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  • The Golden Pagoda at Wat Pha-That Luang, Laos
  • The Buddhist temple of Wat Phra Singh 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 Bangkok
Days:
22
From:
US$1,099

US$769


+ local payment of US$490.00.
Countries Visited:

Trekking through the jungle to swimming in the sea, cycling through capital cities and satisfying the senses, this tour exposes South East Asia and allows you to delve deep into the culture and way of life. Finishing in Bangkok, you can contemplate the rollercoaster you have just taken

What's Included

Excursions & Activities

  • Walking tour of Hue's Citadel
  • Countryside bicycle tour to Blue Lagoon
  • Early visit to see Monks collect alms
  • Visit White Temple, Black Temple, Opium Museum & Golden Triangle

Accommodation

14 night(s) in hotels, 2 night(s) on overnight sleeper buses, 3 night(s) in hostels, 2 night(s) on overnight sleeper trains

Transportation

Overnight Bus, Public Bus, Overnight Train, Train, International Flight, Boat, Private Vehicle

Meals

12 breakfast

Other

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 - 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.
  • Sleeping bag & sleeping mat
  • Local payment
  • Airport transfers and pre and post tour accommodation

Group

Group Size:Maximum 18. Average 10-14

Age Range: This tour is for those aged between 18 and 39.

Itinerary

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Day 1 to 1 - Arrive Ho Chi Minh City

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.

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 suprisingly 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 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 City 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.

Vietnam's currency is the Vietnamese dong (VND).

Optional Excursions

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

Accommodation

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

Day 2 to 2 - Overnight sleeper bus to Nha Trang

After spending the morning in Ho Chi Minh City we board the overnight sleeper bus to beautiful Nha Trang

Accommodation

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

Meals

1 Breakfast

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!

Optional Excursions

Mud baths – VND 130,000 for taxi, VND 150,000 entrance • Bao Dai’s Villa – US$20 (including taxi) • Cultural dancing – US$30 • Boat trip – from US$10-16 (SCUBA diving is also possible depending on diving qualifications)

Accommodation

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

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. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

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

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. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 7 to 7 - Hue

We depart Hoi An and travel north to Hue. The drive takes us across the Marble Mountains and via the scenic Hai van Pass. There are stunning views to take in of the surrounding coastline and rice paddies.

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

Accommodation

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

Meals

1 Breakfast

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. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

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.

Interested in visiting Ha Long Bay? From Hanoi you can arrange a boat tour out to the dramatic limestone karsts of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Day boat tours start from US$25-35 depending on the style of boat and the season. Overnight junk boat tours start from US$85-100. All entrance fees and meals on the boat are provided along with a guide. Drinks are additional.

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. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

2 Breakfast

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.

Laos' currency is the Lao Kip (LAK).

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. No single room upgrade available.

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

Countryside bicycle 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 hotels. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

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 possibly the best nightlight in South East Asia, 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 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 hostels. No single room upgrade available.

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 17 to 18 - Pakbeng & Huay Xai

From Luang Prabang, we begin a two-leg journey that will take us towards northern Thailand entirely by boat along the mighty Mekong River. We stop overnight midway at the small riverside village of Pakbeng, where the pace of life really slows down and you can relax and enjoy a nice, cold, award-winning Beer Laos. The next day we are back on the river and continue our boat adventure to Huay Xai where the Mekong River is the only divide between Thailand and Laos. We stay in Huay Xai overnight and enjoy our last experience of Laos hospitality before crossing the river the next morning into northern Thailand and the infamous Golden Triangle.

Accommodation

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

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 19 to 19 - Chiang Mai

Our journey today culminates in Chiang Mai but the destination is only a part of the experience. After crossing the Mekong River by longboat and clearing Thai customs at the roadside “customs hut” we continue in private, air-conditioned minivans to discover the Golden Triangle, the infamous centre of Asia's illicit opium production, where Laos, Thailand and Burma meet at a single point close to the Chinese border. You can visit the old Opium Museum, the giant Golden Buddha sitting on a boat by the riverside and the stone elephants there to protect him.

From the history of the Golden Triangle we make our way west towards Chiang Rai where you can see the incredible Wat Rong Khun, or White Temple, designed unlike any religious entity you have ever seen. While we don't want to spoil the surprise, the outside of the building although spectacular is not the end of the story. Explore both inside and outside to discover the hidden secrets of this modern day wonder.

An amazing day ends with our arrival into 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 bizarre.

You can take an optional excursion out to the beautiful caves of Chiang Dao, with its amazing limestone stalactites and stalagmites, and beautiful white marble Buddhist statues from Burma.

Included Excursions

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

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

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

Day 20 to 20 - Overnight sleeper train to Bangkok

Before we board our overnight bus to Bangkok you will have some final free time to relax and enjoy Chiang Mai.

Accommodation

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

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 21 to 21 - 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 (BHT).

Accommodation

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

Meals

1 Breakfast

Day 22 to 22 - 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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