Vietnam, Laos & Myanmar on a Shoestring

18-to-Thirtysomethings, Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

There’s no time like now to take on an epic adventure. (Seriously, like right now.) Imagine five packed weeks of hitting up the best destinations that four countries in Southeast Asia have on offer. This trip covers a serious amount of ground (and some water, too.) Chill out on the most golden of golden beaches along Vietnam's sunny coast, cruise through Vietnam’s famed Halong Bay, and trek among the rice paddies in Myanmar (Burma). This is one unique itinerary that every first-time (or repeat) visitor to Southeast Asia should experience.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An Your G for Good Moment: Mekong River Homestay, Muang Pakbèng Your G for Good Moment: Meal at Sanon Restaurant and Culinary Training School, Bagan Your Discover Moment: Ho Chi Minh City Your Discover Moment: Luang Prabang Your Discover Moment: Chiang Mai
  • Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch
  • Witness the giving of alms (Luang Prabang)
  • Slow boat up the Mekong
  • Orientation walk of Luang Prabang
  • Trekking excursion (Kengtung)
  • Sunrise temple tour (Bagan)
  • Orientation walks in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hanoi, and Yangon
  • Street food crawl (Hoi An)
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Chill out on golden beaches
  • Sail around limestone karsts in halong bay
  • Wander the maze-like streets of hanoi’s old quarter
  • Relax or go hiking in vang vieng
  • Watch the buddhist monks in luang prabang
  • Stay overnight at a village homestay along the mekong
  • Eat your way through hoi an on a street food crawl
  • Get familiar with yangon on a ceo-led walk
  • Trek past rice paddies in kengtung
  • See the sunrise above the temples of bagan

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) Discover the energy of Vietnam's biggest city on a CEO-led orientation walk and continue exploring with free time. 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. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Basic 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: Basic 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: Hoi An Orientation Walk Street Food Crawl Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75 hour(s), 28km)
Day 6 Hoi An (1B, 1L) Enjoy a noodle-making demonstration and local lunch at the G Adventures-supported Oodles of Noodles Project. Later, opt to take a cooking class, cycle to the beach, visit a tailor, or explore the old town with free time. Included Activities: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch
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), 137km)
Day 8 Huế/Hanoi (1B) Free time in Hue. Overnight train to Hanoi. Transport: Basic overnight train (beds) (14.00-15.00 hours, 673km)
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) Get to know 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.
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. Get your bearings with a CEO-led orientation walk. Included Activities: Orientation Walk 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/Pak Beng (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 Pak Beng/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. Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 20 Chiang Mai Enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to visit Doi Suthep temple, catch a Thai boxing match, or grab a bargain at the famous night market.
Day 21 Chiang Mai/Kengtung Cross the border into Myanmar (Burma), then travel inland to the ethnically diverse town of Kengtung. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Thailand - Myanmar/Burma) Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s), 155km)
Day 22 Kengtung (1B) Enjoy an included trek through rice paddies along a countryside dotted by various hilltribes. Try Shan khao swè, a noodle soup and regional staple—it's delicious. Included Activities: Hilltribe Trekking
Day 23 Kengtung/Inle Lake (1B) Opt to soak up the lively atmosphere of Kyaing Tong Market with a free morning. This afternoon, travel in style with a quick flight to serene Inle, home to the Intha people, floating villages, and leg rowers. Additional Notes: Please note the flight from Kengtung to Inle Lake (Heho) has temporarily been canceled. During this period of time, travelers will instead travel from Kengtung to Tachilek (4 hours), and fly from Tachilek to Heho airport. This message will be updated when this flight starts up again. Transport: Plane (2.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 30km)
Days 24-25 Inle Lake Enjoy free time to explore the area. Opt to rent a bike, take a cooking class, or tour the lake by boat, visiting some of its floating villages and gardens.
Day 25 Inle Lake/Bagan Continue exploring Inle Lake with another free day. Later this evening, board an overnight bus to Bagan. Transport: Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s), 320km)
Day 26 Bagan (1B) Arrive early in the morning and visit the ancient site of Bagan for a sunrise temple tour. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Included Activities: Sunrise Temple Tour
Day 27 Bagan (1B) Enjoy a free day to visit nearby villages or further explore the ruins.
Day 28 Bagan/Mandalay (1B) Enjoy an included breakfast at Sanon, a G Adventures-supported restaurant and culinary training school. Afterwards, travel to Mandalay and enjoy free time. Opt to climb Mandalay Hill or visit the Golden Monastery. Included Activities: Meal at Sanon Restaurant and Culinary Training School Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 270km)
Day 29 Mandalay/Yangon (1B) Opt to check out Mandalay's ancient temples, visit the nearby ancient royal capital of Amarapura, or traverse the world's longest teak bridge. Transport: Overnight bus (9.00 hour(s), 590km)
Day 30 Yangon Enjoy an orientation walk in the country's largest city, and opt to visit the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda. Included Activities: Orientation Walk
Day 31 Yangon (1B) Spend a free day exploring the country's former capital.
Day 32 Yangon/Bangkok (1B) Fly back to Thailand. Enjoy a final night with the group in the country's capital city. Transport: Plane (4.00-5.00 hours)
Day 33 Bangkok Depart at any time.
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