Indo 12: Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai – Luang Prabang – Pakbeng – Hanoi – Halong Bay – HoiAn – Saigon -Siem Reap – Angkor Wat – Banteay Srei and Tonle Sap (24 Days – 23 Nights)

Day 1: Bangkok – Arrival
Arrive in Bangkok, you will be met and transferred to hotel. Overnight in Bangkok. (B)

Day 2: Bangkok – Public Transport Tour
Morning departs to the Skytrain. Enjoy an elevated view of central Bangkok before boarding a river express boat to the Flower Market. Enjoy the sights and smells before taking an exciting tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho to see the famous Reclining Buddha. Enjoy a thirty minutes massage from the temple’s near by traditional Thai massage school. Lunch at restaurant. Then head to the pride of Thailand, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew housing the Emerald Buddha. Take a stroll down the street to a local Buddhist amulet market before boarding a river express boat to the Skytrain station. Return to hotel. Overnight in Bangkok. (B,L)

Day 3: Bangkok – Kanchanaburi
Leave for Kanchanaburi by train. Enjoy the beautiful views along the way. Take the train to the terminal station where you will be met by your private air conditioned vehicle and will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon drive to the Hellfire Pass Museum to learn more about the hardships suffered by the thousands of POW’s and forced labor. Transfer back to Kanchanaburi town to see the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai as well as other World War II memorials before heading back to Bangkok by private vehicle in the evening. Overnight in Bangkok. (B,L)

Day 4: Chiang Mai – Doi Suthep & City Tour
Transfer to Bangkok Airport for flight to Chiang Mai, meet and transfer to hotel. Then visit Doi Suthep, the most important Wat in Chiang Mai. Perched high above the city, it offers wonderful views of the city and countryside below. Lunch at restaurant. In the afternoon, visit some of the more famous Wats, within the city walls of Chiang Mai, Your guide will discuss Buddhism and the role it plays in everyday life as well as showing you the many details of each temple. Overnight in Chiang Mai. (B,L)

Day 5: Chiang Mai – Patara Mahout Traning at Patara Elephant Farm
Morning drive to the Patara Elephant Farm outside of Chiang Mai. At the farm, a brief talk on working with elephants before heading into the bush to find them and learn about the elephant farm management and the breeding program taking place here. Meet the elephants and learn to approach them and work with them from the ground. You will take them to the river for their morning bath and then take a short ride to a local temple where you can learn about elephants in Buddhism and the Thai’s ancient relationship with these traditional beasts of burden. In the afternoon, set off for a ride through the jungle to some waterfalls. Enjoy a picnic lunch and a swim with your elephant in the falls. Drive back to hotel. Overnight in Chiang Mai. (B,L)

Day 6: Chiang Mai – Cooking Class
After breakfast, take a full day Thai cooking class. Then take to the market to learn about many of the fruits and spices. After getting your ingredients you will be taught to make several Thai dishes before enjoying a huge feast together to celebrate your newly acquired skills! Tonight attend a traditional Khantoke Show dinner and dance. Overnight in Chiang Mai. (B,L)

Day 7: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai
After breakfast, head to Chiang Rai via Wiang Pa Pao. Enroute stop and visit the Mea Kachan hot springs and then drive on to Cabbages and Condoms where you can enjoy a delicious and fun lunch. After lunch stop to visit Wat Rong Khun. Overnight in Chiang Rai. (B,L)

Day 8: Chiang Rai – Golden Triangle and Opium Museum
Morning drive to the Queens Opium Museum, a fascinating look at the history and culture of the opium trade in the Golden Triangle. Then on to the Golden Triangle itself where you can see Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. In the afternoon head to the Thai Burma border and visit the market there before returning to your hotel. Overnight in Chiang Rai. (B,L)

Day 9: Chiang Rai – Day at Leisure
Have a free day to explore on your own. Overnight in Chiang Rai. (B)

Day 10: Luang Prabang – Pakbeng
Transfer to Chiang Rai Airport for flight to Luang Prabang. Then take on boat from the Luang Prabang pier. Cruise your way upriver to the Pak Ou Caves to see the “Cave of a thousand Buddha’s”. Enjoy a buffet lunch on board as you pass stunning scenery on your way to Pakbeng. Arrive at the LuangSay Lodge before sunset where you will have dinner looking over the Mekong. Overnight in Pakbeng. (B,L,D)

Day 11: Pakbeng – Houeisay

Enjoy breakfast at the lodge and take an optional walk in to the village. At 8am board the boat for the second leg of the cruise. Upriver stop to see local rural life and enjoy a buffet lunch on board. Arrive in Houeisay. Transfer to the border. Upon arrival in Luang Prabang, meet and transfer to hotel. After your arrival in Luang Prabang, drive to the main part of town for a quick orientation tour. Give you an introduction to the city, showing the main roads, some restaurants and the night market area. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B,L)

Day 12: Luang Prabang – Sunrise to Sunset
Wake up at sunrise to give monks morning alms. Accompanied by guide who can demonstrate the proper method of alms giving and explain this daily Buddhist ceremony. Return to hotel for breakfast, then take on city tour, including visits to The National Museum, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visun and Wat Sen. Lunch at restaurant. Hike up Mt. Phou Si in the late afternoon to see a sweeping view of Luang Prabang and watch the sunset. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B)

Day 13: Luang Prabang – Visit Poptop Weaving Village
Morning drive to the Ock Pop Tok Weaving Center on the bank of the Mekong River. After an introduction to silk making, take a tour of the center and its garden, pointing out the trees and plants used as natural dyes. Spend your morning preparing natural dyes of your choice and practice dying your own bundles of silk. Take a break with a home-cooked lunch on the patio and enjoy the riverside view. After lunch, you will be paired with a local Lao weaver who will demonstrate the stages of the weaving process. Try your hand at the loom for the remainder of the afternoon, where you’ll weave a small, placemat-sized section to take home as a souvenir. Overnight in Luang Prabang. (B,L)

