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This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.
This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.
These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.
Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period.
✓ Small group tour, up to 20 guests only
✓ Incredible sightseeing including the awe-inspiring temples of Angkor Wat, spend a magical night on Halong Bay, cruise the Mekong for 3-nights, and board a historic train over the River Kwai
✓ 14 nights in central 4-star accommodation
✓ 3 nights sailing the Mekong River on a deluxe river ship
✓ 1 night on board a premium Halong Bay cruise
✓ Breakfast daily, 6 lunches & 6 dinners
✓ All internal flights
✓ Fully escorted by professional English-speaking tour guides
✓ Comfortable, dedicated transportation throughout
✓ In-depth sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.
Greetings and welcome to Thailand! On arrival into Bangkok International Airport (BKK), please make your way to your hotel.
The vibrant city of Bangkok, renowned for its iconic tuk tuks, khlong boats, and delectable street food, eagerly awaits your arrival. With countless attractions and experiences, we suggest arriving a day or two in advance to truly immerse yourself in the city's charm. Consider embarking on a scenic riverboat ride to Chinatown, where you can wander through its bustling streets and savour the local culture.
Tonight, at 6pm, prepare for our welcome meeting, where our knowledgeable guide will offer recommendations for your Bangkok exploration.
After breakfast, discover the magnificent Grand Palace, a stunning architectural marvel featuring a series of exquisite structures on the exterior and a truly enchanting interior. This historic palace served as a royal residence from the 18th to the mid-20th century and stands as an undeniable national treasure, likely the most frequented royal monument in Thailand. It's an absolute must-visit.
Embark on a picturesque river cruise along the Chao Phraya River to explore the renowned 'khlongs' or canals. Life along these waterways presents a stark contrast to the bustling streets of the city, offering a tranquil and captivating experience.
As the day progresses, journey westward to Kanchanaburi, a drive of approximately 2.5 hours. Situated at the confluence of the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers, Kanchanaburi is home to the iconic 'Bridge on the River Kwai.
Begin your day by heading towards the enchanting Erawan Falls, which gracefully cascade into a series of emerald-green pools. This natural wonder provides an idyllic setting for swimming, leisurely strolls, or simply unwinding in its serene ambiance. Following your visit, continue your journey to the Hellfire Pass Memorial, a poignant tribute constructed to honour the memory of the Allied prisoners of war (POWs) and Asian conscripts who lost their lives while toiling on the most challenging sections of the Thai-Burma Death Railway.
Next, board a train at Nam Tok station and embark on a historic ride along the tracks that meander beside the Kwai Noi River. Traverse the original wooden viaduct painstakingly built by the Allied POWs, all while being enveloped by awe-inspiring landscapes. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the surroundings.
Depart from Kanchanaburi this morning and set your course for Ayutthaya. Once the majestic capital of the Kingdom of Siam, Ayutthaya's Historical Park is now home to the remnants of grand palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and ancient statues. Your afternoon will be dedicated to exploring these remarkable historical sites.
Prepare for a day of travel adventure! Begin your journey by catching a traditional songthaew from your lodging to the train station. There, you'll hop on a day train bound for Phitsanulok. Don't forget to have your favourite music, podcasts, movies, or a captivating book at the ready, as you'll be treated to a leisurely ride through the picturesque countryside on this relaxing travel day.
Upon arrival, you'll have some free time in the afternoon to explore at your own pace. Later, make your way to a local residence for a delightful Inspiring Taste – a Thai-style cooking class. Immerse yourself in the culinary traditions of the Sukhothai region as your host guides you through the preparation of these authentic recipes. Together, you'll create a delectable feast to enjoy at the end of the session.
Embark on a journey to the ancient ruins of Old Sukhothai, nestled amidst picturesque lakes and gardens. The religious art and architecture from the Sukhothai era represent quintessential Thai styles. Upon reaching the park, you'll have the opportunity to hop on an electric vehicle, enabling you to explore the area at a relaxed pace while delving into the captivating history of this remarkable site.
Following your exploration, the afternoon is yours to savour. You can unwind by the pool or consider engaging in one of the optional activities listed below.
