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Bangkok to Xi'an
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Asia is the continent where overlanding all started, and Dragoman has been the leading operator there since our first trucks went through in the 1980s - take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. From the buzzing cultural hub of Bangkok, we journey overland to the truly incredible Cambodian town of Siem Reap and its magnificent world-famous Khmer ruins of Angkor Wat, some of the world's most awe-inspiring ancient temples. We will learn all about the sad history of the 1970s genocide in Phnom Penh and enjoy a homestay near the Mekong in Kratie, before crossing into the beautiful country of Laos. We will travel to the stunning island of Don Khon and the 10th-century temple of Wat Pho near Pakse, before arriving in the exhilirating outdoor-activity capital of Vang Vieng. Next we head to the stunning Buddhist town of Luang Prabang and its famous Kuang Si waterfalls. From here we drive through the beautiful Laotian countryside to Luang Namtha, a wonderfully-located village on the edge of the Nam Tha National Park, then overland across rugged landscape of south China to the natural rock labyrinth of the Shilin Stone Forest. We then head to the delightful city of Kunming. and to the ancient pagodas and Naxi culture of Dali, before travelling through the breathtaking scenery of Yunnan province to arrive in the atmospheric old town of Lijiang, and visit the magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge. As we overland through China's southern provinces, we visit the phenomenal sacred mountain and golden temple of Emei Shan, the collosal Great Buddha of Leshan, the giant pandas in Chengdu and the incredible ancient Buddha caves of Dazu! We'll enjoy a ferry journey through the stunning area of the Three Gorges and a visit to the sacred Buddhist mountain of Wudang Shan en route to the fascinating historic city of Xi'an, home to the world-famous Terracotta Warriors. Join us on this unforgettable epic Asian overlanding experience!

  • Duration: 46 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: EXO2/158021
  • Starts: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Finishes: Xi'an, China
You will Visit
  • Bangkok
  • Aranyaprathet
  • Siem Reap
  • Angkor Wat
  • Kompong Thom
  • Phnom Penh
  • Kratie
  • Don Khon
  • Si Phan Don (4000 Islands)
  • Pakse
  • Thakhek
  • Vang Vieng
  • Luang Prabang
  • Luang Namtha
  • Mohan
  • Xishuangbanna
  • Shilin Stone Forest
  • Kunming
  • Dali
  • Lijiang
  • Tiger Leaping Gorge
  • Panzhihua
  • Emei Shan
  • Chengdu
  • Leshan
  • Dazu
  • Chongqing
  • Wanzhou
  • Three Gorges
  • Badong
  • Yichang
  • Xiang Fan
  • Wudang Shan
  • Xi'an

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Bangkok

Border Information: If joining in Bangkok, you will most likey enter Thailand at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (IATA code: BKK).

Today will be a free day to explore the incredible city of Bangkok until the evening. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader on arrival at the joining hotel with more information about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Bangkok before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Bangkok.

In Bangkok we will stay in a centrally-located hotel with good facilities.

02

Day 2: Aranyaprathet

Today we start our journey with a drive out of the capital and through the Thai countryside to the border town of Aranyaprathet. There is a large border market in the north of the town that is interesting to visit where we will stop for lunch. 

Border Information: Exit Thailand at Aranyaprathet, enter Cambodia at Poipet.

In the afternoon we will cross the border into Cambodia, proceeding through the Thai immigration office then crossing the bridge by foot to the Cambodian immigration office. Once all of the border formalities are complete, we will join our overland truck who will be waiting to meet us and continue to Siem Reap, home to the Angkor Wat temple complex.

In Siem Reap we will stay in a good quality guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 -9 hours. (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 3-4: Angkor Wat

Today we will have an early start for our included guided trip to the incredible and awe-inspiring 12th-Century Khmer temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. We will have a full day to explore the vast site and then watch the sunset over the temples, a truly magical experience.

