Backpacking Tours of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia

Company : Oyster Worldwide
Location : Bangkok to Hanoi
Duration: 2 weeks to 4 weeks
Approx Costs: 500 to 750 £ Pound (UK)

These affordable backpacking tours will take you to the iconic sites of South East Asia. You'll cover Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia on our full 31 day tour, and if you choose a shorter one you'll either complete the first or the second half of this wonderful country hopping adventure. 

If you want a truly unforgettable experience, these tours aim to take you to not only the must-see tourist attractions, but also includes fun, adventurous activities, making your time in South East Asia authentic and memorable.

Led by passionate and experienced tour guides, they will make sure that you get the most out of your time in Southeast Asia. Typical group sizes are 15-20 travellers so there are plenty of opportunities to meet new friends who will share this incredible experience with you. Most go as solo travellers but friend groups and pairs are more than welcome too. 

 

 

Itinerary

Southeast Asia Adventure Tour 31 days 

Day 1 – Bangkok, Thailand:

Welcome to Bangkok – the first day of your South East Asia Adventure Tour! You will meet the Adventure Leader and the rest of the group at the hostel around 5pm. You’ll have a briefing and get to know your travel companions over dinner and drinks in an idyllic rooftop bar with stunning views.

After dinner you’ll head straight to the station to board your night train to Chiang Mai – your train will depart at 7.35pm from the station, so don’t be late!

Day 2 – Chiang Mai, Thailand:

You’ll wake up to Northern Thailand’s stunning scenery as your train passes through the mountains before arriving in Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is 700 years old and has an Old City which possesses original parts of walls and moats from its history as a religious hub. Therefore, Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of majestic Buddhist temples, the most impressive ones include Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang.

You will spend the morning at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, an ecotourism project set-up by The Karen Hilltribes Trust. This is where you will feed, walk, wash and learn about these elephants. This is one of the main highlights of Chiang Mai, so enjoy!

After, you will head to a homestay and enjoy some dinner cooked by the locals. You will spend the evening at a local house.

Day 3 – Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Wake up and head out on a jungle trek to a local hill tribe village. Here, you can gain an insight into this unique way of life and experience the authentic side of Northern Thailand.

In the evening, you have the option to learn how to cook authentic Thai dishes. Or, if you want to experience traditional Thai entertainment, you can watch a Muay Thai Boxing Show and cheer on the fighters!

Day 4 – Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Today you have the option to either explore the city’s dozens of temples and cultural delights. For the thrill-seekers amongst you, you have the option to get your adrenaline rushing by going zip-lining, driving a quad bike, or going rafting down the Mae Taeng River. In the evening, explore the vibrancy of the famous night market.

Day 5 – Chiang Mai, Thailand:

Today you can take part in an optional Half Day Mae Taeng Biking Tour, where you’ll explore Sri Lanna National Park and mountains. After, head back to the hostel where you can take some time to enjoy a spot of lunch.

After lunch, either hop on a Songthaew to Wat Doi Suthep, a Buddhist temple located in the mountains or join in on an opportunity to chat with a Buddhist Monk.

For your last night in Chiang Mai, why not visit one of its most iconic bars, ‘Zoe in Yellow’?

Day 6 – Luang Prabang, Laos

Today you will fly to Luang Prabang. Upon on arrival you will transfer to your hostel and sit down for an optional group dinner. Afterwards, why not pay a visit to Hmong Night Market, a venue for traditional music, crafts and food.

Day 7 – Luang Prabang, Laos

This morning you can either opt to have a lie-in or witness the must-see Takbat Lao Ceremony, a Buddhist ceremony. This morning ritual is a collection of food for monks, where they receive food from the locals and tourists.

Afterwards, you can choose to spend the rest of the morning at the Big Brother Mouse volunteering program, interacting with local children who are learning English and developing your understanding of Laos’s culture. Or, you can learn about ‘the farm to table process’ of making rice at the Rice Experience farm. Here, they farm rice the traditional way, as well as maintain an organic garden and running a cooking school.

