Grand South East Asia

Code: GSEA-2020ds


Explore the best of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. We begin in Hanoi, Vietnam’s modern capital, an exotic city that offers travellers a fusion of cultures from old French to traditional Chinese, and history ranging from thousand-year-old temples and universities to the Hanoi Hilton, a former prison. We will then enjoy a truly unique experience as we cruise Halong Bay amongst spectacular limestone pitons, spending a night on the water. In central Vietnam, we will visit the charming UNESCO designated city of Hoi An. Next, we head south to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), the country’s largest city with much to offer, including sites that relate to the Vietnam War. We then venture into the Mekong Delta to visit floating markets and experience rural Vietnam. Mystical and beautiful Cambodia follows, where we will explore The Killing Fields and Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument. Finally, we finish our tour in Bangkok, with its spectacular Grand Palace and busy markets.


Hanoi’s French Quarter, Halong Bay, local markets and canals of Hoi An, Saigon and Cu-Chi Tunnels, Floating Markets of the Mekong Delta, Angkor Wat, Bangkok’s markets, Grand Palace and Wat Po.

Major Cities/Towns/Islands:

Vietnam: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An, Saigon, towns of the Mekong Delta Cambodia: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh Thailand: Bangkok

Variety of local food:

The best of local cuisines at venues planned ahead.

Cultural/Natural Impact:

Great learning opportunities. Immerse yourself in the culture of this traditional village.

Variety of Transport:

International and regional flights, buses, vans, local taxis and a variety of boats in Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta.


Easy: Walks in the towns and bazaars. Short walks in protected areas and reserves.

Unique Local Experiences:

Cruise and sleep on a small boat to explore Halong Bay. From big cities to small towns, the tour is packed with a number of uniquely local experiences that will give you a better understanding of the diverse cultures and customs, including foods, music, dance, dress, architectural styles and general lifestyle.


# Tour Meals Overnight
Day 01 Arrive Hanoi D Hotel
Day 02 Hanoi Full-Day Tour B+L+D Hotel
Day 03 Hanoi – Halong Bay B+L+D Hotel
Day 04 Halong Bay – Hanoi, Fly: Hanoi – Hoi An B+L Hotel
Day 05 Hoi An full-day tour B+L+D Hotel
Day 06 Fly: Hoi An – Danang – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) B Hotel
Day 07 Excursion to Cu Chi Tunnels B+L+D Hotel
Day 08 Saigon – Mekong Delta B+L+D Hotel
Day 09 Mekong Delta – Saigon – Fly to Phnom Penh B+L+D Hotel
Day 10 Phnom Penh – Siem Reap B+L+D Hotel
Day 11 Siem Reap B+L+D Hotel
Day 12 Siem Reap – Bangkok B+L+D Hotel
Day 13 Bangkok – Full-day Tour of temples & Grand Palace B+L+D Hotel
Day 14 Bangkok – Departure B

B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


Arrive at Hanoi Airport, where our guide will welcome you and escort us to our hotel. Time permitting you can walk along the streets of the old French Quarter to see this busy and exotic part of town. Today it’s best to rest and catch up on your sleep, however, the guide will take us out for our first Vietnamese dinner. Overnight in Hanoi.


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, Asian and Western as it has been called the “Paris of Asia”. ‘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. 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 until 1969. The mausoleum is inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow and both men are on display in their glass coffins! Nearby is the Presidential Palace, with its typical colonial-style architecture, constructed in the early nineteenth century for the French Governor-General of Indo-China. 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 temple was destroyed by French forces before they left Vietnam, however, 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 in this part of the world. We will also visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda, originally built in the sixth century AD and 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. Of course, no visit is complete without a visit to the “Hanoi Hilton”, the infamous prison from the Vietnam War. Later in the afternoon (time permitting), we will enjoy taking a Cyclo (cycle rickshaw) tour of Old Hanoi (they will pedal for you!). Afterwards, we will not only see the lake at night, but you will be entertained by a traditional Water Puppet Show and dinner. The Water Puppet concept has been around since the 11th century and tells stories of rural life and the people’s history through the intricate manipulation of Water puppets. The dinner will be a traditional Vietnamese meal with several courses to be savoured.


After breakfast, we 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 Halong Bay (where dragons descend into the sea) are hundreds of limestone islands called “pitons” which jut out of the water to create one of nature’s most breathtaking vistas. The bay and its mystical islets are designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site based on its natural beauty. Our boat will slowly cruise around its many islands until it arrives at a pristine and calm spot, where we anchor for the night. Later this afternoon we will visit the mysterious and beautiful Tien Ong Cave. These caves took millions of years to form but were only discovered recently. The thirty-metre cave walls show many dramatic formations that tease the imagination. Onboard, 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 fishing, karaoke and dancing are all possible. Overnight on the boat.

