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Itinerary & Activities

Itinerary Map
(click for larger version)
Itinerary map of 27 Day Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam

DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Thailand

Depart for Thailand

DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrive in Bangkok

Arrive in exotic Bangkok, Thailand's capital city; transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to rest, relax and acclimate to the new time zone
Overnight: Bangkok

DAY 3, Wednesday - Bangkok City Tour

This morning enjoy a city and temple tour of Bangkok, a fascinating mix of ancient and modern. Begin the tour at Chinatown and then on to the colorful Indian Market. Visit serene Wat Po, the oldest and largest temple in the city, with the astonishing giant Reclining Buddha, over 150 feet long and almost 40 feet high. Drive to Royal Avenue where most of the Government offices are located and the King's Palace. Later in the afternoon, a Welcome Drink and briefing by your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that lies ahead, followed by a Welcome Dinner with your fellow travelers
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4, Thursday - Full Day in Bangkok

Full day at leisure to explore Bangkok on your own. Or, don't miss the optional morning tour of Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and the elaborate 18th century Grand Palace, symbol and ceremonial heart of the kingdom - together they form the most impressive sights in Bangkok. Despite the proximity of the two, there's a distinct contrast in style between the Thai-inspired Wat Phra Kaew and the European design of the Grand Palace. In the evening, attend the optional buffet dinner and stunning performance of the "Journey to the Enchanted Kingdom of Siam". Boasting over 150 performers, this lavish production delves into Siam's history and culture
Optional: Half Day Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha (AM)
Optional: Siam Niramit Show & Dinner (PM)
Overnight: Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Friday - Travel to Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya City Tour

Depart Bangkok to Ayutthaya, the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai for over 400 years, once glorified as one of the largest cities in Southeast Asia. Ayutthaya Historical Park, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies in the center of the city. Here, you can see the ruins of the former capital and its remaining palaces, monasteries and towers - one can envision the grandeur and splendor that was once the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. Visit Bang Pa-In Palace, a collection of beautiful buildings in various architectural styles, surrounded by a lake. Originally built by King Prasat Tong in 1632, Bang Pa-In served as the Royal Summer Palace for the Thai Kings. Continue to the Chai Wattanaram Temple, built by King Prasat Tong to honor his mother, conceived as a replica of the Angkor Temple - this is a serene place where one can reflect and enjoy the tranquility. Rest of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Ayutthaya
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday - Travel to Sukhothai, Sukhothai Historical Park

Start your morning with visit to a local school. Continue to Sukhothai, birthplace of the Thai nation, founded in the 13th century by King Ramkhamhaeng. The country's first capital was established here in 1238 and lasted over two centuries. Sukhothai is world-famous its over 100 historical sites and treasures, including some of the most beautiful Thai art and architecture in the country, created during the city's "golden era", between the 13th and 14th centuries. Visit the Old Town of Sukhothai with its impressive Historical Park, immaculately restored and set among leafy hills and peaceful lotus ponds, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At this astonishing site, most of the remains of the original city can be seen. Marvel at the ancient Buddha figures, palaces, temples and historical monuments and feel yourself drift back in time to a bygone era
Overnight: Sukhothai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Sunday - Travel to Chiang Rai

This morning, depart Sukhothai and drive to scenic Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand for overnight
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Monday - Mae Sai Border Town & Golden Triangle

Explore this city that remained completely isolated from the world until the 1920s. Travel to the border town of Mae Sai, at the tip of Thailand. At this border crossing, arrangements may be made to enter Myanmar*. Ascend to the hilltop viewpoint to see the famous "Golden Triangle" of Southeast Asia - meeting point of the borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. The locals call it "Sop Ruak", as this is also where the Mekong meets the Ruak River. Savor a locally prepared lunch in a nearby farming village. Later, a short cruise then takes you along the banks of the Mekong to the small island of Don Sao in Laos; leisure time at the lively markets before returning to Thailand. Continue to the dramatic House of Opium at Golden Triangle Park, offering an informative exhibition on the history of opium which dates back almost 5000 years before returning to Chiang Rai for overnight
* Entering Myanmar (Burma) requires a border crossing fee of approx US$40, payable locally. The opportunity to cross the border will depend on local conditions and cannot be guaranteed. If the border crossing is not possible, alternate arrangements will be made
Overnight: Chiang Rai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Tuesday - Travel to Chiang Mai

