Hanoi to Bangkok

A popular and wide-ranging small group tour of Asia, showcasing the natural wonders and fascinating cultures of Vietnam and Cambodia over 17 days. This adventure offers a combination of guided excursions and free time to explore beaches, ruins, urban culture, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Expect all of the highlights, culture, access, and I-can’t-believe-we-did-that moments, all at a great price on this classic tour from Hanoi to Bangkok.

Although many activities are included, there is still plenty of time to explore on your own and create the ultimate adventure.

Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character feature on this tour with a mix of public and private transport. Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels ensures the whole family can enjoy the trip; there is nothing too physically challenging. All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Expect a maximum of 15 fellow minded travellers on this small group tour of Asia but an average of 12.

Image: Cambodia Angkor Wat Sunrise © Leo Tamburi

Highlights

  • Cruise the Mekong Delta for a day
  • Overnight on a traditional sailing junk boat in Halong Bay
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hue and the Imperial Citadel and Tomb
  • Halong Bay
  • Hoi An and the opportunity to learn how to make noodles
  • Angkor Wat, the former capital of the Khmer Kingdom
  • Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek : The Killing Fields.
  • Cu Chi Tunnels, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Cycle Phnom Penh
  • Local Khmer dinner

What’s Included

  • Halong Bay caves entrance
  • Halong Bay boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
  • Imperial Citadel and Tomb entrance (Hue)
  • Noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, (Hoi An)
  • Cu Chi Tunnels entrance and tour (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Mekong Delta day trip
  • Cyclo tour (Phnom Penh)
  • Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) entrance and guide
  • Angkor Wat complex entry and guide, including sunrise tour (Siem Reap)
  • Local Khmer dinner in nearby village either at the New Hope project or with a local family (depends on departure)
  • Border crossing support
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by train, local bus, air-con bus, plane, walking, cyclo, boat.
  • Accommodations: Hotels (14 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt).
  • Meals: 15 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners (Allow USD185-240 for meals not included.)
  • Staff & experts
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Additional information

DestinationAsia

Itinerary

1

Day 1: Hanoi

Arrive at any time.
There are no planned activities today until an evening welcome meeting. After the meeting, opt for dinner out with the group.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting (1h- 18:00)
The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour.
Optional Activities are possible, take a look at the tab “Optional Activities”.

Accommodation: Maison D’Hanoi Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel

2

Day 2: Hanoi/Ha Long

Enjoy a Ha Long Bay cruise on a junk boat with visits to a cave and an island lookout. Savour a seafood lunch and dinner.
Drive to Bai Chay harbour, the jumping off point for Ha Long Bay. Thousands of islands with intricate cave systems rise dramatically from the waters. Sail past limestone karst mountains in the junk boat and stop to visit some of the islands and caves.
In the evening, enjoy a seafood dinner, then opt to take a drink on deck under the stars.
Private Vehicle Hanoi – Bai Chay (4h)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.
Junk Ha Long : Skim across the water aboard this iconic traditional Asian sailboat.
Halong Bay Overnight Cruise
Board a traditional junk boat at Ha Long Bay harbour and cruise out onto serene waters. Marvel at massive limestone karst mountains jutting out of the water, creating unforgettable spectacular scenery. Swim, kayak or go cave exploring on one of the islands, if conditions are right. Indulge in fresh seafood meals with a variety of dishes to sample. Drift to sleep in a cozy cabin on board.

Accommodation: Halong Bay Boat (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

3

Day 3: Ha Long/Huế


Cruise back to the port and take a private van to Hanoi. Enjoy some time in the city before an overnight train to Hue.
Enjoy breakfast on board before a morning sail back to the port. Drive back to Hanoi for a little more time to enjoy the city before boarding an overnight train.
Private VehicleHa Long – Hanoi (4h)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.
Free Time Hanoi Afternoon
Spend a few hours exploring this beautiful capital city. Visit some shops, have a bia hoi on a street corner or grab a coffee in a lakeside café.
Overnight train (beds) Hanoi – Huế (14h-15h)
Drive about 15 mins to the station and then board the southbound train for the overnight journey.

