- Classic Journeys
- Day 1: Arrival in Hanoi
- Day 2: Hanoi – Fullday City Tour & Local food discovery
- Day 3: Hanoi – Halong Bay
- Day 4: Halong Bay – Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi An
- Day 5: Hoi An – Local Villages and Food tour
- Day 6: Hoi An – Hue
- Day 7: Hue – Fullday City tour
- Day 8: Hue – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
- Day 9: HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai Temple
- Day 10: HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta) – Flight to Siem Reap
- Day 11: Siem Reap – Full-Day Temple Exploration
- Day 12: Siem Reap – Further Temple Exploration
- Day 13: Siem Reap – Tonle Sap boat trip – Flight to Bangkok
- Day 14: Bangkok – Full-day City tour & Evening Street Food Tour
- Day 15: Bangkok – Day Trip to Ayutthaya
- Day 16: Bangkok – Departure
- Extra days: A side trip to Phuket (Optional)
This Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand tour guarantees you will have the best time traveling in Southeast Asia. Embark on a Hanoi city tour before heading for the incredible cruise ride in Halong Bay between peculiar limestone karsts. Discover the beautiful heritage of Hoi An Ancient Town and the glorious historic landmarks in Hue. In Ho Chi Minh City, visit its interesting sites before exploring Cu Chi Tunnels and Mekong Delta. In Siem Reap, head for an adventure between the ancient walls of the Angkor temples. Take a boat trip to see the local life on Tonle Sap Lake before traveling to Bangkok. Explore Bangkok’s captivating landmarks and its dynamic life, following with a day trip to Ayutthaya, home to splendid temples and Wat Lokaya Sutha, the largest reclining Buddha in the town.
Arrival in HanoiDay 1
Xin Chao! Welcome to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Hanoi Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the Old Quarter.
We have left this afternoon free for you to relax, unwind and become accustomed to your new surroundings. There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at KOTO restaurant, a social enterprise that trains and employs underprivileged youth to provide a step up in life.
Please note: Your travel documents contain a Visa-on-Arrival letter (unless otherwise arranged). Please ensure to pack this in your carry-on luggage. Your Visa-on-Arrival letter must be presented to Customs upon entry into the country.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Fullday City Tour & Local food discoveryDay 2
Today with the help of your private guide and driver, you will get to explore the city’s top attractions, sample Hanoi’s authentic local dishes away from the tourist trails, hunkering down with the locals on the street at a variety of atmospheric food stalls.
Begin with a tour of Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex where the Vietnamese people honour the country’s ‘Great Father’. Here you’ll visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum which contains the embalmed body of Ho Chi Minh and his House on Stilts to observe how he lived and how his life unfolded to become one of modern history’s greatest names. Nearside his house is the miniature 11th-century One Pillar Pagoda, a Buddhist temple of historical and cultural significance.
From HCM Complex, you will take a leisurely walk through the small laneways toward Huu Tiep Lake. Explore the grounds of a 400-year-old temple, followed by a stroll through traditional local market streets to see the B52 crash site at the lake. This US bomber was shot down during the 1972 bombing raids of Ha Noi, a poignant reminder of Vietnam’s recent history.
Take a short drive to the outskirt of Hanoi to visit the fascinating Museum of Ethnology which is both a research centre and a public museum exhibiting the 54 recognized ethnic groups of Vietnam. Some of them you will meet during your trip to Sapa.
Today you will have Pho for lunch, a Vietnamese Noodle shop. Some of the local people call this world-famous Noodle soup “Mac-Noodles” since it is as popular here as MacDonalds is in other parts of the world! At the restaurant, your tour guide will explain the routine during Vietnamese meal times, and also tell you which special ingredients are needed for you.
After lunch, continue to visit the millennia-old Temple of Literature and explore its role in the country’s past, as both a university and a Confucius temple. Next is Hoa Lo (so-called Hanoi Hilton), a prison used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners, and later by North Vietnam for U.S. Prisoners of War.
Embark on a fun cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi) ride through the French colonial architecture of the precinct known as the French Quater, past the French-style villas, the Vietnam History Museum, the heritage Metropole Legend Hotel and the Opera House, name to a few.
Enjoy a cup of unmissable Egg coffee at Pho Co Café with stunning views of Hoan Kiem Lake, Ngoc Son Temple, and the surroundings.
