South East Asia Loop

30 Days | Travel into the heart and soul of South East Asia

4.1 out of 5 based on 9 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
GBP £2,933
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Travel into the heart and soul of South East Asia. 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 bustling streets and in the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor, before wrapping up the adventure back in Thailand.

Trip overview

Map of South East Asia Loop including Cambodia, Lao Pdr, Thailand and Vietnam
Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
TTSVC
This trip generates 47.78 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Angkor Wat. Need we say more? As well as a guided tour, you'll also have a pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap. So you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.
  • 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.
  • Discover the mysterious beauty of the Lao jungle as you walk side by side with recently rescued elephants on stroll through their natural habitat.
  • 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 dinner at KOTO restaurant.
  • Discover Kampong Luong and the countryside around Battambang with a visit to a floating village and a bike ride around farms and cottage industries.

Is this trip right for you?
  • We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including on overnight trains. Accommodation and amenities are shared and basic, but the experience of rubbing shoulders with the locals makes it all worthwhile. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog post 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
  • It can be surprisingly cool, especially at night from November to February. Make sure you have some warm gear packed for this period so you can be comfortable. Smoke Haze can be common for Northern Thailand into Laos between March and April due to burning off season of crops. You may wish to take a quality mask with you if you are particularly sensitive to smoke.
  • Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam 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 year you are looking to travel to see what to expect - this page 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!
  • Pak Beng, where we pause to break up our Mekong journey, is a remote and quiet town with little tourist infrastructure – a contrast to the traveller hubs of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang
  • 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
  • The stories and history shared at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) are confronting and many travellers will find them upsetting. This is an important part of Cambodia’s recent history that we feel is important for travellers to know. If you would prefer not to join these activities your leader can recommend some optional alternatives. Some further information on visiting the Killing Fields can be found here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-killing-fields/
  • There are some long travel days by both private and public transport (up to 10 hours on the road), including the days that we cross from Vietnam to Cambodia and Cambodia to Thailand. Your leader and local guides will assist with the border crossings, but plenty of patience is advised
  • At times your accommodation may not have continuous hot water. Most travellers don’t find this a problem however, and are often keen to cool down from the heat with a refreshing cold shower!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of South East Asia Loop including Cambodia, Lao Pdr, Thailand and Vietnam

Inclusions

Meals

23 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Longtail boat, Overnight sleeper train, Plane, Private minibus, Public Bus, Songtheaw, Motorbike, Taxi

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Hotel (24 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)

Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple complex
  • Mekong River - 2 day boat trip
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Alms giving ceremony
  • Luang Prabang - Laos Buffalo Dairy social enterprise visit
  • Luang Prabang - MandaLao Elephant Conservation trek
  • Luang Prabang - Lunch at Manda Lao Elephant Conservation
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Wat Si Saket
  • Hanoi - KOTO dinner
  • Halong Bay - Overnight Boat Cruise
  • Halong Bay - Cave entry
  • Halong Bay - The Green Life Visit
  • Hue - Imperial City entrance and guided visit
  • Hue - Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike
  • Hue - Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hue - Motorbike Tour Lunch
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • Mekong Delta - Mekong Delta Day Trip & Village Tuk-Tuk Tour
  • Mekong Delta - Lunch
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Kampong Chhnang - Pottery village visit
  • Battambang - Rural food by bike tour
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Sunrise at Angkor Wat
  • Chong Kneas - Tonle Sap floating village visit
Add on activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking course - THB1000
  • Chiang Mai - Bicycle tour - THB990
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si - USD2
  • Luang Prabang - Night Market - Free
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Theatre - USD20
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong - USD3
  • Luang Prabang - National Museum - USD4
  • Vang Vieng - Bicycle hire - USD2
  • Vang Vieng - Wat Si Vieng Song - Free
  • Vang Vieng - Kayaking - USD35
  • Vang Vieng - Tham Phu Kham Cave - LAK10000
  • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex - VND80000
  • Halong Bay - Kayaking Tour - VND250000
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike with Sunset BBQ Urban Adventure - USD54
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham tour (entrance fee, guide and transport included) - USD45
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD37
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD55
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - A O show - VND1050000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon Street Food by Night Urban Adventure - USD32
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Khmer massage - USD8
  • Battambang - Cooking Class - USD12
  • Battambang - Phnom Sampov bat caves - USD15
  • Battambang - Bamboo railway - USD10
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline Silver Tour - USD54
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket - USD18
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline Gold Tour - USD87
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Sights and Bites Urban Adventure - THB1960
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2900
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2500

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes 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
4. As this is a combination trip, your tour leader and group composition may change on Day 13 and Day 22

Essential Trip Information

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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.1 out of 5 based on 9 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Danijela · Traveled September 2023
Review submitted 26 Oct 2023

Walter · Traveled March 2023
it was a strenuous but great tour. we will remember a lot and i will definitely book intrepid again. hotels were excellent.
Review submitted 08 Apr 2023

Sandra · Traveled February 2023
Keep in mind that a day or more of each country in this loop will be wasted picking up new travelers. Group leaders will make a huge impact on your experience & they’re not all good. The lack of freedom in Vietnam & Cambodia negatively impacted my perception of the entire trip.
Review submitted 18 Mar 2023

Louis · Traveled February 2023
If you are looking for a cultural, historical and picturesque trip of Southeast Asia, this is your trip . And the food was 6 star on a scale to 5 .
Review submitted 11 Mar 2023

Jacinta · Traveled December 2022
There is so much to do and see in SE Asia, this 30 day loop is a fantastic way to get a flavour of the culture, history, landscape and amazing food on offer across four diverse and colourful countries. I loved every minute.
Review submitted 23 Jan 2023
South East Asia Loop
From
GBP £2,933