Meals included: Breakfast

4

Day 4: Huế


Guided tour of the Imperial Citadel, Royal Tomb and Tien Mu Pagoda. Optional countryside motorbike tour.
Arrive early to Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Start the day with a visit to the Tien Mu Pagoda followed by a visit to the tomb of one of Vietnam’s former emperors.
Afterwards, opt for a vegetarian lunch at a local nunnery. With free time, take a motorbike tour of the area.
While in the city, try some local Hue specialties such as banh khoai (Hue savoury pancakes), and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). Wash it all down with a Hue beer.

Tien Mu Pagoda: Visit Huế

Visit Tien Mu, one of the tallest and, perhaps, most elegant pagodas in Vietnam, at seven storeys high. Take a step back in time touring this historic temple – built more than 400 years ago along the north shore of the Perfume River, it has been the site of many political protests.

Imperial Citadel : Tour Huế

Tour this one-time capital city and UNESCO World Heritage site. See the walled fortress and former palace, which has many palaces, gateways, courtyards, and gardens to explore. The Forbidden Purple City (modelled on China’s Forbidden City) inside the citadel was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War.

Royal Tombs: Visit Huế

Visit the Royal Tombs along the Perfume River in Hue. Embracing the concept of Feng Shui, these tombs are extremely ornate and provide fantastic insight into the lives of the former rulers.

Optional Activities are possible, take a look at the tab “Optional Activities”.

Accommodation:

Asia Hotel (or similar) Hotel

5

Day 5: Huế/Hoi An

Drive the Hai Van pass. Take advantage of Hoi An’s many options over the 2.5 days in town. Opt for a cooking class, riverboat trip, bike ride, beach time, tailor visit or My Son ruins.
Start the day touring the wonderful ruins of the Imperial Citadel before heading towards Hoi An in the late morning. Cross the Hai Van Pass (weather permitting), with fantastic views in all directions, before arriving to Hoi An in the afternoon.
With three nights here, there’s plenty of time to explore all this charming town has to offer.
Private Vehicle Huế – Hoi An (4h)
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.
Free Time Hoi An Afternoon
Use free time in this quaint town to explore any way you like.

Accommodation: Vinh Hung 2 Resort (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

6

Day 6: Hoi An

Spend two full days exploring all Hoi An has to offer. Dive into the culture, hang out on the beach or get clothes tailor-made in one of the many shops around town. Enjoy a noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project.
Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch Hoi An (1h30m)
Try some of the oodles of noodles (more than 26 types!) available in the city in this tasty cooking class. Run by Planeterra Foundation partners, STREETS International, the class was developed exclusively for this tour. Former street youth that are part of this hospitality training program, will help you prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles. This program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill-set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry. Enjoy your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine and this initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training.
Free Time Hoi An Half Day: Explore this charming city.
Optional Activities are possible, take a look at the tab “Optional Activities”.

Accommodation: Vinh Hung 2 Resort (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast | Lunch

7

Day 7: Hoi An

Spend a free day exploring all Hoi An has to offer.

Accommodation: Vinh Hung 2 Resort (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

8

Day 8: Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City

Fly from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City with free time to explore this hectic city.
Drive to Da Nang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of South Vietnam and the country’s commercial centre. Start exploring the small alleys and busy streets keeping an eye out for lacquer ware shops and delicious local food stalls.
Plane Hoi An – Ho Chi Minh City (1h)

Accommodation: Hong Hac Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

9

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City

Guided tour of Cu Chi Tunnels in the morning, free time in the afternoon.
Use free time to visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas and stroll through the immense Ben Thanh Market. The Reunification Palace, the city’s Chinese quarter of Cholon, and the War Remnants Museum are also well worth a visit.
In the evening, new travellers may join the group. Opt to attend their welcome meeting to get to know them.
Take a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of tunnels that the Viet Cong lived in to protect themselves from opposing forces during the Vietnam War. Try crawling through some of the tunnels (if you’re not claustrophobic). These tunnels stored ammunition, had underground hospitals, and served as a hidden base for attacking allied forces.
Free Time Ho Chi Minh City Afternoon
Optional Activities are possible, take a look at the tab “Optional Activities”.

