East Meets West
3 months from £4,149
- Tour the gorgeous beaches and party isles of Thailand, and encounter mighty elephants
- Travel from Beijing to Shanghai and see some of the China’s most iconic sights
- Head Down Under and explore the North and South Islands of New Zealand with a flexible travel pass
- Spend a week exploring the USA's awesome east coast, from Los Angeles to San Francisco via the Grand Canyon, Vegas, and Yosemite National Park
- Discover the incredible landscapes of Peru on a 2-week tour, and trek the legendary Inca Trail
- Swap out and add any of our other trips to your itinerary to make it completely unique to you!
Go on a round the world trip that spans the opposite ends of the earth and discover the best of Asia, Australasia, North America, and South America. Travelling through five beautiful countries, you'll visit some of the world's most incredible locations, from stunning tropical beaches to famous city centres, and everything else in-between. Begin your travels with an idyllic tropical island escape in Thailand where you'll discover a beachy paradise of incredible white-sand shorelines as you hop from one island to the next. Fly over to China for an unforgettable trip through the Middle Kingdom, and enjoy a flexible adventure in beautiful New Zealand. Then hop from east to west, and make your way over to the USA for an excellent week-long tour of the glitzy, glamorous west coast, before heading south for an epic adventure through Peru.
Want to find out more?
Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
Our East Meets West round the world package is a combined trip made up of five different Real Gap Experience trips (all detailed below). All of our Round the World Travel packages can be altered to suit you, so if you want to swap out one of the trips for another, or shake up the order in which you travel to each country, you can! Just speak to one of our travel advisors to find out more about your options.
Thailand Island Hopping (15 days)
Day 1: Arrival
Welcome to Thailand! You’ll be met at Bangkok Airport by our friendly team, who will take you to your accommodation in the famous Khao San Road area. Settled in, explore your surroundings, then meet your tour guide and the rest of the group later at a welcome meeting before heading out to party the night away in some of Bangkok's coolest bars.
Day 2: Bangkok
Today's your chance to see some of Bangkok's highlights by canal, including some important and stunning ancient temples. We’ll visit Wat Arun and then spend time at Wat Pho – home of the famous golden reclining Buddha. Later on, we’ll take a tour of the majestic Grand Palace and the beautiful grounds that surround it.
Day 3: Travel to Kanchanaburi
Today we’ll be swapping the busy streets of Bangkok for the sweeping countryside of Kanchanaburi. It’s only a few hours’ ride west, but the two areas couldn’t be more different. You’ll have the opportunity to explore or take it easy this afternoon with some free time. Freshen up before heading out this evening to sample some of the delicious local food.
Day 4: Elephant Project
After breakfast, we’ll make our way to an incredible elephant project set within Kanchanaburi’s beautiful countryside. We’ll learn about the project’s work to promote elephant welfare and have the opportunity to help make up the elephant’s food and after lunch walk with them to the local river for a unique bathing experience.
Day 5: Erawan National Park
Head into the surrounding countryside for an adventure today! We’ll make our way into Erawan National Park and make a beeline for the region’s most famous landmark, Erawan Falls. Hike the park’s trails or hang out by the water. Later on, we’ll head back into the centre of Kanchanaburi where you’ll have some free time before another night out with the rest of the group.
Day 6: Head South
Today we’ll spend a good amount of time relaxing before returning to Bangkok later in the day to grab a bite to eat before catching the overnight bus to Koh Tao. You’ll wake up tomorrow in a whole new world!
Day 7-9: Koh Tao
You'll have the next couple of days to yourself and, if it’s beaches you’re after, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy sunset drinks on the beach, go and explore the rocky caves by kayak, and hike through the forest terrain. On day 8 we’ll head up to the island’s best viewpoint for some seriously gorgeous views, and on day 9 we’ll take a boat trip to find some of the island’s best snorkelling spots.
Day 10: Farewell to 10 day trip
Today marks the last day of the trip, so once you’ve checked out of the guesthouse, you’ll need to make your own way back to the mainland. A return transfer isn’t included, but your tour guide will be more than happy to help you arrange transport.
