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Trip Extensions

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

River Kwai & Erawan National Park

Duration: 4 days

This extension gives you a mixed variety of history and nature. You begin by exploring along the River Kwai stopping at important historical sites. You then travel to Erawan National Park, a unique and rugged landscape of high elevation plateau and s... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

Vietnam: Sapa Excursion

Duration: 4 days

Extend your visit to Vietnam with this delightful visit to Sapa, for a unique cultural interaction with the local tribes.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive bangkok

Arrive in vibrant and bustling BangkokArrive in vibrant and bustling Bangkok

Welcome to Bangkok! Upon your arrival, meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore. Your hotel is located along the Chao Phraya River in the lively Khao San district and historic center of Bangkok - the ideal base from which to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Consider arriving a day early to adjust to the local time zone. We can arrange another night stay at the hotel.

Meals
None
Lodging
Riva Surya Hotel or similar

Day 2: bangkok's palaces & temples / flight to chiang mai

Tour Bangkok's Grand Palace and other city sightsTour Bangkok's Grand Palace and other city sights

Today's adventure begin's with a visit to Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), a must-see for first-time travelers to Bangkok. Wat Prah Kaew is located within the walls of the Royal Grand Palace, a massive palace complex that was once the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from 1782 until 1925. Today, the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Continue on to Wat Pho, one of the oldest temples in Bangkok and home of the famous Reclining Buddha. This gold-plated statue is over 150 feet long and 50 feet high, and the eyes and feet are engraved with mother-of-pearl decorations. Late this afternoon, transfer to the airport and fly to the northern city of Chiang Mai. Here, you'll be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel, which is located within walking distance of the Old City and famous Night Market.

 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Banthai Village or similar

Day 3: chiang mai: temples, meo tribes & handicraft villages

Explore Doi Suthep temple complexExplore Doi Suthep temple complex

Today you visit a Meo hill tribe village set in an attractive hillside spot. You'll see the Meo tribes people dressed in their colorful traditional costumes. Next, visit  Wat Phratat Doi Suthep, which contains a holy relic of the Lord Buddha. The view of the city from 3,500 feet above sea level can be quiet breathtaking. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to a handicraft village. Many different crafts people are gather here and you will experience the works of umbrella makers, wood carvers, silversmiths, silk weavers and jewelry makers. This is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Return to your hotel in Chiang Mai where you have the rest of the day free to explore on your own. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Banthai Village or similar

Day 4: chiang mai free day

Interact with elephants on a visit to the Nature ParkInteract with elephants on a visit to the Nature Park

Today is free to do as you like. Wander the charming streets of Chiang Mai, meet locals, sample various traditional Thai dishes, or rest at your hotel. Your guide will be available if you are interested in more guided sightseeing for an additional cost. Options include:

  • Doi Inthanon - the highest mountain in Thailand. This is a great place for nature lovers and birders (best time March-May to see migrating birds). Siamese sakura flowers boom in colorful shades of pink in late January and February and the rhododendron blooms from December to February. The park contains several hiking trails, waterfalls, and a limestone cave worth exploring. From the King and Queen Twin Chedis, the views are spectacular.
  • Elephant Nature Park - a sanctuary for rescued and distressed elephants. This park does not have the elephants put on shows or allow elephant riding, but you will bathe, feed and walk them. The park's objective is to provide a safe haven for elephants to live out the remainder of their lives in peace. The sanctuary also provides a home for other rescued animals including dogs, cats, buffalo, horses, and pigs. A vegetarian buffet lunch is included. This is a join in tour.
  • Cooking Class - a lunch or dinner Thai cooking course that includes a trip to a local market to pick out the ingredients, training by a skilled Thai chef, and a chance to taste what you have created. For the lunch coarse, you'll be picked up from the hotel at 9:00 am. For the dinner coarse, the pick up time will be 4:00 pm. Class includes lunch or dinner.
  • A Taste of Chiang Mai - This tour begins at the Ping river bank and takes you through the hustle and bustle of Kaad Luang, the great market, as locals call it. Kaad Luang actually is made up of 3 different markets and has been a favorite shopping spot for locals alike since the late 1800's. During the tour you will get to know all about the history of the market and its surroundings while enjoying fresh produce and local specialties on the way. Afterwards, hop aboard a trishaw, a wonderful, relaxing way to explore Buak Hat Park and hunt out some jewelry bargains on Wua Lai Road.
Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Banthai Village or similar

Day 5: karen villages & the golden triangle

Wat Rong Kung in Chiang RaiWat Rong Kung in Chiang Rai

After breakfast, head out onto a scenic drive through the countryside to Ban Ruam Mit, a Karen minority village that live on the border between Thailand and Burma. The Karens have an extremely rich culture but have suffered persecution in neighboring Burma - but they always have a few fascinating stories to tell. You'll then travel by piroque, a long and narrow traditional boat down the Kok River to a local restaurant for lunch.