Now it’s time to embark on a walking tour through Hanoi’s Old Quarter (in contrast to the French Quarter) to discover the street food scene in Hanoi where it feels like you are never further than a few metres from a street food stall. Your guide will talk you through the ingredients and the different herbs of each dish, while you are crouching on tiny plastic stools in a back alley. Sample delicious dishes like Nom Du Du (green papaya salad), Banh Mi Pa Te (a sandwich that reflects Vietnam’s culinary heritage), and the famous Hanoi dish Bun Cha (grilled pork and noodles). Finish your day walking down the city’s railway tracks and then stop for a home-brewed beer, the renowned Bia Hoi.
Overnight in Hanoi
Hanoi – Halong BayDay 3
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta to the legendary Halong Bay where you will board a traditional-style Vietnamese Junk Boat that is your home for the evening. The limestone karsts and tropical islets rising up from the emerald waters of the bay provide an ethereal backdrop for your leisurely cruise.
Upon arrival you’ll be welcomed aboard your Stylish Junk boat, each with its own individual route, to begin your cruise around the bay’s thousands of limestone islets and caves.
After a delicious lunch on board, you will spend time to sunbathe on the sundeck and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the bay.
Later you will visit Sung Sot Cave “Grotte des Surprises” a hidden gem of mother nature. Float peacefully through magnificent limestone formations containing thousands of stalagmites and stalactites.
Continue to cruise. As you weave your way through the islands, you’ll come across secluded bays, white sandy beaches, and floating villages.
There is plenty of leisure time to enjoy activities both onboard and around the fantastical scenery of the Bay. Pamper yourself at the cruise spa or swim in the emerald waters.
Toward the end of the day, you will sail to the overnight mooring area. During this time – the magical “blue hour” – Halong Bay reveals its true, magnificent beauty. You have a chance to attend the chef’s cooking demonstration or enjoy a mesmerising sunset on the top deck before a scrumptious dinner.
The rest of the evening will be at leisure. You can watch a movie or join the crew for squid fishing before retiring to your room for a restful sleep.
Note: If your time permits, we would highly recommend an additional night on board which gives you a lot more time to relax and take in the amazing landscape. You’ll get to cruise deeper into the Bay where it’s more beautiful and less crowded.
Overnight on board in Halong Bay
Halong Bay – Hanoi – Flight to Da Nang/ Hoi AnDay 4
The graceful practice of Tai Chi eases you into your day as is the local custom. Join a ‘Local Specialist’ on the deck of the Junk boat for a morning class in exquisite natural surrounds. You’ll have time for an early morning swim at one of Halong Bay’s quiet beaches and, if you’re feeling energetic, hop on a kayak and paddle through the Dark and Bright Caves admiring the glittering stone walls.
Back to the Junk boat. Check out of the cabin and then enjoy a full brunch buffet as you cruise back to port. Disembark around midday for your return drive to Hanoi.
From Hanoi, you will be transferred to the airport to catch the flight to Da Nang, in the central of Vietnam.
Upon arrival at Da Nang airport, you will be picked up by your private guide & driver and taken to your hotel in Hoi An, the UNESCO heritage town. Hoi An has a pick of two beaches just 5kms (3 miles) away with so many beautiful beach resorts so please advise us if you prefer to stay on the beach.
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – Local Villages and Food tourDay 5
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel to visit a local fishing village by cycling on level ground to the Thu Bon River. For safety purposes, you will be given a short bicycle competency test. For those uncomfortable with riding a bicycle, a private car can be arranged.
Ride along country lanes at a peaceful pace viewing local life and pause to see farmers toiling in their rice fields using centuries of farming practices. Peddle your way through palm forests, across bridges, fields of water buffalo…
Take a short break in a local family at Cam Thanh Village before enjoying a 1.5 hours ride on Traditional Basket Boat (round boat) in the Water Coconut Palm Forest. Learn how to sail the basket boat and spend your time to catch fishes and “purple crabs” in the Canal.
Continue to ride your bike to Tra Que Organic Vegetable Village where a large variety of vegetables is produced for the local community. At the village, you will be shown the environmentally sustainable practices which the local villagers have used for centuries and is still being used extensively today.
After some farming practices, head a local family to enjoy a foot massage and the traditional herbal foot dip. You will then ride back to the hotel to rest during the day. Get ready for the afternoon walking and food tour.
