Cultural tour of Southeast Asian capitals
A tour that traverses the capitals of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia is a great way to delve into local history and culture. There are many similarities between these three countries at surface level, but a multi-country trip like this can expose the nuances of each culture to reveal three proudly distinct nations. Compare modern capitals with ancient kingdoms, see how Buddhist temples differ, cruise the countries’ rivers, see their museums and learn about their local handicrafts.
This 12-day, 11-night tour begins in Bangkok, giving you time to take in the capital’s most famous sights – the Grand Palace and the home of the reclining Buddha, Wat Pho – getting you around the city via river ferry, canal boat and tuk tuk. Next it’s off to Luang Prabang, where you swap bustling streets with serene mountainscapes, before heading to Vientiane, the smallest capital city in the world. In Cambodia, you’ll be charmed by the capital, Phnom Penh, before heading to Siem Reap to see an ancient capital on the grandest scale at Angkor Wat.
Mekong River journey
This epic journey begins in picturesque Kengtung in the mountains of Shan State, in the far eastern reaches of Myanmar. From here, you’ll make your way down through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, traveling on the Mekong, overland and by taking short flights. You’ll stop in myriad little towns and some big cities along the way, meeting local communities, enjoying cultural activities and even taking part in sustainability projects. Temples, markets, ancient ruins, palaces, museums, serene countryside and idyllic shores are all part of this amazing multi-country trip.
An Indochine foodie trip
This tour from Vientiane, Laos through Cambodia to Halong Bay in Vietnam, combines must-see sights with must-eat dishes. Certain Vietnamese dishes have already won worldwide acclaim but on this trip you’ll also learn about Laos food. For instance, did you know that many of your favorite Thai dishes originated in Laos? Add in the influence of French gastronomy and you have a foodie tour with true breadth – and good wine. Eat through seven cities and three nations on this multi-country Asia holiday, peppered with iconic experiences: a meal at Angkor Wat, dinner about a private boat on Halong Bay, a Hanoi city tour by Vespa, a cooking class in Luang Prabang.
A short trip from Bangkok to Angkor Wat
For many travelers to Southeast Asia, Thailand is at the top of the list of must-see places. Bangkok itself is worthy of indepth exploration, and this tour gives you a couple of days in ‘the Big Mango’ to see the main sights such as the Grand Palace and Wat Pho. You’ll also have some time for choice of different urban expeditions, from cruising the canals of Thonburi to exploring vibrant Chinatown.
Next, it’s off to Siem Reap, where you’ll waste no time getting to the most famed of ancient temple complexes, Angkor Wat. You’ll explore the site with a guide, who can explain the building’s intricate architecture and countless bas-reliefs. The next morning, you’ll rise early to see another famous local landmark, Ta Prohm, wreathed in vines and roots and tinted green with moss. The smaller Banteay Srey and the famous Angkor Thom are also part of the day’s travels. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a unique performance by local troupe, Phare Circus, whose lithe acrobatics tell a deeper story about Cambodian society.
On the final day of your trip, you’ll enjoy a boat cruise on the Tonle Sap lake. You’ll cruise to an local village where the school, temple, houses and even an ice factory are all over water. You’ll have lunch in traditional stilt house over the river then return to Siem Reap in time to do some souvenir shopping before your onward transfer.
A Chinese history and culture lesson
This trip naturally begins in Beijing, where you’ll spend a few days to take in the city’s most famous landmarks. You’ll wander the Forbidden City, visit the Great Wall and explore the Temple of Heaven – all with a knowledgeable local guide. On day four, you’ll delve into more contemporary Chinese culture with a trip to the art district of 798 in Dashanzi, where you’ll go gallery hopping and checking out all the area’s designer boutiques and cool cafes.
Your next stop is Hong Kong, where you’ll get to see the old alongside the futuristic. In Mongkok, you’ll wander through the city’s famous markets, between its shop houses and towering apartment blocks, contrasting these traditional scenes against the gleam of modern skyscrapers. On the final day of your journey, you’ll take another expedition into history and spiritualism with a trip to Lantau Island to see the famous bronze Tian Tan Buddha. After heading up the mountain, you’ll visit Tai O, a traditional fishing town nestled in the lush hills of the island.