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  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • The Golden Pagoda at Wat Pha-That Luang, Laos
  • One of the intricate statues at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Looking down over Halong Bay, Vietnam
  • The food market in Hoi An, Vietnam
  • Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda on Inle Lake, Myanmar
Route:
Singapore to Singapore
Days:
71
Style: Worldwide Adventures
Code: SEBSL
Price From:
US$7,429

Why not kick off this extensive adventure with a Singapore Sling in the iconic Raffles hotel in Singapore? From this cosmopolitan country we travel through Malaysia and Thailand to the beguiling Myanmar and back to South East Asia. You can start and finish this tour from multiple cities depending on your flights and dates

What's Included

Excursions

  • Rickshaw City Tour of Melaka
  • Full Day Excursion in the Cameron Highlands
  • Penang Heritage Walk
  • Shan village walking tour
  • Palaung Mountain Village Walking Tour
  • Goteik Viaduct train journey
  • Half day Bagan orientation tour
  • Bike tour through Bagan
  • Elephant Conservation Centre
  • Shan mountain train journey
  • Day excursion on Inle Lake and local Intha lunch
  • Bicycle tour of Sukhothai
  • Visit the Opium Museum & Golden Triangle
  • Visit the White Temple & Black Temple
  • Visit the Monks collecting alms
  • Countryside tuk-tuk trip in Vang Vieng
  • COPE Centre
  • Sapa Villages and rice terraces trek
  • Halong Bay overnight stay on a junk boat
  • Guided tour & entrance to caves
  • Tour of the Forbidden Citadel with tour leader
  • Hike up Marble Mountain
  • Visit Hai Van Pass
  • Mekong Delta Overnight Excursion
  • Entrance to the Genocide Museum & Killing Fields
  • Spider Market
  • Ride the Bamboo Railway
  • Khmer Wine Tasting
  • Guided Tour of Angkor Wat

Accommodation

65 night(s) in hotels, 3 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains, 1 night(s) on Halong Bay junk, 1 night(s) in homestays

Transportation

Travel by 7 flight(s), Train, , Public Bus, Private Vehicle, Overnight Train

Meals

62 breakfast, 6 lunch, 2 dinner

Staff & Experts

Tucan Travel tour leader

What's Not Included

  • Spending money – budget for meals, snacks, drinks, limited souvenirs, laundry, tips and any extras
  • International flights to/from the start/end of your tour and departure taxes  
  • Tips on included excursions, visas, travel insurance, personal items and single rooms.  
  • Optional excursions - Please see the optional excursions on the Tour Notes for a comprehensive list of optional activities and excursions available on this tour.

Group

Group Size: Maximum 16. Average 8-12.

Tour Suitability: This tour is recommended for people aged 18-65. For more information on what to expect, click here.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Singapore

The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.

Singapore may be small in size, but its larger-than-life attitude and modernisation will ensure your visit here is truly unforgettable. A major international hub, the city will house travellers and business people from all over the world at any given time. You would be forgiven for thinking you should be donned in a suit clutching a briefcase as you lose yourself between the ultra-modern high rise buildings. Like any major city, the shopping is excellent here (although not always cheap). There are many historical and cultural sights to see if you are after an insight into the tradition of this fascinating country. Visit Little India and Chinatown for a glimpse into the old way of life of the city. You may want to don your best travelling garb and try a traditional Singapore Sling at the Long Bar in the famous Raffles Hotel. Steeped in history, this spectacular colonial style hotel is beautiful to see as you make your way to the bar which is more relaxed than you may think as it is a must to throw your peanut shells on the floor! Singapore restaurants are not the cheapest you will come across in South East Asia but if you hit some of the market food stalls or the hawker centres you are sure to delight in an amazing selection of fresh, scrumptious food.

Optional Excursions

Zoological Gardens – US$22 • Singapore History Museum – US$10 • Singapore Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden – free

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 2 to 3 - Melaka

Melaka is one of Malaysia's most popular destinations and was an important trading port several hundred years ago. The historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Portuguese settled here in the 16th century and their influence can be seen in much of the architecture around the city. There are many attractions in Melaka, from temples to churches, and mosques to museums. The destination is famous for its traditional Chinese Nyonya cuisine, which you can sample from one of the traditional Peranakan shop houses.

Included Excursions

Rickshaw City Tour of Melaka

Optional Excursions

River cruise from – MYR 20

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 4 to 5 - Kuala Lumpur

We arrive in Malaysia's lively capital, Kuala Lumpur. A major tourist hub, 'KL' (as it is usually referred) is modern, slightly congested, and it offers all the creature comforts of your average major city. High rises abound, shopping is excellent (and one of the city's major attractions) and its bustling day-to-day goings-on provide an insight into Malay business culture. There are many things to do here - both cultural and indulgent. During your time here, why not check out Berjaya Times Square in the Bukit Bintang area, the biggest mall in Asia - where the 8th floor houses a mini theme park consisting of several roller coasters and white-knuckle rides. Your tour leader will show you the tallest twin tower building in the world, the Petronas Towers. If you wish you can choose to ascend to the Skywalk (this is at an optional cost.) There are also many colonial buildings to visit if you feel the need to step back in time and take a break from the modern high rises.

Optional Excursions

Entry to Petronas Towers including Skywalk and observation deck – MYR 85

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 6 to 7 - Cameron Highlands

Named after William Cameron, a British colonial government surveyor who discovered the plateau during in 1885, the Cameron Highlands is a highland region around 1500 metres above sea level. There are many things to do and see here, including: a butterfly farm, strawberry farms, rose gardens, a Chinese temple and vegetable farms. You also have a jungle trek amongst the cool, refreshing forest air. The region's fertile mountain slopes make it one of the best places in the country to grow tea, and there are many tea plantations. The Cameron Highlands is also a major supplier of vegetables to Malaysia and Singapore.

