Trips of a lifetime don’t come around often, but this 40-day tour through Southeast Asia is truly worthy of the term “epic”. This circuit takes you through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos with a diverse itinerary of bustling cities, beautiful beaches, and rural villages that most tourists have never ever heard of. With a CEO at the helm of this adventure and a crew of explorers that are just as excited to check out the sites as you are, you’ll in for an incredible ride.
G Adventures for Good: Local Khmer Meal, Siem Reap
G Adventures for Good: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An
G Adventures for Good: Mekong River Homestay, Muang Pakbèng
Big Night Out: Siem Reap
Carte Blanche: Phnom Penh
Carte Blanche: Ho Chi Minh City
Carte Blanche: Luang Prabang
Carte Blanche: Chiang Mai
Carte Blanche: Bangkok. Guided tour of Angkor Wat temple complex. Orientation walks in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, and Luang Prabang. Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch. Witness the giving of alms in Laos. Slow boat up the Mekong. Two street food crawls in different cities. Internal flight. Visit to Chiang Mai night market. Hilltribe trek. Bamboo rafting. Street food crawl. Full-day snorkelling trip (Koh Tao). All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Witness sunrise over Angkor Wat, Eat your way through Ho Chi Minh’s street food, Stay overnight in a local village, Trek through the rugged forests of Northern Thailand, Swim in Koh Pha Ngan’s idyllic lagoons
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. COMBO TRIP
Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments. Also note that in some major cities in Vietnam, many hotel rooms do not have windows.
Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.
3. TREKKING ROUTE
Please be advised that a 2-week period of traditional slash and burn farming occurs in this region between March and April (start date varies). During this time your trek may follow an alternate route to avoid uncomfortably smoky areas.
Notice For Travellers With Flights Out Of Don Mueang International Airport (DMK)
Due to roadworks causing congestion on the route from central Bangkok to Don Mueang airport, the Thai Immigration Bureau have advised travellers to allow more time than usual, around 3 hours, to reach the airport; the roadworks are estimated to last until September 2018.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Please note that while the group will be accompanied to the train station by the CEO, the final overnight train to Bangkok on the evening of Day 29 may be unaccompanied by a CEO.
Group Size Notes
Max 18, avg 12.
27 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 5 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Local bus, air-con bus, train, walking, tuk tuk, local boat, junk boat, plane.
About our Transportation
As the popularity of train travel in Thailand continues to grow domestically, some of the routes used on this tour do not have sufficient space during local public holidays, including New Year’s, Songkran, etc. During these times of the year, alternative transport may be arranged for one or more of the train journeys within Thailand on this tour.
Train travel in Vietnam is very basic and train cleanliness is often not a priority for train staff. Sleeper trains normally have 4 seats per compartment, which convert into sleeping bunks (two upper and two lower). A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although many people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. At times, passengers of different genders may be required to share a sleeper train berth and/or share a compartment with people not travelling in your group.
Simple food is available on the train but many people like to stock up on freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure. Water should also be bought before the journey.
Train journeys in Vietnam are an experience and allow you to get a real taste of Vietnam.
All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Simple hotels (twin-share) or hostels (multi-share) (32 nts), sleeper trains (7 nts), homestays (2 nts) basic hilltribe huts (2 nts, multi-share).
A variety of styles of hotels/guesthouses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations – rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.
Mekong River Homestay: Typically, the group is divided into two or more houses (depending on group size) in close proximity to each other. Sleeping arrangements are multi-share in the central living area of the homes – mattresses, blankets, pillows, and mosquito nets are provided. Bathroom facilities are shared.
Multi-share Accommodation: Multi-share same-sex accommodation is used on this tour, as such, if you are travelling with someone of a different gender you will not be in the same room. For private accommodation please see tours in our Classic Travel Style.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
When arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced ‘su wan na poom’) in Bangkok proceed to the Arrivals Hall where you can change money into Thai Baht. (You may be approached by nicely dressed, official looking touts offering an expensive limousine service to your hotel; ignore these offers.)
You have three transport options; public bus, the Airport Train & MRT or public taxi. All transportation is located on the ‘ground’ floor.
