Vietnam, Laos & Thailand on a Shoestring

Thailand · about Escorted or Guided Tour

From the fast-paced nightlife of Bangkok to a slow boat along the Mekong, this trip brings you the best of Southeast Asia on a shoestring. You’ll party along the beautiful bay of Vietnam’s Nha Trang in the company of like-minded travellers and channel the French vibe sipping coffee in riverside cafés in Laos. Explore golden temples or hunt down treasures in local markets—the choice is all yours. Best of all, your CEO will take the hassle out of planning, so you’re free to soak up the spirit of this amazing region.

What's Included

Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch. Slow boat on the Mekong. Temples of Luang Prabang. Witness the giving of alms (Luang Prabang). Orientation walk around Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project. Three street food crawls in different cities. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore vibrant cities, snorkel colourful reefs, shop in quaint Hoi An, float among the karsts of Halong Bay, discover sleepy Laos, cruise the mighty Mekong River.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

COMBO TRIP
Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments. Also note that in some major cities in Vietnam, many hotel rooms do not have windows.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 18, avg 12.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Local bus, air-con bus, train, walking, tuk tuk, local boat, junk boat, plane.

About our Transportation

Train travel in Vietnam is very basic and train cleanliness is often not a priority for train staff. Sleeper trains normally have 4 seats per compartment, which convert into sleeping bunks (two upper and two lower). A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although many people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. At times, passengers of different genders may be required to share a sleeper train berth and/or share a compartment with people not travelling in your group.

Simple food is available on the train but many people like to stock up on freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure. Water should also be bought before the journey.

Train journeys in Vietnam are an experience and allow you to get a real taste of Vietnam.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotels (16 nts), sleeper trains (4 nts), local homestay (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 2, 4, 8 & 20 Sleeper Train, Night 17 Homestay.

About Accommodation

A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations – rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.

Joining Hotel

Day 1 of the “Full Itinerary” section provides an example of the hotels used on this trip.

For your departure specific joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, your MyG account, the G Adventures App or consult your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Tan Son Nhat Intl Airport in Saigon you can get a metered taxi from just outside of the arrival hall. The taxis are lined up outside in an orderly queue and the fare is roughly 100,000 Dong (approx 7 USD) to get to your starting point hotel. DO NOT GO WITH TAXI TOUTS AS THEY WILL TRY TO RIP YOU OFF. The airport is only 7km from the downtown District 1 so taking taxis is easy and cheap if the meter is on. If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip our driver will be waiting for you with a G Adventures sign with your name on it. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as it can be busy outside the arrival area.

Unfortunately there have been cases in Vietnam of people misrepresenting themselves as G Adventures representatives at both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh airports.
We recommend that you do not take advantage of any offers of “help” at the airport, and rather just organise a meter taxi for yourself to our Starting Point Hotel.

If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area.
Please check that your driver knows your name, the hotel you are going to, and your booking number. If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes, call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) and then our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

If you are experiencing complications with your Ho Chi Minh City AIRPORT TRANSFER that was booked through G Adventures please call: +84 91 204 0262

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

G Adventures Local Representative (Vietnam)
Ms.Nhung
Emergency number: +84 91 204 0262

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas, additional passport photos or vaccination certificates required
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sunblock/Sun hat
Sunglasses
Insect repellent
Water bottle
Small towel and swim wear
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/sport sandals
Moneybelt
Shorts
Long trousers
Hiking pants/track pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothing
Fleece jacket or warm layer
Windproof rain gear
Rain jacket or poncho
Gloves
Hat
Umbrella
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs
Sleep sheet for overnight train
Camera and film
Reading/writing material
Binoculars
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Please note that visas for Thailand, Vietnam and Laos are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your Governments Foreign Ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change.

THAILAND – Most nationalities do not need a visa for Thailand for stays of 30 days or less but if you do they are available on arrival at Bangkok Airport. Please note that as of December 2008, 30 day Thai visas are no longer available at land borders. Only 15 day tourist visas are issued when you enter Thailand overland. If you are staying more than 15 days you should consider getting your visa prior to your trip.
*Please note that certain nationalities (including: Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan and Ukraine) may not be able to obtain visa at a land border.