Included Excursions

Full Day Excursion in the Cameron Highlands

Optional Excursions

Kuala Kangsar town tour – US$30

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 8 to 9 - Penang

We make for Penang. We will stay in Georgetown, which is the island's capital. Georgetown possesses a unique charm, blending old and new cultures. Peddlers exhibit their goods surrounded by modern buildings. Old buildings stand side-by-side with new businesses. Take a rickshaw tour and introduce yourself to this lively town or perhaps visit the 65-storey Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR), a prominent Penang landmark, which houses Government departments, commercial offices, department stores, shops and restaurants.

Included Excursions

Penang Heritage Walk

Optional Excursions

Hill and Temple (Kek Lok Si) – MYR 80 includes guide and train tickets

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 10 to 12 - Phuket

Heading back to Thailand we enjoy three nights on the buzzing rainforest island of Phuket, Thailand’s largest island. Phuket offers some of the Thailand’s most popular beaches where you can wash the dust from your hair and relax on white sand sipping your favourite cocktail or a local Chang Beer. Away from the beaches, Phuket offers so much to keep you busy including a visit to the aquarium, exploring Butterfly Garden and Insect World, visit James Bond Island in Phang Nga Bay, marvel at Phuket Big Buddha or wander the narrow streets of Old Phuket in total contrast to the busy beach resorts.

Discover the “Temple of the Gold Buddha” (Wat Phra Thong) where the deity is half buried so you can only see the head and shoulders! For another jaw-dropping sight, visit the Big Buddha who stands tall at 45 metres high. This is also a great place to get panoramic views of the southern side of Phuket.

You may also like to visit Khao Phra Thaew National Park, where you can visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre and two waterfalls.

With 3 days here there’s also plenty of time to visit and explore the island close to Phuket including Koh Phi Phi, Coral Island, Similan Islands or Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi all of which are accessible by ferry and/or speedboat from Phuket.

At night, Phuket really comes to life and whether your choice is a fine wine overlooking the sea or clubbing on until the early hours, Phuket has it all in abundance.

Optional Excursions

Phi Phi & Bamboo Islands - 1,800฿, Fantasea Show & Buffet Dinner - 1,750฿, James Bond Island - 1,700฿, Sea Fishing, White Water Raftin, Siam Niramit Show – 1,450฿

Accommodation

3 night(s) in hotels

Meals

3 Breakfast

Day 13 to 13 - Bangkok

Today we fly to Bangkok where we can enjoy dinner and spend the night before flying to the breathtaking country of Myanmar tomorrow

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 14 to 14 - Mandalay

Welcome to Myanmar, more formally named the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and previously and possibly better known in many countries as Burma.

Mandalay, a name that evokes splendours of old Burma, captured by Rudyard Kipling in poem Mandalay. “This is Burma” he wrote, “and it is quite unlike any place you know about!” Destroyed by a fire and heavily bombed during World War Two, the Burma of old is more difficult to find but when you do, it astounds you.

With a turbulent history, after thousands were killed in a military uprising, Burma changed its name to Myanmar in 1989. Myanmar today has only recently opened its border to travellers after the Military Junta, in control since 1962 was dissolved after years of internal struggle as recently as 2011. As this largely rural country remains unaffected by long term tourism it offers us a wonderful insight into Southeast Asian life.

You have a free day to enjoy Mandalay. Visit the Mahamuni Pagoda with its old Buddha statue. Typically a lively temple, men put gold leaves into the statue. Here you can also shop around for the perfect souvenir, your own small statue made of bronze or wood. If you can't find what you are looking for, the marble carving street should have a treat in store. Walking through the Mahagandayon monastery complex, see hundreds of monks heading to prayers.

Tonight, you can visit the Yadanar night market to get a feel for the real Mandalay. Grab some traditional snacks before enjoying a beer at a famous beer station and a delicious meal at one of Mandalay's traditional BBQ restaurants.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels. No single room upgrade available.

Day 15 to 16 - Hsipaw

Heading into the Northern Shan State, we travel to Hsipaw, located in the east of Myanmar, Hsipaw is a scenic town steeped in history. Once a Shan royal city, the old palace still stands in the northern part of the town. In 1962 the last Sawbwa, Sao Kya Seng, disappeared during a military coup however his family still care for the old palace and it is possible to pay a visit, meet a descendent of the last Sawbwa and learn about the history of the Shan State over the last 50 years.

A popular area for hiking, Hsipaw is situated in a valley with a number of Shan villages surrounding it. In the late afternoon we can enjoy a guided walk through the paddy fields, passing villages, creeks, schools and monasteries along way. The guide will teach you about Shan life around Hsipaw and show you some home industries like cheroot (cigar) rolling and bamboo weaving. He will explain why each Shan village has a spirit house built at the entrance of the village and make sure you will get to know the spirit of the local people in Northern Shan State

Hsipaw also as a fantastic central market where locals come to trade frequently. You may also enjoy watching the sunset from Five Buddha Hill, accessible by bicycle a few miles out of the town.

Included Excursions

Shan village walking tour

Optional Excursions

Full day Hiking and boat tour - USD $45 per group

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 17 to 17 - Kyaukme

Heading east, Kyaukme is a small but bustling town with a vibrant Chinese quarter. Kyaukme is flanked by valleys filled with Palaung villages.

