Authentic Vietnam, Cambodia, & Thailand Group Adventure 20D/19N

$1,958 USD

Start: Hanoi
Finish: Bangkok


Accommodation: 19 Nights


Meals: 15 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 5 Dinners


Departures

Sun Sep 15, 2019
Sun Oct 13, 2019
Sun Nov 10, 2019
Sun Dec 08, 2019
Categories: ,

Description

On Day 1, arrive in Hanoi, get settled into your accommodation, and enjoy Vietnamese cuisine. On Day 2, take a full-day city tour around Hanoi and enjoy a traditional water puppet performance. On Day 3, head to Ba Be National Park and ride a boat along a river there. On Day 4, visit the Nung people in Cao Bang and then visit the Ban Gioc Waterfall. Head to Lang Son on Day 5. On Day 6, cruise through Ha Long Bay, visit Sung Sot Cave, and swim at Ti Top Beach. On Day 7, travel to Hanoi and then board a night train to Hue. On Day 8, visit the Forbidden City in Hue and on Day 9, explore the countryside around Hue on a motorbike. On Day 10, travel to Hoi An and enjoy a free afternoon there and on Day 11, bike ride through rice paddies and herb gardens in the countryside. On Day 12, fly to Ho Chi Minh City and visit the Old Market there. On Day 13, boat all day through the Mekong Delta before heading to Phnom Penh on Day 14. On Day 15, take a bike tour a visit two historical sites. On Day 16, visit a silk farm before arriving in Siem Reap. On Days 17-18, explore the temples in Angkor Archaeological Park and on Day 19, take a long bus ride to Bangkok. Your trip concludes on Day 20 in Bangkok.

Itinerary

Day 1: Hanoi Accommodation Check-In – Welcome Meeting/Dinner

Welcome to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam! Today you will arrive in the city known for its parks, lakes, and lovely roadways, and get settled into your accommodation. You and your group will have a welcome meeting at 6 p.m., and afterward you will head to a local restaurant with your tour leader and new friends for some delicious Vietnamese cuisine (at your own expense). Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi City Tour (L)

On Day 2, you will embark an all-day city tour around Hanoi. Your tour will feature locales that will give you insight on Vietnamese history and culture, and along the way you can enjoy the city’s French-colonial buildings, tree lined streets, and lakes. If open during your season of travel, visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (if open during your season of visit), the final resting place of the iconic Vietnamese leader, along with the Temple of Literature, a temple of Confucius with tranquil pavilions and courtyards. Learn about the 54 officially recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam at the Museum of Ethnology before having lunch at the Koto Restaurant, where disadvantaged local children learn the ropes of working in the hospitality industry from seasoned professionals.

Later in the evening, attend a water puppet show, a unique and time-honored performance that tells a story accompanied by traditional Vietnamese music. Think: drums, bamboo flutes, horns, and wooden bells. Overnight in Hanoi.

Day 3: Hanoi – Ba Be (L/D)

On the morning of Day 3, make the about 5-hour journey to Ba Be Lake, the largest natural lake in Vietnam. Take a boat trip to explore the lake found in Ba Be National Park, and then walk through the park, home to waterfalls and diverse plants and animals. After your explorations, you will make your way to your homestay for the night. There, you will meet the family with which you’ll be staying and eat a lunch prepared by them. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon to explore your surroundings before returning to your homestay for dinner and a chance to learn more about your local host family, their traditions, and their culture. Overnight in Ba Be.

Day 4: Ba Be – Cao Bang (B/L/D)

This morning, enjoy breakfast at your homestay before departing for Cao Bang. Here, in Vietnam’s northern province bordering China, you will go the mountainous Phuoc Sen village to meet the Nung people. The Nung are agriculturalists and also are known for their blacksmith work and other crafts. Today, you will journey to the Ban Gioc Waterfall, a popular and beautiful tourist attraction, and along the way enjoy views of the Nung’s terraced rice paddies that you pass. Relax near the Ban Gioc and then head to the large Nguom Ngao Cave to observe its impressive stalactite formations. Overnight in Cao Bang.

Day 5: Cao Bang – Lang Son (B/L/D)

Start Day 5 at 7 a.m. with a four-hour drive to Lang Son, a city on the border of Vietnam and China. Eat lunch there and then discover some of the city’s most special spots, such as the Nhi Thanh Cave, a large natural cave with stalactites in various shapes. You might also enjoy a panoramic view of the Mac Dynasty Citadel before enjoying dinner. Overnight in Lang Son.