Spend the afternoon at the impressive Kuang Si Falls, made up of three tiers, located in the Luang Prabang area. The falls begin with shallow pools – so, jump in and prepare to have lots of fun! These waterfalls are a favourite attraction for tourists in Luang Prabang.

Why not finish off your day with a relaxing night at Utopia Bar, a rustic venue by the riverfront. Enjoy some live some music and some delicious cocktails.

Day 8 – Luang Prabang, Laos

Take part in an optional visit to Ban Xanghai village, a place famous for its whisky and rice wine. Here, you will learn about how these spirits are made and enjoy a homemade lunch served by a local host family. Afterwards, hop on a boat and sail down the Mekong River to explore the historic Pak Ou Caves filled with over 400 Buddha statues.

On your way back to the hostel stop off at Mt Phousi and soak up the golden hues as the sun sets behind the mountains.

Day 9 – Vang Vieng, Laos

In the morning, it’s time to make your way to Vang Vieng, a small town in central Laos. Head straight to the Blue Lagoon where you can swim in the refreshing waters. This is the perfect way to escape from the heat and humid weather. Bring your waterproof camera if you have one!

Later, you will transfer to the hostel, where you can a free evening to relax, grab a drink in one of the many riverside bars or find a nearby party.

Day 10 – Vang Vieng, Laos

Today, you’ll have the option to try your hand at rock climbing or take a biking tour of the area, followed by a hike up to Pha Ngern Viewpoint for breath-taking views. It will take about half an hour to hike to the lower viewpoint where you will be greeted with a stunning view. You can also hike up an additional 500 meters, to reach the highest viewpoint with a much better view.

For a different viewpoint of Vang Vieng’s limestone mountains, drift down the Mekong River in a rubber tube, stopping along the way to admire the views. Tubing in Vang Vieng has long been a backpacking right of passage in Laos and while the bars are no longer as boozy, it’s still a must-do activity.

Enjoy some free time in the evening to further explore the wonders Vang Vieng at night.

Day 11 – Hanoi, Vietnam:

In the morning, you will take a bus to the airport and fly out to Hanoi, Vietnam. Hanoi is the big bustling capital of Vietnam’s north and it’s known for its narrow streets, French architecture, rich culture and incredible street food. After checking into the hostel at around 6.30pm, if you’re not too tired, join in the free bar crawl, which heads out around the city’s Old Quarter. If you’re hungry, you don’t have to go too far. Street food sellers line the pavements in the evening and the smell of pho and banh mi fills the air.

Day 12 – Hanoi, Vietnam:

Today you will visit the Hoa Lo Prison and learn about Vietnam’s history. This was a prison used by North Vietnam and the Viet Cong communists, for U.S. prisoners during the Vietnam War. After, you will head over to Hoan Kiem lake with its temple in the centre. You can walk around the lake, watching the locals play games on the wide streets built by the French in the historical centre of Hanoi.

If you’re hungry, you can grab lunch at Old Quarter Street followed by a free afternoon to explore Hanoi’s narrow streets and practise crossing the road like a local.

In your free time, you could pay a visit to the Hanoi Opera House, built by French colonial administration – you can take a look around the building for free or pay to see one of the shows on offer. If you fancy some evening entertainment, why not watch a unique Water Puppet Show?

(13 day tour ends here, 20 day tour picks up here ***********************)

Day 13 – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam:

In the morning, you will travel to Halong Bay. Located in northeast Vietnam, Halong Bay is recognized for its emerald waters and towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. The area is known for its beautiful and dramatic landscape, defined by its towering peaks. It’s where the movie King Kong: Skull Island was filmed.

Here, you’ll spend the afternoon on a boat cruise, stopping at various swimming spots along the way and if you are bold enough, you can go cliff jumping. In the evening, head out to spend the night on your own private beach with a chance for some partying and late-night bonfires.

Day 14 – Ha Long Bay, Vietnam:

Today, wake up to a beautiful sunrise and enjoy a relaxing breakfast. To start the morning activities, you can hop into a kayak and explore the famous peaks of Halong Bay on the water, paddling through sea caves and spotting monkeys. A true highlight of our Southeast Asia adventure tour.

