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Epic Indochina: River Cruises & Karst Mountains

Atoms/Icons/Calendar
40 Days

What's included

Food
Meals
30 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 5 dinners
Transport
Transport
Local bus, air-conditioned bus, train, walking, tuk-tuk, local boat, junk boat, plane.
Accomodation
Accommodation
Simple hotels (twin-share) or hostels (multi-share) (30 nts), basic hilltribe huts (2 nts, multi-share), homestay (2 nts) sleeper trains (5 nts).
Staff
Staff
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

You will visit

BangkokAtoms/Icons/Arrow DestinationCreated with Sketch.Ko Tao

Trip Comfort

Basic

Age requirement

18 to 39 years old
Now's the time to explore Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. Share stories over drinks among Siem Reap's market stalls, learn the fine art of noodle-making in Hoi An, and catch the day's last rays among the brillantly blue waves of Ko Pha-Ngan. This 41-day adventure is plenty of time to sync your pulse with this part of Southeast Asia — and it's sure to leave you coming back for more.
Epic Indochina: River Cruises & Karst Mountains
Starts
Bangkok
Atoms/Icons/Backpacker
40 Days
Ends
Ko Tao

Itinerary

  • Arrive at any time and welcome to Thailand's bustling capital - Bangkok! Get to know your fellow travellers during a private party at the G Adventures Bangkokian house. Pick your favourite Thai drinks and delicacies from street vendors before relaxing in the courtyard over games and endless stories. Cheers to new adventures!
  • Cross the border from Thailand into Cambodia, your home base for exploring Siem Reap and the incredible Angkor Wat. Taste all manners of salty, sweet, spicy, and sour with a delicious Khmer meal at a restaurant kickstarted by our non-profit partner, Planeterra, or with a local family.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, DINNER
  • Watch the sun rise over the majestic and mystifying ruins of Angkor Wat before spending the rest of the day discovering this ancient city your way. Opt to visit Tonle Sap floating village and Angkor National Museum. Tonight, head to the infamous Pub Street, where the party goes round the clock. Grab a bite to eat (deep-fried tarantula, anyone?) and let the beats move you through market stalls and bars as you wait for tomorrow’s sunrise.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s busy, alternative capital nestled along the mighty Mekong River. Get your bearings on an orientation walk and spend the rest of the evening at leisure. Capture the light show on the river or mingle in the many artsy cafes.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Spend the day diving deep into Phnom Penh's culture and history. Opt to reflect on one of Cambodia’s darkest periods with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields. Or venture to the Silver Pagoda or Royal Palace for a more peaceful experience. Later, discover the foodie side of this city on a street food crawl.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Ride in style to Sihanoukville and board a boat to your own private beach on Koh Rong island. Take the afternoon to taste local seafood, snorkel the coral reefs, or sit back and relax with a drink before hitting the warm waves.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Enjoy your last full day on this pristine island. Do anything you might have missed the day before, like snorkelling, fishing, hiking, or kayaking. Wait 'til after sunset to swim in a sea of blue sparkles caused by phosphorescent plankton. Ooh la la!
  • Head back to the mainland and journey to Chambok Village where you’ll spend the night and get to know the local people over a delicious Cambodian home cooked meal. Immerse yourself in the community and wander around this remote region.
    Meals: DINNER
  • Cross another border into Vietnam, stopping in the famed Ho Chi Minh City where you'll spend the night at a popular backpackers hostel. Take this chance to visit the Ben Thanh Market for souvenirs and handicrafts before taking in the buzzing nightlife. Choose to venture to one of the many rooftop bars for a panoramic view and live music.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Feel the pulse of Vietnam’s biggest city on a CEO-led orientation walk, with free time after to double back to your favourite spots. Shop 'til your heart's content, immerse yourself in local culture, or just wander the streets to take in the city's unique vibe. Tonight, catch up on sleep on an overnight train to Nha Trang.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • You’ve arrived! Welcome to the eastern sea. Take this morning to explore local shops and markets, rejuvenate in a therapeutic mud bath, relax on the beach, or visit nearby historical sites before an evening street food crawl.
