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Xtreme Vietnam Experience

Xtreme Vietnam Experience

Take an epic three week road trip throughout Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. New friends on new adventures along the way, in truly one of the most breathtaking Southeast Asian countries. Fully guided full on bring it on! Insanely good value as well.

Discover Vietnam’s epic highlights on this exciting 3 week group adventure from North to South! Hang out in Hanoi, learn about the war torn history of Vietnam, get to know Vietnamese culture, go trekking enjoy a cool beach week checking out the world famous Halong Bay. Finish up with an all-encompassing road trip south to Ho Chi Minh city via Hoi Ann and Na Trang.

 

Xtreme Vietnam Experience

Vietnam experience SapaVietnam Experience Highlights Include:

  • Fancy going somewhere completely different? You will love Vietnam.
  • Explore the vibrant 1,000 year old of historic city of Hanoi during the first week.
  • Learn about Buddhism and Meditation, explore interesting Vietnamese places including Pagodas and temples in the second week.
  • Go trek the amazing Sapa mountain and learn about the culture here, visit markets.
  • Discover Ho Chi Minh City
  • No worries about going it alone, this trip has a buddy list so you can chat to other people on the trip before you go!

Incredible Experiences In An Incredible Country

Vietnam is blessed with natural beauty. It has it all. Mountains, lowlands, a huge coastline blessed with beaches, national parks that are the envy of the world like Sapa and Halong Bay, and a culturally rich and troubled history that makes visiting Vietnam such a unique and interesting experience, it will be more than your average holiday.

This trip is about showing you all the best sites and attractions in Vietnam, whilst offering you lots of cultural interaction in a group and leaving you happy in the knowledge that you will be well looked after during your stay.

Group Sizes

Our group sizes for Vietnam are small, and an average age between 18 to 22 years old, this is the ideal trip to book if you are dead keen on seeing Vietnam and want personalised action and intimate groups.

 

 

Photos

Details

The 3 week Itinerary

First Week

Day 1, Arrival Day

Arriving on Sunday or start your adventure in the all some ancient capital of North Vietnam Hanoi. This is it! The beginning of your 3-week adventure that is full of excitement, culture, history, a road trip and great times with new friends. With an airport pick up included you settle into your accommodation in Hanoi, you´ll get a chance to meet up with your fellow backpackers and find out about everyone you´ll be spending the next few weeks with.

Most people on our Vietnam Experience are in the same boat, i.e. they are travelling solo, so there is no need to be nervous. You´ll be far too busy to worry about that!

Day 2 Hanoi old quarter

Xtreme Gap Vietnam experienceTo new visitors, Hanoi is a fantastic city bustling with crazy drivers, overloaded bicycles, colourful markets and street food stalls selling local dishes, some of which aren´t always identifiable (and yes, they are partial to chomping on a bit of Fido!).

Luckily you have a guide to help you through that initial culture shock, allowing you to absorb it with a bit of help. You´ll visit the 12th century Temple of Literature, see a local music performance and have lunch in the Old Quarter when your guide will take the opportunity to tell you all about what the next four weeks has in store. In the evening, you´ll have dinner and see a performance at the world famous water puppet theatre.

By the end of today, the sensory overload will either have you sleeping like a log or wide awake with wonder! Check out this gallery on our blog for more photos!

Day 3

Halong BayToday we are heading to Halong City gateway to the world heritage site of Halong Bay.

Halong Bay, which means ´Bay of the Descending Dragon´, is approximately 170km north of Hanoi and is famous for its surreal and somewhat eerie landscape of over 3000 limestone monoliths that rise imposingly from the ocean.

Just make sure that you get those all important emails addresses from your trip mates so that you can swap photos and keep each other up-to-date with any more adventures you do. Believe us, this trip will leave you wanting more. There is no vaccination for the travel bug!!

Day 4 and 5

Vietnam is full of epic landscapes, Giao Xuan is a stunning little village that will not disappoint. Today we’ll learn everything there is to know about Vietnamese culture. You will be learning some basic trying your hand Vietnamese cooking, and we will even take you to a local market where you can haggle for some ingredients for a major feast later that day.

Day 6 Quintessential Vietnam paddy fields caves and temples

Vietnam gap yearToday involves a relaxing boat trip around Tam Coc and Dinh Cac Pier, which has a stunning landscape of towering karst islets and vast expanses of paddy fields. You´ll also float through three impressive natural caves, which is what the name Tam Coc means, ´three caves´. This whole area epitomizes rural Vietnam, and you´ll want to make sure your camera is charged.

After lunch, you can cycle to the village and onto Thai Vi Temple and Bich Dong Pagoda, which dates back to 1428 and is located on Ngu Nhac Mountain.

Day 7 and 8 (Sat & Sun)

Its weekend! You have a couple of days ´off´ at this point in the trip – that is you are free to explore at your own pace and see what you and your adventuring friends can find. Meet up in the evenings and swap stories and photos with the whole group, while soaking up the atmosphere and thinking about everything you’ve seen and done so far. Typically the groups head out to Cuc Phuong National Park, the picturesque waterfall, and temples of the 11th c former capital, Hoa Lu. Our guides can offer you advise on what’s best to see in the area.

Second Week:

Day 9 (Mon) Sapa

A local village, hill tribes and beautiful scenery are on the agenda today. Cat Cat Village is about 1km from Sapa, located at the bottom of the Muong Hoa Valley and as you walk there you´ll see the breathtaking mountains, over 3000m high, and the green rice terraces that drop almost 1000m below. You´ll also pass the sparkling Cat Cat waterfall. The village itself is home to the H´Mong tribe, who retain many of the old customs and traditions, some of which you can see, such as hand weaving and dying of materials to make textiles. Have you still got room for souvenirs?!

Locals and villages

We hope you´re feeling well rested for today as there is a 10km trek through the hills, past the streams and into the valley of Muong Hoa to visit Ta Van village, where you’ll stay overnight with a local family. This gives you the chance to experience firsthand the lifestyle and culture of the people living in this area. After the long trek, the pool is bound to look appealing to soothe those aching muscles! You also have the chance to pitch in and help to cook dinner (you might even get to use some of the skills you learnt in your cookery class) before settling down for a peaceful night with your local hosts.

Day 10 (Tue) trekking
Bring your trekking boots because we are going on an epic journey. 10 hours of trekking through hills, paddy fields and classic Asian scenery until we hit Ta Van village. Take a dip in the pool there because you have deserved it.

Day 11 (Wed) Waterfalls and landscapes and trekking

You´ll have been glad for a peaceful night as today is an amazing seven hour round trip trekking to a waterfall and passing through some stunning landscapes along the way something that you´ll probably be getting used to now, given how beautiful the country is. Anyway, you´re young and fit so no slacking, you can handle it!

Day 12 (Thu) Sapa

Back to Sapa and a well earned rest. Kick back and sip a 666 Vietnamese beer. Super cheap and very tasty!

Sapa town

Sapa  is perfect for a well-earned rest. You´re more than halfway through your adventure so you can sit back, chill out and reflect on all the places you’ve been, things you see and people you´ve met so far. We reckon by this point you´ll realize this is one of the best things you’ve ever done!

If you are up for it check out the beautiful orchid gardens on the Ham Rong Mountain. Located in Sapa town, you don´t have far to travel to admire the panoramic views, gardens and unusual rock formations. It is well worth the effort of walking to the top as once you get there, and along the way, you´ll be rewarded with some great photo opportunities.

Day 13 (Fri) Market

Today you’ll visit the beautiful local market and beautiful old Sapa church in the morning.  You’ll have free time for the rest of the day until your bus back to Hanoi.

 

Day 14 and 15 (Sat & Sun) Hanoi craziness free time

Yes weekend again :). You’ve had quite a number of days admiring the beautiful Vietnam countryside and now it´s back to crazy Hanoi. You have a couple of days to explore more of the city, after which time you can decide whether you love it or hate it, it´s a bit like Marmite! Your guide will be able to give you the lowdown on the best places to visit and where to eat and drink.

You then have two days to explore the incredible city of Hanoi – our guides can give you some great suggestions of places to go, although often the group will have their own ideas there is only things you can see and do it will be hard to cram it all in. Stock up on snacks and charge your smartphone batteries because the following night you will be doing a very long bus trip which takes us to Hoi an.

Third Week 3: Days 16 – 21

Day 16 Hoi An is awesome

You will arrival to Hoi An in the afternoon and have time to visit Hoi An Old Quarter.  It has a distinctly French colonial flare, and it’s also an awesome place to get any type of clothing tailor-made for you!

You could spend time exploring the town and its many alleyways of cute shops, cafes and extensive food market or maybe hire a scooter and head out to the gorgeous local beaches.

Day 17 Ancient Ruins

You will visit the ancient ruins of the Cham dynasty in My Son. Ancient ruined temples two massive towers a really special place.

We will join the bus to transfer to Nha Trang tonight.

