Travel into the heart and soul of South East Asia

Join us as we 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.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Destinations
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
TTSVC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • This combination trip includes trips in Vietnam & Cambodia that are some of the most popular in the entire Intrepid range

  • Travel by boat, train, plane, private minibus, taxi and even on the back of a motorbike!

  • 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

  • Settle in for the night and experience overnight train journeys, starting from Hanoi and Bangkok and waking up ready to head out and 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Discover Kampong Luong and the countryside around Battambang with a visit to a floating village and a bike ride around farms and cottage industries

  • Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in South East Asia, like Channa: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/channa-intrepid-leader-cambodia/

  • Travel from Vietnam to Thailand, experiencing the contrasts between three of the regions most fascinating countries

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

  • 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-k...

  • 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 our 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 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 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 local food. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive earlier, why not venture out into this enigmatic city. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early to uncover the Chinatown area, visit the magnificent (but very crowded) Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, indulge in a Thai massage or see the backstreets of Bangkok by bike on an Urban Adventure. Find out more at urbanadventures.com. After the meeting tonight, gather your fellow travellers together and tuck into some into world famous street food for our first optional dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1980
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Begin the day with a 1-hour river cruise down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous ‘khlongs’ (canals). Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the capital. Pay a visit to Wat Pho, one of the Bangkok temples, with a 46-metre long gold-plated Buddha reclining inside. Even the feet of this statue are incredible, three metres long and intricately decorated with mother of pearl. The temple grounds are equally fascinating, filled with beautifully decorated stupas, halls, and shrines. This evening you’ll head north to Chiang Mai on an overnight train journey, accommodated in a sleeper carriage (approximately 13 hours). The carriages are air-conditioned, with bunk beds; clean sheets, blanket and pillow are provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There is a food and drink service available on board. Sometimes the air conditioning can make the carriage quite cold so you may want to bring a warm layer of clothing.
Accommodation
  • Overnight train (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for its lively cafe scene and extremely welcoming locals, this place captivates many travellers. First, embark on a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (around 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make this a most memorable experience. After making our way back down from the temple, check in to the hotel and plan the rest of your time here. In the evening you can choose to wander through the enormous, colourful Night Bazaar or perhaps relax at a fine restaurant along the riverfront. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food – the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Doi Suthep temple complex
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Trip departing Bangkok on 8th of April 2020:

