Trip Type : Group Tour
From Siam to Saigon: Thailand & Vietnam Revealed tour
Bangkok Chiang Mai From Siam to Saigon: Thailand & Vietnam Revealed Trip

From Siam to Saigon: Thailand & Vietnam Revealed

Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
33 days
From: $ 5,290 $ 160 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • See the floral market at Pakklong Talad
  • Visit the Royal Barge Museum
  • Enjoy a tour of Bangkok
  • Visit to Bangkok's oldest temple, Wat Pho
  • See the colossal statue of the reclining Buddha.
  • Visit Kanchanaburi's War Cemetery and have a chance to walk on the original bridge on the River Kwai.

Short Description

On this trip—a combination of our Discover Thailand and Inside Vietnam adventures—you’ll explore these fascinating countries in depth. As you journey from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, you’ll stop to visit a hill tribe, explore a night bazaar, embark on an elephant trek, and much more—all in a small group of just 10-16 travelers.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Bangkok
End City Ho Chi Minh City

Trip Includes

  • All land transportation and 6 internal flights
  • Accommodations for 31 nights
  • 43 small group activities
  • Services of a resident, English-speaking OAT Trip Leader
  • NEW: Gratuities for local guides, drivers, ship-crew, and luggage porters
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit toward your next adventure—an average of $331

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Itinerary

DAY 1
Depart U.S. to Bangkok, Thailand
We depart on an overnight flight across the Pacific and cross the International Date Line.

DAY 2
Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand
Accommodations: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar
Your hotel room in Bangkok is reserved so that you can check in immediately upon arrival, very late in the evening. An OAT representative greets you at the airport and assists with transfer to the hotel, where you'll meet the travelers who joined the pre-trip extension to Burma & the Irrawaddy River.

DAY 3
Explore Bangkok • Royal Barge Museum
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar
See the Grand Palace in Bangkok
Following breakfast, your Trip Leader, who will be with you throughout your trip, gives you a briefing on Bangkok. Then, we'll have the chance to see the floral market at Pakklong Talad, where we'll observe garland making and sample fresh tropical fruit before continuing our exploration of Bangkok by canal. We'll sail aboard motorboats down the river and along the klongs, or canals, through residential areas on the outskirts of town. We become part of Bangkok's lifeblood as we cruise its network of rivers and klongs—a part of Bangkok most travelers never see. We'll then enjoy a cooking demonstration and lunch.

After lunch, we'll take another boat ride to visit the Royal Barge Museum, where we'll discover a fleet of ornate teak and gold vessels that were once reserves for royal processions and grand ceremonies along the Chao Phraya River.

After the museum visit, we return to the hotel for an orientation walk of the surrounding area before enjoying a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 4
Visit Grand Palace & the Emerald Buddha
Meals included: B Accommodations: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar
See the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok
Following breakfast at our hotel, enjoy a tour of Bangkok. Step into the Old Kingdom of Siam at the Grand Palace of Thailand, a sprawling compound of ceremonial halls, gilded spires, and ornate buildings. The ancient city's defining landmark since 1782, the palace became the centerpiece of a new Thai capital called Krung Thep (City of Angels), known outside of Thailand as Bangkok. It was King Mongkut (or Rama IV) who ruled from this palace, expanded trade with the West, and was romanticized in the musical The King and I.

The focal point of the palace is the Emerald Buddha. Carved out of jade and adorned with gold, the Emerald Buddha made a dramatic appearance in 1434, when it was found hidden in a temple stupa. Since 1785, the Emerald Buddha—the most highly revered image of the Buddha—has resided in the Royal Chapel of the Grand Palace.

Continue your explorations with a visit to Bangkok's oldest temple, Wat Pho, where you'll see the colossal statue of the reclining Buddha.

You can spend the afternoon at leisure making your own discoveries in Bangkok, with lunch and dinner on your own.

DAY 5
Explore floating market • Overland to Kanchanaburi • Discover Hellfire Pass
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Hin Tok River Camp or similar
Discover Bangkok's floating markets
This morning, we have breakfast and then depart Bangkok, stopping to see the Floating Market of Damnoen Saduak. Then we arrive in Kanchanaburi Province, a green region where the riverside scenery belies its dramatic history, portrayed in the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. It was here that Allied POWs and Asian conscripts were forced to build the infamous World War II railway. In the summer of 1942, World War II was raging across Europe and Asia. The Allies were rapidly capturing the sea routes to Burma, forcing the Japanese to develop an overland supply route from the east to support their troops. The Japanese decided that the most viable option was a railway that followed the River Kwai through the dense jungle on either side. About 200,000 Asian laborers and 61,000 Allied prisoners of war built this 260-mile stretch of rail in abominable conditions—for every half-mile of track laid, 38 POWs perished.