Day 6: Lang Son – Ha Long Bay Overnight Cruise (B/L/D)

On Day 6, you will take a 4.5-hour drive through the Red River Delta, stopping at the Hong Ngoc Community Centre. The Centre provides Vietnamese people with disabilities vocational training and jobs. You can observe the facility and also take time to rest after your long drive. Eventually you will arrive at Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Vietnam’s most popular and beloved destinations. On an afternoon boat tour, get to know the stunning bay that features nearly 2,000 limestone islands – many of which are hollowed out and have caves – and devour a tasty seafood lunch onboard. Also visit Sung Sot Cave, one of the nicest and widest caves in the bay, and go for a swim in the clear waters at Ti Top Beach, known for its white sand beaches and tranquil atmosphere. Tonight, board your sea vessel again to fall asleep amid the calm bay waves. Overnight on Ha Long Bay Cruise.

Day 7: Ha Long Bay – Hanoi – Night Train to Hue (B)

Wake up on Day 7 surrounded by the clear waters of Ha Long, have breakfast on board, and soak in the last bit of sun and sights in Ha Long Bay this morning, making your way to the port in Hanoi. From there you will head to freshen up, relax, and pack your dinner before boarding your overnight train to Hue. Overnight Train to Hue.

Day 8: Hue – Forbidden City Visit

On the morning of Day 8, you will arrive in Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam and the city home to much of the country’s royal history. Relax and refresh in your hotel upon arrival and prepare for an adventure later in the afternoon to the Forbidden City, where you’ll gain insight into Vietnam’s imperial history. Situated in the fortified Citadel, the Forbidden City was once home to Vietnam’s royalty: the emperor, his family, court women, and few others lived within the structure protected by a moat and tall brick walls. Overnight in Hue.

Day 9: Hue Motorbike Tour (L)

Day 9 is all about exploring Hue and its countryside by motorbike. Strap on your helmet, hop on the back of the bike – which will be driven by a local driver – and first venture into the sprawling, rural landscapes outside the city. Your first stop will be at the Thanh Toan Bridge, a colourful bridge with a tiled roof built in the late 1700s. Then you will visit the countryside market, where a mix of local goods are sold and traded. Then drive out to a secret site with a panoramic view of Hue and the Perfume River, named for the flowers that have fallen into it, giving it its fragrant aroma. Finally, head to the Tu Duc Mausoleum – the final resting place of Nguyen Emperor Tu Duc – and then enjoy a vegetarian lunch at a local nunnery to conclude your day. Overnight in Hue.

Day 10: Hue – Hoi An (B)

On Day 10, travel via the Hai Van Pass to Hoi An, where you’ll stay for the next two nights. Between the 15th and 19th centuries, Hoi An was an important trading hub with the West. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been restored in recent years to appear just as it did over a century ago, giving it a unique ancient feel, a key draw for locals and tourists alike.

The old-world feel of Hoi An is why it’s also known as Ancient Town. Today, you’ll take a walking tour around Ancient Town, observing its mix of indigenous and European architecture and charm. After the tour, you will have the rest of the day free to explore the city on your own. You might visit the famous covered “Japanese Bridge,” delve into history and culture at one of the city’s museums, take a boat cruise on the Thu Bon River, or shop for ceramics, embroidery, or fabrics, which abound there. Overnight in Hoi An.

*Note: All optional activities you participate in today are at your own expense.

Day 11: Hoi An Bike Tour – Free Afternoon (B)

Start Day 11 with a bicycle tour in the countryside surrounding Hoi An. Bike through rice paddies and the herb gardens between Tra Que Village and Cua Dai Beach, breathing in the fresh air and taking in the scenery. When you return you will have the afternoon free to enjoy as you please. Perhaps you’ll visit the tailor and get something custom made, continue perusing the ceramic and art shops, or indulge in delicious traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Overnight in Hoi An.

*Note: All optional activities you participate in today are at your own expense. You also will have the option to participate in a Walking Tour and Cooking Class, a Boat and Bike Ride with a Sunset BBQ, a Hoi An Food Adventure, or a My Son Sanctuary Visit.