Please note Mandalao Elephant Park will be closed from 14th to 16th of April 2020. If you are travelling on our trip that starts in Bangkok on the 8th of April please note you will visit Chang Chill Elephant Park in Thailand instead of Manadalao Elephant Park in Laos.
Today is free for you to explore and there are plenty of optional activities available. Perhaps join a local cooking class today and discover the secrets of real Thai cuisine, you'll learn the key ingredients, how to use them, and what to use in their place if you can’t get them at home. As well as taking your own comprehensive recipe book with you after the class, you'll feast on the fruits of your labour for lunch. Get active with a bicycle tour to discover the city and surrounding countryside from a different perspective, or be spirited away on an early morning Chiang Mai tour that puts you at the epicentre of Buddhist rituals. Learn to meditate, offer alms to monks, and make an offering at a temple. Also popular is the Jungle Flight ziplining and the lovely Elephant Nature Park.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Thai cooking course - THB800
  • Chiang Mai - Bicycle tour - THB990
  • DISCONTINUED Chiangmai Cultural and Mindfulness - THB1530
  • Chiang Mai - Mae Ping River Experience Urban Adventure - THB2174
  • Chiang Mai - Zipline Course - THB3999
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park - THB2500
  • Chiang Mai - Made In Chiangmai Artisan Village and Handicraft Urban Adventure - THB1526
  • Chiang Mai - Taste of Chiang Mai Urban Adventure - THB1812
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please be aware that there are many operators in Chiang Mai offering activities that do not meet Intrepid's animal welfare guidelines such as animal performances at Chiang Mai zoo, elephant riding and bathing, bullock cart rides and tiger temples. Your leader is not able to book any of these activities for you and we strongly discourage our travellers from supporting such activities. 
Take a journey through rural countryside to the Thai border town of Chiang Khong (approximately 5.5 hours). Formerly known as 'Juon', peaceful riverside Chiang Khong remains an important market town for the surrounding hill tribes and for trade with Laos. Stretch your legs with a stroll around town, and if you find yourself with time, then Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Luang are both well worth a visit while you’re here. Tonight, why not enjoy a final Thai drink and dinner, while Laos beckons from across the mighty Mekong.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After crossing into Laos and for the duration of our time in the country we will be joined by additional Laos guides – a government requirement. Board a slow boat for the 2-day journey down the mighty Mekong River to Luang Prabang. The journey is relaxed, so you can experience the slow pace of village life and the breathtaking scenery along the river up close. The river boat is basic in nature, with a toilet, covered roof, and open sides to take in the fresh air. There are seats in the front of the boat and a small open area in the back where you can have a nap on the mat, play cards, read or have lunch. Dock at the small town of Pak Beng (after about 6 hours) to spend the night. Hmong and tribal Thai people are frequently seen on the main streets, where vendors sell local textiles and handicrafts.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mekong River - 2 day boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Our guesthouse here is very basic -– standard accommodation in this small, remote trading port. 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, and when the river is at its lowest from February to April, part of the journey may occasionally need to be made by land instead of by boat.
Reboard the boat and cruise to the Pak Ou Caves. An important religious site overlooking the river at the junction of the Mekong and Ou Rivers, the revered 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 torch for viewing. Continue on to the former royal capital of Luang Prabang (approximately 7 hours total journey time). This atmospheric World Heritage-listed city is a favourite of many travellers. Nestled in the hills of northern Laos on the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, the city is claimed to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’ by UNESCO. The city and its people retain a refined, yet relaxed, air and it’s a wonderful place to wander the streets into boutiques, cafes and small shops. Stay in a hotel tonight and if you are feeling energetic, climb Mt Phousi for some sunset views – the large hill that dominates Luang Prabang's skyline, topped by a glittering golden stupa. You can climb the 328 zigzag steps up to the sacred gilded stupa and big drum of the Phu Si Temple for a panoramic view of Luang Prabang and its surrounds.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves
Optional Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phu Si - USD2
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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. Rise with the sun this morning and witness a traditional alms giving ceremony. View the procession of saffron-robed monks on their daily outing collecting food offered by devotees, a practice that dates back centuries. The offerings must be collected early, as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. By giving food to a monk, it is believed you ‘het bon’ (make merit) which will be carried over into the next life. Your leader will guide you through the do’s and don’ts and help you to take part in this alms giving tradition. Return back to your hotel for breakfast and a free morning. In the afternoon, head south of town and stop for a sweet (socially responsible) treat at Laos Buffalo Dairy, an enterprise that works with the surrounding villagers by renting their buffalo, in order to produce delicious products including yoghurt, cheese and ice cream. The Dairy ensures a regular income for locals while ensuring the buffalo and their calves are well looked after. Why not contribute to this local business by purchasing an ice cream! Continue on to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls, a picturesque, multi-level cascade that offers fantastically blue pools that are perfect for a mid-afternoon dip. Back in Luang Prabang this evening you’ll have free time to make further discoveries, including visiting the popular night market.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Alms giving ceremony
  • Luang Prabang - Laos Buffalo Dairy social enterprise visit
Optional Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Night Market - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, experience a wonderful local elephant project in nearby Mandalao that will give you a new perspective and profound understanding of these magnificent beasts. Discover the mysterious beauty of the Lao jungle as you walk side by side with recently rescued elephants on stroll through their natural habitat – a perfect way for these happy creatures to enjoy their freedom after decades of hard labour in logging camps. Begin by leaving Luang Prabang for the village of Xieng Lom (approximately 30 minutes) before taking a quick boat ride across the Nam Khan River where you’ll be introduced to your new gigantic companions. Feed them some special treats (a sure way to win their friendship) followed by a gentle, therapeutic walk, that offers you the opportunity to absorb their calming energy as you wander along a small dirt path through the surrounding flora and fauna, past traditional farms and the Huay Nok stream – where you may be able to spot elephants splashing around in the water as they cool off from the hot Lao sun! As you prepare to start your walk back to Mandalao, say goodbye to your new friends. Return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - MandaLao Elephant Conservation trek
Optional Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Royal Theatre - USD20
  • Luang Prabang - Wat Xieng Thong - USD2
  • Luang Prabang - National Museum - USD4
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Trip departing Bangkok on 8th of April 2020
Please note Mandalao Elephant Park will be closed from 14th to 16th of April 2020. If you are travelling on our trip that starts in Bangkok on the 8th of April please note you will visit Chang Chill Elephant Park in Thailand instead of Manadalao Elephant Park in Laos.

