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Explore the best of Southeast Asia on one of our exciting whistles stop budget tours!  Enjoy Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia as experienced guides will lead you on an adventure. Cover all the must-see highlights, as well as the lesser-known hot-spots. Meet loads of new friends and experience fantastic nightlife, extreme sports and beautiful beaches together.  This tour is guaranteed to be the trip of a lifetime!

Duration: 13, 20 or 31 days
Dates:  Click on BOOK NOW to see availability
Eligibility: General level of fitness required
Age: 18-35

Highlights

  • Backpack Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam without breaking the bank
  • Have the choice of bolting on lots of exciting optional extras!
  • Eating your fill of delicious Southeast Asian cuisine
  • Exploring the major sites and cities of this region
  • Meeting an organised group of other travelers and make great lifelong friends!

Bangkok, Thailand

Description

We offer three tour options in Southeast Asia.

Choose from:

  • The first half of the tour: 13 days from Thailand to Vietnam
  • The second half of the tour: 20 days from Vietnam to Thailand
  • The full loop: 31 days from Thailand to Thailand

These backpacking tours are affordable and exciting! The perfect way to spend your full holiday, or in combination with another trip or volunteering project. Led by experienced local tour leaders means you’re guaranteed to visit the best sites and take part in the most popular activities. Designed by on-the-ground experts and feedback from previous participants, these tours have been created to ensure you get everything possible out of this exciting adventure. To make your experience even more memorable, check out the optional activities that you can add to your itinerary.

On arrival in Thailand, you’ll begin your tour in Bangkok. For the 20 days option, you’ll pick up the tour in Hanoi in Vietnam.

Your tour

1: Bangkok, Thailand
Arrive to lively Bangkok during the day and meet your bilingual Adventure leader at 5pm | Join other travel companions during a tour briefing whilst soaking up the skyline views on a rooftop bar| After dinner you’ll board the sleeper train to Chiang Mai to start your adventure north!

2: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wake up to rural views in Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old cultural capital of Thailand with temples to explore| Visit an ethical, elephant jungle sanctuary to wash, feed and walk these gentle giants | You’ll then settle into your homestay to enjoy some real Thai cuisine cooked fresh by the locals.

3: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Take an adventurous jungle trek to a local hill tribe village for a truly cultural experience|In the evening you’ll have a choice of optional activities by either learning to cook delicious and authentic traditional dishes, or by watching an exciting a Muay Thai Boxing show!

4: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Visit the dozens of temples and cultural delights that this beautiful city has to offer| Thrill seekers have the option of zip-lining, quad biking or rafting onthe beautiful Mae Taeng River| Enjoy a relaxed evening exploring the vibrant night markets.

5: Chiang Mai, Thailand
After breakfast there’s an optional half day biking tour where you’ll be able to explore the Sri Lann National Park and breathtaking mountains|Take a ride on the iconic Songthaew (a colourful passenger vehicle) and head up the mountain to the Wat Doi Suthep Temple overlooking the city|Round off your final evening in Chiang Mai at the infamous ‘Zoe in Yellow’ bar.

6: Luang Prabang, Laos
Board a flight to the gorgeous city of Luang Prabang | There’s an optional group dinner to find out more about this magical place | Spend the evening wandering around the famous Hmong Night Market, full of music, crafts and incredible food!

7: Luang Prabang, Laos
In the morning you’ll have the chance to witness a traditional Takbat Lao Ceremony which is a daily ritual of presenting monks with food donations. Spend the morning volunteering with young people to improve their conversational English skills and your understanding of Laos culture | Learn to make rice using the traditional methods, enjoy the organic garden and learn about the cooking school |Relax in the afternoon at the Kuagn Si waterfalls which are some of the most spectacular in the Luang Prabang region |Sample the local food flavours and then relax with a cold beer at the ‘Utopia’ bar, a backpacker hotspot situated beside the river.

8: Luang Prabang, Laos
You’ll have the opportunity to head to the Ban Xanghai village, infamous for it’s production of whisky and rice wine | Enjoy a tour of the production and enjoy a homemade lunch prepared by local villagers | In the afternoon you’ll jump aboard a boat and sail down the Mekong River bound for the stunning Pak Ou Caves, packed with over 400 Buddha statues | Enjoy sunset with views from the top of Mt Phousi.