In the afternoon head to Chiang Rai to visit Wat Rong Kung, an unconventional Buddhist/Hindu temple. Continue driving to the famous Golden Triangle, the conjunction of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. To the locals, this is known as "Sop Ruak", where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. Overnight in Chiang Sean at a lovely hotel offering spectacular views of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand borders.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
The Imperial Golden Triangle Resort or similar

Day 6: cross into laos & cruise the mekong

Take in village life on a leisurely float on the MekongTake in village life on a leisurely float on the Mekong

Early in the morning, around 6:00 am, drive to Chiang Khong where you cross the Thai border and enter into Laos. You'll board a boat* at Houe Say and begin the slow boat ride down the Mekong River toward Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. Observe rural life along the Mekong River and stop at Ban Houy Phalam, a Kamu village. A buffet lunch is served on the boat. Arrive at Luang Say Lodge before sunset in time for dinner, which is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River. The lodge is situated above the Mekong River, lending into the natural environment through careful landscaping. The bungalows a built in traditional Laotian style with a large open air window that looks out over the river.

*Join in boat. Ask us about a private boat. Between October & March the cruise departs every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Between April to September, the cruise departs every Monday and Friday. The cruise stops for maintenance every June.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Luang Say Lodge or similar

Day 7: mekong to pak ou luang prabang

See the Buddha images at Pak Ou CavesSee the Buddha images at Pak Ou Caves

After breakfast, continue on the river to Ban Baw village to learn about the processing of traditional rice alcohol. After lunch aboard the boat, continue on to the mouth of the Nam Ou River to Pak Ou Caves, referred to as "Tham Ting" and "Tham Phoum." Here you will see thousands of Buddha images and statues. The boat arrives in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before sunset. Here you'll meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel, located in the heart of Luang Prabang.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
3 Nagas Hotel or similar

Day 8: luang prabang city tour

Wat Sieng in Luang PrabangWat Sieng in Luang Prabang

Today you will embark on a city tour of Luang Prabang. Visit various temples that boast unique Buddha statues and carvings including Wat Visun, Wat Sene, and Wat Xieng Thong. Wat Xieng Thong is considered one of the most important of Lao monasteries and is a symbol of religion, royalty, and art. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the Former King's Palace (now the National Museum), built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong. It was last occupied in 1975 when the monarchy was overthrown by the communist. If you like, visit the Photisak Silvershop, and Ock Pop Top, a live weaving center. At Ock Pop, you'll Learn different styles of Lao textile-making on traditional looms. Later, climb the steps of Mount Phousi for a gorgeous sunset view of the town.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
3 Nagas Hotel or similar

Day 9: waterfalls and panoramic views

The beautiful Kuang Si WaterfallThe beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall

Today's excursion takes you out to Kuang Si Waterfalls, located about 18 miles south of Luang Prabang. The water begins in a shallow pool on a steep hillside and falls approximately 200 feet. There are areas for swimming or you can trek around the waterfall. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the falls. Before returning to your hotel in Los, end the day with a heart-stopping view at Wat Phon Pao (Peacefulness Temple), a temple that sits on a mountain overlooking the city. This temple is used as a meditation retreat and was once headed by the abbot Ajahn Saisamut, a noted Lao Buddhist teacher. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
3 Nagas Hotel or similar

Day 10: flight to siem reap

Stay at the lovely Shinta Mani ResortStay at the lovely Shinta Mani Resort

After breakfast, head to the airport and fly to Siem Reap. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax. Your hotel is a beautiful boutique property located in the French Quarter between the Royal Gardens and the Old Market area. The Shinta Mani provides opportunities for the poor such as healthcare and education. Their goal is to enhance the lives of the individuals in the local communities by providing them the tools to overcome the constraints of poverty.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shinta Mani Resort or similar

Day 11: siem reap: angkor ruins

See the magnificent Angkor WatSee the magnificent Angkor Wat

In the morning, leave to discover the incredible temple of Angkor Wat, a world heritage site with soaring towers and extraordinary bas reliefs. Erected in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu, this is perhaps one of the most amazing man-made monuments in the world and was erected in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu. Enjoy a Cambodian lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, leave for the 10th century Banteay Srei. This small pink sandstone temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, is known as the Citadel of Women. The carvings on this temple are more detailed than any other in Angkor. On the way back to your hotel, visit the ancient 12th century Ta Prohm Monastery where immense branches have taken root in the stones – hence the nickname "Jungle Temple".

In the evening, we recommend an Apsara Dance Show and dinner or "Phare" - known as the Cambodian Circus (not included in cost). Apsaras are beautiful, elegant female beings superb in the art of dancing and the Apsara dance show highlights Cambodia's most famous arts. The show, featuring live dancers, singers, and musicians, will take you on a journey from the Angkorian palaces to the villages of today. 

The Phare Cambodia Circus is more than just a circus - it's a show of humor and drama that tells the story of Khmer history and folklore through music, dance, and modern circus arts. The young artist will amaze you with their energy, emotion, and talent.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Shinta Mani Resort or similar

Day 12: angkor temples

Elephant Terrace in the city of Angkor ThomElephant Terrace in the city of Angkor Thom

After breakfast, spend time exploring Angkor Thom (the Great City) beginning with the south gate and the famous Bayon of the 12th and 13th centuries, composed of 54 gigantic towers featuring 216 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara. From here, visit the Elephant Terrace, once used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and as a base for the king’s grand audience hall. Nearby is the raised Leper King Terrace, built in the 12th century featuring many beautifully sculptured Apsaras. After a lunch break at a local restaurant, continue on to Preah Khan Temple, built by Jayavarman VII in 1191 in honor of his father. This monument was both a city and a place for Buddhism studies. Another interesting 12th century temple is Neak Pean, the only island temple of the Angkor temples known as "Entwined Nagas". The large central basin is linked with four smaller basins that represent the four great rivers flowing from the earth’s four cardinal points. One of the most interesting features of this site is the superb statute of Balaha, representing the legendary saviour of shipwrecked boats.

