South East Asia Small Group Tour

The Spirit of Southeast Asia

Visit Thailand, Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam
23 Day Trip    October 27 – November 18, 2015

Join us on our Signature Trip to exotic Southeast Asia. Visit Bangkok,Thailand in all its golden splendor – the World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia – the unspoiled beauty of Luang Prabang, Laos – spectacular and colorful Sapa, in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam, and humming Hanoi. The culmination of
the trip is a 3-day cruise on our own private luxury junk, in the serenity of the South China Sea and Ha Long Bay. This is group travel at its best – we keep it small and just intimate enough so you’ll never feel like you are part of a ‘tour herd’. We build in plenty of time for selfexploration and relaxation. Our attention to detail is unsurpassed – we want you to remember your trip with us as the best you’ve ever had! And we make that happen all the time – check out some of the recent reviews from our clients.

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Trip Itinerary – The Spirit of Southeast Asia

Day 1, October 27 – Depart  

Day 2, October 28  – In transit

Day 3, October 29 – Arrive in Bangkok1 - IMG_7146
We will be met by our English-speaking guide and escorted to our air-conditioned coach for the transfer to our hotel in Bangkok. In the afternoon we will visit the Chao Phraya River and canals that lace Bangkok, comprising the traditional waterborne way-of-life that has remained essentially unchanged over centuries. The main attractions along Klong Bangkok Noi Canal are the Royal Barge National Museum and the traditional wooden houses, many on stilts and decorated with colorful flowers, that line the banks. We will also pass several temples constructed in the Ayudhaya style. This evening, dinner at leisure. Accommodations at Sheraton Royal Orchid Hotel.

Day 4, October 30 – Full Day Best of Bangkok Excursion
In the morning, we will visit The Grand Palace, Thailand’s most important shrine, housing the Royal residence and throne halls, government offices and the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Then we will proceed to Wat Po, home of the enormous reclining Buddha. After lunch, we will visit the Jim Thompson House, a museu2 - IMG_7297m filled with Asian antiques and historical memorabilia housed in six old teak houses. Jim Thompson came to Thailand at the end of World War II and revitalized the Thai Silk industry. There will be time to shop for the fine silk products for which Thailand is known at the silk shop on the grounds. For the remainder of the afternoon, we will continue on to Pak Khlong Talaat, Bangkok’s fragrant flower market, where vendors prepare colorful bouquets of fresh flowers. Dinner at leisure after returning to our hotel, Sheraton Royal Orchid.

Day 5, October 31- Flight to Cambodia3 - IMG_7388
Morning departure transfer, by air-conditioned coach, with our guide, from the hotel to Bangkok International Airport for our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Met by guide and transfer to our hotel. Check in and have lunch. Depart for afternoon visit for the main Angkor Wat Temple. Dinner at leisure. Accommodations at Hotel Somadevi Angkor.

Days 6 & 7, November 1 & 2 – Siem Reap and Angkor Wat   
During the next 2-day stay in Siem Reap we will have a guide and vans at our disposal to explore more of the Angkor Wat ruins, which cover an area of 60 miles. Each day we will have 2 visits scheduled, a morning and an afternoon visit. For those who wish to spend the afternoon by the pool, we will return to the hotel for lunch and they can remain in town for the afternoon, while those who wish to visit more temples can continue on after lunch. We will also arrange a boat tour of nearby Lake Tonle Sap, with its floating villages and spend time in the community of Tro Peng Tnal, where we will visit the local primary school and get a closer look at life in a rural Cambodian village. Accommodations at Hotel Somadevi Angkor.

Day 8, November 3- Siem Reap and Luang Prabang, Laos   7 - IMG_7824
Depart for airport for our flight to Luang Prabang. Transfer to hotel. Check in. Dinner and evening at leisure. Accommodations at Maison Dalabua.

Day 9, November 4 – Kuang Si Waterfall  
After breakfast, we will visit the Living Land Lao Organic farm at Phoung Van village. We will learn about about how rice is grown and harvested and have an opportunity to participate in the farm’s activities. From there we will go to the Khouang Si Waterfalls, where there will be a chance to splash around in the turquoise pools or walk along the forest paths. We then return to the city and climb up to the top of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded stupa as well as a panoramic view of the city at sunset and the Mekong River. Overnight in Luang Prabang  at Maison Dalabua.

Day 10, November 5 – Luang Prabang 10 - V0020258
Today we will explore the city’s oldest temples, Wat Sene and the magnificent Wat Xiengthong with its roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Laotian architecture. In the morning, we also visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and the shrine of Wat Aham. Following lunch, we experience the Arts and Ethnology Centre to learn about Laos’ many ethnic cultures before we head out of town to see the weaving villages of Ban Xiengkhong and Ban Xienglek. We then return to the city for a visit to Wat Mai. Overnight in Luang Prabang at Maison Dalabua.

