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.
TRIP CHANGES FOR 2018:
This trip has had a name change for 2018 and was previously published as “Great Indochina Loop”
Travel adventurously just like the locals – an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and then again from Hanoi to Hue, a two day boat journey down the Mekong River - pass incredible rural scenery and spend a night in the remote village of Pakbeng
Discover the highlights of refined Luang Prabang with a guide, and enjoy free time to make your own explorations and discover why UNESCO rate this city so highly
There are many chances to do good while you travel, like the Intrepid foundation supported COPE, dedicated to helping those injured by unexploded ordinance
Sail among the floating villages, grottos and limestone pillars of magical Halong Bay
Explore the old imperial capital of Hue in typical Vietnamese fashion - on the back of a motorbike
Enjoy the guidance of a local expert as you temple-hop at the dazzling Angkor complex, one of Southeast Asia's premier sights
Confront the sobering but important Khmer history in Phnom Penh, with included visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Memorial
Acquaint yourself with frenetic Bangkok, a wonderland of excellent street food, enchanting canals and sprawling marketplaces
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!
It can be quite cool from November to February, so make sure you have some warm gear packed for this period.
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.
This trip involves some long stints of travel, including a 12-hour overnight train from Hanoi to Hue and from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a true Intrepid experience and the best way to travel long distances, meet locals and maximise time at your destinations. Occasionally passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and/or you'll be sharing with locals or travellers from other groups.
In Hue, one day is spent touring the sights on the back of a motorbike. The bikes are great fun and are driven safely by professionals, but alternative transportation can be arranged upon request for those who don’t wish to ride on a motorbike.
The weather in Vietnam and Cambodia can be hot and sticky, particularly during the monsoon seasons, so ensure that you pack accordingly. Please also wear sunscreen and a hat, especially when out on a boat in Halong Bay and in the Mekong Delta. Always carry plenty of water when out sightseeing in the heat.
This trip does involve some long travel days, so be prepared for some driving as you move through four countries. This is, of course, a great chance to take in all the varied scenery and snapshots of rural life.
In most locations you'll stay in simple tourist-class hotels (2–3 stars). They're always clean and comfortable.
1. A single supplement is available on this trip excluding the following nights: Day 2 Overnight train, Day 6 Pakbeng, Day 14 Halong Bay and Day 15 Overnight train.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport), for internal flights and train tickets in Vietnam. Ticketing 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 a new ticket.
3. The luggage limit on the flight from Vientiane to Hanoi is 20kg.
Our South East Asia Loop trips score an average of 4.61 out of 5 based on 38 reviews in the last year.
It was our first expierience of group travel and we had the most amazing adventures and a real life expierience with the 28 indiochina loop trip.We made great friends along the way and felt very like a family .Will defiantly be travelling with intrepid again the group size ranged from 10-16 max making it a personal expierience .Every day was like opening a new advent calendar window everyday was filled with such great excursions and adventures Loved it .
Review submitted 16 Mar 2018
I had the time of my life and met the most amazing people through the groups. This trip was a fantastic way to see South East Asia in a short period of time, seeing as much as possible but still getting a good balance of free time to explore yourself and not feel you are being rushed about, and not having the stresses of having to work out or arrange transport or accommodation yourself. Having a local guide was fantastic for getting a wealth of knowledge about the countries history and local culture, as well as for recommendations and a translator. My only complaint is the long days travelling in buses, whilst I understand in most cases the easiest and quickest way to move about whilst seeing places there were a lot of long days taken up by just travelling and some I felt we could have flown rather than being stuck on a bus for hours.
Review submitted 02 Mar 2018