Bangkok: Tuk-tuks and Longtails
You’ll arrive in the bustling capital of Bangkok and stay on the riverside of Chao-Phraya, with a rooftop pool, and just a short walk to the famous Khao San Road. The following morning we’ll arrange a thrilling half day excursion that will give you a taste of life in Bangkok. You’ll embark on an exciting drive through Bangkok in a tuk-tuk, visit a local fresh market, followed by a classic longtail boat ride along the river.
Elephant Encounters in Chiang Mai
When you arrive in Chiang Mai, you’ll make your own way to your hotel in the centre of the city. With a laid-back, spiritual atmosphere, Chiang Mai is a walkable city scattered sacred temples and shrines. If you have time, it’s worth stopping at the night market, packed with souvenirs and aromatic street food stalls.
Next you will get up close to the gentle giants at the Elephant Nature Park. You’ll be collected from your hotel in Chiang Mai and transferred to the park an hour away. You will learn all about the issues faced by elephants in Asia and the personal stories of those rescued by the park. You will have the chance to feed and bathe these majestic animals to aid in their rehabilitation before returning to Chiang Mai in the early evening for another night in the city.
Experience Luang Prabang
Step into a heady, spiritual world of golden spires, saffron-robed monks, frangipani flowers and crumbling French mansions. Prepare to be instantly caught in the spell of Luang Prabang, a heartwarming place slung along the banks of the Mekong River. You’ll spend four days getting lost in the magic of Luang Prabang, watching monks file into the temples at sunrise and floating down the Mekong at sunset.
Explore Vientiane, a sleepy, scenic capital curled around a bend in the Mekong River, packed with tuk-tuks, French bakeries and friendly monks. Marvel at temples crammed with thousands of Buddha statues, watch daily life unfold over a croissant in a pavement cafe and stroll along the river front. Vientiane feels more like a village than a capital city, with laid-back locals and a languid pace of life. During this trip, you’ll explore the city’s cuisine on a tuk-tuk tour through the colourful markets.
Xin Chao Hanoi!
Hanoi is a capital city crammed with character. Motorbikes zip through tangled streets, food hawkers serve up steaming bowls of pho and fruit stalls spill onto shady boulevards. You’ll stay in the heart of the atmospheric Old Quarter and we’ll arrange a unique introduction to Hanoi and the Vietnamese language with a local guide who’ll double as your tutor. It’s a great way to get to know the city like a local.
Anchors Away in Halong Bay
Drift between jungle-topped limestone islands scattered over azure seas in Halong Bay, a maze of rock formations and secluded islands. You’ll sleep aboard a traditional Chinese junk boat with fluttering sails, weaving between emerald outcrops and stopping to swim in clear blue seas. You’ll sail past a scattering of limestone islands, thick with green forests and fringed with small sandy coves.
Classic Hoi An
Watch lanterns twinkle along the river and meet the local tailors in Hoi An, Vietnam’s most atmospheric town. A jumble of crumbling Chinese shop houses, artist studios and riverside restaurants, it’s crammed with charm. The pace is slow and the food is scrumptious. In recent years, Hoi An has become something of a national treasure with its day dreamy, timeless atmosphere.
During your stay you will help support a local not-for-profit organisation in Hoi An as well as learning some new skills. The Lifestart Foundation helps disadvantaged Vietnamese people and their families become self-sufficient through vocational training and offers support to create a better life for themselves. You will take part in a traditional painting class, making your own card to take home with you and learn how to make a traditional miniature lantern.
Scooting through Saigon
Scoot through Saigon on a vintage Vespa, searching for hidden street food hotspots. Zip through the backstreets after dark, sample the best traditional snacks in the city and listen to live music as you sip on Vietnamese coffee. It’s a night tour and foodie adventure rolled into one. After all, Ho Chi Minh is a city that comes alive as night falls. You’ll stay in a comfy hotel near the central market.
Along the Mekong to Cambodia
Visit riverbank villages and riotous floating markets as you drift through the Mekong Delta into Cambodia. As you sail between small islands you’ll watch daily delta life unfold around you. En route, you’ll cycle on Tiger Island and watch some stunning Mekong sunsets. Before you know it, you’ll be in Cambodia, where the adventure continues.
Past and Present in Phnom Penh
Explore Phnom Penh, a city that pulses with energy, history and survival. It’s a colourful riot of sights, sounds, monks, motorbikes and tangy aromas, packed with character. During this trip, you’ll visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng, both scenes of unthinkable atrocity that bring the horror of Cambodia’s past to life. You can also explore the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda as they sparkle in the sunshine.
Get lost amongst the overgrown jungle temples and giant carved reliefs of Angkor, one of the man-made wonders of the world. During this trip, you’ll spend three days exploring the temples of Angkor, using Siem Reap as your base. You’ll learn about the ruins with a friendly local guide, but there will also be plenty of time for you to clamber between jungle temples independently.
A peek at your accommodation
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Upgrade this Itinerary
If you fancy a bit more of a boutique feel during your Indochina adventure then choose this In Style version where you’ll be upgraded in all the cities during your trip. There are a few places where there are limited choices and what you’ll see is more important than the accommodation so you’ll stay in the same standard accommodation, these include the Mekong delta and Halong Bay where you’ll stay on a classic junk boat! We will also upgrade your sleeper train in Thailand to a private 2-berth cabin.
Prices from: £ 3,515 - - per person - In Style option