Later today, we will introduce you the art of palm leaf handicraft in Smok Village. Smok is a Cambodian traditional palm leaf box, which is made by locals for many different varieties of uses such as a lunch boxes, souvenir boxes, traditional cake wrapping or a flute box and are perishable and recyclable for the good of our environment.

If you like,  attend another show of your choice (not included in land cost.)

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Shinta Mani Resort or similar

Day 13: lake village / flight to saigon

Explore the floating villages by kayakExplore the floating villages by kayak

In the morning, transfer to the floating village of Mean Chreay (8 miles from Siem Reap.) On arrival, you will be greeted by monks in their brightly colored robes for a good luck blessing before you gently kayak (or boat ride) through the village as you're welcomed by warm smiles from the humble Cambodian people who live on this fantastic lake. Continue kayaking through the village until you reach the end and stop for lunch at a floating restaurant with beautiful views. In high water season (Aug-Jan), you'll kayak through the exotic mangroves while during low water season (late Jan-July,) you will kayak along the Tonle Sap Lake and spot rare birds in a tranquil setting.

Afterwards, return to Siem Reap Airport and board a flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). On arrival, you'll be met by your guide and assisted with the transfer to your hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel is nestled in the city's scenic riverside area, within walking distance to shops and restaurants making it the ideal location to explore.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Grand Hotel or similar

Day 14: saigon city tour

See the Notre Dame Cathedral in SaigonSee the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon

Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Saigon's historic landmarks, including the infamous Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, established by French colonists in 1863. Next, drive by the presidential palace, which used to be headquarters for the Saigon government during the American-Vietnamese War. Then, you may either visit the Historical Museum or the War Remnant Museum. The Historical Museum, built in 1929, houses a collection of artifacts illustrating the cultures of Vietnam - from the Bronze Age Dong Son (2,000 BC) to the Funan (1-6th centuries), Cham, Khmer, and Vietnamese civilizations. The museum also contains relics from Angkor Wat in Cambodia and a preserved mummy of a local woman who died in 1869. The War Remnants Museum contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War, as well as the first Indochina War involving French colonists. Your tour ends with a visit to the 18th century Thien Hau Temple (Pagoda of the Lady Thien Hau), a Chinese style temple dedicated to Thien Hau, known as the "Lady of the Sea" or "Mazu". 

Your afternoon will be free to explore on your own. In the evening, there are several shows worth seeing such as a private music performance at the home of a local musician, or the A O Show (not included in cost).

  • The Music show at Truc Mai House (1 hr) takes place at the home of a famous husband-wife team of musicians. The couple are international performers and have a great love for traditional, folklore Vietnamese music. Their home is a musical museum filled with their extensive collection of musical instruments, many of which they made themselves.
  • The "A O" Show (1 hour - join in) takes place at the grandeur Opera House Theater, built in 1898 by Eugene Ferret in the shape of a giant city gate. The show features the culture of the Vietnamese through acrobatics and dance using traditional props such as bamboo poles and woven baskets. The energy of the performers and stunning choreography is sure to amaze you!
Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Grand Hotel or similar

Day 15: cooking class & cu chi tunnels

If you're brave, explore underground in the Cu Chi TunnelsIf you're brave, explore underground in the Cu Chi Tunnels

After breakfast, you'll head out of the city to a cooking center in Cu Chi (approx. 45 miles) where you'll meet your experienced chef for your very first Vietnamese cooking course. You'll be impressed by the simple home-made teaching techniques while relaxing in the lovely vegetable garden. You'll have a chance to chat with your chef over lunch and ask questions about Vietnamese cooking techniques. 

After lunch, head straight out to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which served as an underground city for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. They contained makeshift hospitals, weapon caches, and of course, living quarters. Approximately 10,000 people called these cramped tunnels home for many years. You will watch a short video introduction before exploring the tunnel system.  It is a haunting and eye-opening learning experience. Afterwards, return to your hotel Saigon for your overnight.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Grand Hotel or similar

Day 16: flight to hanoi

Stay at the charming La Siesta HotelStay at the charming La Siesta Hotel

Transfer to the airport early in the morning and fly to Hanoi. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your centrally located hotel. You'll have the rest of the day free to relax or explore.

Your warm and inviting boutique hotel is located in the Old Quarter close to Hoan Kiem Lake and restaurants.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hanoi La Siesta Hotel or similar

Day 17: hanoi city tour

Explore the streets of HanoiExplore the streets of Hanoi

Today you will tour Hanoi, one of Asia's most enchanting cities. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, with exploration best accomplished on foot or bicycle. The shopping is fun, and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes. Your guided tour begins at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the building that contains the preserved body of "Uncle Ho." After leaving the mausoleum, check out the One Pillar Pagoda, shaped like a lotus flower emerging from the water. Inside the pagoda is a statue of the Goddess of Mercy because some Buddhists believe that when they die she places them in the center of a lotus flower to go to the "Land of Bliss." Next, visit the Temple of Literature to learn about Hanoi culture and history and the Museum of Ethnology to learn about Vietnam's diverse culture (54 ethnic groups in all).