Day 10-12: 15 day trip continues to Koh Pha Ngan
From Koh Tao, we’ll hop on a boat to Thailand’s party isle – Koh Pha Ngan. Spend your days here lapping up the sunshine and enjoying beach life. Come nightfall, it’s party time, so slap on some day-glo body paint and party the night away with thousands of others at Haad Rin at a Full Moon Party or on the beach in the Ban Tai area for a Half Moon or Black Moon Party.
Day 13: Koh Samui
Today we’ll be boarding the boat to Koh Samui – a serene and tranquil setting even the most hungover travellers will appreciate! Chill on Ban Rak Beach or make your way to Hin Lad Waterfall, go on a local temple tour, or spend your day hopping between Chaweng, Chongmoen and Crystal Beach.
Day 14: Ang Thong National Marine Park
We’ll make our way over to the stunning Ang Thong Marine Park today to sail between some of the 42 beautiful little islets that make up the tropical archipelago. You’ll get to admire your gorgeous surroundings by boat and jump in the crystalline waters for a swim and snorkelling session. Later on, we’ll head back to Koh Samui for an epic night out at the island’s famous Ark Bar.
Day 15: Farewell
It’s very likely you won’t want to leave, but today we have to part company as this fantastic tour comes to an end. Make your way back to Bangkok from Koh Samui, a return transfer isn’t included, but your guide will be able to help you arrange transport.
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
THAILAND TO CHINA
Fly from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) to Beijing International Airport (PEK) to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.
Beijing to Shanghai Highlights (11 days)
Day 1: Welcome to China!
Arrive into Beijing at any time and make yourself comfortable in your accommodation.
Day 2: Hike the Great Wall
Hike along a remote section of the Great Wall and make camp on the wall itself.
(Please note; the weather is too cold to camp outside between September and the end of April. If you have booked to travel over these dates, you will stay in a guest house near the wall instead of camping. Don’t worry; we’ll still make sure you get to see the sun set and rise over the wall)
Day 3: Sunrise over the Great Wall
Rise early for spectacular sunrise views of the Great Wall. Free afternoon in Beijing.
Day 4: Explore Beijing
Opt to walk through Tiananmen Square, visit the sprawling Forbidden City, or visit Jingshan Park!
Day 5: Hangzhou
Opt to visit the Temple of Heaven. Board a night train to Hangzhou.
Day 6: Transfer to Hangzhou
Check out the Misty forests of Hangzhou and enjoy a bike ride around the tranquil village.
Day 7: Transfer to Shanghai
Opt to hike to Jiuyao Mountain and then board the train to Shanghai.
Days 8-10: Explore Shanghai
You’ll have a few free days in Shanghai, and there’s plenty to do! Opt to visit ZhuJiaJiao Water town, find a karaoke hotspot or head to the busiest shopping street in the world: Nanjing Road.
Day 11: Departure
Head to the airport and fly to New Zealand!
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
CHINA TO NEW ZEALAND
Fly from Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) to Auckland Airport (AKL) to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.
New Zealand Travel Pass (min 30 days, max 12 months)
Valid for twelve months, you can use this amazing New Zealand Travel Pass to travel the length and breadth of both the North Island and South Island in New Zealand, hopping off along the route for as long or as little as you like. There are plenty of added activities included in your pass to make the most of your travel experience, but the rest, from food to accommodation, length of stay and optional activities, is up to you – it's a great way to travel the country and allows you to create your own perfect travel itinerary.
The route takes in all the biggest and best highlights of New Zealand, as well as a few off the beaten track treasures. The route, which can be completed in a minimum time of 30 days, runs as follows:
Auckland – Paihia – Cape Reinga – Auckland – Hahei (2 night minimum stay) – Rotorua (2 night minimum stay) – Lake Aniwhenua – Whakahoro (via Taupo) (2 night minimum stay) – Raetihi – Wellington – Marahau/Abel Tasman NP (2 night minimum stay) – Franz Josef (2 night minimum stay) – Wanaka – Queenstown (2 night minimum stay) – Gunn’s Camp – Invercargill/Stewart Island – Queenstown – Mt Cook – Rangitata (via Tekapo) – Christchurch – Kaikoura – Wellington – Auckland
Please note that we will book the pass as open dated, so you can decide the date that you want to start the pass- please contact us for more details
NEW ZEALAND TO USA
Fly from Auckland Airport (AKL) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
USA Western Wonder (7 days)
As this trip starts very early on day 1, you will need to arrange accommodation for the night before the tour starts. Please contact us for further details as we can arrange this for you.
