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Epic Indochina: River Cruises & Karst Mountains

bangkok & surrounds Tours Epic Indochina: River Cruises & Karst Mountains

Epic Indochina: River Cruises & Karst Mountains

Share stories over drinks among Siem Reap's market stalls, learn the fine art of noodle-making in Hoi An, and catch the day's last rays among the brilliantly blue waves of Ko Pha-Ngan. This 41-day adventure is plenty of time to sync your pulse with this part of Southeast Asia — and it's sure to leave you coming back for more.    

  • Style: Guided Small Group Adventure Tour
  • Duration: 40 days/39 nights
  • Starts in: Bangkok
Guide Price £1996
per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
Highlights:
  • Witness sunrise over Angkor Wat
  • Eat your way through the street food of three different cities
  • Trek through the rugged forests of northern Thailand
  • Swim in Ko Pha-Ngan's idyllic lagoons
  • Explore the magnificent caves of Phong Nha
Itinerary:

 Day 1 Bangkok      
Arrive at any time and welcome to Thailand's bustling capital - Bangkok!      

Day 2 Bangkok to Siem Reap    
Cross the border from Thailand into Cambodia, your home base for exploring Siem Reap and the incredible Angkor Wat. Taste all manners of salty, sweet, spicy, and sour with a delicious Khmer meal at a restaurant kickstarted by our non-profit partner, Planeterra, or with a local family. Opt to check out Phare Circus, a uniquely Cambodian experience.      

Day 3 Siem Reap
Watch the sun rise over the majestic and mystifying ruins of Angkor Wat before spending the rest of the day discovering this ancient city your way. Opt to end your day with a Sunset Quad Bike ride through the outskirts of Siem Reap. Later, head to the infamous Pub Street, where the party goes round the clock. Grab a bite to eat (deep-fried tarantula, anyone?) and let the beats move you through market stalls and bars as you wait for tomorrow’s sunrise.      

Day 4 Siem Reap to Phnom Penh    
Travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s busy capital nestled along the mighty Mekong River. Get your bearings on an orientation walk and spend the rest of the evening at leisure.    

Day 5 Phnom Penh      
Spend the day diving deep into Phnom Penh's culture and history. Opt to reflect on one of Cambodia’s darkest periods with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields. Or venture to the Silver Pagoda or Royal Palace for a more peaceful experience. Later, discover the foodie side of this city on a street food crawl.  

Day 6 Phnom Penh to Koh Rong      
Ride in style to Sihanoukville and board a boat to your own private beach on Koh Rong island. Take the afternoon to taste local seafood, snorkel the coral reefs, or sit back and relax with a drink before hitting the warm waves.  

Day 7 Koh Rong    
Enjoy your last full day on this pristine island. Do anything you might have missed the day before, like snorkelling, fishing, hiking, or kayaking. Wait 'til after sunset to swim in a sea of blue sparkles caused by phosphorescent plankton.      

Day 8 Chambok Homestay      
Head back to the mainland and journey to Chambok Village where you’ll spend the night and get to know the local people over a delicious Cambodian home cooked meal. Immerse yourself in the community and wander around this remote region.    

Day 9 Chambok Homestay to Ho Chi Minh City    
Cross another border into Vietnam, stopping in the famed Ho Chi Minh City where you'll spend the night at a popular backpackers’ hostel. Take this chance to visit the Ben Thanh Market for souvenirs and handicrafts before taking in the buzzing nightlife. Choose to venture to one of the many rooftop bars for a panoramic view and live music.    

Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang      
Feel the pulse of Vietnam’s biggest city on a guided orientation walk, with free time after to double back to your favourite spots. Shop 'til your heart's content, immerse yourself in local culture, or just wander the streets to take in the city's unique vibe. Tonight, catch up on sleep on an overnight train to Nha Trang.  

Day 11 Nha Trang
Welcome to the eastern sea. Take this morning to explore local shops and markets, rejuvenate in a therapeutic mud bath, relax on the beach, or visit nearby historical sites before an evening street food crawl.      

Day 12 Nha Trang to Da Nang    
There’s more free time to explore Nha Trang today, so soak it all in. Then, hop on an overnight train to continue to Hoi An, stopping first in Da Nang for a short transfer.

Day 13 Da Nang to Hoi An  
First go on an orientation walk of the city before spending free time in the afternoon. Dig even deeper and choose between a cooking class, cycling to the beach, visiting a tailor, or exploring old town. Tonight's the night for your big night out, grab a drink on our tab and reminisce about your favourite adventures so far.    