On the following day we will have free time to explore Siem Reap and to do Optional activities, or simply relax and soak up the atmosphere.

04

Day 5: Kompong Thom

This morning we have a fairly short drive to Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia's most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments. We will have plenty of time to explore the ruins before driving on to Kompong Thom, where we spend the night in the house of a local family.

The accommodation is basic and some bathrooms are outside, but experiencing traditional home-cooked food and spending time with people of the village is truly a special experience.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

05

Day 6: Phnom Penh

Today we will have breakfast with our hosts at the Komphong Thom homestay, and then drive on to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh.

In Phnom Penh we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

06

Day 7: Phnom Penh

This morning we will have a very moving visit to the infamous Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields Memorial. We will then return to Phnom Penh and have a free afternoon to explore Cambodia's capital.

07

Day 8-9: Kratié

Today we continue our journey to Kratie, situated in the northeast of Cambodia on the banks of the Mekong River. The area is famous for its sunsets, and we hope to spot Irrawaddy dolphins swimming in the river!

In Kratie we will stay with local families in their homes. The accommodation is fairly basic but this will be a fantastic local experience.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

08

Day 10: Don Khon

Border Information: Exit Cambodia at Dom Kralor, enter Laos at Voeung Kam.

Today we have an early start to cross the border into southern Laos. If we have been using a chartered bus in Cambodia, we will rejoin our overland truck and meet our co-driver again once through the border. We will then continue to Si Phan Don, otherwise known as the 4,000 Islands. We will transfer by boat to one of the larger islands in the area, Don Khon, and visit the Li Phi waterfalls.

We will also have some free time where we have the option to explore the island on bicycles.

In Don Khon we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

09

Day 11: Don Khon

Today we will have a free day in Don Khon for Optional activities and relaxation.

10

Day 12: Pakse

This morning we will have some more free to further explore the islands before continuing our journey to Pakse. This afternoon we will have an included visit to the magnificent Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer temple complex located at the base of Mount Phu Kao.

In Pakse we will stay in a local guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

11

Day 13: Thakhek

Today we have a full day's drive to the area of Thakhek.

Tonight we will wild camp near to Thakhek.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.

12

Day 14-15: Vang Vieng

Today we will have a full day's drive to the town of Vang Vieng.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day in Vang Vieng to relax, enjoy the stunning landscapes surrounding the village and take part of the many optional activities available in the area. Popular activities here include trekking, renting a bicycle or rock climbing.

In Vang Vieng we will stay in a local guesthouse.

13

Day 16-17: Luang Prabang

Today we will travel via the spectacular mountainous roads of northern Laos to the beautiful city of Luang Prabang.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we have a short drive to a small Hmong hill tribe village called Ban Long Lao. This Hmong village is where we begin our 4-hour trek to the stunning Kuang Si waterfalls. This afternoon you have time to relax and swim in the many warm turquoise pools. We will return to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon.

In Luang Prabang we will stay in a comfortable local guesthouse.

14

Day 18: Luang Prabang

Border Information: If finishing in Luang Prabang, you will most likely exit Laos at Luang Prabang International Airport (IATA code: LPQ).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Luang Prabang. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

15

Day 19: Luang Prabang

Border Information: If joining in Luang Prabang, you will most likey enter Laos at Luang Prabang International Airport (IATA code: LPQ).

Today will be a free day to explore the beautiful city of Luang Prabang until the evening. There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader on arrival at the joining hotel with more information about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Luang Prabang before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Luang Prabang.

In Luang Prabang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel

16

Day 20-22: Luang Namtha

This morning we drive through the stunning countryside of northern Laos to the small town of Luang Namtha.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

In Luang Namtha we will have two free days to enjoy the many optional activities available in and around Luang Namtha and the nearby Nam Ha National Park. Popular activities here include hiking and trekking in the National Park.

In Luang Namtha we will stay in a local guesthouse.