Day 1: Hollywood to Arizona
Visit the Walk of Fame before heading out on a road trip across the California desert
Day 2: The Grand Canyon
Enjoying the ride to the Grand Canyon via Kaibab National Forest.
Days 3-4: What Happens in Vegas…
Head down Route 66 to Vegas and cruise the Strip in a super stretch limo!
Day 5: Yosemite National Park
Head to Yosemite National Park today and relax at camp this evening.
Day 6: Action and adventure in Yosemite
Hike the trails or go mountain biking through the national park.
Day 7: San Francisco
Arrive in San Fran and walk across the famous Golden Gate Bridge.
USA TO PERU
Fly from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Jorge Chávez International Airport (LIM) to arrive in time for the first day of your itinerary.
Best of Peru (14 days)
Day 1: Lima
Arrive at any time and make your way to your starting hotel, where you’ll meet your fellow travellers.
Day 2: Lima to Nazca
Head south to Nazca, home of the mysterious Nazca lines.
Day 3: Nazca to Arequipa
Free time in Nazca today. Participate in an ancient ‘Pachamanca’ ceremony of wrapping delicacies in banana leaves and slow cooking them, before boarding an overnight bus to Arequipa.
Day 4: Arequipa
Free time to make the most of amazing Arequipa!
Day 5: Arequipa to Chivay
Travel to Chivay and enjoy an exhilarating tour of the Colca Canyon.
Day 6: Chivay to Cusco
Stop off at some local villages and meet the locals. Return to Arequipa and catch the overnight bus to Cusco.
Day 7: Discover Cusco
Cusco is a city set amidst the Andes, and it features some truly awe-inspiring scenery! Enjoy a free day to explore.
Day 8: Cusco to Ccaccaccollo
Visit the Ccaccaccollo community. Stay with a local Quechua family and help to prepare a traditional meal.
Day 9: Ccaccaccollo to Ollantaytambo
Travel to Ollantaytambo and prepare for your epic Machu Picchu hike* tomorrow.
Day 10-13: Ollantaytambo to Wayllabamba Camp
Hike to the incredible Machu Picchu ruins for a guided tour.
Day 14: Departure
Your fantastic East to West adventure has come to an end today in Cusco. Head to the airport and fly home.
Inca Trail Permits: Please note that the number of Inca Trail Permits is limited and sell out many months in advance, in the event that Inca Trail Permits are not available on your chosen departure date you will be offered an alternative route.
Please note all itineraries and activities are subject to change.
Thailand Island Hopping - 15 days
- Airport transfer on arrival from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi
- 14 nights' accommodation
- Transport to each destination on the itinerary
- An experienced tour guide
- Long tail river boat tour of Bangkok
- Elephant project experience
- Erawan Falls excursion
- Full day excursion to Ang Thong Marine Park
- Sunset drinks on the beach on Koh Tao
- Full day island boat trip excursion including snorkelling in Koh Ngan Yuan
Beijing to Shanghai Highlights – 11 days
- 10 nights’ accommodation
- Hike and camp at un-restored section of the Great Wall
- Sunrise on the Great Wall
- Mandarin lesson
- Experienced tour leaders throughout
- Transport between included destinations
New Zealand Travel Pass – minimum 28 days
- Modern bus with guide/driver
- 12-month flexible hop-on-hop-off bus pass
- On-board Wi-fi
- Accommodation reservations
- Bay of Islands visit
- Parry Kauri Forest visit
- Hot Water Beach relaxation
- Dune surfing
- Visit to Hahei
- Bridal Veil Falls walk
- Huka Falls trip
- Tongariro National Park excursion
- Country farm experience
- Abel Tasman National Park visit
- Punakaiki pancake rocks
- Franz Josef Glacier stop
- Viewing gantry walk in Fiordland
USA Western Wonder - 7 days
- Services of a driver/tour leader
- Private minibus transportation with free Wifi
- Accommodation, 2 hotel nights and 4 camp nights on a shared basis
- Camping fees and equipment (except sleeping bag)
- Entrance to National Parks visited
- Las Vegas cruise in super stretched limo
- Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
- Experience the Grand Canyon at sunset or sunrise
- Take a dip in the Colorado River
- See Route 66
- Yosemite’s Peaks and Valleys and Giant Sequoia trees
Best of Peru - 14 days
- Transfers between destinations
- Transfers between activities included in the itinerary
- 9 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
- Nazca Pachamanca ceremony
- Overnight Colca Canyon trip
- Authentic home stay
- Women’s Weaving Project visit
- Trek to Machu Picchu with the services of local guide, cook and porters
- Guided tour of Machu Picchu
- 24/7 emergency support
- Travel insurance
- Meals, drinks and snacks (unless otherwise stated)
- Local transport
- Optional activities/excursions
Thailand Island Hopping
You'll stay in a variety of different types of accommodation in Thailand, the majority of which will be based on two to four people in the group (of the same sex) sharing a room. All the accommodation is air-conditioned and has western-style bathroom facilities.