Morning at leisure when you have an opportunity to join the optional excursion to Mae Salong, still inhabited by hill people, namely the Akha, Long Neck and Salong tribes. Visit one of the tribes to see their unique way of life and learn more about their culture before driving to Chiang Mai, ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom. En route, stop at a local gem gallery before arriving in Chiang Mai, cultural heart of Northern Thailand, located in the rolling foothills of the Himalayas. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure
Optional: Half Day Mae Salong Hill Tribe (AM)
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Wednesday - Full Day in Chiang Mai

Morning at leisure to explore Chiang Mai independently. Or, join the optional Elephant Kingdom Tour, where you'll see elephants bathing in the running streams, attend a lecture on the Thai Elephant and learn how the mahout train and care for these majestic animals. In the afternoon, visit Sankampang Street, center of handicrafts, for on-site demonstrations on how the silk, lacquer, silver, wood and bronze wares are made. At the end of the day, pamper yourself with an optional Thai massage
Optional: Half Day Elephant Kingdom Tour with lunch (AM)
Optional: Traditional Thai Massage (PM)
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11, Thursday - Chiang Mai City & Temples Tour, Dinner at Private Home

Morning tour of the most interesting temples in Chiang Mai. Begin at Wat Suan Dok, where the remains of the Chiang Mai Royal family are enshrined. Continue to Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, Northern Thailand's most sacred temple, containing a holy relic of Lord Buddha. Equally impressive is the mythological Naga (dragon-headed serpent) staircase, with 290 steps leading up to the temple grounds. Visit to a local jade factory, followed by an afternoon at leisure to wander independently in Chiang Mai. Tonight, a unique experience. Join a local Chiang Mai family at an authentic Thai Dinner in their home. Enjoy a tour of the home, conversation about life in Chiang Mai and savor the great flavors of home-cooked food
Overnight: Chiang Mai
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Friday - Flight to Luang Prabang & Baci Ceremony

Spend the morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for the flight to Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of the mountainous region of northern Laos. According to legend, Buddha smiled when he rested here during his travels and prophesized that it would one day be the site of a rich and powerful capital city. Upon arrival, participate in a special Baci Cermony, practiced for hundreds of years, with prayers to bestow good fortunes upon you! Enjoy the beautiful sights in this city - an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the Europeans. After dinner, spend time independently
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13, Saturday - Alms Giving Ceremony, Boat Trip to the Pak Ou Caves

Luang Prabang seems totally untouched by the modern world. In the morning, take part in one of the most sacred ancient Lao traditions of an Alms Giving Ceremony to orange-robed monks. This daily ceremony is both peaceful and spiritual and gives you a wonderful opportunity to experience an ancient Lao tradition. Then, embark on a lovely boat trip to the Pak Ou Caves, unveiling hundreds of Buddha sculptures that have spanned many centuries. Continue to a local village that makes its own rice wine before lunch at a local restaurant. Continue your discovery of this city on the revered hillside of Phou Si where Buddhist shrines on wooden slopes command your attention, along with sweeping views of the Mekong River. Later, visit the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the monarchy that once ruled the country, and Wat Xieng Tong, the former royal temple
Overnight: Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 14, Sunday - Flight to Siem Reap, Cambodian Dinner & Apsara Show

Morning at leisure in Luang Prabang for last-minute sightseeing or shopping. Then, transfer to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap which may connect through Bangkok. Arrive in Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor temples and transfer to your hotel. Later, walk through the city's center with its variety of shops, cafes, restaurants and local merchants offering handmade silk goods and the famous Cambodian puppets. This evening, enjoy a typical Cambodian dinner and a traditional Apsara show
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 15, Monday - Siem Reap

Today, you'll understand why the architectural masterpieces of Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, are designated as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World". This sprawling city, built by Khmer Kings was once home to more than one million people at the height of the empire. On the visit to the fortified city of Angkor Thom visit the Elephants Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, all adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. Continue to the mysterious Bayon Temple, highlight of Angkor Thom, replete with beautifully preserved bas-reliefs and more than 172 giant smiling stone faces. On to the monuments of Ta Keo, Prasat Kravan and Srah Srang before arriving at Ta Prohm, where the jungle was left untouched, as it appeared to European explorers. The highpoint of the day is the visit to stunning Angkor Wat, a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. World-famous for its beauty and splendor, Angkor Wat has the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the entire outer gallery walls, narrating stories from Hindu mythology. Stay to experience the unforgettable sunset - a view that cannot be compared to anything you have ever seen!
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 16, Tuesday - Siem Reap, Tonle Sap Lake Boat Excursion