The Airport Bus operates 4 bus routes to downtown for a cost of 150 Baht for the entire route. Bus AE2 goes to Banglamphu and Bus AE4 goes to Hua Lamphong train station. Our hotels are located in both the Bang Lamphu and Hua Lamphong areas.
The airport is located 30km’s away from downtown Bangkok. Approach the taxi counters, advise them where you are going and they will write this information down for you along with the taxis registration details. Taxis should always use the meter and you are required to pay a 50 Baht airport surcharge on top of the metered fee plus any tollway fees (approx 70 Baht depending on the route taken). Total journey will cost between 350 THB – 500 THB, depending on traffic and toll fees. The expressway is substantially faster, so tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either ""kuen ton-way"" (from ‘tollway’) or ""kuen taang duan"" in Thai (but most understand Tollway/express way in English).
If you are staying at the Bangkok Centre Hotel you can take the Airport Train. Board the express airport train at a cost of 150 THB to the City Air Terminal; Makkasan. Here you will need to disembark and change to the MRT (subway) Blue line, boarding at Phetchaburi Station. From Pethaburi Station travel to the last stop, Hua Lamphong, and follow the signs at the exit for the Bangkok Centre Hotel.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you (go to entrance door 3). If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer please meet your driver near the information counter at Entrance Door number 3 of the airport, in the arrival hall. Look for a driver holding a G Adventures sign with your name
If you have still have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
If your call is specifically concerning Bangkok Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at:+66 81 847 3034 (081 847 3034 from within Thailand) or +66 86 339 5881 (086 339 5881 from within Thailand)
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 508 8630
From within Thailand: 02 508 8630
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. Be sure to check weather conditions online before you depart. We recommend you bring sun protection cream from home to ensure it meets your needs.
During the trek, you will only need to carry a daypack with your essentials. Your luggage will be stored at the hotel in Chiang Mai and your valuables in a group safety deposit box.
Your CEO will provide instructions on what you need to bring in your daypack on the trek. Usually, this includes a couple of changes of clothes, wet shoes (for river crossings), personal toiletries, flashlight/headlamp, tissues, any personal medications, and electronics you wish to bring along. A small drybag for electronics and a reusable water bottle may also be useful. During the trek, guides will have first aid kits.
Note: Please pack clothing for the season in which you will be travelling. From Nov-Feb weather can be cold, so please pack warm clothing. From May-Oct it is the wet season, so please bring waterproof clothing.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
Please note that visas for Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your Governments Foreign Ministry website or with you travel agent as rules do change.
THAILAND – Most nationalities do not need a visa for Thailand for stays of 30 days or less but if you do they are available on arrival at Bangkok Airport. Please ensure you obtain a multiple entry Visa as we do exit and re-enter Thailand on this tour.
Only 15 day tourist visas are issued when entering Thailand overland. If you are staying more than 15 days you should consider getting your visa prior to your trip.
Please note that certain nationalities (including: Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan and Ukraine) may not be able to obtain visa at a land border.
CAMBODIA – Visas can be obtained in advance from your local Embassy or on arrival in Bangkok (if your tour begins in Thailand). You will need at least one full working day to arrange this. You can also obtain your visa at the Cambodian border or Siem Reap Airport for approx. $30 USD very easily. Please have at least 2 passport photos with you as well.
*Please have extra USD on hand in case the customs officials charge more at the border crossing.
Cambodia has now also introduced an e-visa that can be applied for in advance. Please contact the Embassy for more details if you would prefer to get your visa in advance (please be sure to check that your nationality is eligible).
Please be aware that you will require two clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least six months validity.
VIETNAM – If you require a visa for Vietnam, they need to be arranged ahead of time (BEFORE your trip) as the processing time varies and they are not available upon arrival. For many nationalities, an E-visa can not be processed if entering Vietnam at a land border. As of March 2017, a select 40 nationalities are now eligible to enter Vietnam with an E-visa at a land border. Please contact your Foreign Ministry or Vietnamese consulate to see if your nationality is eligible.
Please note that while MOST countries require a Visa ahead of time for Vietnam, certain countries may be allowed entrance for 15 days with proof of exit. As of July 1st, 2015 this will include citizens of Scandinavian countries, Japan, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. However, we STRONGLY recommend checking with your Embassy on the requirements as these change often. Please contact your Foreign Ministry for up to date entry/exit requirements. Your CEO (tour leader) will provide your departure details from Vietnam to you on tour.