From Hsipaw, we will take a local bus today from opposite the beautiful colonial all-wooden post office a short 3 minute walk from the hotel. The local bus will stop at villages along the way, allowing locals to get on or off with their goods, whether that be livestock or vegetables. You will be able to purchase snacks from locals along the route or learn the language by engaging in conversation with your neighbour.

Kyaukme still sees few western tourists and on arrival your tour leader will be waiting for you to take you to the guesthouse where you can freshen up and drop off your luggage before embarking on a full day trekking. Palaung villages surround Kyaukme and with a local guide, you can gain a fascinating insight into the life of these people living in these remote hills. We stop en route in one of these villages for a local meal before returning back to Kyaukme for the night.

Included Excursions

Palaung Mountain Village Walking Tour

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 18 to 18 - Pyin Oo Lwin

After breakfast this morning, we board a train to take us from Kyaukme to Pyin Oo Lwin. This scenic train journey boasts astounding views as it travels along old train tracks built over 100 years ago. En route, the train will stop at small villages and vendors will climb on board to sell their wares whether they are drinks of local delicacies. Depending on how long the train is due to spend in each village, you may have time to get off the train and wander around. Some locals often spend time in the train station to try to teach themselves english by speaking to any tourists on board. After a few hours on board, we will cross the Goteik Viaduct. This bridge was built by the British in 1899 and at the time, was considered a masterpiece and the longest bridge in the world.

Travelling at walking speed, crossing the bridge will be a slow process as the engineer tries to limit any damage to the bridge by taking his time. This means there is plenty of time to capture photos of the valley below and the train navigating the tracks.

We arrive in the picturesque town of Pyin Oo Lwin this afternoon. The city was founded by the British in 1896 and retains its colonial charm. This afternoon you will have time to take a tour of the town and the old British colonial buildings.

Included Excursions

Goteik Viaduct train journey

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 19 to 19 - Mandalay

Leaving Pyin Oo Lwin, we take a shared taxi back to Mandalay where we spend the night. You will have time today to enjoy some of the sights of the town you didn’t get to see when you were here earlier on in your tour. Arriving in the morning, you can enjoy a full day of sightseeing culminating at sunset by the bridge.,

Optional Excursions

Mahamuni Buddha Temple & Paleik Pagodas – MMK 10000 • Bike rental – USD$10

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 20 to 22 - Bagan

Bagan is home to more Buddhist temples than anywhere in the world. They poke out of the trees and have a graceful aging process. It is here that the sunsets are some of the best in the world.

On arrival, we enjoy a half day guided orientation tour of the area where you will see some of the best temples in the region. Discover Ananda, Sulamani, and Thatbyinnyu, the latter being one of the highest monuments in Bagan.

The best way to see the many hundreds of temples in the area of Bagan is by bicycle and the day after arriving in Bagan, we take a guided tour of the site by bicycle The flat landscape makes a bike tour an easy excursion and your guide will show you some of the most spectacular ancient temples away from the crowds. Cycle through the palm trees and bamboo huts finding temples along the way. You can also climb some of the pagodas for impressive views over the temples.

With two full days in Bagan, should you want to visit the surrounding areas, you can take optional excursions to see what else the region has to offer. You can visit Mount Popa, the birthplace of the 37 'nats' of Myanmar which are the protective spirits. You can get off the beaten track by visiting rural villages as well as fruit and flower markets.

One of the highlights of Bagan enjoyed by many, is a sunrise hot air balloon ride offering stunning views over the temple zone. Of course seats are limited and can book up early so booking in advance is recommended to avoid disappointment. Your Adventure Specialist will be able to advise on the best ride for you and how to book.

Included Excursions

Half day Bagan orientation tour,Bike tour through Bagan

Optional Excursions

Rent a bike – USD 10 • Temple Zone – USD 20 • Ballooning over Bagan – From USD 320

Accommodation

3 night(s) in hotels

Meals

3 Breakfast

Day 23 to 23 - Kalaw

Leaving Bagan, on the way to Kalaw we visit the Elephant Conservation Centre. A community project only recently established here, protects the jungle, the wildlife that resides in it and the traditions of the local people living in the area. The project also protects some of Myanmar’s endangered elephants which, without this protection, may have been hunted down and killed or sold into the tourism trade.

These elephants are ‘retired’ from working life and we will have the opportunity to wash and feed the elephants but riding them is strictly not allowed. Returning to the camp, we will enjoy lunch before continuing our journey to Kalaw. Travelling by private vehicle, we might make multiple stops on the way to Kalaw in local villages. We may learn how to make toddy and jaggery (palm sugar) from the sap of the toddy palm.

Included Excursions

Elephant Conservation Centre

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 24 to 25 - Inle Lake

Leaving Kalaw after breakfast, we board our another train to take us to Inle Lake. This scenic journey travels through the Shan mountains and you can glimpse the local life as you travel en route. The train has been used by locals and westerners alike for over 100 years and has a distinctive colonial feel to it. This train can't be prebooked so you may be seated in the “ordinary class” giving you a real taste of how locals travel by train.

Arriving at Inle Lake in the early afternoon, there is time to enjoy an afternoon excursion on the lake or in the surrounding hills. The following day, we spend a full day on the lake, travelling by boat between traditional villages built on stilts and inhabited by the Intha people. We visit floating gardens, pass some of the fishermen who row their boats using their legs, balancing precariously on the other. One of the main highlights of the excursion is the lunch made by a local family. You will experience authentic Intha food including the famous tomato salad, meat cakes steamed in banana leaves and more. You will also visit traditional markets in different villages depending on the day we travel. If time allows, we will also visit a cheroot factory where Burmese cigars are made, floating tomato gardens, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda and Intha Heritage House where Burmese cats are bred.