Grab some lunch to refuel before heading back to Hanoi. You will arrive in Hanoi around 5pm and then hop on a night bus to Phong Nha, this bus will leave around 6.30pm and arrive at Phong Nha at 4am.

Day 15 – Phong Nha, Vietnam:

After a long night of travelling, you can either sleep in until 10am to get some rest or you can some optional activities. Either treat your tastebuds to a Vietnamese coffee tasting session or enjoy a late morning cycle into Bong Lai village. Bong Lai is a rural valley in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park area, with farms and small villages. Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is one of Vietnam’s hidden gems and much quieter than anywhere you have been to yet. It’s towering limestone karsts dot the landscape and winding roads make for dramatic views.

In the afternoon, you’ll bike to the brilliantly named ‘Pub With Cold Beer’ – here, you can take a chance to relax, play some volleyball, eat some food and jump in the river.

Tonight, spend the evening enjoying some karaoke with your group. You should be comfortable enough to sing around each other now, right?

Day 16 – Phong Nha, Vietnam:

You have the option to spend the day exploring Phong Nha’s giant cave systems. They are the biggest in the world and while you can’t visit the biggest (it is very expensive and takes several days to hike there) there are plenty of others to explore. You can also enjoy hiking along the Ho Chi Minh Trail and mountain biking You may also be lucky enough to spot wildlife including tigers, bears and elephants.

In the evening you’re free to do as you wish.

Day 17 – Hoi An, Vietnam:

It’s a very early start as you transfer to Hoi An on the 4am bus, with a mid-way stop for some breakfast.

In the afternoon you’ll arrive in beautiful Hoi An – you’ll have a tour of the old town and the riverfront, learning about the town’s Japanese and Vietnamese history as an important trading post. Hoi An is the place to shop until you drop and tonnes of tailors line the streets. The shops will perfectly tailor anything you need, taking your measurements during the day and working on the design overnight – all for prices you wouldn’t see at home.

Day 18 – Hoi An, Vietnam:

Today is a free day!

You have the option to embark on a Ba Na Hills day tour. Ba Na Hills is one of the latest attractions in the country, it’s a mountaintop complex that looks like a medieval castle, but with modern accommodation, world-class restaurants and a theme park.

You can also hire a bike and cycle out to Hoi An’s beach or have a go on a crab boat.

Alternatively, go to a local farm and learn about how local farmers work in the area. Enjoy a free evening to grab some delicious food, pick up your new clothes or explore Hoi An at night.

Day 19 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam:

In the morning, you can either have a lie in or grab some breakfast and head to a lantern making experience, where you will participate in making your own handmade souvenir.

Before checking out your hostel grab some lunch and board the bus to Da Nang airport. Then, catch a flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City and arrive at your accommodation at around 6pm.

Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s bustling capital and the traffic and motorbikes is like nothing you have ever experienced. You then have the option to embark on an orientation walking tour of the city. For those interested, visit Ben Thanh Market for great fashion bargains and a delicious street food dinner. Head to the hostel’s rooftop bar, the first stop of this evening’s bar crawl.

Day 20 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam:

Begin the tour of Saigon and explore the local sites. After your tour, sit down for an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.

For the rest of the afternoon, you can either enjoy some free time or explore Ho Chi Minh on the river by taking the water-bus! On your journey down the river, you’ll be able to spot Bitexco, Saigon Bridge and Landmark 81, the tallest building in the city.

In the evening explore a local night market and indulge in some local delicacies.

Day 21 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam:

Today you have the option to have a day of history at the Cu Chi tunnels dug by the Communist guerrilla group. These tunnels were used as a war asset to fight American and South Vietnamese troops during the civil war. Spend your afternoon at the War Remnants Museum to learn about the huge and lasting impact of the Vietnam War (1955-1975) on the country.

Use the evening to explore Ho Chi Minh after dark.

Day 22 – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam:

Begin the tour of the Mekong Delta by visiting a local crafts village where you’ll see how local products are made. After make your way to your next destination where you’ll attend a short cooking class with a local chef. Here you’ll be able to cook your own and food and taste your creations!