Your tour guide will pick you up and take you to the Ancient Quarter of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you will embark on a walking tour visiting the major attractions such as Chua Ong Pagoda, Tan Ky Ancient House, Fujian Assembly Hall, and the Japanese Covered Bridge.
Continue to visit the Precious Heritage Museum, home to the permanent exhibition of Réhahn’s Precious Heritage Collection. While transporting you to the furthest reaches of Vietnam, the collection will unveil the rich cultural tapestry of the ethnic tribes
The highlight of the day is the visit to the Reaching Out Tea House, a welcome little oasis of calm in the busy, vibrant Old quarter, owned and operated by the mute and deaf people. Here you will be treated with delicious cakes and incredible tea in the Eastern style.
Now, it’s time for your Hoi An street food discovery tour. With your guide, you will weave in and out the tiny alleyways, get to chow down with the locals at stalls you’d never discover on your own. Every day at 4 pm, Hoi An’s streets filled with a myriad of street food carts, stalls, and vendors. The street food tour is a great introduction for you to enjoy a few of the Hoi An specialties cooked up by the locals, to introduce you to the faces behind the stock pots and to teach you how the Hoi An locals deal with those condiment trays!
Overnight in Hoi An
Hoi An – HueDay 6
After breakfast, you will be collected by your private guide and transferred in a private vehicle (approximately 4 hours) to the Royal City of Hue. Today the drive over the Hai Van Pass will be one of the most scenic ones on your trip. En route, you will stop to visit the Marble Mountain, My Khe Beach which was home to American GIs during the war, and Lang Co Beach and fishing village.
Arrive in Hue after midday and check into your hotel.
Your guide and driver will pick you up and transfer you to the wharf for your boat ride on the Perfume River. During the boat cruise, you will stop to visit the iconic Thien Mu Pagoda, a symbol of Hue.
After the boat cruise, you will explore the Dong Ba Market runs along the north bank of Huong (Perfume) River. At the market, you will have a chance to discover a favourite Noddle shop by Anthony Bourdain – the World Famous Chef and TV Producer. Here you will sample the best Bun Bo Hue “Hue Noddle soup”.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Fullday City tourDay 7
Your day will start with a short visit to Thanh Toan Village where you can see the lively morning market. This is where the locals come to buy their daily food. Nearby are the 300-year-old Thanh Toan bridge and a Cultural Museum where you can visit and talk to the locals.
Continue on to the Hue Roal Complex, former home to the Nguyen Dynasty, the last Monarchy of Vietnam from 1802 – 1945. You will explore the ancient and atmospheric walled Citadel which contains the former Imperial Palace and the Forbidden Purple City.
Wind your way to visit Cat Tuong Quan Zen House. It’s a perfect combination of architecture, culture, and people. Here you will have a chance to learn about Hue culture, experience Qigong and do meditation.
Today you will enjoy an excellent Vegetarian lunch at a local Buddhist Monastery, prepared and served by the nuns.
You will visit the final resting place – called the King tomb of Tu Duc, then head to Vong Canh Hill to watch the sunset over the Perfume River. On the way back to town, you will visit a local workshop where you can see how incense sticks and traditional conical hats are made.
Overnight in Hue
Hue – Flight to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)Day 8
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven to Hue Airport for a short flight heading south to Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals. It is the largest city in Vietnam and is located near the Mekong Delta.
Upon arrival, you will be met by a new private driver and English-speaking guide who will drive you to the hotel in the city centre for check-in.
Spend the rest of the day visiting some of Ho Chi Minh City’s key highlights. We’ll tailor your tour to suit you, but we particularly recommend visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, the ornate City Hall (Hotel De Ville), the old Opera House, the historic Rex Hotel, the Central Post Office, renowned for its architecture, and Ben Thanh Market, where vendors display a vast array of goods and handicrafts, appealing to every taste.
Later stop at the Reunification Palace and the moving War Remnants Museum to for an insightful, yet sombre, look into Vietnam’s military history and turbulent past.
Proceed to the atmospheric Jade Emperor Pagoda before finishing the day in fine style with a sundowner at the top of the Bitexco Tower, the tallest building in Vietnam.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Cu Chi Tunnels & Cao Dai TempleDay 9
After breakfast, your guide and driver will transfer you to Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh Province.