Well known for its weaving, on Inle Lake we have the chance to purchase souvenirs including the Burmese tote-bags and high quality silk fabrics. You can also try traditional Shan cuisine including Htamin Jin, a delicious meal of rice, tomato, potato or fish in round balls, wrapped in crisp fried onion and marinated in garlic.

Included Excursions

Shan mountain train journey,Day excursion on Inle Lake and local Intha lunch

Optional Excursions

Buddha Museum – USD 2 • Bike rental – USD 10 • Boat rental – USD 30 per boat

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 26 to 26 - Yangon

Today we fly to Yangon, a city filled with British, Burmese, Chinese and Indian influences. Despite being a city, here it is common to see locals walking down the street barefoot with natural sunblock from the Thanaka tree rubbed on their faces. There is plenty to do in this bustling city from food tours, local markets, lakes and pagodas.

The largest and most beautiful pagoda is the Shwedagon Pagoda and it is the most religion site in Myanmar. It was originally built in the 6th century AD and has been rebuilt and developed over time to become the sprawling, golden site of today. It is also a meeting point for locals. Children play, monks chat and women gossip while it is possible to pick up some souvenirs from the shops outside the site.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 27 to 28 - Bangkok

Return to Bangkok where we continue our adventure through Thailand, Laos and Vietnam

Optional Excursions

Thai Massage per hour from – THB 250 • Wat Phra Kaew – from THB 500 • Thai cookery course – from THB 1200 • Bangkok canal tour – from THB 750

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 29 to 29 - Phitsanulok

Today we take the train to Phitsanulok, one of Thailand's ancient capitals and a town of great importance. Although a bustling hub for travellers, our adventure to Phitsanulok takes us off the tourist trail to experience local life and see untouched Thailand

Discover the revered temple Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat which is home to one of the most important Buddha images. The bronze statue is the centrepiece of the temple and is the most copied.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 30 to 30 - Sukhothai

Thailand’s ancient capital Sukhothai is home to the ancient ruins of the former city. A popular highlight of Thailand, it was the capital of the Thai empire for approximately 140 years and translates literally to “Dawn of Happiness”.

The temples and monuments have been since excavated and reconstructed in places, the restoration now naming the destination Sukhothai Historical Park.

The old city has many zones interspersed with lakes and bridges to island bound ruins, and covers roughly 70 square kilometers. We will take a bicycle tour around the World Heritage Site and explore the typical Thai architecture including the Wat Mahathat, one of the most spectacular Buddhas seated amongst the stone ruins .

Included Excursions

Bicycle tour of Sukhothai

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 31 to 32 - Chiang Mai

Our journey today culminates in Chiang Mai , the 'Rose of the North', where you can enjoy a Thai cooking course, relaxing massage, take in a night-time Thai kick-boxing bout (Muay Thai) or haggle the night away at Chiang Mai’s famous evening street market.

Optional Excursions

Thai cookery course – THB 800 per person (depending on class size) • Doi Suthep temple by Songthaew (type of Thai vehicle) – THB 300 • Bicycle tour – from THB 800 per day

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 33 to 33 - Golden Triangle

Leaving Chiang Mai we first stop at the Hmong Hilltribe road side market to pick up some snacks and souvenirs for the day. Continuing on we travel north around Si Lanna National Park stopping at Wat Thaton Chedi, a large temple complex situated on top of a hill. We visit Chedi Kaew, known as the Crystal Pagoda which boasts spectacular views over Thailand and Myanmar.

After stopping for lunch in the border town of Thaton, our next visit is a Akah Hilltribe village. Here you can learn how these indigenous people go about their daily lives. Entrances to all Akha villages have a wooden gate known as a “Spirit Gate”. Admire the fascinating carvings marked on the sides and keep your eyes peeled for similar markings on the roofs of the houses within the village!

All this exploring is thirsty work so our next stop is the Shwi Foung Tea Plantation! Admire the magnificent views and perhaps sample some of Thailand's wonderful jasmine or green teas. We travel on to our final destination, the small town of Sop Ruak, the centre of the Golden Triangle. Before checking into our hotel, we will visit the Golden Triangle viewpoint where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar all meet on the Mekong River.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 34 to 34 - Chiang Rai

The next day we discover the old Opium Museum where you can learn about Asia's past illicit opium production and the history of the Golden Triangle. Next we will see the giant Golden Buddha sitting on a boat by the riverside and the stone elephants there to protect him.

En route to Chiang Rai we will explore Wat Rong Khun, famously known as the White Temple. Many tour leaders have claimed that Rong Khun is the most fascinating temple they have visited and during your visit you’ll be amazed at the decorations both inside and out! We will also visit the Black Temple. Compare the two, and see the stark contrasts not only in colour but in architecture and design too! We end our day in Chiang Rai, and our hotel is situated near the popular Night Bazaar Market. Haggle for gifts or sample a freshly-cooked pad thai in this vibrant night spot.

Included Excursions

Visit the Opium Museum & Golden Triangle,Visit the White Temple & Black Temple

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 35 to 36 - Luang Prabang

Today we have a flight to Luang Prabang. On the way to the airport we will stop at the Cashew Nut shop to pick up snacks for the journey. Many say that Luang Prabang is the most memorable town in all of Laos. Renowned for a fascinating history and some of the friendliest people, Luang Prabang refers to the holy Pra Bang, Laos' most sacred image of the Buddha given to Fa Ngoum.

