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Summer holiday in Asia 12 Days


Day 1:
On arrival in Bangkok Airport you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel, about a 45 minute drive. You will check in to your hotel, and your guide will brief you on your upcoming tour program. Overnight in Bangkok.
Day 2:

Today, explore the city with your guide by private vehicle. Begin with a visit to the beautiful and vibrant 24 hour flower market, where restaurants, hotels and florists come to buy their daily stock of fresh locally grown flowers.  Then continue to the famous Wat Pho with its massive golden reclining Buddha.  Wat Pho is also known as the Home of Thai Massage, as the training centre here is world renowned for its excellence. Take a local tuk tuk for an exhilarating transfer to the Grand Palace, the royal and religious heart of the country which houses the revered Jade Buddha as well as the Royal Coronation Rooms.  Some dress code restrictions apply when visiting the Grand Palace; discuss with your guide before setting off for the day.      

Cross the river by shuttle boat and enjoy a Thai lunch at a riverside restaurant in an old teak house famed for its views and delicious food. After time to relax here by the river, board a private long-tail boat for a scenic ride through the many klongs (canals) that criss-cross the city.  The rapid transformation from vibrant city to relaxing suburbia, with gilded temples, stilt houses, giant basking monitor lizards and old men fishing from walkways, is remarkable.  During your hour-long exploration, you will have time to feed the giant catfish that live in the water.

Return to your hotel in late afternoon, with the rest of the day free for you to explore the city at your leisure.  Your guide will be happy to provide recommendations for activities.


Day 3:

This morning, set off with your guide and private vehicle for the floating market of Damoen Saduak.  At a craft centre in Samut Songkhram, learn how important coconut trees are to the region, including how coconut milk and palm sugar are made.

Board a long-tail boat and ride through canals, passing houses and gilded temples, toward the chaotic and vibrant floating market.  Food, flowers, souvenirs and curios are for sale from small stalls alongside the canals and from other boats as well.  Meander through the labyrinth of canals searching for a bargain or a ‘must have’ souvenir, before continuing to Kanchanaburi.

In Kanchanaburi, find the famous Bridge Over the River Kwai, built during WWII by allied POWs as featured in the film of the same name, for a short walk over the river.  At the Death Railway Museum gain insight into the lives and conditions of the POWs and locals who built the railroad under the command of the Japanese Imperial Army. Then visit the Allied War Cemetery for a sobering reminder of the price of war, before checking in to your hotel in Kanchanaburi where you will spend the night.


Day 4:

Today, get up close and personal with some of Thailand's gentle giants.  This elephant park was established to offer a safe haven for all animals, but mainly for the elephants who previously worked in logging or other commercial activities. Start the day by helping to prepare elephant food and then feeding the animals, before taking a walk with them through the jungle, watching them play in the mud pits and then, arguably the highlight of the day, helping them bathe in the river!

Following this unforgettable experience, walk back to the centre with the elephants, say your farewells and return to your hotel for the night.


Day 5:

Today, transfer back to Bangkok Airport with your guide in good time to board your flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

On arrival in Siem Reap, you will be welcomed by your English speaking local guide, who will accompany you to your hotel for check in. In the evening, enjoy dinner along with a Khmer Traditional Dance Show at a local restaurant. You will spend the night in Siem Reap. 


Day 6:

Rise early and head out to watch the sun rise over Angkor Wat, followed by a traditional breakfast of noodle soup at a local stall. After breakfast, return to Angkor Wat in an air-conditioned car with your guide, and explore this majestic temple in the cool morning hours while it has fewer tourists. Enjoy lunch in local restaurant near Sra Srang. 

After lunch, visit Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm, two of the prettiest temples in the complex, and Angkor Thom, starting with the Bayon, a bizarre structure whose architecture reflects the transition from Hinduism (the foundations) to Buddhism (the superstructure). Your next visit will be to the Elephant and Leper King Terraces followed by the Baphuon Temple, which has recently undergone an eight-year multi-million dollar restoration programme. You will then return to your hotel for refreshment.  

At 16.00 you will be picked up from your hotel and driven across town in a tuk-tuk to reach the start point of your 1.5 hour ATV tour. You will receive brief safety instructions and then set off following your guide on your own quad. Ride through the Cambodian countryside on dirt paths through villages and green rice fields and enjoy the sunset before returning to your hotel. 


Day 7:

This morning you are free until time for your transfer to Siem Reap Airport for your flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

On arrival at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll be met and driven to your hotel. You’ll have time to relax after your journey, and spend the night in Ho Chi Minh City.