Morning drive along the rolling verdant hills of the farm lands, stopping for a ride on an ox-cart, the vehicle still being used today by local farmers. Arrive at Tonle Sap Lake in the heart of Cambodia, with its rich and diverse ecosystem. Embark on a serene boat excursion – observe the local life unfolding and the floating fishing villages that dot the shoreline. Later, visit to the National Museum with its multi-media exhibits depicting the Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom. Return to Siem Reap for overnight
Overnight: Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 17, Wednesday - Flight to Ho Chi Minh

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the largest city in Vietnam and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 18, Thursday - Ho Chi Minh City Tour

Spend the morning at leisure or, join the optional half day tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. They were part of an underground tunnel network built by the Viet Cong to control a large rural area near Saigon. The Cu Chi network includes 125 miles of tunnels with many branches connecting to underground hideouts, weapon factories, hospitals, shelters and other tunnels. In the afternoon, participate in a guided tour in Ho Chi Minh City, which includes the neo-Romanesque Notre Dame Cathedral, the Central Post Office with its French style architecture, City Hall, and the magnificent Saigon Opera House. From here, visit lively Ben Thanh Market - where an unbelievable assortment of wares and crafts are sold under one roof. Continue to Dong Khoi Street, a major shopping thoroughfare in the center of the city. Early in the evening, enjoy a Welcome Drink and briefing by your Tour Manager on the exciting journey that lies ahead. Remainder of the evening is at leisure. Be sure to check out the diversified dining scene in this culinary rich city
Optional: Half Day Cu Chi Tunnels (AM)
Overnight: Ho Chi Minh
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 19, Friday - Flight to Da Nang, Hoi An Walking Tour

Depart Ho Chi Minh on your flight to Da Nang, one of Vietnam's major ports, situated on the coast of the South China Sea. Travel south to the picturesque ancient town of Hoi An, where people still wear the "ao dais", Vietnam’s traditional dress. The ancient town of Hoi An, a World Heritage Site, was the most important trading port in Southeast Asia in the 15th century. Its ancient past is superbly preserved in an enchanting collection of temples, pagodas, shop houses and magnificent private homes in the town's Old Quarter. Walking tour of this artistic jewel, with its century's old architecture includes the gorgeous Phuoc Kien Pagoda, the 400 year old bright-red Japanese Covered Bridge and the Ancient House. Afterwards, continue to dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight: Hoi An
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 20, Saturday - Full Day in Hoi An

Spend a full day at leisure discovering all of the delights of Hoi An independently. Walk through the Old City, stopping at one of the city's many museums, or see artisans using age-old techniques to fashion a variety of crafts. Of special interest are the colorful and elaborate paper lanterns created by lantern artisans for which Hoi An is well known. Or, join the optional boat trip on the Thu Bon River visiting the Organic Village, including lunch. The boat trip begins at a local pier in the Old Town. You'll cruise down streams and past many fishing areas before arriving in Kim Bong village, home of traditional woodworking and boat building. Return to the mainland and drive to the Traque Organic Village for lunch. Here, you’ll learn about the many vegetables and herbs organically grown to support the people of Hoi An. After a Vietnamese culinary lesson and tasting, return to Hoi An
Optional: Boat Trip on the Thu Bon River & Organic Village with Lunch
Overnight: Hoi An
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 21, Sunday - Travel to Hue, Hue Imperial City Tour

This morning, travel to Da Nang, with stunning views of bowl-shaped Da Nang Bay. Drive by Marble Mountain, a village well-known for its sophisticated handmade marble products. Journey over the towering mountains to Hue, home to a wealth of palaces, temples, libraries and museums. Afternoon tour of this former Imperial capital, modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing. Enter the Ngo Mon Gate, principal entrance to the Imperial Enclosure and the central passageway reserved for use by the Emperor. Continue to the Thai Hoa Palace with its spacious hallways and ornamental roof, the Halls of the Mandarins, the Nine Dynastic Urns, and the ruins of the Forbidden Purple City, once home to the royal family. Tonight, spend time at leisure to explore on your own or join the optional Cyclo Ride with Dinner at the Citadel. Enjoy a panoramic view of both the daily life and the architecture of Hue with a Trishaw (Cyclo) Tour. Later arrive at a family run restaurant within the Citadel and savor a multi-course dinner replica of the Royal Feast
Optional: Cyclo Ride with Dinner at the Citadel
Overnight: Hue
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 22, Monday - Full Day in Hue

