Sample Itinerary: Thailand and Vietnam in 14 Days
Experience the unparalleled beaches of Krabi, the history and culture of Vietnam, and the unique flavors of Thailand
Day 1: Arrive in Hanoi
Upon arrival at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, you’ll be greeted and driven to your hotel where you’ll have time to relax after the long flight and adjust to your new surroundings and time zone.
Day 2: Ninh Binh
In the morning, you’ll be driven to Ninh Binh, where you’ll relax on a local rowboat trip in Tam Coc (the three caves), a peaceful valley among limestone ‘karst’ hills. There, you’ll be rowed along a gentle river between paddy fields and through the caves. In the afternoon, you’ll pick up your bike to ride along the scenic canal, walk around open rice fields, and explore the amazing folds of the rock formations.
Today, you’ll have a chance to learn about Vietnamese agriculture as you cycle through different villages. You’ll stop at the Mua Cave, one of the most stunning vistas in Ninh Binh, where can see the limestone mountains along to the south of Vietnam.
Day 3: Ha Long Bay
After being whisked off to Tuan Chau harbor, you’ll wait in the departure lounge as you register and check in for your cruise. After setting sail, you’ll enjoy a lunch of delicious local seafood as you slowly glide between the numerous small islands and the sea-green color of the bay.
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh
Wake up to Tai Chi out on the sundeck of the boat as you wrap up your cruise through the bay, passing local floating houses on your way back to the pier. After relaxing in the private lounge while your luggage is sorted you will head back to Noi Bai airport to depart for Ho Chi Mihn
Day 5: Ho Chi Minh and the Cu Chi Tunnels
Prepare for an early start when your guide will meet you in your hotel’s lobby and bring you by car to your private boat at Tan Cang pier. Within 15 minutes, the banks of the river change from city sprawl to lush jungle. Enjoy a light breakfast of sandwiches or pastries, fresh tropical fruits and Vietnamese iced coffee (Ca phe sua da) as your guide explains the rural traditions and aspects of life on the riverbank. You will arrive at the Cu Chi Tunnels site before the majority of larger bus tours arrive so you can explore the tunnel sites, which includes weapon and booby trap exhibitions, navigating the Viet Cong tunnel, and visit different underground bunkers with kitchens, meeting rooms, and ammunition, and a firing range. After a delicious traditional Vietnamese lunch by the river, consisting of authentic fried spring rolls, chicken and beef dishes and soup, you’ll say goodbye to Cu Chi Tunnel and return to Ho Chi Minh City.
Day 6: Ho Chi Minh and Ben Tre
Depart in the morning for Ben Tre, one of the country's southern provinces, situated in the Delta of the Mekong River. Take in the highway as you leave behind the busy city. Pass Rach Mieu bridge before reaching Huu Dinh hamlet. Get on a tri-motor cycle (xe loi) ride to enjoy the lush surroundings of rice paddies and fruit farms alongside the narrow village roads. When you arrive at the waterfront to board your cruise, you’ll get your first glimpse at the scenery of the Mekong River Delta. While riding your bicycle through through the gardens of Phong Nam village, you will make a stop at a coconut spirits factory, which is a popular drink among the natives in Vietnam. It is a sweet, fresh or mildly fermented sap taken from tapping the young expanded flowers of the coconut. Then continue your bicycle trip about 10-15 minutes to Mrs. Huong’s home, who’s family live on fishing, shrimp and farming. Enjoy the tropical fruits and honey tea in her garden before taking the rowing sampan, be paddled by a personalized rower trip to discover the maze of small canals.
Day 7: Travel to Bangkok
Take the morning to yourself while you soak in the last bits of Vietnam while you wait for your driver to take you to Tan Son Nhat airport for your flight to Bangkok, Thailand’s chaotic capital on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Take the afternoon to walk around, explore, and acquaint yourself with the city.
Day 8: Bangkok
Start the day with a cooking class and market tour. You’re in for a real grass roots experience and will learn to master a few Thai dishes while seeing what life is like within the Klong Toey community, the largest slum in Bangkok. You’ll be picked up and taken to the Klong Toey wet market where you learn about local Thai produce, much of which you will use and taste afterwards in your cooking class at small cooking school for 12 students in your instructor’s old home.
Day 9: Chiang Mai
After breakfast, you’ll be taken to the airport for your flight to Chiang Mai, the ‘Rose of the North,’ where you’ll have the afternoon to walk around and explore, taste, and discover what Northern Thailand has to offer.
Day 10: Doi Suthep and Hmong Hill Tribe Village
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up to visit Doi Suhtep temple, the most sacred temple upon the hill with its enormous mythological Nagas staicase of 306 steps. Inside the cloister is a copper-placed chedi topped by a five-tier gold parasol, which contains relics of Lord Buddha. On a clear day, there are incomparable views over the city of Chiang Mai from the temple grounds.
Day 11: Krabi
Today, you’ll board a flight to Krabi. After checking in to your resort, take the afternoon to relax and get acquainted with their amazing beaches.
Day 12: Koh Hong by speed boat
This morning you’ll transfer to Hong Island via speedboat. On the way, stop for snorkeling at a small island with colorful coral reefs and marine life before continuing on your way. The captain will take you into the hidden Lagoon or ‘Hong’ (which means ‘Room’). The rock formation and strange plants living on the cliffs seem as though they are from a different world. When you make it to Hong Island Bay, it’s time to relax, sunbath, swim and snorkel. Lunch today will be a picnic on the under the shade of the trees, and if you are lucky, you might spot one of the islands water monitors.
Day 13: Krabi
You’re time in Thailand is almost up. Spend your last day in Krabi to yourself, relaxing and reflecting on your experience so far. The tastes, the smells, and the people all will have made an impression.
Day 14: Krabi to Bangkok
Today you’ll start by making your way back to Bangkok as you say goodbye to Asia and begin your trip back home.
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