We have two days to enjoy this sleepy town, which is located 300 metres above sea level on the upper Mekong. As you explore you will see that Luang Prabang is dominated by Phousi - the marvellous hill-top temple that sits in the middle of the town. You'll notice a combination of Lao, French and Lao-French colonial influence as you admire the city's buildings and architectural highlights - all of which you can see discovering the town on foot. Here we will visit the monks at sunrise who collect alms that are donated by the locals.

There are many temples to visit in Luang Prabang - over 30 in fact, which is a large number for this small town.

Included Excursions

Visit the Monks collecting alms

Optional Excursions

Royal Theatre dance performances – US$20 • Royal Palace – LAK 30,000 • Wat Xieng Thong – LAK 20,000 • Wat Poa Phon Phoa – donation expected • Kuang Si Falls – LAK 20,000 (not including transport)

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 37 to 38 - Vang Vieng

As we make our way south from Luang Prabang we travel past stunning scenery to Vang Vieng. This peaceful town is situated on a plateau with stunning surroundings of limestone caves and waterfalls, and the area is inhabited by the Hmong and Yao tribes. The limestone caves are renowned in ancient mythology and have featured in the prose of many artists throughout time. Vang Vieng is an excellent place to try the local cuisine and there are markets to indulge in. Here we will take a tuk-tuk tour off the beaten track through some of Laos' most incredible scenery and see the local villages and paddy fields.

Included Excursions

Countryside tuk-tuk trip in Vang Vieng

Optional Excursions

Bamboo rafting/kayaking including visit to caves – US$20 • Caves – most entry fees are US$2

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 39 to 40 - Vientiane

The capital of Laos is extremely quiet - so quiet that, before 1970, there was only one set of traffic lights in the entire city (a far cry from Bangkok!). We have time to admire this tranquil city with its many murals and markets. Many buildings you will see when you wander the streets are of religious significance. You may wish to hire a bicycle and explore the local streets and markets which are excellent here.

Laos was a victim during the Vietnam War and is actually the most bombed country in the world. During the fighting 270 million submunitions were dropped on Laos between 1963 to 1974, and many of those failed to explode, still remaining live in the ground.

In Vientiane, we visit the COPE Centre and learn about the UXO problem in Laos and how the country is managing the situation. We learn about the work undertaken by COPE to provide disability services for people affected by the bombing. As part of the exhibition, you can also watch a number of excellent documentary films where you can learn more.

Included Excursions

COPE Centre

Optional Excursions

Temples – most entry fees are US$2 • Wat Pra Kaeo (Grand Palace and museum) – LAK 5000 • National Museum – LAK 20,000 • Buddha Park – LAK 8,000 entrance (plus transport starting from LAK 80,000)

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 41 to 42 - Hanoi

A short flight takes us to the colourful country of Vietnam, landing in Hanoi.

Hanoi offers a beguiling combination of tranquillity and chaos, from the elegance of its crumbling colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards, to the boisterous cacophony of street vendors and motorcycles. Much can be absorbed of daily life by wandering the streets of the old quarter, tasting local market food, and people-watching. For the culture buffs there are museums, temples and tombs which offer insight into a city rich in history and character.

Head to “coffee street” in the old quarter for a ca phe sua da (a milky iced coffee) for a caffeine fix, or grab some hearty bowls of Pho from the street vendors selling delicious Vietnamese street food. You can also head to the pretty Hoàn Ki?m Lake and try and spot the endangered large soft shell turtles that are hiding in the water, before crossing the red Huc Bridge to visit Jade Island where the Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of Jade Mountain) stands.

Optional Excursions

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum – free • Ho Chi Minh's house and presidential palace – VND 20,000 • Ho Chi Minh's Museum – VND 20,000 • Temple of Literature – VND20,000 • All tombs and citadels – VND 20,000 • Ngoc Son Temple – VND 5,000 • Fine Arts Museum – VND 20,000 • Military History Museum – VND 20,000 • Perfume pagoda – VND 20,000 • Water Puppet Theatre – VND 60,000-100,000 plus VND 40,000 for camera use

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 43 to 43 - Overnight train to Sapa

After a full day exploring the loud and fast-paced city of Hanoi, it is time to board a comfortable overnight sleeper train away from the cities and up into Vietnam’s Northern Highlands and the magical region of Sapa where we will enjoy the rolling paddy fields, authentic ethnic villages and stunning mountain views

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 44 to 44 - Sapa

Sapa lures hikers to her scenic landscapes. The peaceful town overlooks lush rice terraces, and is flanked by the dominating Hoàng Liên Son mountain range. Enjoy trekking through the cascading rice paddies and visiting the local villages found in the hills. Visit the local markets and buy handmade trinkets from the H’mong locals. Enjoy visits to a local Tea Plantation made possible only by the mountain climates so different from those of the Vietnamese lowlands. In the afternoon, enjoy a guided walk into the countryside and the local ethnic villages to experience the local handicrafts which keep this market area sustained

Included Excursions

Sapa Villages and rice terraces trek

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 45 to 45 - Overnight train to Hanoi

Spend your second day in Sapa exploring the countryside with your guide and meeting the local ethnic minority villages of Tu Di, Tay, Giay and Hmong to name but a few. These wonderfully simple folk make a stark contrast to the usual hustle and bustle of modern day Asian life. Make the most of the simple life, fresh mountain air and slow pace of life because tonight, we board our overnight sleeper train back to Hanoi.

