Keeping it simple through Asia

26 Days – Dates or Various Dates

 

from $5,780.00 per person based on solo traveller 

Trip Style: Nature, Touring, Group, Safari

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Take an unforgettable adventure through three of the most colourful yet contrasting cultures in South East Asia on an 18 day Intrepid tour. 

Starting off in Vietnam, cruise through dramatic karst scenery on a boat tour of Halong Bay, step back into the world of the country’s last emperors in Hue, soak up the old-world charm of Hoi An and be awed by the endless energy of Ho Chi Minh City. In Cambodia, discover the country’s fascinating history and culture in Phnom Penh’s heaving streets and in the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor. This is a journey that draws you away from the crowds and into heart and soul of this captivating region, and its equally enchanting people.

After your tour commences in Bangkok where you can extend for a few days, fly to Chiang Mai for a 4 night stay to see this amazing city, known for it’s rich cultural heritage.

We have included a 2 night stop in Singapore to finish off this incredible trip. Unwind from your time away and enjoy the culinary delights Singapore has to offer. 

Day 1

Flight

We love Singapore Airlines for this itinerary, taking you on a direct flight to Singapore and then a short flight to Vietnam this option also allows for a stopover on the way home.

Day 2

Hanoi, Vietnam

Xin chào! Welcome to Hanoi! Your adventure commences with a 6 pm welcome meeting at the hotel, followed by a group dinner at KOTO restaurant. This organization is dedicated to fostering the hospitality careers of disadvantaged youth.

You can choose to arrive before the official tour starts and add on an additional night in Hanoi, there’s an array of activities to explore. Consider booking the Hanoi Street Food Experience at 9 am. This experience lets you indulge in authentic Vietnamese cuisine, explore hidden alleyways and lively markets, and relish a stunning view of Hoan Kiem Lake from a secret café. Alternatively, you can take a leisurely stroll through the Old Quarter to admire the city’s French-colonial architectu

Day 3

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Embark on a journey via a private minibus to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay, a stunning expanse adorned with sandy coves, grottoes, and over 1,600 limestone islands sculpted over millennia by the forces of wind and water (approximately 4 hours). Upon arrival, board a private boat and set sail across the bay, immersing yourself in its magnificence.

During this cruise, you’ll explore the captivating Surprise Cave and, weather permitting, enjoy a swim from Ti Top Island Beach during the warmer months. Access to Surprise Cave involves staircases, and once inside, the pathways may be a bit uneven and slippery.

For accommodation, spend a night aboard the boat, providing a unique and unforgettable experience. As night falls, relish the evening beneath the starry sky, fostering connections with your fellow travellers in an old-school sleepover style.

Day 4

Hanoi (Overnight Train)

As you wake up on the serene waters of Halong Bay, take in the unforgettable scenery one last time before bidding it farewell. Before your departure, your final stop brings you to The Green Life Centre, dedicated to transforming Halong Bay’s discarded items into beautiful handicrafts. Here, meet the passionate team behind this vital cause and discover the art of repurposing waste into practical and reusable items, such as crafting your own bag.

Following your visit, return by bus to Hanoi (approximately 3.5 hours). Upon arrival late this afternoon, indulge in free time until your evening train voyage. While in town, don’t miss the chance to savour a bowl of pho, a local specialty made from broth, noodles, and meat. Consider relaxing by Hoan Kiem Lake before boarding an overnight train to Hue later tonight.

Day 5-7

Hue, Vietnam

Formerly the imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue preserves the treasures of the nation’s royal history. Take the morning to unwind or explore at your leisure. If you opt for exploration (which is quite tempting), the vibrant Dong Ba Market offers a fantastic opportunity to taste specialties that once adorned the tables of the Nguyen emperors, such as banh khoai (royal rice cake).