Day 18 & 19 Beach time

Na Trang has fantastic beaches and great nightlife. Nha Trang’s golden beaches are yours for the taking, alternatively, take a boat trip to nearby islands or sample sumptuous seafood.

Day 20 Saigon/ Ho Chi Minh

It’s been a huge epic journey but finally, we’ve made it to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Sai Gon)! Arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Vietnam, it has a distinctively different feel to Hanoi.

Day 21 (Sat) Saying goodbyes

On day 24 you will stay in Sai Gon where it will be time to say goodbye to your travel buddies. Lifelong friendships will have been formed, incredible time is had by all, in a truly stunning country. At the end of an amazing trip before continuing with your onward travels

Meals

Only breakfast is included throughout the programme. But you can get a nice (and cheap) meal on every corner of every street. Meals are about 1 to 3 GBP per meal.

Vietnamese meals consist of rice or noodles accompanied by fish or meat and a vegetable dish or soup. But in many places, you can also get Western food like pizza!

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

The winter months are December, January and February. It can be quite cold as you also go up to the north is Sapa, which is in the mountains. In January, there is no start date but in December there is. Be aware that you can not sunbathe.
Vietnam is a very safe country to travel in. You will also have a co-ordinator with you at all times.

No! You can get away with taking about 100 per week, and that will go a long way! A beer on the street in Hanoi is about 7p.

Duration Option Price  
3 (Week)AdventureGBP 899Book Now

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3 (Week)AdventureGBP 899 GBP 809 (Early Bird)
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Book today with a deposit and travel after 16 - Jan - 2018 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Pre-departure information
  • Airport transfer on arrival to make it easy for you!
  • Fully guided with local knowledgeable English speaking Guides
  • Trip to the Water Puppet Theatre
  • Visit Ho Chi Minh Memorial (optional)
  • 20 nights’ accommodation
  • Most Breakfasts
  • Overnight in rural village homestay
  • Black H’Mong hill tribes and scenic waterfalls
  • Guided jungle trek in Cuc Phuong National Park and visit to Muong ethnic community  (Optional extra)
  • Boat trip in Tam Coc
  • Stunning boat trip in Halong Bay
  • Experience a Vietnamese floating village
  • Adventure Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
  • Hanoi city tour
  • Overnight Bus to Hoi An
  • Walking tour of Hoi Ans beautiful waterways
  • Cham dynasty  temples in My Son
  • Adventure Trek to Cat Cat Village
  • 2 Glorious days by the beach in Nha Trang
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Access to buddy lists before you go

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Extra activities not on itinerary
  • Tourist Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Return airport transfer
  • Drinks
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Breakfasts during travel days
  • Extra night if needed at the end of the trip in Ho Chi Minh

Dates

Starts on a Sunday ends on a Saturday

2017

16 July 2017 – 05 August 2017
13 August 2017 – 02 September 2017
10 September 2017 – 30 September 2017
22 October 2017 – 11 November 2017
19 November 2017 – 09 December 2017
24 December 2017 – 13 January 2018

2018

14 January 2018 – 03 February 2018
18 February 2018 – 10 March 2018
18 March 2018 – 07 April 2018
15 April 2018 – 05 May 2018
17 June 2018 – 07 July 2018
15 July 2018 – 04 August 2018
16 September 2018- 06 October 2018
11 November 2018 – 01 December 2018

COMBINE WITH THE 4 WEEK THAILAND EXPERIENCE OR 3 WEEK THAILAND ENTOURAGE STARTING THE SUNDAY AFTER

The Thailand Bucket List 18 Day Tour

An unforgettable 18 day Thailand tour in the land of smiles. All transport, accommodation and activities are included in your epic Thailand trip of a lifetime, so you do not need to worry about anything. Simply get yourself here and we will take care of the rest! This trip takes in all of the major islands that you need to see.


A great value arrival into Thailand, jam packed with exciting activities and excursions. Timed perfectly to give you a 18 day introduction, helps you meet people and get to know your surroundings and gives you a further 12 day ´s on the same 30 day visa (free upon arrival) to explore on your own steam if you want.

 Thailand Bucket List  18 Day  Tour

Untitled-10Thailand is the dream destination for any adventure-loving traveller itching to get out and see the beauty of the world, experience the kindness of people and have one of the most epic trips of a lifetime.

Thailand ticks all the boxes; sun, sea, sand, islands, adventure, nightlife, shopping, culture, history and friendly people. This tour is the perfect first-time trip for anyone looking to travel with a group of like-minded, similar aged people. Fully guided by English-speaking, Western guides, you´ll always feel safe, comfortable and at ease with the people around you.

Imagine yourself traveling through the bustling streets of Bangkok on a shaky tuk tuk, diving headfirst into crystal clear emerald water, partying on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, or riding an elephant through lush tropical rainforest. The exotic smells, breath-taking sights, mouth-watering tastes and new sounds of traveling through Thailand will live long on in your memory after the trip is over. The Xtreme Gap Thailand Bucket List takes in the very best of Thailand in 18 amazing, adventure-filled days, including plenty of down time on some of the most famous and beautiful beaches in the world!

So make memories to last a lifetime; visit Thailand and have the time of your life. There´ll never be a better time than now; Thailand is waiting for you!

Highlights Include:

  • 18 days in the land of the smiles for a price that will keep you grinning!
  • The excitement and hedonism of Khao San Rd
  • Tuk Tuk ride through Bangkok
  • Temples, palaces and markets and cruising down the Chao Praya river
  • Go Xtreme in the stunning Khao Sok National Park with bamboo rafting, kayaking tubing and cliff jumping.
  • You get to spend the night on amazing unique floating bungalows in an off the beaten track beautiful destination
  •  Amazing longtail boat trips and boat parties
  • Stay overnight on Bottle Beach one of the most secluded paradises in Thailand
  • 4 days on stunning Island Koh Tao
  • Eating some of the most amazing Thai food with the rest of the Xtreme Gap group in Koh Phangan
  • Stay a few nights on Koh Phangan. the party Island
  • Visit the famous Maya Bay on Phi Phi Island
  • Kayaking in Railay Beach, Krabi
  • Snorkelling boat trip in Phi Phi
  • Visit the little locals on Monkey Beach
  • Party Tuk Tuk in Patong, Phuket
  • Wicked laughs and fully guided with a trip leader
  • All accommodation, activities and transport included

Photos


The Thailand Bucket List 18 Day Tour Itinerary

Tropical beaches? Island paradises? Amazing adventure? Welcome to the trip of a lifetime; the ultimate bucket list journey through Thailand! If you love beaches, nature, adventure and a healthy dose of partying, then this is the trip for you!

Amazing value, and perfect for first-time or solo travellers, you´ll instantly make a bunch of new friends in your travel group who will share amazing travel experiences with you.

From the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, to the remote hidden beaches and islands made famous by legend and movies, this tour packs in so much epicness and adventure in just 18  days!

Day 1: Arrive to the Land of Smiles!

You´re getting closer and closer to the greatest adventure of your life. Just 10 minutes from landing in Bangkok airport, you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach. A new friend is waiting for you on the other side, ready to take you through the crazy streets of Bangkok to your accommodation and a group of fellow travellers who will soon become close friends. Once you´ve taken some time to relax and unwind in the guesthouse after your flight, you´ll head out for dinner and drinks with your new friends and travel buddies on the iconic Khao San Road.

Welcome to the first day of your amazing Thai adventure! It only gets better from here!

Day 2: Exploring the In´s and Out´s of Bangkok

Bangkok is known as the ´Venice of the East´, so what better way to explore the city than taking to the rivers. Cruising along the Chao Phraya River, you´ll experience one of the most epic skylines in Asia, seeing how the modern metropolis has merged with the ancient temples to create one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

After the river cruise, you´ll visit two of the most important temples in Thailand, where you´ll get your first experience of the beauty and intrigue of Thai history and culture. Next, we´ll jump on a Tuk Tuk for a whirlwind ride through the city back to Khao San Road. If you´ve never been on a Tuk Tuk before, you´ll be laughing (and possibly screaming) all the way, as it swerves and dodges all sorts of traffic and obstacles imaginable. Who knew driving could be so adventurous!

Finish the day with an amazing lunch and dinner in one of the best eating spots in Bangkok, Khao San Road; cheap, authentic and delicious!

Day 3: Preparing to head South

Your final day in Bangkok sees you getting ready to head to the tropical south of the country. After checking out of your accommodation, you´ll have an opportunity to relax with a traditional Thai Massage in a local spa. This should keep you sufficiently chilled out during your overnight train journey to the south of the country. You´ll probably be so relaxed that you´ll fall asleep on the train. If not, make sure to check out the awesome views of the Thai countryside.

Don´t worry though, as you´ll have plenty of time to pick up some souvenirs and do a little shopping in the awesome Khao San Road before you depart from Bangkok.

