Route: Bangkok Chiang Mai Chiang Dao Mekong River Luang Prabang Vang Vieng Hanoi Hoi Chi Minh City Mekong Delta Koh Rong Island Phnom Penh Siem Reap
Group Size: 4-22
Age Range: 18-60
Transport: Public transport, including overnight trains
Dates: Range of departures throughout the year
Summary: Throw yourself into Southeast Asia’s huge variety of unforgettable experiences in our 31-day adventure tour of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Adventure leaders will show you the best of the region’s hidden gems and major highlights so you can get the most out of your trip. Trek through jungle to a remote waterfall, feed majestic elephants and swim in perfectly clear water… Travelling South East Asia will stay with you forever.
Welcome to Thailand! Arrive in the vibrant Asian metropolis of Bangkok to meet your group and adventure leader. Get to know your new travel companions over dinner and drinks in an idyllic rooftop bar. Watch the sun set over Bankok’s towering skyline before hopping on board the sleeper train to kick-start your trip!
Things to do: Jump onto a riverboat cruise on Chao Phraya River for great views and direct access to some of the city’s main attractions. Visit Bangkok’s cultural highlights, including the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kae. After dinner, head out to Patpong or Nana Plaza for the best bars and clubs Bangkok has to offer.
Wake up to see the sun rise from your train window before arriving in Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old cultural capital of Northern Thailand. Spend a morning getting to know new friends at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, an eco-tourism project set-up by The Karen Hill tribes Trust. After our elephant encounter return to the hostel pool to refresh. Later we’ll head out to a local food market for dinner and live music. If you’re a foodie you can’t miss the chance to join a cooking class where you’ll learn how to cook authentic Thai cuisine!
Consider yourself a culture vulture? Explore the dozens of temples and cultural delights of Chiang Mai. This city is situated amongst gorgeous scenery – the perfect place to get a deeper understanding of Buddhist culture. If you are looking for a day of adventure and thrills, have a go at zip lining, quad biking, trekking or water rafting down Mae Taeng River. All these activities are located up in the hills, offering plentiful views as well as an adrenaline rush.
Walk through the countryside and take in the idyllic Northern Thai villages on the outskirts of Chiang Mai. Go off the beaten track and hike through thick jungle to waterfalls that remain wonderfully untouched by the outside world. Stay overnight in a local settlement of tree top houses in Chiang Dao – gaze at the open skies and you’ll see why the town’s name translates as “City of Stars”.
Wake up to an incredible sunrise looking out over the Thai countryside. Today we’ll take you on a beautiful cycling route and stop for lunch before driving back to Chiang Mai. On our way to Chiang Kong we will stop at Wat Rong Khun – a pristine temple given a contemporary twist by local artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. Join your fellow backpackers for beers back at the hostel to cap off an awesome day.
At Midday we catch the slow boat to begin the journey down the Mekong River to Laos for the next leg of our adventure tour. The boat is a slow paced and scenic travel experience – a nice change from taking a bus. At 6pm we will arrive in Pak Bek village in time to try the local delicacy – ‘buffalo curry’ (the slow boat is unguided for 1 day but you’ll be travelling with a reputable boat company).
We continue our journey today, filling up on Pak Bek sandwiches before heading back to the boat. At approximately 4.30pm we will arrive at Luang Prabang – a true jewel in Southeast Asia and a wonderful place to stroll around. In the evening, head to Hmong Market and grab a drink by the river while watching the sun go down.
Spend the morning helping young people improve their English at the Big Brother Big Mouse volunteering program. Speak with the locals and develop your understanding of Laos’s culture. Learn about the ‘farm to table process’ of making rice at the Living Rice Farm. Alternatively, spend the afternoon at one of the biggest waterfalls of Luang Prabang, Kuangsi Waterfalls. Whether you want to take a dip or explore is completely up to you!
Just 105 miles / 168 km north from Laung Prabang lies Vang Vieng. This village remains a popular stop for travellers to recharge while offering plenty of adventurous activities. In the morning we will head out to take a swim in the Blue Lagoon 2 and go rock climbing. So make sure you have your swimwear handy! We will arrive at the hostel late afternoon where you’ll have enough time to wander through Vang Vieng, relax, and take in its beautiful surroundings.
Explore the surrounding area in a unique way – Spend half a day rock-climbing, cycle to the amazing Pha Ngern view point and take in the scenery, then grab an inflatable and go tubing! Or if you don’t fancy all these thrills let yourself have a bit of R&R!
This morning we’re leaving Laos in a jet plane – fly into Hanoi, Vietnam, where we will take the bus from the airport to our accommodation. Once at the hostel, there’s time to refresh and get ready for our bar crawl in the city’s Old Quarter!
Hanoi, cultural and political capital of Vietnam, is known for its architectural contrasts of old vs. new, and foreign influences. Head to Hoa Lo Prison and then over to the Hoan Kiem Lake for a dip! We’ll then have lunch at Old Quarter street and you have all afternoon to take in the sights of Hanoi before we hop on the night bus to Sa Pa.
Refresh and recharge with a good breakfast before we set off on a trek through Muong Hoa Valley. Take in the breathtaking scenery of the Hoang Lien mountain ranges and walk past the beautiful rice terraces. Visit the Zay tribe’s village and be warmly received with dinner at a homestay run by one of its families.
