- Post ID: 124
- View Payload
About your trip
The beauty of Southeast Asia comes from its varieties and contradictions. Vast tropical landscapes and epic rivers give way to urban metropolises and ancient temple complexes, while each community has its own cultural specificities and culinary specialties. That’s why we think any trip to this part of the world should cross multiple borders. So we’ll start in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, for street food and temple visits, before crossing into Cambodia. We’ll visit Angkor Wat at dawn and discover Cambodian cuisine in Phnom Penh before hopping on a speedboat down the Mekong, into Vietnam. We’ll go on an overnight cruise and explore the river by traditional rowboat before heading to our final destination, Ho Chi Minh City, where we visit a food market, get a cooking masterclass from a local chef and dine family-style while getting to know the complex history and fascinating cultures of Vietnam.
- Watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument
- Whizz around Bangkok on a Tuk Tuk street food tour
- Watch a local acrobatics show that supports social development for high-risk kids
- Explore the temples of Ta Prohm and the ancient city of Angkor Thom by e-bike
- Cruise down the Mekong River on an old river boat
- Discover tiny islets and local communities on a Mekong canal tour
- Take a cooking masterclass with a Vietnamese chef and dine family-style in a Ho Chi Minh City cafe
Your Southeast Asian adventure kicks off in Thailand’s buzzing capital city. After settling in at the hotel you’ll gather for a welcome meeting with our Local Insider and your fellow travellers, followed by your first taste of authentic Thai cuisine at a group welcome dinner.
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll set off on a city and temples tour of Bangkok. The architecture here has an almost surreal blend of ultra-modern skyscrapers alongside ancient temples and traditional side streets. Explore old and new districts on a comprehensive tour as our Local Insider guides you around the city’s three most famous temples – Wat Traimit (Golden Buddha), Wat Pho and the Marble Temple. You’ll have some free time to explore in the afternoon before we reconvene to delve into Bangkok’s cultural cornerstone – food and nightlife. As night falls and the city lights up you’ll be whizzed around on a Tuk Tuk food tour. Take in the sights, smells and sounds of Bangkok as you discover markets, street food vendors and local restaurants, sampling local favourites like spicy papaya salad, crispy catfish and much more. We’ll round off the tour at a lively bar – the perfect way to end your night in Bangkok.
We recommend swiping a few snacks from the breakfast table this morning as we have a big journey ahead through eastern Thailand, across the border and into Cambodia. We should cross around midday, continuing on to Siem Reap with our Local Insider. After a late-afternoon check-in you’ll have some time to stretch your legs and grab a bite to eat before we get together for an incredible Phare circus show. Phare Ponleu Selpak (the brightness of art) originated at a refugee camp on the Thai border in 1986. It was developed as a way to use artistic expression to help young refugees overcome the trauma of war. The association that puts on the show focuses on the revival of Khmer culture, which was significantly damaged during the Khmer Rouge regime. They aim to provide social, educational and community support to street kids, orphans and children in high-risk situations. You’ll get to enjoy an hour of pure Cambodian theatrical and acrobatic performance while also supporting an excellent cause!
It’s an early start today, but our morning activity makes the sound of an untimely alarm seem like a beautiful symphony, because you’ll have the privilege to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. This Unesco World Heritage site is the largest religious monument in the world, a stunning feat of 900 year-old temple architecture, four times larger than Vatican City. It’s an otherworldly marvel to look at, and a fascinating insight into the Khmer Empire, but seeing it at dawn is another experience altogether. Even the unreligious will get a little spiritual butterfly fluttering in their stomach as the reddish tints of sunrise peak through the temple’s intricate carvings and shimmer across the surrounding moat’s reflections. You’ll get to see it for yourself before tucking into breakfast and having some free time to explore the area. Rejoin our Local Insider for an e-bike tour of the rest of Angkor Archaeological Park, including Ta Prohm – a stone temple that has been atmospherically reclaimed by nature – and Angkor Thom, the last city of the Khmer Empire.
The next leg of our journey begins this morning with a transfer to Phnom Penh. It’s a fairly long journey but an incredibly scenic one through the luscious Cambodian countryside. We’ll stop at Kampong K'dei, a remarkably well-preserved stone-arch bridge dating back to the 12th century, at around midday for lunch. Then it’s onward to Phnom Penh and our hotel for the evening. Ater freshening up we’ll explore the city’s incredible street food scene on a locally guided culinary tour, stopping at several points around the city to sample a variety of dishes, from fresh tropical fruits to ribs, skewers and Khmer fried rice, all washed down with a crisp beer, of course.