On arrival, set out to explore the sacred temple and learn more about the fascinating Cao Dai religion, which borrows elements from Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism. You will then take part in the midday mass, admiring the monks in their colorful robes and listening to the mesmerizing chants.
After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant you will be transferred to Cu Chi, a small community located northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, known for its network of deep tunnels that provided shelter and an effective source of infiltration for the Vietcong during the later years of the Vietnam War.
Upon arrival, you will watch a short introductory video from the period before exploring the tunnels, the most famous battlegrounds in the world. The hidden network of Viet Cong tunnels is believed to stretch to “hundreds of miles,” in total length, housed living quarters, storage rooms, makeshift hospitals, and kitchens…etc. Although originally very narrow, some parts have been widened for the tourists and you have the opportunity to explore parts of the system.
Please note that these tunnels will be hot and can get claustrophobic, so there is an option if you’d like to view from above ground.
Try some of the main food of the Viet Cong Soldiers with a cassava tasting served with tangy tea. After experiencing the Cu Chi Tunnels, return to Ho Chi Minh City where the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.
Overnight in HCM City
HCM City – Ben Tre (Mekong Delta) – Flight to Siem ReapDay 10
After breakfast, your private guide and driver will take you out of HCM City in a private vehicle and onto some beautiful country roads to Ben Tre Town in the Mekong Delta, famous for its vast rice fields, numerous waterways, and beautiful landscapes. Known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam, this region produces most of Vietnam’s fruit, rice, sugar cane, and coconuts.
After the two-hour drive through the lush farming land, you will arrive in Ben Tre where you will set out on a motorized boat trip on narrow channels winding through the coconut forest. During the boat ride, you will stop at the local cottage industries to see how the local people make bricks and weave sleeping mats by hand. Learn about their craft handed down through generations.
Take a leisure walk along the village lanes, visiting the local homes to try fresh fruits, taste delicious honey tea while enjoying a local Tai Tu music show. Continue to visit another workshop where the local delicacy of coconut candy is produced and a wide range of coconut husk and fiber products are skillfully handcrafted.
Next, take a small sampan through palm-fringed back canals, gliding peacefully along the hidden waterways surrounded by an immense variety of tropical plants. The quiet, rural setting is a welcome and restorative retreat to the frenetic buzz of HCM City which seems far, far away.
Enjoy sitting in the back a Motor Cart (xe lôi) passing local hamlets, rice fields, coconut groves, and lush orchard farms while meeting with local people.
After finishing your sightseeing tour your guide will take you to a riverside restaurant for lunch with local specialties then return to the pier and drive back HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat airport to catch a short flight to Siem Reap, as your travel itinerary takes you from Vietnam to Cambodia.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, your Cambodian private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be free at your leisure.
Please note: You must have both a passport and a visa to enter Cambodia. And your passport must also have at least six months’ validity remaining beyond the date that you enter Cambodia. You can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia. Make sure you have two passport-sizes photographs.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Full-Day Temple ExplorationDay 11
Today with the help of your private and driver you will embark on a full day’s sightseeing around the Angkor Archaeological Park which stretches over some 400 square kilometres, including forested area. The park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the great Khmer Empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries.
Begin your day with an early visit (avoid the crowds) to the 13th-century Ta Prohm, a hauntingly beautiful temple where the roots of giant banyans and strangler figs enfold much of the stonework, creating scenes little changed since the French Adventurer Henri Mouhot re-discovered Angkor in the 1850s. This temple makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.
Continue your explorations by visiting the ancient capital city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire that once ruled much of Southeast Asia. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall drawing a perfect square. You will enter the city from the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path, a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.
Return to the hotel for a relaxing break during the midday heat.
Your exploits will continue as you visit Banteay Kdei (“Citadel of Chambers”), a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Sra Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”. From here, move onto the Bayon Temple in the exact centre of the ancient city. This 12th-century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.
You will also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. Stroll through the grounds of the former Royal Palace to discover some small hidden temples that are rarely visited.
Finish your day sightseeing with a leisurely gondola boat ride through the moats of Angkor Thom. In the tranquil solitude, visualize the royal city when it ruled over two million people nearly 800 years ago. As the sun approaches the horizon, make your way to Prasat Chrung, a small temple built in the style of Bayon, and climb an iron staircase to a quiet spot for excellent sunset views over the ruins.