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 46 to 46 - Hanoi

Arriving in Hanoi early this morning, you have another full day in the city to explore. Why not head to the pretty Hoàn Ki?m Lake and try and spot the endangered large soft shell turtles that are hiding in the water, before crossing the red Huc Bridge to visit Jade Island where the Ngoc Son Temple (Temple of Jade Mountain) stands.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 47 to 47 - Halong Bay

We depart Hanoi for the mystical Halong Bay, boarding a traditional Chinese sailing vessel which will take us out to the UNESCO world heritage site. The bay includes hundreds of islands with towering limestone karsts draped in verdant foliage. The boat – called a ‘junk’ – will be our home for the evening and staying overnight in the bay means we have time to explore caves, go kayaking and swimming and soak in the beauty of the area.

Translated, Halong means ‘Bay of Descending Dragons’ and local legend describes a great dragon coming down from the mountains, gouging out the valleys and spitting out jewels which turned into the various islands. Tonight we are treated to dinner aboard our boat followed by a spot of night fishing… if you’re still awake!

Included Excursions

Halong Bay overnight stay on a junk boat,Guided tour & entrance to caves

Accommodation

1 night(s) on Halong Bay junk. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 48 to 48 - Hanoi

This morning we’ll do some final exploring around the bay, perhaps to see some of the large caves filled with stalagmites and stalactites that lay hidden behind the towering cliffs, before making our way back to the mainland, arriving back in Hanoi sometime in the afternoon.

Why not say farewell to your final evening in the far North of Vietnam with a Beer Hoi (fresh beer) at Beer Hoi corner, but a short stroll from out hotel? Sitting on a street corner with locals and visitors alike enjoy probably the cheapest beer you’ll ever find while watching the crazy and erratic traffic unfold into the evening. Lasting memories we promise.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch

Day 49 to 49 - Overnight train to Hue

We’ll have one more day in Hanoi, the perfect opportunity to see some of the sites you may have missed before our cruise, before we board our overnight sleeper train to Hue. Overnight sleeper trains in Vietnam offer comfortable beds in private 4 bed rooms, making the journey part of your adventure experience but not too adventurous! Before we leave, make sure you have visited the Temple of Literature, the country’s first university and discover the stone tablets with the names of graduates from over the years.

Optional Excursions

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum – free • Ho Chi Minh's house and presidential palace – VND 20,000 • Ho Chi Minh's Museum – VND 20,000 • Temple of Literature – VND20,000 • All tombs and citadels – VND 20,000 • Ngoc Son Temple – VND 5,000 • Fine Arts Museum – VND 20,000 • Military History Museum – VND 20,000 • Perfume pagoda – VND 20,000 • Water Puppet Theatre – VND 60,000-100,000 plus VND 40,000 for camera use

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains. No single room upgrade available.

Day 50 to 50 - Hue

The time-worn grandeur of Hue has been the stage of many battles from the dynastic rivalry and rebellions of the 17th and 18th centuries, to French occupation and most recently as the site of the Battle of Hue, one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in the Vietnam War. Its location at the geographic heart of Vietnam has perhaps done it no favours, but uncovering its past and exploring its relics is a delight for travellers in a place where history interweaves and overlaps with modern life.

The picturesque Perfume River winds its way through the city, past the citadels and pagodas that make this a UNESCO world heritage site. Hue is also a centre of artistic and intellectual learning and the community of artists, poets and scholars that have called this place home contribute to making it captivating and engaging city.

Here we tour around the ancient forbidden citadel and emperor tombs. The citadel was only for the emperors and those closest, with severe punishments if you were caught trespassing. Along the Perfume River we can visit the tombs of those who used to dominate the citadel.

Included Excursions

Tour of the Forbidden Citadel with tour leader

Optional Excursions

Thien Mu Pagoda – US$2 • Amphitheatre and elephant temple – free • Imperial Museum & guide – VND 105,000 • Military Museum – VND55,000 + US$3 • Ho Chi Minh Museum – VND 40,000 • Bicycle hire – from VND 30,000 • Perfume River boat cruise – US$2

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 51 to 52 - Hoi An

We depart Hue and travel south to Hoi An. Our drive takes us up and over the famous and scenic Hai van Pass (ocean cloud pass) where you will enjoy stunning views of the surrounding coastline and rice paddies. The name of the road refers to the mist from the sea, and is renowned for its beauty, featuring predominantly on the British motoring programme Top Gear. Before arriving in Hoi An our short journey takes us through the city of Da Nang, along Non Nuoc Beach, more familiarly known as China Beach before stopping for a brief exploration of the hidden temples and caves of Marble Mountain, a small cluster of 5 mini-mountains on the south side of Da Nang. For those adventurous to head for the very top , amazing city and sea views are your just rewards.

While the journey from Hue is incredible, Hoi An is even better. Largely spared damage during the Vietnamese conflict, The old trading port of Hoi An is a UNESCO Heritage town offering an amazing central old town with small friendly streets dotted with an abundance of small family run shops, restaurants and coffee shops. Whether you want to stop for a nice cheap beer while watching the sun set over the river or splash out on an incredible seafood supper, Hoi An has it all within walking distance. One of the main highlights of Hoi An, other than its beauty, culture and history are the more than 300 tailor shops located all over town and on every street corner. Where else can you have designer, tailor made to measure clothes fitted and ready to take away the next day for less than an off the peg purchase back at home? If you love clothes and want something special or unique you may never want to leave Hoi An. If clothes aren’t your thing why not rent a bicycle and take the short 5km ride through country lanes bordered by rice paddy fields to the wholly unspoiled Cua Dai beach for the day or join an organised excursion to visit My Son, another UNESCO World Heritage site located close to Hoi An and the location of some of Vietnam’s best preserved ancient Hindu Temple ruins dating back hundreds of years to the Champa era?