After, return to your hotel for the evening. If you aren't ready for the day to end, considering attending a show, such as:

  • Traditional Vietnamese performance such as a Water Puppet Show (approx $15): During the water puppet show, you'll see traditional puppets that are controlled in a waist-deep pool, appearing as if they are moving in the water. This unique style of puppetry dates back to the 11th century when the villagers would entertain each other when the rice fields flooded. 
  • "My Village" Show (approx $60): If you missed the "À Ố", the "Mist" or "My Village" performance in Ho Chi Minh City, no worries! You can attend the "My Village" performance right here in Hanoi. This show is 60 minutes long.
  • Ionah Show (approx $40): The Ionah Show is a unique experience combining modern dance, theater, circus, music, and visual and light effects—a Vietnamese "Cirque du Soleil." The show is divided into three scenes that tell the story of a beautiful young girl whose love for Hanoi is as pure and strong as it is for her lover. But the division threatens her happiness and Ionah is tormented between good and evil through a series of supernatural characters. This show is 90 minutes long.
  • Four Palaces Performance (approx $40): The Four Palaces Performance (Tứ Phủ) is a beautiful journey into the spiritual world and was inspired by the mother goddesses in Vietnam. This unique ritual performance is made up of beautiful costumes, fantastic music, and special performances that will leave you delighted. This 45-minute show is divided into 3 parts: The Reincarnation of the 2nd Lady of Highlands, Reincarnation of the 10th Prince, and Little Princess of Highlands.
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
Hanoi La Siesta Hotel or similar

Day 18: halong bay

Explore Halong Bay and stay overnight on a boatExplore Halong Bay and stay overnight on a boat

You can leave luggage behind at your hotel in Hanoi and pack an overnight bag for a three and a half -hour drive to the famous Halong  Bay, one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's quite a sight to see a great number of sailing junks ("junk" is the term for an ancient Chinese water vessel) traversing the limestone island-spotted bay. Board your private junk for a four-hour cruise through Halong. Along the way, we will stop to explore limestone caves and to relax and swim. Lunch and dinner will be served during the cruise. Overnight on the boat.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Indochina Sails Junk (non-private) or similar

Day 19: return to hanoi & onward

Float among limestone islands in beautiful  Halong BayFloat among limestone islands in beautiful Halong Bay

For those interested in capturing the beautiful sunrise on the bay, you will need to rise early. Following breakfast, you'll explore and cruise around the bay for great photo opportunities. Sail back to the port and drive back to Hanoi. You'll stop along the way at Yen Duc Village, a typical Red River Delta village that still retains an authentic way of village life. Here, you'll have the chance to see an amazing water puppet show presented by the village artists.

On arrival back in Hanoi, you can do some last minute exploring or shopping until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight or on to your next destination. You'll have access to your hotel room until evening.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Day Room or similar

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$4,700
Group size 4+: $4700 Group size 2-3 cost: $5300 Local Asia flights add $750 (estimate)
Single Supplement:
$1,500
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
19 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Best available to Superior 4-star hotels & junk boat
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Southeast Asia

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Deposit* and payment schedule: 25% of the land cost per person or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $1000 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 75 days prior to departure. Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates. All payments may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

*HOLIDAY departures may require an additional deposit. 

Additional cancellation fees
Cancellations that occur between 61-90 days prior to departure will be subject to a cancellation fee that is 50% of the land cost, and cancellations 31-60 days prior will be subject to a 75% cancellation fee. Cancellations between 0-30 days are 100% NON-REFUNDABLE. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Travel to Vietnam: A Fishing Love Story

Upon returning from almost a month in Southeast Asia, Hilary had some great stories to tell. Here, she shares one of her favorites: learning how to fish Vietnamese style.

Angkor Wat is just outside of Siem Reap
Angkor Wat is just outside of Siem Reap
Learn about the Hmong people and their distinctive attire (photo by B. Snelson)
Learn about the Hmong people and their distinctive attire (photo by B. Snelson)
French-influenced Siem Reap (photo by C.B. Bird)
French-influenced Siem Reap (photo by C.B. Bird)
Explore Angkor Thom and other temple ruins
Explore Angkor Thom and other temple ruins
Arrive in Vietnam's capital, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Arrive in Vietnam's capital, Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
Take in a performance of the unique Water Puppets while in Hanoi
Take in a performance of the unique Water Puppets while in Hanoi
Explore Halong Bay and stay overnight on a boat
Explore Halong Bay and stay overnight on a boat
Wat Rong Kung in Chiang Rai
Wat Rong Kung in Chiang Rai
See the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon
See the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon
Visit local villages
Visit local villages
Investigate village life on Tonle Sap Lake
Investigate village life on Tonle Sap Lake
A pagoda of Wat Xieng
A pagoda of Wat Xieng

Savoring Southeast Asia

Stimulate the senses in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

overview

This is a comprehensive overview of Southeast Asia that includes Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Packed full of a wide variety of cultural, historical, and recreational activities, Savoring Southeast Asia is perfect for the traveler who is interested in "sampling" every aspect of each country. From touring temples to cruising the Mekong River to attending a traditional puppet show, the varied array of experiences will keep you constantly engaged and satisfy all your curiosities.

