Vietnam and Thailand both abound with stories and mysteries that continue to unfold. With landscapes of karst and caves, ancient temples of meditative bliss, enigmatic backstreets of sizzling food and unknown art all around, your eyes will struggle with where to look as you take it all in. Unwrap the secrets on this two-week insiders’ tour with superb local guides leading you through seven idiosyncratic destinations. Including two luxury cruises, this is a journey of history, heritage, wild landscapes,...
Hanoi – Touching Down in Vietnam
When you touch down in Hanoi, a plane makes a lighthearted introduction as the remains of a MIG jet fighter strewn beyond the runway is one of the first things you will see. As you venture into Hanoi with your local guide, the narrative goes far beyondjust period in history as rice noodles simmer on fragrant market-stalls, elegant architecture speaks of a much older past, and Hanoi’s Old Quarter is a great place to soak your senses into what the city is all about. Nothing specific is planned for the day, so you can see how you feel upon arrival your guide will be able to customize your plans accordingly.
Hanoi – Locals and Legends of Hanoi
Day 3 - 4
Halong Bay – Sailing the Bay of the Descending Dragon
Hue – Imperial Histories and Regal Tastes
Hue – Tombs, Pagodas and the Tet Offensive
Day 7 - 8
Hoi An – Emerald Landscapes and Waterside Bliss
Bangkok – City Colors and Cultural Idiosyncrasies
Bangkok – Floating Markets and Stunning Sights
Ayutthaya – Cruising Through Rural Thailand
Ayutthaya – Amid the Ancient Siam Capital
Khao Yai – Buddhist Temples and Thai Vineyards
Khao Yai – A Day in Khao Yai National Park
Bangkok – Departure
- Bask in the surreal and serene landscapes of Halong Bay on a two-day luxury cruise
- Embrace ancient Thailand as you discover the temples and landscapes of Ayutthaya
- Meet the locals and hear the stories on an insiders’ tour of Hanoi
- Encounter elephants and gibbons on a two-day exploration of Thailand’s Khao Yai
- Settle into the tranquility of Hoi An, a majestic South Vietnamese city from the past
- Feel the energy and uncover the secrets of Bangkok, Thailand’s enigmatic capital
- Explore the past with a two-day stay in Hoi An
- Cruise through rural Thailand on the two-day luxury houseboat journey from Bangkok into Ayutthaya
- Traverse passes closed to the public, cook with a renowned local chef, and meet with monks in decorous temples
The history of Thailand or Vietnam is alive along dusty temple-laden streets, celebrated in bustling marketplaces and something you have to see to believe. The stories are told by the places you visit and the people you meet, as these countries both conjure so many images, both good and bad, authentic and misunderstood. On this best-of itinerary, you go behind the preconceptions and live out what these countries are all about, a jigsaw puzzle of cultural connections, redolent heritage, surreal landscapes, and many faces rolled into one. You will travel from Hanoi through Vietnam to Hoi An, then onwards to Bangkok and an exploration of the cultural landscape north of the city.
Four World Heritage Sites mark your journey from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. While this is now a unified country, you will pick up on the contrasts as you follow the rice paddies and rivers south. Wander the streets of Hanoi and meet the locals who help you make sense of past and future. Luxuriate in the natural wonder of Halong Bay as a two-night cruise places you in the heart of a world seven wonder. Discover the imperial legacy of Hue, which rises on both sides of the Perfume River, and then settle into the charm of Hoi An, where so much is hidden along the mazy central streets.
While these four destinations provide a relatively standard route through Vietnam, you will find that the little details make all the difference. Local guides illuminate beyond the storybook tales and the people you meet narrate first-hand experiences on everything from the war to cuisine. You will cross a mountain pass between Hue and Hoi An that is generally closed to the public, you will travel in style when on the water and stay in handpicked boutique hotels on land. Move into Thailand, and your insider guides know how to bring dazzling old temples back to life, as they help you navigate traditional marketplaces. Tours run at your pace and are always private, the pace and direction adjustable on a daily basis.
Fly into Bangkok and spend a couple of days making sense of the cultural idiosyncrasies as the city opens its doors with a flurry of temples, Buddha images, and streets that can baffle the imagination. Visit the famous sights, like the floating market and the Grand Palace. But also look beyond the icons and spend time relaxing along the banks of the river. Set off on a second two-night cruise, this one going upriver through the villages to Ayutthaya, the grand old Thai capital. Meet with monks, get lost in the 14th-century history, and then complete your vacation in Khao Yai, a national park with elephants, gibbons, and supreme mountain summits. Your time will pass quickly as there’s a huge amount to see and get in, yet there’s something restful on each day of the journey.
$3,895 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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