Follow the Mekong
Experience the excitement of the Thai capital, Bangkok. See the River Kwai, the vast serenity of Angkor Wat, and the palaces and museums of Phnom Penh. You'll also drift through the exquisite waterways of the Mekong Delta to Ho Chi Minh City - formerly and famously Saigon - on this wonderful tour of South East Asia.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Thailand
Begin your holiday with an overnight flight to Bangkok via Singapore, Doha or Dubai.
Day Two: Optional Thai dinner and dance excursion
Arrive in Bangkok, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel. Spend your afternoon relaxing and enjoying the hotel's facilities, or head out to begin exploring the city. This evening, why not round off your day by joining your fellow travellers for a traditional Thai dinner? Watch a performance of typical Thai dancing as you enjoy your meal, and celebrate the first of your three nights in the city.
Day Three: Included Floating Markets and Bangkok city tour
Immerse yourself in Thai culture, today, on our included excursion to the floating markets at Damnoen Saduak. Watch as the locals buy fresh produce from the traders on the boats, then head back into Bangkok for a guided tour. See Rattanakosin Island, the royal island on the bank of the River Kwai, and visit the Grand Palace and the adjoining Wat Phra Kaew temple, as well as the Wat Pho temple - home to the gigantic figure of the Reclining Buddha. You'll also see the ornate five-and-a-half-ton Golden Buddha at Chinatown's Wat Traimit temple.
Day Four: Optional River Kwai excursion
Relax in Bangkok, or perhaps join today's optional River Kwai and the Death Railway excursion. Travel by train, through a fascinating landscape of rice fields and sugar-cane plantations and into the Thai jungle, to Nam Tok Sai Yok Noi. Enjoy lunch, and visit Kanchanaburi's beautifully-tended war cemeteries as well as the various museums connected with this area's tragic WWII history, the construction of the Death Railway and the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai.
Day Five: From Thailand to Cambodia
You'll have an early start to make the most of the day, this morning, as we travel through the unspoilt rural landscape to the border where you'll cross into Cambodia at Aranyaprathet-Poipet. Formalities completed, you'll begin the second part of your adventure with the short journey to the elegant French colonial city of Battambang.
Day Six: Ksach Poy to Siem Reap
Today you travel to the village of Ksach Poy, situated on the banks of the Sangker River, which is home to some delightful traditional wooden Khmer stilt-houses. Moving on, we'll head to the colourful market town of Siem Reap, home to the archaeological Angkor National Museum, and gateway to the incredible temple complex of Angkor Thom.
This evening, you'll get your first taste of traditional Cambodian culture at an included dinner and dance show.
Day Seven: Included Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat excursion
Discover the four vast stone heads and countless carved faces of the Bayon, which stands in the heart of the 'lost city' of Angkor Thom, today.
Angkor Thom was the greatest citadel of the Khmer Empire that ruled half of South East Asia for nearly 600 years, and its ruined boulevards and gateways cover a vast area to the north of Siem Reap. And yet it is not the highlight of this landscape littered with great ruins. That title goes to Angkor Wat. The world's largest religious building, with its five great towers and 1000-metre-long carved bas-relief, is dazzling and unforgettable. Expect to return to your hotel awed and amazed by everything you've seen.
Day Eight: Cruise across Tonle Sap
Journey across Tonle Sap, South East Asia's Great Lake, and see the villages built entirely on stilts that are home to the floating communities whose livelihoods depend on the lake's waters. An afternoon visit to the Angkor National Museum, to see its collection of sculptures, stonework and oher priceless artefacts, rounds of a fascinating day.
Day Nine: From Siem Reap to Phnom Penh
Travel to the evocative Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, set on the banks of the Mekong River, where you'll take an introductory afternoon's guided tour that includes The Royal Palace, and its Silver Pagoda of priceless Buddhist artefacts.
This evening, you'll have dinner at Phnom Penh's famous, riverside Foreign Correspondents' Club.
Day 10: Included Tuol Sleng Museum visit and Mekong boat trip to Vietnam
Today begins with a thought-provoking morning visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum, which chronicles the Pol Pot years and the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Afterwards, you'll have the opportunity to take a good look around the National Museum of Cambodia, the country's largest cultural, historical and archaeological museum.
You'll then board the fast boat along the Mekong River to feel the wind on your face on a thrilling boat ride into Vietnam, arriving at your overnight hotel in the border town of Chau Doc.
Day 11: Included Nui Sam visit and travel to Can Tho
Your day begins with a visit to the holy mountain of Nui Sam. Studded with pagodas and temples, the mountain offers visitors stunning views over the Mekong Delta (which you'll be heading towards today). You'll stay overnight in the university town of Can Tho, with its colourful floating markets, busy working harbour and sacred Khmer pagoda: Muniwangsyaram.
Day 12: From Can Tho to Ho Chi Minh City
Brilliantly coloured orchards, lush forests and traditional rice fields criss-crossed by a network of small tributaries: this is the unmistakable landscape of the Mekong Delta. Today, you'll enjoy a boat ride to the floating markets of Cai Rang and Cai Be, and visit the delta town of Vinh Long.
By evening, you'll arrive in Ho Chi Minh City for a two-night stay.
Day 13: Included Cu Chi Tunnels excursion
The remarkable Cu Chi tunnel complex provides a poignant reminder of the country's recent history. This 200 km underground labyrinth was used by the Viet Cong as a base, and now serves as a national memorial for those who lost their lives in the conflict.
Back in Ho Chi Minh City a guided tour will reveal its fascinating mix of French colonial history and modern Vietnamese life. You'll see the grand General Post Office, the Reunification Hall on the site of the former President's Palace, the Xa Loi Pagoda with its bronze Buddha, and (time permitting) the War Remnants Museum.
Your day ends with a celebratory farewell dinner: the perfect opportunity to look back on your holiday and relive the many highlights with your travelling companions (and new-found friends).
Day 14: Included Ho Chi Minh City Tour
Spend your final morning and afternoon exploring Ho Chi Minh City, before you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK via Singapore.
Day 15: Arrive back in the UK
You'll touch down in the UK, today, after an unforgettable tour of South East Asia.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Should the water in Tonle Sap Lake be too low, the journey by boat on Day Six will be replaced with coach transportation.
Passports and visas
British citizens require machine-readable passports when travelling overseas. A visa is required for entry to Cambodia. Your passport must contain two blank pages and be valid for six months beyond the exit date from Cambodia. The current charge for British Citizens is £30. British Citizens do not require a visa to visit Thailand. Until 30 June 2021, British Citizens do not require a visa for single entry visits to Vietnam if staying for less than 15 days. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before your departure date.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
On your flight
All flights travel overnight and land at your destination the next day. On-board meals will usually be dinner and breakfast. All drinks are complimentary.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.