Participate in a hands-on workshop at one of the local businesses that have been preserving the traditional Sukhothai crafting techniques for generations. An excellent example is Suthep Sangkhalok, a small family-run enterprise located near the historical park. Here, visitors have the opportunity to engage in a ceramics workshop, gaining insights into the enduring tradition of Sukhothai ceramics.
In present times, Sukhothai boasts several modest ceramic factories typically managed by families who have carried on the craft through successive generations. These establishments not only offer exquisite handcrafted pieces for sale but also provide valuable information about the Sukhothai ceramics process and the distinctive Sawankhalok style.
Duration: 2 hours (including instruction and hands-on experience) with transportation included.
A local guide will be on hand to assist.
Begin your day by journeying to Chiang Mai, the bustling cultural hub of northern Thailand, renowned for its wealth of famous temples and captivating old city district. Upon arrival, your first stop will be Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a revered temple situated high on a mountain with commanding views over Chiang Mai. To reach this sacred site, you'll have the option to either ascend the 309-step staircase or take a convenient cable car ride.
In the late afternoon, complete your check-in at your hotel, where you can enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.
This morning, embark on an enriching exploration of Chiang Mai's early risers and local life. Immerse yourself in the unique cultural experiences, including alms giving and a vibrant morning market. Stroll past iconic sites such as the striking Wat Chedi Luang temple, the historic Wat Phra Singh temple, and the Three Kings Statue, culminating your tour with a delightful cup of local coffee. Afterward, return to the hotel for a satisfying breakfast and some well-deserved relaxation.
Chiang Mai holds a special allure, especially when you venture into the ancient districts within its city walls. You have the entire day to leisurely explore or consider participating in one of the optional activities listed below.
Drive out to the ChangChill Elephant Reserve and learn how this organization supports the protection, conversation, and lifestyle of free-roaming elephants in the region. You’ll observe the daily patterns of these jungle giants from a safe distance, seeing how they graze and socialize with their other friends. The expert local guides will give you a live lecture on the elephants as well as the reserve’s sustainable tourism practices and conservation efforts in the area. Enjoy some refreshments near the elephant’s mud pit, then be treated to lunch in a riverside sala (pavilion) alongside the giant mammals.
Depart hotel: 10:00 - 10:30 am
Arrive hotel: 5:30 - 6:00 pm
Inclusions: local guide, return transfers, buffet lunch
When the scheduled time arrives, take advantage of the provided transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for your flight to Hanoi.
Upon your arrival at Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), you're responsible for making your way to your hotel.
The remainder of the day is yours to leisurely explore the captivating ancient capital city before an eventful day of touring awaits you tomorrow. At 6 pm, gather in the hotel lobby for a Welcome Meeting with your Tour Guide, providing you with the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers and prepare for the adventures ahead.
In the morning, transfer from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay (approximately 3.5 hours drive).
After arriving at Ha Long, get on board to cruise around and have chances to admire the spectacular scenery of Ha Long Bay with fascinating natural formations while having lunch. Then you will have some time to visit villages to have a look at how local people spend their days. You also can join the cooking class aboard to learn how to make spring rolls - a Vietnamese traditional dish.
After having dinner aboard, you can enjoy some night activities such as squid fishing, drinking, listening to music or just simply enjoying the night sky of Ha Long Bay.
Note: please pack an overnight bag with any essentials that you will need for your cruise, such as a change of clothes, toiletries, and medications. You will return to the same hotel in Hanoi, so your remaining luggage will be sure to be kept safely for the night.
In the morning, enjoy your light breakfast and relax for a while before exploring the cave system.
Afterwards, return to the cruise and enjoy the beautiful scenery until check-out time. We will then transfer back to Hanoi to check in the hotel.