LAOS – Visas are issued upon arrival in Laos. You will need two passport size photographs and approx $50. Tourists are generally admitted to Laos for 15 days with a visa on arrival or for 30 days with a visa issued at a Lao embassy. Please bring lots of visa photos with you.
Poipet, Cambodia – Thailand to Cambodia
Phnom Den – Tinh Bien, Vietnam. Cambodia to Vietnam
Lac Sao. Vietnam to Laos
Chiang Khong. Laos to Thailand
Please be aware that you will require four clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least six months validity.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
During this tour the local currencies you will use are the Thai Baht, US Dollar, Cambodian Riel, Vietnamese Dong and Laos Kip. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $500 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in Thailand.
It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
Optional Activities: USD350 for optional activities not included in the trip.
Approximate costs (per person) for popular optional activities taken in free time are:
Jim Thompson’s House (Bangkok) – USD$4 ($2 child) USD2.50 plus transport USD5-10
-National Museum (Bangkok) – USD2
-Royal Barge Museum (Bangkok) USD1.5
-Grand palace (Bangkok) – USD15
Wat Po (Bangkok) – USD3
-Klong(Canal) Tour (Bangkok) – Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
-Thai massage – USD10-30 per hour
-Doi Suithep (Chiang Mai) – USD2 (plus transport)
-Bicycle tour (Chiang Mai) – USD15-30 for Half Day
-Thai Cookery Course (Chiang Mai) – USD30 for Half Day
-Kan Toke Traditional Dinner (Chiang Mai) – USD30
-Bamboo rafting (Chiang Mai) – USD15 plus transport
-Kuang Sii Waterfalls (Luang Prabang)
National Museum/Royal Palace (Luang Prabang) USD5
Royal Theatre (Luang Prabang) – USD6-15 USD2
-Cooking Class (Luang Prabang) – USD30 for Full Day
-Wat Xieng Thong (Luang Prabang) – USD2.50
-Arts and Ethnology Centre (Luang Prabang)
Wat PhuSi and other Temples (Luang Prabang) USD2.50
Half day cottage industry tour (Luang Prabang) USD5-8
Bike Rental (Vang Vieng) USD2
Kayaking Trip (Vang Vieng) USD15-20
Visit one of the many temples (Vientiane) – Most entry fees USD1 USD2
-Buddha Park (Vientiane) – USD1 plus transport
-National Cultural Museum (Vientiane)
Kayak Rental for 1 person (Halong Bay) USD10
Water Puppet Show (Hanoi) USD4-6 free (Closed Oct-Nov)
-Ho Chi Minh House on Stilts and Presidential Palace (Hanoi) USD2
-Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Hanoi)
Hoa Lao Prison aka ‘Hanoi Hilton’ (Hanoi)- USD2
Museum of Ethnology (Hanoi) USD2 plus transport
Temple of Literature (Hanoi) USD2
Fine Arts Museum (Hanoi) – USD1 USD1
-Women’s Museum (Hanoi) – USD2
-Army Museum (Hanoi)
Taxi to each museum – approx USD2 USD7
-Bicycle Hire (Hue) – USD1
-Royal Citadel (Hue)
Royal Tombs (Hue) USD5
Perfume River Boat (Hue) USD5-10
Cooking Class (Hoi An) USD25 for Half Day
My Son Cham Ruins including car transport (Hoi An) – USD25 USD12
-Tu Bon River Boat Trip (Hoi An)
Day trip to Islands (Nha Trang) USD15
Visit to Mudbaths (Nha Trang) USD15 plus transport
Water Sports: parasaling, Jet Skiing USD25-35
Cu Chi Tunnels Guided Tour (Ho Chi Minh City) USD10-20 plus transport USD5-10
Cyclo tour (Ho Chi Minh City) USD10
War Crimes museum (Ho Chi Minh City) USD1
The Reunification Palace (Ho Chi Minh City) – USD2 USD20-25
-Saigon Water Park (Ho Chi Minh City) – USD4
-Day trip to Islands – Snorkelling Boat Tour (Sihanoukville)
Day trip to Ream National Park (Sihanoukville) USD15
Tuol Sleng (S-21) Prison (Phnom Penh) $3 (plus $10-15 for guide) USD5
-Killing Fields (Phnom Penh) $3 (plus $10-15 for guide)
-Transport around town (Phnom Penh) $5-10 per half day
-National Museum (Phnom Penh)
The Silver Pagoda (Phnom Penh) USD6.25
Tonle Sap Lake Tour (Siem Reap) USD5-15
Phare – The Cambodian Circus (Siem Reap) USD18.00-45.00 USD20 per day
-Entrance to Angkor Archaeological Park (Siem Reap)
Transportation to Angkor Archaeological Park (Siem Reap) USD10-20 per day
-Lifestart Lantern Making — a G Adventures-supported project (Hoi An) – USD 15
