Uncover the delights of South East Asia on this adventure
Travel from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, experiencing the delights of northern Thailand, the laidback river lifestyle of Laos and the cultural richness of Vietnam. From the bright lights of Bangkok to the age-old charms of Luang Prabang and the buzz of Hanoi, join us on a voyage of discovery and relaxation. Travel down the mighty Mekong and become acquainted with the tranquillity of remote villages and friendly locals along the way. Sip coffee by the lake in Hanoi, stroll the pristine shoreline around Halong Bay, take in the charming old-world ambiance of Hue and marvel at the hectic pace of life in Ho Chi Minh City. 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.
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This combination trip includes a section in Vietnam that is one of the most popular in the entire Intrepid range.
Travel by boat, train, plane, private bus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!
Settle in for the night and experience overnight train journeys in both Thailand and Vietnam, set off from Bangkok and Hanoi and wake up ready to explore Chiang Mai and Hue.
The two day boat journey down the iconic Mekong River passes incredible rural scenery and is one of the must-dos to truly experience South East Asia
Sample local food wherever you go, from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, street snacks at markets, a meal at a buddhist nunnery, coconut candy and tropical fruits in the Mekong Delta, and a final dinner at KOTO restaurant.
There are many chances to do good while you travel, like visiting the organisation COPE, dedicated to helping those injured by unexploded ordinance.
The perfect blend of included sights and free time to make your own discoveries in some of our favourite destinations, like Hoi An and Luang Prabang.
Sail through Halong Bay's limestone karsts and island caves, visit a centre that turns the bay's discarded trash into treasures and spend the night checking out the stars on an overnight cruise.
Discover the mysterious beauty of the Lao jungle as you walk side by side with recently rescued elephants on stroll through their natural habitat.
Rise with the sun and watch saffron-robed monks shuffle between houses, where the faithful wait with offerings as part of an alms giving ritual.
We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including overnight trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Hanoi to Hue (each approx 12 hours). Compartments are on a mixed gender basis and you may be sharing with locals or travellers from other groups. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog posts here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight...
The sightseeing tour by motorbike in Hue is great fun with bikes driven safely by professionals (and helmets provided), but alternative transport can be arranged for those who would prefer not to travel by motorbike.
Depending on where you come from, the weather on this trip might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. We recommend checking online for what the typical temperatures will be at the time of the year you are looking to travel to see what to expect - this website might be useful: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/vietnam/weather-in-vietnam
Laos is less developed than many other South-East Asian countries. The roads can be bumpy, delays are common, and accommodation can be basic but always clean and comfortable. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful country!
Due to dam construction upstream, water levels aren't as reliable as in previous years. When the Mekong River is at its lowest from February to April, part of the journey may occasionally need to be made by land.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Day 2,15 (Sleeper Train), Day 5,6 (Guesthouse) and Day 14 (Overnight boat)( where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.Rooms booked only for day use are also excluded. Please note that some room configurations have two single beds, although a double bed will always be requested.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train and flight tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
3. This trip includes a domestic flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum of 20 kilograms, plus up to 7 kilograms carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check-in.
4. As this is a combination trip made up of some of our most popular itineraries the composition of your group as well as your leader may change.
5. Please note that the flight from Vientiane to Hanoi is still suspended. The only option is to take transit flight via Bangkok. You may need to go through Thailand immigration for this and register Thailand Pass for the trainsit. This may take a total of 8 hours to travel from Vientiane to Hanoi depending on flights availability on the day. Your tour leader may advise on the confirmed flight for this section. We'll revert to using direct flight once the flight route resumes.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information