9: Vang Vieng, Laos
From the small town of Vang Vieng, you’ll travel to the Blue Lagoon where you’ll be able to escape the humidity by swimming in the crystal waters | In the evening you’ll relax at the hostel and then head out to one of the many riverside bars and parties!

10: Vang Vieng, Laos
Today can include rock climbing or biking and hiking up to the Pha Ngern viewpoint | Go tubing down the Mekong River, stopping along the way to admire the landscape | Explore Vang Vieng in the evening and sample wonderful food at the local restaurants.

11: Hanoi, Vietnam

Fly into Hanoi and take the bus from the airport to the city| You’ll arrive in bustling Hanoi with it’s narrow streets, French architecture and incredible street food including must-try pho and banh mi fills! | After checking in at 6.30 pm and join the free bar crawl around the city’s Old Quarter.

12: Hanoi, Vietnam
Visit the Hoa Lo Prison and learn about the history of the city | Eat Vietnamese culinary delights in the Old
Quarter | In the afternoon, spend time at Hoan Kiem Lake watching the locals play games on the wide
streets in the centre of Hanoi | You could also spend your evening at the Hanoi Opera House or watching
a Water Puppet Show

20 DAY TOUR STARTS HERE! MEET THOSE ON THE 31 DAY TOUR AT 10.00 AM IN THE HOSTEL

13: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Head to paradise as you travel to Halong Bay by bus and boat. Halong Bay is in the northeast of
Vietnam, famous for the beautiful emerald waters and limestone islands topped by lush rainforest |
Spend the afternoon on a lazy boat cruise stopping off at various swimming spots, if you’re brave,
there’s options for cliff jumping! You’ll spend the evening on your own private beach partying with your
new friends over late-night bonfires!

13 DAY TOUR ENDS AT 11AM! HAVE A SAFE FLIGHT OR ENJOY ONWARD TRAVEL IN HANOI !

14: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Enjoying breakfast in front of a beautiful sunrise| You’ll be exploring the Ha Long Bay area by Kayak this morning | Paddle through awesome sea caves and spot monkeys along the way! | In the afternoon you’ll be travelling back to Hanoi to freshen up before hopping on a night bus to Phong Nha.

15: Phong Nha, Vietnam
Enjoy a late morning cycle into the village of Bong Lai, or relax with a coffee tasting session to wake you up! | This sleepy region encompasses the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park with towering limestone karsts, quaint farms, little villages and winding roads making from dramatic views | You’ll cycle to the aptly named ‘Pub With Cold Beer’’| You can play volleyball, eat delicious local food and take a dip in the river | Tonight, it’s karaoke!

16: Phong Nha, Vietnam
Explore Phong Nha’ vast cave network which is impressively the largest cave system in the world! | Hike or mountain bike along the Ho Chi Minh Trail with chance to catch a glimpse of wild bears, elephants or bears!

17: Hoi An, Vietnam
An early morning bus will take you to the beautiful destination of Hoi An| Tour the Old Town and the riverfront, as well as purchasing as much tailor-made clothing as you can carry!

18: Hoi An, Vietnam
Officially this is a free day to explore the many things on offer! | You can do a one-day tour of Ba Na Hills (aka the Vietnamese Disneyland!) home to the world’s longest cable car | Another option is to hire a bike and cycle to the beach for swim | Go in a crab boat or visit a local farm en route!|Spend the evening sampling some delicious local food and explore the town by night.

19: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
There’s an optional activity of lantern making before you’ll be flying to Ho Chi Minh City via Du Nang | Arriving early evening, you’ll experience one of the busiest, bustling cities in the world! | Take a walking tour of the city or visit the Ben Thanh Market for tasty street food and designer shopping bargains! | The hostel’s rooftop bar is the first stop on the evening’s bar crawl!

20: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tour the famous ‘Saigon’ (Ho Chi Minh’s former name), and explore the local sites | Following an optional group lunch at a local restaurant, spend a free afternoon exploring Ho Chi Minh by river on the water bus! | You’ll be able to see Bitexco, The Saigon Bridge and the tallest building of Landmark 81 as you’re cruising along!

21: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Explore the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels dug by the Communist guerrilla group| Spend the afternoon at the War Remnants Museum learning about the huge and lasting impact of the Vietnam war spanning an enormous 20 years from 1975-1995| The evening is free for you to explore the buzzing, cultural city.

