4 DAYS FROM $899
5 DAYS FROM $1,599
Begin your explorations with a pre-trip extension to Bangkok, Thailand's exotic capital, where the Buddhist faith fills almost every aspect of daily life. Enjoy three nights at the Moderate Deluxe Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, the perfect base for exploring this dazzling city. You'll discover the highlights of Thailand's bustling metropolis with a cruise along the Chao Phraya River to view the floating houses and visit to the Temple of Dawn, as well as a visit to the antique-filled Jim Thompson House. You will also have chance to visit a local flower market, as well as the Grand Palace with its legendary Emerald Buddha. This additional time in fascinating Bangkok is the perfect way to enhance your Southeast Asia experience.
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Fly overnight to Bangkok, Thailand
Embark your overnight flight to Bangkok, Thailand.
Arrive in Bangkok
Upon your arrival in the Thai capital, transfer to our hotel. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy at leisure.
Take a boat ride through Bangkok, with temple visits on the way
Today we enjoy an excursion by small boat along the Chao Phraya River, the artery of Bangkok. We'll stop to visit to the Temple of Dawn en route, towering over the river's banks. Cultural Discovery: As we cruise, we'll see floating houses along the city's klongs, or canals, and explore the daily life of locals. It's a fascinating glimpse at the other side of Bangkok. After lunch at a local restaurant, we pay a visit to the Jim Thompson house. This beautiful museum set on a canal consists of several authentic Thai houses and showcases a rich collection of Southeast Asian art collected by a silk businessman who lived in Bangkok during the 1950s and '60s. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner.
Visit the Emerald Buddha on a city excursion to temples and markets
Awake in the vibrant city of Bangkok this morning, the bustling capital of Old Siam straddling the serene Chao Phraya River. On a city excursion, we visit the colorful and thriving flower market to take in the local flavor. Continue to the Grand Palace, a sprawling complex that still serves as the royal residence. As we explore, we’ll pause at Wat Phra Kaew to show our reverence to the Emerald Buddha, a glittering figurine of green stone draped in a gold robe. After lunch at a local restaurant, our afternoon is free. The evening is yours at leisure, or you may join an optional Bangkok by Night tour (with dinner), featuring explorations by sunset cruise, a city crossing by tuk-tuk and a visit to the city's famous night market.
Explore Bangkok on your own, then join the base tour
Today, there'll be time to explore on your own. We return to the hotel and meet your fellow travelers to begin your main program.
Begin your explorations of Southeast Asia with this wonderful pre-trip extension to Laos, spending two nights in Vientiane and two nights in Luang Prabang. You’ll begin in Vientiane, where you’ll discover the history and culture of the Laotian capital on a full-day tour. Then it’s on to Luang Prabang, a beautiful, laid-back city where the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers meet. During your time here, you’ll take in Buddhist temples, French architecture, and ancient traditions — and participate in an alms-giving with local monks. This Buddhist nation cherishes a relaxed pace and a quiet, traditional lifestyle. Don’t miss your chance to add a third emerging Asian country of Indochina — at a great Vantage value!
Fly to Laos
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Vientiane, where you are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Lunch is on your own, and your afternoon is at leisure. Cultural Discovery: Tonight, enjoy a Lao dinner and show at a local restaurant.
Explore Vientiane's temples
A full-day tour takes you to Wat Si Saket, Ho Pra Keo, and Patuxai. After lunch in a local restaurant, you wander through the central market and visit Pha That Luang and Wat Simuang. Return to the hotel for an evening at leisure with dinner on your own.
A day of culture in Luang Prabang, and attend a Baci ceremony
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, visit the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Center, dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation, and presentation of the traditional arts and lifestyles of Laos. Cultural Discovery: Attend a traditional Baci ceremony that includes music and dance. Dinner is in a local restaurant tonight. Cultural Discovery: Embark on a tour of the colorful night handicraft market.
Visit the Royal Palace, then meet young monks at Wat Sibounheuang
This morning, visit the Royal Palace, now a national museum housing precious items that once belonged to the royal family. From there, continue to Wat Xiengthong, the 16th-century temple that epitomizes the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang's architecture. Cultural Discovery: Interact with young monks at quiet Wat Sibounheuang. After lunch at a local restaurant, the remainder of the day is at leisure with dinner on your own. Alternatively, you can join an optional Mekong River sunset boat tour.
Your tour begins as you board a longtail boat for a two hour cruise along the Laotian part of the Mekong River. As you cruise past the tranquil countryside, be sure to look out for local villages, barely visible behind a screen of foliage. You will notice slender canoes and bamboo poles bobbing by the shore, marking the location of nets and fish traps as you make your way to a local handicraft — and paper-making village. Here, you’ll see what daily life is like for the local farmers in this remote area. As your tour winds down, you’ll toast your journey with wine as you watch the sun set on the river. Dinner is included.
Witness a morning almsgiving between locals and monks
This morning, you'll get a chance to see morning alms giving in Luang Prabang — a storied tradition shared between locals and monks. Later, you'll transfer to the airport to board your flight back home.
Arrive back home on Day 19 and begin dreaming of your next adventure!