Continue the trek through bamboo forests, towards Giang Ta Chai Waterfall. You will pass more tribal villages along the way as the area is home to both H’mong and Red Zao tribes. Take the bus back to Sa Pa in time for dinner before jumping on the sleeper bus back to Hanoi.
105 miles/ 170km from Hanoi lies Ha Long Bay. Home to thousands of tiny islands and stunning beaches, it’s not surprising it’s featured in so many films. We will be heading to the Bay first thing in the morning travelling by bus and boat, where you’ll have lunch in the floating village with plenty of time to spend boat jumping before we have a group BBQ dinner.
Wake up to a beautiful sunrise and spend your morning hanging out with the local monkeys. Today we will take you on a kayaking trip pedalling past dramatic karst peaks, the views are well worth it! In the afternoon return back to Hanoi to hop on the night bus to Phong Nha.
It’s time to relax. Explore Bong Lai Village by bike and cycle past rural farms and villages. Stop for a drink, a quick snack and if you fancy, a game of volleyball with the locals. Nip off for a quick nap in one of the hammocks or float your way down-river. For those of you that don’t fancy cycling can opt to go Easy Tiger Hostel to relax by the pool! After 17 days we think the time is ripe for singing your lungs out with an evening of karaoke!
An action packed day in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, which is famous for its 400 Million year old karst mountains. Spend the day exploring its coastal caves, zip lining across the water and kayaking in the river caves (this is an optional activity).
It will be an early start today as we hop on the sleeper bus to Hoi An. Hoi An was once a major port during the ancient Champa Kingdom, and is well known in Vietnam for it’s pretty architecture. Explore the Ancient Town and sniff out hidden treasures in its boutiques and market stalls. Head off for a night out for the true Vietnam experience!
Carry on exploring or spend the day chilling on one of Hoi An’s beaches. Fancy something more active? Learn about local farm life in Vietnam or go crab fishing on a coconut boat. In the evening we’ll take the bus to Danang before hopping on a train to Ho Chi Minh City.
Saigon is a vibrant and youthful city that played a decisive role in Vietnam’s history.
Arrive at 11am, and head directly to your hostel, which has its own roof top bar and pub crawl. You’ll be right at the heart of one of the region’s most buzzing cities! Visit Ben Thanh Market for great fashion bargains and a delicious street food dinner. Make sure you sample some Pho while you’re there!
A day of history starts at the Cu Chi tunnels dug by the Communist guerrilla group, the Viet Cong, that used the tunnels as a war asset to fight American and South Vietnamese troops during the civil war. Spend your afternoon at the War Remnants Museum to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War (1955-1975).
The Mekong Delta is filled with homes, markets, and boats that float on its rivers. Begin your tour of this waterside paradise by visiting the floating market. In the afternoon, take a boat tour through the Tra Su Forest wildlife reserve. The reserve is home to over 70 different bird species and over a hundred different types of flora and fauna. Tonight we will be sleeping in a hostel at the heart of Mekong Delta and close to the Cambodian border, in Chau Doc.
Get ready to be stunned! Today we enter Cambodia, crossing at the border by Ha Tien towards Koh Rong Island. The island is the definition of a Southeast Asian paradise and a must stop for anyone looking to experience a Moon Party. Tonight, chill out on the beaches and absorb the impressive scenery or head to one of the many beach bars on Koh Touch.
Today is a perfect day to enjoy the beach and wander the island. Want something more active? Take the opportunity to learn how to scuba dive. Not for you? Don’t worry you can relax and enjoy the sun!
Explore the surrounding islands on a boat tour, visit a local village, and go swimming. If you’re lucky, you might get a chance to spot seahorses, blue spotted ribbon-tail rays, and diamond fish on your excursion.
Travel to the nation’s capital, Phnom Penh, by ferry and bus via Sihanoukville. Grab a roadside snack en route, you’ll find everything from fresh mangoes to deep fried spiders…
Hit by bitter times of war, this trendy and alluring city was formerly known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’. Admire the Royal Palace, and take a sobering visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek as well as the S21 prison. In the evening amble along the riverside promenade. For a touch of class, have a drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. One of the city’s most sophisticated joints (your visit to the Killing Fields is now an optional activity).
Today’s travel takes us to Siem Reap also known as the ancient gateway of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat. Spend the afternoon visiting the local villages and relaxing at the pool and in the evening take on the Fear Factor Food Challenge complemented by enjoying drinks from a Tuk Tuk cocktail bar.
Today we will be heading to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat – the biggest religious monument known to man and one of the Wonders of the World. Today you will be exploring the Temples of Angkor; amongst them Ta Prohm – famous for featuring as the backdrop in Tomb Raider. In the afternoon there will be time for a dip in the pool before getting ready for our final big night out. Explore Pub Street, and visit the night market for a bite to eat.
After 31 days of travelling in some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, it’s time to bid farewell to your companions. However, rest assured, while you may be leaving Southeast Asia, the spirit of these beautiful nations will never really leave you. Take the bus back to Bangkok to head home – or continue your travels.