Later in the afternoon, an expert local guide will give you an insight into the intricacies and traditions of Vietnamese food culture including details on ingredients and historical backgrounds of popular northern dishes. You will eat as you go, trying seasonal fruits and sampling a tasty French inspired snack from a street cart. Walking through the maze of bustling streets that make up Hanoi’s Old Quarter, we tempt our taste buds with the famed Hanoi dish Banh Cuon at a local eatery. Watch in awe as the skilled chefs demonstrate for you how this tasty dish is put together. Continuing into the atmospheric heart of the Old Quarter, you will wander past street stalls and quiet residential lanes where you can observe local life that has changed little since Hanoi was founded over 1000 years ago. Your next two snack stops are at outdoor barbeque stalls. You can sit down with the Hanoi locals and sample various meat, vegetable and bread specialties that are flame grilled over hot coals for extra flavour. Now time for dessert as you adventure down a small alley to join in the local tradition of feasting on fresh fruit served in a cup and smothered with crushed iced and condensed milk – this specialty is one not to be missed!
This tour is suitable for all fitness levels, as it involves mostly walking.
Includes: guide, transportation, show ticket
Originating in the Red River Delta, a thousand-year-old tradition, the water puppets act out ancient Vietnamese culture They feature the Dragon, Unicorn, Tortoise and Phoenix dance, Fairies dance, fishing, and agricultural work... It ends with puppeteer’s waist deep in water.
Pick up 4:45pm. Show starts 5:15pm.
In the morning, we transfer to Tran Quoc Pagoda - the oldest of its kind in Hanoi, dating back to the 6th century during the reign of Emperor Ly Nam De Dynasty (544 - 548). The Buddhist shrine has undergone several changes throughout the years, particularly its renaming from An Quoc to Tran Quoc (protecting the country) by Emperor Le Huy Tong in the 17th century.
We will move to the Temple of Literature - famous for being the first university of Vietnam. You will
recognize that this is a popular place for Vietnamese students to take commemorative photographs when graduating.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit the Ho Chi Minh Complex (exterior) where the great President Ho Chi Minh rests in peace. We will visit the traditional stilt house and the respected One-Pillar Pagoda, the special pagoda with particular structure.
From here, head to the airport to take your domestic flight to Da Nang before transferring to Hoi An to check in at the hotel.
Today is a free day to explore Hoi An.
Maybe browse the cobbled streets and art galleries for exquisite paintings, ceramics and colourful cloth lanterns. If you’re craving a new look, you could pay a visit to one of the hundreds of tailors and get something special made. Hoi An is also known for its delicious regional food, so be sure to enjoy a meal at a riverside restaurant or perhaps partake in a cooking class.
Includes: guide, electric buggy, show ticket
The show features more than 500 performers in colorful costumes accompanied by music to create a high-tech show that explores the history of Hoi An. Round-trip transportation is provided from your hotel, which makes it easy to relax and enjoy the evening’s activities.
Pick up 7:30pm. Show starts 8:00pm.
Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An is beautifully preserved and exudes a tranquil atmosphere. Your guide will take you on a sightseeing walk through the Old Town to visit a handful of the city’s major attractions. It’s perfect for strolling around at a leisurely pace, with many beautiful Japanese houses and Chinese temples lining the narrow lanes. Parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago. It’s also a shopping mecca – browse local markets and shops for original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery and lanterns.
In the afternoon, take the short flight down to Ho Chi Minh City.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your accommodation where you will have the evening at your leisure.
Start your day with a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnels - a vast network of tunnels used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. Learn about the ingenuity and resilience of the Vietnamese people as you crawl through the tunnels and see how they were used for living, fighting, and communication.
In the afternoon, embark on a walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City to see the city through the eyes of a local. Visit some of its most iconic landmarks, including the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Ho Chi Minh City Hall.
In the evening, explore Ben Thanh Market, a bustling market where you can experience local life and find souvenirs. You can find everything from fresh produce and seafood to clothing and handicrafts.
Meals are on your own account, but there are many great restaurants to choose from in Ho Chi Minh City. You can try some of the local specialties, such as pho, banh mi and bun cha.
Today is your free day to discover the city at your own pace. Perhaps use your included “Inspiring Sight” to explore the Mekong Delta on a full day tour.
Includes: guide, transportation & lunch
Embark on a day trip to explore the Mekong Delta. Begin your journey by boarding a private boat headed for Ben Tre, where you'll explore the coconut gardens and pause at a local home to sample tropical fruits and coconut jams.
