities

  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise

Accommodation – Bien Ngoc boat

Overnight boat

This morning, take a bus back to Hanoi, and use free time in the afternoon to shop, explore the sights or just relax. This evening, you are transferred to the train station where you board a sleeper train bound for Sapa via the town of Lao Cai (approx. 8 hrs.).

Conditions aboard the train are basic and cleanliness might not be as we would expect back home, however overnight trains are a truly experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Sleeper trains typically have four berth compartments (occasionally six berth depending on seasonal variations) of which two are bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travelers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. You will be sharing with local travelers. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travelers take the opportunity to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure.

Accommodation

Overnight sleeper train

Day use room at May De Ville City Centre - Han Thuyen – 6 people per room

After a short drive we will leave Sapa Town and follow the road as it climbs to Tram Ton Pass; it’s the highest pass in Vietnam, at 2047 m. On the way there you will have many perfect opportunities to enjoy the view of the Hoang Lien Mountain Range. Coming back down from the pass we will stop and leave our car behind to explore the area of the Golden Stream and Love Waterfall. We will walk for about 2 km through the jungle to reach this waterfall. While walking, you will be able to see the local cardamom plants, which are used for medicine and cooking.

After the Love Waterfall we will stop at the Silver Waterfall. Here you will have some time to climb the steps next to the waterfall, to experience the best view of the waterfall and the area around it. Then we will drive back to Sapa Town to have lunch. Your guide will take you further up the mountains to Sau Chua and Hang Da. On your way, you can take in the breathtaking view of the mountains, rice fields and valleys around you.

Included Activities

  • Tram Ton Pass
  • Silver Waterfall
  • Sau Chua
  • Hang Da

Accommodation

Sapa Legend hotel & Spa or similar

 

After breakfast, we will visit Lao Chai village, a vibrant Hmong community where we will have lunch at the homestay.

After lunch we will trek from Lao Chai to Ta Van on small roads through the paddy fields. After a relaxing drive through Ta Van, we will return to Sapa, where we will arrive around 4 pm.

Our car tours are very flexible. You can ask your guide to stop any time you want to take a photos or take a closer look at the mountain scenery or the village life. In this way, you will be able to see many different aspects of life in Sapa.

Included Activities

  • Lao Chai village
  • Ta Van Village

Accommodation

Overnight sleeper train

You arrive in Hanoi in the early morning. You are transferred to the hotel in Hanoi where you will have access to a day use (only) room at May De Ville City Centre - Han Thuyen – 6 person per room. The adventure ends today and you are free to depart for onward travel.

Accommodation: Not included

 

More about your trip

Accommodation

  • Refer to day by day itinerary
  • Hotel (10 nights)
  • Overnight Train (2 nights)
  • Overnight Boat (1 night)

 

Rooming Requirements

Twin share

 

Included Meals

  • Breakfast (13)
  • Lunch (11)
  • Dinner (13)

 

Transport

Private Vehicle, Boat, Plane, Overnight Train, Taxi, Public Transit, Bus

 

Leader/Guide

English Speaking Leader throughout

Included Activities

  • Dinner at Bangkok Chinatown
  • Talat Pak Khlong, the largest wholesale flower and vegetable market
  • Grand Palace
  • Wat Po
  • Klong tour
  • Chiang Mai Mind & Soul Urban Adventure
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Palace Museum
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si
  • Village Visits- Ban Xang Hai and Ban Phanom
  • Pak Ou Caves
  • Siem Reap - 3days Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap – Angkor Wat temple for sunrise, Angkor Thom city temples, Ta Prohm temple
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity
  • Siem Reap – Visit Banteay Srei temple, Kbal Spean
  • Siem Reap – Sugar palm candy production visit; Pre Rup temple 
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Tram Ton Pass
  • Silver Waterfall
  • Sau Chua
  • Hang Da
  • Lao Chai village
  • Ta Van Village

Entrance/Admission Fees

Where applicable with included activities

 

Airport Transfers

  • Individual Arrival Transfer - Bangkok
  • Departure transfers on group basis

*Flight details are needed 45 days in advance.

 

Exclusions

  • International Flights From USA
  • International airport departure tax
  • Any visas required
  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Late check out at hotels
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks with included lunches and dinners
  • Tips for leaders, guide and driver
  • Expenditure of personal nature
  • Personal Insurance
  • Optional activities

 

Intrepid Travel's booking conditions will apply to your reservation. By making payment you are agreeing to our booking conditions http://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-intrepid/booking-conditions

This trip is a private departure and is exempt from any promotions, sales and discounts advertised.