You’ve gotten to know Phnom Penh through its food, but now it’s time to get to know the city a little better from a historical and cultural perspective. After filling up on breakfast you’ll be whisked around the city on a comprehensive tour, most notably taking in the ornate designs and luscious surrounding gardens of the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Armed with fresh knowledge of the city’s finest eateries, you’ll have some free time for lunch before reconvening for one of the most culturally important activities on the trip – a visit to the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields. You simply cannot understand modern Cambodia without understanding the horrors of the Pol Pot regime. While profoundly sad, this experience is a must, not only to honour those who lost their lives, but also to understand the story of this country and its people.
It’s time for our final border crossing of the trip, but this one won’t be on land. Instead you’ll get to hop on a speedboat down the Mekong river, into Vietnam and onward to Chau Doc, where we’ll spend the evening at a beautiful riverside hotel. Enjoy views of the passing boats from the comfort of the pool, or the balcony of your room, before a delicious group dinner at the Bassac Restaurant on site.
After breakfast at the hotel we’ll be heading back to the Mekong, this time swapping the speedboat for the Mekong Eyes, a gorgeous old river boat that we’ll call home on an overnight river cruise. The boat is made from the finest quality wood, once used for rice barges, and is a charming nod to the area’s history. Inside is a more modern affair, with 14 lavishly decorated rooms, a large dining room and bar, and an upper-deck panorama lounge. We’ll depart around midday, having lunch onboard and stopping for an excursion through rural orchards and villages – a fascinating insight into local life. Back on the boat you’ll settle in for sunset on the top deck and have dinner before retiring to your air-conditioned cabin.
Enjoy a serene breakfast onboard this morning before we check-out from the boat. Our journey downstream continues on a sampan rowing boat, as our Local Insider guides you through the river’s many islets. Explore intertwining canals and hop off on Tan Phong Islet, where you’ll get to experience some local music and try your hand at traditional handicrafts. You’ll even get the chance to go on a cycle alongside the canals before we settle down for a well-earned lunch. In the afternoon we journey to Ho Chi Minh City, arriving mid-afternoon. Spend your first night in Vietnam’s most populous city as you wish.
The best way to get to know Ho Chi Minh is with your tastebuds. In the morning we’ll head to Ben Thanh market and meet a Vietnamese chef. First he’ll guide you around the market, going in-depth on the wide array of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs on sale, and then purchasing all the produce needed for our cooking class. We’ll head to chef’s school, where you’ll be given a masterclass on the ingredients and techniques needed to create an authentic three-course Vietnamese meal. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to eat your delicious creations, as well as take home a recipe booklet. Now it’s time to burn those calories off, so we’ll go on an immersive walking tour of the city, discovering the unique perspectives of Ho Chi Minh’s past and present, from the 17th-century French arrival to the Vietnam War and beyond. Explore the city’s variety of architectural landmarks, gardens and monuments, sip coffee in a trendy local cafe and learn about the lesser-known tales and quirky characters that tell the city’s story. The tour ends with a Vietnamese family-style Farewell dinner at a local restaurant as we reflect and an incredible journey through Indochina.
Sadly, our Southeast Asian extravaganza has come to an end. You’ll have one last breakfast before being transferred to Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN) in time for your flight home.
- Nine nights hotel accommodation
- One night river cruiser accommodation
- Private and local transport
- Transfer to Ho Chi Minh City Airport (SGN)
- 10 breakfasts, four lunches and six dinners
- Local Insider
- Bangkok city and temples tour
- Evening Bangkok Tuk Tuk food tour
- Phare Circus Show
- Visit to Angkor Wat at sunrise
- E-Bike tour of Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom
- Urban Forage food tour
- Phnom Penh city tour
- Visit to Killing Fields and Genocide Museum
- Speedboat down the Mekong into Vietnam
- Mekong River Cruise
- Guided excursion through orchards/villages
- Mekong Canals excursion on rowing Sampan
- Ben Thanh Market visit and cooking class
- Ho Chi Minh City walking tour
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Flights to and from the destination
Centra by Centara Hotel Bangkok Phra Nakhon – Deluxe Room, Bangkok
This light and breezy modern hotel in the heart of Bangkok is an oasis of calm amid the pulsating streets of the city’s most popular districts. The breakfast buffet is held in the lovely Déjà Brew Lifestyle Café, a contemporary space where you can dine all day on Thai delicacies or, if you’re feeling lazy, order to your room.
