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2017 Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam

Bangkok • Luang Prabang • Mekong River Cruise • Vientiane • Phnom Penh • Angkor Wat • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

92% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

20 Days from only $4495 including international airfare

©2013 The New York Times
36 Hours in Bangkok

Dive into the vibrant culture of Bangkok by experiencing its nightlife, exploring its markets, and more.

Courtesy of Janis Brod
People of South East Asia

Witness the essence of Southeast Asia, reflected through the eyes of its people, in this short film featuring locals from all walks of life.

Courtesy Dillon Seitchik-Reardon, Scruffalo
Made in Myanmar

Dive into daily life in Burma—a destination you can visit on our pre-trip extension.

Courtesy BBC.com Travel
Going Local: Bangkok

Let Bangkok locals show you around the city of temples, tuk-tuks, and temptations.

Courtesy of Epicurious
How to Make Vietnamese Pho Bo

Feed your wanderlust with this simple recipe for Vietnamese beef noodle soup, or Pho Bo. Download Recipe

FROM
$4495
20 DAYS
$225/DAY
including international airfare
18 DAYS FROM $2795 Land Adventure Only
  • 3 nights from only $695
    Single Supplement: FREE
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5

Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderate

Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5

Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Tips & Advice

Get a head start on your adventure with these tips from fellow travelers and Trip Leaders sharing their insights into how you can make the most of this adventure with things to do, see, and experience. The traveler tips below first appeared in our Traveler Reviews and Travel Forum, and the Trip Leader tips were provided by some of our highest-rated local Trip Leaders from this region.

gloriakp
Traveler

Inexpensive Massages

posted 04/23/2015
"There was a massage place next to our hotel in Vientiane, Laos that most of our group used. It cost $3 per hour for a massage."
Helpful?

tedlieber
Traveler

Tired of Asian Food?

posted 09/21/2016
"In Saigon, several in our group were a little tired of Asian food. So, we went to Au Lac Du Brazil, a steak house. We enjoyed it very much. I invited our Tour Leader, and I treated him to dinner. He couldn't stop licking his lips after the meal."
Helpful?

pyratelover
Traveler

Make a Trip to Wat Arun

posted 03/13/2016
"Besides making time to see Wat Po and the Jim Thompson House, I would also make a point of visiting Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn). Although your itinerary includes a nighttime trip along the river at which time you will float by Wat Arun, this will not be the same as visiting this temple on your own. Wat Arun is decorated with bits of porcelain and glass that was collected when boats crashed and their crushed contents were spilled along the shore. It is simply wonderful to look at the beautifully painted pieces of porcelain and the way that the ancient artists used them to decorate the exterior of the imposing prang. This "gem" was my favorite temple by far. "
Helpful?

jannsegal
Traveler

Visit the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok

posted 03/12/2016
"I spent 5 days in Bankok on a solo Thailand trip. There is so much to see there. Many great temples not to be missed, and a great find as well that is a bit off the beaten tourist path is the Jim Thompson House. A beatuiful teak house w[ith] great antinques. He was a successfuil American silk trader in the 60s who mysteriously "disappeared". "
Helpful?

lesliecy
Traveler

Visit Wat Pho

posted 03/12/2016
"Also, consider visiting Wat Pho. It has an enormous golden reclining Buddha. This used to be part of the tour but our guide said they cut it out because it made for a tiring day after the Grand Palace. A number of us just took taxis there because we didn't want to miss it and so glad we did. "
Helpful?

Ray Dechpong
Trip Leader

Mingle with Locals at Midnight Kaiton

posted 02/10/2017
"In Bangkok, Midnight Kaiton (Thanon Petchaburi Tut Mai) is my favorite restaurant. Located at the corner opposite to Pratunam Complex, it is quite a small restaurant that opened more than 30 years ago, and it’s open only in the evening. This restaurant is always crowded with local people, especially after work, and it's a fun place to mingle with the locals and watch people going by. Everybody who comes to Midnight Kaiton will only order the khao man kai—which literally means “chicken-flavored rice”—because the restaurant only serves this dish. It's served with chili sauce and a cup of broth made of ginger and garlic. The well-known drink is cha yen (iced tea with condensed milk). I love this place because it’s casual, the food is delicious, the service is fast, and the price is very inexpensive."
Helpful?

