"Thank you for organising our holiday (to China).

We had a great time.

All of the guides were on time, very well informed and easy people to be with.

We have seen so many things and eaten in local places where we would never have gone by ourselves.

We wouldn't hesitate to recommend you and if you would like more details of our adventures or a statement of recommendation let us know."

Nicola, Michael and Family


"Arrived home safe and well and had a wonderful holiday in Nepal and Bhutan"

Michael and Eileen


"Just wanted to thank you for booking our holiday to Koh Lanta.

Everything was perfect and I can thoroughly recommend the Layana Resort and the island of Koh Lanta to any one who wants a laid back, peaceful, non commercialised holiday."

Jane and Andy


"I just wanted to let you know what a great time I had in the Philippines and Borneo.

Everything went without a problem. Great time, great pics, etc.

Thanks for all of your help with this trip"

Peter


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Hoi An, Vietnam
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Southeast Asia Discovery - 18 Days


With our Southeast Asia Discovery Tour, you will uncover the wonders of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia and learn about these fascinating countries with a memorable and enlightening journey. Marvel at the varied landscape and significant historical sites unique to each country while also participating in their cultural traditions before heading home with a wealth of knowledge and unforgettable memories of the region.


Day 1 - Bangkok - Arrival


Arrive in Bangkok and transfer to hotel. Then free at leisure.

Overnight in Bangkok.

Distance and journey time:

Bangkok Airport - Bangkok Hotel (28.4 km): 30 min


Day 2 - Bangkok - Sightseeing (B)


After breakfast at the hotel, The Royal Grand Palace is the nation’s landmark and the most revered royal monument. You will see palaces that were used for different occasions - the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House, and the mysterious Emerald Buddha which is most revered Buddha image in Thailand. Appropriate dress is required (or can be rented on site). Continue your visit to Wat Po, the home of Thai massage and the Reclining Buddha.

This afternoon stroll through Chinatown where you visit interesting shops, tea shop, markets and temples to get a first-hand feel for old Bangkok. Continue to The Bangkok Folk Museum**, a seventy-year-old Thai house converted into a small but fascinating museum. Then hop on a long tail boat for a ride along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet klongs (canals) of Thonburi where you see how Thai people have lived next to the water for centuries. Last stop is the magnificent Wat Arun or Temple of Dawn.

** The Bangkok Folk Museum is closed on Mondays & Tuesdays.

Overnight in Bangkok

Distance and journey time:

Bangkok Hotel - Grand Palace (11.7 km): 27 min

Grand Palace - Chinatown (4.9 km): 23 min


Thailand - Sukhothai statue and columns

Day 3 - Bangkok to Sukhothai (B)


After breakfast, transfer to airport for your flight to Sukhothai. Upon arrival, your guide will meet you at the airport and take you to Sukhothai Historical Park which was once a walled city surrounded by a moat. Lunch possible in supplement if morning arrival. Sukhothai, a name meaning dawn of happiness, was founded in the 13th century and became the kingdom's first capital, overseeing a period known as the golden age of Thai history. The park contains almost 200 ruined chedis in remarkable condition. See the main sites of Wat Mahathat, Wat Si Chum, Wat Sri Sawai and War Sra Sri and Wat Trapang Ngoen and Ramkamhaeng Museum before checking into your hotel. Bike ride is possible in supplement in the historical park. A nice and easy way to stroll around the ruins!

Overnight in Sukhothai.

Distance and journey time:

Bangkok Hotel - Bangkok Airport (28.4 km): 30 min

Sukhothai Airport - Sukhothai Historical Park (42.7 km): 46 min


Day 4 - Sukhothai to Lampang to Chiang Mai (B)


After breakfast, drive north to Si Satchanalai Historical Park on the bank of the Yom River north of Sukhothai. The ancient town, formerly called ''Muang Chaliang,'' was named ''Si Satchanalai'' during the reign of Phra Ruang and 134 ruined monuments have been discovered within the park. Vist the main sites of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Wat Khao Suwan Khiri, Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo, Wat Suan Kaeo Utthayan Yai, Wat Nang Phaya, Wat Suan Kaeo Utthayan Noi and Celadon Kiln Site Study and Conservation Center at Ban Ko Noi, some 4 kilometres to the north of Si Satchanalai.

Drive to Chiang Mai via Lampang, with a stop to visit Phra That Lampang Luang, and arrive in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.