Following lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Kanchanaburi's War Cemetery and have a chance to walk on the original bridge on the River Kwai. We then drive to Hellfire Pass, where we visit the sobering Hellfire Pass museum before embarking on a 45-minute walk on a woodland trail. (The trail has many stairs, but you can avoid them by turning back after walking through Hellfire Pass.) The area is now peaceful, but many lives were lost during the World War II construction of one of the most difficult sections of the River Kwai Railway.

From here, we continue to our lodge by motorcoach, and settle down for dinner upon arrival.

DAY 6
A Day in the Life of a western Thai community • Enjoy a boat ride on the River Kwai
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Hin Tok River Camp or similar
Explore the Kanchanaburi region of Thailand
Today, we have a special treat: A Day in the Life of a western Thai community. First we explore the stalls of a local market, seeing fresh produce and the popular snacks of the region.

From here, we’ll continue to Ban Phu Toey Village, where we'll visit with local villagers and farmers, discussing agricultural and political topics important to the region. We’ll pause for lunch at a local farm, where we’ll be joined by members of the community. After lunch, we’ll say farewell and visit the community cooperative center before boarding our longtail speedboat for a cruise on the River Kwai. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant.

DAY 7
Rice Barge Cruise in Uthaithani • Travel overland to Phitsanulok
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Wangchan River View or similar
Explore Uthaithani on a rice barge cruise
After breakfast, we set out early this morning, and drive through rice-growing country to Uthaithani. We then board the Khiri Nava, a large traditional wooden rice barge, and cruise past peaceful scenes of river life. Many local people live on the raft houses that line both sides of the Sakae Krang River, and you might see farmers tending their small fish farms. We have lunch as we cruise on the river for about an hour and a half. We then continue to Phitsanulok. Late in the evening, we check into our hotel and later, have dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 8
Explore 13th-century Sukhothai • Visit indigo workshop • Explore Phrae FOUNDATION VISIT
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Maeyom Palace Hotel or similar

After breakfast this morning, we head for Sukhothai, Thailand's largest collection of historic ruins. This is the place where the Thai nation was born, the kingdom's magical and spiritual center. With its cache of remarkably preserved columns, shrines, temples, and palaces, it epitomizes old Siam. We explore the well-kept grounds of this historical park to see the monuments, and learn about its most famous king, Ramkamhaeng. Not only did this legendary ruler leave a great legacy of art and architecture, he left stones inscribed with a chronicle of his achievement. King Ramkamhaeng is credited with inventing Thai script, as well as with amazing skill at hand-to-hand combat on elephantback, the spread of Theravada Buddhism, and developing relations with China. But even his colorful legend pales in comparison to the evocative palette of Sukhothai, which translates to “Dawn of Happiness.” Then we enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

In the afternoon, we travel to Phrae, where we'll visit an indigo workshop to learn how cloth is dyed and intricate patterns and designs are locally made. Later, we'll have dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 9
Overland to Chiang Rai
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Golden Pine Resort & Spa or similar

After breakfast, we'll visit the Mae Yang Rong School, where we’ll meet and interact with 8-to-10-year-old students. After some classroom activities, we’ll enjoy a student performance. Then we travel further north to Chiang Rai, stopping en route for lunch. We arrive this afternoon and take an orientation walk before having dinner at our hotel.

DAY 10
Chiang Rai • Visit hill tribes
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Golden Pine Resort & Spa or similar
Today we visit the House of Opium Museum and hear stories about the opium warlords who once held sway in this region, formerly known as the Golden Triangle. At one time, the hill tribes in this region relied on the cultivation of opium for survival—including several bands of Chinese nationalist followers of Chiang Kai Shek, who have been living here (somewhat in hiding and in dwindling numbers) since the Revolution. But times have changed. The government has established many programs to introduce more viable crops, and most of the people are law-abiding farmers. Today, tourism has become a preferable alternative to drug smuggling, and the hill tribes are more concerned about preserving their old traditions.