Your tour guide and driver will transfer you to a local village on the outskirt of Siem Reap where you will enjoy a home-hosted dinner. Experience the simple Khmer village life, relaxing in a swaying hammock, or helping the local family to prepare dinner, picking fresh produce from their organic gardens. In this amiable and informal setting, feel free to ask the village elders about Khmer traditions and daily life in this community.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Further Temple ExplorationDay 12
Today, you’ll continue to experience the temple relics but in a way that will really let you feel like you’ve escaped the 20th century and traveled a thousand years back to a time when life was simple and nature was surreal.
As first light dawns, you will be at the most important religious monument in the country, admiring the extraordinary Temple of Angkor Wat across a reflecting moat.
When the sun rises behind the triple towers, the crowds will thin out as most people return to bed or a hotel breakfast. We will make use of the cool temperatures and soft morning light to explore Angkor Wat in a more peaceful atmosphere.
After enjoying your takeaway breakfast (prepared by your guide) near the temple, you will start exploring one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Angkor Wat. At this point, you most probably have gotten glimpses of the towers over treetops and the gates in front of passing. But now you’ll finally get to satiate that curiosity that’s grown in the last few days.
Enter Angkor Wat and learn about the stories and amazing architecture that has stunned archeologists leaving more questions than answers. Angkor Wat possesses some of the most intricate and longest stone carvings in the world. This complex is four times the size of the Vatican City making it the largest religious site in the world. Spend the rest of the morning adventuring through the many passages, levels, and exploring chambers that once housed one of many treasures of the ancient world. It will be an experience you will never forget.
Leaving Angkor Wat behind you will travel to the countryside to see the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srey. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best-preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art as this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs. Banteay Srey is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone, which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.
Continue your day by driving up north to Kbal Spean, one of the earliest Hindu pilgrimage sites in Cambodia. Upon arrival, you will take a short trek up the hill through dense jungle with excellent views over the plains and the Kulen hills. At the top, be surprised about the “River of 1000 Lingas” with some remarkable stone carvings of Hindu gods, animals, and other symbols in the river bed.
After enjoying a picnic lunch you can take a refreshing bath in the nearby waterfall, which is extremely popular with the local families.
On the way back to Siem Reap, make a quick stop at the Land Mine Museum which promotes mine awareness. Mr. Aki Ra, the museum founder, was trained as a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge regime and is working today as a de-miner. The museum serves also as a rescue centre for a number of land mine amputee children that Aki Ra has brought off Phnom Penh’s streets or from impoverished rural communities.
Your guide and driver will take you out to watch Phare – the Cambodian Circus, an amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatic, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Tonle Sap boat trip – Flight to BangkokDay 13
After breakfast, embark on a half-day adventure and soak up the scenery as you drive through the rice paddies and rural villages to reach the biggest Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake – Tonle Sap Lake.
Upon arrival, you will firstly enjoy a fun ox cart ride through the countryside. After that take a leisurely boat trip along the Tonle Sap river, which flows through the heart of Kompong Phluk Village. Along the way, enjoy the beautiful lake view and mangrove forest on the lake. Get a glimpse of local life as you glide past the stilted houses, pagodas, markets, and watch locals going about their everyday lives.
Later, you will be transferred to a smaller boat to paddle through the flooded forest of Kompong Phluk to discover the fascinating daily lives of the local people who leave on the water.
End the tour around midday. Return to the wharf where your driver will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.
You will be driven to Siem Reap airport for a short flight to Bangkok, Thailand. Upon arrival, your Thai private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel in the City Centre for check-in. The rest of the afternoon will be free at your leisure.
Head out for a luxury barge journey into Thai culture and the Thai hearts. Enjoy fine dining, traditional and culture tour on the only original antique teakwood rice barge on the river in Bangkok. Experience first-class Thai hospitality and delicious food from around Thailand in the comfort and tranquility of the luxury, open-air cruise.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – Full-day City tour & Evening Street Food TourDay 14
After breakfast, meet your private guide and driver again and head to the historic center of Bangkok and start your day at Wat Suthat. A few visitors come to this temple early, so much the better to enjoy the monks’ melodic chanting ritual. It’s an incredible sensory experience. Then, a short walk to Wat Pho (famous for its 141-foot-long reclining Buddha) will take you through small alleys with wooden houses, guardian spirit signs, and lively fruit and flower markets.