Following elephants through the jungle is a once in a lifetime experience, however it can be messy! Be prepared to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and muddy. Optional footwear (rubber boots) are available for guests, these shoes are designed specifically for muddy and slippery conditions. Ponchos and umbrellas are also available, as well as water, sunscreen and bug-spray.
Take a private minivan through dusty villages and winding mountain roads to Vang Vieng (approximately 7 hours). The mountain scenery is impressive, but the road can be rough, especially as attention is now being diverted from maintaining the roads to building the new railway from China. Situated on the Nam Song River, Vang Vieng is surrounded by towering limestone karsts and is a great place to enjoy being out in and surrounded by nature. After checking in to the hotel, use tonight to plan out your next few days with your group and leader.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There’s plenty to do in and around Vang Vieng, known as an adventure town thanks to its unique and varied surrounding country. The area is renowned for its caves, many of which are easily accessible from the town. Perhaps the most famous is the cave of Tham Chang, a beautiful cavern fed by a natural spring making it a perfect spot for a refreshing swim. Hire bicycles to explore further afield, hike the trails to nearby lookout points, join a day trip to go kayaking on the river, or you can visit an organic mulberry farm just outside town and enjoy a meal there.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Vang Vieng - Bicycle hire - USD2
  • Vang Vieng - Wat Si Vieng Song - Free
  • Vang Vieng - Kayaking - USD35
  • Vang Vieng - Tham Phu Kham Cave - LAK10000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Continue by private minibus to the country's capital, Vientiane (approximately 3.5 hours). Possibly Asia's most laidback capital, even here everything seems to be conducted at a relaxed pace. Vientiane has a wealth of cultural delights to discover on foot, or for the less energetic, by jumbo (tuk-tuk). Faded colonial mansions, tree-lined boulevards and old temples create an atmosphere of timelessness, particularly in the older part of town along the Mekong River. Pay a visit to Wat Si Saket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane and home to almost 7000 Buddha images. Visit COPE vistors centre, an organisation dedicated to assistance those who have been injured by the multitude of unexploded ordinance across the country. This is an excellent cause and a chance to educate yourself about Laos' devastating war history as well as buy a snack or drink from their Karma Cafe. This evening, maybe join your fellow travellers for dinner tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Wat Si Saket
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll fly from Vientiane to Hanoi (approx 1 hour). Please note you will be unaccompanied on this flight. In the arrivals hall of Hanoi Airport you will be met by an Intrepid representative, who will take you to your Hanoi hotel. The flight usually arrives into Hanoi in the late afternoon.

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers. The welcome meeting is followed by a group dinner at KOTO restaurant. This organisation is dedicated to developing the hospitality careers of disadvantaged youth.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • HCMC - KOTO dinner
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Highlights Urban Adventure - USD40
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh, Stilt House and Museum - VND80000
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Travel by private minibus to World Heritage-listed Halong Bay, which is dotted with sandy coves, grottoes and 1600 limestone islands formed over millennia by wind and water erosion (approximately 4 hours). Board a private boat and cruise the bay, exploring Surprise Cave and perhaps even enjoying a swim from Ti Top Island Beach during the warmer months. Access to Surprise Cave is via staircases. Once inside the cave the pathways are a little uneven and slippery. To end the day, spend an evening aboard the boat beneath the night sky. What better way to get to know your fellow travellers than an old school sleepover in an unforgettable location?
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
  • Halong Bay - Cave entry
Optional Activities
  • Halong Bay - Kayaking - VND250000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your wooden junk-style boat has twin-share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar to enjoy lunch, dinner and breakfast.

We recommend packing a small overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi overnight.

Kayaking and swimming is restricted to designated zones within the bay.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage. To ensure all Intrepid travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group. Or your group may be split across different vessels, in which case an Intrepid group leader will be present on each boat. The route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.
Return by boat to Halong Bay. At approximately midday, return to Hanoi by bus. Arrive late this afternoon and enjoy free time until tonight’s train voyage. Be sure to grab a bowl of pho while you’re in town and slurp down this local specialty made from broth, noodles and meat. Maybe chill by Hoan Kiem Lake until you board an overnight train to Hue this evening.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There are shared day use hotel rooms available this afternoon in Hanoi if you would like to freshen up before the overnight train. There is one room provided for up to six members of the group. Single supplements do not apply to day rooms.

