Explore vibrant cities, snorkel colourful reefs, shop in quaint Hoi An, float among the karsts of Halong Bay, discover sleepy Laos, cruise the mighty Mekong River.
From the fast-paced nightlife of Bangkok to a slow boat along the Mekong, this trip brings you the best of Southeast Asia on a shoestring. You’ll party along the beautiful bay of Vietnam’s Nha Trang in the company of like-minded travellers and channel the French vibe sipping coffee in riverside cafés in Laos. Explore golden temples or hunt down treasures in local markets—the choice is all yours. Best of all, your CEO will take the hassle out of planning, so you’re free to soak up the spirit of this amazing region.
Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. Once the capital of South Vietnam, this sprawling metropolis is now the country’s commercial centre. Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Relax, explore the city, and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Ho Chi Minh City. Additional Notes: Most nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam. Please check with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy regarding requirements. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Ho Chi Minh City/Nha Trang (1B)
Free day to explore. Overnight train to Nha Trang. Additional Notes: During January/February, Tết (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year) sees millions of Vietnamese commute to be with their families and celebrate. While this is a fascinating time to travel through Vietnam, availability of transport may mean that we will replace the overnight train with an overnight bus. Transport: Overnight train (beds) (10.00-11.00 hours)
Day 3 Nha Trang
Optional activities in Nha Trang include a boat trip to nearby islands for some snorkelling or, perhaps, a fun-filled all-day beach party.
Day 4 Nha Trang/Da Nang (1B)
In the evening, take an overnight train to Da Nang, then transfer to Hoi An. Additional Notes: During January/February, Tết (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year) sees millions of Vietnamese commute to be with their families and celebrate. While this is a fascinating time to travel through Vietnam, availability of transport may mean that we will replace the overnight train with an overnight bus. Transport: Overnight train (beds) (9.00-10.00 hours)
Day 5 Da Nang/Hoi An
From Danang, it is only a short drive to the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Once known as Faifo, it was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections. Included Activities: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch Street Food Crawl Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))
Day 6 Hoi An (1B)
Enjoy free time; opt to take a cooking class, cycle to the beach, visit a tailor, or explore the old town.
Day 7 Hoi An/Huế (1B)
Continue the journey north to the city of Hue. Opt to visit the Royal Citadel and tombs, take a Perfume River cruise or tour the countryside by motorbike. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Huế/Hanoi (1B)
Free time in Hue. Overnight train to Hanoi. Transport: Overnight train (beds) (14.00 hour(s))
Day 9 Hanoi/Ha Long (1L)
Arrive early morning to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Transfer to a private bus and head to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay. Included Activities: Hạ Long Bay Junk Boat Trip Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 10 Ha Long/Hanoi (1B)
Explore Hanoi with an orientation walk through the Old Quarter. Opt to see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Hoa Lo Prison, or shop in the Old Quarter. Included Activities: Old Quarter Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 11 Hanoi
Spend time exploring Hanoi. Included street food crawl. Additional Notes: Today, new travellers may join you for the rest of your adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner. Included Activities: Street Food Crawl
Day 12 Hanoi/Vientiane (1B)
Explore a bit of Hanoi in the morning before an afternoon flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. There is a wealth of cultural delights to discover – on foot, by bicycle or, for the less energetic, by tuk-tuk. Visit Laos’ most important national monument, Phat That Luang, or meander down the dusty riverside tracks to find villages full of friendly children, dogs and chickens. A visit to Vientiane’s vibrant, colourful morning market (which incidentally is open all day!) is worthwhile, to find plenty of local treasures. A great way to round off the day is to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Mekong. Transport: Plane (1.25 hour(s))
Day 13 Vientiane/Vang Vieng (1B)
A picturesque drive north takes us to beautiful Vang Vieng. This quiet town is set along the Nam Song river amidst rice fields and limestone karsts. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 14 Vang Vieng (1B)
Why not explore some of the caves by bicycle or take an invigorating walk. In the evening, soak in the natural beauty of Vang Vieng as the sun sets over the river.
Day 15 Vang Vieng/Luang Prabang (1B)
This morning travel from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))
Day 16 Luang Prabang (1B)
Traditional Laotian culture is to give daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. On one of your mornings here, you may decide to rise with the sun, and watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos. This is simply an unforgettable Southeast Asian experience.
Day 17 Luang Prabang/Muang Pakbèng (1B, 1D)
We board our boat for the two-day journey up the mighty Mekong River making our way to Chiang Khong. Included Activities: Mekong River Slow Boat Mekong River Homestay
Day 18 Muang Pakbèng/Chiang Khong (1B, 1L)
This morning we re-board our boat and continue our leisurely cruise along the river before arriving at the Laos/Thai border and crossing to Chiang Khong in the late afternoon. Included Activities: Mekong River Slow Boat Border Crossing (Laos – Thailand)
Day 19 Chiang Khong/Chiang Mai
Departing Chiang Khong after breakfast, we drive to Chiang Mai where you have the afternoon free to explore this fascinating city, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lan. Included Activities: Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 20 Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)
Today, why not try your hand at local cuisine with a Thai cooking class? Other options include a visit the magnificent temple of Doi Suthep standing watch over the city from the hills above, taking a bicycle ride in the countryside or embracing the bizarre by getting a massage from the training school at the local woman’s prison! Tonight we catch an overnight train to Bangkok. Transport: Overnight train (beds)
Day 21 Bangkok
We’ll arrive early in the morning to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city. The day is free to explore the many sights of Bangkok. The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, National Museum, and Jim Thompson’s House are just a few suggestions. A trip along the Chao Praya river and through the canals (or klongs) gives you a different perspective of daily life in this busy city. In the evening, we’ll say good bye and enjoy a Thai meal and perhaps a beer together to celebrate the end of an amazing journey.
Day 22 Bangkok (1B)
Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day