Make a stop at Lak Muang, Bangkok’s city pillar, well worth a five-minute detour before continuing onto the site the Thai people consider the most sacred in the Kingdom: The Royal Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha. This is one of the most beautiful examples of an ancient Thai court, with several grand halls in the same compound.
Enjoy a delightful Thai lunch and take in the scenic views at the Deck by Arun Residence restaurant and experience the mid-day bustling atmosphere of the lively Chao River.
Take the public ferry to visit the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), which you will probably recognize from its famous silhouette. The local story goes that the shards of pottery decorating its 79 m tall spire came from a nearby shipwreck 100 years ago.
Continue to explore the Khlongs by a Long Tail Boat and be amazed by the constantly changing sights, from Thai wooden houses on stilts to the many boats with sellers offering everything from fruit to souvenirs.
Your sightseeing tour ends with a visit Wat Triamit, one of the most famous temples in Bangkok and is known as the Temple of the Golden Buddha (the statue of Buddha is made from solid gold weighting 5.5 tons). Then get back to your hotel for a short rest and some shower before taking the fantastic evening food tour by Tuk Tuk, a very popular means of transport in Thailand.
Your Tuk Tuk food journey begins at Sam Yan MRT subway station where you are met by your expert guide and Tuk Tuk Drivers. A short ride brings you to the first stop, a Northeastern Thai restaurant. Here you will sample famous dishes from the region like spicy raw papaya salad, deep-fried crispy catfish meat with spicy sauce, spicy pork salad, and spicy pork meatballs. Your next stop is chicken crispy noodle, with a choice of runny or well-cooked eggs.
Then, take a digestion break by visiting the flower market where you might have small snacks and pause at the temple of Wat Pho to see a totally different scene at night. Continue onto Bangkok’s best Pad Thai. You will skip the long queue and go right in.
The final stop is at a local rooftop bar (beer or soft drink included) where you can enjoy the stunning views of the over the Chao Phraya River by night. After that the Tuk Tuk will drop you off at your hotel for your good night’s sleep.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – Day Trip to AyutthayaDay 15
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up for a drive to the Historical Park of Ayutthaya, an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and statues. Ayutthaya is the former capital of the Kingdom of Thailand and a prosperous international trading port, from 1350 until razed by the Burmese in 1767.
Upon arrival you will visit:
– Wat Phu Khao Thong– Originally built in 1387 by the second king of the Ayutthaya kingdom; this is an impressive monument in the north-western part of Ayutthaya. When the Burmese took over Ayutthaya in 1569, the Burmese king built a mon-style chedi (or pyramid) on top of the former temple to celebrate his victory over Ayutthaya and the Siamese.
– Wat Phra Sri Sanphet – Once a royal temple located next to the Grand Palace, it was once the most significant temple during the Ayutthaya period.
– Viharn Phra Mongkolbopit, an impressive building that houses a large seated bronze Buddha. Its rebuilt pristine hall was believed to be a replica of the old Assembly Hall of Ayutthaya.
After lunch, continue to visit;
– Wat Lokaya Sutha, the largest reclining Buddha of Ayutthaya at 8 meters high and 42 meters long. This Buddha is made of brick and covered with plaster.
– Wat Mahathat, a classic temple ruins of Ayutthaya and famous for the picturesque Buddha head engulfed by the Bodhi tree roots. The foundation size, remaining prangs, and towers attest to its significance during its time.
Finish the tour and wind your way back to Bangkok where the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Bangkok
Bangkok – DepartureDay 16
Your private transfer greets you at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you to Bangkok International Airport where you board your flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Don’t want to go home yet? Add a side trip to PhuketExtra days
PHUKET BEACH BREAK 5 DAYS/ 4 NIGHTS
Day 1: Bangkok – Flight to Phuket
At the airport in Bangkok, take a short connecting flight to Phuket.
Upon arrival at Phuket airport, your private driver will take you to your hotel in Phuket for check-in. The rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Phuket
Day 2: Day trip to Phang Nga Bay by Sea Canoe
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up for a drive to Phang Nga Bay, famous for its limestone “Sea Mountains”. You will discover the flora of this amazing landscape at Koh Panak and Koh Hong while learning more about the bay. On the way to Koh Tapu, you will also visit Pinggan Island.