Today is at leisure to explore Hue independently. Or, participate in the not-to-be-missed optional boat excursion on the gentle Perfume River, which explores the life along the banks of the ancient royal capital city. The river, with its shimmering blue color is dotted with a poetic landscape of boats, gardens, pagodas, towers and temples. The tour continues to the legendary Thien Mu Pagoda, on the north bank of the Perfume River, built in seven successive tiers. Then, a drive to the Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, final resting place of Vietnam's longest reigning emperor and to Khai Dinh, the last monument of the Nguyen dynasty. Here, a vegetarian lunch will be prepared by Buddhist nuns of the Dong Thien Pagoda. Return to Hue
Optional: Perfume River Boat Trip and Lunch at Dong Thien Pagoda
Overnight: Hue
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 23, Tuesday - Flight to Hanoi, Sightseeing en route to Halong Bay

Depart Hue on the flight* to sparkling Hanoi, cultural center of the country. Upon arrival, travel overland and through the lush Vietnamese countryside to picturesque Halong Bay, considered one of Vietnam's most celebrated attractions. As you approach, you’ll see thousands of limestone islands rising out of the sea creating a truly magical scene. Arrive at your hotel in Halong Bay for overnight
*On some departures, the flight Hue-Hanoi may be changed to depart from Danang-Hanoi. Details will be provided locally by your Tour Manager
Overnight: Halong Bay
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 24, Wednesday - Cruise Halong Bay, Travel to Hanoi

Incredible views await you today! Halong Bay is considered one of the most breathtaking places on the planet, added to the list of UNESCO Heritage sites and declared recently as one of the "New Seven Natural Wonders of the World". There are over 3000 islands in the emerald waters and over 1000 have their own names. Numbers of caves and grottos of all sizes and shapes are filled with small waterfalls, stalactites and stalagmites. Sail on a traditional wooden boat on the tranquil bay with lunch served on board. Visit to one of the caves. Afterwards, drive to Hanoi, Vietnam's vibrant capital and check into your hotel. This city's history is tied to French colonialism - its architecture, cuisine and local culture still bear evidence of the French influence
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 25, Thursday - Hanoi City Tour & Evening Water Puppet Show

Today, visit the Museum of Ethnology, center for the preservation and exhibition of cultural heritage for over 50 ethnic groups in Vietnam. In the evening, attend a performance of the world-famous Water Puppet Show, accompanied by a traditional Vietnamese orchestra and Cheo (a form of opera). The show depicts a series of ancient Vietnamese folktales, acted out by puppets over a pool of water
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 26, Friday - Full Day in Hanoi

Spend a full day at leisure discovering Hanoi on your own, or, take the optional tour to the stunning Thay Pagoda and So Village, including lunch, also known as the "Pagoda of the Master". Nestled against the hillside in Sai Go Village, it shares its compound with the smaller Ca pagoda. Here, you'll also see Thuy Dinh Stage, a water palace on Long Tri Pond, where the ancient form of water puppetry is performed. Continue to So Village, a well-preserved ancient village. Walking tour around the village with its traditional layout and small alleyways in-between the houses. Stop at one of the communal houses to meet villagers who earn their living from making noodles. Tonight, your journey to Vietnam ends with many lasting memories. Farewell dinner with your fellow travelers and Tour Manager
Optional: Thay Pagoda & So Village with lunch (AM)
Overnight: Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Things to Know

Preparing For Your Trip
  • Make Sure to Bring All of Your Important Documents: Passport, Foreign visa (if applicable), Itinerary, Trip confirmation, Airline ticket, Drivers license, Credit cards, Travel documents.

  • Vaccinations Are Required for Entry to Some Countries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) can provide you their recommendations for vaccinations and other travel health precautions for your trip abroad.

  • Are You Taking Any Prescriptions or Other Medications? Pack enough to last your entire trip, including some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.

  • Insurance: Purchase travel insurance to cover yourself against unexpected situations. You never know when something might happen, so always be prepared.
While Traveling
  • Keep an eye on your belongings. Do not leave your belongings unattended in public spaces

  • Always have local cash. Not every place takes credit cards.
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