Day 4: Visiting Paradise in Khao Sok National Park

Prepare to be in awe of the beauty of Khao Sok National Park. Arriving bright and early at 7am, after the overnight train, you´ll be taken direct to the stunning park. Your accommodation here just so happens to be floating on the Cheow Larn Lake. Yep, you read correctly! These cute wooden bungalows are situated on a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by mountains covered in lush evergreen rainforest. You can even sit right outside your bungalow door, cooling down by dangling your feet in the lake!

Swimming, kayaking, tubing, bamboo rafting and cave exploring are just some of the awesome adrenaline-pumping activities that can be enjoyed in the park, while surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery you´ll ever see. We´re sure you´ll never want to leave your temporary home floating on the lake. However, Thai beaches are waiting:and that´s a pretty good excuse to keep moving!

Day 5: Beaches, Waves and Cocktails

Today we leave Khao Sok National Park via ferry to Koh Phangan, one of the most iconic and beautiful areas in Thailand. You´ll spend the day on Bottle Beach, a postcard-perfect beach with bright white sand and turquoise blue water, often regarded as one of the best beaches in Thailand!

Swim, sunbathe, relax or snorkel during the day, while in the evening we´ll prepare an awesome private beach party for you and your travel buddies. Cocktails, a campfire, lanterns and music will make this evening one of the most memorable during your travels in Thailand.

After a few drinks and dances around the campfire, you won´t have very far to go for a good nights sleep. In fact, you´ll still be able to hear the sounds of the ocean as you stay in your own private beach bungalow just a few metres from the waves. Not a bad way to spend a day!

DAY 6: MUAY THAI TRAINING LESSON

Wake up in paradise and step out onto the soft sand of Bottle Beach. Today, you can spend the morning sleeping, swimming, getting your tan on, or taking selfies with the world´s best backdrop!

The afternoon is reserved for your Muay Thai boxing experience! Hopping in a taxi boat, we´ll head towards the fishing town of Chaloklum, where you´ll get picked up by open air taxi and travel back through the heart of Phangan to Haad Rinn. It is here where you will try your hand at a bit of Thai boxing. Over the course of an hour your will learn about the sport of Muay Thai, techniques of the national sport and experience a training session with a local fighter. After building up a sweat we check into our accommodation in Haad Rinn just in time for a shower and some sunset drinks in one of our favourite beach bars.

DAY 7: EXPLORING THE PHANGAN ISLANDS

Koh Phangan is one of the best snorkelling and diving spots in the world, and at 11am you´ll be on your way there to explore the water and island for the day. From bathing in a waterfall like a boss, to enjoying lunch on the beach and watching the sunset from the boat, your day in Koh Phangan will definitely be one for the scrapbook!

In the evening, back at the resort we´ll enjoy a dinner courtesy of the tour organizers. Of course no event is finished without some celebratory drinks to commemorate your first amazing week in paradise! On the beach, you´ll party, enjoy a famous Thai bucket or two, and dance the night away, preferably in your bare feet!

DAY 8-12: LIVING IT UP ON KOH TAO

The next four days will be spent on the beautiful Koh Tao Island just north of Koh Phangan. Here is where you can tailor make your adventure by adding in some optional activities.

You will be staying on the gorgeous Sairee beach where you can relax into laid-back island life and choose how you spend each day. If you want to experience the best adrenaline-pumping adventure, you can add in additional activities (at an extra cost) like scuba diving, rock climbing, abseiling, water skiing, wake boarding and free diving. You do not have to pre-book. Decide what you want to do when you arrive. The included activity during the four days will be a boat trip to Koh Nangyuan, one of the most picturesque spots in the world where you can take in the surroundings, top up the tan and even enjoy a spot of snorkelling.

This is Koh Tao:

Day 12-15: Heading West

You´ve come to the end of your stay on Koh Tao, but don´t worry; there are lots more beautiful beaches and islands waiting to be explored in Thailand. One of those beaches is Railay on the west coast of Thailand; one of the most remarkably beautiful beaches on earth.

Although Railay is on the mainland, it is only accessible by boat so you´ll still feel like you´re on a remote tropical island, surrounded by scenery that looks like it´s been taken straight from a postcard.

Here you can relax, play, drink, eat and enjoy your surroundings, in between more intensive activities such as snorkelling, sea kayaking and rock climbing. Make sure to climb up to the lagoon viewpoint for some of the most fantastic views in the country.

The nightlife in Railay is always buzzing, with fire shows a regular fixture of the nightly entertainment around the many bars and restaurants.

Day 15-17: Island Bliss

We´re sure you´ve heard about your next location; the absolutely beautiful Maya Bay; so good it even stole the limelight from Leonardo DiCaprio in the film The Beach!

You´ll get to spend two glorious days on Phi Phi Island, taking a sunset boat trip around the other islands including Maya Bay, Monkey Island and the Viking Caves. Free lunch will be served on the boat before continuing on for more snorkelling and swimming back in the emerald waters of Phi Phi Island.

In the evenings, hang out with the group, enjoy some drinks and the nightlife, or do some amazing night swimming among the ´glow in the dark´ plankton.

Day 17-18: Final Days in the Land of Smiles

In the morning, we take a trip to Thailand´s largest island; Phuket. Phuket is as you would expect of any of the Thai islands; beautiful and laid-back with lots of things to do. It´s the perfect place to spend your final night in Thailand before leaving the next day for home, or the next part of your journey.

Party all night in Patong town, the party capital of Phuket, experiencing the nightlife through amazing Party Tuk Tuks; the ultimate crazy way to end your epic 18-day trip through the most beautiful country on earth!

On day 18, we´ll help you organize everything you need to make it back to Bangkok for homeward bound flights, or whether you´re continuing your journey through Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary. Due to local conditions, changes can and often do happen at local level,  which means the above itinerary, and things listed in the included section,  is meant as a reference guide as to what might happen not as a contractual obligation as to everything included. Sometimes we add additional things into the itinerary, sometimes we do not do all the things listed due to group members wanting to do other activities instead.

Accommodation

During the trip you will stay in a variety of gorgeous cosy guesthouses, backpacker hostels and even in a floating resort. You share your accommodation With one other person of the same sex. We really go to town on the quality of accommodation as well for instance on the final night you will stay in a luxurious resorts.

 

Koh Sok National Park

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

It depends how long you are travelling for or if you are moving onto another country after but you will not need to pack much for SE Asia. The climate will stay the same all year round which will be in the mid 30´s so light clothing will be best. It will also help if you use a backpack rather than a suitcase as it will be more comfortable for you to travel around with.
Can I speak to other group members before I go? Yes of course you can. We will put you in touch with other group members shortly before your tour. You can also join our Facebook page to interact with your group and others, see pictures etc.
It is recommended that you do take malaria pills in some parts of Thailand and the surrounding countries. The areas that we visit during the tour are generally considered malaria free however this can change so always speak to your GP before you travel and if you are going to other areas of Thailand and S.E. Asia it is very likely that you will need some. You can also consult the CDC website for more info
If you are susceptible to motion sickness then you may experience symptoms during a cruise/ferry, although symptoms tend to disappear as you adapt to the conditions in one or two days. Your Group Leader can help you pick up some medication that will help with this or you could look into getting some sea sickness bands which are now commonly available
Some meals are included so please make sure you let us know in good time if you have any special dietary requirements. Please click here to see the itinerary in full which will tell you what meals are included.
The Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) does recommendations vaccinations such as hepatitis A & B and Typhoid as well as being sure you are up to date on routine vaccinations. For more information, you can visit the CDC website but please remember that information surrounding vaccinations changes on a regular basis so always consult your GP before you travel.

The first day of your tour is mainly a check-in/meet and greet. It gives you the chance to chill out after a long haul flight. Day two is the start of your activities. Do I need to pay for any transport? All transport is included with the Experience within the week.