Accommodation: Hong Hac Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

10

Day 10: Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy a boat cruise through the villages, islands, and markets of the Mekong Delta, and visit traditional candy factories.
After enjoying a day in the Mekong Delta, travel back to Ho Chi Minh City in time for an optional dinner.
Private VehicleHo Chi Minh City – Mekong Delta (2h)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.
Day Trip to Mekong Delta Full Day
Travel to where the mighty Mekong empties into the South China Sea. Board a small boat and navigate through narrow canals, witnessing local living along the way. Stop to see cottage industries and their products for which the area is famous: delicious, chewy coconut candy and rice cakes.
Private Vehicle Mekong Delta – Ho Chi Minh City (2h)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.

Accommodation: Hong Hac Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

11

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City/Phnom Penh

Travel day with border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia. Enjoy a cyclo tour through the capital city of Phnom Penh to benefit a local organization.
Local bus Ho Chi Minh City – Mộc Bái (2h)
Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Border Crossing (Vietnam – Cambodia) Mộc Bái – Bavĕt
Local bus Bavĕt – Phnom Penh (3h)
Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Phnom Penh Cyclo Tour Phnom Penh (45m-1h)
Settle in a traditional cyclo and depart from Wat Phnom. Tour busy streets to soak up the real vibe of the city. Pass the post office and Van’s restaurant, both stunning colonial buildings, and make your way to the Royal Palace and National Museum. Go along the riverside road and take in the atmospheric cafes that line the street.

Accommodation: Diamond Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

12

Day 12: Phnom Penh

Guided tour of Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields). Opt to visit the Royal Palace, the National Museum or the Central Market.
Meet a local guide to learn more about the dark side of Cambodian history. Visit to Choeung Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields. After, visit Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison), the notorious Khmer Rouge prison where thousands of Cambodians perished.
Enjoy a free afternoon to sightsee. Opt to explore the city’s many sights: the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum. With time, choose to visit the Russian Market, Wat Phnom or sip a drink at a riverside café.
Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) Guided Tour Phnom Penh
Learn more about the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge visiting the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek; the grounds now stand as a powerful memorial filled with victims’ skulls and mass graves. Tour this sombre, yet serene, site with a guide.
Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) Guided Tour Phnom Penh
Learn about the dark history and devastation that occurred at Security Prison 21 (S-21); the prison, used by the Khmer Rouge regime, is now Tuol Sleng Museum. Take a guided tour to hear the stories behind the sombre photos lining the museum walls.
Free Time Phnom Penh Afternoon
Use free time to customize your experience and see the sights that interest you most.
Optional Activities are possible, take a look at the tab “Optional Activities”.

Accommodation: Diamond Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

13

Day 13: Phnom Penh/Siem Reap

Drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the home base for exploring incredible Angkor Wat.
Private VehiclePhnom Penh – Siem Reap (6h-8h)
Drive through the beautiful Cambodian countryside.

Accommodation: Nagara Angkor Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

14

Day 14: Siem Reap

Enjoy a guided tour of the Angkor Wat temple complex. Opt to visit the Tonlé Sap floating village and the Angkor National Museum. Enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food either at the G Adventures-supported New Hope project or in a local home in a village outside the city.
Spend 2 days exploring Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer kingdom and one of the wonders of the archaeological world. See some of the highlights of this ancient capital, like sunrise at the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm, also known as the ‘Tomb Raider’ temple.
Enjoy a local meal to learn about Khmer food and meet some friendly locals. Alternating locations of our local meal enables small businesses to flourish. Each experience is truly unique and memorable.
Angkor Wat Guided Tour Full Day
Follow a local expert through the massive grounds of Angkor Wat for 2 days. You’ll have the opportunity to go in and out of the complex, resting at the hottest part of the day.
New Hope Vocational Training Restaurant, Siem Reap
If your trip departs on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday, you visit the New Hope project.
Home Meal (1h-3h)
If your trip departs on a Monday, Tuesday or Saturday, you visit a local home in a nearby village for a traditional meal.

