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  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  • The Golden Pagoda at Wat Pha-That Luang, Laos
  • The Royal Pavilion in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Bustling life along the Hoi An waterfront, Vietnam
  • The Citadel entrance in Hue, Vietnam
Route:
Ho Chi Minh City to Ho Chi Minh City
Days:
29
Style: Adventures for 20s and 30s
Code: BXILS
From:

US$1,519

+ local payment of US$650.00

The South East Asia Loop circles some of South East Asia's highlights, starting in Ho Chi Minh City, you won't miss out on any part of the region's beauties. One week you can taste the delicacies of the street foods of Ho Chi Minh, cycle through the rice paddies of Laos or explore the hill tribes near Chiang Mai. You will get the chance to explore the nightlife in Bangkok and get clothes fitted in Hoi An. The wonders of South East Asia will be at your fingertips and you will travel with like-minded young people to add to the party.

About this tour

  • Type of Travel: Public Transport
  • Group Size: Average 12-14. Maximum 18
  • Recommended Age: 18-39
  • Country: Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam

What you need to know

  • We will try to run your tour as close to the itinerary as conditions will allow. On very rare occasions, local events may affect the way your itinerary operates. We ask for your flexibility and understanding in these situations.
  • Always have a few ID photos on you for visas. This is especially important in arrival places such as Laos or Vietnam where photos are needed
  • The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. You will meet your Tour Leader at 18.00 for the pre-departure meeting. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre-tour accommodation.
  • This tour is for those aged between 18-39.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City was known as Saigon until the end of the Vietnam War (around 1975). 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 or motorbike 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 your arrival flight is early enough, or if you've booked pre-accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City, you can join your Tour Leader and group on a walking tour to 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 worry, as we will also explore Ho Chi Minh's largest market, the Ben Thanh Market. For those arriving on later flights you can meet your tour leader at the pre-departure meeting, normally at 6pm in the hotel reception.

Optional Excursions

War Remnants Museum – VND 15,000 • The Reunification Palace – VND 20,000 • Cu Chi Tunnels - VND 235,000 • Ben Thanh Market - free • Bitexco Financial Tower - free • Central Post office - free • Jade Emperor pagoda - free

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at La Felix Hotel or similar

Day 2 to 2 - Nha Trang

Today we will fly to beautiful Nha Trang

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels

Meals

1 Buffet Breakfast(s)

Day 3 to 3 - Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a popular beachside destination for many travellers and is brimming with restaurants, bars and excellent nightlife. You enjoy a boat cruise where you can swim in the surrounding crystal clear waters - try your hand at snorkelling before relaxing on deck with a refreshing drink! Tonight, hit the bars with your group!

Included Excursions

Funky Monkey Boat Trip

Optional Excursions

Mud baths – VND 130,000 for taxi, VND 150,000 entrance • Long Son Pagoda - free • Vinpearl Island - VND 450,000 • Po Nagar Cham Towers - VND 18,000 • Boat trip – from US$10-16 (SCUBA diving is also possible depending on diving qualifications)

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Tuyet Mai or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Buffet Lunch(es)

Day 4 to 4 - Overnight sleeper bus to Hoi An

After some seaside play and a late night in the bars and clubs we board the overnight sleeper bus north to our next destination.

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper buses

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 5 to 6 - Hoi An

In Hoi An we have free time to explore the handicrafts, ceramics and fabrics that are sold at an abundance of markets. Hoi An is renowned for tailoring; pack your favourite item of clothing and get it copied here! We also enjoy a bike ride to Hoi an Beach passing lush paddy fields along the way. Once you're there you can marvel at coastal views with a local beer in hand

Included Excursions

Bike ride to Hoi An Beach through Paddy Fields

Optional Excursions

Sightseeing ticket (allowing entry to 5 sites) – VND 120,000 • 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

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at Hai Yen Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Buffet Breakfast(s)

Day 7 to 7 - Hue

We depart Hoi An and travel north to Hue. The drive takes us past Marble Mountain (optional VND40,000 to explore it's caves and shrines) before we climb the scenic 'Hai Van Pass' coastal road as featured on Top Gear's 'Vietnam Special.

The old capital city of Vietnam and home to the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945), Hue is situated on the banks of the Huong Giang or Perfume River. It is most famous for the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, often likened to the Forbidden City in Beijing (and sometimes referred to as the Forbidden City as well). Hue also offers many Buddhist pagodas and some impressive Emperors tombs which are well worth a visit. Alternatively, you can relax and take a boat trip along the Perfume river and enjoy the countryside. Pham Ngu Lao Street has a backpacker vibe with many hostels, bars and cafes.