(Please note: If you arrive in Bangkok 3 days or more prior to your start date, you may have to arrange and pay for your own airport transfer.) and if you choose to go out in the evenings or take part in activities not included in the itinerary then you will need to pay for your own cabs etc…

Any time is a good time. The climate is relatively steady throughout the year and it depends where in Thailand you are going. It can rain more down South during October and November and there are some fluctuations in temperature but in most of the country it is guaranteed to be hot all year round! See our Weather page for more info. When will I meet my group leader? Your tour leader will greet you off your flight at Bangkok airport and take you to your guesthouse. If you have already arrived in Bangkok prior to your start date, then we will put you in touch and your Group Leader will arrange to meet you at the guesthouse when you arrive.
It differs from city to city but very rarely drops below 25 degrees Celsius. Bangkok is always around 35c and tends to have the odd down pour. Do not pay attention to the iphone weather app as it will always say thunderstorms in Bangkok. Not the case! On the islands it is less humid and averages around 33c all year round. They do have a brief rain season between October and November, however it usually only rains for about an hour or two with sunshine for the rest of the day. Check out our country info page for more info.
 Yes. The media has a tendency to report only the very worst news, which means that we can get quite a negative impression of a country and quite often we don’t hear anything about the very friendly, helpful people and extraordinary cultures in these amazing destinations.
Nearly 95% of Thailand’s population is Buddhist of the Theravada school, though Buddhism in this country has become integrated with folk beliefs such as ancestor worship as well as Chinese religions from the large Thai-Chinese population. Buddhist temples in Thailand are characterized by tall golden stupas, and the Buddhist architecture of Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia and Laos, with which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage.
You will automatically be granted a 28 day tourist visa on entry to Thailand if you are from one of the countries on the exemption list (see our Visa page). If you are considering staying in Thailand for longer then you may need to arrange your own visa. Visit the Visa Info page on our website to find out all you need to know.
Book your flights to land on your start date if you can. Do not book your flights until you have booked with us and received a confirmation invoice. Generally people will arrive on that date or one or two days before hand. If you land much before or are already in Thailand just let us know and we will help you arrange a transfer and to meet at our accommodation.
Yes. Let us know via email if you are arriving early and your group leader will reserve a room for you at your guesthouse. All you would need to do is pay for the additional nights. Once your group starts,we will cover the rest.
Duration Option Price  
18 (Days)GBP 1095Book Now

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Included

All transport, accommodation and activities are included in your epic Thailand trip of a lifetime, so you don´t need to worry about anything. Simply get yourself here and we´ll take care of the rest!

What else is included?

  • Airport pick-up
  • 17 Nights´ accommodation
  • Bangkok River Cruise
  • Visit two historical temples
  • Experience Bangkok nightlife
  • Tuk Tuk ride
  • Thai massage
  • Overnight train
  • Visit Khao Sok National Park
  • Go kayaking and explore caves
  • Stay in floating bungalows
  • Boat trip around Koh Phangan
  • Snorkel at some of Thailand´s best spots
  • Spend a day and night on Bottle Beach
  • Muay Thai Training lesson
  • Waterfall visit
  • Three evening meals and several lunches
  • Beach BBQ
  • Beach parties
  • 10 days of island hopping
  • Boat trips to Maya Bay (The Beach), around Phangan and Koh Tao
  • Viewpoint treks
  • Party Tuk Tuk night life tour of Phuket
  • All transport around and accommodation in Bangkok, Khao Sok, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Railay Beach, Koh Phi Phi & Phuket
  • Optional upgrades – scuba diving, rock climbing & water skiing/wake boarding (additional cost)

Excluded

  • Travel Insurance
  • Most Meals
  • Visa
  • Flights
  • Return transfer to Bangkok

Dates

Start Dates 2017

21st July – 7th Aug
4th Aug – 21st Aug
13th Aug – 30th Aug
18th Aug – 4 Sept
2nd Sept – 19th Sept
13th Sept – 30th Sept
20th Sept – 7th Oct
3rd Oct – 20th Oct
8th Oct – 25th Oct
14th Oct – 31st Oct
1st Nov – 18th Nov
8th Nov – 25th Nov
15th Nov – 2nd Dec
1st Dec – 19th Dec

Start Dates 2018
5th Jan – 22nd Jan
12th Jan- 29th Jan
16th Jan – 02nd Feb
28th Jan – 14th Feb
5th Feb – 22nd Feb
8th Feb – 25th Feb
14th Feb – 3rd March
26th Feb – 15th March
6th March – 23rd March
13th March – 30th March
16th March – 2nd April
30th March – 16th April
6th April – 23rd April
13th April – 30th April
15th April – 2nd May
27th April – 14th May
2nd May – 19th May
7th May – 24th May
11th May – 28th May
15th May – 1st June
27th May – 13th June
06th June – 23rd June
12th June – 29th June
26th June – 13th July
30th June – 17th July
7th July – 24th July
10th July – 27th July
13th July – 30th July
27th July – 13th Aug
06th Aug – 23rd Aug
9th Aug – 26th Aug
27th Aug – 13th Sept
3rd Sept – 20th Sept
7th Sept – 24th Sept
10th Sept – 27th Sept
23rd Sept – 10th Oct
28th Sept – 15th Oct
2nd Oct – 19th Oct
06th Oct – 23rd Oct
9th Oct – 26th Oct
26th Oct – 12 Nov

Spain Horse Whisperer

Do you love horses? Learn to understand and manage them, as you never have before while you get under the skin of the real Mallorca. Imagine the waving reeds, the mountain views in the distance, brilliant blue skies and spending your days learning how to be a horse whisperer, working on a new level with horses, expanding your skills and riding out into mountains.

Love horses? Learn to understand and manage them, as you never have before. Get under the skin of the real Mallorca and learn new skills and gain new experiences. Get out of the house this summer and immerse yourself in waving reeds, the mountain views in the distance, brilliant blue skies! and spending your days learning how to be a horse whisperer, working on a new level with horses, expanding your skills and riding out into mountains. You can relax on the stunning beaches on your time off. This is a totally unique and awesome experience that you must not miss!

Spending your days learning how to be a horse whisperer, working on a new level with horses, expanding your skills and riding out into mountains. You can relax on the stunning beaches on your time off. This is a totally unique and awesome experience that you must not miss!

Spain Horse Whisperer

 Highlights

  • All inclusive pack, meals, accommodation and transfers
  • Stunning weather on a beautiful island
  • Learn how to make the best tapas yum!
  • Get to know this stunning island by horse
  • weekends off for some serious beach time
  • Accommodation in a lovely house in the nicest town in Mallorca
  • During your weekdays spend time at a Spanish Ranch with pool next to the stables
  • Cheap and short flights to Mallorca
  • Ride on the edge of a natural wildlife reserve on the unspoilt plains of North East Mallorca
  • Work with horses every day
  • Instruction on natural horse care
  • Hands-on experience with your horse

PHOTOS

Full Details

Your 2 week programme will be on the stunning island of Mallorca, Spain. Only a 2 hours flight from the UK, so cheap flights, short journey time, and the ultimate island life! Mallorca has nice weather year round, but just to make sure you can enjoy the best weather in Europe, visit the beaches and ride some amazing treks under blue skies, we have selected 2 summer start dates during which you will spend most of your time at a Spanish Ranch overlooking the horses, and yes of course there is a pool to chill at during your down time.

Your Itinerary

Week 1: introduction

You’ll sleep in a Mallorcan town house in the nicest town of the island just 10 min from the best beaches, with free transfer to the stables. The whole group will spend their days at the stables where there is a swimming pool and outdoor and indoor kitchens for cooking and eating together. Lorenzo will share everything he knows with you about Mallorcan life and about horses. You will learn to speak some Mallorquine (Catalan) and about the true culture and traditions of the island.

Xtreme Gap Year Horses Spain (17)During the first week you will be given your own horses for your two-week stay and there will be instruction on natural horse care and hands-on experience with your horse in the mornings.  This will include:

  • How to create a natural paddock
  • How to build strength in a hoof and get rid of horseshoes
  • Horse nutrition and how to judge a horse’s needs
  • Trimming and caring for bare hooves
  • Teeth inspection and knowing a horse’s age
  • Massage and stretching for horses
  • Horse communication and horse coaching
  • Working in the round pen and horse control

At lunchtime there will be cooking demonstrations of authentic dishes on an island where food is valued above all else – no food is wasted and every part of an animal is eaten. You will be cooking the vegetables, the rice and potatoes which you see growing around you. (vegetarian options are available!) Learn to make paellas that are to die for! As well as soups, roasted meats, tapas, empanadas, and breads then eat them together for lunch. At the same time you will be learning some conversational Mallorquine, particularly around ordering and discussing food.

In the afternoon there will be bitless riding in the arenas and out into the countryside, using and demonstrating the skills you have learnt.

Week 2

Xtreme Gap Year Horses Spain (8)For the first 4 days of week 2, you will be working at the stables using your new skills in the morning. Then cooking your personal favourites of the dishes you have learnt for lunch. In the afternoons depending on your abilities you can go out for longer rides exploring the area, ride to town for coffee or work one to one in the arena with your horse increasing your horse communication skills with Lorenzo’s help.

Three days before you leave this horse paradise, you will take an amazing two-day trail into the Tramuntana Mountains on your horse. You will stay overnight in an ancient monastery – a truly unforgettable experience. You must order your own food and drinks in Mallorquine along the way.

On the last day it’s up to you to show off what you’ve learnt. You’ll have a different horse to examine, communicate with and make a presentation about to Lorenzo and the rest of the group. Then a celebration lunch and a last ride out together before we declare you a horse whisperer too.