Address: 77 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An, Vietnam
Spend an hour learning how to make your own traditional lantern and support local Vietnamese with chronic disabilities
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Be aware that petty theft can be an issue in some Vietnamese towns and cities especially late at night. A common tactic is opportunists on motorbikes that drive by and snatch bags. Please always leave valuables and passports etc in your hotel,in safety boxes if available,and only carry with you enough cash to spend for the day. Bags should always be carried over the neck and not left to sit on your shoulder.
We do not recommend passengers to jump or dive into Kuang Sii Waterfalls in Luang Prabang, this may result in injury.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
A Word of Warning
Please do not buy gems in Bangkok unless you know what you are doing. Even if genuine you should not expect to be able to sell them at home. If you fall victim to a gem scam, we are unable to assist you.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
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In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites. In Pakistan we recommend a head scarf for women while walking around.
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Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: ATIS, ID: 24998
Day 1 Bangkok
Arrive at any time.
You must arrive on tour with your Vietnamese visa. See the Visa section of the Tour Details for more information and exceptions.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Bangkok/Siem Reap (1B, 1D)
Cross from Thailand into Cambodia, the home base for exploring incredible Angkor Wat. Arrive in time for our included dinner at a Planeterra-project restaurant or with a local family in a village outside of Siem Reap.
Border Crossing (Thailand – Cambodia)
Local Khmer Meal
Private Vehicle (4.00-4.00 hours)
Private Vehicle (3.00-3.00 hours)
Day 3 Siem Reap (1B)
Guided tour of Angkor Wat temple complex. Opt to visit Tonle Sap floating village and Angkor National Museum.
Angkor Wat Guided Tour
Big Night Out
Day 4 Siem Reap/Phnom Penh (1B)
Transfer to Cambodia’s capital. Orientation walk around Phnom Penh.
Local bus (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 5 Phnom Penh (1B)
Sights you might choose to visit this afternoon include the National Museum and adjacent complex which includes the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace. To learn about Cambodia’s sombre history, visit the Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields, reminders of the genocide that took place under Pol Pot’s reign as leader of the Khmer Rouge.
Phnom Penh can be confusing and we recommend to always keep a hotel card with you when you are exploring.
Day 6 Phnom Penh/Koh Rong (1B)
Travel to Koh Rong and feast on fantastic local seafood, take a day trip to snorkel the coral reefs and explore the islands, or just sit back in a deck chair and let the warm breeze caress you as the waves splash gently at your feet. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours)
Ferry (2.00 hour(s))
Day 7 Koh Rong
Swim, relax by the beach or opt to go snorkelling, fishing, hiking or kayaking. On nights without a large moon opt to swim in a sea of blue sparkles caused by phosphorescent plankton.
Day 8 Chambok Homestay (1D)
Travel back to the mainland, then to a village homestay. Enjoy a homecooked meal with the hosts.
Ferry (2.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours, 185km)
Day 9 Chambok Homestay/Ho Chi Minh City (1B)
This evening, head to one of the rooftop bars such as the Rex Hotel, one of the classic colonial Saigon institutions, where there is often live music.
Border Crossing (Cambodia – Vietnam)
Street Food Crawl
Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City/Nha Trang (1B)
Discover the energy of Vietnam’s biggest city on a CEO-led orientation walk and continue exploring with free time. Overnight train to Nha Trang.
