Explore the gems of South East Asia on this 31-day affordable backpacking tour. Starting in Bangkok, Thailand, the tour will take you through Northern Thailand, along the Mekong River and into Laos, into Vietnam and back to Bangkok, via Cambodia. Led by experienced and passionate tour-guides, they will take you to all the ‘unmissable’ tourist attractions as well as adding their own local knowledge to add unique experiences that will make your time truly memorable.
The full tour can be done in 31 days.
Short of time?
You can join the first or second half of the tour
13-days – Bangkok to Hanoi tour
20-days – Hanoi to Bangkok tour
On arriving in Thailand, you will begin your tour in Bangkok…
Day 1 – Bangkok, Thailand
Start your adventure in legendary Bangkok, home to amazing nightlife, Thailand’s most sacred temples and the magnificent Grand Palace.
Day 2-4 – Chiang Mai, Thailand
Heading out of the city, you will head to Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old cultural capital. Steeped in history and religion, there is so much to experience in this rural area. Visit the Jungle Elephant sanctuary and walk with the elephants, help to bathe them before returning to the hostel for a dip in the pool! There are plenty of night markets to explore and live music to experience. Fancy learning how to make a few Thai dishes, why not join a cooking class. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you can choose to zip line, quad bike or white water raft down the Mae Taeng River. In the evening, you can also watch a Muay Thai Kickboxing show.
Day 5 – Chiang Dao, Thailand
On day 4, you will wake up to stunning sunrise views across Chiang Dao – look out for the water buffalo. Visit Wat Rong Khun – the famous contemporary, white temple in nearby Chiang Kong. You will also get the opportunity to cycle around some of the local villages and hike to a hidden waterfall in the forest. A real highlight is that the group will stay overnight in a treetop house in a local settlement, for a memorable night under the stars.
Day 5 – Chiang Kong, Thailand
On day 5, cycle through stunning countryside before lunch. After eating, the group will head to Chaing Kong for a one night stay.
Day 7 – Pak Beng, Laos
Jump on-board a slow board for a thoroughly relaxing journey down the Mekong River, heading towards Laos. There will be plenty of opportunities to grab snacks for the journey and you will get the chance to make a stop at Pak Bek village to try delicious local ‘buffalo curry’.
Day 8-9 – Luang Prabang, Laos
The boat will also take you to the popular UNESCO heritage city, Luang Prabang. You will have an afternoon to wander the French-inspired streets and to head to the vibrant Hmong Market. In the morning, you can volunteer at Big Mouse Center to converse with young people learning English who will be keen to practise their skills with you! Want to learn more about the rice making process? You can head to a rice farm to find out more. Alternatively, you can explore the biggest waterfall in the area.
Day 10-11 – Vang Vieng, Laos
To the north of Luang Prabang is Vang Vieng – known for adventure sports! With many limestone mountains, lagoons and caves, this is perfect for people keen to try rock climbing. You will explore the sacred Tham Phu Kham Cave and even swim in the dark – if you feel brave enough! There will be plenty of time to relax on he Blue Lagoon and even go tubing down the river, with a drink in hand – one of the most famous backpacking activities to do in Laos.
Day 12-14 – Hanoi, Vietnam
Next stop is Hanoi in Vietnam. The group will fly into Vietnam. There is plenty of history to uncover here and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is a great way to learn more about Vietnam’s political history. This is were the tour ends, so you can either fly home or continue your own travels.
For those doing the 13-day tour, this is your last stop on Day 13.
For those doing the 20-day tour, this is where you will meet the group on Day 13.
Day 15 – 16 – Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay is paradise! Spend the day and night on a secluded private island, eat lunch on board a boat and take time to swim, relax and soak up the views.
Day 16-18 – Phong Nha, Vietnam
You will be staying in accommodation with a pool so there will be plenty of time to relax. Spend time kayaking or playing volley ball. On day 18, choose to have a free day or head to the National Cave Park.
Day 19 – 20 – Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most popular destinations because of its beautiful architecture. You will have the opportunity to explore the Old Town. Jump on board a coconut basket boat and explore the serene farmlands or opt for something more fast paced and head to Ba Na Hills (Vietnam’s Disneyland).
Day 21 – 22 – Saigon, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City is your next stop (formerly known as Saigon). The city is a labyrinth of roads, jam packed with mopeds – crossing the road is a real experience. Indulge at Ben Thanh food market. On your second day in the city, you can explore the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum to explore Vietnam’s political history.
Day 23 – Ha Trien, Vietnam
Prepare for an early rise, as you head, by boat, to the Mekong Delta. Witness the bustling floating markets and explore the Tra Su Forest.
Day 24 – 26 – Koh Rong, Cambodia
On day 24, you will cross into the final country on this tour – Cambodia. First stop – the stunning beaches in Koh Rong. Learn how to scuba dive and enjoy the beach bars. the group will get to go island hopping and camp overnight.
Day 27 – 28 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Next stop – the capital. Visit the S21 Prison and The Killing Fields to gain an unique perspective of Cambodia’s harrowing past. Spend the afternoon at the Grand Palace.
Day 29 – 30 – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Home of Angkor Wat – an iconic heritage site. Steeped in history, explore the site at sunrise.
Day 31 – Bangkok, Thailand
Last stop is Bangkok – the tour will end at Koh San Road – the backpacking hub of the city.