Day 12: Flight to Ho Chi Minh City – Street Food Tour (B/D)

On Day 12, take an early morning flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s biggest city by population formerly known as Saigon. Once you’ve arrived and checked into your hotel, enjoy some free time to explore the city. Known as the economic capital of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and cuisine. During your free time, you may head to a museum, the Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, one of the hundreds of theatres, cinemas, or restaurants, or simply stroll in the city center amid its beautiful roadways lined with historic French-colonial buildings.

At 5 p.m., venture with your local tour leader to the Old Market, or the Binh Tay Market. One of the largest markets in Ho Chi Minh City, the Old Market will provide you with an authentic Vietnamese cultural experience. Take in the myriad of interesting sights, smells, and goods for sale, and learn about local Vietnamese cuisine on a guided street food tour. Try local foods such as Banh Xeo, noodles, and rice with pork ribs. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

*Note: The flight to Ho Chi Minh City is not included in the overall cost. Contact your travel provider beforehand so they can help you purchase the ticket for the correct time, at your own expense. If you wish to buy the flight ticket on your own at a different time than the rest of the travellers, please note that your provider WILL NOT provide transfer from the hotel in Hoi An to the Da Nang airport nor will they provide a pick-up service from the Ho Chi Minh City airport to the hotel in downtown Ho Chi Minh City upon arrival.

Day 13: Mekong Delta Boat Tour (B/L)

Board a bus on the morning of Day 13 and travel to the mostly isolated Ben Tre province. Situated in the Mekong Delta, the Ben Tre province contains a series of canals and rivers, and is a big producer of rice because of its irrigation systems. You will arrive to Hung Vuong Pier and board a boat, or sampan, that you will take down the Ben Tre River. As you calmly ride down the tributary lined with mangrove trees, take in sights of locals fishing and cargo boats hauling coconuts. Make a stop to see how bricks are traditionally made and then go down the Cai Son canal to get a firsthand glimpse at how coconuts are husked and cracked open to reach the tasty fresh “meat” inside. Venture down another canal lined with palm trees and visit a coconut candy mill and bee garden, taste fruits and honey tea, and hear music throughout. Hop back on your boat and then take a short walk to see traditional Vietnamese sleeping mats being made.

Your day continues with a tuk tuk ride or bike ride through shaded paths, past a coco jungle and pastures where vegetables and fruits such as cucumbers and bitter melons grow. You’ll have lunch at a riverside restaurant before embarking on a rowboat down water palm creek. Eventually you will boat back to Hung Vuong Pier and take a bus back to Ho Chi Minh City. Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh (B)

Leave Vietnam this morning and board a public tourist bus headed to Cambodia. After passing through immigration authorities and entering Cambodia, you will drive to Phnom Penh, the bustling capital of the country. You will arrive around 7 p.m. and will be able to go out for dinner and drinks, at your own expense, if you wish. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 15: Phnom Penh Bike Tour – Killing Fields and S-21 Prison Museum Visit (B)

This morning, take a bicycle rickshaw ride to see some of Phnom Penh’s historic buildings in the riverfront area. Then, learn about the history of Cambodian genocide and visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek Memorial, the mass grave of the Khmer Rouge victims who were murdered between 1975 and 1979, and S-21 Prison Museum. After, visit Tuol Sleng, a former school that was once a Khmer Rouge torture centre where more than 20,000 people were held and tortured.

The day will continue with a visit to a nearby rural area where you’ll meet and have lunch with a local family and learn about Khmer cuisine. You will then have the rest of the afternoon free. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 16: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (B)

Today you will board a private bus and make the approximately 7-hour journey to Siem Reap, making a few stops along the way. First, you’ll have the chance to be adventurous with your taste buds and sample a deep fried spider in the Skun District, on your way to Siem Reap. Then, visit the Santuk Silk Farm, a fair-trade silk farm that provides work for rural communities. Here, you will observe the process of making silk, from feeding the silk worms all the way to producing the end product. In the evening you will arrive in Siem Reap and check into your accommodation to relax, or perhaps you will explore the street food vendors a bit before bed. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 17: Angkor Temple Tour (B)

Day 17 is your time to explore the impressive ruins at Angkor Archaeological Park. You may choose to start your day before dawn in order to watch the sunrise over the temples. Otherwise, begin the tour at the most famous and best-preserved temple in the entire park: Angkor Wat. The temple is the largest religious monument in the world and is Cambodia’s signature attraction for tourists. Next up on the tour is Angkor Thom, where you’ll see the temple Bayon, which is adorned with more than 200 faces on its outside walls, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. Your morning will end with a walk down a road lined with stone gods and demons, the road leading to Angkor Thom’s iconic South Gate. There you can snap photos and marvel at the four, large stone faces looking in each of the cardinal directions.

