Explore Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
The Far East. Few destinations carry such an air of mystery, magic and spirituality about them, or hold such a magnetic attraction.
It’s a corner of the world that many of us have always wanted to go to, but perhaps thought was beyond our reach. Come with us, and you can be sure that everything’s planned, taken care of and designed to make the absolute most of your holiday. That leaves you free to enjoy every moment you spend on this experience-filled journey through South East Asia.
Bangkok and the River Kwai in Thailand. The Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia. This is a holiday packed with must-see locations and famous places.
From floating markets and giant Buddhas to ancient temples and Vietcong tunnel complexes, there are countless opportunities to see some amazing sights and enjoy some unforgettable moments.
- A guided tour of Bangkok – its Buddhas, palaces, monuments and more
- A scenic journey to the Cambodian border and French colonial Battambang
- A cruise across the ‘Great Lake’ of Tonle Sap
- Two full days at Siem Reap, including a visit to the temple complex of Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument
- A tour around the the evocative Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh
- A journey along the mighty Mekong River by fast passenger boat
- A visit to the unique floating market at Cai Rang
- A visit to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon
- A chance to see the infamous Cu Chi tunnel complex, a former Viet Cong hideaway
- Return flights available from Aberdeen, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Heathrow or Manchester
- 12 nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation at a series of four-star hotels in Bangkok and Siem Reap (three nights each), Ho Chi Minh City (two nights), Battambang, Phnom Penh, Chau Doc and Can Tho (one each)
- Lunch on Days Six and Days 9-13, plus dinner on Days 5-11 and 13
- Return flights from the UK to Bangkok, via Ho Chi Minh City, returning from Ho Chi Minh City
- Comfortable, air-conditioned coach and boat travel and transfers
- Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced, knowledgeable and native-speaking Tour Manager
Single supplements apply. Subject to availability.
Day One: Overnight flight to Bangkok
Your holiday begins with an overnight flight to Bangkok.
Day Two: An expertly guided tour of Bangkok
An afternoon’s guided city tour starts on Rattanakosin Island, the ‘royal island’ on the bank of the river Kwai where the Grand Palace adjoins the Wat Phra Kaeo temple. The Wat Pho temple’s gigantic reclining Buddha and the five-and-a-half ton Golden Buddha at Wat Traimit temple are among the highlights.
In the evening, you’ll have the option to join your fellow travellers for a traditional Thai Dinner with Dance excursion to celebrate the first of your three nights in the city.
Day Three: Explore Bangkok, and take a River Kwai excursion
Discover Bangkok at your own pace, relax in your hotel, or join our optional excursion to the famous River Kwai. During this revealing trip you’ll pass through rice fields and sugar-cane plantations, then head into the jungle. There, you’ll be able to explore an area forever associated with the events of WWII, the construction of the ‘Death Railway’ and the infamous Bridge immortalised by the epic 1957 film.
Day Four: Visit the floating markets and Rose Garden
Take advantage of the morning’s insightful optional excursion and you’ll see the unique floating markets at Damnoen Saduak, and visit the 70-acre Rose Garden. Here,in the surrounds of a traditional Thai village, you can witness displays of Thai culture, the national sport of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) and folk dancing.
Day Five: Crossing into Cambodia
You’ll have an early start, to make the most of the day, this morning, journeying through the unspoilt rural landscape to the border where you’ll cross into Cambodia at Aranyaprathet-Poipet. Formalities completed, you’ll begin the second part of your adventure with the short journey to Battambang, an elegant French colonial city.
Day Six: Boat trip across Tonle Sap to Siem Reap
Journey across Tonle Sap, South East Asia’s ‘Great Lake’, and see the villages built entirely on stilts that are home to the ‘floating communities’ whose livelihoods depend on its waters. By mid afternoon you’ll arrive in the colourful market town of Siem Reap, gateway to the temple complex of Angkor Thom and home to the archaeological Angkor National Museum.
In the evening, you can enjoy a traditional Cambodian dance show during dinner.
Day Seven: Visiting the Bayon temple, Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat
On the seventh day of your tour, you’ll visit the Bayon temple, with its four giant heads and countless faces carved into the rock. Another unforgettable highlight is the ‘lost city’ of Angkor Thom: the great citadel of the Khmer Empire, which ruled up to half of South East Asia for nearly 600 years.
The most imposing and impressive of the great ruins is Angkor Wat. This is the world’s largest religious building, and incorporates five great towers as well as a 1000-metre-long carved bas-relief.
Day Eight: Exploring the temples of Hariharalaya
Another day of exploration takes in the temples of Hariharalaya, plus the smaller temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre, with its reliefs depicting Krishna legends.
Day Nine: Journey to Phnom Penh
Travel to the evocative Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, set on the banks of the Mekong River, where you’ll take an afternoon’s guided tour that includes The Royal Palace, with its Silver Pagoda of priceless Buddhist artefacts.
Your evening dinner will be at the famous, riverside Foreign Correspondents’ Club.
Day 10: Visit the Tuol Sleng Museum and travel along the Mekong into Vietnam
Experience a thought-provoking morning visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum, which chronicles the Pol Pot years and the reign of the Khmer Rouge. This is followed by the opportunity to take a good look around Cambodia’s National Museum, the country’s largest cultural, historical and archaeological museum.
You’ll then board the fast boat for the thrilling wind-in-the-hair journey along the Mekong River into Vietnam, arriving at your overnight hotel in the border town of Chau Doc.
Day 11: Visit Nui Sam and travel to Can Tho
Your day begins with a visit to the holy mountain of Nui Sam. Featuring pagodas and temples, the mountain provides stunning views over the Mekong Delta, which you’ll be heading towards. You’ll stay overnight in the university town of Can Tho, with its colourful floating markets, busy, working harbour and sacred Khmer pagoda: Muniwangsyaram.
Day 12: Journey across the Mekong to Ho Chi Min City
Brilliantly coloured orchards, lush forests and traditional rice fields criss-crossed by a network of small tributaries: this is the unmistakable landscape of the Mekong Delta. And you’ll be there, enjoying a boat ride through the floating markets of both Cai Rang and Cai Be. You’ll also get to see the Delta town of Vinh Long.
Come the evening, you’ll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City for a two-night stay.
Day 13: Explore the Cu Chi tunnels
The remarkable Cu Chi tunnel complex provides a poignant reminder of the country’s recent history. This 200km underground labyrinth was used by the Viet Cong as a base, and now serves as a national memorial for those who lost their lives in the conflict.
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh city tour, afternoon airport transfers and flight
A guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City enables you to discover a fascinating mix of French colonial history and modern Vietnamese life. This includes the grand General Post Office, the Reunification Hall on the site of the former President’s Palace, the Xa Loi Pagoda with its bronze Buddha, and (time-permitting) the War Remnants Museum.
You’ll complete your tour with a celebratory Farewell Dinner: the perfect opportunity to look back on your holiday and relive the many highlights with your travelling companions (and new-found friends). Later, you’ll transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 15: Arrive back in the UK
You’ll land back home after an unforgettable holiday, with memories, images and stories you can’t wait to share with family and friends.
Follow the Mekong – Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam
- Belfast City
- London Heathrow
- 22nd November 2017
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