Sleeper trains typically have four or six berth compartments with bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. Depending on the configuration of the group, you may have to share with people of different genders or passengers who aren’t part of the group. Your leader will coordinate this and give further information on the trip. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food but we recommend that you stock up on snacks and drinks before departure.
Arrive in Hue at approximately 11 am and transfer to the hotel. Once the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of the country’s royal past. Enjoy free time in the morning to rest or explore. If you choose the latter (and who can blame you) the bustling Dong Ba Market is a great place to sample some of the specialties that once graced the Nguyen emperors' tables like banh khoai (royal rice cake). Reunite with the group to visit the war-damaged ruins of the Imperial Citadel, a sprawling city-within-a-city which contains the remains of temples, state houses and the emperor’s palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Imperial Citadel
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
See Hue like a local – from the back of a motorbike! Straddle the saddle and whiz around town with a local guide, taking in historic and contemporary sights along the way. Stop at Thanh Toan to see the 18th-century covered bridge and villagers shopping at their local market. Visit the 17th-century active Buddhist monastery of Thien Mu Pagoda and see the car that belonged to Thích Quang Duc, the monk who self-immolated in 1963 in protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime. For lunch, savour a vegetarian feast in a nunnery. Finish at the lakeside royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc before heading back to town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike (lunch included)
  • Hue - Thien Mu Pagoda
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
The motorbike tour has been assessed for safety and is closely monitored. To participate please ensure your travel insurance covers riding pillion on a motorbike up to 125cc. If you prefer not to participate, please let your leader know and they will arrange car transportation (cost included).