As with all of our trips that are available privately on your dates, this itinerary is fully customizable. Our skilled Adventure Specialists can help you pick and choose activities based on your preferences, and will design a custom itinerary just for you and your private group. Use this itinerary as a starting point, but remember that it can be changed however you'd like!

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

This is a comprehensive overview of Southeast Asia that includes Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Packed full of a wide variety of cultural, historical, and recreational activities, Savoring Southeast Asia is perfect for the traveler who is interested in "sampling" every aspect of each country. From touring temples to cruising the Mekong River to attending a traditional puppet show, the varied array of experiences will keep you constantly engaged and satisfy all your curiosities.

As with all of our trips that are available privately on your dates, this itinerary is fully customizable. Our skilled Adventure Specialists can help you pick and choose activities based on your preferences, and will design a custom itinerary just for you and your private group. Use this itinerary as a starting point, but remember that it can be changed however you'd like!

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive bangkok
    Arrive in vibrant and bustling BangkokArrive in vibrant and bustling Bangkok

    Welcome to Bangkok! Upon your arrival, meet your guide at the airport and transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to relax or explore. Your hotel is located along the Chao Phraya River in the lively Khao San district and historic center of Bangkok - the ideal base from which to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Consider arriving a day early to adjust to the local time zone. We can arrange another night stay at the hotel.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Riva Surya Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: bangkok's palaces & temples / flight to chiang mai
    Tour Bangkok's Grand Palace and other city sightsTour Bangkok's Grand Palace and other city sights

    Today's adventure begin's with a visit to Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), a must-see for first-time travelers to Bangkok. Wat Prah Kaew is located within the walls of the Royal Grand Palace, a massive palace complex that was once the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from 1782 until 1925. Today, the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Continue on to Wat Pho, one of the oldest temples in Bangkok and home of the famous Reclining Buddha. This gold-plated statue is over 150 feet long and 50 feet high, and the eyes and feet are engraved with mother-of-pearl decorations. Late this afternoon, transfer to the airport and fly to the northern city of Chiang Mai. Here, you'll be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel, which is located within walking distance of the Old City and famous Night Market.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Banthai Village or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: chiang mai: temples, meo tribes & handicraft villages
    Explore Doi Suthep temple complexExplore Doi Suthep temple complex

    Today you visit a Meo hill tribe village set in an attractive hillside spot. You'll see the Meo tribes people dressed in their colorful traditional costumes. Next, visit  Wat Phratat Doi Suthep, which contains a holy relic of the Lord Buddha. The view of the city from 3,500 feet above sea level can be quiet breathtaking. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing on to a handicraft village. Many different crafts people are gather here and you will experience the works of umbrella makers, wood carvers, silversmiths, silk weavers and jewelry makers. This is a good place to purchase souvenirs. Return to your hotel in Chiang Mai where you have the rest of the day free to explore on your own. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Banthai Village or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: chiang mai free day
    Interact with elephants on a visit to the Nature ParkInteract with elephants on a visit to the Nature Park

    Today is free to do as you like. Wander the charming streets of Chiang Mai, meet locals, sample various traditional Thai dishes, or rest at your hotel. Your guide will be available if you are interested in more guided sightseeing for an additional cost. Options include:

    • Doi Inthanon - the highest mountain in Thailand. This is a great place for nature lovers and birders (best time March-May to see migrating birds). Siamese sakura flowers boom in colorful shades of pink in late January and February and the rhododendron blooms from December to February. The park contains several hiking trails, waterfalls, and a limestone cave worth exploring. From the King and Queen Twin Chedis, the views are spectacular.
    • Elephant Nature Park - a sanctuary for rescued and distressed elephants. This park does not have the elephants put on shows or allow elephant riding, but you will bathe, feed and walk them. The park's objective is to provide a safe haven for elephants to live out the remainder of their lives in peace. The sanctuary also provides a home for other rescued animals including dogs, cats, buffalo, horses, and pigs. A vegetarian buffet lunch is included. This is a join in tour.
    • Cooking Class - a lunch or dinner Thai cooking course that includes a trip to a local market to pick out the ingredients, training by a skilled Thai chef, and a chance to taste what you have created. For the lunch coarse, you'll be picked up from the hotel at 9:00 am. For the dinner coarse, the pick up time will be 4:00 pm. Class includes lunch or dinner.
    • A Taste of Chiang Mai - This tour begins at the Ping river bank and takes you through the hustle and bustle of Kaad Luang, the great market, as locals call it. Kaad Luang actually is made up of 3 different markets and has been a favorite shopping spot for locals alike since the late 1800's. During the tour you will get to know all about the history of the market and its surroundings while enjoying fresh produce and local specialties on the way. Afterwards, hop aboard a trishaw, a wonderful, relaxing way to explore Buak Hat Park and hunt out some jewelry bargains on Wua Lai Road.
    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Banthai Village or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: karen villages & the golden triangle
    Wat Rong Kung in Chiang RaiWat Rong Kung in Chiang Rai

    After breakfast, head out onto a scenic drive through the countryside to Ban Ruam Mit, a Karen minority village that live on the border between Thailand and Burma. The Karens have an extremely rich culture but have suffered persecution in neighboring Burma - but they always have a few fascinating stories to tell. You'll then travel by piroque, a long and narrow traditional boat down the Kok River to a local restaurant for lunch.