Day 11, November 6 – Luang Prabang11 - IMG_9606
An early start will give us the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. Today, we will participate in a local cooking class. Our chef will take us to a large food market, where we will learn about foods and how they are used. We will then transfer to a beautiful countryside garden setting to cook and enjoy lunch together. We will transfer back to the hotel mid afternoon. The rest of the day is your own free time. Overnight at Maison Daladua.

Day 12, November 7 – Luang Prabang & Hanoi12 - IMG_9707
This morning we will go to Elephant Village. On arrival, you will be greeted by the camp manager who will talk about the organization’s program to protect Asian elephants. After trying your hand at riding an elephant, we will return to our hotel for lunch and final preparations for our departure. Fly to Hanoi. Transfer to hotel. Dinner and evening at leisure. Accommodations at Authentic Hanoi Hotel.

Day 13, November 8 – Hanoi Full Day/City Tour13 - IMG_0368
Early morning departure for a full day city tour of Hanoi, including the Tran Vu pagoda, The Temple of Literature, the Museum of Ethnology and the Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake. Accommodations  at Authentic Hanoi Hotel.

Day 14, November 9 – Hanoi & Night Train to Lao Cai
After breakfast we will visit the Ho Chi Minh complex, and then enjoy a one hour cyclo tour through the Old Quarter. The rest of the day is free until we leave for the train for the overnight train to Lao Cai. Saplay train – private 2 person cabins

Day 15, November 10 – Sapa
Early morning arrival in Lao Cai. Visit the Coc Ly Market, a weekly gathering place for the many different tribal peoples of this region. Continue on to Sapa. Lunch in Sapa. The afternoon is free to explore the town of Saopa or relax at hotel and spa.                 Overnight at Victoria Sapa Hotel

Day 16, November 11 – Sapa
Drive to Cau May to visit Ta Van village. As we walk through the villages nestled in the valley, we will have a chance to meet and interact with some of the local ethnic minority people. These minority people include Red Zao, Hmong and Tay people. Accommodations at Victoria Sapa Hotel.

 

Day 17, November 12 – Sapa & Hanoi20 - V0020673
Early morning free time. We start the afternoon by getting some exercise with a trek to the Macha village. The tour begins with a short hike to Suuoi Ho valley. We will then hike along hillside, terraced rice fields, and local ethnic villages until we reach the Ma Cha village, inhabitated by the Black H’mong people. We will have a final dinner tonight at the Victoria Sapa Hotel before heading to Lao Cai station for the train back to Hanoi. Saplay train – private 2 person cabins.

Day 18, November 13- Hanoi
Early morning arrival in Hanoi. Free time at leisure. Variety of optional sites to visit such as The Hanoi Hilton, The Water Puppet Theater, The Hanoi Fine Arts Museum.  Accommodations at Authentic Hanoi Hotel.

Day 19, November 14 – Hanoi & Halong Bay
Morning departure for Halong Bay. Upon arrival we will be transferred to our boat and head south on the South China Sea. Our captain will find a secluded spot where we can swim from the boat, soak up the sun on the top deck or try our hand at some kayaking. Accommodation on the Dragon Pearl – private 2 person cabins.

Day 20, November 15 – Halong Bay

Today, we continue to move around the Halong Bay area to find additional secluded spots to swim, kayak and explore. Stay on the Dragon Pearl – private 2 person cabins.

Day 21, November 16 – Halong Bay & Hanoi

This morning there will be several possibilities to explore some beaches and caves. For those wishing to stay on board, the junk will be close by. At around midday we will return to the main harbor before transferring to our awaiting coach, for our 3-hour journey back to Hanoi. Late afternoon and evening at leisure. Accommodations at Authentic Hanoi Hotel.

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Day 22, November 17 – Depart Hanoi28 - IMG_9140
Depart Hanoi. Bus transfer from hotel to airport. Return trip home via Singapore and Frankfurt.

Day 23, November 18
Arrive back in the United States.

V0020605You can download the complete Spirit of Southeast Asia Trip Itinerary here

SOUTH EAST ASIA TOUR DETAILS

Tour Includes:

  • ETS arranged international air, New York – Asia – New York
  • ETS arranged 3 intra-Asia flights
  • 23 day tour (22 nights)
  • 15 nights in superior or deluxe accommodation with daily breakfast, double occupancy. Check-in time is 2.00PM and check-out time is 12.00PM. Early or late service is subject to availability with surcharge. 2 night on overnight Sapaly train (1st class, soft sleeper cabin for 2 people) Hanoi-Lao Cai –Hanoi
  • 3 day-2 night cruise Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, on private junk ‘Dragon Pearl’, 2 person cabins
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking guide on land tours in Bangkok, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
  • Rice Farm visit
  • Laotian market visit and cooking class
  • Elephant Village visit
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by air-conditioned vehicles
  • All activities mentioned in itinerary
  • Sightseeing fees and permits during guided time
  • Rural community visits in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam

Tour Excludes:

  • Passport fees
  • Visa fees for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
  • Innoculations
  • Early/late check in/out service at hotels
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Services and Meals and Drinks other not mentioned in itinerary
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditures of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance

 ** We reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as circumstances dictate.**