Thailand & Mekong Experience
|Thailand & Mekong Experience
|Wendy Wu Tours
|Asia, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Experience the very best of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in a three-week Asian adventure. Begin in Saigon, cruise upriver to Phnom Penh, and travel north to explore the jungle-swathed temples of Angkor, before heading west into historic Thailand to discover its sandy beaches, revolutionary vineyards and wild national parkland with free-roaming elephants.
Days 1-2 – Fly to Vietnam
Fly to Saigon, now officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City, where you will be met at the airport in the arrivals hall by your Local Guide or National Escort. This evening, you’ll meet your fellow travellers for a welcome dinner and guide briefing.
Day 3 – Saigon
Enjoy a relaxed introduction to Saigon, including architectural landmarks such as the French colonial-style Notre Dame and Central Post Office. Tonight’s dinner is at NOIR, a true dining in the dark’ experience. This social enterprise employs visually-impaired locals, who invite you on a culinary journey with lasting impact.
Day 4 – Vietnamese Countryside
This morning, visit the Cu Chi Tunnels to learn about the Viet Cong’s tactical strategies during the Vietnam War. Relax with a fresh farm-to-table’ lunch at a Vietnamese farmhouse before an afternoon at leisure.
Day 5 – Board the Victoria Mekong
Travel from Saigon to Can Tho, the beating heart of the Mekong Delta, where you will board the Victoria Mekong, your home for the next four nights. Sip a sundown cocktail and hear a traditional music performance as the ship casts off towards Long Xuyen.
Day 6 – The Mekong Delta
Tender ashore to visit Long Xuyen floating market and the An Giang Traditions Museum with its exhibitions on local cultures. During lunch, the ship sails upstream to Tiger Island. Head ashore to explore by rickshaw, visiting local crafters such as incense makers and a woodcarver. Tonight, the ship cruises on to Tan Chau.
Day 7 – Mekong Silk Village
Head ashore by sampan to visit the local silk village. Here you will witness the many steps involved in silk production, from traditional looms to the use of natural dyes made from tree bark, leaves and fruit.
Day 8 – Into Cambodia
Today the ship will cruise to Phnom Penh, crossing the international border en route. Spend the day in the infinity pool or taking part in the onboard activities. On arrival in Phnom Penh, enjoy a lively apsara dance performance to welcome you into Cambodia.
Day 9 – Phnom Penh
Disembark the Victoria Mekong this morning and discover Phnom Penh by cyclo, taking in the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Wat Phnom. Your afternoon is at leisure.
Day 10 – Cheung Ek & Siem Reap
This morning’s excursion to the Cheung Ek Killing Fields outside the city gives a sombre insight into Cambodia’s turmoil under the regime of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. This afternoon, fly to Siem Reap.
Day 11 – The Glories of Angkor
The Angkor Archaeological Park is home to over 1,000 temples dating back to the Khmer Empire. Best preserved of all the temples is Angkor Wat, while the jungle-swathed ruins of Ta Prohm evoke a sense of mystery and true adventure. This evening, enjoy a leisurely boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom as the sun sets.
Day 12 – Siem Reap
This morning, visit APOPO Hero Rats Project. This humanitarian centre trains rats to scent-detect unexploded wartime landmines in rural areas of Cambodia so they can be safely deactivated by expert teams, saving untold lives. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Siem Reap’s streets.
Day 13 – Bangkok
Take a one-hour flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok. Check in at your hotel to refresh yourself before this evening’s flavour-filled street food tour, encompassing all the world-famous flavours of authentic Thai food.
Day 14 – Bangkok at leisure
Bangkok offers something different for everyone, so today is at leisure to explore Bangkok independently. Optional private excursions, e.g. to the historic palaces of Ayutthaya, or longtail rides through the Thonburi canals, are available.
Day 15 – Bridge on the River Kwai
Travel to Kanchanaburi, made famous by ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’. Here, learn about the experience of Southeast Asian and Allied POWs, thousands of whom who were forced to work on the railway during the Japanese occupation of WWII. Pay respects to the victims at the cemetery and museum before a short train journey through the Kwai Noi Valley. Your hotel tonight is in Kanchanaburi.
Day 16 – Wine & Dine
Travel south to the beach resort of Hua Hin, stopping en route to visit a toddy palm plantation. Later this afternoon, head to Monsoon Valley Vineyard for a surprising insight into Thai viticulture. These award-winning New Latitude varietals have revolutionised winemaking, succeeding in a truly unexpected climate. Enjoy a tour and tasting before dinner at the vineyard’s acclaimed restaurant.
Day 17 – Wild Elephant Safari
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Hua Hin, perhaps visiting the beach, before heading out to Kui Buri National Park, where you’ll join a park ranger on a wildlife safari. Kui Buri elephants are completely wild and sightings cannot be guaranteed, but afternoon safaris here have excellent sighting rates.
Day 18 – Fly to Chiang Mai
Depart Hua Hin and return to Bangkok for your short flight to the relaxed city of Chiang Mai, situated in Thailand’s cooler northern highlands.
Day 19 – Discover Chiang Mai
Explore Chiang Mai’s highlights by rickshaw before driving out to Doi Suthep’s magnificent hilltop temple with its panoramic views. Return to Chiang Mai for lunch at a social enterprise restaurant offering life-changing vocational training to reformed women from Chiang Mai’s Correctional Institution. Enjoy some free time before tonight’s cooking class, in which you will learn to prepare a traditional Thai dinner.
Day 20 – Elephant Rescue
Spend the morning at Chang Chill, a pioneering new ethical elephant sanctuary. This is a respite and care centre for elephants rescued chiefly from the tourist and illegal logging industries. Meet the keepers, enjoy a forest walk, and watch the elephants playing and bathing in the mud pit. Tonight, enjoy a farewell Khantoke dinner with a traditional Thai performance.
Day 21 – Departure
Transfer to Chiang Mai airport and fly back to the UK, arriving the same or following day.