Pe Dhammasidhi
Trip Leader

Buffalo Market Near Chiang Mai

posted 02/10/2017
"

Sanpatong Buffalo Market existed for almost 60 years as a place to trade buffalo and oxen. Eventually it became popular to trade other household products as well, and the market grew. This market’s main demographic is local farmers, and is a great way to get the Thai market feel without all the tourists. You can purchase food, second-hand motorcycles, used bicycles, clothes, crafts, tools, plants, vegetables, livestock, and pets of contemporary Chiang Mai farmers. Sanpatong is also famous for its many rice specialties, especially Khao Neaw Sanpatong (a type of sticky rice). The market is open Saturdays from 4:00am-10am, and it’s best to get there early. Wear good walking shoes for the dirt paths.

"
Helpful?

Pairoj Mark Khojasith
Trip Leader

Weekend Market in Bangkok

posted 02/10/2017
" If you are in Bangkok on Friday evening, Saturday, or Sunday, visit Jatu Jak Weekend Market (Kamphaeng Phet 2 Road). This is where a lot of Thai people like to explore while shopping for a wide selections of handcrafts at bargain prices. One path winds through the entire market and the 27 sections fan off from it. If you are looking for local, traditional Thai crafts, you will find wood carvings, ceramic wear, and embroidery here—and that is only the beginning."
Helpful?

Pairoj Mark Khojasith
Trip Leader

Restaurant for the Royal Family

posted 02/10/2017
"Than Ying Restaurant (Pramuan Road, Bangkok) was created by cooks for the Royal Family (who were also their relatives, including a sister to the queen and now her son). The menu offers the most famous Thai cuisine, such as chicken with green curry. The food is presented well and there is a great ambience. Despite the royal touch, you will find that the prices are reasonable (a choice of set menus, each for under $30 U.S.)."
Helpful?

Ray Dechpong
Trip Leader

Waterfall Near the City

posted 02/10/2017
"

Huay Kaew Waterfall is a site I like to visit when I am in Chiang Mai. It’s a nice place, and also a popular picnic area for the locals since it is close to the city (just next to the Chiang Mai Zoo, on the foothills of Doi Sutep). This is the closest waterfall to Chiang Mai—only a 15-minute drive from the city center. It’s a low-rise waterfall that has water falling year-round, and it doesn’t cost anything to enter. Huay Kaew is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery, especially the refreshing, cool shade of the trees, and listen to the sound of the waterfall and noise of birds. It also has some great areas to walk around. You can even swim in the pool under the waterfall. The water is rather cold, which is good for a summer day.

"
Helpful?

Ray Dechpong
Trip Leader

Stalls Not to Miss at the Weekend Market

posted 02/10/2017
" The best time to visit Bangkok’s weekend market, called Jatu Jak Market—or “J.J. Market”—is in the morning from 8am to 11am, because it is less hot and not too crowded. The Market has 27 sections, plus an extra section called Jatu Jak Plaza. To get lost in J.J. Market is pretty common, so you can get a map from facilitators’ booths under the white tents. If you’re looking for Benjarong ceramics (traditional Thai ceramics), I recommend Jirada Ceramics in Section 19. Section 7 is good for artists’ work like paintings, and handcrafts are nearby in Section 8. If you still get lost after shopping, just ask one of the vendors for the direction to Section 7, and you will recognize the Sky Train by Entrance 2."
Helpful?

Nee Smith
Trip Leader

The Bangkok Jungle

posted 02/14/2017
"

Bang Kra Jao is known as the “Bangkok Jungle.” This oasis in the heart of Bangkok is a network of raised pathways that is perfect for cyclists. The whole route is 15 miles, and passes through local roads, orchards, temples and Sri Nakhon Khuean Khan Botanical Park. Renting a bicycle costs $1.50 U.S. for an hour and $3 U.S. for a day. Travelers should take a taxi to Wat Bangna Nawk Temple and then take the ferry across the river.

"
Helpful?

Nee Smith
Trip Leader

The Bang Nam Phung Market

posted 02/14/2017
"

This market is great to visit for Thai food and dessert tasting in Bangkok. Travelers should go between 8:30am and 4pm on the weekends. They should also visit a traditional Thai coffee house, such as Reaum Nom Sod, that offers Thai iced coffee with fresh milk.

"
Helpful?

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam

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