: R50520
4 countries – Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam. Countless tours, food, temples, breathtaking sunrises atop spiritual mountains, local encounters, transport options & coastal island heaven. Get blessed by monks, cruise rivers & learn the meaning of humility & empowering enterprise throughout Indochina.

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Starting fromR50 520
Package ValiditySet travel dates: JUL 2016 - MAR 2017
Duration27 days
DestinationThailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam
Starts inBangkok
Ends inHanoi
Age GroupThis is a group tour for ages 18 - 38 years

{tab Description}

- Internal flights from Vientiane - Siem Reap, Siem Reap - Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City - Nha Trang, Hoi An - Danang & Hue to Hanoi
- 23 nights hotel accommodation
- 1 night accommodation aboard an overnight train
- 1 night homestay accommodation
- 1 night accommodation on a junk boat
- 26 breakfasts, 10 lunches & 7 dinners
- Touring by air-conditioned coach
- Assistance of a tour guide & driver
- Touring & sightseeing of all sites as per itinerary

{tab Day 1}

{tab Day 1}

Bangkok, Thailand

Your epic Indochina trek is all in front of you. First off the bat: arrive early for free time to explore like a Bangkokian (it's a word). Fill up on culture at one of the 100+ museums, immerse yourself in a new religion at one of the royal temples, & get your food & shopping fix from one of the 100,000 street vendors to last you until tonight. Prepare yourself mentally to eat for 4 hours at the street eats by tuk tuk
Included today: Street eats by tuk tuk
Meals: Dinner

{tab Day 2}

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Kick off your Bangkok rush hour with a full day visiting some of its most iconic sights. Tick off ALL the transport & make your way around via car, boat, skytrain & tuk tuk. Visit Jim Thompson's house - the Thai silk businessman & designer who helped revive Thailand's silk industry from total extinction before he disappeared in the Malaysian jungle in 1974. Then boat along the Chao Phraya River & stop at the Grand Palace (once home to the Emerald Buddha), & take a tuk tuk to the grand buddhist temple Wat Pho to grab a foot massage. Lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight overnight train it to the capital of the north, Chiang Mai.
Included today: Skytrain to Saphan Thaksin pier, Chao Phraya River cruise, Bangkok city tour, foot massage & overnight train to Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.
{tab Day 3}

Chiang Mai

This morning start by picking apart Chiang Mai's old city by trishaw (human-powered tricycle). It's a temple-monument salad as you stop at Wat Chedi Luang - a 14th century Buddhist temple constructed to house the remains of King Saen Muang Ma's father, then the murals & lacquer work of Wat Puak Taem temple & its artisan brass making village, followed by the Three Kings Monument of the men who planned the city's layout. Finish off with a local market & the leafy, laid back Wat Gate quarter.
Included today: Half day city tour by trishaw
Meals: Breakfast.
{tab Day 4}

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

On your way out of Chiang Mai stop at Wat Rong Khun, aka the White Temple. This afternoon you're off to the Golden Triangle (the border where Laos, Burma & Thailand meet), former hub of the opium trade. Hike up to look out over the junction of the Mekong & Ruak Rivers, & a better view of the Triangle. Then it's on to Mae Sai, the northernmost trading border. Pick up exotic curios & jewellery at the markets, watch merchants sell their goods or go hang with the giant scorpion.
Included today: White temple of Wat Rong Khun
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.
{tab Day 5}

Chiang Rai to Pak Beng, Laos

Today it's all about friendship. Cross the Chiang Khong border at the Friendship Bridge (there are 4 connecting Thailand & Laos) & the Huay Xai Border into Laos. Then it's straight into the two day Mekong river cruise to use up all of your camera's SD cards on the scenery before stopping to make friends with locals at a small village on your way to Pak Beng.
Included today: Mekong river boat cruise
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

{tab Day 6}

Pak Beng to Luang Prabang

This morning treat yourself to the markets where locals from surrounding villages sell fruit & trade their goods. All aboard as you stop for a tipple at the whiskey village, where locals have craftily transformed sticky rice into Lao Lao whiskey, enjoyed in many a Laos village. Next stop is the Pak Ou Caves at the mouth of the Nam Ou River. The caves are filled to the brim with buddhist statues left by well wishers as offerings in return for good luck. This afternoon arrive in Luang Prabang. Get in early & check out the (literally) hundreds of monuments & temples & feel at peace.
Included today: Pak Ou Caves
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 7}

