Gain an in-depth understanding of the culture and arts of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam as you meet the people and go hiking, bicycling, and kayaking in both urban and rural areas.

Starting at: $6,295 Register Interest or Call 833-254-6678
 Monks at Angkor Wat  The ethereal Ha Long Bay, Vietnam  The breathtaking Ha Long Bay  The canals of Hoi An  The Hai Van Pass near Da Nang  View of Angkor Wat  View of Angkor Wat  Terrace of the Leper King, Angkor Thom  Elephant Terrace at Angkor Thom  Close up of sculpture at Bayon, Angkor Thom  Monk at Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat  The iconic site of Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat  Monk at Angkor Wat. Credit: Chris Palmer

Southeast Asia on Foot and Bike

Featuring Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam

16 days from $6,295

Gain an in-depth understanding of the culture and arts of Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam as you meet the people and go hiking, bicycling, and kayaking in both urban and rural areas.

or Call 833-254-6678

CONTACT OUR ACTIVE JOURNEYS SPECIALISTS

Call Our Active Journeys Specialists at 833-254-6678 (M-F 10 am - 8 pm ET) or Register Your Interest Online. For calls outside of the U.S., please call 510-852-8350.

Overview

Those seeking an in-depth understanding of the culture and arts of Southeast Asia plus a challenging adventure will love this ideal journey. In Laos, you’ll bike through Luang Prabang and hike in the countryside. In Vietnam, explore Hanoi and Hue by bike, go kayaking in Ha Long Bay and take a walking tour of Hoi An. And in Cambodia, you’ll explore Siem Reap and Angkor Wat by foot and bike. This immersive experience features meetings with local people and artists and participating in cultural traditions. Cycling consisting of 7 to 24 miles, hikes consisting of 4 to 8 miles.

Highlights Include:

  • Explore fascinating temples and ruins, including the magnificent World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat, the largest religious edifice in the world. 
  • Take a two-night cruise on Halong Bay, where towering limestone peaks rise from the emerald-green water, and kayak these protected waters. 
  • Experience the quiet beauty of Luang Prabang seemingly untouched by time. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Arrive in Bangkok, Thailand

Upon arrival in Bangkok, check in to your conveniently located airport hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest from your long flight. 

Day 3 — Luang Prabang

This morning, check in for your flight to the World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang where your guide will be waiting to welcome you at the airport. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy the balance of the afternoon at your leisure. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner at one of the hotel restaurants. (B,D)

Day 4 — Luang Prabang by Bike

Luang Prabang is a provincial city where time seems to stand still. As the city never experiences heavy traffic, it is easy to bicycle around. You will enjoy the surroundings and discover the daily life of locals. As part of the UNESCO reconstruction plan, new buildings have been limited and old houses and streets are reconstructed to keep Luang Prabang as magical as it has always been.

You will visit it by bicycle while riding on an easy path. The center of the town is located on a peninsula at 900 feet elevation. There you can find ancient buildings, the Royal Palace, monasteries, and temples. Visit Wat Xieng Thong, a vast collection of sacred buildings, one of the jewels of Laotian art and the most beautiful temple of the city. Continue to discover the Wat Visoun temple, the oldest temple of the city, with its wooden windows inspired by the Khmer temple of Vat Phou. Cycling onward to Royal Palace, which is today the National Museum. Enjoy lunch at a lovely local restaurant in the town center. The ancient royal city is surrounded by misty mountains at the junction of the Mekong and the smaller Nam Khan River.

To continue the visit outside the city, cross the Nam Khan River and ride along the Mekong River at your own pace to reach Ban Xieng Lek and Ban Xang Khong, where you can discover traditional weaving and the procedure to make the Sa paper. In the late afternoon, enjoy a cocktail reception with Francis Engleman – a UNESCO Expert living in Luang Prabang. You will have the opportunity to discuss heritage, culture, and traditions, as well as Buddhism and botany of the area. The rest of evening is at your leisure. Cycling 7-9 miles, 3-4 hours. (B,L)

Day 5 — Hiking the Lao Countryside

Start with a morning transfer to the starting point of the day’s hike. Cross the Nam Khan River by boat to the trailhead and begin your day hiking through rice paddies and middle canopy. The first stop will be a Khmu village named Ban Houay Fai where children are likely to greet you with curiosity and smiles and your guide will introduce you to the local life and customs. Continue along ridges, limestone grottos and rocky slopes for lunch at a Hmong village known as Ban Tinpha. The mountains and valleys offer a variety of flora and fauna. Weave your way through paddies and countryside. Chat with villagers and ask questions about life in Laos. End at the riverside village, Ban Houay Yen. A local boat will be waiting to take you down a beautiful stretch of the Nam Khan with a stop at the Tad Sae Waterfall. Relax and soak in Tad Sae Falls after a day of hiking before returning to Luang Prabang.