    In the afternoon head to Chiang Rai to visit Wat Rong Kung, an unconventional Buddhist/Hindu temple. Continue driving to the famous Golden Triangle, the conjunction of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. To the locals, this is known as "Sop Ruak", where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. Overnight in Chiang Sean at a lovely hotel offering spectacular views of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand borders.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    The Imperial Golden Triangle Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: cross into laos & cruise the mekong
    Take in village life on a leisurely float on the MekongTake in village life on a leisurely float on the Mekong

    Early in the morning, around 6:00 am, drive to Chiang Khong where you cross the Thai border and enter into Laos. You'll board a boat* at Houe Say and begin the slow boat ride down the Mekong River toward Luang Say Lodge in Pakbeng. Observe rural life along the Mekong River and stop at Ban Houy Phalam, a Kamu village. A buffet lunch is served on the boat. Arrive at Luang Say Lodge before sunset in time for dinner, which is served on the terrace overlooking the Mekong River. The lodge is situated above the Mekong River, lending into the natural environment through careful landscaping. The bungalows a built in traditional Laotian style with a large open air window that looks out over the river.

    *Join in boat. Ask us about a private boat. Between October & March the cruise departs every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Between April to September, the cruise departs every Monday and Friday. The cruise stops for maintenance every June.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Luang Say Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: mekong to pak ou luang prabang
    See the Buddha images at Pak Ou CavesSee the Buddha images at Pak Ou Caves

    After breakfast, continue on the river to Ban Baw village to learn about the processing of traditional rice alcohol. After lunch aboard the boat, continue on to the mouth of the Nam Ou River to Pak Ou Caves, referred to as "Tham Ting" and "Tham Phoum." Here you will see thousands of Buddha images and statues. The boat arrives in Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before sunset. Here you'll meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel, located in the heart of Luang Prabang.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    3 Nagas Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: luang prabang city tour
    Wat Sieng in Luang PrabangWat Sieng in Luang Prabang

    Today you will embark on a city tour of Luang Prabang. Visit various temples that boast unique Buddha statues and carvings including Wat Visun, Wat Sene, and Wat Xieng Thong. Wat Xieng Thong is considered one of the most important of Lao monasteries and is a symbol of religion, royalty, and art. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant, then visit the Former King's Palace (now the National Museum), built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong. It was last occupied in 1975 when the monarchy was overthrown by the communist. If you like, visit the Photisak Silvershop, and Ock Pop Top, a live weaving center. At Ock Pop, you'll Learn different styles of Lao textile-making on traditional looms. Later, climb the steps of Mount Phousi for a gorgeous sunset view of the town.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    3 Nagas Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: waterfalls and panoramic views
    The beautiful Kuang Si WaterfallThe beautiful Kuang Si Waterfall

    Today's excursion takes you out to Kuang Si Waterfalls, located about 18 miles south of Luang Prabang. The water begins in a shallow pool on a steep hillside and falls approximately 200 feet. There are areas for swimming or you can trek around the waterfall. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the falls. Before returning to your hotel in Los, end the day with a heart-stopping view at Wat Phon Pao (Peacefulness Temple), a temple that sits on a mountain overlooking the city. This temple is used as a meditation retreat and was once headed by the abbot Ajahn Saisamut, a noted Lao Buddhist teacher. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    3 Nagas Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: flight to siem reap
    Stay at the lovely Shinta Mani ResortStay at the lovely Shinta Mani Resort (Photo: )

    After breakfast, head to the airport and fly to Siem Reap. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax. Your hotel is a beautiful boutique property located in the French Quarter between the Royal Gardens and the Old Market area. The Shinta Mani provides opportunities for the poor such as healthcare and education. Their goal is to enhance the lives of the individuals in the local communities by providing them the tools to overcome the constraints of poverty.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shinta Mani Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: siem reap: angkor ruins
    See the magnificent Angkor WatSee the magnificent Angkor Wat

    In the morning, leave to discover the incredible temple of Angkor Wat, a world heritage site with soaring towers and extraordinary bas reliefs. Erected in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu, this is perhaps one of the most amazing man-made monuments in the world and was erected in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu. Enjoy a Cambodian lunch at a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, leave for the 10th century Banteay Srei. This small pink sandstone temple, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, is known as the Citadel of Women. The carvings on this temple are more detailed than any other in Angkor. On the way back to your hotel, visit the ancient 12th century Ta Prohm Monastery where immense branches have taken root in the stones – hence the nickname "Jungle Temple".

    In the evening, we recommend an Apsara Dance Show and dinner or "Phare" - known as the Cambodian Circus (not included in cost). Apsaras are beautiful, elegant female beings superb in the art of dancing and the Apsara dance show highlights Cambodia's most famous arts. The show, featuring live dancers, singers, and musicians, will take you on a journey from the Angkorian palaces to the villages of today. 