22: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
You’ll start your Mekong Delta tour by visiting a local crafts village and attending a short cooking class | Take a boat ride through the tranquil Tra Su Forest | By evening you’ll be checking into your hostel in Ha Tien.

23: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
In the morning you’ll cross over at the Ha Tien border to your next destination – Cambodia! | You’ll transfer to
Sihanoukville for lunch before boarding a boat to Koh Rong Island | This beautiful Island has the picture
perfect white sandy beaches, coral reefs, dense jungles and is dotted with coconut palms and waterfalls |
You will have a free evening to relax in one of the many beach bars or attend a famous moon party.

24: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Spend the day beach hopping or there is the option for scuba diving in the tropical waters – you can opt for a beginners course or a fun dive (for those who are PADI qualified) | The rest of the day is free to relax and sunbathe.

25: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Board a day boat that will take you on an island hopping adventure to explore hidden bays, local villages and underwater worlds by snorkel!| As the sun sets, you might be lucky enough to see the bioluminescent plankton’s natural glow show! | Camping on a deserted beach and falling asleep to the sound of the waves sound appealing to anyone?

26: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
After a night’s camping in tropical paradise, you’ll head back to Sihanoukville | You’ll be boarding a bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s exciting capital city!

27: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Today you can tour the S21 Prison to learn about Cambodia’s harrowing past | There is an optional visit to the infamous Killing Fields of Choeung Ek where an audio guide is available | The afternoon offers a very different feel to the city with a visit to the Royal Palace | Stroll along the river promenade with the twinkling city lights ahead, and why not sample a cocktail at the swanky Foreign Correspondent’s Club?

28: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Arrive by bus and visit local villages around Siem Reap for shopping and relaxing by the pool | In the evening the streets awaken! | Enjoy a few cocktails and Siem Reaps awesome nightlife!

29: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Today offers some exciting optional activities! | Visit a traditional floating village and chat to the locals | Take a boozy bike tour through the stunning countryside | Enjoy some traditional rice wine or flavoured rum whilst testing your skills on the mini golf course| The evening offers the wow factor of circus entertainment and a live band!

30: Siem Reap, Cambodia
It’s an early rise today to make it in time to the Angkor Wat ancient ruins for an incredible sunrise view | This the largest religious site in the world, originally a Hindu temple, morphing into a Buddhist temple by the 12th century | By afternoon you’ll feel like escaping the heat and heading for the pool back at camp | The final night of the tour will take the group to the famous Pub Street – the legendary backpacking hub with incredible night markets.

31: Bangkok, Thailand
Your 31 day tour will sadly end today!| For your final leg, travel by bus to Bangkok, arriving at 16:00 and
enjoy onward travel or a safe flight home!

Optional extras

Chiang Mai

Cooking class – 800 THB / 20 GBP
Muay Thai show – 400 to 600 THB – 10 to 15 GBP
Zip lining, White water rafting, ATV quads –2400 to 5600 THB / 61 to 142 GBP
Night food market – pay for what you order
Half day Mae Taeng biking tour – 1600 THB / 40 GBP
Wat Doi Suthep Temple – 150 THB / 4 GBP
Monk chat – 40 to 100 THB / 1 to 3 GBP
Clubbing at Zo in Yellow – pay for what you drink

Luang Prabang

Optional group dinner – pay for what you order
Hmong night market – pay for what you order
Watch Takbat Lao ceremony
Volunteer at Big Brother Big Mouse
Rice experience – 344,000 KIP / 30 GBP
Night out at Utopia – pay for your own drinks
Laos ethnic village tour – 25 USD

Van Vieng

Half day rock climbing – 180,000 KIP / 15 GBP
Bike to Pha Ngern view point – 40,000 KIP / 3 GBP
Tubing – 60,000 KIP / 5 GBP

Hanoi

Bar crawl – pay for your own drinks
Hoa Lo Prison – 30,000 VND / 1 GBP
Optional group lunch – pay for what you order
Visit Hoan Kiem Lake
Water puppet show – 100,000 VND / 3 GBP

Phong Nha

Coffee tasting
Bike to Bong Lai Village – 120,000 VND / 4 GBP
Rest afternoon by the pool – 60,000 VND / 4 GBP
National park tour – 1,350,000 VND / 45 GBP

