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HIGHLIGHTS OF THAILAND & VIETNAM:

In two weeks visit the best of Vietnam and Thailand. Start in Hoi An, Vietnam's most charming city, then off to the ancient capital of Hue that still resonates with the glories of Imperial Vietnam. Hanoi, Vietnam’s modern capital, an exotic city that offers the traveler a fusion of cultures from old French to its traditional Chinese flavours. Cruise to Halong Bay, Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonder. Bangkok: explore its famous floating markets and then head north to the famous Chiang Mai Region. Visit an elephant camp and then head to the Golden Triangle where the mighty Mekong River separates its borders between Laos and Burma.  You have the option to join this early to visit the Mekong Delta or stay later to visit the Angkor Wat, or relax at the sandy beaches of Thailand.

Day-01 Arrival at Hoi
An Arrive at the Danang airport and drive to Hoi An.
Overnight at hotel.
Day-02 Hoi An - My Son
40 km outside of Hoi An is a place of architectural gems left to us by the Cham people. You will see why My Son earned its World Cultural Heritage status. The Towers are a marvel of Cham design and ingenuity. This sacred temple to Shiva emerged from the clutches of the jungle to amaze tourists who marvel at the engineering of the people of long-forgotten Champa. In the afternoon, step back in time in Hoi An, where the ancient streets and buildings of this Cham city are preserved for you today as a World Heritage site. Even the Covered Japanese Bridge, which marked ethnic divisions in the multicultural city, is left to show you the path to the past. Merchants thrived on the spice trade and left as their legacy the Chinese Temple and the Tan Ky Chinese-style trading house.
Overnight in Hoi An
Day-03 Hoi An - Hue - Danang - Hanoi
After breakfast, enjoy your scenic drive to Da Nang via the Hai Van Pass. Have your camera ready for the view from the top of the pass. Lang Co’s immaculate beaches give us an opportunity to stretch our legs and take in some sea air before we continue to Hue, the ancient capital of the Nguyen Dynasty. Arrive and head out to visit the imperial city. Enjoy a boat ride down the Perfume River and visit the Thien Mu Pagoda, probably the most mentioned monument in Vietnamese literature. Next, pay a visit to the Imperial Citadel. After our visit we will head back to Danang to board our domestic flight to Hanoi. Arrive at Noi Bai International Airport Hanoi, where our guide will assist you with your transfer to your hotel. Time permitting you can always go walk along the streets of the old French Quarter and get yourself oriented with this busy and yet very romantic part of town.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day-04 Hanoi - Halong Bay
After breakfast you will join our exciting overnight adventure to the famous Halong Bay. At Halong pier we will board our cruise to head east towards the Gulf of Tonkin. Here in the heart of the emerald waters of Ha Long Bay (where dragons descend into the sea) are its hundreds of limestone islands, together they create one of nature’s most breathtaking vistas. The bay and its mystical islets are all part of UNESCO’s world heritage site as a natural wonder. Our boat will slowly cruise around its many islands till it finally arrives at a pristine spot, where we anchor for the night. Later this afternoon we will visit the mysterious yet intriguing Sung Sot Caves. These caves hold the secret of their natural formation that has been going on for thousands of years. The cave walls are about 30 meters in height and show many dramatic formations that tease the imagination. On board, before dinner, you can take part in a short cooking course on making Vietnamese spring rolls. Enjoy watching the sunset and later the star-filled night. Lunch and dinner are both served on board the cruise. Evening activities like night squid finishing, karaoke and dancing are all possible.
Overnight on board the Cruise
Day-05 Halong Bay - Hanoi
You could start your morning with an early morning session of Tai Chi. After a sumptuous breakfast you have the option to climb up the top of the Titop Island to enjoy a panoramic view of the bay or take your kayaks to paddle in the bay to discover its beauty. After your morning activities the cruise will start heading back to the port. Enjoy your final views from the deck. After you arrive back to the port, your guide will assist you in transferring back to Hanoi. You arrive late in the afternoon. If you are up to it, there are some interesting activities to choose from. As an option we strongly suggest that you visit Hanoi’s French Quarters at night and watch the water puppet show. The tradition of this puppet show goes back to Vietnam’s rice farmers. Standing knee deep, the farmers and their puppets transformed the flooded rice paddies into a stage for this unique form of entertainment.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day-06
Today we embark on an exciting tour of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam and a truly exotic city. Today's Hanoi is an infusion of old and new, with a touch of its Parisian past and its modern day Viet-Chinese influences, unique is the best word to describe this city. The narrow streets of its old quarter are swarmed with people and almost as many motorbikes with an assortment of other traffic. The streets are lined with a variety of vendors from fruit sellers to chic brand name outlets. We start our tour with its most revered landmark the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the founder of modern Vietnam and the Chairman of the Communist Party from 1951 till 1969. The mausoleum is inspired by Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow. Nearby is the Presidential Palace, with its typical colonial style architecture, constructed in the early nineteen hundreds for the French Governor General of Indo-China. Ho Chi Minh built a stilt house within the Palace gardens where he lived until his final days. Next we visit the One Pillar Pagoda, built by the Emperor Ly Thai Tong in 1028. The temple resembles a Lotus flower bloom and is a symbol of purity and peace. Unfortunately, the original was destroyed by French forces before they left Vietnam. Luckily it was rebuilt by the Vietnamese people after their independence. Our next stop is The Temple of Literature. Built in the eleventh century AD and dedicated to Confucius, the Temple of Literature is probably the oldest university of this part of the world. Next we visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, originally built in the sixth century AD, considered to be the oldest in Hanoi. Nearby is the Quan Thanh, a Taoist Temple, dedicated to the Xuan Wu, the mysterious warrior and a high ranking Taoist Deity. Later this afternoon you have the option to take a Cyclo (cycle rickshaw) tour of Old Hanoi. Once you are done your tour you can take a walk around the Hoan Kiem lake and visit the Jade Mountain Temple – Ngoc Son Temple. There are lots of places to dine here around the lake. The lake is lit up at night giving Hanoi's best views of the night.
