Southeast Asia Experience
31 or 33 days from £1,459 (was £1,579)
- Watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat and visit the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple
- Feed and bathe Thai elephants at a sanctuary in Chiang Mai
- Camp out under the stars on a private island in Ha Long Bay
- Cruise through Cai Be floating market on the Mekong
- Go river tubing in Vang Vieng
- Watch phosphorescent plankton in the sea off Koh Rong
Spend an immersive 31 or 33 days in some of Southeast Asia’s most magical destinations. Travel through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia by boat, bus, plane and sleeper train, and get stuck into a range of different activities as you go. You’ll bathe elephants, explore historic sites, go jungle trekking, stay on a private island, swim in waterfalls, try delicious food, cruise round beautiful bays and party on paradise beaches. It’s a blockbuster backpacking adventure on a budget!
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Download more trip information and detailed itinerary
Day 1: Bangkok, Thailand. The adventure begins today in Bangkok! Meet your tour leader and the rest of your group this afternoon and then make your way to the station to catch the overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai.
Please note, as the welcome meeting is at 5pm, after which you’ll leave for Chiang Mai, you should arrive into Bangkok no later than midday on day 1. If you would like to include an extra night in Bangkok before the trip begins (as well as an extra night in Bangkok when the trip ends, please select the ‘Southeast Asia Experience- with pre/post night’ option when booking the trip.
Day 2: Elephant sanctuary & homestay. Wake up in Chiang Mai and head straight to the elephant sanctuary where you'll spend time feeding, walking with and washing the resident elephants (no riding). Afterwards, stop at a beautiful waterfall before arriving at your homestay this evening.
Days 3 - 5: Chiang Mai. Hike to a local hill tribe village before heading back to Chiang Mai where you’ll spend 3 days. You’ve lots of optional activities to choose from while you’re here, including a cooking class, zip-lining, white-water rafting, trekking, temple visits, a bike tour and the famous night-market.
Day 6-8: Luang Prabang, Laos. Take the flight to Luang Prabang. While you’re here you’ll visit the Kuang Si Waterfalls, and Hmong Night Market, as well as having the option to teach local kids English, visit ethnic villages, explore stunning caves and learn how local rice wine and whiskey are made.
Days 9 - 10: Vang Vieng. Journey to picturesque Vang Vieng, with a stop en route at the Blue Lagoon to cool off. Spend the next couple of days enjoying the town and its lush surrounding area. Go tubing, hiking or cycling or just chill out at one of the many riverside bars.
Day 11 - 12: Hanoi, Vietnam. Fly to the Vietnamese capital and kick off with an optional bar crawl. On day 12 opt to visit the Hoa Lo prison, to learn about the history of communism in Vietnam. Spend the rest of your time exploring the narrow alleyways of the Old Quarter, wandering round Hoan Kiem Lake and sipping Vietnamese coffee.
Day 13 - 14: Ha Long Bay. Embark on an incredible 2-day cruise. Stop at a floating village, have lunch on deck and jump into the sparkling water. Spend the night on a private island, with barbecue and beach party! Kayak round the bay the next morning before travelling back to Hanoi and then Phong Nha on the overnight bus.
Day 15 - 16: Phong Nha. Spend the next 2 days in beautiful Phong Nha, exploring the vast caves of the National Park, taking a bike tour to local villages and chilling by the pool of a local hostel.
Day 17 - 18: Hoi An. Hoi An is an atmospheric place with lovely yellow buildings that are lit up by colourful Chinese lanterns at night. Explore the ancient town, get a suit made by a tailor, visit the local beach, fish for crabs on a traditional basket boat or discover the Vietnamese ‘Disneyland’.
Day 19 - 21: Ho Chi Minh City. Fly from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh. Spend the next few days getting to know this dynamic city, with walking and waterbus tours and visits to Ben Thanh Market, the Cu Chi Tunnels and the War Remnants Museum. Don’t miss out on the nightlife!
Day 22: Mekong Delta. Cruise along the Mekong to Cai Be. See floating markets, a craft village and peaceful mangrove forests. Arrive into Ha Tien in the evening for some rest and relaxation before the next stage of your adventure.
Day 23-25: Koh Rong, Cambodia. Cross the border into Cambodia today and take a ferry to Koh Rong. Spend the next few days enjoying the dazzling beaches and crystal clear water, as well as optional beach parties and scuba-diving. On day 25, go on an adventure boat trip, staying the night in hammocks on a deserted beach!
Day 26-27: Phnom Penh. Cambodia’s capital is a thriving city with lots to see and do. We’ll visit the S21 Prison for a history lesson you’re unlikely to forget. You can also opt to visit the Killing Fields and the Grand Palace.
Day 28 - 30: Siem Reap & Angkor Wat. What a way to round off the trip – with Cambodia’s hippest city and the incomparable Ankor Wat! Visit a local floating village, go on a ‘boozy bike tour’, sample local delicacies at a Cambodian ‘bug market’ or watch the famous Cambodian Circus. On day 30, tick off a real bucket-list item with sunrise over Angkor Wat and a visit to the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple.