Most meals aren't included on this leg of the trip, but you'll find a large selection of restaurants and bars offering a wide range of delicious Thai food during your stay.
Beijing to Shanghai Highlights
10 nights of accommodation are included. One night will be spent camping on the Great Wall of China. One night will be spent on an overnight train, where you will have a fully flat bed. Every other night on your trip will be spent in shared hostel dorms that sleep 4-12 people.
Food is not included on the trip, but our guide will always offer to take you to a local restaurant where they can arrange a great discount for you.
New Zealand Travel Pass
Accommodation and meals aren’t included on this tour, but your guide can recommend and reserve accommodation for you at each destination.
USA Western Wonder
You’ll spend four nights camping and two nights in hotels on a single sex shared accommodation basis.
During the trip, each group member will be required to contribute 10USD per day to a food kitty, which will be used to cover the cost of meals. When you are not camping, meals will not be included so you’ll be able to head out and try some local delicacies!
Best of Peru
Multi-share accommodation is included in the price of this trip. You’ll have 7 nights in simple hotels on a shared room basis, 2 nights on an overnight bus, 1 night at a home stay and 3 nights of camping.
9 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners are included. You will need to purchase the rest of your meals yourself.
This Round the World route will take you to Bangkok – Beijing//Shanghai – Auckland - Los Angeles//San Francisco – Lima//Cusco. Flights are not included as part of this trip, but we have a brilliant flights team on hand, dedicated to getting you the best deal of the day.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years. Please bear in mind that the legal drinking age in the US is 21, so if you are younger than 21 at the time of travel, you will not be allowed entry into bars, casinos, or clubs.
British passport holders arriving by air can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa.
For visits up to 30 days, citizens of the EU, USA, Australia, and New Zealand must obtain a tourist visa (type L) for China before travelling. Visas can be obtained from your local Chinese embassy and must be used within three months of issue. Please ensure you have a full passport that is valid for six months beyond your intended length of stay.
British passport holders can currently enter New Zealand, staying as a visitor for up to six months. If you plan to take paid work during your time in New Zealand, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.
Visitors who are transitting through or entering New Zealand as tourists will need to hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) before travelling to New Zealand. Tourists will also need to pay an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) alongside the ETA. People entering New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa do not require an ETA.
British Nationals visiting the USA will be able to travel (for tourism purposes) under the US Visa Waiver Programme for up to 90 days. If you intend to stay for longer than this, plan to work, have ever been arrested or hold any criminal convictions, you will need to apply for a visa. American immigration procedures can be a little confusing, so for full and further details please either call us, or contact the US Embassy.
British nationals can visit Peru for up to 183 days as a tourist without having to obtain a visa.
Can I Opt For My Own Room?
On some of the tours on this RTW itinerary you'll be able to book a non-sharing room, although this will incur an additional cost. If you would like to book your own room, please contact us for further details.
Can I Travel Solo?
Absolutely! You won’t have to pay a supplement if you’re travelling solo, and there’s no need to worry as most of our travellers travel solo so you’ll be in great company! Our trips are social and you’re bound to meet loads of interesting people, so lots of travellers opt to participate alone. Similarly, you can participate in this trip with a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend.
Can I Go Anywhere Else?
Of course! This trip is fully customisable, meaning you can add in any of our other awesome trips around the world to build your own bespoke itinerary. Contact a travel advisor today to start building your dream RTW trip.