Alternative option: Nightlife by Vespa.

In the evening, you’ll be picked up at your hotel for a Vespa tour. Your first stop is at Café Zoom to "watch the world go by" (quote by The Lonely Planet) and enjoy a cocktail and appetizer (inclusive) before adventuring to some favourite local eating spots. You’ll experience the nightlife of Saigon the way locals do, all from the back of a vintage Vespa scooter. Then the tour will continue to a hidden Vietnamese-style coffee shop for a taste of Vietnamese live music with the locals. Your overnight stay will be in Ho Chi Minh City.

The tour will start with a ride to Chinatown and then head to District 4 through busy streets and alleys to see the local night life and enjoy street seafood and cold drinks at places few foreigners are found. Leaving district 4 to district 3, the tour passes through downtown district 1 to take in the sights on the way to eat Banh Xeo, a specialty of Saigon, and other southern foods with the locals.


Day 8:

From Ho Chi Minh City’s urban sprawl, you’ll travel to Cai Be District in Tien Giang. Arriving at Dong Phu Pier, you’ll step aboard a boat to cruise the Mekong River and enjoy the peaceful beauty of this place where local people seem to spend most of their time on boats. Disembark to walk along Cai Thia Canal and visit the church, My Luong Temple and a brick factory, then continue by boat to visit a village where you can see rice paper being made at a local house. Enjoy a one hour cycling excursion exploring Hoa Loc mango village, pedalling along beautiful rural pathways and tranquil waterways. You will see traditional wood and palm leaf houses, and have the opportunity to talk with local farmers and prepare some local cakes with them to enjoy with hot tea. Lunch will be served on the boat as you relax, cruising along the river.

On your arrival in Rach Tre, a rowing boat will take you deeper into the countryside via small canals where you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the true delta environment. Arrive at Cai Thia fishing village around 3.00pm, where you will be picked up by your car and driven back to Ho Chi Minh City.


Day 9:

After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Tan Son Nhat Airport for your flight to Danang.

Upon arriving in Danang, enjoy a brief visit to look at the remarkable Hindu statuary in the Cham Museum, and then you’ll be driven to Hoi An. After lunch, you’ll have a guided tour of the Ancient Town of Hoi An. Spend the night in Hoi An.


Day 10:

Today will be free for strolling the town, lazing on the beach, or whatever takes your fancy. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.

Alternative option: Hoi An – From Farmer to Fisherman Tour ½ day 
The day starts with cycling the narrow roads through the countryside, passing by rice paddy fields, water buffalos, bamboo bridges and local farmers on their daily work. You’ll then board a boat to the mouth of the Thu Bon estuary where the river meets the Cua Dai Sea and cruise along the coastline observing the lives of the local fishermen.

After joining the fisherman to try your hand at catching fish in a traditional ‘Thung Chai’ basket boat, you will meander through the water palm coconut canal. During the American War, Viet Cong soldiers made use of this area as a highly effective hiding place from enemy attacks through their long struggle. Following an insightful visit to a local fishing village, you’ll be free to relax and enjoy a fresh seafood lunch before cycling back to your hotel.

Thung Chai Basket boats, similar in style to coracles used across the ancient world, are widely used throughout Central Vietnam, and are highly suited to the local terrain and lifestyles of local fishermen due to their relative light weight and portability, often doubling as carriers for various handy items. Circular, constructed of bamboo and tarred for waterproofing, these small boats can typically carry up to five people, and represent a fun-filled opportunity to touch the authentic rural soul of Vietnam. As a precaution, life jackets are provided for your safety during this excursion.

Day 11:

Another free day in Hoi An.

Alternative option: Hoi An Cooking Class at Green Bamboo Cooking School

This morning, you’ll be picked up around 8.30 from your hotel and go to the local market to purchase ingredients. Local restaurateur Mrs. Van, owner of Green Bamboo Cooking School, will teach you how to cook some of Hoi An’s traditional cuisine. You will select a dish in advance from her menu and will learn to prepare and cook your chosen dish, so the group as a whole will have the chance to learn up to 10 dishes in the day. The class will end around 3.30pm and you will return to your hotel.

For the rest of the afternoon, you’ll be free to stroll around the Ancient Town or travel to Cua Dai Beach. You’ll spend the night in Hoi An.


Day 12:
You'll be free until tour driver picks you up for your transfer to the airport to board your departure flight.