The Indochina Experiment
from £1895 GBP
Price includes GBP £1595 + USD $600 local payment, to be paid locally on day 1 of tour.
This amazing journey across four countries will give you a remarkable insight into one of the most remarkable and colourful regions of South East Asia. Peace and tranquillity have finally come to the nations of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia and this huge loop starting and finishing in Bangkok is now possible. We travel by a wide variety of local transport including bus, songthaew, tuk-tuk, Mekong riverboats, longtail boats, mini-van, train, pick-up and microbus, and our accommodation is in hotels and simple guesthouses.
From Bangkok we travel north to the mighty Mekong River and cross into Laos. Crossing the river is like stepping back in time to the old South East Asia. Following the river we visit the beautiful former French colonial town of Luang Prabang and then continue to Vang Vieng and the sleepy capital of Vientiane. Further eastward we come to Lak Sao where we cross the border into Vietnam and catch the Reunification Express to the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. Here we discover the charms of this graceful capital before taking the train down to a city that’s steeped in history and culture, Vietnam’s former imperial capital, Hue. A short drive through some remarkable rural and coastal scenery brings us to Hoi An, then to the beach resort city of Nha Trang. We’ll cruise the offshore islands and relax in the sun before once again catching the overnight sleeper train down to the steamy southern city of Saigon. We drive overland into Cambodia and, after spending a day exploring its capital, Phnom Penh, continue by bus around South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake, to Siem Reap. From here we’ll explore what is regarded as one of the world’s greatest archaeological monuments, the magnificent Angkor temple complexes. Our adventure then reaches its final phase wehen we travel to the Cambodian/Thai border town of Poipet. Rough roads improve as we continue on to exciting Bangkok and our journey’s end.
3 Chiang Mai
4 Huay Xai
5 Mekong River - Pakbeng
6-8 Luang Prabang
9-10 Vang Vieng
13-14 Lak Sao - Vinh
19-20 Hoi An
21-23 Nha Trang
24-25 Cu Chi Tunnels - Saigon
26-27 Phnom Penh
28-30 Siem Reap - Angkor
31 Siem Reap - Bangkok
Tour tour price is GBP £1690 for departures up to 15 January 2012
Mekong slow boat
4 nights Sleeper train
10 nights Guesthouse
18 nights Hotel
• Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour, and local site guides at some sites.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Bangkok; Vientiane; Hanoi; Vinh - the birthplace of Ho Chi Minh; Hoi An’s ‘Old Town’; and the Cu Chi Tunnels.
• Slow boat trip down the Mekong River with a night in a hostel in Pakbeng and a visit to the Buddha statues at Pak Ou Caves.
• Trek to Kuang Si Falls and exploration of Vang Vieng caves.
• Bike ride around Hue and boat cruise up the Perfume River.
• Day cruise on the South China Sea in Nha Trang, with a freshly-caught seafood lunch included (non-seafood options available).
• Cyclo sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh including the Royal Palace and Tuol Sleng Prison. Visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and the Russian Market.
• Day tour of the Angkor complex including the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat.
• Free time to explore Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Huay Xai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Hanoi, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Saigon, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
• Reunification Express sleeper train from Vinh to Hanoi, Hanoi to Hue and Nha Trang to Saigon.
• Trains from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Danang to Nha Trang.