Distance and journey time:

Sukhothai - Si Satchanalai Historical Park (90.1 km): 1.33 hr

Si Satchanalai Historical Park - Wat Phra That Lampang Luang (165 km): 2.32 hr

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang - Chiang Mai (94.8 km): 1.24 hr


Chiang Mai, Thailand

Day 5 - Chiang Mai - Sightseeing (B)


Travel thirty minutes by vehicle north of Chiangmai city to a long-tail dock, where you will take a leisurely stroll around the grounds with herbal garden. Then board a long-tail boat and enjoy a 30-minute cruise along the rural Mae Ping River. Along the river banks, you will see traditional wooden houses and modern residences. Arrive at a boat landing and walk for about 10 minutes from the landing to Waroros fresh food market for a visit, experiencing the Northern Thai way of life. From the market you take a trishaw ride along Tapae Road past City Walls and along Ratchadamnoen Road to Wat Phra Singh.

In the afternoon, explore ancient Chiang Mai, including its old city walls, gates, moat and markets. After visiting Wat Suan Dok, where the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family are interred, you continue to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the temple on the mountain, and the most sacred in Northern Thailand. Your experienced guide will explain the story of the temple, the white elephant and lead you around its impressive chedi and show its beautiful murals. In the late afternoon, the tourist masses have already left the temple grounds and dusk will give a very special atmosphere. After your private blessing ceremony, witness the magical evening chanting of the monks. End with the spectacularly romantic evening view over Chiang Mai with its millions of glittering lights.

Overnight in Chiang Mai.


Luang Prabang, Laos

Day 6 - Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang (B)


After breakfast, free at leisure until transfer to Chiang Mai airport for your flight to Luang Prabang.

On arrival in Luang Prabang transfer to hotel.

Free time this afternoon at your leisure.

Overnight in Luang Prabang

Distance and journey time:

Chiang Mai Hotel - Chiang Mai Airport (4.7 km): 11 min


Luang Prabang temple, Laos

Day 7 - Luang Prabang (B,D)


After your breakfast, your guide will pick you up at your hotel.

Your city tour begins with a visit to the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum, where you will explore the history of Laos. Continue on foot to Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief, and Wat Sensoukarahm, which features a beautiful dazzling golden façade. Finish this morning with a visit to the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong, one of the most important temples in Laos.

Then transfer back to your hotel/restaurant (lunch at your convenience).

Your guide will pick you up at 1400 from your hotel in Luang Prabang for a short transfer by tuk tuk to our electric powered bike station.

After a short briefing to explain you the use of your new vehicle, it will be time to start your discovery of our “responsible Luang Prabang”… in a quiet way! These electric bikes are an emissions-free mode of transportation and allow the user to either pedal the bike by their own power or to coast along using the bike’s battery-powered, rechargeable motor.

Begin with a short ride to the Traditional Art & Ethnology Center, your first stop of the day. The Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre is dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of Laos’ ethnic minorities. Traditional costumes, tools, and artifacts are on display alongside in-depth descriptions and written histories. It is a great opportunity to gain insight in to the Lao people (note: closed on Monday).

Continue to the Phousi Market where you can join the locals and support vendors by buying fresh products or fruit. Your guide will be here to encourage you to taste some of the exotic flavors of the local fruits, helping to identify new items not found in your grocery store back home!

Then, it will be time to return the bike to the station and transfer to a stunning country side location for your evening cooking course.

Lao cuisine relies heavily on the freshest produce and incorporates a range of intriguing flavors, many unfamiliar to the western palate. A cooking class at ‘Tamarind’ restaurant starts with an introduction to these main ingredients and how they are used in Lao cuisine. Then you will start preparing and cooking an assortment of dishes under supervision- a cheerful chef who will teach you the traditional techniques as well as information about Lao culture. A cooking class is an ideal way to experience a culture from inside as Lao people take pride in sharing their love for their cuisine with some introduction to distinctive Lao dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.

Recipes are provided for you to take back home.

Overnight in Luang Prabang


Laos waterfalls

Day 8 - Luang Prabang to Pak Ou Caves to Luang Prabang (B,L,D)


For early risers, there is a very special dawn visit to watch the monks collecting the alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange-robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spiritualism of the Laos people. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

You will then board a traditional wooden boat, Nava Mekong, for a relaxing cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Enjoy stunning mountain scenery and witness the simple rural lifestyles which rely on the river as you make your way upstream for 1.5 - 2 hours. You will reach Pak Ou caves at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers. In these 2 caves are displayed hundreds of sacred centuries-old Buddha images which are the object of pilgrimages during the Lao New Year festivities around mid April. The boat then keeps cruising in the vicinity of the caves and will moor during lunch time at the foot of beautiful limestone cliffs. A selection of typical Lao dishes will be served onboard. Cruise back to Luang Prabang and return in the early afternoon.