Included Excursions

Hike up Marble Mountain,Visit Hai Van Pass

Optional Excursions

Sightseeing ticket (allowing entry to 5 sites) – VND 100,000 • My Son Cham ruins – VND 60,000 entrance, plus transport with guide US$8 • Cookery class – from VND 250,000 • Tu Bon River boat trip – US$20 - Bicycle rental US$3 (Daily) My Son Excursion US$TBA

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 53 to 53 - Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam is a long country with great distances between major towns so for today's journey we take a short flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City. This bustling and vibrant city, the former capital of South Vietnam and formerly known as Saigon until the end of the Vietnam War (around 1975) and the infamous ‘Fall of Saigon” when the city was renamed after North Vietnam’s illustrious and revered leader Ho Chi Minh. Originally a small fishing village, it is now the most important economic centre in Vietnam and is the largest city in the country.

Traffic in the city is fairly hectic at the best of times but getting around is surprisingly easy by taxi although drivers may not always speak English. Bus is the only form of public transport and motorbikes rule the road; there are around 3 million motorbikes cruising around the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

If you're interested in the history of the Vietnam War make sure you visit the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Hall. If you're less of a history buff and more in the mood to haggle for a bargain, don't miss Ho Chi Minh's largest market, the Ben Thanh Market. You can buy everything from cosmetics to live ducks here. There are also numerous food stalls at this market, and at the popular night market nearby. The food in Ho Chi Minh is some of the best and most diverse in all of Vietnam so make sure you eat well during your stay. There are also many bars and clubs to spend your evening in.

Although we have one night in Ho Chi Minh, we will be returning after our overnight adventure on the Mekong Delta for two full days in which to explore and enjoy this vibrant city.

Optional Excursions

War Remnants Museum – VND 15,000 • The Reunification Palace – VND 20,000

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 54 to 54 - Mekong Delta

This morning we travel to the heart of the Mekong Delta, a region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River, the longest river in South East Asia, approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. Life in the Mekong Delta revolves much around the river, and many of the villages are often accessible more easily by rivers and canals rather than by road. The region produces half of the country's rice output which is more than Japan and Korea combined.

Once we arrive to the Delta, we board a long boat and begin our day exploring life in and around the river and its tributaries, visiting local workshops where the local people are always happy to see you and the children will follow you around wearing their western football shirts. Visit a local Bonsai garden, fruit orchard, ceramics workshop and local brickworks to discover how local needs are met without the modern technology we take so much for granted. Want to try the local ‘snake wine’ or ‘rice wine’ then today you get your chance when we visit a local homestay where you’ll be invited into the family home and offered the local wines. Whatever you do, don’t take the term ‘wine’ too lightly as these drink pack a powerful kick! During the day your guide will take you to a local home for a wonderful local seafood meal (quality non-seafood options are available). Don’t forget your cameras.

Included Excursions

Mekong Delta Overnight Excursion

Accommodation

1 night(s) in homestays. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner

Day 55 to 56 - Ho Chi Minh City

The next morning after breakfast and before returning to Ho CHi Minh City, we take an early cruise on a traditional sampan through the famous floating markets and past the imposing Christian Church to visit local craft shops and a chance to support the local community by purchasing a gift or two for your friends back home. Whether it’s a treat from the sweet and candy workshop or a souvenir snake wine, we’re sure you’ll find something of interest . Late in the morning we disembark our boat, say farewell to our guide and boat captain and head back to Ho Chi Minh City.

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 57 to 57 - Phu Quoc

A short flight takes us to the idyllic island of Phu Quoc. Vietnam’s largest island, located just off the coastal border of Vietnam and Cambodia, Phu Quoc offers not only some of the best seafood in the country but also kilometer upon kilometre of beautiful white sandy beaches. What better way to unwind after the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City? We also understand that not everyone wants to relax on idyllic beaches and snorkel in blue waters, so why not slip on the hiking boots and enjoy the Ganh Dau trail and listen out to the sounds of birds nearby or alternatively, take a walk through the forest to Suoi Tranh waterfalls where you can enjoy a dip to cool off.

You can also buy some pearls from the pearl farms on the western side of the island and visit a pepper farm and see the pepper plant hanging down from branches.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 58 to 59 - Sihanoukville

Today we cross into Cambodia. Before heading into Cambodia we first take the local ferry back to the Vietnam mainland a short distance from the land border and embark on our journey to Sihanoukville .Originally started in the 1950’s as an Cambodia’s first deep water port, Sihanoukvulle, named after the King of the time . Please note: When crossing into Sihanoukville from Phu Quoc, that e-visas will not be accepted. You will be able to easily obtain visas on arrival or use ones that have already been obtained from an embassy.

We spend two nights here and there is plenty of time to enjoy the many beaches and snorkel in the sparkling waters. Enjoy sunset views from Wat Leu, an ornate temple situated on the forested hills.

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 60 to 61 - Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is Cambodia's bustling capital city with a turbulent past. Sitting on the juncture of the Mekong River and the Tonle Sap river, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonised Cambodia during the 19th century. The city has grown from a small fishing village to what is now the industrial, commercial, cultural and historical centre of Cambodia.

