Immerse yourself in the natural and cultural heritage of Indochina, from tranquil Buddhist temples to shimmering palaces, legendary jungle cities to colourful, chaotic markets. Cruise the serene waters of otherworldly Ha Long Bay and wander amid the vine-covered courtyards of Angkor. Learn the secrets of Thai cuisine with a local chef, witness a Laotian almsgiving tradition, and soak up Southeast Asia’s heady blend of old and new at every step of the journey.
Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.
Set out to explore the Thai capital. Board a traditional klong boat for a ride along the city’s winding canals, gliding past quaint temples, modern skyscrapers, and houses perched above the water. Then explore the gardens, and courtyards of the dazzling Grand Palace, once the official residence of the Thai royal family, and gaze upon the sacred statue of the Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew. Later, catch a flight to Chiang Mai.
Delve into the bustle of Chiang Mai’s morning markets with a local chef, and learn about colourful fruits and fragrant herbs as you select ingredients for a Thai cooking class. Enjoy your creation for lunch, then set out to visit a historic temple. Sit down with one of the resident monks to discuss daily life and the tenets of Buddhism. Later, clear your mind to the chanting of monks at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, one of the most spectacular gilded temples in Thailand.
Spend a full day exploring Chiang Mai’s temples and forested hills on your own, or choose between a variety of optional activities. Traverse the rural lanes of Chiang Mai in a tuk-tuk, or opt to take a cycling tour through verdant rice paddies and the elegant historic district. This evening, visit a village outside of the city for a khantok-style dinner, served on low pedestal trays, and chat with your hosts about life in rural Thailand. Later, choose to visit Chiang Mai’s vibrant night market.
Chiang Mai/Luang Prabang
Fly to Luang Prabang, a leafy Laotian city nestled at the meeting point of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers. Take an orientation walk of the beautiful, UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, strolling past traditional wooden Buddhist temples and elegant French colonial buildings.
Rise at dawn to observe the daily almsgiving ritual, when Buddhist monks walk through the streets collecting offerings of food from the local residents in exchange for blessings. Then visit the National Museum—formerly the Royal Palace—to see the golden Phra Bang Buddha statue for which the city is named; and explore the resplendent Wat Xieng Thong, one of Luang Pragang’s largest and most historic temples. Later, hop on a boat and float down the Mekong to the caves of Pak Ou, a religious site that harbours thousands of Buddha sculptures within its limestone chambers.
Spend the morning at leisure in this enchanting town. Opt to visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, which exhibits handicrafts and cultural artifacts from around the country, or enjoy a drink in one of the town’s laid-back cafés. In the afternoon, venture into the lush countryside to visit the magical Kuang Si Waterfall. Relax by the waterfall’s tiered limestone pools and take a refreshing dip in the turquoise waters. Later this evening, opt to visit Luang Prabang’s bustling night market.
Enjoy some free time in Luang Prabang before catching a late afternoon flight to Hanoi, Vietnam.
HANOI/HA LONG BAY
Begin the day with a visit to the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, one of Vietnam’s most influential political leaders. Afterward, transfer to Ha Long Bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from serene, turquoise waters. Settle into your cabin on a traditional-style wooden boat or junk, where we’ll spend the night, and embark on a cruise of Bai Tu Long Bay, a more secluded section of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Continue to glide around the bay’s stunning karst formations, and explore the fascinating Me Cung cave with our local guide.
HA LONG BAY/HANOI
Return to land and head back to Hanoi. Enjoy lunch at Hoa Sua, a non-profit training restaurant for underprivileged Hanoi youth, and meet with one of the organizers to learn about the positive impact of the project. Then set out to discover Hanoi’s lively Old Quarter on a cyclo, a three-wheel bicycle taxi, whizzing past vendors hawking all manner of trinkets and roadside chefs cooking up sizzling street eats.
Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, and absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of this bustling metropolis on a cyclo tour. Later, opt to delve into the colourful aisles of Ben Thanh Market, known for an abundance of food stalls as well as shops selling handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, and electronics; and try your hand at bargaining.
Ho Chi Minh City
Venture to the legendary Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground passageways that provided a base for Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. Visit underground hospitals and ammunition stores, and learn about the vital role that the tunnels played in the eventual victory of the North. Later, visit the War Remnants Museum, a powerful reminder of the atrocities committed during the Vietnam War. Choose to take a tour of the Reunification Palace, the site which marked the end of the war.
Ho Chi Minh City/Phnom Penh
Fly to Phnom Penh and explore the eclectic Cambodian capital on a cyclo tour. Pedal along the tree-lined riverfront past some of the city’s main sights, including the French colonial post office and the gleaming Royal Palace, where the king of Cambodia still resides. Then opt to visit the famous Foreign Correspondents' Club for sunset drinks.
Today, we spend time learning about Cambodia’s tragic 20th-century past, visiting sites that commemorate the “killing fields” of the Khmer Rouge—a brutal regime that ruled the country from 1975 to 1979. Pay your respects to victims of the Cambodian genocide at the haunting Choeung Ek Memorial; and visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high-security prison where nearly 17,000 people were tortured and incarcerated during the Khmer Rouge’s years in power.
Phnom Penh/Siem Reap
Drive to Siem Reap—the gateway to mystical Angkor. Take an orientation walk through the entertainment district and visit one of the city’s exciting night markets, an open-air maze of neon-lit stalls selling a kaleidoscopic array of products.
Spend the day exploring the ruins of Angkor, the magnificent 12th-century capital of the Khmer Empire. Wake early to watch the sunrise over the spires of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument ever built, and wander through the city’s mystical courtyards and jungle-covered temples with an expert local guide. Stop for a typical Khmer lunch at the New Hope Cambodia vocational training restaurant, a G Adventures–supported initiative that provides hospitality training to unemployed youth. This evening, we’ll enjoy a performance at a Cambodian circus, another social enterprise aimed at uplifting underprivileged young adults.
Continue to discover the archaeological wonders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor with our local guide. Opt to visit the Angkor National Museum, browsing its interactive galleries and stunning collections of relics; or choose to tour the floating villages of Tonle Sap lake, encountering lively communities complete with markets, clinics, and schools.
Depart at any time.