In the afternoon, you’ll continue your Angkor tour with the final stop of the day: the Ta Prohm temple. Ta Prohm is a UNESCO World Heritage site, famously featured in the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The complex still remains mostly as it once was, but with trees growing out of the ruins, making it one of the most visited complexes in the Angkor region. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 18: Angkor Complex – Rice Wine Tasting (B)

On Day 18, enjoy another morning exploring the Angkor temples and then head to a rice wine tasting tour. There you will learn about the local Khmer tradition of infusing rice wine for medicinal purposes and the flavored rum recipes from the islands. You will have the afternoon free to continue exploring or participate in another optional activity, such as a boat trip down the Tonlé Sap, a freshwater lake that flows into the Mekong River. Overnight in Siem Reap.

*Note: All optional activities you participate in today are at your own expense.

Day 19: Siem Reap – Bangkok (B)

On Day 19, you will take an 8-9-hour private bus ride across the Cambodian border at Poipet and enter Thailand at Aranyaprathet. Once you complete the border crossing procedures, you will begin your journey to your final destination: Bangkok. Depending on when you arrive, you might get a chance to explore the bustling streets of Thailand’s capital that are filled with food vendors, tuk tuks, and colour, or experience the city’s vibrant nightlife with your new travel buddies. Overnight in Bangkok.

Day 20: Bangkok Accommodation Check-Out (B)

Your trip ends on Day 20 in Bangkok, with breakfast at your accommodation. Then, it’s time for you to bid farewell to your new friends. If you choose to continue exploring the city or plan to return home, we wish you safe travels!

Additional Information:

***Please note that this trip requires a minimum of 5 travellers for a guaranteed departure. While we accept individual bookings, there is a chance that this number will not be reached. In this case you will be notified of cancellation 6 weeks prior to trip departure. In case of cancellation, we offer two solutions:

1) An independent trip with the same duration and similar itinerary, plus the price difference to be paid or refunded

2) Full refund of the trip purchased

– Your travel provider needs the details for your Da Nang-Ho Chi Minh City flight 45 days in advance of your trip.

– Reservations during peak times (Christmas, New Year, National Holidays) may be subject to supplementary charges and compulsory meals.

What's Included?

TRANSPORTATION:

All Transportation:

  • Boat Hanoi – Ba Be
  • Car Ba Be – Cao Bang
  • Car Cao Bang – Lang Son
  • Car Lang Song – Ha Long Bay
  • Overnight Boat Ha Long Bay
  • Overnight Train Hanoi – Hue
  • Car Hue – Hoi An
  • Bus Ho Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City
  • Tourist Public Bus Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh
  • Private Bus Phnom Penh – Siem Reap
  • Private Bus Siem Reap – Bangkok

 

ACCOMMODATION:

19 Nights Twin-Share Accommodations:
  • 2N Hanoi 3* Hotel
  • 1N Ba Be Homestay
  • 1N Cao Bang Hotel
  • 1N Lang Son Hotel
  • 1N Ha Long Bay Cruise
  • 1N Night Train to Hue
  • 2N Hue 3* Hotel
  • 2N Hoi An 3* Hotel
  • 2N Ho Chi Minh City 3* Hotel
  • 2N Phnom Penh 3* Hotel
  • 3N Siem Reap 3* Hotel
  • 1N Bangkok 3* Hotel

MEALS:

  • 15 Breakfasts
  • 7 Lunches
  • 5 Dinners

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES:

  • Temple of Literature Visit
  • Water Puppet Show
  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum Visit
  • Ethnology Museum Visit
  • Ba Be Boat Trip
  • Ban Gioc Waterfall Visit
  • Nguom Ngao Cave Visit
  • Forbidden City Visit
  • Hue Motorbike Tour
  • Hoi An Ancient Town Walk
  • Hoi An Bike Tour
  • Ho Chi Minh City Old Market and Street Food Experience
  • Mekong Delta Tour
  • Mekong Sampan Ride
  • S-21 Prison Museum Visit
  • Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) Visit
  • Phnom Penh Local Market and Local Food Experience
  • 3-day Pass to Angkor Archaeological Park
  • Angkor Temples Guided Tour