Day 14: Hanoi – Arrival
Arrive at Noibai airport, meet and transfer to hotel. Take a one-hour cyclo tour of this charming capital city through the scenic Colonial Quarter, the Restored Sword Lake and the Old Quarter of “36 streets of 36 wares”. Attend a Water Puppet Show to experience a truly traditional Vietnamese evening. Dinner at restaurant. Overnight in Hanoi. (B,D)

Day 15: Hanoi – City Tour
Full day Hanoi city tour including “Ho Chi Minh- His life, Times, and Beliefs” followed by visit Ho Chi Minh’s House on stilt, Mausoleum and Museum. Lunch at restaurant. Afternoon, visit to Temple of Literature, One-Pillar Pagoda, Old Quarter. Overnight in Hanoi. (B,L)

Day 16: Hanoi – Halong Bay
Morning drive to Halong Bay. Arrive in Halong Bay and board a Vietnamese “junk” (boat) where you will have lunch. Then take a fantastic cruise in Halong Bay, where the cast limestone islands rise vertically out of the water and you will wonder if you are dreaming or sailing into a movie set. Visit Dinh Huong, Ga Choi, Dog, and Snail Islands before continuing to Sung Sot cave. Jump in for a swim at Titov beach. Enjoy dinner on the boat followed by optional fishing and drinking of Vietnamese wine before heading to your air-conditioned cabin. Overnight onboard. (B,L,D)

Day 17: Halong Bay – Danang – HoiAn
After breakfast on the boat continue cruising this area known as one of the ‘Wonders of the World’ to Man’s Head and Tortoise Islands. A small bamboo boat will take you to Luon Cave, then off to Bai Tu Long Bay, Toal Island, Bai Tho Mountain. The boat will then make its way to Halong City as you enjoy your last lunch aboard. Return to Hanoi in a private car, stopping en-route at Dong Trieu Pottery. Then transfer to airport for flight to Danang. Meet and transfer from Danang airport to HoiAn and check in hotel. Overnight in HoiAn. (B,L)

Day 18: HoiAn – City Tour
Morning, visit the Ancient Town of HoiAn including the beautiful Chua Cau, or roofed bridge, Hoi Quan, the ancient meeting places, some ancestral family homes and some of the lovely and hidden pagodas. Have lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon take a boat ride on the Thubon River to visit Thanh Ha, the traditional pottery village and Kim Bong, a famous carpentry village. Overnight in HoiAn. (B,L)

Day 19: HoiAn – MySon
Departs to My Son, a fascinating archeological site with ruinous temples featuring both Hindu and Buddhist influences. Walk through the beautiful park where a stream flows through the center and various temples dot the landscape. Then head to a local families home for lunch. Here you will enjoy traditional HoiAn delicacies made by the family. Take a walk around the village and see how the Vietnamese live today. Return to your hotel in the afternoon. Overnight in HoiAn. (B,L)

Day 20: Danang – Saigon
Transfer to the airport for morning flight to Saigon. Arrive at Tan Son Nhat airport, meet and transfer to hotel. Visit some of the museums like the History Museum, or some pagodas, like Thien Hau Pagoda and Jade Emperor Pagoda. A more somber attraction is the War Remnants Museum, a very powerful look at the Vietnam War. Have lunch at restaurant. Overnight in Saigon. (B,L)

Day 21: Saigon – Cooking Class – Siem Reap
Enjoy morning tea or coffee in a local Vietnamese tea shop. Then go to a local market to buy the raw ingredients for cooking class. Return to hosts house where you will be given private cooking lessons on traditional vietnamese foods of your choice. After having lunch, transfer to the airport for flight to Siem Reap. Arrive at Siem Reap airport, meet and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap. (B,L)

Day 22: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat
Morning drive to Angkor Wat in an air conditioned car, or if you choose by bike, with guide. Explore this majestic temple throughout the morning while it is still cool and has fewer tourists. Lunch at restaurant. Then head to Angkor Thom, the famous walled city and see the many temples within its borders, including the fascinating Bayon temple with its many magnificent faces smiling out. There are several beautiful spots from which to watch the sunset. Overnight in Siem Reap. (B,L)

Day 23: Siem Reap – Banteay Srei and Tonle Sap
Morning departs to Banteay Srei, the intricately carved temple just 30 km beyond Angkor Wat. Then head back to the temples where you will visit Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm, two of the prettiest temples in the complex. After a rest or swim drive through rural Cambodia to the Tonle Sap Lake, take a boat ride to visit the floating village and a Cambodian fish farm. As the day ends choose to climb Phnom Krom and see the ancient ruins high on the hill and watch the sun set over the lake and rice fields below or relax and watch the sun disappear below the horizon from your boat on the lake. Overnight in Siem Reap. (B,L)

Day 24: Siem Reap – Departure
Morning visit a local village with rice paddies and typical homes along the way. Enjoy a fresh coconut drink and meet a local family and neighbors. Walk from here to West Baray Lake to take a local boat to an island with some picturesque ancient Khmer ruins. Return to shore where your car will be waiting for you. From here head to Pua District and visit the Artisans de Angkor silk farm where many local women are trained in the art of silk weaving. Take a walk around the Old Market where the locals and tourists shop side by side. Then pay a visit to Artisans de Angkor to see their workshop in town. Here you will be taken on a short tour to see the students learning the skills needed to produce works of art in a variety of different materials before visiting their beautifully displayed shop. Transfer to the airport for departure flight. (B,L)

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