During our time in Phnom Penh we visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which was transformed into one of the Khmer Rouge’s most feared prison and torture camps during the Pol Pot regime. The building is now a haunting tribute to the thousands who died here and at the other 150 similar camps throughout the country in the late 1970’s. Those who were detained at the camp were later taken and executed at the Choueng Ek extermination Centre, more commonly known as ‘The Killing Fields, a site we also visit to learn more of and try to understand this wonderful country’s turbulent past.

Whilst the aforementioned visits are included in the tour they are also entirely optional should anybody prefer not to visit and Phnom Penh has a lot more to offer including the Russian Market and National Museum. Or you could also take a stroll along the river's famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the bustling river traffic. Our Tour Leaders particularly recommend the Foreign Correspondents Club or F.C.C. as it’s better known. You may wish to take a tuk-tuk ride around Phnom Penh (a tuk-tuk is a motorbike-taxi with an enclosed passenger cabin that can fit around 4 people).

Included Excursions

Entrance to the Genocide Museum & Killing Fields

Optional Excursions

Royal Palace – US$6.50 • National Museum – US$5 • The Silver Pagoda – US$3 • Wat Phnom – US$1

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 62 to 63 - Kratie

Heading away from the big city life, we head into the Khmer countryside to enjoy a couple of days in relaxing Kratie to enjoy some of the best Mekong River sunsets available. As well as being one of the very best locations to spot the fast becoming rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins, Kratie is home to a number of interesting temples from different era’s, a museum that hardly ever opens (ask your Tour Leader to try for you) and some marvelous countryside tours to see the other side of this wonderful country and its people. So, soak up the peaceful rural life, wander the central marketplace to pick up handmade souvenirs and admire the French colonial architecture, and the village homes built upon wooden stilts.

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 64 to 64 - Kompong Cham

Staying in close touch with the mighty Mekong River which so dominates Southeast Asia we travel slightly South to the riverside town of Kompong Cham and back into civilisation so to speak. Literally meaning “port of the Chams’ and referring to the local ethnic Cham people living in the province, Kompong Cham offers a chance to experience yet another different facet of the Cambodia that many miss when passing through.

Enjoy the colonial charms of the sleepy city, situated along the Mekong River. Watch traditional Apsara dances or visit Nokor Wat to admire the Angkor architecture.

You may also like to get a tuk-tuk or a boat down the river to Wat Maha Leap, one of the remaining wooden pagodas in Cambodia. Over 100 years old, it was one of the few pagodas not destroyed by the Khmer Rouge because they used it as a hospital. Monks since reformed it to it’s original beauty and you can see the gilded patterns on the black wooden pillars that support the stunning blue roof in total contrast to the nearby, impressive Kizuna Bridge which at 1.5 km long is still Cambodia’s 2nd longest and the first to cross the Mekong in Cambodia

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 65 to 66 - Battambang

Crossing from Eastern Cambodia to the Western side, our day’s journey allows a visit on route to Cambodia’ famous Spider Market where the more adventurous of you may can try the local delicacy, fried spider.

An important former trading city, Battambang is Cambodia’s second most populated city, and appeals to tourists due to its vibrant personality as well as its cultural highlights and many nearby temples.

Soak up the cultural atmosphere in Battambang with it’s blend of modern city and well preserved colonial architecture, admire the statues that pepper the streets, and the art deco buildings such as the Central Market and train station or visit Cambodia's most famous circus, Phare Ponleu Selpak.

Ride the bamboo railway for a unique experience, seeing the paddy fields along the way. We will also be able to taste traditional Khmer wine.

Included Excursions

Spider Market,Khmer Wine Tasting,Ride the Bamboo Railway

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 67 to 68 - Siem Reap

Siem Reap is our base for exploring the famous temples of the Angkor area. The name Siem Reap means 'Defeat of Siam' - today's Thailand - and refers to a century-old bloodbath which you can see commemorated in stone in the celebrated bas relief carvings of the monuments around the area.

Our first day we head out on our included excursion to the most famous temple, Angkor Wat, with a guide to give us an overview of the history and layout of the temple. Our remaining time in Siem Reap can be spent at our own leisure exploring this expansive site armed with our cameras and the knowledge from our guide.

There are over one thousand temples here which attract over one million visitors annually. The temples range from small ruins to the famous Angkor Wat, and the site is said to be the world's largest single religious monument.

Angkor Wat, a UNESCO world heritage site, pays homage to the Hindu god Vishnu and has a dazzling array of beautiful ornate carvings. The many ceremonial structures and temples here were built between the 9th and 13th centuries by the Khmer Empire that spanned a period of approximately 600 years. These temples are some of the most famous in the world and take up an area of approximately 160 square kilometres.

There are superb photographic opportunities here at most times of the day so make sure your camera batteries are fully charged and your memory card is ready to go! Tuk-tuks provide a convenient form of transport around the area here, and you can hire a tuk-tuk and driver for the day if you wish. The Angkor area (in and around the Ta Prohm temple) was the site where the film Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie was filmed.

Included Excursions

Guided Tour of Angkor Wat

Optional Excursions

Tonle Sap Lake entrance including boat ride – from US$7 (depending on group size) • Landmine Museum entrance – US$3 (US$7 including transport) • Blood Donation to children's hospitals

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 69 to 70 - Bangkok

Today we fly to Bangkok where we can enjoy dinner and spend the night before flying to the glittering lights of Singapore tomorrow.

We return to Singapore where we can enjoy a Singapore Sling in the famous Raffles hotel to toast our adventure of a lifetime

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 71 to 71 - Depart Singapore

Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.

Meals

1 Breakfast

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