During January/February, Tết (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year) sees millions of Vietnamese commute to be with their families and celebrate. While this is a fascinating time to travel through Vietnam, availability of transport may mean that we will replace the overnight train with an overnight bus.
Basic overnight train (beds) (10.00-11.00 hours)
Day 11 Nha Trang
Optional activities in Nha Trang include a boat trip to nearby islands for some snorkelling or, perhaps, a fun-filled all-day beach party.
Day 12 Nha Trang/Da Nang (1B)
In the evening, take an overnight train to Da Nang, then transfer to Hoi An.
During January/February, Tết (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year) sees millions of Vietnamese commute to be with their families and celebrate. While this is a fascinating time to travel through Vietnam, availability of transport may mean that we will replace the overnight train with an overnight bus.
Basic overnight train (beds) (9.00-10.00 hours)
Day 13 Da Nang/Hoi An
From Danang, it is only a short drive to the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Once known as Faifo, it was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections.
Hoi An Orientation Walk
Street Food Crawl
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 28km)
Day 14 Hoi An (1B, 1L)
Enjoy a noodle-making demonstration and local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Oodles of Noodles Project. Later, opt to take a cooking class, cycle to the beach, visit a tailor, or explore the old town with free time.
Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch
Day 15 Hoi An/Huế (1B)
Continue the journey north to the city of Hue. Opt to visit the Royal Citadel and tombs, take a Perfume River cruise or tour the countryside by motorbike.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 137km)
Day 16 Huế/Hanoi (1B)
Free time in Hue. Overnight train to Hanoi.
Basic overnight train (beds) (14.00-15.00 hours, 673km)
Day 17 Hanoi/Ha Long (1L)
Arrive early morning to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Transfer to a private bus and head to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay.
Hạ Long Bay Junk Boat Trip
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 18 Ha Long/Hanoi (1B)
Get to know Hanoi with an orientation walk through the Old Quarter. Opt to see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Hoa Lo Prison, or shop in the Old Quarter.
Old Quarter Orientation Walk
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))
Day 19 Hanoi
Spend time exploring Hanoi.
Day 20 Hanoi/Vientiane (1B)
Explore a bit of Hanoi in the morning before an afternoon flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. There is a wealth of cultural delights to discover – on foot, by bicycle or, for the less energetic, by tuk-tuk.
Visit Laos’ most important national monument, Phat That Luang, or meander down the dusty riverside tracks to find villages full of friendly children, dogs and chickens. A visit to Vientiane’s vibrant, colourful morning market (which incidentally is open all day!) is worthwhile, to find plenty of local treasures. A great way to round off the day is to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Mekong.
Plane (1.25 hour(s))
Day 21 Vientiane/Vang Vieng (1B)
A picturesque drive north takes us to beautiful Vang Vieng. This quiet town is set along the Nam Song river amidst rice fields and limestone karsts.
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 22 Vang Vieng (1B)
Why not explore some of the caves by bicycle or take an invigorating walk. In the evening, soak in the natural beauty of Vang Vieng as the sun sets over the river.
Day 23 Vang Vieng/Luang Prabang (1B)
This morning travel from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang. Get your bearings with a CEO-led orientation walk.
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))
Day 24 Luang Prabang (1B)
Traditional Laotian culture is to give daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. On one of your mornings here, you may decide to rise with the sun, and watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos. This is simply an unforgettable Southeast Asian experience.
Day 25 Luang Prabang/Pak Beng (1B, 1D)
We board our boat for the two-day journey up the mighty Mekong River making our way to Chiang Khong.
Mekong River Slow Boat
Mekong River Homestay
Day 26 Pak Beng/Chiang Khong (1B, 1L)
This morning we re-board our boat and continue our leisurely cruise along the river before arriving at the Laos/Thai border and crossing to Chiang Khong in the late afternoon.
Mekong River Slow Boat
Border Crossing (Laos – Thailand)
Day 27 Chiang Khong/Chiang Mai
Departing Chiang Khong after breakfast, we drive to Chiang Mai where you have the afternoon free to explore this fascinating city, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lan.
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 28 Chiang Mai
Enjoy free time to explore. Opt to do a cycling tour, catch a Thai boxing match, or visit Doi Suthep temple.