You will board a boat to explore Tapu Island, also known as the “James Bond Island” from the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun”, where it was partially filmed. Lunch will be served on your boat.
A leisurely afternoon awaits you to enjoy the sea and weather onboard. In the late afternoon, you will be taken back to your hotel in Phuket and the rest of the day will be yours to explore at your leisure.
Overnight in Phuket
Day 3: Phuket – Free Day
Spend the day on the beach sunbathing or swimming in the ocean.
Overnight in Phuket
Day 4: Phuket – Free Day
Another day at your leisure.
Overnight in Phuket
Day 5: Phuket – Flight back to Bangkok – Departure
After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to the Phuket airport for your flight to Bangkok, and from there, your connecting flight home.
Inquire this trip
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
- Private Vehicles and Drivers
- Private English Speaking Guides (Other languages if available, upon request)
- Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
- Domestic flights within Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand
- Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
- Service Charge & Government Taxes
What’s Not Included?
- Your International Flights to Vietnam and from Thailand.
- Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia entry Visa Fees (contact us for further information)
- Personal Expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
- Any bank fees or charges at your end
- Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
- Personal Travel Insurance
- Tips for guides and drivers
How to Plan a successful Trip to Thailand, Step-by-Step
Why to Visit Thailand
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Thailand Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to Visit Thailand
Thailand, the wondrous kingdom, the most popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia, and the only Southeast Asian nation that has never been colonized by a European power. With endless attractions for visitors of all budgets and interests, Thailand is the paramount beacon beckoning travelers from all over the world to Southeast Asia.
For those wanting to learn more about Thai culture, take a stroll through the impressive Buddhist temples, and join a cooking class to learn Thai culinary arts. More of a nature person? Explore the spectacular islands and bask on world-class beaches, see some exotic wildlife, and tour the country’s landscapes. Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui offer life in paradise with their miles of pristine sand and crystal water. Looking for a more modern experience? Shopaholics will find Bangkok a heaven with its millions of product types, brand names and prices at every corner, either at an affordable market or a luxury mall. The nightlife is also guaranteed to please the party crowd. Most importantly, everywhere you go, you will be warmly greeted by the Thai locals, whose dazzling smiles established Thailand as the ‘land of smiles’.
From five-star pampering, adrenaline-fueled activities, shopping in stylish boutiques, sun tanning on some of the best beaches in the world, to taste the fantastic cuisine, Thailand has something for everyone.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Thailand
• Bangkok – visit temples by day and bar hop by night
• Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Samui – relax on beaches with white sands and crystal-clear waters
• Hill tribes in the north – trek with the locals
When to Go
The climate varies throughout this country, makes it possible to visit all year round. The best time to visit Thailand is between November and February when the weather is at its best. Much of the country experiences a typically tropical climate consisting of two seasons: dry and wet.
In northern Thailand, the dry season with cooler temperatures falls between November and May, with heavy rainfall between June and October.
In the south, the climate differs between the east and west coasts. The weather on the east coast is good for most of the year, with the lowest rainfall in January and February, and the highest in November. The west coast is more favorable during the winter months when diving and snorkeling will be at its best.
Obtain a Thailand Visa
Passengers arriving via an international airport will be given a 30-day visa exemption stamp, however, those with back-to-back visa exempt entries might be questioned. As of December 31st, 2016, the number of visa exemption entries at a land border has been limited to two per the calendar year, for a maximum of 30 days each time. For those who would prefer to get a visa, a valid tourist visa offers a maximum of a 60-day stay.
The Thai visa photo criteria are 6 cm high x 4 cm wide with a bright background color.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Thailand for a certain amount of time:
- Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, South Korea (maximum stay of up to 90 days)
- Laos, Macau, Mongolia, Russia, Vietnam (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brunei, Belgium, Canada, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia(unlimited), Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Slovak, Slovenia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom and USA
(maximum stay of up to 30 days when entering Thailand at an airport, plus 2 extra 30-day exemptions at a land border in a calendar year)
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The citizens of countries that are eligible for a VOA to enter Thailand can NOT enter Thailand at any Thai / Cambodian border: Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan.
All other foreign citizens must obtain a Thai visa from their nearest Thai embassy/consulate.
Note: It is recommended to keep a copy or record with your camera, your passport, visa, most recent entry stamp, and your embarkation card.
How to book a tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at [email protected] with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
Reviews on Our Service
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!