Day 14 Hoi An
Noodles might be fun to eat, but they’re even more fun to make. Find out how during a visit to G Adventures-supported Oodles of Noodles. The rest of the day is yours, so see what you can discover. Choose to visit the ancient ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or cruise down the Thu Bon River.  

Day 15 Hoi An to Huế    
Head north to the Imperial City of Huế. There’s lots to do here, with options to visit the indestructible Royal Citadel and tombs, cruise along Perfume River, or jump on a motorbike and ride around like the local people.    

Day 16 Huế to Phong Nha    
Your second day in Huế comes with more free time to enjoy the city. In the afternoon, travel through Vietnam's stunning countryside to the green rocky mountains of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park.

Day 17 Phong Nha to Hanoi    
Today, opt to head underground to explore the awe-inspiring caves of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, where the oldest karst mountains and longest cave in Asia are found. Then it’s an overnight train to Hanoi.      

Day 19 Ha Long Bay to Hanoi  
Feel like you've gone back in time with an orientation walk through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Then stop for a drink at Bia Hoi Corner, a spot that serves bia hoi, a local beer made of rice and wheat - and costs a mere $0.25USD per glass!  

Day 20 Hanoi to Vientiane
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 people, 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.    

Day 21 Vientiane to Vang Vieng      
Find a bit of peace partway through your trip with a visit north to Vang Vieng, a small town nestled among striking limestone karsts and the Song River. Take a guided hike to Pha Ngeun, the town’s highest viewpoint, for incredible views of the valley — no filter necessary. This evening, enjoy a drink on us to celebrate new adventures with new friends.    
Day 22 Vang Vieng      
Get the most out of Vang Vieng with a day to freely explore. Check out the caves by bicycle or trek through the countryside. Choose to kayak through Tham None cave and venture to the Blue Lagoon by booking the adrenaline bundle.  

Day 23 Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang
Continue to colourful Luang Prabang and make your first acquaintance with this ancient city during an afternoon orientation walk. Afterward, embark on a short trek up sacred Mount Phousi, climbing the stone stairs with scaly golden handrails, past the monks’ quarters and Buddha's footprint cave, to reach the temple at the top - Wat Phousi. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the sun setting upon Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. Descend into the bustling night markets.      
Day 24 Luang Prabang
Skip sleeping in to watch the monks walk through town before dawn. Dressed in saffron robes, they receive daily alms from local residents. Then, visit the Kuang Si waterfalls on a guided excursion before free time in the evening.
Traditional Laotian culture involves giving daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. Should you rise early, you’ll get to watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos.    

Day 25 Luang Prabang to Pak Beng      
Board a long, cozy houseboat that will take you on a two-day journey up the Mekong River en route to Chiang Khong in Thailand. Today, cruise to a village homestay for the night, experience a Baci welcome ceremony, and enjoy dinner with your hosts.      

Day 26 Pak Beng to Chiang Khong    
New day, same magnificent Mekong. Today’s your second travel day, where you’ll cross into Thailand arriving in Chiang Khong by the later afternoon. Sit back, relax, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, and enjoy the scenic ride.

Day 27 Chiang Khong to Chiang Mai    
Take in the rolling countryside views on the drive to Chiang Mai nestled alongside Thailand's northern mountains. Spend the afternoon getting to know this peaceful city known for traditional markets and glorious temples. Choose to visit Doi Suthep, catch a Thai boxing match, cycle around, or grab a bargain at the famous night market.      

Day 28 Chiang Mai      
Continue to explore Chiang Mai at your own pace making the most of this unique city. Visit the magnificent temple of Doi Suthep as it stands watch over the city from the hills above, take a bicycle ride in the countryside, or learn how to drive a tuk tuk and explore the rural lanes of Chiang Mai by pre-booking the Full Day Tuk-Tuk Adventure.      

Day 29 Chiang Mai to Ban Mae Jok
Today, drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Malai village, where you'll set off on a trek through rugged forests to see how diverse this region of hilltribe communities really is. Every village you'll see has its own language, belief system, style of dress, and traditions. It's a few hours to the first village of hilltribe thatch bungalows, but every step is worth it as you get to know the lay of the land.  