Day 29 Chiang Mai/Ban Mae Jok (1B, 1L, 1D)
We might have time to visit a local market before stopping for lunch and starting our trek.
Tucked away in the hills of northern Thailand is where the most colourful and unchanged traditional communities can be found. Trek through forests and rural terrains to visit some of these diverse hilltribe villages; often, each will have their own unique language, clothing style, and belief system that differs significantly from those of neighbouring tribes. You are well looked after by your local guides, who take the responsibility of preparing all meals and carrying food supplies.
The exact itinerary of the walking on this trip may change from time to time, taking into account the weather and local conditions. Also, please note there may be times when the use of video and/or still cameras may be inappropriate — your CEO and guides will be able to advise you. Be prepared for the accommodation to be basic; remember, it’s all about an authentic and unique experience!
Hilltribe Trek Day 1
Pickup truck (1.00 hour(s))
Day 30 Ban Mae Jok/Pa Khao Lam (1B, 1L, 1D)
You will also have the chance to fish at Mae Tang River using local tools; learn how to construct a bamboo raft.
Hilltribe Trek Day 2
Day 31 Pa Khao Lam/Chiang Mai (1B, 1L)
After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft, stopping at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai for some free time to explore.
Bamboo Rafting to Lahu Village
Lahu Village Visit
Bamboo Rafting to Shan Village
Pickup truck (1.50-2.00 hours)
Day 32 Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)
Opt to go shopping, enjoy a Thai massage, or explore Chiang Mai’s many temples. Board an overnight train to Bangkok.
Due to disruptions of Thai trains in the north during the monsoon season, trips running July through October may use alternative transport.
Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00-13.00 hours)
Day 33 Bangkok
Get out and explore this fantastic city where there is endless sightseeing to be done.
As this longer tour is comprised of two shorter tours, there is the possibility that you will need to change hotels on this day. Check in with your CEO about this while on tour. The two hotels we generally use are within walking distance.
Day 34 Bangkok/Surat Thani (1B)
Get to know Thailand’s capital. Check out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, get a Thai massage, or explore the klongs on a boat tour before an overnight train. Enjoy a street food crawl with the group and CEO either today or another day on tour.
Street Food Crawl
Basic overnight train (beds) (12.00-13.00 hours)
Day 35 Surat Thani/Khao Sok (1L)
Khao Sok is a diverse area of natural beauty, a perfect place for people who want to hike and get out there in nature or those that just want to chill out in a hammock by the riverside watching monkeys take their afternoon bath.
As entry to Khao Sok NP is included for the day, you can opt for a trek in the park after checking in this afternoon. The park entrance is a short walk from the hotel, as is the main stretch of restaurants and bars in town.
Lake Cheow Lan Excursion
Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 36 Khao Sok/Koh Pha Ngan (1B)
Travel to Koh Phangan, known for its epic parties. Explore the island and its beaches by day and dive into the nightlife when the sun goes down.
Private Vehicle (2.50 hour(s))
Ferry (2.50 hour(s))
Songthaew (0.25 hour(s))
Day 37 Koh Pha Ngan
Enjoy a free day to explore the island’s waterfalls, swim in lagoons, hike, or relax on the beach.
Day 38 Koh Pha Ngan/Koh Tao
During the past 10 years, the reputation of Koh Tao’s natural beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs, has spread the world over and the number of paradise seekers and divers increased rapidly. It’s become one of the major dive sites in Thailand, attracting beginners and professionals alike. The island today, though still remaining a unique paradise, caters to all tastes and budgets.
Ferry (1.50 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s))
Day 39 Koh Tao (1B, 1L)
Enjoy an included full-day snorkelling trip.
Koh Tao Snorkelling
Day 40 Koh Tao (1B)
Depart at any time.
Want to take the hassle out of getting back to Bangkok? Book the Bangkok Express, a two-day post-tour Extra. Speak to your Global Connection Officer or travel agent to book.
Add the “Bangkok Express: Koh Tao to Bangkok” to your adventure and make your way back to bustling Bangkok with the guidance of a CEO. This nifty post-tour Extra includes a ferry to the mainland where you’ll board an overnight train to Bangkok arriving in the city early the next morning. Speak to your Global Connection Officer or travel agent to book.