Hoi An

Night out – pay for your own drinks
Coconut basket boat and farming
Ba Na Hills tour – 1,390,000 VND / 46 GBP
Beach visit

Ho Chi Minh

Lantern making experience – 250,000 VND / 8 GBP
Optional group dinner – pay for what you order
Rooftop bar and bar crawl – pay for your own drinks
Optional group lunch
Saigon water-bus tour – 30,000 VND / 1 GBP
Night market
Cu Chi tunnels – 230,000 VND / 8 GBP
War Remnants Museum – 40,000 VND / 1 GBP

Koh Rong

Beach party at hostel
Scuba – 80 USD

Phnom Penh

Killing Fields
Grand palace – 10 USD

Siem Reap

Optional group dinner – pay for what you order
Bar crawl – 5 USD which includes a shot in every bar
Floating village tour – 21 USD
Boozy bike tour – 29 USD
The Cambodian Circus – 28 USD
Bug market visit
Final group dinner – pay for what you order
Pub street – pay for your own drinks

Accommodation

  • Hostel/one night in beach hammock for the duration
  • You will be staying in thoroughly checked accommodation that is clean and comfortable
  • The group will be staying in the same accommodation and you can expect to share a room with 4-8 people
  • If you would like to have your own room or twin upgrade for your tour, you can pay a supplement.
  • We can also arrange an airport transfer £25 each way from Bangkok and £40 from Hanoi
  • A detailed accommodation list will be provided prior to departure
  • Usually there are three people staying in one room. We leave it to you and your new friends to make the arrangements.Usually people traveling together or same genders choose to stay in the same room but this is flexible

Food

When a meal isn’t included your tour leader will suggest an option good, hygienic, local eatery.

Meals included with your tour:

13 Day

Chiang Mai: Day 2 – Lunch and Dinner: Day 3 – Breakfast and lunch
Hanoi: Day 12 – Breakfast

20 DAY 

Hanoi:  Day 1 – Breakfast
Halong Bay:  Day 2 – Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Day 3 – Breakfast and lunch
Phong Nha:  Day 4 – Breakfast: Day 5 – Breakfast
Hoi An: Day  6 – Breakfast: Day 7 – Breakfast
Ho Chi Minh: Day  8 – Breakfast: Day 9 – Breakfast: Day 10 – Breakfast
Koh Rong: Day  12 – Breakfast: Day 13 – Breakfast, lunch and dinner (only included only between Sep 30th to June 1st when camping): Day 14 – Breakfast, lunch and dinner (only included only between Sep 30th to June 1st when camping)

31 Day 

Chiang Mai: Day 2 – Lunch and dinner: Day 3 – Breakfast and lunch
Hanoi: Day 12 – Breakfast
Halong Bay: Day 13 – Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Day 14 – Breakfast and lunch
Phong Nha: Day 15 – Breakfast: Day 16 – Breakfast
Hoi An: Day 17 – Breakfast: Day 18 – Breakfast
Ho Chi Minh: Day 19 – Breakfast: Day 20 – Breakfast: Day 21 – Breakfast
Koh Rong Island: Day 23 – Breakfast: Day 25 – Breakfast, lunch and dinner (only included only between Sep 30th to June 1st when camping): Day 26 – Breakfast (only included only between Sep 30th to June 1st when camping)

Fancy volunteering at an elephant and wildlife sanctuary before?

We’re also offer animal welfare volunteering opportunities in Thailand and Laos.

Our wildlife and elephant sanctuary can collect you from Bangkok airport and can be easily added to the start of the tour. We also have a beautiful elephant sanctuary just outside Luang Prabang in Laos with transfer included too!

Travel arrangements

Airport: Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) or Hanoi Airport (HAN)

Arrival day:

  • For those starting in Bangkok, you will meet the group on day 1 before 17:00 
  • For those starting in Hanoi, you will meet the group on day 12 at 10.00

Departure day:

  • For 13 day people ,those departing in Hanoi will finish on day 13 at 11.00
  • For those on the 20 or 31-day tour, you will finish at 16:00 in Bangkok
  • Pre and Post-tour accommodation is available for both departure cities

Included

  • Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
  • Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
  • Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
  • In-country support
  • Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
  • Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
  • Thorough orientation on arrival
  • Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
  • Advice on visa requirements
  • Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help reduce the impact of global carbon emissions
  • A combination of Western and local tour leaders (all English speaking)
  • Some meals included – see in ‘Food’ section
  • Domestic travel costs
  • All included activities
  • All taxes and charges

Not Included

  • Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
  • You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
  • Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
  • Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
  • Independent travel costs
  • Home country travel costs
  • Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
  • All optional activities – highly recommended!
  • Cost of most food and drinks

 

More Information

A more detailed day-day itinerary will be supplied on booking. The exact itinerary is subject to slight changes and variations depending on the weather and circumstances.