For lunch, we'll drive by open songtaew taxi trucks to a nearby restaurant. After some free time back at the hotel, we'll depart for our visit to the local hill tribes. More than 20 distinct, semi-nomadic tribes inhabit northern Thailand and the borderlands of Burma and Laos. Some have obscure origins; most have their own language; and all have unique customs. We visit the hill tribe known as “Long Neck” for the golden rings the women wear to push down their collar bones. Take note of their compact huts, their traditional clothing, and a way of life that has changed little in centuries. We also visit the Akha, who wear elaborate headdresses accented with vivid colors.

We dine with the "Long Neck" tribe this evening and enjoy a traditional dance.

DAY 11
Travel overland to Chiang Mai • Home-Hosted Dinner
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: The Park Hotel or similar

Relax and enjoy the passing landscapes as we travel most of the morning to Chiang Mai—the principal city of the north, a major cultural center, and a favorite with visitors. The city's medieval walls encircle more than 30 active Buddhist temples, and the metropolitan region boasts another 80 religious sites.

Lunch will be in Chiang Mai at a local restaurant. This afternoon, join your Trip Leader on a visit to a gem gallery. Chiang Mai is well known for its sapphires, and it's the world's largest cutter of colored stones. In the evening, we enjoy making personal connections with the Thai people as we have a special dinner in the home of local residents.

DAY 12
Embark on an elephant trek
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: The Park Hotel or similar

This morning we visit the Mae Taman Elephant Camp for show of trained elephants, and then we embark on a forest trek by elephant back. We ride for about an hour on the backs of these gentle giants, enjoying a grand view of the forest. We return to camp by elephant and then board small bamboo rafts and float downstream. We'll enjoy lunch at the camp.

This evening we'll dine at a local restaurant.

DAY 13
Buddhist alms-giving ceremony • Visit Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep
Meals included: B Accommodations: The Park Hotel or similar

Before breakfast this morning, you have the option of visiting a local temple to witness traditional Buddhist alms-giving. After breakfast, we'll visit the temple of Wat Suan Dok and have a discussion with its Buddhist monks. Then we'll see the most magnificent of the city's temples, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, which we reach by riding up its mountain slope and negotiating hairpin turns until we come to a flight of 306 stairs, flanked by snarling naga serpents whose tails coil up to the temple. From here, we'll enjoy panoramic views of Chiang Mai below. You'll have the option to walk up the stairs or take a funicular.

You'll have the afternoon to explore Chiang Mai on your own, perhaps sampling the renowned northern dish, khao soi (yellow noodles and meat in a spicy, coconut-curry broth) for lunch. Dinner is also on your own this evening.

DAY 14
Fly to Bangkok • Optional Thai Cultural Heritage tour OPTIONAL TOUR
Meals included: B Accommodations: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar
Explore the canals of Bangkok at sunset
Enjoy a morning at leisure and lunch on your own before our flight to Bangkok. After checking in to our hotel in Bangkok, spend an afternoon at leisure making your own discoveries in the city. Or, this evening, you can join an optional excursion to see the beautifully painted murals at the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, watch an epic Thai musical production, and have dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 15
Explore Bangkok • Farewell Dinner cruise
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Evergreen Laurel Hotel or similar
Explore a street market in Bangkok
Today, we explore the city of Bangkok. We begin with a walk through a traditional market in Chinatown, filled with colorful shops selling fruit, snacks, incense, and items used in local rituals. Then we pay a visit to Wat Trimitr and its Golden Buddha, the largest Buddha made of pure gold in the world.

After lunch on your own, we arrive at the Jim Thompson House, former home of a mysterious American turned silk merchant, for a tour of the traditional teak houses whose pieces were moved here from various parts of the country. Jim Thompson is credited with revitalizing Thailand's silk industry and expanding its international markets. We'll return to our hotel by public transportation in late afternoon.

Tonight, we say goodbye to Thailand over a Farewell Dinner Cruise on a river rice barge, and return to our hotel for the evening.

DAY 16
Fly to Hanoi, Vietnam
Meals included: B D Accommodations: May De Ville City Centre or similar

After breakfast at our hotel, we depart for the airport for our flight to Hanoi. We check in to our hotel and take an orientation walk around the neighborhood. We gather together tonight to celebrate our first night in Vietnam with a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 17
Explore Hanoi • Enjoy water puppet show
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: May De Ville City Centre or similar

This morning, we have breakfast and set out on a full-day tour of Hanoi, where we'll drive through the French quarter and view the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the national leader whose memory is honored here, and go inside to view the former president's preserved remains. We'll also see the distinctive One Pillar Pagoda, and stop for a visit to the Temple of Literature. Please note: The Ho Chi Minh mausoleum is closed every Monday and Friday (outside grounds and garden area will be open on these days) and normally closed from September 4 through November 5 for preservation and maintenance of the building.