VIETNAM – Visas for Vietnam need to be arranged ahead of time (BEFORE your trip) the processing time varies and they are not available upon arrival. Please note that an E-visa can not be processed if entering Vietnam at a land border.

Please note that while MOST countries require a Visa ahead of time for Vietnam, certain countries may be allowed entrance for 15 days with proof of exit. As of July 1st, 2015 this will include citizens of Scandinavian countries, Japan, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. However, we STRONGLY recommend checking with your Embassy on the requirements as these change often. Please contact your Foreign Ministry for up to date entry/exit requirements. Your sales agent can assist with departure documentation from Vietnam once we are within 30 days from departure.

LAOS – Visas are issued upon arrival in Laos. You will need two passport size photographs and approx $50. Tourists are generally admitted to Laos for 15 days with a visa on arrival or for 30 days with a visa issued at a Lao embassy. Please bring lots of visa photos with you.

Please be aware that you will require 2 clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least 6 months validity.

Detailed Trip Notes

Border crossings
Chiang Khong. Laos to Thailand

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currencies you will use are the Vietnamese Dong, Laos Kip and Thai Baht. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in Thailand.

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected – though not compulsory – and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

Optional Activities: USD300 for optional activities not included in the trip.

Approximate costs (per person) for popular optional activities taken in free time are -

Wat Po (Bangkok) USD2
Grand palace (Bangkok ) – USD11
-Klong(Canal) Tour (Bangkok) – Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
-Thai massage – USD10 per hour
-Jim Thompson’s House (Bangkok) – USD3.5
-National Museum (Bangkok) – USD1.5
-Royal Barge Museum (Bangkok) USD1.5
-Bicycle tour (Chiang Mai) – USD30 for Half Day
-Kan Toke Traditional Dinner (Chiang Mai) – USD30
-Thai Cooking school (Chiang Mai) – USD30 for Half Day
-Wat Doi Suthep (Chiang Mai)
USD2 plus transport USD5
Bamboo rafting (Chiang Mai) – USD15 plus transport
-Kuang Sii Waterfalls (Luang Prabang)
USD2 plus transport USD5-10
National Museum/Royal Palace (Luang Prabang) USD5
Royal Theatre (Luang Prabang) – USD6-12
-Cooking Class (Luang Prabang) – USD25
-Wat Xieng Thong (Luang Prabang) – USD1
-Arts and Ethnology Centre (Luang Prabang)
USD2
Wat PhuSi and other Temples (Luang Prabang) USD1-2
Half day cottage industry tour (Luang Prabang) USD5-8
Bike Rental (Vang Vieng) USD2
Kayaking Trip (Vang Vieng) USD15-20
Visit one of the many temples (Vientiane) – Most entry fees USD1
-Buddha Park (Vientiane) – USD1 plus transport
-National Cultural Museum (Vientiane)
USD2
Kayak Rental for 1 person (Halong Bay) USD10
Water Puppet Show (Hanoi) USD3
-Ho Chi Minh House on Stilts and Presidential Palace (Hanoi) USD1
-Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Hanoi)
free (Closed Oct-Nov)
Hoa Lao Prison aka ‘Hanoi Hilton’ (Hanoi)- USD1
Museum of Ethnology (Hanoi) USD1 plus transport
Temple of Literature (Hanoi) USD1
Fine Arts Museum (Hanoi) – USD1
-Women’s Museum (Hanoi) – USD1
-Army Museum (Hanoi)
USD1
Taxi to each museum – approx USD2
-Bicycle Hire (Hue) – USD1
-Royal Citadel (Hue)
USD5
Royal Tombs (Hue) USD5
Perfume River Boat (Hue) USD5-10
Cooking Class (Hoi An) USD25 for Half Day
My Son Cham Ruins including car transport (Hoi An) – USD24
-Tu Bon River Boat Trip (Hoi An)
USD5
Day trip to Islands (Nha Trang) USD15
Visit to Mudbaths (Nha Trang) USD3 plus transport
Water Sports: parasaling, Jet Skiing USD20-30
Cu Chi Tunnels (Ho Chi Minh City) USD6 plus transport USD5-10
Cyclo tour (Ho Chi Minh City) USD4
War Crimes museum (Ho Chi Minh City) USD1
-The Reunification Palace (Ho Chi Minh City) – USD2
-Saigon Water Park (Ho Chi Minh City) – USD4
-Lifestart Lantern Making — a G Adventures-supported project (Hoi An) – USD 15
Address: 77 Phan Chu Trinh, Hoi An, Vietnam
Spend an hour learning how to make your own traditional lantern and support local Vietnamese with chronic disabilities