Luang Prabang

Get yourself up early to see the monks walk through the city for their daily alms collecting ritual, then head up the 328 steps of Mount Phousi for sunrise & views over the city, it's well worth the burning calves & lost sleep. Reward yourself with fruit & sweets at the morning markets to see how the locals get their food.
Return to the morning markets spot for dinner, as it transforms into a bustling night hub with buffets & plates of food for less than $2 AUD (& due to the French influence, cakes to stuff your boots with). WINNING. After you've gotten your fill, check out the amazing artwork, lampshades, coffee in stitched purses, puppets &  wood carvings galore.
The stall that takes the cake in the midst of the market is "Make bracelets not war" - jewellery that has been recreated from discarded bombshells dropped during the Secret War, an empowering endeavour by the Naphia village delivering a message of peace & helping themselves out of poverty through enterprise. The best part: all the money goes to the Naphia villagers.
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 8}

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

Rise to the sound of the temple gong, you'll be used to this by now. Partake in the daily almsgiving of the monks (without cramping their style) by offering sticky rice, bananas & other foods. The ritual is associated with a Buddhist tradition where monks beg for their daily food in order to learn humility - & humility they have. After breakfast descend southwards to Vang Vieng, the riverside town that is a backpacker beacon - probably something to do with its limestone mountains, meandering waterways & bamboo bridges.
Included today: Giving of alms to monks
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 9}

Vang Vieng

A free day for kayaking on the Nam Song River. If you're here in wet season: rapids. If you're here any other time: rock climbing the limestone mountains. Go cave exploring & swim in the deep blue of Tham Phu Kham, or soak yourself calm in former-bunker-now-turned-cave Tham Jang's springs. Or wander off to find ethnic Lao & Kmou villages & have a chat with the locals.
Included today: Free day
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 10}

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

First up: the historical site of Wat Sisaket & former temple Wat Hor Phra Keo housing Laotian art will give you your first culture fix, followed by Patuxay, the Victory Monument - a war monument dedicated to those who fought for France's independence with panoramic views over the city. We've saved the best till last - Pha That Luang, Laos' holiest site & a national symbol.
Included today: Vientiane city tour
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 11}

Vientiane to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fly downwards to Siem Reap, let your nose pick the perfect lunch spot before an afternoon tour of Angkor, former mega city that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire until the 15th century. Start with the temple of Bayon with its many stone faces & bas-reliefs, the Ta Prohm temple held together by tree roots, then finish with a bang exploring the queen of all monuments, Angkor Wat. At more than 5kms long, she's the world's largest religious monument with her own moat. Stand on top of Pre Rup temple for sunset views over the jungle.
Included today: Flight from Vientiane to Siem Reap & Siem Reap sunset over the Angkor complex
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 12}

Siem Reap

Kick start the day with a visit to the headquarters of a local non-profit organisation that employs village women who specialise in the traditional craft of mat weaving. The mats are sold at the markets & funds are given back to the women. Pretty nifty set-up. Then: hop aboard an ox cart for a ride through the fields to the home of a Khmer family specialising in broom making. Watch them do their thing before giving it a go. Take a guided walk around the village before a Khmer lunch is served, with plenty of time to get to know the locals afterwards. The warm fuzzy part from today is that the funds from the tour go directly back into the community you are visiting to improve their lives. On the way back to Siem Reap, stop at a Buddhist temple to get blessed by monks. The rest of the day is free for you to spread out in Siem Reap - get last minute goods at the markets or treat your feet to a massage.
Included today: Siem Reap community village tour
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 13}

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh awaits this morning. Get cracking with a visit to the Royal Palace overlooking the Tonle Sap river. This afternoon, take part in a sobering visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the brutalities of the Khmer Rouge regime. Join the locals at sunset in one of the riverside bars. Dinner is whatever takes your fancy.
Included today: Phnom Penh city tour & flight to Phnom Penh
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 14}

Phnom Penh

Spend the day exploring the French-built capital - venture back to the riverfront for the Silver Pagoda & National Museum, or go straight for the heart to find the art deco Central Market. Done & done? Indulge in an optional activity or two - learn about Cambodia's darkest hour at the killing fields of Choeung Ek, or go for a hands on experience at Silk Island village, who maintain the traditions of hand looming silk. Watch the experts do their thing then give it a whirl.
Included today: Free day
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 15}

Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, home to 10 million people & 4 million motorbikes (you do the ratios). Tonight prepare yourself for a food explosion downtown at the street eats tour, secluded from the touristy areas & straight in with the locals. Pop up restaurants are prominent here & all disappear come sun up. Hint: now's the time to bust out the (perhaps too courageous) tick list for weird foods that you don't recognise, e.g. anything fried that looks delicious. Vietnamese favourites like banh mi baguettes & new triumphs like rice paper pizza will have you licking your chops. Get sweet soup dessert (because life's too short not to) from one of the street vendors. Feel very acquainted now that you've had your first date with Vietnam.
Included today: Street eats tour
Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

