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  • The Golden Pagoda at Wat Pha-That Luang, Laos
  • Tea plantations in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
  • Clear reflections during sunrise at Straits Mosque in Melaka, Malaysia
  • The Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand
  • The Royal Pavilion in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • One of the intricate statues at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand
Route:
Bangkok to Bangkok
Days:
29
Style: Worldwide Adventures
Code: SELB
Price From:
US$2,690
Countries Visited:

Get swept up in the colours of South East Asia on this month long adventure. Meet Laos monks adorned in saffron robes, admire the White Temple glittering in the midday sun, and view pastel painted buildings in Singapore.

What's Included

Excursions

  • 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
  • Rickshaw City Tour of Melaka
  • Visit the Petronas Towers with the tour leader
  • Full Day Excursion in the Cameron Highlands
  • Penang Heritage Walk

Accommodation

28 night(s) in hotels

Transportation

Train, , Public Bus, Private Vehicle, Travel by 5 flight(s)

Meals

25 breakfast

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 Size

Maximum 16. Average 8-12.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Bangkok

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.

Thailand's capital, Bangkok, is a crazy and chaotic city! Known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon pronounced or Krung Thep "city of angels" for short, Bangkok was a small trading post at the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Bangkok is now the gateway to South East Asia for most travellers and international backpackers come and go and the streets are always buzzing and full of life.

Bangkok boasts hundreds of Wats (temples), with Wat Arun being the main one visited by most travellers. The Grand Palace is also a popular attraction, and for something different you can cruise along the Chao Phraya River and through the canals. Bangkok once had an elaborate network of canals and was given the nickname, 'Venice of the East', and although some of them have been filled in and converted to streets, many still exist today. Travelling through these canals you will see how the locals live along the riverside - you almost forget you are in a large, bustling city.

As today is Saturday tonight is a great time to visit the massive Chatuchak Weekend Market where you can find almost anything for sale.

Thailand's currency is the Thai Baht (BHT).

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

1 night(s) in hotels

Day 2 to 2 - 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 3 to 3 - 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 4 to 5 - 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 6 to 6 - 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 7 to 7 - 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 8 to 9 - 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 10 to 11 - 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 12 to 13 - 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 14 to 14 - Bangkok

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

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 15 to 16 - Singapore

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

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 17 to 18 - 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 19 to 20 - 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.

Included Excursions

Visit the Petronas Towers with the tour leader

Optional Excursions

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

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels

Meals

2 Breakfast

Day 21 to 22 - 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 23 to 24 - 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 25 to 27 - 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 28 to 28 - Bangkok

We return back to Bangkok so you can pick up any last minute souveniers.If there is time, a great market to visit, if not for the best bargain, but for its sheer size, is the 35 acre Chatuchak Weekend Market which has reached a landmark status as a must-visit place in Bangkok. Get there easily by skytrain to Mo Chit station.

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 29 to 29 - Depart Bangkok

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.

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