You can start your day with an early morning session of Tai Chi. After a sumptuous breakfast, we will stop at Cua Van Floating Village where you will have the option of taking a boat rowed by our staff, or you can paddle your own kayak to explore the beauty of the bay. After your morning activities, the cruise will head back to the port. Enjoy your final views from the deck as we say so long to Halong! Upon arrival at the port, our guide will assist us in transferring back to the Hanoi Airport. Our flight will take us to Hoi An in central Vietnam.

After breakfast, explore Hoi An’s rural surroundings. We will stop at a local village where the community has come together to create a large vegetable farm. Take a walk around the farm to see the different vegetables that are all grown organically! Learn the traditional methods the farmers use to plant, fertilize and harvest the crop, then try your hand at raking the ground and sowing the seeds. After toiling away in the garden, be rewarded with an herbal foot bath and massage. Join in with short cooking demonstration followed by a cooked lunch featuring the delicious vegetables straight from the farm. In the afternoon we will take a guided tour of the old town of Hoi An, where the ancient streets and buildings of this Cham city are preserved for you today as a World Heritage Site. The narrow streets and beautiful canals will transport you into the past of this historic trading town. Here merchants once thrived from the spice trade and they left their legacy through buildings such as the Chinese Temple and the Tan Ky Chinese-style trading house.


After a relaxing morning, we will be transferred to Danang from where we fly out to Saigon or Ho Chi Minh City. Once we arrive, we will be transferred to our hotel where we might have time to visit the 5 000 stall Ben Thanh Market which one can walk to from the hotel. Overnight in Saigon (Ho Chi Min City).

After breakfast, we will depart for the Cu Chi tunnels. By 1965, 250 km of tunnels crisscrossed Cu Chi and surrounding areas. Just across the Saigon River was the notorious guerrilla power base known as the IRON TRIANGLE. The Cu Chi tunnels played a vital part in the American war as they allowed the Viet Cong to control a large rural area only 30 to 40 km from Saigon. At its height, the tunnel system stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border. The network, parts of which were several levels deep, included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centers and kitchens. Today the remaining tunnels have become a major tourist attraction giving the visitor a unique experience and feel for what underground life in the American War must have been like. The tunnels have been widened for our benefit, otherwise, we would not be able to enter them! Once back in Saigon, a former fishing village that has grown to a city of over 9 million, the city tour will commence with a visit to Saigon’s Notre-Dame Cathedral (Tan Dinh Church), built with materials imported from France, including glass from Chartres. Although it is not a replica of the famous Notre Dame, it is equally impressive with its high steeple and distinctive pink, gothic design. A short walk from the Basilica is the Central Post Office, exquisitely designed by none other than Gustav Eiffel. After a short visit, take a stroll along Dong Khoi Street to visit the Opera House. The Opera House has an interesting history as it has been everything from a bomb shelter to a House of the Parliament. Restored in 1995, the Opera House has returned to its roots and is once again a theatre. Continue on to visit the Reunification Palace, once a symbol of the South Vietnamese Government. It was here on April 30, 1975, that the war ended when a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates. From there we will continue on to the War Remnants Museum. The displays share the story of the city’s darkest and most tragic hours during the Vietnam War. The museum showcases diverse aspects of the war and its impacts on the region. It is a sobering experience to see the effects of war on ordinary citizens. You will then have time to explore the famous Ben Thanh Market and shop for some amazing, hand-crafted souvenirs.


After breakfast, we head to Vinh Long in the heart of the Mekong Delta. We start with a visit to the Cai Be Floating Market. Compared to Cai Rang, this is a much smaller market, but it has its own charm. Then it’s time to explore the mighty Mekong River by boat. We board our boat and cruise along the many canals and tributaries of the Mekong. For lunch, you can try the local specialty, “Elephant Ear Fish”; fresh from the Mekong. After lunch, we will visit a unique local candy manufacturer. Here on a small island in the Mekong Delta, coconut candy is produced from organic ingredients with no artificial flavours added. You can also watch fresh ‘pop-rice’ (like popcorn), being made instantly. For those who wish, Cobra and Scorpion Wine are also available. From here we head to Can Tho to stay overnight.