After lunch at a local restaurant, we return to the hotel to enjoy some free time. This evening, we enjoy a water puppet show, an art form in which puppets are suspended over water, directed by puppet masters who must sit semi-submerged for hours at a time. The tradition of water puppetry is at least 1,000 years old, originating with peasants in the Red River Delta of the north. The puppets, which the French used to call “the souls of the Vietnamese rice fields,” are made of the water-resistant wood of the fig tree and depict villagers, farm animals, dragons, and more.

DAY 18
Hanoi • Optional Tho Ha Countryside tour OPTIONAL TOUR
Meals included: B Accommodations: May De Ville City Centre or similar
This morning is free for independent exploration of this fascinating city. Because Hanoi was isolated from Western development after 1954, it has a uniquely preserved concentration of French and Chinese Colonial-era architecture. You may want to stroll to interesting traditional and contemporary art galleries or visit some of Hanoi's other attractions including Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Quan Thanh Temple, and the Opera House.


Or you can join us on an optional tour of rural Tho Ha. Twenty miles north of Hanoi, the Nhu Nguyet River surrounds this traditional village. After a drive and brief ferry ride, we'll discover wonderful architecture and hard-working, friendly people. The main industries here are rice paper and pig farming. After visiting a local family to see rice paper in the making, we'll walk the village and mingle with the locals and then stop for lunch. This tour is a great opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of rural life in Vietnam.

DAY 19
Visit Bat Trang Ceramic village
Meals included: B L Accommodations: May De Ville City Centre

After breakfast, we depart for Bat Trang, a small village outside Hanoi known for its unique style and superior quality of ceramic pottery.

Here, we visit a workshop, where local craftspeople have been perfecting the art of ceramics for centuries. We learn about the process, from forming the clay to painting the distinctive intricate designs.

Afterwards, we wander around town and make time for exploring the colorful vases, bowls, flowerpots, and more in the village market.

We return to Hanoi to have lunch at a restaurant. From here, we visit the Museum of Ethnology, where we'll learn about the fascinating cultural diversity of this ancient land. Please note: On Mondays, the Museum of Ethnology is closed. If our tour of Hanoi is on a Monday, our visit to the Museum of Ethnology will be replaced by a visit to Hanoi's History Museum or Fine Arts Museum.

Dinner this evening is on your own.

DAY 20
Overland to Halong Bay • Embark junk
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Vietnamese junk or similar
Discover Halong Bay on a traditional Vietnamese Junk boat
After breakfast, we set off for Halong Bay—the Emerald Bay of Vietnam—a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Some of the roads to the bay are rough, but the journey offers quiet views of the flat green countryside dotted with rice paddies and small villages. We arrive in the early afternoon and transfer to a pier for our overnight cruise.

With its clear, emerald waters and mountains draped in velvety cloaks of vegetation, it's little wonder that Halong Bay has been the inspiration for generations of Vietnamese poets. Resting peacefully across the Gulf of Tonkin near the Chinese border, this region—literally “the bay of the descending dragon”—is dotted with more than 3,000 mountain islands, whose jagged profiles seem to rise out of nowhere.

Against the backdrop of innumerable caves, beaches, soaring cliffs, and grottoes, the Vietnamese go about their daily lives, fishing and harvesting, reaping the riches of the land and sea. Vietnamese fishermen nimbly navigate in lacquered and woven-wood coracles, lozenge-shaped, rudderless vessels that resemble an oversized tub. Oar-propelled fishing boats, or sampans, abound as well, many occupied by whole families.

Our vessel is of particular interest. We board a junk, a wooden sailboat in the traditional Vietnamese style. We drop anchor at an island pierced with surreal grottoes, then enjoy lunch onboard ship. We resume our cruise in the afternoon and enjoy dinner on our boat, where we will spend the night.

DAY 21
Fly to Hué
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Cherish Hotel or similar

We cruise back to the port this morning and transfer to the airport for our flight to Hué, located on the central coast of Vietnam, north of Danang. We arrive in Hué this afternoon and transfer to our hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own.