This luxury hotel, on the outskirts of Siem Reap City and just down the road from Angkor Wat, has no right to be so tranquil and yet so conveniently located. From the outdoor pool and tropical gardens to the traditional spa and authentic restaurant, everything here is designed to keep you relaxed. For breakfast? Made-to-order pancakes and eggs, tropical fruits, fresh croissants and French bread.
Expect casual luxury at this lovely highrise hotel on the banks of the Mekong River in Phnom Penh. Enjoy views of the river from the comfort of your room or from the heights of the rooftop pool. There’s also Damrey Rooftop Restaurant & Bar, serving honey-sweetened cocktails and a variety of dining options throughout the day, including American-style and Asian-style breakfasts.
Mekong Eyes, Mekong River Cruise
This charming river cruiser combines regional boat-building traditions – think fine wood used for traditional rice barges – with modern comforts like air-conditioning, large beds and accompanying bathrobes. All 14 lavishly decorated rooms boast panoramic river views, while you can also enjoy vistas from the upper deck panorama lounge and the sun deck terrace. In the lower deck you’ll find a large dining room and a cosy bar, where the experienced chef and service staff will take you on a culinary journey through Vietnam.
Victoria Chau Doc Hotel
This gorgeous riverside hotel sits on the banks of the Bassac River in the Mekong Delta. Enjoy unobstructed views of the rivers below from the pool and sip sundowners at the Tan Chau before tucking into local fare at the Bassac restaurant, which serves authentic southern Vietnamese food. This four floor, turn-of-the-century-style hotel is decorated with traditional handicrafts and charms and is the perfect place to unwind after a long day of travel.
Northern Charm Hotel
This conveniently located contemporary hotel in Ho Chi Minh City is ideal for a short stay in Vietnam’s most populous city. There’s all day dining at the 16th-floor Panorama Restaurant, boasting views of the city as you tuck into your breakfast. Then there’s the The Attic Sky Pool Bar, an ambient, luxurious space ideal for a cocktail or two. If you prefer your pool with a view, head to the 17th-floor rooftop for a cooling dip at the top of Ho Chi Minh City.
Your safety and wellbeing are our top priority, so we’ve put the following measures in place on all our TRIPS:
- Our average group size is 10 people (max 18), which gives you all the security of being in a group whilst avoiding a crowd.
- Where possible, we use small/ boutique accommodation – this means fewer guests and reduced exposure to other travellers.
- We require all accommodation providers to share protocols around the extra health and hygiene measures they are taking.
- Included activities are exclusive to our group wherever possible, to minimise contact with others.
- Covid-19 negative test results or vaccine certificates may be required. Please check the entry requirements for the destination you are travelling to. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- We recommend you confirm all guidance on official government sites and check that you are able to travel with your travel insurance issuer. Your travel insurance may be invalidated if you travel against government advice. Our travel experts can assist you in finding this information.
- You must be aged 25 years or over to join this trip.
- Please be sure to check whether or not you need a visa to enter the country you're travelling to. Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions for further information.
- If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or accessibility requirements, please notify our Customer Support team as soon as possible.
- We won't charge you extra if you travel alone – you'll be allocated a twin room with another traveller of the same gender.
- To upgrade to a private room, share a room with a friend, or book pre- and post-trip accommodation and/or airport transfers, please contact our Customer Support team.
- Please be aware that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers.
- Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. While unlikely, these changes can happen due to circumstances beyond our control. We will always do our best to ensure minimal impact on your experience.
- Please be aware images on this page are for illustrative purposes and may not reflect your itinerary exactly.
The world of travel is changing – and that's why we’re offering flexible booking conditions, to take the stress out of booking in times of uncertainty.
You can get a full refund should you need to postpone or cancel your trip up to 56 days prior to departure.
Read our Booking Guarantee to find out more about how our Support Team can help you.
For the full details and cancellation charges, see our Booking Terms & Conditions.
Terms & Conditions
Please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.