Early in the morning, we visit one of the largest floating markets in the region, Cai Rang. Your boat trip will take you past a variety of boat shops that sell fresh fruits, vegetables and a variety of other goods. Each boat has a long pole and on the tip of this pole hangs what is for sale. After your trip, return to your hotel for a fresh, warm breakfast. Time then to check out and head back to Saigon and catch our flight to Phnom Penh.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

An early start will take us to the “Killing Fields” of the Khmer Rouge, which will instill both a sense of fascination and sadness as we try to absorb this sobering piece of history. Back in Phnom Penh, we will tour the spectacular piece of architecture called the Grand Palace. We then drive to Siem Reap, enjoying the pastoral scenery and some curious stops such as the ‘Spider Village” where you can choose to have something interesting to eat or just watch someone else! With a few more scenic stops along the way, we will continue our drive to Siem Reap and check in to our hotel. After dinner, you may wish to see Phare, the Cambodian Circus (see next page for details). Optional Entertainment: The Cambodian Circus, Phare, is more than just a circus. Phare performers use theatre, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, talent and enthusiasm. Phare is one of Cambodia’s most innovative social enterprise models. Profits generated through ticket sales support free education, professional arts training and social support programs of Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang.
Cost: $XX. approximately 2 hours in duration.


We will acquire our Angkor Conservation Area entrance pass and continue onto the Small Circuit Tour. This tour includes a visit to the huge pyramid of Takeo and the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Tomb Raider’. We continue on to visit Sras Srang, known as the King’s bathing pond and the temple of Banteay Kdei, before exploring Prasat Kravan, an elegant brick temple. After lunch we explore the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom, where you will find the Bayon; a temple famed for its many gigantic carved faces smiling beguilingly down at you. We will also visit other important sites in this immense walled city, including the pyramids of Baphuon and Phimeanakas as well as the royal viewing stands known as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Finally, we will complete this exciting adventure by rediscovering the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple. Tonight’s dinner will be served with a traditional local Apsara Dance show. Apsara is the traditional Khmer, classical dance. Overnight at the hotel.


You may choose to rise early today to catch the breathtaking sunrise from behind Angkor Wat’s five carved towers after which you will return to your hotel for breakfast (Note: extra ticket is required for the sunrise entrance). After breakfast, we will head south to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in South East Asia where we will enjoy a thrilling boat ride. You will see the traditional floating village of Chong Khneas and witness the residents going about their daily life. It is quite a sight to see a village complete with homes, gas stations, schools, hairdressers, and even karaoke bars all floating on a lake. After an early lunch, we will drive to the border between Thailand and Cambodia where we cross the control point and enter into Thailand. Our Thai guides await on the other side to drive us to Bangkok for check-in at the hotel.

After breakfast at the hotel we will begin our guided tour which will commence with Wat Traimit; the Temple of the Golden Buddha which is famous for its 900-year- old, five and a half-ton, solid gold image. We then continue on to Wat Arun, perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn; one of the best-known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. Afterwards, we will visit Wat Po, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok as well as the largest single Buddha image; The Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas), found in Wat Phra Chetuphon or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This temple is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. Our guide will escort us to a local restaurant for lunch. Next, we will visit some of the most famous tourist sites in Bangkok, including the Royal Grand Palace with its 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. It is then time to take a thrilling long-tail boat ride along the canals of the Chao Phraya River to witness life on the river and maybe a few giant lizards. Once the tour is completed, we head back to our hotel to freshen up for our final farewell dinner and show, which includes a variety of traditional Thai dancing. Overnight in Bangkok.

DAY 14  BANGKOK – Departure

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the Bangkok International Airport for our flight back to Toronto.
  • Domestic Flights: Hanoi to Danang, Danang to Saigon, Saigon to Phnom Penh.
  • Accommodation: Neat, clean and safe hotels listed within the program outline (or similar).
  • Land Transport: Private air-conditioned transportation for airport transfers and intercity travel.
  • Halong Bay Cruise: One-night onboard cruise boat, with air-conditioned rooms.
  • Tours: All tours listed within the program, with entrance fees included.
  • Guides: English speaking local guides throughout the trip.
  • Meals: As per the itinerary – 13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners, plus in-flight meals.
  • Escorts: Earl Clint and John Swatridge throughout the tour, to assist you.
  • Entertainment: Vietnamese water puppet show, traditional Cambodian Khmer show, traditional Thai dance show in Bangkok.

Cost does not include:

  • Entry visas for Vietnam and Cambodia.
  • Mineral water, soft drinks and alcohol.
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, items of a personal nature, and gifts.
  • Any unexpected taxes or service charges levied by the Government of Canada, the airlines or by the governments of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
  • Any expense that is incurred during the trip for personal or medical needs.
  • Tips and gratuities for local guides, drivers and other staff.
  • Insurance: Trip cancellation and interruption insurance and out of country medical coverage.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE: 120 days prior to departure


Available Dates

Start Date End Date Price (US) Action
16 Nov 202129 Nov 2021US$ 3195Book Now
11 Jan 202224 Jan 2022US$ 2995Book Now
19 Jul 202201 Aug 2022US$ 3195Book Now


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