This afternoon you will have a chance to participate in a unique, traditional Lao ceremony. The Baci is performed in celebration of an important event such as weddings, births, or for welcoming guests and is a means of expressing good will and good luck to others. During the Baci, special flower trays and food treats are prepared which are then touch by the participants while a Buddhist mantra is chanted. After the chanting is completed, cotton threads are tied around the participants’ wrist whilst they receive an individual blessing.

Continue to climb the 328 steps to the top of Mount Phousi to enjoy a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. Stop at the evening hill tribe market.

Enjoy a delicious Lao set menu at the 3 Nagas Hotel.

Overnight in Luang Prabang.


Day 9 - Luang Prabang to Hanoi (B)


After breakfast, free time at leisure before transferring to the airport.

Arrive in Hanoi where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Overnight in Hanoi.

Distance an d journey time:

Hanoi Noi Bai Airport to your chosen hotel in Hanoi (32 km): 50min


Halong Bay Vietnam

Day 10 - Hanoi to Halong Bay. Halong Bay Cruise (B,L,D)


Following breakfast leave Hanoi for a 3hr 30mins drive to Halong Bay including a 20-minutes stop on the way. Arrive at your jetty in Halong City towards noon and proceed with check-in formalities. After your welcome onboard, a lunch will be served while cruising towards the bay itself. In the afternoon, enjoy some visits and/or activities (depending on each boat’s itinerary) or just spend some time relaxing on board. Towards the end of the day the boat sets anchor for the night among the karst formations. Dinner is served on board.

Overnight on Halong Bay.

Distance an d journey time:

Hanoi to Haloing Bay (180 km): 3.30 hr


Day 11 - Halong Bay Cruise. Halong Bay to Hanoi (B)


Enjoy your fresh morning in the middle of the bay, the sun rises on Halong in the morning and breakfast is served (brunch on some boats) while the vessels cruises slowly through the magnificent rock formations and back towards port. Disembark and transfer back to Hanoi.

Arrive in Hanoi late in the afternoon, join a half-day city tour to discover charming and historic capital city of Vietnam. Hanoi is a unique city with more than 1000-year of rich culture and fascinating history. The tree-lined boulevards, French colonial architecture, peaceful lakes and oriental temples. The city tour includes a visit to the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake and a walking tour of the Old Quarter. Finish the day with a Water Puppet show. This is a uniquely northern Vietnamese art form depicting scenes from rural life and episodes of national history.

Distance and journey time:

Halong Bay to Hanoi (180 km): 3.30 hr


Hue Vietnam

Day 12 - Hanoi to Hue (B)


This morning after breakfast, depart from your hotel to Noi Bai Airport for your Hue bound flight. Upon arrival in Hue, you will be welcomed by your guide and vehicle to start your Hue discovery tour at the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. The ancient citadel reflects the pomp and ceremony of the dynastic rulers as well as the scars of many years of turmoil, both ancient and modern (the Royal Citadel was badly damaged in the latter stages of the war) but retains a sense of grace and majesty even today.

From here take a cyclo through dai noi ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax; full of lotus flowers in summer there are many local style coffee shops around the lake where university students come to study.

Continue to visit Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. Constructed in 1601, the 21-meter tall tower is the centerpiece of the pagoda and represents seven reincarnations of Buddha. In the grounds of the pagoda is the Austin car made famous in 1963, when a resident monk drove the vehicle to what was then Saigon to protest against the southern regime, the photo of his self immortalization was captured and is one of the most well known images of the war.

In the afternoon see the tomb of the former emperor Minh Mang located in a tranquil setting of gardens and ponds.

Journey on to Khai Dinh’s Tomb which is traditional Vietnamese in design with a European touch making it unique from the other tombs in Hue.

End the day with a visit to the city’s vibrant Dong Ba Market to see the abundance of fresh produce.

For something different, (and an optional tour at extra cost), discover the garden houses of Hue.

The former feudal capital of Hue is known for its ancient citadel and extravagant tombs, and for its cultural houses with their beautiful gardens known locally as ‘nha vuon’. These houses are traditional, privately owned, and set in large and attractive formal gardens. Some have connections with the old Royal Imperial Court and the house’s traditional architecture has long been associated with the natural environment and the ancient belief of ‘feng-shui’.

Overnight in Hue.