In the late afternoon, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in a very special ceremony of Baci – “calling of the soul.” The Baci, or soukhouan, is the Laotian popular ceremony of souls, practiced by Laos people in all important circumstances of daily life: weddings, funerals, birth or return from a trip, illness, commemorating the anniversary of an ancestor. It is intended to attract beneficial influences on its recipients by returning them to one or more of the 32 souls, or khouan, possessed by every human being according to the traditional Lao. Enjoy dinner at the local home. Hiking 7-8 miles, 4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Hanoi

In the early morning, join others at the Vat Nong temple to witness the Tak Bat ceremony, the procession of monks. During the ceremony, devoted locals stand on the sidewalk bearing food in their arms which they offer to the monks as they walk by in a procession of orange robes. After the humbling experience, have the chance to experience an animated local market. The sights, sounds, and smells are sure to awaken all your senses. While walking through, you’ll have a chance to taste and savor some local snacks. Continue to The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center--home to an internationally significant collection of over 400 objects representing over 30 distinct ethnic groups. The collection is comprised of traditional clothing and domestic textiles, jewelry, household items, handicraft tools, baskets, religious and ritual objects and other items. Here, you will have a chance to meet one of the TAEC Co-Directors and join in a seminar about “Ethnic Diversity and Culture Change” or “Guide to Ethnic Handicrafts in Luang Prabang.” Afterwards, board a traditional wooden longtail boat for cruising on the Mekong River while your delicious Lao lunch is served.

Spend the balance of the day at leisure until boarding your evening flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival in Hanoi, you will be warmly welcomed by your local guide and transferred to the hotel. (B,L)

Day 7 — Cycling Hanoi

Start off in the morning with a bike ride around West Lake of Hanoi. Following the ride, enjoy lunch at a restaurant that offers great views of the lake. This afternoon, attend the exclusive Sophie’s Art Tour which allows you to get a closer look at Vietnam through the eyes of artists. From the grand halls of the Fine Arts Museum to the capital’s leading contemporary art galleries, this fascinating journey takes you through Vietnam’s extraordinary recent history. The excursion is based on the personal experiences of artists who studied, fought, witnessed and documented major changes in Vietnam’s history. This excursion is not just for art lovers but also for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of Vietnam. Discover Vietnamese cuisine this evening at one of finest restaurants in Hanoi. Cycling 10 miles, 3 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Transfer to Ha Long Bay

After breakfast, drive to Ha Long Bay, a stunning World Heritage site with its 3,000 islands of towering limestone dotting the bay and Gulf of Tonkin. Arrive at Ha Long harbor and board your beautiful private boat, a traditional wooden boat fashioned for overnight cruising. Set off on your cruise on the magnificent Ha Long Bay staffed with your own captain, chef, and waiter. Enjoy an excellent menu of fresh seafood on deck this evening. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Ha Long Bay

After a kayak lesson, you’ll venture out into one of the most scenic areas of the bay. You will visit spectacular beaches sheltered by imposing limestone towers, and encounter the remains of a “floating village.” These were true boat people who spent their lives in the narrow confines of their small vessels. They still practice an ancient cult of worshipping creatures of the sea. There will be time for other activities such as swimming or enjoying the beach. Kayaking 4-5 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 10 — Ha Long Bay to Hue

After breakfast on board the boat, bid farewell to your Vietnamese support crew before returning to Hanoi. On the way back from Ha Long, stop at Yen Duc Village-one of the typical villages in the Red River Delta that still retains its authentic lifestyle-to watch an amazing water puppet show presented by village’s artists.

Enjoy lunch at the village. After lunch, transfer directly to Noi Bai Airport where you will take a brief flight to Hue- another World Heritage Site. Transfer to your hotel for check-in, and enjoy a late dinner at the hotel restaurant. (B,L,D)

Day 11 — Exploring Hue by Bike

This morning, tour Hue, the former Royal Capital. The city represents the outstanding demonstration of the power of the vanished Vietnamese feudal empire, including a complex of ancient houses, monuments, tombs and pagodas that attract tourists coming from all over the world. After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel to begin your cycling this morning towards Bao Vinh Pier. Formerly a crowded and vital commercial area since the 17th century in Central Vietnam, Bao Vinh an ancient street still bears its charming characters thanks to its peaceful and ancient beauty. Visit a typical ancient house where you are welcomed by the host who reflects the spirit of the house through his warm stories and cup of green tea and fresh local fruit.