Pre and post tour accommodation costs £15 per person per night for a dorm bed or £40 per night for a twin room bed

The upgrade fee is per room, not per person:

13 day: 

  • Double room is £250 (Based on two people sharing)
  • Single room is £250 (Based on one person)
  • The room upgrade is available in all destinations aside from in the homestay in Chiang Mai.

20 day: 

  • Double room is £450 (based on two people sharing)
  • Single room is £450 (based on one person)
  • The room upgrade is not available in Halong Bay, Ha Tien or on Koh Rong island.

31 day:

  • Single room is £675 (One person to a room)
  • Double room is £670 (Two people sharing)
  • A room upgrade is not available in the homestay in Chiang Mai, on Halong Bay, in Ha Tien or on Koh Rong island.

Each tour has an enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour leader. You will have a combination of western and local leaders. All leaders will have fully equipped first aid kits and are English speakers.

You need to be over 18 to do this tour. This tour is designed for the backpacking market with 35 as an upper age limit

Typically, 20 people take part in each tour.

Yes! There are laundry facilities at the accommodation along the route. Your tour leader will tell you when it is best to do laundry, based on when there is enough time in one place for laundry to dry.

You’ll be able to store your luggage in your room. There are safes in the room and a safe for valuables at reception. There will be occasions when your luggage will be kept in storage facilities at railway stations.

The climate is warm all year round in South East Asia.

  • The cooler season is from December-February ranging from 15-30C.
  • March-June is the hottest time of the year with temperatures between 30-45C,
  • The rainy season is between July-November when it will be around 25-35C.
  • You can organize your visa on arrival in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia so no need to get them in advance. This is the case for most countries, but do check your country’s status before departure.
  • To get a visa in Laos, you will need passport photo and $35 in cash ($36 for some weekends and holidays).
  • For a visa into Cambodia, you will need to bring a passport photo and $36 in cash. The costs may vary depending on your nationality.
  • For the majority of nationalities, you can get a free tourist visa on arrival in Thailand and Vietnam.
  • You should always visit your GP or local travel clinic to find the most up to date information about vaccinations.
  • Where necessary, the accommodation provides mosquito net so you do not need to bring your own
  • We do recommend mosquito repellent though – easier to carry!
  • There is low/very low risk at some of destinations you’ll visit. For the destinations with low/very low risk, American CDC and British NaTHNaC recommend awareness of risk and bite avoidance rather than malaria tablets.
  • It is advisable that you visit a GP or travel nurse for professional and medical advice.

There are many modern medical facilities and hospitals and you will always have access to medical help while you are on the tour.

Whether you are a solo traveler or traveling as a couple, pair or group, you are welcome to join the tour!

Throughout your tour, you will be able to communicate with your tour leader. Your tour leader will not accompany you for all activities, but is contactable at all times. For each leg, you will have a different English-speaking tour leader, who is an expert in that area.

Staff at Oyster’s head office and in-country will be responsible for your safety and welfare while you are on the  tour. This will start from the moment you arrive at the meeting point. Before and after these times, you will be outside Oyster’s responsibility and should make sure that you act safely and avoid risk. This is also true if you choose to leave the project during your time off. We will give you plenty of guidance and advice about this.

All bedding is provided. Towels are not supplied but can be rented from the hostel reception for a small fee.

There are plenty of ATMs so accessing money in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia is straightforward. We advise that you let you bank know in advance that you are traveling.

We recommend a budget of £5-10/ $7-15 for food and drink each day .

Yes, there are so many different options to choose from. The tour leader will be able to help direct you to suitable restaurants.

You will be heading to some remote areas where, depending on your network, your phone may not work, but you can get a local SIM or use WiFi for internet if you need to.

GMT +7 in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Most Asian electrical outlets are 220V. They typically use the US standard plug shape.

Got a question or want to chat to Project Manager Georgie who has first-hand experience of the project? Call +44 1892 771977or email: – [email protected].

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