- Relax in quaint Hoi An
- Shop Hoi An's quaint Old streets
- Cruise on the blue waters of Halong Bay and cave explorations
- Exploring the pristine villages in Laos
- Shop at the Chiang Mai night market
- Explore the bustling streets of Bangkok
- Street food crawls in several cities
There can be nothing better than a backpacking trip across Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand during your gap year abroad! From the bustling nightlife of Khao San Road in Bangkok to the quaint boat ride on the Mekong, cave explorations in Ha Long Bay and cooking classes in Chiang Mai - You'll get to experience the best that's there in store for you. Savor the taste of the local cuisines and learn how they are prepared. Get a chance to widen your social network as you'll meet several enthusiastic travelers from other parts of the world. So what are you waiting for? Set out for this adventure tour and explore Southeast Asia on a shoestring budget.
Day 1 - Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City
Welcome to Vietnam! You'll be taking a flight to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, where you'll meet our coordinator. You'll be taken to your accommodation for the day. There will be a brief orientation session once everyone arrives, where our coordinator will give you a detailed idea of the tour. You can opt for a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, visit the Ben Thanh market or check out the War Remnants Museum.
Day 2 - Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang
You'll have the entire day to explore Ho Chi Minh City, before boarding the overnight train to Nha Trang. Start with visiting the War Remnants Museum, checking out the Reunification Palace, and later, spend time at Thien Hau Pagoda. Don't miss out the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City for some delicious Pho!
Day 3 - Nha Trang
You'll be reaching your destination in the morning and have the entire day for yourself to explore the place. You can go for a snorkeling day trip near one of the local tropical islands and explore Nha Trang Bay's underwater world.
Day 4 - Nha Trang to Da Nang
You'll have plenty of time to explore local shops and markets, relax on the beach or visit nearby historical sites. You'll be taking an overnight train to Da Nang.
Day 5 - Da Nang to Hoi An
Go for a noodle-making demonstration and local lunch at the Oodles of Noodles Project, an initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training. Savor the taste of your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine.
From Da Nang, it is only a short drive to the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Once you reach, you'll head out for an Orientation Walk with your coordinator.
Day 6 - Hoi An
You'll have the entire day to explore Hoi An. You can attend Vietnamese cooking classes if you are interested, or cycle on the beaches. Stroll through the narrow winding streets of Hoi An’s Old Town to see the Chinese assembly halls, ancestral homes, the Japanese covered bridges, pagodas and much more.
Day 7 - Hoi An to Huế
It's time to travel further north to the city of Hue. Take a tour of this imperial city to see the Thiên Mụ Buddhist Pagoda, the tallest religious building in the country, the Japanese bridge, and the Tombs of the Emperors. Visit the Dong Ba Markets for local specialties such as Banh khoai (savory pancakes) etc.
Day 8 - Huế to Hanoi
Enjoy your free time in Hue. You can go for a scenic cruise down the Perfume River. Otherwise, shop, eat, wander or just relax before you travel to Hanoi.
Day 9 - Hanoi to Ha Long Bay
Arrive early morning to the bustling city of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. And then, head to the beautiful and famous Ha Long Bay. The adventure will begin as you'll set out on a junk boat for a seafood cruise followed by cave explorations! It's gonna be an exciting day, so buckle up!
Day 10 - Ha Long to Hanoi
You'll go for an orientation walk through the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Opt to see Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, and the Hoa Lo Prison, or shop in the Old Quarter.
If you are a food lover, then there can be no better option than going for Hanoi Street Food Walking Tour!
Day 11 - Hanoi
Make the most of your time at Hanoi, since it's the last day in Vietnam before you head towards Laos! You can go to watch a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show with beautiful live music and intricate puppets dancing in a water stage. Don't forget to visit the markets and pick up some souvenirs.
Day 12 - Hanoi to Vientiane
Explore a bit of Hanoi in the morning before an afternoon flight to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. In the evening, you can head out to see the Pha That Luang (Great Stupa), completely covered in gold leaf.
Day 13 - Vientiane to Vang Vieng
It'll be a soothing road trip towards the north of Laos before you reach this quiet town is set along the Nam Song river amidst rice fields and limestone karsts. In Vang Vieng, you can go for hiking and explore the limestone karsts.
Day 14 - Vang Vieng
Rent a bike and explore the countryside, and you'll surely fall in love with the beauty of the place. Meet local villagers to find out more about their way of life.
Day 15 - Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang
Today, you'll travel from Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang, which is further in the north of Laos. Head out for an orientation walk with your coordinator.
Day 16 - Luang Prabang
There are several wats (temples) in this part of the country, and you can spend some time exploring how the Buddhist monks spend their days here. You can also attend cooking classes to learn how to prepare the authentic cuisine. You can also go for a day trip to explore the Kuang Si Waterfalls.
Day 17 - Luang Prabang to Pak Beng
Your two-day journey up the mighty Mekong River will begin today, as you'll set out on a houseboat. Get a glimpse of the rural life while spending the night at a homestay. Enjoy a simple but tasty home-cooked dinner that consists of typical Laotian cuisine.
Day 18 - Pak Beng to Chiang Khong
The houseboat journey will continue till you reach Thailand! In the late afternoon, we'll reach Chiang Khong.
Day 19 - Chiang Khong to Chiang Mai
Departing Chiang Khong after breakfast and head towards Chiang Mai, one of the most picturesque destinations in Thailand. Visit Doi Suthep Temple, catch a Thai boxing match and explore the night market in case you have something to buy!
Day 20 - Chiang Mai to Bangkok
You can attend your hand at local cuisine with a Thai cooking class if you are interested. You can hire a bicycle and go for a ride in the countryside. You'll be catching an overnight train to Bangkok.
Day 21 - Bangkok
You just have a day, so explore as much as you can! Head towards the Chatuchak Market, known as the largest outdoor market in Southeast Asia. You'll get the best deals in everything - from shoes to bags, electronic items, antiques and much more. You must also visit the beautiful wats in Bangkok, and quickly explore the floating markets as well. Spend the evening at Khao San Road, partying with your new friends!
Day 22 - Return back home from Bangkok
As your adventure tour across Vietnam, Laos and Thailand comes to an end, it's time to say goodbye to your friends and board the returning flight. Get in touch with the coordinator if you need help in reaching the airport.
Dates & Cost
- Lunch at Hoi An (Oodles of Noodles)
- Village style living at Mekong River Homestay, Muang Pakbèng
- Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch
- Slow boat ride on the Mekong
- Orientation walks in Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, and Hanoi
- Street food crawls in different cities
- Domestic flight fares
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- Accommodation - Simple hotels (twin-share) or hostels (multi-share) (16 nights), sleeper trains (4 nights), local homestay (1 night)
- Meals - 15 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
- International/Domestic Airfare
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance (available at nominal cost)
- Departure transfer to airport (can be arranged at nominal cost)
- Meal not mentioned
Accommodation - Simple hotels (twin-share) (5 nts), hostels (multi-share) (10 nts), sleeper trains (3 nts), homestay (1 nt).
A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations - rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers. Multi-share Accommodation: Multi-share same-sex accommodation is used on this tour, as such, if you are travelling with someone of a different gender you will not be in the same room. For private accommodation please see tours in our Classic Travel Style.
Meals Included - 13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with Go Discover Abroad you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.