DAY 22
Explore Hué
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Cherish Hotel or similar

After our breakfast at the hotel, we explore Hué, the former imperial capital, built by the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty during a time recognized as the golden age of Vietnam. For centuries, Hué has been a main cultural, religious, and educational center of Vietnam—and the reputation continues with the many students who live there today. The older section of Hué is a moated, walled citadel surrounded by eleven stone gates. We'll tour the citadel, find the Imperial Enclosure, and see its inner Forbidden Purple City, a private area reserved for the emperor. After a visit to the unofficial symbol of Hué—the seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda, we'll take a boat ride along the Perfume River.

Then we share a savory lunch with the Buddhist nuns at the Dieu Thanh Pagoda before returning to our hotel for some time at leisure.

Tonight, we gather for dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 23
Overland to Hoi An • Cooking class
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Lotus Hoi An Hotel or similar

We rise early for breakfast before our drive to the town of Hoi An, an ancient, well-preserved port town that's changed little in the past two centuries.

En route we stop at Lang Co Beach and China Beach, the setting for the eponymous TV show about a U.S. army base in Vietnam—now a peaceful 18 miles of white sand and waves. We also stop in Danang, where we'll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before departing to Hoi An.

We arrive in Hoi An this afternoon and check into our hotel, where we'll enjoy a few hours of free time.

Tonight, we head to a local restaurant for a Vietnamese cooking class, where we'll learn the secrets to preparing some local specialties. We'll savor the fruits of our labors for dinner.

DAY 24
Hoi An • Optional cyclo-rickshaw ride and Thu Bon River cruise OPTIONAL TOUR
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Lotus Hoi An Hotel or similar

Today, we have breakfast at the hotel and then embark on a walking tour of Hoi An's Old Town. A well-known feature in this port town is the Japanese covered bridge with its own temple and statuary.We'll amble through the historic streets, ride the local ferry to the other side of town, and observe the Hoi An's mossy houses, including the Phuc Kien Congressional House Most of Hoi An's historic houses have been maintained in their traditional design, with brick exteriors and wooden interiors. And after many centuries of maritime trade, the town boasts a multicultural air: Traders from Persia, Arabia, China, Japan, and India, as well as the first Christian missionaries to reach Vietnam, have all left their mark.

Enjoy an afternoon at leisure and dinner on your own, or join us on an optional cyclo-rickshaw ride through a rural area of Hoi An, followed by a Thu Bon River cruise. We'll travel by cyclo-rickshaw to Cam Nam village, view Hoi An's historic cityscape from a different vantage point during a cruise along the lovely Thu Bon River, and sample a slice of daily life at the central market. We'll dine at a nearby restaurant.

DAY 25
Hoi An • Explore Champa Ruins at My Son Sanctuary
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Lotus Hoi An Hotel or similar

Today, we have breakfast and then travel through the rice fields of the countryside to My Son Sanctuary, Vietnam's most significant ruin from the Champa Kingdom, which prospered from the second to the 15th centuries.

My Son was established as a religious center in the fourth century in a lush, isolated valley overlooked by Hon Quap (Cat's Tooth Mountain). We walk these red-brick ruins, enjoying time to admire the delicate masonry and to take in the peace of the place. We'll return to Hoi An in time for lunch at a local restaurant before an afternoon at leisure. Dinner tonight is on your own.

DAY 26
Fly to Nha Trang • Boat tour to fishing village
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Hotel & Spa or similar

This morning, we fly from Danang to the town of Nha Trang.

Upon arrival in Nha Trang, we board traditional wooden “drawing boats” to visit a local fishing village on Mieu Island. The views of the water are lovely, with rocky inlets, palm-lined beaches, and refreshing breezes. Our boat tour also takes us to a beautiful beach nearby, where you can relax and enjoy lunch on your own. Afterward, we check into our hotel. This evening we’ll gather together for dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 27
A Day in the Life of Xom Gio village FOUNDATION VISIT
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Hotel & Spa or similar

Today, we set out to experience A Day in the Life of the tranquil riverside community of Xóm Gio. We'll be guests of the village chief, who'll invite us into his home for a mid-morning discussion about the village's history and culture, followed by a savory lunch prepared with our help and the guidance of the chief's wife. Afterwards, we'll tour several homes that were remodeled with support from Grand Circle Foundation, visiting with families who live there. We'll learn about daily life and then be introduced to the local cottage industry—the bamboo baskets for which the village is known. Then we walk through the village, passing fields of vegetables and rice paddies on our way to a small family-run business where chopsticks are milled. On our way back to the hotel, we'll stroll through a vibrant village marketplace where you can pick up some exotic fruit for an afternoon snack.