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Be aware that petty theft can be an issue in some Vietnamese towns and cities especially late at night. A common tactic is opportunists on motorbikes that drive by and snatch bags. Please always leave valuables and passports etc in your hotel,in safety boxes if available,and only carry with you enough cash to spend for the day. Bags should always be carried over the neck and not left to sit on your shoulder.

We do not recommend passengers to jump or dive into Kuang Sii Waterfalls in Luang Prabang, this may result in injury.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

A Word of Warning

Please do not buy gems in Bangkok unless you know what you are doing. Even if genuine you should not expect to be able to sell them at home. If you fall victim to a gem scam, we are unable to assist you.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

G Adventures 20/20 Vision Centre. The province of Battambang in Northern Cambodia has 13 districts and 750 villages with a population of 1 million, 12,000 of whom are blind. The main causes of blindness in this area are cataract, uncorrected refractive errors, glaucoma, corneal scars and pterygium (skin like growth over the eye). Of these causes of blindness, 80-90% is preventable or treatable. An estimated additional 1,600 Cambodians become blind each year in Battambang. There is an extreme shortage of health personnel and infrastructure required to combat the identified eye care problems. In order to increase eye care services a Vision Centre funded by G Adventures with donations from corporate partners and travellers, will be established in Moung Russey, about 40kms south of Battambang. Vision Centres are essential for early detection and prevention of blindness. The centers are staffed by ophthalmic nurses or assistants as well as field workers and equipped with essential equipment for examining and treating simple eye conditions.

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites. In Pakistan we recommend a head scarf for women while walking around.

Feedback

Newsletter

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

18

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD240-315 for meals not included.

Meals Included

15 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

PRODUCT_LINE: AVVL, ID: 23396

Itinerary

Day 1: Ho Chi Minh City

Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City. Once the capital of South Vietnam, this sprawling metropolis is now the country’s commercial centre.

Today is arrival day, so there are no activities planned. Relax, explore the city, and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Ho Chi Minh City.

Additional Notes:
Most nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam. Please check with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy regarding requirements.

Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

Day 2: Ho Chi Minh City/Nha Trang (1B)

Free day to explore. Overnight train to Nha Trang.

Additional Notes:
During January/February, Tết (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year) sees millions of Vietnamese commute to be with their families and celebrate. While this is a fascinating time to travel through Vietnam, availability of transport may mean that we will replace the overnight train with an overnight bus.

Transport:
Overnight train (beds) (10.00-11.00 hours)

Day 3: Nha Trang

Optional activities in Nha Trang include a boat trip to nearby islands for some snorkelling or, perhaps, a fun-filled all-day beach party.

Day 4: Nha Trang/Da Nang (1B)

In the evening, take an overnight train to Da Nang, then transfer to Hoi An.

Additional Notes:
During January/February, Tết (the Vietnamese Lunar New Year) sees millions of Vietnamese commute to be with their families and celebrate. While this is a fascinating time to travel through Vietnam, availability of transport may mean that we will replace the overnight train with an overnight bus.

Transport:
Overnight train (beds) (9.00-10.00 hours)

Day 5: Da Nang/Hoi An

From Danang, it is only a short drive to the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Once known as Faifo, it was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections.

Included Activities:
Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch
Street Food Crawl

Transport:
Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s))

Day 6: Hoi An (1B)

Enjoy free time; opt to take a cooking class, cycle to the beach, visit a tailor, or explore the old town.

Day 7: Hoi An/Huế (1B)

Continue the journey north to the city of Hue. Opt to visit the Royal Citadel and tombs, take a Perfume River cruise or tour the countryside by motorbike.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

Day 8: Huế/Hanoi (1B)

Free time in Hue. Overnight train to Hanoi.