    The Phare Cambodia Circus is more than just a circus - it's a show of humor and drama that tells the story of Khmer history and folklore through music, dance, and modern circus arts. The young artist will amaze you with their energy, emotion, and talent.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Shinta Mani Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: angkor temples
    Elephant Terrace in the city of Angkor ThomElephant Terrace in the city of Angkor Thom

    After breakfast, spend time exploring Angkor Thom (the Great City) beginning with the south gate and the famous Bayon of the 12th and 13th centuries, composed of 54 gigantic towers featuring 216 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara. From here, visit the Elephant Terrace, once used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and as a base for the king’s grand audience hall. Nearby is the raised Leper King Terrace, built in the 12th century featuring many beautifully sculptured Apsaras. After a lunch break at a local restaurant, continue on to Preah Khan Temple, built by Jayavarman VII in 1191 in honor of his father. This monument was both a city and a place for Buddhism studies. Another interesting 12th century temple is Neak Pean, the only island temple of the Angkor temples known as "Entwined Nagas". The large central basin is linked with four smaller basins that represent the four great rivers flowing from the earth’s four cardinal points. One of the most interesting features of this site is the superb statute of Balaha, representing the legendary saviour of shipwrecked boats.

    Later today, we will introduce you the art of palm leaf handicraft in Smok Village. Smok is a Cambodian traditional palm leaf box, which is made by locals for many different varieties of uses such as a lunch boxes, souvenir boxes, traditional cake wrapping or a flute box and are perishable and recyclable for the good of our environment.

    If you like,  attend another show of your choice (not included in land cost.)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Shinta Mani Resort or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: lake village / flight to saigon
    Explore the floating villages by kayakExplore the floating villages by kayak

    In the morning, transfer to the floating village of Mean Chreay (8 miles from Siem Reap.) On arrival, you will be greeted by monks in their brightly colored robes for a good luck blessing before you gently kayak (or boat ride) through the village as you're welcomed by warm smiles from the humble Cambodian people who live on this fantastic lake. Continue kayaking through the village until you reach the end and stop for lunch at a floating restaurant with beautiful views. In high water season (Aug-Jan), you'll kayak through the exotic mangroves while during low water season (late Jan-July,) you will kayak along the Tonle Sap Lake and spot rare birds in a tranquil setting.

    Afterwards, return to Siem Reap Airport and board a flight to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). On arrival, you'll be met by your guide and assisted with the transfer to your hotel, one of the oldest hotels in Ho Chi Minh City. The hotel is nestled in the city's scenic riverside area, within walking distance to shops and restaurants making it the ideal location to explore.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: saigon city tour
    See the Notre Dame Cathedral in SaigonSee the Notre Dame Cathedral in Saigon

    Enjoy a half-day guided tour of Saigon's historic landmarks, including the infamous Post Office and the Notre Dame Cathedral, established by French colonists in 1863. Next, drive by the presidential palace, which used to be headquarters for the Saigon government during the American-Vietnamese War. Then, you may either visit the Historical Museum or the War Remnant Museum. The Historical Museum, built in 1929, houses a collection of artifacts illustrating the cultures of Vietnam - from the Bronze Age Dong Son (2,000 BC) to the Funan (1-6th centuries), Cham, Khmer, and Vietnamese civilizations. The museum also contains relics from Angkor Wat in Cambodia and a preserved mummy of a local woman who died in 1869. The War Remnants Museum contains exhibits relating to the Vietnam War, as well as the first Indochina War involving French colonists. Your tour ends with a visit to the 18th century Thien Hau Temple (Pagoda of the Lady Thien Hau), a Chinese style temple dedicated to Thien Hau, known as the "Lady of the Sea" or "Mazu". 

    Your afternoon will be free to explore on your own. In the evening, there are several shows worth seeing such as a private music performance at the home of a local musician, or the A O Show (not included in cost).

    • The Music show at Truc Mai House (1 hr) takes place at the home of a famous husband-wife team of musicians. The couple are international performers and have a great love for traditional, folklore Vietnamese music. Their home is a musical museum filled with their extensive collection of musical instruments, many of which they made themselves.
    • The "A O" Show (1 hour - join in) takes place at the grandeur Opera House Theater, built in 1898 by Eugene Ferret in the shape of a giant city gate. The show features the culture of the Vietnamese through acrobatics and dance using traditional props such as bamboo poles and woven baskets. The energy of the performers and stunning choreography is sure to amaze you!
    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 15: cooking class & cu chi tunnels
    If you're brave, explore underground in the Cu Chi TunnelsIf you're brave, explore underground in the Cu Chi Tunnels

    After breakfast, you'll head out of the city to a cooking center in Cu Chi (approx. 45 miles) where you'll meet your experienced chef for your very first Vietnamese cooking course. You'll be impressed by the simple home-made teaching techniques while relaxing in the lovely vegetable garden. You'll have a chance to chat with your chef over lunch and ask questions about Vietnamese cooking techniques. 

    After lunch, head straight out to the Cu Chi Tunnels, which served as an underground city for the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. They contained makeshift hospitals, weapon caches, and of course, living quarters. Approximately 10,000 people called these cramped tunnels home for many years. You will watch a short video introduction before exploring the tunnel system.  It is a haunting and eye-opening learning experience. Afterwards, return to your hotel Saigon for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Grand Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 16: flight to hanoi
    Stay at the charming La Siesta HotelStay at the charming La Siesta Hotel

    Transfer to the airport early in the morning and fly to Hanoi. Your local guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your centrally located hotel. You'll have the rest of the day free to relax or explore.