Day 31: Bangkok and trip end. On the final day, we’ll head back to Bangkok by bus. We’ll drop you in the Khao San Road area, where you’ll bid farewell to the group before heading home or travelling on through Asia!
If you chose a start date before 9h February 2020 you will follow a slightly amended itinerary. Please download the trip details for more information.
- 30 or 32 nights’ accommodation (if you select the pre/post night option when booking)
- 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners
- Transport between included destinations (includes 3 domestic flights)
- Elephant sanctuary visit
- Chiang Mai homestay experience
- Jungle trek to hill tribe village
- Kuang-Si Waterfalls visit
- Blue Lagoon 2 visit
- Ha Long Bay 2-day experience
- Ha long Bay private island stay
- Ha Long Bay kayaking
- Phong Nha karaoke
- Hoi An guided tour
- Ho Chi Minh City guided tour
- Mekong River cruise & Tra Su Forest tour
- Mekong craft village
- Koh Rong adventure boat cruise
- Koh Rong beach hammock stay
- S21 prison visit
- Siem Reap walking tour
- Sunrise at Angkor Wat
- Guided tour of Bayon and Ta Prohm Temples
- Tour guide
- 24-hour emergency support
- Airport transfers
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Some meals and drinks
- Optional activities and excursions
- Pre and post night accommodation- unless booking the 'pre and post night' option
30 or 32 nights’ accommodation are included (depending on whether you select the ‘Southeast Asia Experience with pre/post nights’ option when booking). You’ll stay in a variety of simple accommodation throughout your trip. The majority of places you stay at will be based on shared dorm-style mixed-sex accommodation with between 6 and 12 people per room. Some nights will be spent on sleeper trains and night buses. You’ll also get to spend the night in a hammock under the stars on a deserted beach in Cambodia (weather dependent).
12 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners are included. You’ll need to buy the rest of your meals yourself. It’s a great opportunity for you to try a range of different food in each country, and there will be lots of places and types of food to choose from. You can always ask your tour guide for recommendations.
Your tour begins on day 1 in Bangkok. The nearest airport is Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK). You’ll need to arrive by midday in order to make the welcome meeting at 5pm and catch the sleeper train, so please ensure you book your flights accordingly. On arrival you’ll need to make your own way to the starting accommodation. Please ask a Travel Advisor for more information about transfer options available.
The trip ends in Bangkok as well at around 4pm.We recommend you spend the night in Bangkok and fly out the following day. If you do choose to depart Bangkok on your start date please ensure you flight departs after 10pm.
Pre and Post Night Option
If you’d like to arrive into Bangkok a day early and also have an extra night of accommodation at the end of the trip, please select the ‘Southeast Asia Experience with pre/post nights’ option when booking.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years.
It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary visas for your time away. Travellers of all nationalities must carry a passport valid for the duration of the trip, and at least six months beyond the intended departure date, some countries require longer. We have outlined some basic information below to help you, however it your responsibility to check the latest information and requirements for your nationality with the nearest Embassy or High Commission of the countries that you will be visiting.
Thailand: Citizens of the UK will automatically receive a 30 day tourist visa when entering Thailand.
Laos: You will need a tourist visa to enter Laos, which can be purchased on arrival for approximately 35USD – please bring a passport photo with you for this.
Vietnam: British nationals will need to apply for a visa before travelling to Vietnam. You can apply for a eVisa, which will allow for 30 days in Vietnam, through the offical Vietnamese government website.
Cambodia: You will need a visa to enter Cambodia. Due to the border crossing used on this trip, e-visas for Cambodia are not an option for this trip. British passport holders are able to purchase a visa at the border at a cost of approximately US$35, payable in cash.
What's The Average Age Range Of People On This Trip?
This trip welcomes travellers of all ages, so it's difficult to put an average age to a group. You might have a mix of people your own age or some much older or younger than you.
Do I Need To Bring A Mosquito Net?
You can do if you like as nets won’t be provided at most places we stay in. Although if you keep windows and doors closed in your room you shouldn’t be bothered by mosquitoes. An insect repellent with a high DEET percentage will be just as effective as a mosquito net, especially when you’re out and about.
What Should I Pack?
Besides your usual travel checklist of things like passport, spending money, and camera, we recommend you bring sunglasses, sunhat and sun cream (high factor), small torch, water bottle for daily use, hiking boots or sturdy trainers, sensible loose fitting outdoor clothing (with full length arm and leg cover for cooler mornings and evenings), casual clothes and flip flops for weekends, swimwear and beach towel, bath towel, waterproof jacket. A full list of suggested items will be sent to you once you have booked on this trip.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what inoculations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different regions. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
Southeast Asia is relatively low-cost as far as food and drink is concerned, so a rough budget of around £150-£200 per week should be plenty to keep you fed and watered, but you’ll more than likely want to try out a few optional activities and have some extra cash for souvenirs, so make sure you budget for this.