ACCOMMODATION

accommodationWe have a great place to stay on this trip. A traditional Mallorcan Town house located in the gorgeous town of Pollenca (nicest town in Mallorca with stunning buildings, plaza´s (market squares), little bars and just 10 min from the beach.), seconds from the Calvario steps and the town square. It has completely unspoilt cool whitewashed interiors and is a quiet haven in the centre of the bustling town. All of the rooms are shared by two people and the bathrooms are shared too. There are large communal spaces inside and out for get-togethers and chilling out. Everyone will spend their days, weekdays that is, at the stables and in the gardens and kitchen of the Ranch.

All transfers to the ranch are included, daily!

MEALS

Cooking and eating Spanish food with Mallorcan specialities will be part of the experience. The basis of the Mallorquine cuisine is good bread and olive oil, there are several different oils from different parts of the island which are delicious. Lorenzo will teach you to make fantastic Aioli using local garlic! The secrets of authentic rice dishes like Paella and Arroz Brut, will be revealed and you can learn how to make authentic Coca – which is like a pizza, spicy meat, vegetable or fish empanadas (small pasties) and almond and fruit cakes. You will hone your barbecuing skills, cooking fish, lamb and chicken and there will be fresh fruits and vegetable for side dishes and salads. by the end of two weeks you will be tapas expert, throwing together patatas bravas, tortillas, croquettes and fritos. We’ll take time out for a pizza or a burger too!   No worries if you don’t eat meat or fish because all of these dishes have vegetarian options!

SAFETY

The accommodation is completely safe. Our Spanish (but English speaking) host , our English programme manager Rosemary and Mallorquin guide Lorenzo will all be there to guide you and make your trip one to remember. If there are any issues they are there for you.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

 

All dietary needs will be cared for. Special foods are widely available in Mallorca.

No, you will learn everything you need to know and more if you want to, during your stay

No, the stable’s philosophy is around improving skills and building confidence, any level of riding ability including beginners are welcome

No there are no single rooms available

Yes there is wifi at the accommodation and at the stables

Yes, there are always insects in Mallorca in the summer and particularly around horses. None of them are dangerous but being bitten is annoying and makes you itchy. Insect repellent is strongly recommended

Mallorca can be very hot in the summer and riding will be organised to avoid the hottest times of the day for the sake of the horses and the people. Some riding may be early in the morning or late in the evening allowing time for long lunches and siestas. Sun tan creams are essential to avoid burning

Very casual and comfortable clothes including tea shirts, shorts, thin trousers or summer dresses and swimwear. Bring strong comfortable shoes, boots or trainers for riding and working with the horses and a waterproof just in case because it can  rain in the summer

 

Towels for washing will be provided but please bring your own beach towel for swimming and sunbathing

Yes, you will be able to buy wine, beer and other drinks in local supermarkets and keep them in the fridge where you are staying

The stable minibus will go into town most days for groceries and other necessities and guests will be welcome to go along in small groups to do their own shopping

 

There are washing machines in both sets of accommodation and things dry very quickly

Make sure you have an EHIC with you and a good travel insurance policy. Should you become ill unexpectedly we can call an English speaking doctor or take you to the walk in centre in Sa Pobla, where you will be treated immediately. Pharmacies are well stocked and have expert staff on hand for everyday ailments and we have basic first aid facilities at the stable

Usually 220 gbp is enough

Duration Option Price  
2 (Week)GBP 1859Book Now

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INCLUDED

  • Accommodation in a shared room
  • Linen and towels
  • Room Cleaning
  • Introduction
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Transfers from and to the airport
  • Transfers to town and the ranch
  • All meals, water, soft drinks, fruit and snacks
  • Guides
  • Cooking classes
  • Basic Mallorquin language lesson
  • Overnight stay at the monastery at Lluc

EXCLUDED

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Any travel that guests choose to make for independent sightseeing or shopping
  • Drinks or snacks in cafes or restaurants taken whilst out riding
  • Personal items such as soap and shampoo

Dates

Saturday 3rd September to Saturday 17th September.

 

Round The World S.E. Asia & New Zealand

This trip is epic. Combining arguably two of the greatest backpacking routes in the world. You can immerse yourself in culture and good times in Southeast Asia. Prior to witnessing one of the most beautiful countries and adrenaline packed locations on the planet

This trip is epic. Combining arguably two of the greatest backpacking routes in the world. You can immerse yourself in culture and good times in Southeast Asia. Prior to witnessing one of the most beautiful countries and adrenaline packed locations on the planet New Zealand!

South East Asia & New Zealand

This exciting trip starts off in Bangkok, with the Xtreme Thailand Experience. A four week fully guided group trip to the best places in Thailand. Then we include a flexible hop on hop off pass trough the North of Thailand, the whole of stunning Laos, into Cambodia seeing sights like Angkor Wat and last but not least the whole of Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi (South to North and everything in between) before heading to New Zealand to enjoy the stunning nature, Kiwi hospitality and adrenaline activities in Queens Town! Men… this trip is Epic!

 

backpacking in south east asia (5)Some of the highlights include:

  • Meeting up online before you go travelling
  • Meeting new friends and sharing adventures
  • Immersing yourself in Thailand culture and parties on the Xtreme Thailand Experience
  • Tropical Islands and amazing beaches
  • Fullmoon Party
  • Staying at an elephant camp
  • Koh Tao Adventure options with diving, freediving, Muay Thai or yoga sessions
  • Amazing Adventure with boat ride and snorkelling plus viewpoint!
  • Try Out Scuba with an Xtreme Trial Scuba Experience
  • Bangkok, Hanoi, Vientiane and many more exciting cities
  • Street food and Asian flavours at every turn (tip avoid the squid jerky)
  • Tuk Tuks, Rickshaws and crazy traffic!
  • River tubing in Laos and stunning scenery
  • Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Enjoy the many water sports or kick back and relax in Sihanoukville
  • Learn about Cambodia’s history at the S21 Prison and Killing Fields
  • Learn about the history of the American and Vietnam War at sights and musea
  • Come face to face with monkeys, gibbons and other endangered species at the Primate Centre in Vietnam
  • Explore life in the old town of Hoi An, a picture perfect Vietnamese riverside town; listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Flexible travel in New Zealand
  • Learn all bout Maori  culture
  • Visit Lord of the Rings’ volcanoes
  • Majestic Franz Josef glacier with a free day to hike and explore it
  • Stunning sites and adrenaline activities in Queens Town

Photos

 

Full Details

Great Times on the Xtreme Thailand Experience

gappers

Then Go Backpacking through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

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Afterwards, Soak Up Breathtaking New Zealand

soak

  • Discovering Thai culture, temples & cuisine on mind-blowing experiences
  • Trekking through national parks & discovering cool waterfalls
  • Volunteering with Elephants and Mahouts
  • Exploring exciting Bangkok and stay in a fun backpackers hostel near the backpacking Mecca Khao San Road
  • Adrenaline Action on Koh Tao like diving and freediving, kickboxing or cross fit. If you prefer to chill out a little, you can with a yoga course.
  • Koh Tao adventure day with longtail boat, snorkelling, paradise islands and view points.
  • Try Out Scuba with an Xtreme trial Scuba Experience and Stand Up Paddle

 

  • An amazing laugh all the way with fun group leaders to guide you and the rest of the group
  • Connect from Bangkok up to the Amazing North of Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south in to Cambodia and from the south of Vietnam to the north ending up in Hanoi
  • ´Jump-on’ and ‘jump-off’ the bus anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route
  • Go further off the beaten track for unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities
  • Travel with like-minded people, our legendary guides and local drivers
  • We can organise guest houses, hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping accommodation options enroute
  • Explore both islands (north and south) on a flexible itinerary
  • Orientation meeting the night before departure
  • Social back packer busses
  • Help with accommodation and activity bookings
  • Incredible scenery
  • Fun and social backpacker route
  • Awesome experiences can be booked throughout the trip
  • Staying off the beaten track places and learn more about this epic country
  • We can organise hostels options enroute

Fully guided trip throughout Southeast Asia & New Zealand with loads of activities and inclusions

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      This is our top-selling trip! Loaded with activities there is never a dull moment. A great way to travel Thailand safely in a group, you have a jam packed itinerary showcasing the best this amazing country has to offer. You choose your activities. An intro week, an adventure week, an action week and a beach [...]


      The Xtreme New Zealand Xplorer  (Our Awsome New Zealand Travel pass) enompasses all of the xtreme highlights of NZ, bungee jumping, rafting, glacier trekking, volcano walking, as well as taking you way off the beaten track to isolated hill stations, glacial lakes, massive surf breaks, golden beaches and big blue skies.


      A flexible hop on hop off adventure taking in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, starting in the capital of Thailand Bangkok and ending in the capital of Vietnam Hanoi. With the recommended a trip time of 56 days (min 38), this is the perfect guided group backpacking adventure taking in four incredible Southeast Asia countries. All transport, loads of activities included.


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Frequently Asked Questions

For Thailand

No, most of our travellers are solo travellers. You will meet lots of people on the different weeks. With group start dates and lots of group activities, you will make new friends really easy.

The trip ends in Koh Tao, please note return transfer is not included in the price of the trip.