Day 13 - Hue to Danang to Hoi An (B)


Leave Hue for Hoi An, a major Asian trading port in the 17th and 18th centuries whose architecture and relaxed lifestyle has changed little over the years. The scenic route passes through the wonderfully photogenic fishing village of Lang Co before climbing over the Pass of Ocean Clouds. Drive through Danang and visit the Cham Museum, which contains the finest collection of Cham sculptures in the world. In the afternoon take a walking tour of the ancient town centre to visit the former merchants’ homes, the 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colourful market.

Overnight in Danang or Hoi An depending on your chosen hotel.

Distance an d journey time:

Hue to Hoi An (150 km): 3hr


Day 14 - Hoi An or Danang (B)


Free at leisure. As a suggestion head down to Hoi An’s Cua Dai Beach with its stunning stretch of long white sands, crystal clear waters and island views.

Or, take an excursion to Tra Que Organic Herb Village (extra cost your own account):

Pick up from hotel in Danang or Hoi An (depending on which hotel you stay) and transfer to the starting point of the bicycle ride. From here ride a bicycle to a local farm in Tra Que Village (depending on the location of your hotel you may be able to cycle directly). Take a trip around the vegetable garden and join the farmers in preparing the land and fertilising it with seaweed. Continue gardening activities such as raking, sowing, watering greens, picking greens etc. After farming activities you will be shown how to prepare tam huu, a local delicacy before sitting down for a home cooked meal including banh xeo a speciality savoury pancake wrapped in rice paper before transferring by vehicle back to your hotel.

Overnight in Danang or Hoi An depending on your chosen hotel.

Distances and journey time:

Routes can change subject to client’s interest.


Day 15 - Hoi An to Danang to Ho Chi Minh City (B)


Transfer to Danang Airport after breakfast for the short flight to dynamic Ho Chi Minh City, still called Saigon by the locals.

On arrival take a tour of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City. Your program includes the Reunification Hall, formerly known as the Presidential Palace it was towards this modern building that North Vietnamese tanks seized on the morning of April 30 1975, as Saigon fell. This fascinating building is filled with history still fresh in the minds of many.

From there stroll (your vehicle will be available at all times) to the major sights of colonial Ho Chi Minh City: the Old Saigon Post Office, Dong Khoi Street (formerly Rue Catinat), Continental Hotel, Opera House and City Hall.

After this historical visit continue to the War Remnants Museum where exhibition halls display imagery of both the French and ‘American’ wars.

Continue to the Jade Emperor Pagoda located on the fringes of district 1. Dating from 1909 and built by Cantonese Buddhists this quiet oasis was designed using feng shui principals showcasing ornate statues and effigies. Following your tour head back to your hotel.

OPTION ((extra cost your own account): Late in the afternoon travel to visit Truc Mai House - a family of local artists and to hear a musical performance. Learn about traditional Vietnamese instruments through conversations with the artists and hear performances from each family member. Guests then have a memorable experience learning how to play the instruments themselves.

Overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.

Distance and journey time:

Routes can change subject to client’s interest.


Day 16 - Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap (B)


This morning is free at leisure for last minute shopping or sightseeing before transferring to the airport for the flight to Siem Reap.

Arrive in Siem Reap and transfer to hotel. Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire.

This afternoon, visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This is the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII and the city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces.

From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Distance and journey time:

Your chosen hotel in HCMC to Tan Son Nhat Airport to (8 km): 25min

Siem Reap Airport - Siem Reap (8 km): 15 min

Siem Reap - Temples (06 km): 10 min


Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 17 - Siem Reap (B,L)


Embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it is swelling to about four times it size during the wet season. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water.

Take a break by disembarking for a tasty picnic packed lunch served in a floating house and enjoy the views as the local community goes about its daily life (Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead).

Return to Siem Reap for some time at leisure during the hottest time of the day.

Later today, hop on a local ‘remok’ (similar to the Thai ‘tuk tuk’) that will take you to a special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. You will be there during sunset time, when Angkor Wat is less visited and the Apsaras will shine in the most beautiful light.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Distances and journey time:

Siem Reap - Tonle Sap (20 km): 30 min

Siem Reap - Temples (06 km): 10 min


Day 18 - Departure (B)


Today, explore the temples of the Small Circuit. The most illustrious of these is Ta Prohm, built in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Your visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Srah Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”.

Enjoy some time at leisure until it is time for your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Distances and journey time:

Siem Reap - Temples (06 km): 10 min

Siem Reap - Siem Reap Airport (8 km): 15 min


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Sukhothai statue