Travel into the heart and soul of Indochina

Join us as we travel into the heart and soul of Indochina. Starting off in Bangkok, get lost in the chaos of Thailand's capital city before succumbing to the slightly more relaxed pace of Chiang Mai. Cruise along the Mekong River to reach peaceful Luang Prabang, a colourful town dotted with monks, pop-up stalls and French-inspired eateries. In Vietnam, cruise through dramatic karst scenery on a boat tour of Halong Bay, travel back to the time of Vietnam’s emperors in Hue, soak up the old-world charm of Hoi An and be wowed by the endless energy of Ho Chi Minh City. Then discover Cambodia's fascinating history and culture in Phnom Penh's heaving streets and in the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor, before wrapping up the adventure back in Thailand.

Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Countries
Themes
Code
TTSVC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
421kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Soak up the atmosphere of Hanoi
  • Cruise Halong Bay on a junk boat
  • Feel the pulsating energy of Thailand's capital, Bangkok
  • Relax beneath a waterfall in Luang Prabang
  • Discover a slower pace of life in the Mekong Delta
  • See the incredible temples of Angkor
  • Uncover Cambodia's tragic history in Phnom Penh

Itinerary

Set the scene for this Thai adventure by cruising down the Chao Phraya River and visiting the country’s largest reclining Buddha. Afterwards, hunt down some tasty street food (not a difficult mission) and maybe indulge in an invigorating Thai massage.
Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Climb up to one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, discover ethereal panoramic vistas and be hypnotised by the chanting of resident Buddhist monks. In the evening, head on down to the Night Bazaar and tuck into some delicious local dishes.
Formerly known as ‘Juon’, the tranquil riverside town of Chiang Khong has long been an important marketplace for nearby hill tribes. Explore the quaint streets and hear Laos call from across the magnificent Mekong.
Feel time slow down during a cruise down the Mekong. Sit back and relax, admire lush scenery and soak up the serene atmosphere.
Visit the spiritual Pak Ou Caves, a traditional place of pilgrimage for many Buddhists en route to the World Heritage-listed city of Luang Prabang. Dotted with ornate temples and French colonial architecture, the atmospheric town is a delight to explore. Enjoy a guided tour around the Traditional Art & Ethnology centre, visit the stunning Kuang Si Falls and maybe stroll through the stalls of the delightful Dara Market. Those feeling energetic may want to make the trek up to Mt Phousi.
Join the locals on a public bus out to picturesque Vang Vieng, where there is ample opportunity to explore the local surrounds. Creep through caves, swim in natural springs, hire bikes and peddle along quiet paths or pick berries at a local organic mulberry farm.
Whether it’s by foot or by tuk-tuk, you’ll soon discover the delights of exploring Laos’s charismatic capital. Follow dusty tracks to friendly villages bustling with chickens, dogs and children, hunt for treasures at the local market, admire the oldest Buddhist temple in Vientiane and visit COPE, an Intrepid Foundation-sponsored organisation changing lives for the better.
With its French-colonial buildings, graceful boulevards and aromatic cafe au lait, Hanoi has an elegant timelessness. Get lost in the hubbub of Hanoi's streets, visit the Temple of Literature or enjoy Vietnam's fusion of traditional European and modern Asian cuisine.
Set sail on an overnight Halong Bay cruise. Kick back and enjoy the dramatic scenery, take a dip in the balmy waters and sleep under a star-studded sky. Then it's time to climb aboard the famed Reunification Express for an overnight train ride.
Appointed as the imperial capital due to its beauty and isolation, Hue will enchant. Let the royal past come to life among the ruins of the Imperial Citadel, enjoy a city tour and unwind on a dragon boat cruise down the Perfume River.
Travel along the spectacular Hai Van Pass to Hoi An, once a thriving port town. Today, trade remains central to everyday life with shops offering everything from tailored clothes to custom-made shoes and silk lanterns. Perhaps sign up for an optional cooking class or simply enjoy the many fine restaurants along Hoi An’s riverside.
After a short flight, take to the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City on a city tour. Enjoy a meal at a restaurant that provides hospitality training to former street kids and then be moved by the displays at the War Remnants Museum. Head out to the Mekong Delta for a fascinating day tour and sample local specialties like elephant ear fish. Board sampans and paddle through the delta's mangrove tributaries via the stunning Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix islets. Return to Ho Chi Minh City where the adventure comes to an end.
Cross into Cambodia and travel to Phnom Penh. A sobering visit to the infamous Killing Fields provides a glimpse into Cambodia's tragic past, the site being marked by a stupa made of some 8,000 skulls. There's time to explore other attractions such as the frantic Russian Market, the National Museum or the Silver Pagoda with its dazzling silver-tiled floor. Alternatively, take a leisurely stroll along Sisowath Quay and stop for coffee at a riverside cafe.
Travel back to a brighter time in Cambodian history with a trip to the Angkor Wat temples. From sun-up to sundown, relish the sacred beauty of these ancient wonders, from the eerie shadows of Ta Prohm to the serene smiles of the carved faces at Bayon.
Admire elegant French architecture and a relaxed country pace in Battambang. While here, learn the secrets of Khmer cuisine in a cooking class, take a walk along the river front or maybe take a trip out to surrounding villages.
Skip back across the border from Cambodia to Thailand and enjoy an evening in bewitching Bangkok. Grab a fragrant curry, a soothing Thai massage, charter a longtail boat or take in the Grand Palace's gleaming architecture as a fitting end to this historic journey.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
19 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
Transport
Boat, Longtail boat, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private Bus, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Tuk-Tuk, Van
Accommodation
Guesthouse (4 nights), Hotel (22 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho temple
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • HCMC - KOTO dinner
  • HCMC - Mekong Delta day trip
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Hoi An - Ancient town
  • Hue - Imperial citadel
  • Hue - Motorbike trip including lunch
  • Hue - Perfume river cruise and Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Royal tomb
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Cave
  • Luang Prabang - Traditional Arts and Ethnology Museum
  • Phnom Penh - Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Guided Tour of Choeung Ek
  • Siem Reap - Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake boat trip
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Great Indochina Loop trips score an average of 4.71 out of 5 based on 14 reviews in the last year.

Great Indochina Loop , May 2015

Great Indochina Loop , June 2015