We'll enjoy some free time back at the hotel. Tonight, enjoy dinner on our own.

DAY 28
Travel overland to Dalat • University visit • Home-Hosted Dinner
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Sammy Dalat Hotel or similar

After breakfast we travel overland to Dalat, nicknamed the "City of Eternal Spring," admiring the rice paddies, vegetable patches, and gently sloping hills that we pass along the way. Prized by Vietnamese for its mild climate, Dalat, nestled in the mountains, was the site of the summer residence of Vietnam's last emperor, Bao Dai. We arrive in Dalat around noon and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before checking into our hotel.

We gather for an orientation walk around our hotel, and then set out for our visit to Dalat University. Here, we'll learn about the Vietnamese system of education during an informative discussion with a professor and local university students.

This evening, we'll learn more about local culture over dinner with a local family in their home. This is another chance to meet with people who call Vietnam home, learn about their daily lives, share a little of ourselves, and really experience local culture.
DAY 29
Optional Dalat Agricultural tour • Explore old French train station • Visit Linh Phuoc Pagoda OPTIONAL TOUR
Meals included: B D Accommodations: Sammy Dalat Hotel or similar

This morning, you may choose to rise early before breakfast to explore a local market in Dalat. Enjoy the rest of the morning at leisure with lunch on your own, or join us for an optional tour that focuses on Dalat's agricultural production and village life. We'll stop at a market garden to learn about flower-growing in this region. We'll also visit a silkworm factory and discover the process of silk-making from its very beginning. Then we'll continue on to the isolated traditional village of Buon Chuoi (Banana Village) to meet the Chil people, a hill tribe that practices subsistence farming. This tour includes lunch.

In the afternoon, we all depart for our visit to Dalat's crémaillere (cog railway) train station. Established by the French in the early 20th century, the railway linked Dalat to Thap Cham before ceasing operation in 1964 due to Viet Cong attacks. We'll admire the Art Deco aesthetic of the station and take a 30-minute train ride to the nearby town of Trai Mat. Here, we'll explore Linh Phuoc Pagoda, a striking Buddhist temple adorned with a mosaic of glass, pottery, and porcelain.

We'll return to Dalat in time for dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 30
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) • Explore city
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Au Lac II Hotel or similar
Explore Ho Chi Minh City
After breakfast, we head to the airport for our short flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Formerly known as Saigon, it is now a modern seaport and the country's largest city. Upon arrival, we embark on a city tour, which brings us first to the War Remnants Museum to see its artillery and armor collection and gain a North Vietnamese perspective on the "American War." Next, we'll see the Catholic Cathedral of Notre Dame. The structure was completed in 1880 and is said to be on the site of an old pagoda. We also see the architecture of the majestic Post Office, built during the same time period and featuring two enormous murals depicting maps of Vietnam as it was many decades ago. Our tour continues to the former U.S. Embassy.

After a meal of traditional noodle soup at a local restaurant, we'll check into our hotel and enjoy free time before we gather for an orientation walk around the hotel.

This evening, we'll enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City.

DAY 31
Mekong Delta discovery
Meals included: B L Accommodations: Au Lac II Hotel or similar
Explore Ho Chi Minh City during a Mekong Queen boat cruise
After breakfast, we journey outside of Ho Chi Minh City to discover Vietnam's famous Mekong Delta. We'll drive to the picturesque province of Ben Tre, where we'll enjoy a brief walk through Ben Tre village—famous for its coconut plantations—and take a sampan ride along one of the town's scenic and peaceful canals. We'll also visit a coconut candy workshop to learn about making the sweet keo dua the region is known for, and cruise to nearby Phoenix Island, where we'll learn about the local belief started by Ong Dao Dua, known as the "Coconut Monk." Then, after lunch at a local restaurant, we'll drive back to Ho Chi Minh City, where we have some time at leisure. Dinner is on your own this evening.

DAY 32
Cu Chi Tunnels tour
Meals included: B L D Accommodations: Au Lac II Hotel
See the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam
This morning, we'll explore the Cu Chi Tunnels. We'll begin in the village of Cu Chi, which sits on a vast network of tunnels stretching more than 125 miles. These tunnels allowed the Viet Cong to control a large area near the former Saigon. Many American visitors find this tour an especially emotional experience, as they discover how many North Vietnamese soldiers lived in the tunnels during the war. Lunch is included in this optional tour.