  • It’s not over yet. There’s more free time to explore Nha Trang today, so soak it all in. Then, hop on an overnight train to continue to Hoi An, stopping first in Da Nang for a short transfer.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Hoi An’s excited to meet you. See why on an orientation walk of the city before spending free time in the afternoon. Dig even deeper and choose between a cooking class, cycling to the beach, visiting a tailor, or exploring old town. Tonight's the night for your big night out, grab a drink on our tab and reminisce about your favourite adventures so far. Then dance the night away!
  • Noodles might be fun to eat, but they’re even more fun to make. Find out how during a visit to G Adventures-supported Oodles of Noodles. The rest of the day is yours, so see what you can discover. Choose to visit the ancient ruins of My Son, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or cruise down the Thu Bon River.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH
  • Head north to the Imperial City of Huế. There’s lots to do here, with options to visit the indestructible Royal Citadel and tombs, cruise along Perfume River, or jump on a motorbike and ride around like the local people.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Your second day in Huế comes with more free time to enjoy the city. In the afternoon, cruise through Vietnam's stunning countryside to the green rocky mountains of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • It’s time to head underground to explore the chilling caves of Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, where the oldest karst mountains and longest cave in Asia are found. Then it’s an overnight train to Hanoi.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • After arriving in Hanoi, the bustling capital of Vietnam, take a private bus to the iconic Halong Bay for a seafood lunch cruise and cave exploring. Be sure to charge your camera so you can grab a shot truly worth sharing!
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Feel like you've gone back in time with an orientation walk through Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Then stop for a drink at Bia Hoi Corner, a spot that serves bia hoi, a local beer made of rice and wheat - and costs a mere $0.25USD per glass!
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • 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 people, 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.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Find a bit of peace partway through your trip with a visit north to Vang Vieng, a small town nestled among striking limestone karsts and the Song River. Take a guided hike to Pha Ngeun, the town’s highest viewpoint, for incredible views of the valley — no filter necessary. This evening, enjoy a drink on us to celebrate new adventures with new friends. Cheers to keeping life exciting!
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Get the most out of Vang Vieng with a day to freely explore. Check out the caves by bicycle or trek through the countryside. Choose to kayak through Tham None cave and venture to the Blue Lagoon by booking the adrenaline bundle.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Continue to colourful Luang Prabang and make your first acquaintance with this ancient city during an afternoon orientation walk. Afterward, embark on a short trek up sacred Mount Phousi, climbing the stone stairs with scaly golden handrails, past the monks quarters and Buddha's footprint cave, to reach the temple at the top - Wat Phousi. Enjoy a 360-degree view of the sun setting upon Luang Prabang and the Mekong River. Descend into the bustling night markets.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Skip sleeping in to watch the monks walk through town before dawn. Dressed in saffron robes, they receive daily alms from local residents. Then, visit the Kuang Si waterfalls on a guided excursion before free time in the evening. Traditional Laotian culture involves giving daily alms to monks. Monks are only allowed to eat food which has been donated to them before noon. Should you rise early, you’ll get to watch one of the most important religious ceremonies in Laos.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • The Mekong never looked so welcoming. Board a long, cozy houseboat that will take you on a two-day journey up the Mekong River en route to Chiang Khong in Thailand. Today, cruise to a village homestay for the night, experience a Baci welcome ceremony, and enjoy dinner with your hosts.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, DINNER
  • New day, same magnificent Mekong. Today’s your second travel day, where you’ll cross into Thailand arriving in Chiang Khong by the later afternoon. Sit back, relax, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, and enjoy the scenic ride.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH
  • Take in the rolling countryside views on the drive to Chiang Mai nestled alongside Thailand's northern mountains. Spend the afternoon getting to know this peaceful city known for traditional markets and glorious temples. Choose to visit Doi Suthep, catch a Thai boxing match, cycle around, or grab a bargain at the famous night market.
  • Continue to explore Chiang Mai at your own pace making the most of this unique city. Visit the magnificent temple of Doi Suthep as it stands watch over the city from the hills above, take a bicycle ride in the countryside, or learn how to drive a tuk tuk and explore the rural lanes of Chiang Mai by pre-booking the Full Day Tuk-Tuk Adventure.
  • It's time for a change of pace. Today, drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Malai village, where you'll set off on a trek through rugged forests to see how diverse this region of hilltribe communities really is. Every village you'll see has its own language, belief system, style of dress, and traditions. It's a few hours to the first village of hilltribe thatch bungalows, but every step is worth it as you get to know the lay of the land.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
  • Trek for 2–3 hours before stopping for lunch. Then head to a Karen village to see how traditional blankets and scarves are made. Keep trekking for a few more hours (you've got this!) before stopping in the next village for the night. Along the way, you might get the chance to stop at Mae Tang River to learn to fish using local tools or build a raft using bamboo.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER
  • After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft and get a closer look at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai, a foodie's paradise. Try the city's most famous dishes like khao soi (noodles in curry broth) and sai usa (northern Thai sausage) and get ready for your big night out. Venture to the best bar in town and grab a drink on our tab to cheers to a completed trek and life-changing adventures!
    Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH
  • Make the most of Chiang Mai with more free time, where you can go shopping in the market, get a Thai massage, or explore any of the many temples. Or, hey, you could always go back for another taste of khao soi curry. Tonight, catch up on sleep during an overnight train and wake up in Bangkok.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Get out and explore this fantastic city where there is endless sightseeing to be done.
  • Get on first-name basis with Thailand's capital city by bike with an optional bike tour. Today, you can check out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, go for a street food crawl, relax with a Thai massage, or explore the klongs (canals) by boat before boarding the overnight train.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • See southern Thai hospitality in action with breakfast at G Adventures-supported Khao Thep Pitak Community-Owned Farm & Restaurant, where you can also meet other international visitors. Later on, go to Lake Cheow Lan where you can take in the views while hiking or swimming in the national park. Spend tonight falling asleep to the sweet sounds of the jungle. This area is known for its natural beauty. You know what that means: lots of chances for photos.
    Meals: BREAKFAST, LUNCH
  • Head across southern Thailand to find yourself in Pha-Ngan. Take the free afternoon to relax on the beach or by the pool — which will be easy since tonight, you'll be staying beachside or poolside in cozy bungalows. This area is known for its epic nightlife, whether or not there's a Full Moon Party. Make sure you don't miss the sunset. It'll be unforgettable.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • There's no rush to leave Ko Pha Ngan. Use your second day here to catch up on anything you missed yesterday, like exploring the island's waterfalls, swimming in lagoons, going for a hike, or, hey, taking another day to relax beachside.
  • Take the ferry to Ko Tao, a laid-back island known for snorkelling. This afternoon, put on your flippers to see a whole other world underwater. Going beneath the surface not your thing? Go the other way and climb up to the scenic view at Kho Nang Yuan View Point.
    Meals: LUNCH
  • Make the most of your last full day in Ko Tao paradise. Spend the day soaking up the sun beachside and be sure to get your fresh seafood fix. For your big night out, venture into the bustling nightlife and grab a drink on our tab to cheers to life-changing adventures with newfound friends. If you want to keep the party going, participate in the massive Ko Tao Pub Crawl.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
  • Today, it’s time to say goodbye to your group of newfound friends as the tour ends. Be sure to sneak in some last-minute photos and cheers before you head on your way. If booking a flight out of Ko Samui airport, make sure not to book one earlier than 11:00am.
    Meals: BREAKFAST
Trip ID: atis