17

Day 23: Mohan

Border Information: Exit Laos at Boten, enter China at Mengla.

This morning we will cross the border into China and begin our journey through the southern Chinese region of Xishuangbanna. We spend the next few days overlanding through this beautiful area, stopping off at towns, villages and local markets along the way.

Tonight we will stay in the border town of Mengla while your crew finalise the paperwork to enter our truck into China.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

18

Day 24: Xishuangbanna

Today will be a full day's drive through Yunnan province towards Kunming, most likely reaching the town of Mojiang or Yuxi en route.

Tonight we will stay in a local hotel en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

19

Day 25: Shilin Stone Forest

This morning we will complete our drive to the incredible Shilin Stone Forest. We will have a free afternoon exploring the stunning and bizarre rock formations of the Stone Forest.

We will stay in a loel hotel tonight near to the Shilin Stone Forest.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

20

Day 26: Kunming

Today we will drive to Kunming, the vibrant, modern capital of Yunnan province. We will have a free day to explore the city's sights.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

21

Day 27: Kunming

Border Information: If finishing in Kunming, you will most likely exit China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Kunming. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

22

Day 28: Kunming

Border Information: if joining in Kunming, you will most likely enter China at Kunming Changshui International Airport (IATA code: KMG).

There will be a group meeting today at 6:00pm - please look out for a note from your tour leader at the hotel reception with more information about this important meeting.

The rest of the day will be free to explore the city of Kunming, its museums and its parks.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Kunming before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Kunming.

In Kunming we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

23

Day 29-30: Dali

Today our journey begins with a morning drive to the beautiful Naxi town of Dali, where we will stay for 2 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore the area and for optional activities such as some short treks in the nearby Cangshan mountains or hiring bicycles to ride around the Dali lake.

In Dali we stay in a friendly hostel or guesthouse with good facilities.

24

Day 31-33: Lijiang

Today we drive further north through Yunnan province to the beautiful 'Old-China'-style town of Lijiang, the base for visiting the world-famous Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following 2 days we will have free time to explore the town of Lijiang and its surroundings. One very popular excursion here is to go on a 2 day/1 night trek along the high trail above the Tiger Leaping Gorge - this is by far the best way to see the gorge from some truly incredible vantage points, and we will have the opportunity to take this trek during our time here (staying in a local guesthouse on the trail on the first night and returning to Lijiang for the second). For those that don't want to do the full trek, your crew will also be able to arrange a trip to the low sections of the gorge, where there is a flat walkway to various viewpoints.

In Lijiang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

25

Day 34: Panzhihua

Today we have a long drive north through stunning mountain scenery towards China's Sichuan province.

We will aim to wild camp en route near the town of Panzhihua tonight.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

26

Day 35-36: Emei Shan

Today we will continue our drive to the small town of Emei Shan.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore Emei Shan Mountain, one of the holiest sites in Chinese Buddhism and the site of hundreds of temples and an incredible golden statue of the deity known as Samantabhadra. It is possible to walk all the way up the stairs from the base of the mountain, joining the many pilgrims in their journey to the temple complex at the mountain summit, or take the cable car up instead!

In Emei Shan we will stay in a local guesthouse.

27

Day 37-38: Chengdu

Today we continue our journey north to the town of Leshan to visit to the Leshan Grand Buddha - at 71m tall, this statue is the largest Buddha rock carving in the world!

After our visit we will continue to the incredible city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, where we will stay for 2 nights. On arrival we will have a free afternoon to explore the city's parks, streets, and museums, and visit the fascinating and incredibly photogenic Jinli Old Town.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

On the following day we will have an included visit to the fantastic Chengdu Panda Breeding Centre. We'll then return to Chengdu for another free afternoon to further explore the city.

In Chengdu we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

28

Day 39: Dazu

From Chengdu we will continue to the small village of Dazu, where we visit the Bei Shan and Baoding Shan caves, famous for their brightly-coloured freizes and carvings.