You'll have the afternoon at leisure. This evening, we gather at a local restaurant for a special Farewell Dinner.

DAY 33
Return to the U.S. or begin post-trip extension
Meals included: B
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport in Ho Chi Minh for our flight to Los Angeles, making a connection in Taipei. Travelers who are flying to San Francisco will enjoy a morning at leisure before their afternoon flight home via Taipei.

Or, if you're extending your adventure, you'll fly to Siem Reap to begin your optional post-trip extension in Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

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From Siam to Saigon: Thailand & Vietnam Revealed

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one of the best trips I have ever been on

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Value5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The Peru Amazon trip by Overseas Adventure Travel with extension to Machu Picchu was one of the best trips I have ever been on! The accommodations, the crew and all of the guests were great.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

  • Travel by 25-passenger coach, 30-passenger boat, raft, barge, junk (wooden sailboat), songtaew taxi truck, and elephant
  • 6 internal flights

Group Size:

Standard Group

Maximum Number of People in Group: 43

Accomodations

Evergreen Laurel Hotel
Bangkok, Thailand

The Evergreen Laurel Hotel is conveniently located along Bangkok’s main thoroughfare, Sathorn Road, not far from shops and the bustling Patpong Night Market. Amenities include an award-winning Chinese restaurant, café, lobby lounge, fitness center, and outdoor swimming pool. Each of the 160 air-conditioned rooms includes a safe, minibar, cable TV, complimentary Internet access, and private bath.

Hin Tok River Camp
Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Perched on the peak of Hintok Mountain, with inspiring views of the River Kwai and the lush local flora, the Hin Tok River Camp in Thailand features an on-site open-air restaurant and a swimming pool fed by a natural spring. The 32 tented, air-conditioned rooms feature a minibar, refrigerator, and private bath.

Wangchan River View
Phitsanulok, Thailand

Newly constructed in 2013, this modern hotel is located in the city center of Phitsanulok, close to the Nan River with easy access to public transportation. Nearby attractions include Wat Phra Sri Rattana, the King Naresuan Bridge, and Phitsanulok's popular night market. Each of the 116 air-conditioned rooms features TV, wireless Internet, and a private bath. Try to make time to relax at the hotel’s Thai massage center.

Maeyom Palace Hotel
Phrae, Thailand

This 104-room hotel provides basic amenities in an off-the-beaten-path location. In your down time, relax at the outdoor pool, bar, or the on-site restaurant with garden seating. Rooms are air-conditioned and feature TV, minibar, and private bath with shower.

Huern na na Boutique Hotel
Phrae, Thailand

This 28-room boutique hotel charms with its gardens, fish pond, and stylish decor. In your down time, relax at the outdoor pool, spa, or on-site restaurant. Rooms feature a television, tea- and coffee-making facilities, and private bath with shower.

Golden Pine Resort & Spa
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Golden Pine Resort & Spa in Thailand is in the heart of pineapple country, far from the busy city streets, surrounded by fields and rice paddies. The 90-room resort features an outdoor pool, restaurant, bar, and spa. Rooms are broken into individual, air-conditioned cottages and include TV, minibar, shower, and tub.

The Park Hotel
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Built and decorated to reflect the charms of northern Thailand, the Park Hotel offers panoramic views of Chiang Mai’s green hillsides. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool with poolside bar, a restaurant, and a cocktail lounge. Its 176 air-conditioned rooms feature a TV, telephone, radio/alarm clock, and a private bath with shower.

Amora Hotel Tapae
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Overlooking Chiang Mai's historic center, this 204-room hotel offers modern decor and spacious common areas. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, and beer garden. Each room features a television, refrigerator, telephone, and private bath with shower.

May De Ville City Centre
Hanoi, Vietnam

Conveniently located in central Hanoi—within walking distance to the Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, and other local attractions—the May De Ville features a restaurant, salon, and sauna. The hotel’s 81 air-conditioned rooms are outfitted with satellite TV, coffee- and tea-making facilities, safe, Internet, and private bath with hair dryer.

Cherish Hotel
Hué, Vietnam

This hotel is ideally situated at the center of Hué, Vietnam, close to the Huong River, with 106 guest rooms decorated in Vietnamese style. Rooms offer hair dryers, plasma TVs, Internet connection, minibars, bathrobes, private balconies, and delightful views of the city.