In 2020 we will no longer be including a cruise along the Perfume River due to poor feedback from past travellers. If you would like to do this activity during your free time in Hue, your leader can assist you with booking it.
This morning travel by bus through coastal rice paddies and the spectacular Hai Van Pass (approximately 3 hours). After a photo stop en route, arrive into Hoi An. Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An was a major international trading port during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of the beautifully-preserved town retain the feel of centuries past. It's also a shopping mecca, famous for its plethora of tailors. On arrival your leader will take you on a sightseeing walk through the Old Town to visit a handful of the city's major attractions. You’ll also be given a sightseeing pass so you can further explore select attractions at your leisure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike with Sunset BBQ Urban Adventure - USD51
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day to explore Hoi An. Maybe browse the cobbled streets and art galleries or hire a bike and cycle through rice paddies out to Cua Dai Beach. Maybe browse for paintings, ceramics and colourful cloth lanterns in the town’s markets and preserved Chinese shophouses. If you’re craving a new look, you could pay a visit to one of the hundreds of tailors and get something special made. Hoi An is also known for its delicious regional food, so be sure to enjoy a meal at a riverside restaurant or perhaps partake in a cooking class.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham tour (entrance fee, guide and transport included) - USD35
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD28
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today take a short, early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1.5 hours). Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City has a fascinating history and is arguably Vietnam’s capital of commerce and culture. After landing, take a sightseeing tour around the city by bus. Pass the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Opera House, then stop in at the War Remnants Museum to discover some of the sobering stories of the 20-year-long Vietnam/American War.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
Optional Activities
  • 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 - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning head out on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Board a private boat to Ben Tre to visit the coconut gardens and stop at a local home to sample tropical fruits and coconut jams. Afterwards, paddle in sampans (small rowing boats) past coconut trees along the Mekong Delta. Take a tuk-tuk tour around the villages and learn about rural life and the industry created around coconut products like brooms and coconut fibre mats. Eat lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the Delta, sampling regional specialties such as the famous elephant ear fish. Cruise the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier, then return by bus to Ho Chi Minh City. This evening, perhaps head out to sample some local specialties as a final farewell with your fellow travellers and leader.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • HCMC - Mekong Delta day trip including coconut gardens & village tuk-tuk tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today you may be required to move to a different hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, for the next section of your trip. Your leader will let you know if this is the case, and will help with the transfer to the next hotel. You have a free day to consider many optional activities. One of these options is to take an Urban Adventures tour to the Cu Chi Tunnels outside the city. This underground tunnel network in the middle of the jungle was used by the Viet Cong during the war. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Travel by public bus across the border, through rural Vietnam and Cambodia and onto Phnom Penh (approximately 10 hours including two border crossings and lunch). Cambodia's capital city is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture. If you're looking for a tasty beverage on arrival, head to the Foreign Correspondents' Club for a mojito on the rooftop or if you're in the mood for shopping, stop in at the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market) or travel out to Psar Tuol Tom Pong (the Russian Market) for the best range of local souvenirs.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
On the bus journey across the border, you will exit Vietnam at Moc Bai and enter Cambodia at Ba Vet. Your leader will assist you with border crossing procedures. If you’d prefer not to travel by bus today, you are welcome to book a flight instead (at your own expense).
Today, confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21), a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre. It's estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. You’ll also head out to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, where a stupa made up of some 8000 human skulls marks the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng. Afterwards, you may wish to learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history from an optional visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Wat Phnom, shrouded in myth, is equally worth a visit, as is the National Museum with its excellent Khmer collection. Cyclo tours around the city are a great alternative to walking and generally include the Central Market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong riverfront, Independence Monument and Royal Palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
Optional Activities
  • 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
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
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 these sites can be found here: intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-killing-fields
Travel by private minibus to Battambang (approximately 6 hours). Break up an otherwise long trip with a visit to Kampong Luong, a marvellously colourful village that floats on the water. Spend an hour traversing between houses and other boats before hitting the road once more. Cambodia's second-largest city, Battambang, is a pretty riverside town of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and beautifully preserved colonial architecture. Why not take part in an optional cooking class to learn the secrets of local dishes such as amok, Khmer curry & fried spicy chicken.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampong Luong - Tonle Sap floating village visit
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Cooking Class - USD12
  • Battambang - Phnom Sampov bat caves - USD15
  • Battambang - Bamboo railway - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend a bit of time riding around the countryside by bike, travelling out to local cottage industries to meet with on-site producers. Get a better insight into rural life in Cambodia, share a few snacks, then continue by private minibus to Siem Reap (approximately 3 hours). Arrive in Siem Reap in the evening and relax as you prepare for your much-anticipated visit to Angkor tomorrow. Perhaps hit the markets for some delicious street food.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Battambang - Rural Food and Cycle Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The distance covered by bicycle is approximately 24 kms. If you prefer not to cycle, please let your leader know and they will arrange remork (tuk tuk) transportation (cost included).
Temple-hop with your local guide and make the most of your visit to the world-famous Angkor complex. The temples, dating back as far as the ninth century, were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photo opportunities at any time of day. Watching a sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap, so there will be plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat, Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Temperatures and humidity can be high in Cambodia, especially walking around sights like the Angkor complex where there may be little shade. Be prepared by taking plenty of drink breaks and wearing appropriate skin protection. Some travellers find an umbrella handy to keep the sun off.
Continue your explorations of the Angkor complex. You may like to spend just the morning making further discoveries here and save your afternoon for an optional activity elsewhere. Keen adventurers can take the Angkor zip-line adventure which gives an amazing birds-eye view of the rainforest, not to mention an adrenaline rush.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline Silver Tour - USD129
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket - USD18
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-out - USD52
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventures Tonle Sap Secrets - USD45
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Street Food by Night - USD48
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline Gold Tour - USD99
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
It's a long drive by private minibus from Siem Reap to Bangkok (approximately 10 hours including border crossings and lunch). Arrive in Thailand's bustling capital and take in this exciting world of tuk tuks, khlong boats, and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Perhaps head out to sample some local specialties as a final farewell with your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
You will exit Cambodia at Poipet and enter Thailand at Aranyaprathet. Your leader will be on hand to assist with border crossing procedures.
Your trip comes to an end this morning, with no further activities planned. However, if you have more time, Bangkok is full of things to do, including the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the fascinating Jim Thompson museum.
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1980
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2175
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you’d like to spend more time in South East Asia, have a look at the combos that include this trip’s itinerary: Best of Vietnam & Cambodia (TVSKC), South East Asia Loop (TTSVC), Cambodia & Thailand Traveller (TKSTC) and Vietnam & Cambodia Adventure (TVSLC).

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)

Included 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
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Wat Si Saket
  • HCMC - KOTO dinner
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
  • Halong Bay - Cave entry
  • Hue - Imperial Citadel
  • Hue - Royal tomb of Emperor Tu Duc
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike (lunch included)
  • Hue - Thien Mu Pagoda
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • HCMC - Mekong Delta day trip including coconut gardens & village tuk-tuk tour
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Kampong Luong - Tonle Sap floating village visit
  • Battambang - Rural Food and Cycle Tour
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour

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Important notes

1. 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. 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.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. Please note the single supplement excludes days 2 and 15 (overnight trains), day 6 (guesthouse) and day 14 (overnight boat) where you will be in shared accommodation. Day use rooms are also excluded.
3. This trip includes a domestic and an international flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum 20kg, with up to 7kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check-in.

Essential trip information

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