In the afternoon, take a boat ride through the tranquil Tra Su Forest. As it reaches evening, arrive at your hostel where you’ll settle down the for the night.

Day 23 – Koh Rong Island, Cambodia:

Cross the border at Ha Tien and wave goodbye to your Vietnam Adventure Leader as you enter Cambodia.

Transfer to Sihanoukville and take the ferry to Koh Rong Island. Koh Rong is known for its white-sanded beaches and coral reefs, but also has luscious jungles dotted with coconut trees and waterfalls. Embrace the beautiful paradise island you have now entered, full of stunning beaches and moon parties.

In the evening unwind at a beach party hosted by the hostel or enjoy some free time to yourself.

Day 24 – Koh Rong Island, Cambodia:

Enjoy a free day beach hopping on Koh Rong Island.

If you’re a restless soul and the beach isn’t enough, you have the option to try out scuba diving.

Day 25 – Koh Rong Island, Cambodia:

Set off in the morning to go on a boat trip for the day. Explore Koh Rong island by boat, stopping at a local village and lots of small bays where you can go snorkelling to discover the marine life lying beneath the waves.

As the daylight fades, bioluminescent plankton reveals themselves in the seawater. Jumping into the water, your body’s movements will light up the plankton as you swim. It’s an incredible sight, which you’ll never forget.

Tonight, you will spend the night sleeping in a hammock on a deserted beach and fall asleep to the gentle sound of waves.

Day 26 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

It’s time to leave paradise and head for Phnom Penh. Board a boat back to Sihanoukville, where you’ll transfer to a bus taking you to Phnom Penh.

Day 27 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia:

This morning, you will visit the S21 prison and then continue with an optional visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, to learn about the darker times in Cambodia’s history.

In the afternoon explore a completely different side of the city’s history, with a visit to the stunning Royal Palace.

Take an evening off to soak up Phnom Penh, the riverside promenade is beautiful at night. For a touch of class, have a drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. One of the city’s most sophisticated joints.

Day 28 – Siem Reap, Cambodia:

Catch an early bus to your next stop, Siem Reap. Upon arrival head out on a walking tour of the city, followed by an optional group dinner.

Later in the evening, you can get involved with an optional bar crawl, where you’ll enjoy some group drinks experience Siem Reap’s famous nightlife.

Day 29 – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Today you have the optional to take part in a couple of fun-filled activities. You can begin your day with an optional visit to a local floating village, where you’ll get the opportunity to meet a local family. Your Adventure Leader will help you to engage and communicate with the locals.

In the afternoon get involved with a boozy bike tour around the beautiful luscious countryside. Treat your tastebuds to some local rice wine and different flavoured rum whilst trying your hand at some mini-golf.

Later, whisk yourself away into a world of circus-style entertainment. Sit back and enjoy a night filled with circus-style performances and live band entertainment.

Day 30 – Siem Reap, Cambodia:

It’s an early morning wake-up call today to visit Cambodia’s number one tourist highlight, Angkor Wat. Sunrise is one of the best times to see the ruins.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious site in the world. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple but has gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. Much of the site is still being restored and you can spend days exploring all of the different temples. Some of the most popular are Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm and each one has a different story and features to look out for.

This afternoon, escape the heat and enjoy some free time by the pool.

In the evening, get ready for an optional last night out. Visit the local bug market, grab a bite to eat and have a couple of drinks on Pub Street.

Day 31 – Siem Reap, Cambodia:

After 31 days of revelling in some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, today is the last day of your Southeast Asia adventure tour. It’s time to bid farewell to your companions. You’ll take the bus back to Bangkok which will arrive at around 4pm. Safe travels!!

Travel

  • Bicycle
  • Boat / Ferry
  • Bus / Coach
  • Internal Flights
  • Internal Travel
  • Trekking / Hiking

Accomodation

  • Accomodation Included
  • Guesthouse
  • Hostel - Dormitory
  • Hostel - Room

Tour Price

All hostel accommodation, internal travel, a guide, all included activities, all taxes and charges

Start Dates

Dates available all year round. You can take part in either a 13 day,20 day or 31 day tour.

Booking / Enquiry

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