Returning back to Bangkok to get on your next trip is easy, transfers can be arranged on Koh Tao through rep and the cost is approximately £20. If you’re flying out straight after the trip ends, you have two options to meet your flight in Bangkok.

You can fly or take the boat and bus.

Yes, for some parts of the trip (Vietnam) you do need a visa. For Thailand and Laos and Cambodia, you get on at the border. But please know that arranging a visa is totally up to you and not Xtreme´s responsibility.

Absolutely our guides will be there to meet you off your flight. If you are nervous about flying on your own, we also hook you up with a buddy list where you can chat to other people on your trip prior to booking your flights. That means you can coordinate your flights together and have a travel buddy as you go.

This is a hard question as age range does vary. Most people travelling with us are between 18 and 26

Is this trip suitable for you? The average age on this trip is between 18 and 26. Although it is open to all. The make up of the groups is usually 60% female to 40% male, just going to show, girls really are braver than boys! So come on lads, what are you waiting for? Prove us wrong!

Thailand is a very safe country in general, it does however get a lot of press due to the political situation. Comparatively you are more in danger in a big city in western Europe then you are backpacking in Thailand. We have a guide with you at all times, and there is a great support network available to you to help you out even for the little things like losing your bank card.

For Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam

Your driver/guide provides you with a wealth of knowledge about history, culture, and trivia as well as recommending and booking activities and accommodation for you around Asia. They are walking guidebooks, always there to help and entertain!
The average age of passengers is about 20 – 26. . No matter what the age we find we attract on-to-it people who want to meet other travellers, and get out there and further off the beaten track.
Our buses range from 14 seaters to 45 seaters with an average group of about 20. We keep them smaller so you can see and do more, and because we find that that groups of this size simply work better.
Its perfect for people travelling by themselves. Asia is relatively safe and our smaller group sizes means, you can meet more people and your driver is always there for any questions you may have.
Backpacks are recommended but suitcases are fine you don´t need to walk great distances with them (just between the accommodation and the bus). The majority of the time while you´re doing activities they will be stored away (on the bus or at your accommodation). We recommend you bring a good day pack (small backpack) or bag you can carry easily for water bottles, towels, cameras, sunblock etc.
You´ll need to bring a decent pair of sneakers/trainers that you can walk in comfortably. Hiking boots are good but not essential. In summer you´ll find flip flops/thongs are the favoured option!
We include free days (non-travel days) in key locations, so even if you´re completing your trip in the minimum days required you´ll have time to do activities and explore each of these areas.   We also have free mornings or afternoons in most places for you to do local activities, just relax or and do some necessary laundry!
Most accommodations and activities accept debit and credit cards, so you don´t have to carry too much cash with you. Some cash on the other hand, is advisable, because some accommodations may require a cash key deposit.
Your travel pass includes all land transport, guidance, free activities such as walks and the city orientations. Your driver will book accommodation for you if you like but the cost is not included in your pass (you´ll just need to pay as you go).
The bus guide helps you reserve accommodation in all our overnight stops. You´ll be guaranteed a bed with a range of accommodation levels, from hostel dorms to made up private rooms; our driver/guides will help you with this. You are free to book your own accommodation if you wish. You will need to book your own accommodation for the night before you start your trip and let us know where you are staying so we know where to pick you up from. We can recommend places for you to stay if you need help.

For New Zealand

Accommodation is not included in the New Zealand Xplorer.  Why?  Well let’s just think about this.  New Zealand is an incredible place with so much to see and do and has lots of places that you will want to stay for longer.   As this is not a set tour with specific day-to-day itinerary, you can stay longer in certain places should you wish.  So we do not include accommodation to allow the trip to be flexible.  That doesn’t mean you will be stranded, we can pre-book accommodation for you as you go (the guide will sort that out for you on the bus).
As a bare minimum you can do this in 25 days.  But that really is pushing it, we would recommend spending four weeks
Then you should definitely join.  Most of our travellers are solo travellers looking to join a group.  The New Zealand Xplorer is designed to help you meet people easily.  Backpacking in New Zealand is highly social, but this really makes it easy.
Most people start in Auckland although you can start in Christchurch as well.
We would work on the basis of about £30 per day.  You will need to cover your hostel bed for the night and food.  Also if you wish to do any adrenaline activities as you travel these can be fairly expensive, be sure to budget enough for some skydiving bungee-jumping!
Just talk to us, hit the e-mail button and send us your question, we are experts at sending people backpacking New Zealand.

Special payment conditions

On round the world bookings we can stage payment to make it easier to save, you can of course pay all at once.

  • Time of booking if travelling in more than 6 months -25% deposit of the balance
  • At 16 Weeks until departure ” 50% of the balance
  • 12 weeks before departure ” the remaining 25% balance.

This ensures you have enough time to save for your flights, spending money and insurance.

Duration Option Price  
6 (Month)GBP 3599Book Now

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Included

Thailand (first 4 weeks)

The First 2 weeks

  • Personal meet & greet at the airport
  • Transfers to your hotel in Bangkok
  • Meet your other adventurers: Access to online buddy lists before you leave!
  • Unforgettable Bangkok city tour
  • Wat Arun, Wat Pho & Reclining Buddha
  • 13 nights total accommodation in high standard guesthouses and homestays
  • Breakfast during the first 2 weeks
  • Some delicious meals included
  • A 2 day elephant experience with food  included
  • River rafting experience
  •  2 days of trekking in a stunning national park
  • Night markets & Nights Out
  • Cookery class
  • 24 hour emergency support
  •  Maximum group size 26
  • Overnight Transfer to Koh Tao

On Koh Tao

  • Koh Tao adventure day which includes:
    • Boat around the island
    • Snorkelling in crystal clear waters round a tropical paradise island
    • Spectacular trek up to an incredible view point
  • Koh Tao Extra Activities Included
    • Beach BBQ after beach Clean up day
    • Beach Clean up day
    • Stand Up Paddling
    • Xtreme Discover Scuba Dive
  • Koh Tao activity option Week inclusions (pick one option):
    • Get fit pack: 5 Muay Thai Sessions (5 hours), all equipment (for rent included) and training one on one with a Muay Thai Trainer
    • Get ripped pack: 4 Crossfit sessions. These 4 classes will teach you all the basic movements and techniques for CrossFit
    • Xtreme Freediving Pack: a 2 day beginner free diving course
    • Relax With Yoga: 5 yoga sessions spread out over 5 days
    • The learn to dive course includes a full PADI open water course, course materials, instruction and 4 dives
  • Full moon party
  • All Accommodation
  • Breakfast on arrival on Koh Tao
  • 12 nights accommodation in standard fan room in Koh Tao at our luxury resort
  • Free Wi-Fi at the accommodation
  • Pick up from the boat and transfer to the resort in Koh Tao by taxi
  • Back up & support second to none. Services of our tour leaders and English-speaking reps who are available and based locally  24/7.

Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam (56 days recommended)

  • Pre departure information
  • Pick up at different locations in Thailand and Laos
  • Reservations for extra tours and accommodation will be made by the guide
  • Flexible hop on hop off pass minimum travel time 56 days, taking you all the way from Bangkok to Hanoi
  • All Transportation, flexible itinerary
  • Services of the Tour Leader who can help with accommodation and activities

New Zealand (32 days recommended)

  • Pre departure information
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Private transportation throughout New Zealand
  • Driver guide showing you all the best places
  • Services of the Tour Leader who can help with accommodation and activities
  • Awesome hop on hop off flexible itinerary covering both islands

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals (in Thailand we do include a few!)
  • Accommodation in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam & New Zealand
  • Transport from Koh Tao to Bangkok

Dates

Start Dates 2017

12 November 2017
10 December 2017

2018

14 January 2018
04 February 2018
11 March 2018
08 April 2018
06 May 2018
03 June 2018
08 July 2018
05 August 2018
02 September 2018
30 September 2018
28 October 2018
02 December 20188

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  • Round The World S.E. Asia & New Zealand

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and use the kitchens and the hostels to save yourself a bundle. £30 a day should be sufficient

Thailand Adventure

Are you looking for a great value fun trip where you meet loads of other travellers? Do you want to experience some amazing adventures like trekking and visiting temples? You will be enchanted by Thai culture and eased into your travels on a great intro week, you can pick fun adventure options in week two, you’ll have a cultural exchange experience in week three and finish up with some serious beach time week four. included are all transfers, accommodation, activities and 3 weeks of meals!


Are you looking for a great value fun trip where you meet loads of other travellers? Do you want to experience some amazing adventures and visit temples? You will be enchanted by Thai culture and eased into your travels on a great intro week, you can pick fun adventure options in week two, you’ll have a cultural exchange experience in week three and finish up with some serious beach time in Hua Hin.

Thailand Adventure

The Thailand Adventure is a perfect trip for first-time travellers who would love to see Thailand and travel in a group of young people. Get to know more about Thai culture, the food, and the beaches.