Included Excursions

Walking tour of Hue's Citadel

Optional Excursions

Dragon Boat river tour – US$12 • Tombs of the Emperors - VND 100,000 fee for each • Thien Mu Pagoda - free

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Phuoc An (DMZ Hostel) or similar

Meals

1 Buffet Breakfast(s)

Day 8 to 8 - Overnight train to Hanoi

This evening we will board an overnight sleeper train to the bustling city of Hanoi

Accommodation

1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 9 to 11 - Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of the Socialist Republic and is dominated by colonial buildings and tree-lined boulevards. The city boasts a convoluted yet elegant history which is characterised by its 'chameleon of names' - the city has changed names many times throughout history. In terms of recent history, the French withdrew their forces in 1954 and ever since foreign investment and property has developed substantially.

In Hanoi, exploring on your own is relatively easy on foot or by bike. Many travellers believe the true appeal and essence of Hanoi is discovered wandering the streets, tasting local market food, observing the local way of life, and taking in the architecture and surroundings. On arrival in the morning we will take a walk around Hoan Kiem Lake where you can see the locals doing their morning aerobics and try the speciality – egg coffee.

Interested in visiting Ha Long Bay? You can arrange to visit the incredible Halong Bay, famous for its limestone islands jutting imposingly from the sea into the Vietnamese skyline and can even spend the night on a traditional junk boat. As this trip is so popular we highly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. Please speak to your Adventure Specialist for more details.

Included Excursions

Early morning walk around Hoan Kiem Lake. Watch the early morning aerobics and enjoy a local speciality "egg coffee"

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

3 night(s) in hotels at Golden Charm Hotel or similar

Meals

2 Breakfast(s)

Day 12 to 12 - Vientiane

We take a flight across the border to 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 some other South East Asian cities!). 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. Tonight your Tour Leader will take you to the 10-pin bowling range – a mecca for backpackers! Enjoy a beer and try for a strike or two!

Laos' currency is the Lao Kip (LAK).

Included Excursions

10-pin bowling

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

1 night(s) in hotels at Win Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 13 to 14 - Vang Vieng

As we make our way north from Vientiane we travel through stunning scenery to Vang Vieng. This peaceful town is situated in 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. Feeling energised we will take a bicycle tour off the beaten track through some of Laos' most incredible scenery and view a wonderful sunset across lush paddy fields before arriving for a swim at the Blue Lagoon.

Included Excursions

Tuk-tuk tour to Blue Lagoon

Optional Excursions

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

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse at Vinutda Guesthouse or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 15 to 16 - Luang Prabang

We travel from Vang Vieng on the scenic route 4 to the sleepy town of Luang Prabang. Many say this is the most memorable town in all of Laos. Renowned for a fascinating history, some of the friendliest people and beautiful landscapes, Luang Prabang is a true gem in South East Asia.

We have two days to enjoy this peaceful town, which is located 300 metres above sea level on the upper Mekong. We have the opportunity to watch the local monks collect alms early in the morning, a truly humbling expeience. 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.

There are many temples to visit in Luang Prabang - over 30 in fact, which is a large number for this small town. Along the way you may encounter some young monks eager to practice their English skills as well.

Included Excursions

Early visit to see Monks collect 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 at Treasure Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 17 to 18 - Chiang Mai

Today we fly to Chiang Mai where you can enjoy two nights in this popular town – known as the 'Rose of the North'. Here 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 bizarre.

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 at Winner Inn Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Basic Breakfast(s)

Day 19 to 20 - Sukhothai

The following day we journey into middle Thailand taking a train to Phitsanulok before continuing to the ancient city of 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. 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

2 night(s) in a guesthouse

Meals

1 Basic Breakfast(s), 1 Breakfast(s)

Day 21 to 22 - Bangkok

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.

No visit to Bangkok is complete without a visit to Khao San Road, the famous strip filled with markets, stalls, neon lights and young backpackers. From people watching to shopping, and nightlife to food and drink, this is the place to be on a night out in Bangkok. If you're feeling adventurous you might wish to try a fried insect or two!

On a more cultural note, Bangkok also 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.

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

Optional Excursions

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew – from THB 500 • Thai Massage per hour from – THB 200 • Thai cookery course – from THB 1200 • Bangkok canal tour – from THB 750

Accommodation

2 night(s) in hotels at New Siam II or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 23 to 24 - Siem Reap

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.