Lotus Hoi An Hotel
Hoi An, Vietnam

This hotel offers a free shuttle to downtown Hoi An and nearby beaches like Cua Dai, but its free-form swimming pool, bar, and restaurant options entice many guests into staying on site. Each of the 65 guest rooms has a private balcony, air conditioning, coffee- and tea-making facilities, free wireless Internet, a minibar, and a private bath with a hair dryer.

Hoi An Silk Village Resort & Spa
Hoi An, Vietnam

Set amid tropical gardens, the Silk Village Resort & Spa offers easy access to historic Hoi An. Each of the 79 air-conditioned rooms has an international direct-dial telephone, free wireless Internet access, satellite TV, coffee- and tea-making facilities, a safe, a minibar, and and a private bath with a hair dryer. Facilities include an on-site restaurant, bar, swimming pool, spa, game room, and fitness center.

Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Hotel & Spa
Nha Trang, Vietnam

The seaside Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Hotel & Spa offers private beach access and beautiful views of Nha Trang Bay. Each of the 201 air-conditioned rooms features comfortable modern furnishings in the local style, as well as TV, Internet access, and private bath. During your free time, you may enjoy access to the rooftop swimming pool and bar, two on-site restaurants, spa, and garden area.

Sammy Dalat Hotel
Dalat, Vietnam

Located in the city center and convenient for public transportation, the Sammy Dalat Hotel features a combination of unique French and traditional Vietnamese design. The hotel features 92 rooms that include satellite TV, minibar, Internet, and private bath with hair dryer.

Au Lac II Hotel
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

In the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Au Lac II Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of Ben Thanh market, Notre Dame, the Opera House, and Reunification Palace. Each spacious, air-conditioned room is equipped with a TV, Internet access, safe, and hair dryer. The hotel also features a spa and bar.

Evergreen Laurel Hotel
Bangkok, Thailand

The Evergreen Laurel Hotel is conveniently located along Bangkok’s main thoroughfare, Sathorn Road, not far from shops and the bustling Patpong Night Market. Amenities include an award-winning Chinese restaurant, café, lobby lounge, fitness center, and outdoor swimming pool. Each of the 160 air-conditioned rooms includes a safe, minibar, cable TV, complimentary Internet access, and private bath.

Chatrium Hotel
Rangoon, Burma | Rating: Superior First Class

This modern 303-room hotel is centrally located in Rangoon on the western shore of Kandawgyi Lake. The hotel features a pool, fitness center with sauna and Jacuzzi, three restaurants, two bars, and a terrace overlooking the lake and nearby Shwedagon Pagoda. Rooms are equipped with a private balcony, cable TV, safe, minibar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, and private bath with hair dryer.

Myanmar Treasure Resort
Bagan, Burma (Myanmar)

Situated inside the Bagan Archaeological Preservation Zone, the Myanmar Treasure Resort is within easy reach of the surrounding temples. Resort amenities include landscaped gardens, restaurant, coffee shop, terrace bar, and swimming pool. There are 94 air-conditioned rooms, each with mini bar, safe, satellite TV, and private bath with hairdryer.

Sedona Hotel Mandalay
Mandalay, Burma

Set on four acres of manicured gardens, the Sedona Hotel boasts an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, tennis courts, restaurant, and bar. The 247 air-conditioned rooms feature satellite TV, minibar, safe, and private bath with hair dryer.

Town View Hotel
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Town View Hotel is situated in the heart of Phnom Penh, close to the Royal Palace and the National Museum of Cambodia. Each of the 98 air-conditioned rooms include a TV, Internet access, minibar, coffee- and tea-making facilities, safe, and hair dryer. The hotel also features an outdoor swimming pool and bar, rooftop terrace, fitness center, and restaurant.

Regency Angkor Hotel
Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Regency Angkor Hotel is conveniently located in Siem Reap, close to Angkor Wat. While its architecture evokes the former royal dynasty, the hotel features modern amenities designed for your comfort. Each air-conditioned room includes a TV, Internet access, coffee- and tea-making facilities, minibar, and safe. You may also enjoy the outdoor swimming pool, salon, restaurant, café, and bar.

Au Lac II Hotel
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

In the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Au Lac II Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of Ben Thanh market, Notre Dame, the Opera House, and Reunification Palace. Each spacious, air-conditioned room is equipped with a TV, Internet access, safe, and hair dryer. The hotel also features a spa and bar.

Trip ID#:

FroSiaOve

Meals Included:

  • 73 meals—daily breakfast, 22 lunches, and 20 dinners (including 2 Home-Hosted Dinners)

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