 

Thailand Adventure Highlights:

Squeeze out the most fun! This 4 week trip has been tailored for you: Introduction week, Adventure week (choose your favourite option), Cultural immersion week and a week on a tropical island with lots of beach time!

  • You can relax knowing that you will settle into the travel swing easily with comprehensive orientation including a Thai language and cooking lessons.
  • Have adventures on the Adventure week you will never forget, go trekking or stay at a temple learning more about Buddhism.
  • You can discover a deeper side to Thailand with exciting cultural exchange projects, join either the Muay Thai training or help us out at a local school.
  • Do you want to see some incredible beaches as well? You can! A 6-night stay in the beautiful Hua Hin district is also included.
  • Don’t worry about being alone, 85% of travellers travel solo. You will be joining a group of like-minded travellers, once you book you have an online buddy list to chat to others before you go!

You can tailor the experience too!

Week one is a set week (the introduction week), but in week 2 you can join the Trekking week or the Buddhism & Culture week and in week 3 there is an option to either get involved in a community project for a cultural exchange experience or learn Muay Thai, the National sport of Thailand. Week 4 is the beach week in Hua Hin.

Photos

 

Full Details

The trip is broken down into 4 different themed weeks so you arr always experiencing something new and exciting!

  • Intro & Culture Week
  • Adventure Option Week
  • Cultural Immersion Week
  • Beach Week

 

Week One – Intro Week & Siam Culture

The first week is designed to introduce you to Thailand and it’s people, culture, language, attitudes and customs. It’s a great way to meet fellow travellers and to make new friends. To ensure you have fun and to make it easy for you to meet all the groups, we have arranged some fun social nights including a welcome party, a Thai-style BBQ and a dinner at a gorgeous bar / restaurant with Karaoke for those that like to sing!

Orientation

When you arrive at the eco house in Singburi, you will be shown to your rooms. All rooms are shared with the same sex. While staying at the eco-house, males and females are not allowed to stay in the same rooms. There will be time to relax, take a shower and unpack. There will be an informal meeting after dinner to welcome you and to inform you of things like what time breakfast is served. The orientation meeting will be the following day.

There are two co-ordinators at each house. The co-ordinators are friendly local Thais. They are there to show you around, introduce you to Thailand, answer any of your questions and ensure you have a good time. They make this programme a special and unique one.

Programme Introduction:  money, rules and appreciated behaviour, food, safety advice, cultural differences and social information.

Thai language:

During this week, you and your group will have a Thai lesson. You will learn enough phrases to get by on.

Projects:

An explanation of the work places, projects underway and information on what has been achieved in the past (volunteers that have chosen extra weeks only)

Visit local places:

You will be shown the village, markets, temples and monuments in the local area. You will have several opportunities to go to the local town called Singburi. Here you can check your e-mails, go shopping and get a Thai SIM card for your mobile. There is also a pool in Singburi where you can go swimming, relax and sunbathe.

Games, cooking lesson, discussions:

Done in groups to help you make friends with fellow volunteers, project leaders and programme staff. This is an excellent way to learn the language and a fun way to experience the new culture.

Leisure time:

You will have a chance to explore the local area. There are plenty of opportunities for free time. You can relax around the eco-house, read, go swimming, shopping, etc. The project co-ordinators are happy to show you around and point out the beautiful and amazing highlights that Thailand has to offer. Your weekends are your free time so feel free to arrange extra excursions if you´d like.

This Week in Detail

This option is a great chance to know more about Thailand, bond with your fellow participants, and learn about the local surrounding area. You will learn about Thai culture, Thai language and have a

taste of what has made Thai cooking so famous around the world through some cooking classes. You will also visit the famous Buddhist Temple: Wat Phranon Jaksi, the old capital of Ayutthaya (including a visit to the Elephant Village), Lopburi´s museum and pagoda. This programme below is written to give you an idea of this week (it´s an example):

Monday

After breakfast, we have a group meeting and take a short walk around the village before lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit a local handicraft shop before being the special guests of a welcome party with local school students performing a Thai traditional dance for us.

Tuesday

An all-day trip to the ancient city of Ayutthaya, many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in this city that was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong when the Thais were forced Southwards by northern neighbours. We will then visit the special Elephant village followed by dinner near the river side.

Wednesday

In the morning, we start with a Thai lesson, after which will visit some of the beautiful and famous monuments and Buddhist temples near our centre: Wat Phranon Jaksi (A huge reclining Buddha image) and the Bang-Rachan hero monument. In the afternoon there will a trip to the local town, here you can do some shopping, swimming or check email. In the evening, we will have dinner at a famous Thai BBQ restaurant.

Thursday

In the morning, we visit a local school and join in with the local students. During school holidays (from mid-March till mid-May and in October), when the school is closed, we may visit a palm tree farm or other local life instead. After noon we pick up from yesterday with another Thai lesson and then have an interactive Thai cooking class: after a short Thai lesson introducing the different ingredients you will learn how to cook these ingredients into a renowned Thai dish, and have it for dinner!

Friday

A full day  with several visits in the Lopburi province. Some of the highlights would visit to the famous Somdet Phra Narai National Museum and the Wat Phraputhabaht Temple (Buddha´s footprint) and we will experience some local cuisine at a nearby restaurant.

Weekends

Weekends are always free in most programmes, but participants can delve deeper with advanced Thai Language lessons or hire local transport to visit the Swimming pool or shops in Singburi Town. (these are extra-curricular, please request on site!). Also, feel free to ask the friendly staff for help in getting to some of Thailand´s many nearby tourist attractions.

Week Two: Adventure Options Week – Take Your Pick!

The second week is options week where you can choose from one of the following activities:

  • Trekking in the jungle
  • Buddhism and culture

You do not have to decide which option you pick when you book; you can wait to see what takes your fancy when you are in Thailand.

 

Week two option one: Trekking Option

During the second week, you and other participants have the option to go trekking in Khao Yai National Park, a lush park not often visited by other tourists. This again will be a unique experience. You will be roughing it, but in beautiful surroundings. After this experience, you will have a lot to boast about when you go home as you will be sleeping in tents and surviving with the basics – we´re sure you will have a lot of fun!

The guides are very friendly and you will really enjoy yourself! Khao Yai National Park highest mountain is about 1,351 meters above sea level.

The tropical moist evergreen forest covers the central area of Khao Yai National Park. There is a rich diversity of plants (about 2,000 species), towering trees draped in mosses, tangled trunks of the strangling figs, drooping lianas, spiny rattan palms and delicate ferns. There is always something new to discover in the forest.

Please note that the trekking is not for the faint-hearted and the itinerary is subject to change depending on seasons, weather conditions, group size etc. so please be flexible.

Monday

After breakfast we will set off for Khao Yai National Park, make a pit stop to get food supplies before we get there. We arrive at about 4.30pm and will then set up the camp and have a Thai dinner. In the evening we will do an exciting night safari.

Tuesday

Early morning we will have breakfast, tidy up the camp site and head off into the jungle. We set up the camp, cook and learn about survival techniques from the experienced park rangers.

Wednesday

After breakfast you we go trekking to different stunning waterfalls, feel free to jump in. Again we will camp at a campsite with amazing views

Thursday

Today we trek back to the rangers base to check into our air-conditioned rooms. Here you will be able relax those aching limbs and get that well deserved shower. We will stay here for 1 night, taking in the glorious scenic views.

Friday

We make our way back to Singburi and the Eco houses (see first week).

Weekends are always free after Jungle Trekking programme. Relax at the Eco-House accommodation, take a local taxi into town, expand your sightseeing and visit the many more sites in the central provinces or take a bus to Bangkok city for the weekend.

Remember to take the following with you on the trek:

  • Raincoat
  • Sleeping bag and fleece – it can get cold in the early mornings
  • Towel
  • Trekking gear – good walking boots (trainers at your own risk)
  • Cap or sun hat
  • T-shirt and shorts
  • Torch
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Snacks (crisps and cookies) the food menu will be very limited in the jungle!

We will provide the tent, first aid kit and food. Please note that this trek can be physically demanding and on some days you could be trekking for four to seven hours (with breaks). You will be trekking deep in the jungle, climbing vines and walking up and down mountains. Feedback from past volunteers has been that its hard work but one of the most adventurous and fun activities they have ever done. You will end up with lots of stories to tell your family and friends back home.

Week two option two: Buddhism and Culture Option

The Buddhism and Culture programme below is written to give you an idea of this week: The day order may change, however the full programme will still be experienced.

It is quite a ride to get here from the location of the introduction week, but totally worth it! Your time will be spent in the Forest Resort, a luxury new resort and in a newly built dorm accommodation next to the ancient Thai temple.