Experience Hue from the perspective of a local – hop on the back of a motorbike! Glide through the city with a knowledgeable guide, exploring historical and contemporary landmarks along the way. Pause at Thanh Toan to admire the 18th-century covered bridge and observe villagers bustling at their local market. Continue to the active Buddhist monastery of Thien Mu Pagoda, dating back to the 17th century, and view the car once owned by Thích Quang Duc, the monk who self-immolated in 1963 in protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime.

Day 7-9

Hoi An, Vietnam

This morning, embark on a bus journey passing through scenic coastal rice paddies and the breathtaking Hai Van Pass (approximately 3 hours). Enjoy a brief stop for photos along the way before reaching Hoi An. Recently honoured as a World Heritage site, Hoi An thrived as a significant international trading port in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Today, parts of this town remain beautifully preserved, retaining the ambiance of its historical epochs. Renowned as a shopping paradise, Hoi An is particularly famed for its abundance of tailors.

Upon arrival, your tour leader will guide you on a sightseeing stroll through the Old Town, allowing you to explore some of the city’s key attractions. Additionally, you’ll receive a sightseeing pass, granting you the opportunity to further explore selected attractions at your own pace.

Day 9-12

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Today, board a short early morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1.5 hours). Formerly recognised as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City boasts a captivating history and is considered Vietnam’s hub of commerce and culture. Upon arrival, embark on a citywide sightseeing expedition by bus. Traverse past significant landmarks including the Reunification Palace, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Opera House. Make a stop at the War Remnants Museum to delve into poignant narratives from the 20-year Vietnam/American War.

Day 10

Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City

Embark on a day trip this morning to explore the Mekong Delta. Begin by boarding a private boat destined for Ben Tre, where you’ll visit the picturesque coconut gardens and have the chance to taste tropical fruits and coconut jams at a local home. Afterward, experience a serene sampans (small rowing boats) ride amidst coconut tree-lined paths along the Mekong Delta. Enjoy a tuk-tuk tour around the villages, gaining insights into rural life and the flourishing industry centred around coconut products like brooms and coconut fibre mats.

Indulge in a delicious lunch at a restaurant nestled in the heart of the Delta, where you can savour regional specialties, including the renowned elephant ear fish. Cruise along the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier, then return by bus to Ho Chi Minh City. In the evening, you might want to venture out to savour some local delicacies as a final farewell with your fellow travellers and tour leader.

Day 11

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Today, take advantage of a free day in Ho Chi Minh City to explore the city at your leisure. Alternatively, consider immersing yourself in a comprehensive history lesson on guerrilla warfare by joining an Urban Adventures tour to the Cu Chi tunnels. These subterranean passages, nestled amidst the jungle, were a strategic stronghold used by the Viet Cong during the war. Delve into the experience by crawling into the tunnels, gaining a perspective of what life was like underground—where everyday activities such as eating, sleeping, working, cooking, and even schooling took place while conflict raged above.

Later, return to Ho Chi Minh City for a 6 pm welcome meeting for any new travellers joining the next leg of your adventure. Afterward, consider bonding with your new travel companions over an optional group dinner.

Day 12-14

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Travel from Vietnam to Cambodia, journeying by bus through scenic rural landscapes and border crossings, taking approximately 10 hours, including lunch. Arrive in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, known for its stunning French-influenced architecture.

Explore the city’s vibrant culture by visiting iconic markets like Psar Thmei (Central Market) or Psar Tuol Tom Pong (Russian Market) for local souvenirs. Alternatively, savor a refreshing mojito at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, enjoying its rooftop view.

Discover Cambodia’s poignant history with guided tours to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, commemorating victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. Optional visits include the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Wat Phnom, and the National Museum, showcasing Khmer artifacts. Consider a cyclo tour for a unique perspective on city landmarks.

Day 14-15

Battambang, Cambodia

Embark on a private minibus journey towards Battambang (approximately 6 hours), making the trip more engaging with a stop at the pottery village in Kampong Chhnang. Here, immerse yourself in the art of pottery-making at local workshops and gain insight into this traditional craft. Subsequently, continue your journey to Battambang, Cambodia’s second-largest city, characterized by its serene riverside setting, charming Khmer populace, and impeccably preserved colonial architecture.