Day 30 Ban Mae Jok to Pa Khao Lam    
Trek for 2–3 hours before stopping for lunch. Then head to a Karen village to see how traditional blankets and scarves are made. Keep trekking for a few more hours (you've got this!) before stopping in the next village for the night.      
Along the way, you might get the chance to stop at Mae Tang River to learn to fish using local tools or build a raft using bamboo.  

Day 31 Pa Khao Lam to Chiang Mai    
After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft and get a closer look at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai, a foodie's paradise. Try the city's most famous dishes like khao soi (noodles in curry broth) and sai usa (northern Thai sausage) and get ready for your big night out. Venture to the best bar in town and grab a drink on our tab to cheers to a completed trek and life-changing adventures!

Day 32 Chiang Mai to Bangkok      
Make the most of Chiang Mai with more free time, where you can go shopping in the market, get a Thai massage, or explore any of the many temples. Or, hey, you could always go back for another taste of khao soi curry. Tonight, catch up on sleep during an overnight train and wake up in Bangkok.  

Day 33 Bangkok    
Get out and explore this fantastic city where there is endless sightseeing to be done.  

Day 34 Bangkok to Surat Thani    
Get on first-name basis with Thailand's capital city by bike with an optional bike tour. Today, you can check out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, go for a street food crawl, relax with a Thai massage, or explore the klongs (canals) by boat before boarding the overnight train.      

Day 35 Surat Thani to Khao Sok      
See southern Thai hospitality in action with breakfast at G Adventures-supported Khao Thep Pitak Community-Owned Farm & Restaurant, where you can also meet other international visitors. Later on, go to Lake Cheow Lan where you can take in the views while hiking or swimming in the national park. Spend tonight falling asleep to the sweet sounds of the jungle.    

Day 36 Khao Sok to Ko Pha Ngan    
Head across southern Thailand to find yourself in Pha-Ngan. Take the free afternoon to relax on the beach or by the pool — which will be easy since tonight, you'll be staying beachside or poolside in cosy bungalows.  
This area is known for its epic nightlife, whether or not there's a Full Moon Party. Make sure you don't miss the sunset. It'll be unforgettable.

Day 37 Ko Pha Ngan      
There's no rush to leave Ko Pha Ngan. Use your second day here to catch up on anything you missed yesterday, like exploring the island's waterfalls, swimming in lagoons, going for a hike, or taking another day to relax beachside.

Day 38 Ko Pha Ngan to Ko Tao      
Take the ferry to Ko Tao, a laid-back island known for snorkelling. This afternoon, put on your flippers to see a whole other world underwater. Going beneath the surface not your thing? Go the other way and climb up to the scenic view at Kho Nang Yuan View Point.

Day 39 Ko Tao
Make the most of your last full day in Ko Tao paradise. Spend the day soaking up the sun beachside and be sure to get your fresh seafood fix. For your big night out, venture into the bustling nightlife and grab a drink on our tab to cheers to life-changing adventures with newfound friends. If you want to keep the party going, participate in the massive Ko Tao Pub Crawl.      

Day 40 Ko Tao      
Today, it’s time to say goodbye to your group of newfound friends as the tour ends. Be sure to sneak in some last-minute photos and cheers before you head on your way. If booking a flight out of Ko Samui airport, make sure not to book one earlier than 11:00am.

Departs:
Selected departures Nov 2020 - Dec 2021.    

Prices
Guide Price £1996
per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
Inclusions
  • 30 nights simple hotels or hostels, 2 nights basic hilltribe huts, 2 nights homestays & 5 nights sleeper trains
  • Journey by local bus, air-conditioned bus, train, walking, tuk-tuk, songthaew, local boat, junk boat & plane
  • 30 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 5 dinners
Not Included
  • International flights
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Special Offers We negotiate new offers daily from discounted flights, tours and vehicle hire to free upgrades, added value and unique inclusions. Please call for our latest offers.

The tour itinerary, inclusions and departures are based on travel from 03/11/2020 to 05/02/2022. Guide prices are based on twn/dbl share, are subject to availability and may vary by departure date. For travel outside of these dates, the itinerary and inclusions may vary to that shown above - please ask for details.
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As we can offer you such a flexible choice of flights, we don't include international airfares with our tour prices. The price you pay will be determined by the time of year you travel, your departure airport, airline and availability.

However, to give you a general idea of prices, flights to Bangkok currently cost from £449 in Economy, £684 in Premium Economy and £1,615 in Business Class

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