Following this, take a seat in small rowing sampans and gently paddle along the Mekong Delta, passing by coconut trees that line the canals. Enjoy a tuk-tuk tour through the villages, gaining insight into rural life and the coconut industry, which produces items like brooms and coconut fiber mats.
Lunchtime arrives at a restaurant in the heart of the Delta, where you can savor regional specialties like the famous elephant ear fish. Conclude your day with a peaceful cruise along the major waterways to Ben Tre boat pier before returning to Ho Chi Minh City by bus.
After breakfast, today you’ll spend time to discover another side of Saigon.
Start the day by visit Ho Thi Ky flower market – which is not easy to find if you go yourself. This market is not only famous for flower lovers but big foodies too.
Continue to visit Museum of Traditional Vietnamese Medicine showcases 5,000 historical documents and paintings of herbs and medicinal plants, as well as tools for weighing, grinding and making herbal medicine. You will be introduced to how oriental medicine began a century ago until it revolutionized to state-of-the-art manufacturing today.
Then, we will visit Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery – a peaceful place and incredible architecture as a relax before returning to the hotel with the balance of the day is at your leisure.
Depart from Saigon to the river port for boarding. Following lunch, we traverse mangroves and bamboo forests aboard sampans en route to Ben Tre's lush fruit orchards. This region teems with diverse bird species, offering exploration via traditional transportation before transferring to a local rowboat. Meandering gently through bamboo-lined canals, we reach a village renowned for crafting local goods. As evening descends, enjoy captivating Vietnamese dance performances on the deck.
Cruising through the delta provides a genuine glimpse into life along this expansive water route. Following lunch, we navigate a narrow canal and disembark on Con Phuoc Island. Here, we observe local artisans skillfully weaving bamboo baskets using traditional methods. After a demonstration, we have the chance to craft our own. We then hop on a local tuk-tuk for a leisurely tour through this serene village, pausing to visit a century-old church and interact with the welcoming local residents.
We dock at the charming border town of Chau Doc, where our first stop is the floating fish farms, explored by sampan. Next, we visit a Chham Village, offering insights into the lives of Vietnamese Muslims, followed by a short minivan ride to Sam Mountain. Here, we find Phuoc Dien Tu, also known as Hang Pagoda, and ascend its 400 steps to explore the pagoda. Returning to the ship, we navigate a complex network of canals and anchor at the Vietnam/Cambodia border for immigration procedures. During high water times, our alternative destination is Long Thuan village.
After breakfast, you'll disembark from the Pandaw Expedition in Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, and check into your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy as you wish.
After breakfast we will head to our first tour in Cambodia, the Royal Palace. Home to King Sihamoni, the palace was built in 1866 by His Majesty Preah Bat Norodom, the King’s great grandfather. It is closed to the public but we will visit the sacred Silver Pagoda which is covered with five tonnes of shining silver, located inside the palace complex.
Back at the hotel, enjoy a pre-dinner complementary sunset drink at Sora Sky Bar before a traditional Cambodian dinner.
After breakfast, we’ll travel by coach from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap which takes approximately five hours.
Discover traditional Cambodian life at Skuon Village in Kampong Thom and learn about the town’s delicacy: deep fried tarantulas and a host of other insects which the locals consume daily. We’ll also stop at Santuk Silk Farm to learn about this social enterprise which employs local artisan women and its silk production. Before continuing our journey to Siem Reap, we’ll share a simple, rustic local lunch prepared by the women. We will arrive at our hotel at approximately 5pm.
Today is at your leisure in Siem Reap. You may wish to spend the day relaxing by the pool, or exploring Siem Reap on foot. Alternatively you could stroll through the lively Siem Reap Night Market, where you can shop for souvenirs and savour delectable street food.
Note: Today is unescorted.
Today marks a significant highlight of your South East Asia journey as you embark on a full-day exploration of the enigmatic Temples of Angkor. Your day commences with a visit to Cambodia's heart and soul, Angkor Wat, a colossal 12th-century marvel and the world's largest religious structure. Your adventure proceeds to the ancient Ta Prohm Temple, an 11th-century monastery that nature has reclaimed, lending it an unparalleled aura within the extensive complex.