{tab Day 16}

Ho Chi Minh City

Early to rise for your Cu Chi tunnels tour through the countryside, once a stronghold of the Viet Cong. Hear stories of what life was like for the soldiers who endured the war in the tunnels. The tunnels served not only as living quarters, but as supply routes & hospitals for thousands of guerilla fighters. Today they are seen as a testimony to the Vietnamese people's resiliency. Back in HCMC, stroll towards the Saigon River to the Municipal Theatre, once used to shelter French citizens in 1954. The tour continues with a stop at the Reunification Palace & the War Remnants Museum.
Included today: Cu Chi tunnels tour
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 17}

Ho Chi Minh City to Vinh Long

Arriving in Cai Be - known for its iconic floating markets - hop on your own boat to peruse the boats teeming with fruit, vegetables & goods. Continue along the maze of canals to Vinh Long, stopping for lunch at a bonsai gardener's home. Jump back on the boat & stop at a local family's home for the night.
Included today: Mekong Delta Homestay
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

{tab Day 18}

Vinh Long to Ho Chi Minh City

Wake up to another morning in the land of pho & snake wine, cruise to Vinh Long & then transfer to the main town of My Tho & visit the Indian Palace-resembling Vinh Trang pagoda.
Included today: Visit My Tho (Mekong Delta hub)
Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 19}

Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang

Today you're heading horizontally to Nha Trang, Vietnam's most popular seaside resort town & kite-running, windsurfing & scuba diving mecca. Rest up at the white powdery beaches, go searching for some fruit markets or whip out the camera & meander along Tran Phu Street, regarded as the Pacific Coast Highway of Vietnam. Either way you're winning.
Included today: Flight to Nha Trang
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 20}

Nha Trang

Spend your free day lazing on Nha Trang's pick of countless beaches, or go all out with a full day private boat tour to the Tri Nguyen Aquarium, Hon Mun Island, Hon Tam Island & Lang Chai fishing village. Dinner sorted: you can find plenty of fresh seafood caught in the morning served at dinner. A king crab costs about as much as a bag of chips (hence the term cheap as chips) & can be shared between 2 (although don't).
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 21}

Nha Trang to Hoi An

Fly upwards to Hoi An - known for its well-preserved ancient town, the architecture is a reflection of the city's multicultural history - a mix of styles & eras from French colonial buildings & Chinese shophouses, to Vietnamese tube houses & the Japanese Covered Bridge (complete with Buddha). Oh & did we mention it's channeling canals like no one's business? Make friends with her soon, she's popular.
Included today: Flight to Danang
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 22}

Hoi An

Day two in this cultural melting-pot mecca. Hire a bike in the countryside & get to know the outskirts, enrol in a cooking masterclass conducted by a local chef or stand in awe at the 2 century-old Tan Ky House - a vision in Japanese influence, Chinese poems inlaid with mother of pearl, & carvings throughout. Hoi An also has you covered food-wise - from fried green sentinel crab cakes on Bach Dang street in the afternoon, to crispy savoury crepes, shrimp spring rolls & fried pork bread, you'll be rolling out like Violet Beauregard. Don't forget black sesame sweet pudding for dessert.
Included today: Free day
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 23}

Hoi An to Hue

Drive along the Hai Van Pass, one of Vietnam's most beautiful stretches & into former imperial capital Hue. Then a half day tour with a trip to the ancient walled citadel housing the former Imperial Palace. Afterwards, visit the former Nguyen Dynasty emperor Tu Duc at his Royal Tomb - a smooth operator, with a total 104 wives & countless concubines at the time of his death.
Included today: Hai Van Pass & Hue tour
Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 24}

Hue to Hanoi

Fly up the South China Sea coast as you take on the big city capital of Hanoi, with Southeast Asian, French & Chinese influence seeping through its architecture, food & culture. What's not to love: the chaotic Old Quarter's where it's at for markets, with the streets handily arranged by trade. There are small temples scattered throughout the city honouring a legendary horse (because horses are cool), as well as the indestructible Dong Xuan market for street food. Dinner is at Koto - an acronym for 'Know One Teach One', a restaurant that provides training & life skills to street children. By eating here you're sponsoring a trainee's new uniform or replacing cooking equipment. Wherever the money gets spent, know you're doing a good thing. Fist bump.
Included today: Flight to Hanoi & dinner at Koto
Meals: Breakfast & dinner.

{tab Day 25}

Hanoi to Halong Bay

Leave the bustle of the city in your dust as you make for Halong Bay. A day of paddling around on boats is what the doctor ordered. St

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