Tonight your Tour Leader will take you to the famous Pub Street where you can enjoy a few drinks and meet your group properly!

The following day you can head out on an optional excursion to the most famous temple, Angkor Wat, with a guide to give you an overview of the history and layout of the temple.

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 400 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.

Optional Excursions

Angkor Wat Temple Pass – US$37 • Tonle Sap Lake entrance including boat ride – from US$7 (depending on group size) • Landmine Museum entrance – US$3 (US$7 including transport)

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse at Golden Papaya or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 25 to 26 - Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is Cambodia's bustling capital city with a turbulent past. Located on the banks of the Mekong 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.

We will visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (a former torture centre) and the Choueng Ek Memorial at the site of the Killing Fields, to learn about one aspect of this country's turbulent past.

Phnom Penh has many other attractions including the Russian Market and National Museum. 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. 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).

Optional Excursions

Royal Palace and The Silver Pagoda - US$10 • National Museum – US$10 • Wat Phnom – US$1

Accommodation

2 night(s) in a guesthouse

Meals

1 Breakfast(s), 1 Buffet Breakfast(s)

Day 27 to 27 - Mekong Delta

We cross the border from Cambodia to Vietnam by travelling by boat down the Mekong River from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc. Chau Doc is our base to explore the extraordinary Mekong Delta, a region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River 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 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 together. Enjoy a pleasant evening in a comfortable hotel in preparation for tomorrow's bus journey. You will be travelling through the Delta where you can experience first hand the daily life in the region, before arriving in the bustling and vibrant Ho Chi Minh City.

Optional Excursions

Floating Market Tour- US$5-$10 depending on numbers

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at Hung Cuong Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Buffet Breakfast(s)

Day 28 to 28 - Ho Chi Minh City

We are back in Ho Chi Minh City today where we will have another day in this great city. If you didn’t have a chance at the beginning of the trip this is a great chance to go out to visit the bustling Mekong Delta, known as the rice bowl of Vietnam, or take a day trip to see the Cu Chi tunnels and see if you can squeeze into the tiny tunnels used by the Viet Cong.

Optional Excursions

War Remnants Museum – VND 15,000 • The Reunification Palace – VND 20,000 • Cu Chi Tunnels - VND 235,000 • Ben Thanh Market - free • Bitexco Financial Tower - free • Central Post office - free • Jade Emperor pagoda - free

Accommodation

1 night(s) in hotels at La Felix Hotel or similar

Meals

1 Breakfast(s)

Day 29 to 29 - Depart Ho Chi Minh City

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 Buffet Breakfast(s)

What's Included

Excursions & Activities

  • Funky Monkey Boat Trip
  • Bike ride to Hoi An Beach through Paddy Fields
  • Walking tour of Hue's Citadel
  • Early morning walk around Hoan Kiem Lake. Watch the early morning aerobics and enjoy a local speciality "egg coffee"
  • 10-pin bowling
  • Tuk-tuk tour to Blue Lagoon
  • Early visit to see Monks collect alms
  • Bicycle tour of Sukhothai

Accommodation

18 night(s) in hotels, 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper buses, 1 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains, 8 night(s) in a guesthouse

Transportation

Overnight Bus, Public Bus, Overnight Train, Train, International Flight(s), Private Vehicle, Boat

Meals

6 Buffet Breakfast(s), 14 Breakfast(s), 1 Buffet Lunch(es), 2 Basic Breakfast(s)

Other

Tucan Travel tour leader

What's Not Included

  • Visas and travel insurance
  • 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 - On each trip, you may find there are some excursions that are not included. This might be because they are not to everyone's taste or there may be various options of differing value to choose from. More information on the excursions we recommend is listed under each day of your itinerary though prices may vary. If you are after something in particular, don't hesitate to ask your tour leader.
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

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2017

Sat 23 Dec
Sat 20 Jan
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Sat 23 Dec
Sat 20 Jan
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2018

Sat 06 Jan
Sat 03 Feb
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Extra ServicesExtra Services

Halong Bay Overnight US$
Ho Chi Minh City Departure Transfer US$17.00
Ho Chi Minh City Arrival Transfer US$17.00
Single Room (pre tour) US$42.00
Twin Room (pre tour) US$21.00
Double Room (pre tour) US$21.00
Single Room (post tour) US$42.00
Twin Room (post tour) US$21.00
Double Room (post tour) US$21.00

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