Following a delightful lunch, your journey leads you to Angkor Thom, known as the Great City. Enter through the south gate and be captivated by the iconic Bayon Temple dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. Your exploration then unfolds, taking you past the Elephant Terrace and the elevated Leper King Terrace, adorned with intricate Apsara sculptures, a testament to the rich history of this remarkable site.
Embark on your boat journey to Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia's largest freshwater expanse, renowned for its thriving ecosystem and significant historical role in nurturing the Khmer civilization. As you cruise, observe local dwellings perched on stilts above the water's surface, offering picturesque vistas of floodplains, rice fields, and expansive waters. Immerse yourself in the local way of life with a visit to a resident family, gaining valuable insights into their daily existence.
At the appropriate time today, make your own way to Siem Reap airport for your onward journey. We hope you have loved every minute of your adventure through Southeast Asia.
To enhance your journey, we're offering guests a bonus sightseeing experience. Choose 1 of 5 options (options listed under 'Optional Tours').
The Pandaw experience is all about exploring remote and often hard-to-navigate rivers in specially-designed luxury small ships. Each ship, hand-crafted in brass and teak, is an object of beauty in itself. A Pandaw adventure is very different from that offered on an ocean-going cruise. The ships are small scale, and the atmosphere is informal, and very friendly.
Sailing on a Pandaw ship is an outdoor, fresh air experience. However comfortable and roomy the staterooms, passengers prefer to spend their time sitting outside, on the promenade decks or on the vast observation deck above. Unlike most other cruise ships, every window on board (except for the portholes on the lower deck) can be opened and closed to suit your comfort.
As we sail, we find that our passengers like to sit on deck, absorbed by the awe-inspiring riverside panoramas that unfold before them. From the comfortable vantage point of a teak-floored Pandaw deck, it's hard not to become hypnotised by the unceasing human and wildlife activity that characterises the great rivers of Asia.
The Pandaw stateroom is the most celebrated feature of our ships, combining splendid colonial-era character with exquisite contemporary comfort.
Finished in brass and teak, the main and upper deck rooms are a spacious 168 square feet (15.6 sqm), with the exception of the Zawgyi Pandaw which is 150 square feet (14 sqm). As the space is much loved by all our passengers, we have ensured that with each ship we build, the stateroom remains essentially the same. Be advised: our cabins do not have mini-bars, satellite TV's, internet access or telephones. Passengers tend to choose Pandaw in order to escape from the tiresome features found in international business hotels.
Upper deck staterooms are available from an additional $700 AUD per person on a request basis. Please note your upgrade request in the 'Special Request' field whilst making your booking. Once your upgrade has been confirmed, the additional amount will be added to your invoice and payable with your final payment.
Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.
Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.
This package is sold as land only, however you do have the option of adding international airfares to your booking. Simply click on’ book now’, and under upgrades , you will be asked “Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?”
By selecting this option Inspiring Vacations will contact you to discuss adding flights to your chosen destination. We can assist with flying the airline of your choice to turn your booking into a flight inclusive package.
We would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the following requests:
We are currently unable to provide a quote for the following requests:
Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers.
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.
As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.
This particular tour is categorized as a ”3”
3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.
Single supplement is $2,248.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.
Visa & Passport information
It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.
Visas may be required.
Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/entry-requirements-country.html for up-to-date information in terms of entry requirements.
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels:
You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:
Pre Tour Accommodation
Post Tour Accommodation
Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.
To enhance your journey, we are offering guests a choice of the following optional activities (prices are per person):
Optional tours can be selected once you have finalised your tour purchase and paid your deposit. When completing your Passenger Booking Form, you will be asked if you would like to add Optional Tours, where any applicable cost will be added to your final balance. If you choose not to select them at this time, you can choose to add them later by logging in to your Account online.
Please note that you must select your Optional Tours no later than 70 days before departure, after which you will be required to purchase them on tour. Please keep in mind that anything purchased on-tour is subject to availability and prices may vary as you will be paying in local currency. We appreciate your understanding.
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