In Dazu we will stay in a local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

29

Day 40: Chongqing

Today we will drive on the Chongqing, where we will have time to explore the city and prepare for tomorrow's ferry cruise on the mighty Yangtze River!

We will most likely stay in a local hotel in Chongqing tonight, but on occasion our ferry may need to depart tonight, in which case we will have a spare day later in the trip that we can use at our discretion.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

30

Day 41-43: Wanzhou

Today we embark on our Yangtze River Cruise. We travel on a local ferry boat used by local people, a much more authentic and interesting way of travelling than on a tourist cruise. We stay in shared cabins (4 members of the group to each cabin) with private bathrooms and air conditioning where possible.

The journey itself usually takes 3 days/3 nights and heads through some areas of stunning scenery, especially near the Three Gorges - the Qutang, Wu and Xiling Gorges. The boats usually stop at the Fengdu (Ghost City), Shibaozai Tower, home to the Lanruo Dian (Orchid Temple) and at the three Lesser Gorges at various points on the trip. However due to local conditions, stops cannot always be guaranteed.

We will arrive in the city of Yichang and disembark our ferry to rejoin our truck and co-driver and have some free time to explore Yichang and the surrounding area.

We will most likely have an included visit to the incredible Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydroelectric dam in the world, on the last day.

In Yichang we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

31

Day 44: Xiang Fan

This morning we will have some free time in Yichang or visit the Three Gorges Dam if we did not have time yesterday. After lunch we will drive to the town of Xiang Fan, en route to Wudang Shan. 

In Xiang Fan we will stay in a comfortable local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

32

Day 45-46: Wudang Shan

Today we will continue our journey with a drive to the beautiful Wudang Shan Mountain Reserve, the birthplace of the martial art of Taichi and the location of the filming of 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'. We will also try to stop at the Purple Cloud Monastery en route if time allows.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-4 hours.

On the following day we will have a full day to explore the mountain's sights, temples and martial arts schools.

In Wudang Shan we will stay in a local hotel.

33

Day 47: Xi'an

Today we will drive to the amazing city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi province and the end of the 'Silk Road'! We will have a free afternoon on arrival to explore the city of Xi'an, its famous walls, bell and drum towers, pagodas and Muslim Quarter.

In Xi'an we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Full day tour of the incredible temples at Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
    • Explore the amazing pre-Angkorian temple complex of Sambor Prei Kuk
    • 2 nights in Cambodia's chaotic capital Phnom Penh
    • Learn about Cambodia's history at the "Killing Fields" and Tuol Sleng Prison Museum
    • Head out on a guided trip to the Mekong River in search of the freshwater dolphins that inhabit the area
    • Visit the beautiful 16th-century Hundred Pillar Pagoda near Kratie
    • Visit the incredible 10th-century temple of Wat Phou
    • Visit the incredible site of Kuang Si and explore its beautiful waterfalls and pools
    • Explore the maze of limestone pinnacles in the Stone Forest
    • Day trek up the lush mountain of Emei Shan, one of the most important pilgrimage treks in China
    • Visit to the Giant Panda breeding centre in Chengdu
    • See the colossal Dafo Great Buddha in Leshan, the world's largest rock-carved Buddha statue
    • Cruise down the mighty Yangtze River for 3 nights on a local sleeper ferry
    • Stop off to visit the 1700-year-old Zhang Fei temple, famous for its exterior red-light decoration
    • The cruise visits the main sites of the Three Gorges & new Yangtze Dam
    • Trek up the Tianzu Peak to visit the Taoist martial arts school and numerous temples on Wudang Shan
    • Explore the world-famous site of the Terracotta Warriors, an army of 8000 life-size figures built to protect the Emporer Qin Shi Huang in the afterlife
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew with local guides as necessary
    Accomodation
    • 5% Camping - 95% Hotels
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