Following lunch at a local restaurant in Hue, transfer to discover the impressive Imperial City as well as nearby Hue Museum of Royal Antiques where the collection of ornaments from dynastic times is kept. Return to the hotel for a refreshment before enjoying sunset cocktails on a traditional boat. As a reward after a long day, enjoy a foot massage set up onboard. Dinner is on your own this evening. Cycling 18-20 miles, 3-4 hours. (B,L)

Day 12 — Hoi An

After breakfast, depart for Hoi An via the scenic Hai Van Pass and enjoy one of the most beautiful panoramas in Vietnam as you look out over the central coastline. Make a short stop en route to visit the Cham Museum in Da Nang, home of the largest collection of sculptures and relics from the Cham civilization. This afternoon, walk the small lanes hidden inside the old town. The small streets of Hoi An are ideal to wander through on foot or by bike. Cars and motorbikes are forbidden in the entire area, which allows you to peacefully enjoy Hoi An’s Chinese temples, traditional houses, Japanese bridge and daily life of locals.

Round out your day with a cup of coffee or tea at Reaching Out – a special teashop where all the waiters and waitresses are deaf staff who build a self–reliant life and integrate into the community through professional development. Walking 2-3 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 13 — My Son Sanctuary and Siem Reap

Today you will pedal westward toward the foothills of the mountain spine of Indochina to My Son, the holy land of the Champa culture in Vietnam. Dating back to the 4th century, My Son was the holiest site of the Champa kingdom where over a period of 900 years, 68 significant Hindu temples, most dedicated to Shiva, were built. The towers are built of a combination of perfectly fitted, mortarless, fired brick and elaborately carved sandstone bas-relief panels. Only 25 survived the centuries of pillaging by Chinese and Khmer invaders as well as U.S. bombings.

Enjoy a late lunch before transferring to the airport for your late afternoon flight to Siem Reap. You will be warmly welcomed by your local guide on arrival and transferred to your hotel for check-in and dinner. Cycling 24 miles, 4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 14 — Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Your day will begin with a trip to Kbal Spean, an Angkorian era archaeological site on the southwest slopes of the Kulen Hills, northeast of Angkor complex. The site consists of a series of stone carvings in sandstone formations carved in the riverbed and banks and is a 30-minute walk from the entrance through a steamy forest. It is commonly known as the "Valley of a 1000 Lingas." The motifs for stone carvings are mainly myriads of lingams, depicted as neatly arranged bumps that cover the surface of a sandstone bedrock, and lingam-yoni designs. Later visit Banteay Srei, whose name means “Citadel of Women.” It’s a small pink sandstone temple with breathtakingly fine sculptures. After temple visiting, take a brief hike of about 1.5 miles to visit local villages of Siem Reap and have a glimpse into their daily lives. In the afternoon, visit the mysterious Ta Prohm. Built in the mid-12th century, the Royal Temple, as it was then known, was one of Jayavarman VII’s great projects (he also built Angkor Thom). Temple of Ta Prohm is famous for its silk-cotton tree roots intertwining the stones and the luxuriant vegetation surrounding the temple and giving it an air of “mystical jungle.” In the evening, enjoy “Phare, The Cambodian Circus” which gives a real insight into Cambodian history and culture. Hiking/walking 4-5 miles, 3-4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 15 — Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

Start the morning with peaceful cycle to the most famous Khmer temples. Follow a small trail winding path through the forest, pass a small village and arrive at Angkor Thom South Gate. Riding on the wall of Angkor Thom to Victory Gate is one of the most charming rides in the Angkor complex. Continue a short distance to Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace, and Bayon. Finish your biking adventure by visiting the impressive and beautiful Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, capital of the Khmer empire and now Cambodian symbol.

This afternoon, visit Theam House - a unique artist’s studio and workshop at the heart of art and creativity. Theam’s work captures nature in transformation, impassioned with the Khmer culture and the revival of Cambodian life after decades of war and silence. Contemporary creations with Khmer influence give birth to some wonderful artifacts, such as customized elephants originating from Kampong Chhnang, customized meditation statues and triptychs. Enjoy a cocktail in the lush tropical garden and a farewell dinner at one of finest restaurants in town. Cycling 15 miles, 4 hours. (B,L,D)

Day 16 — Departure

After breakfast, spend the day on your own pace or relax by the pool. Those wishing for a final visit to Angkor Wat can take a tuk tuk to enjoy another glimpse at this amazing site. This evening, transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)