    Your warm and inviting boutique hotel is located in the Old Quarter close to Hoan Kiem Lake and restaurants.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hanoi La Siesta Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 17: hanoi city tour
    Explore the streets of HanoiExplore the streets of Hanoi

    Today you will tour Hanoi, one of Asia's most enchanting cities. Its relaxed ambience is a joy, with exploration best accomplished on foot or bicycle. The shopping is fun, and the many lakes and parks provide enjoyable escapes. Your guided tour begins at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the building that contains the preserved body of "Uncle Ho." After leaving the mausoleum, check out the One Pillar Pagoda, shaped like a lotus flower emerging from the water. Inside the pagoda is a statue of the Goddess of Mercy because some Buddhists believe that when they die she places them in the center of a lotus flower to go to the "Land of Bliss." Next, visit the Temple of Literature to learn about Hanoi culture and history and the Museum of Ethnology to learn about Vietnam's diverse culture (54 ethnic groups in all).

    After, return to your hotel for the evening. If you aren't ready for the day to end, considering attending a show, such as:

    • Traditional Vietnamese performance such as a Water Puppet Show (approx $15): During the water puppet show, you'll see traditional puppets that are controlled in a waist-deep pool, appearing as if they are moving in the water. This unique style of puppetry dates back to the 11th century when the villagers would entertain each other when the rice fields flooded. 
    • "My Village" Show (approx $60): If you missed the "À Ố", the "Mist" or "My Village" performance in Ho Chi Minh City, no worries! You can attend the "My Village" performance right here in Hanoi. This show is 60 minutes long.
    • Ionah Show (approx $40): The Ionah Show is a unique experience combining modern dance, theater, circus, music, and visual and light effects—a Vietnamese "Cirque du Soleil." The show is divided into three scenes that tell the story of a beautiful young girl whose love for Hanoi is as pure and strong as it is for her lover. But the division threatens her happiness and Ionah is tormented between good and evil through a series of supernatural characters. This show is 90 minutes long.
    • Four Palaces Performance (approx $40): The Four Palaces Performance (Tứ Phủ) is a beautiful journey into the spiritual world and was inspired by the mother goddesses in Vietnam. This unique ritual performance is made up of beautiful costumes, fantastic music, and special performances that will leave you delighted. This 45-minute show is divided into 3 parts: The Reincarnation of the 2nd Lady of Highlands, Reincarnation of the 10th Prince, and Little Princess of Highlands.
    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hanoi La Siesta Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 18: halong bay
    Explore Halong Bay and stay overnight on a boatExplore Halong Bay and stay overnight on a boat

    You can leave luggage behind at your hotel in Hanoi and pack an overnight bag for a three and a half -hour drive to the famous Halong  Bay, one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It's quite a sight to see a great number of sailing junks ("junk" is the term for an ancient Chinese water vessel) traversing the limestone island-spotted bay. Board your private junk for a four-hour cruise through Halong. Along the way, we will stop to explore limestone caves and to relax and swim. Lunch and dinner will be served during the cruise. Overnight on the boat.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Indochina Sails Junk (non-private) or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 19: return to hanoi & onward
    Float among limestone islands in beautiful  Halong BayFloat among limestone islands in beautiful Halong Bay

    For those interested in capturing the beautiful sunrise on the bay, you will need to rise early. Following breakfast, you'll explore and cruise around the bay for great photo opportunities. Sail back to the port and drive back to Hanoi. You'll stop along the way at Yen Duc Village, a typical Red River Delta village that still retains an authentic way of village life. Here, you'll have the chance to see an amazing water puppet show presented by the village artists.

    On arrival back in Hanoi, you can do some last minute exploring or shopping until it is time to transfer to the airport for your onward flight or on to your next destination. You'll have access to your hotel room until evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hanoi La Siesta Hotel Day Room or similar
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$4,700
Group size 4+: $4700 Group size 2-3 cost: $5300 Local Asia flights add $750 (estimate)
Single Supplement:
$1,500
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Duration:
19 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Best available to Superior 4-star hotels & junk boat
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Southeast Asia

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Deposit* and payment schedule: 25% of the land cost per person or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $1000 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 75 days prior to departure. Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates. All payments may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

*HOLIDAY departures may require an additional deposit. 

Additional cancellation fees
Cancellations that occur between 61-90 days prior to departure will be subject to a cancellation fee that is 50% of the land cost, and cancellations 31-60 days prior will be subject to a 75% cancellation fee. Cancellations between 0-30 days are 100% NON-REFUNDABLE. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

River Kwai & Erawan National Park

Duration: 4 days

This extension gives you a mixed variety of history and nature. You begin by exploring along the River Kwai stopping at important historical sites. You then travel to Erawan National Park, a unique and rugged landscape of high elevation plateau and s... read more

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

Vietnam: Sapa Excursion

Duration: 4 days

Extend your visit to Vietnam with this delightful visit to Sapa, for a unique cultural interaction with the local tribes.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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