Optional Activities are possible, take a look at the tab “Optional Activities”.

Accommodation: Nagara Angkor Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast | Dinner

15

Day 15: Siem Reap

Spend another day in Siem Reap, exploring more temples of Angkor or going further afield.
Free Time Siem Reap: Get out and explore.

Accommodation: Nagara Angkor Boutique Hotel (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

16

Day 16: Siem Reap/Bangkok

Cross the border into Thailand and continue on to the bustling metropolis of Bangkok.
Spend the last night together in Bangkok. Opt to go out on the town and indulge in flavourful Thai food.
Private Vehicle Siem Reap – Paôy Pêt (2h30m-3h30m)
Stretch out and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.
Border Crossing (Cambodia – Thailand) Paôy Pêt – Aranyaprathet
Get ready to cross into Thailand. Aranyaprathet is known for being one of the most hectic border crossings but your CEO will help make the process go as smoothly as possible. The border crossing is done on foot and can take up to an hour so be patient and think of all the fun Thailand has in store.
Private Vehicle: Aranyaprathet – Bangkok (4h)
Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private ride.
Load into the van on the Thai side of the border and continue on to Bangkok.

Accommodation: Central Station Hotel Bangkok (or similar) Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast

17

Day 17: Bangkok

Depart at any time.
Not ready to leave this vibrant city? Extend your stay with post-tour accommodation we can help you work something out to suit your ideas and budget.

Meals included: Breakfast

Optional Activities

1

Optional Activities Day 1:

Thăng Long Water Puppet Theatre: Performance Hanoi

Watch a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show with beautiful live music and intricate puppets dancing in a water stage.

Tran Quoc Pagoda: Visit Hanoi

Visit one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam located on the eastern shore of Tay Ho. Learn about Tran Quoc’s history from the 17th-century stela found on site. View it later in the day, if you can – the tall structure is striking against the setting sun.

Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu) : Visit Hanoi

Visit this sprawling temple built to honour Confucius, sages, and scholars. Dedicated to learning, it housed the country’s first university in 1076. Explore its five courtyards, containing various gates, altars, sanctuaries, shrines, the stelae of doctors, and the Well of Heavenly Clarity.

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum: Visit Hanoi

Tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum built in the square where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence in 1945. Get in line to tour the grounds; queues of visitors come to pay their respects daily.

2

Optional Activities Day 4:

Motorbike Tour Huế

Hop on the back of a motorbike and let your professional driver take you out into the countryside. Explore rice paddy landscapes and see local villagers at work in the fields. Take in temples, shops, a scenic overlook or two, or, perhaps, an ancient covered bridge – routes can vary on these interesting rides.

3

Optional Activities Day 6:

Hoi An Cooking Class Hoi An

Take a cooking class to learn more about Vietnamese food and its distinct flavours. Tour the local market to buy fresh ingredients before preparing some popular regional dishes. Enjoy your creations when you’re done!

Bike Rental

Rent a bike from a local shop and head out to explore.

Mỹ Sơn Excursion

Travel approximately one hour from Hoi An to arrive at My Son. Tour these Hindu temples built between the fourth and 14th centuries; the site is widely accepted as one of the most important Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia. Learn about the architectural style and history of a site that’s often compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Burma.

Lifestart Lantern Making Hoi An

Add a little light to your life! Visit Lifestart Foundation and learn how to make a traditional lantern from area residents. See how this project, supported by Planeterra, helps local Vietnamese with chronic disabilities gain sustainable employment.