Transport:
Overnight train (beds) (14.00 hour(s))

Day 9: Hanoi/Ha Long (1L)

Arrive early morning to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Transfer to a private bus and head to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay.

Included Activities:
Hạ Long Bay Junk Boat Trip

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

Day 10: Ha Long/Hanoi (1B)

Explore Hanoi with an orientation walk through the Old Quarter. Opt to see Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Hoa Lo Prison, or shop in the Old Quarter.

Included Activities:
Old Quarter Orientation Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

Day 11: Hanoi

Spend time exploring Hanoi. Included street food crawl.

Included Activities:
Street Food Crawl

Day 12: Hanoi/Vientiane (1B)

Explore a bit of Hanoi in the morning before an afternoon flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. There is a wealth of cultural delights to discover – on foot, by bicycle or, for the less energetic, by tuk-tuk.

Visit Laos’ most important national monument, Phat That Luang, or meander down the dusty riverside tracks to find villages full of friendly children, dogs and chickens. A visit to Vientiane’s vibrant, colourful morning market (which incidentally is open all day!) is worthwhile, to find plenty of local treasures. A great way to round off the day is to enjoy a spectacular sunset over the Mekong.

Transport:
Plane (1.25 hour(s))

Day 13: Vientiane/Vang Vieng (1B)

A picturesque drive north takes us to beautiful Vang Vieng. This quiet town is set along the Nam Song river amidst rice fields and limestone karsts.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)

Day 14: Vang Vieng (1B)

Why not explore some of the caves by bicycle or take an invigorating walk. In the evening, soak in the natural beauty of Vang Vieng as the sun sets over the river.

Day 15: Vang Vieng/Luang Prabang (1B)

This morning travel from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))

Day 16: Luang Prabang (1B)

Traditional Laotian culture is to give daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. On one of your mornings here, you may decide to rise with the sun, and watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos. This is simply an unforgettable Southeast Asian experience.

Day 17: Luang Prabang/Muang Pakbèng (1B, 1D)

We board our boat for the two-day journey up the mighty Mekong River making our way to Chiang Khong.

Included Activities:
Mekong River Slow Boat
Mekong River Homestay

Day 18: Muang Pakbèng/Chiang Khong (1B, 1L)

This morning we re-board our boat and continue our leisurely cruise along the river before arriving at the Laos/Thai border and crossing to Chiang Khong in the late afternoon.

Included Activities:
Mekong River Slow Boat
Border Crossing (Laos – Thailand)

Day 19: Chiang Khong/Chiang Mai

Departing Chiang Khong after breakfast, we drive to Chiang Mai where you have the afternoon free to explore this fascinating city, once the capital of the Kingdom of Lan.

Included Activities:
Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)

Day 20: Chiang Mai/Bangkok (1B)

Today, why not try your hand at local cuisine with a Thai cooking class? Other options include a visit the magnificent temple of Doi Suthep standing watch over the city from the hills above, taking a bicycle ride in the countryside or embracing the bizarre by getting a massage from the training school at the local woman’s prison! Tonight we catch an overnight train to Bangkok.

Transport:
Overnight train (beds)

Day 21: Bangkok

We’ll arrive early in the morning to Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city. The day is free to explore the many sights of Bangkok. The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, National Museum, and Jim Thompson’s House are just a few suggestions. A trip along the Chao Praya river and through the canals (or klongs) gives you a different perspective of daily life in this busy city.

In the evening, we’ll say good bye and enjoy a Thai meal and perhaps a beer together to celebrate the end of an amazing journey.

Day 22: Bangkok (1B)

Depart at any time.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Interested in Vietnam, Laos & Thailand on a Shoestring?

G Adventures

Related Experiences

Coast to Coast Camping Westbound

United States , Escorted or Guided Tour

Northern India & Rajasthan to Goa by Rail

India , Escorted or Guided Tour

Costa Rica Quest - Teenage Adventure

Costa Rica , Escorted or Guided Tour

Thailand Discovery

Thailand , Escorted or Guided Tour

AJ Travel

Contact Us