Overnight in Hanoi
Day-07 Hanoi - Bangkok
Transfer to the airport for your international flight to Bangkok. Upon arrival at Bangkok’s International Suwarnabhumi airport, proceed through immigration to obtain your Visa-on-arrival. Claim your luggage and proceed to the arrival hall. Our Representative will meet you here holding an Off The Map Adventures sign. Transfer to your hotel for check in, free at leisure. You have the option to explore Bangkok at night. Bangkok is famous for its markets, restaurants and its nightlife. Ask your guide to for suggestions.
Overnight in Bangkok
Day-08 Temple Tour - Royal Grand Palace & Emerald Buddha
Breakfast at hotel and then sightseeing tour to visit: Wat Traimit, the Temple of the Golden Buddha, the temple is famous for its 900-year- old five-and-a-half-ton solid gold image. Then continue to visit Wat Arun, perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, is one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. After that, a visit to Wat Po, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, as well as the largest single Buddha image: the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas), also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The temple is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Our guide will assist you to a local restaurant for lunch. We continue to visit the most famous tourist places in Bangkok: the Royal Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace adjoins Wat Phra Kaew in a common compound. Despite the proximity of the two, there's a distinct contrast in style between the very Thai style Wat Phra Kaew and the more European inspired designs of the Grand Palace (the roof being the exception). Overnight in Bangkok Optional Tours: Dinner Cruise on the Chayo Pharya: The Chao Phraya Cruise departs from the River City Pier, where you will begin a timeless journey up the river to witness the historic attractions and 19th-century buildings lining the two riverbanks. Behold the marvelous Temple of Dawn, The Grand Palace, Rama VIII Suspension Bridge and a delightful collection of waterfront hotels and landmarks. All of these and a sumptuous buffet dinner, complemented with live music and a Thai classical dance show. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the unforgettable experience with your friends or family.
Overnight in Bangkok
Day-9 Half Day Tour Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
At Damnoen Saduak, visit the gardener's house and see how the sugar is made right from the coconut tree. Damnoen Saduak is also Thailand's most famous and one of the most colourful Floating Markets. We will take a long tailed speedboat to the main market area. Take part in an experience that connects ancient traders with present day vendors. Now is your chance to try various kinds of exotic Thai fruits such as rumbutans, mangoes, and papayas. Purchase genuine Thai handicrafts at this unique spot. See people haggle with each other from boat to boat. Envy the customers of the food vendors who prepare dishes on board their narrow crafts. Return to Bangkok for your overnight train to Chiang Mai.
Day-10 Chiang Mai – Doi Suthep Tour
Arrive at Chiang Mai, meet the tour guide and then transfer to the hotel. After check-in start the tour with a visit to the famous Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep which is considered to be the most sacred stupa in Chiang Mai. Located on a hilltop, that overlooks the Chiang Mai Valley, in traditional Northern-Thai style construction, the Wat contains a holy relic of Buddha. Enjoy a panoramic view of the Valley from here. Return to the hotel to relax or visit the famous Chiang Mai's night bazaar. In the evening enjoy the famous dinner "Khantoke Dinner" also known as the Northern welcome dinner including hill tribe dancing.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Day-11 Elephant Safari - Ox-Cart Riding - Bamboo Rafting
Breakfast at hotel, embark for the Elephants Camp to see the elephants at work in a jungle area. See how the elephants are trained for working with humans as they show off their skills in an elephant shows. It is time for an exciting elephant ride along the jungle trails followed by an Ox-Cart ride back to the camp. (The elephant ride is optional). Lunch at the elephant camp. Afternoon, enjoy a thrilling bamboo raft ride along Mae Taeng river. Return to Chiang Mai with an additional stop at the Orchid Nursery. Transfer to your hotel.
Overnight in Chiang Mai
Day-12 Chiang Rai Golden Triangle
After breakfast, drive to Tha Ton Temple to see the largest Buddha image in a seated position on top of the summit of Tha Ton. Proceed to Mae Sai Border Market, one of the largest border markets of Thai (Thai - Myanmar Border). Here you can get your passport stamped at the border for a small fee and you can officially get in to Myanmar for a few hours. Here you see several products such local foods, clothes, jewelry, silverware, stones etc. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to Golden Triangle where the 3 borders of Laos, Myanmar & Thailand meet along with the mighty Mea Kong River. With its close proximity with China the river was used as a highway for trade. Along with the merchandise came opium. Later on, visit the Opium House, which is located nearby. You will learn about the trade routes of Opium along with interesting facts about the history of this area. After our tour we will return to our hotel.
Overnight in Chiang Mai/Chiang Rai
Day-13 Chiang Mai – Departure (Or continue to Angkor Wat)
After breakfast take a train or a flight to Bangkok and to your homeward destination.


Bangkok, Floating Markets, Chiang Mai, Golden Triangle, Hanoi's French Quarters, Halong Bay, Summer Palace of Hue, local markets and ancient sites at Hoi An, optional: Saigon, Floating Markets of Mekong Delta. Phuket and Phi Phi Island and Angkor Wat.

A large variety of local cuisines including a Thai, Cambodian and Vietnamese cuisine. Easy: Walks in the towns and bazaars. Short hikes in protected areas and reserves. Moderate walks along the trails and to explore the cave networks. Cruise on a small a boat to explore Halong Bay.

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