Tailor Shops Hoi An

Go home with some new (handmade!) clothes from one of Hoi An’s famous tailor shops. Walk the streets lined with hundreds of local shops that turn out gorgeous suits, dresses, winter coats, shoes, purses – almost anything – in a day’s time to create next season’s wardrobe.

4

Optional Activities Day 9:

Thien Hau Pagoda VisitHo Chi Minh City

Visit the Thien Hau Pagoda, a beautiful temple in the Chinatown district of Ho Chi Minh City. Learn more about the customs associated with this 19th-century monument – it is dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau (the ‘Lady of the Sea’) who is worshipped in Chinese communities throughout Asia by those who depend on the sea for their livelihoods.

Giac Vien Pagoda VisitHo Chi Minh City

Find this hidden pagoda behind some small alleyways – it’s a rare treat of a monument that has been spared the over-restoration that has been done to so many temples. Tour the inside of this 18th-century pagoda to see nearly 100 carvings of divine beings.

Ben Thanh MarketHo Chi Minh City

Wander this bustling market for more insight into Ho Chi Minh City. Pick up souvenirs, sample local cuisine, and experience local living. Talk to your CEO to learn about the market’s origins – Ben Thanh started as a cluster of street vendors selling wares by the Saigon River and formalized into a true market in 1859.

Reunification Palace Visit Ho Chi Minh City

Wander the historic halls of the Reunification Palace (Independence Palace), a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. This former home of the South Vietnamese president during the Vietnam War became the location of the end of the war when a North Vietnamese tank pushed through the palace gates on April 30, 1975.

Cholon Visit Ho Chi Minh City

Take in the busy rhythm of daily life in Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. Tour the area full of teahouses, pagodas, and people, and learn a little more about the unique culture within the city.

War Remnants Museum Visit Ho Chi Minh City

Visit the War Remnants Museum, a gut-wrenching but worthwhile experience that includes three storeys of exhibits and military hardware. Learn about the devastation that occurred in Saigon during the Vietnam War, a period that greatly contrasts the joy and liveliness of the Vietnamese people today.

5

Optional Activities Day 12:

Russian Market Phnom Penh

Visit the Russian Market for a selection of souvenir stalls along with jewellers and fabric sellers.

Royal Palace Phnom Penh

Visit the Royal Palace, a complex of buildings where the kings of Cambodia have resided since the 1860s (except for during the reign of the Khmer Rouge). Be sure to tour the Silver Pagoda compound and the central compound.

National Museum Phnom Penh

Visit Cambodia’s largest museum of culture, history, and archaeology. Tour its buildings inspired by Khmer architecture – constructed in the early 1900s, they house one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art. Visits here are well worth your time.

Wat Phnom Visit Phnom Penh

Visit Wat Phnom (Hill Temple) in late afternoon, a historic monument with lots of green space. Keep an eye on your food and belongings; cheeky monkeys like to get a hold of anything they can.

6

Optional Activities Day 13:

Phare – The Cambodian Circus Siem Reap

Take in Phare, a unique circus that injects Cambodian culture and history in its inspiring shows. See acrobatics, contortion, and aerial arts melded with theatre, modern dance, and more. Performers train for up to 10 years to master their art. Arrive before 20:00 (entrance closes at 20:05). Come early if you wish – the cafe opens at 18:00 and there is an option to enjoy dinner with the show.

Tonle Sap Floating VillageSiem Reap

Tour the floating villages of Tonlé Sap. See what life is like living on a lake — rice planting, pig farming, even attending churches and school, are all done on top of water.

Angkor Museum Visit Siem Reap

Learn about the story of Angkor and the Khmer empire at the interactive Angkor Museum. Explore the museum’s inspiring galleries and interactive technology, which bring Angkor’s past to life.

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small group tour 17 days asia hanoi to bangkok