While in Battambang, consider taking part in an optional cooking class to unravel the secrets behind preparing local delicacies like amok, Khmer curry, and fried spicy chicken.

Day 15-18

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Siem Reap is a vibrant Cambodian city known for its close proximity to the magnificent Angkor Archaeological Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site encompasses the awe-inspiring ruins of ancient Khmer temples, with Angkor Wat as its crown jewel.

Angkor Wat, a marvel of ancient architecture, is the largest religious monument in the world, showcasing stunning Khmer craftsmanship. Visitors can witness breathtaking sunrise or sunset views over its iconic towers and intricate stone carvings that depict Hindu epics.

Beyond Angkor Wat, Siem Reap offers a lively atmosphere with bustling markets, diverse culinary delights, and a rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the vibrant Pub Street, visit local markets for authentic Cambodian cuisine, or partake in activities such as visiting the Cambodian Cultural Village or taking a boat tour on Tonle Sap Lake to observe floating villages. Siem Reap effortlessly blends ancient wonders with modern charm, creating an unforgettable experience for travelers.

Day 18-19

Bangkok, Thailand

Prepare for a lengthy journey by private minibus from Siem Reap to Bangkok (approximately 10 hours, including border crossings and lunch). Upon arrival in Thailand’s vibrant capital, immerse yourself in the bustling cityscape filled with tuk-tuks, khlong boats, and a tapestry of street vendors offering tantalizing Thai cuisine. Consider venturing out to savour local specialties as a farewell gathering with your fellow travellers.

Bangkok, the bustling capital of Thailand, is a vibrant metropolis blending ancient traditions with modern allure. The city’s ornate temples, including the iconic Wat Arun and grandeur of the Grand Palace, showcase its rich cultural heritage.

Explore bustling markets like Chatuchak Weekend Market or sample delectable street food at vibrant night markets. Discover the city’s modern side with its towering skyscrapers, world-class shopping malls, and lively nightlife along Sukhumvit Road and Silom district.

Your trip comes to an end the morning of the 18th day with no further activites planned, you can head out from here or choose to immerse yourself in the city’s river life, cruising along the Chao Phraya River, or find tranquility in serene oases like Lumpini Park amidst the urban bustle. Bangkok offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and contemporary energy, making it an enchanting destination for all travelers.

Day 19-23

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Nestled in northern Thailand’s verdant hills, Chiang Mai, dubbed the “Rose of the North,” exudes cultural richness and natural allure. The ancient Old City boasts ornate temples like Wat Phra Singh and bustling markets teeming with local crafts and savoury street food.

We have you spending four nights in Chiang Mai to allow you the time needed to explore this city.

Day 23-25

Singapore

We have included a 2 night stop in Singapore to finish off this incredible trip. A dynamic city-state in Southeast Asia, harmonizes modernity and cultural diversity against a backdrop of verdant landscapes. Wander through historic Chinatown’s vibrant markets and ornate temples, or explore the multicultural districts of Little India and Kampong Glam.

Iconic landmarks like Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay dazzle with their architectural brilliance, while the famed Merlion statue symbolizes the city’s waterfront allure. Delight in a culinary journey, savoring Singapore’s renowned street food, a fusion of diverse flavors.

Find serenity amidst urban life at the UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens, a lush oasis. Witness the city’s commitment to innovation through futuristic architecture and sustainable initiatives.

Singapore’s blend of cultures, culinary delights, cutting-edge attractions, and dedication to green spaces creates an unforgettable tapestry of experiences, perfect for those seeking a modern, cosmopolitan adventure steeped in tradition and innovation.

Day 25-26

Overnight Flights home

Departing from Singapore you can enjoy a direct flight back to Australia.

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