If you choose the Buddhism & Culture week you will get to know a lot more about Buddhism and Thai culture. During this week you will visit temples, you have the opportunity to ask your questions about Buddhism to the monks, we will teach you about practising meditation and chanting in a quiet and spiritual environment. Our guide is very knowledgeable and will tell you all you need to know. If you have a real interest in Buddhism & Culture, this is the programme for you!

During the temple stay you will experience the Thai temple life first hand, and it is pretty impressive and special.

Monday

After breakfast we leave the eco house in Singburi and take you to Khao Yai National Park. On the way we stop for lunch. After dinner you will be introduced to Buddhism & Meditation ethics.

Tuesday

Forget the lie-ins this week as we rise with (or before!) the dawn to give alms to the Monks. After breakfast we will have a discussion with a local monk, where you will have the chance to ask him questions and hear the Buddhist perspective from a monk. Once he leaves we will have lunch followed by a documentary to learn more of Lord Buddha. We will have dinner at the resort and an early bed time is recommended, as we have an early rise next morning.

Wednesday temple stay!

Tonight we stay at a temple. We leave very early morning and upon arrival we will pay respect to the head master of the temple. Today we also learn some of the history of the surrounding area and temple, we will help clean the temple (sweeping leaves). Then lunch, your last meal of today, as monks eat only one or two meals a day all before 12:00 (noon). After lunch we will learn walking and sitting meditation forms.

Thursday, today we live like a monk

We will get up early for a session of sitting meditation. Immediately after, the boys will follow the monks around the village to gather alms. The girls will stay at the temple and help prepare the temple for when they return. Upon returning you will come together and pray before breakfast. After breakfast we will be spending the day just like the monks: Meditating, praying, gardening and cleaning the temple ground. Again more evening chanting and early sleep time.

Friday

Awake at the temple. You can give alms to the monks, or stay at the temple. We will eat breakfast and provide gifts for the monks for our appreciation for letting us stay and then return for Singburi Eco-house, visiting Wat Muang in Ang Thong long the way.

Weekend

Weekends are always free after this week. Relax at the Eco-House accommodation, take a local taxi into town, expand your sightseeing and visit the many more sites in the central provinces or take a bus to Bangkok city for the weekend.

Remember
  • Please bring your own white clothes which are not tight or see through, if you don´t have any please buy some before departing to Buddhism and Culture week.
  • Please be calm and quiet during and following meditation and chanting
  • Monks only eat one meal per day so we don´t have dinner on Wednesday
  • Men and women cannot sleep together during temple stay and no passionate contact during temple stay
  • Please do not point your feet to the monks or the Buddha
  • Women are not allowed to stay close to monks or touch the monks so please be cautious.

Week Three

Week three option one: Cultural Immersion Projects

During this week you will have opportunities to help the local community:

  • Help out in a School
  • Build Clay Houses
  • Looking after kids in a local orphanage
  • Boxing Option

The biggest area in need is education so you will be visiting the local schools during term time or local children or perhaps local police from the village at the Eco house during school holidays. You can chat to the kids, help with both English and maths through playing games, singing songs etc. More information will be given to you about this during your first week.

Accommodation during this week will be either at the eco house or if you prefer, a home-stay. Most of the schools are within walking distance. For those schools that are not, the teacher or a local co-ordinator will transport you there and back. Remember to dress and behave appropriately. The students will look up to you and will attempt to copy your fashion and actions. Ladies, you need to make sure you don´t expose too much skin. Polo shirts/T-shirts, trousers and long skirts are all fine. Also the smarter you dress the more respect you will receive in the classroom.

It can be helpful to bring some materials to help you assist with teaching. For example, books, games and toys. It´s a nice idea to donate these to the school or children once you have left. Pens and paper will be provided. If you have any questions about this week, then please feel free to contact us or talk to the co-ordinators.

If you want to try something different instead then we have the boxing option:

Week Three option two: Muay Thai Boxing Option

During this week you will train in elements of Muay Thai the exciting national sport of Thailand. This is geared for complete beginners so no need to feel intimidated. It is lots of fun and there is no better way to immerse our self in the local culture

While you are training you will focus on many different areas, a large part of Thai boxing includes agility, speed and balance. In order to develop each discipline of Muay Thai (i.e. punches, kicks, elbows etc), you will learn exercises and training drills that promote these three important things.

A typical day begins with an early start, getting up at 5.30am. This is necessary so that you are not spending the hottest hours of the day participating in intensive boxing training. You will head for a run to warm up followed by refreshments at the gym. From here you will take training exercises led by our experienced Thai Boxing trainer. Once fully warmed up you will head into the ring to spar one-on-one. Our co-ordinator will translate the instructor’s explanations into English. He will try to teach you some Thai necessary to learn more about the sport.

From 9am you have the option of going to the swimming pool (14km away) or relaxing back at the eco-house with other participants. The morning routine is repeated at around 3pm. The training can be quite intense, so it is important that you have a warm down period each day.

You will have the opportunity to take part in optional Tae Kwon Do classes some evenings.

Changing Options

If you think that you may decide to change your option for week three from boxing to the teaching option, or that you may add extra cultural immersion weeks you can do this locally.

Week Four – Beach time (6 nights)

This is usually the travellers favourite part of the programme. You will spend from Sunday evening to Saturday morning in the gorgeous Hua Hin District. It is a jam packed week with loads of exciting and intresting activities.

Set near the idyllic city of Hua Hin, you will get a real feel of Buddhism, help conserve the natural surroundings and of course, loads of well deserved beach time.

We’ll take you south to the seaside city of Hua Hin, where you will take part in fun activities where you are able to see several beautiful temples. You will get the chance to help monks and learn about Buddhism. You will also be involved with vital beach conservation activities, visit local the markets and experience other awesome cultural activities. The afternoons are free for you to explore the city and relax at the beach.

Every day, we will take you to a different beach where you will be able to just relax and unwind amidst white sand and crystal-clear blue waters.

  • Dinner at our center when you arrive!
  • Amazing visits to temples!
  • An excursion to Pranburi Forest Park!
  • Excursion to the Artist Village!
  • And lots of beach time!

You are welcome to add-on activity’s or not and do your own thing. The rest of the time is free time to sun bathe, snorkel, explore the beautiful area or simply just chill out.

On the last day,  you will have breakfast, then get a transfer back to Hua Hin bus station.

 

Accommodation

During this programme you will be located in 3 different locations to get to know about different parts of Thailand. All transfers will be taken care of (arrival transfer is also included providing your arrive on set start dates).

During the first three weeks you will be staying in Eco houses. Normally you share your ensuite room with 1 or 2 others of the same sex. The rooms have a good sized bathroom with western toilet end shower.

To relax you can chill in the gardens or in the communal area where you can hangout with the others. Here also your meals are served.

During the Intro week (week 1), Muay Thai or Cultural Immersion week (week 3) your accommodation is situated about 10 km from the town of Singburi. In Singburi you will find all the amenities you could need i.e. internet, shops, swimming pool, hospital, pharmacy, banks and restaurants. There are plenty of trips into Singburi or you can easily take a taxi (about 15 minutes).

The doors and windows are screened (to protect you from mosquitoes). There are fans in the room. For your valuables, we have lockers available. We strongly encourage you to use them, even if our centres are generally very safe. There are limited laundry facilities so expect to wash your clothes by hand. All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep the accommodation neat and organised. All food is included during your stay. The meals will be typical Thai fare, including plenty of rice dishes. All meals (Thai style) are included.

Facilities:

  • Transportation- Our Eco houses are about 10-15 kilometre from the city, it’s a little bit difficult to travel to town by public transportation but it can be done by local taxi.   Taxis can be called though our staff at any time.
  • Money issues: there are numbers of bank and ATM machine near by. The nearest one is just a km or so away at Thakam market.
  • Internet use: internet cafes can be found in Singburi town. Our accommodation has free wireless internet for participants, but we advise caution in bringing bulky valuables with you.
  • International Phone calls – you can buy an international telephone card (with PIN code) in Singburi. The best ones are from CAT PhoneNet, with which you can call from any phone in Thailand. They can be bought at the post office or CAT office. Don´t hesitate to ask your coordinator for assistance.

During the beach week you stay in our centre in Hua Hin.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

If you are planning on travelling to Thailand for 28 days or less and you have British, Dutch or USA passport you can get a Visa exemption on arrival. This is valid for 28 days and cannot be extended in Thailand. If you are planning on being in Thailand longer than 28 days you will need to pre-arrange a Visa. You can prearrange a visa for 60 days which you can extend to 90 days in Thailand.

There are two ways of arranging your visa. When you are from the UK. You can either go in person to the Thai embassy in London, or you can post your passport along with the necessary documentation and fee to one of the Thai Consulates. In general this works the same for the other countries like The Netherlands and United States too, but please contact the nearest Thai Consulate for visa inquiries.

Please note that you are responsible for arranging your own visa. Xtreme Gap cannot be held responsible if you fail to travel with the correct visa. So please check with your local embassy personally. The previous information is meant as a guide, but visa rules change often and frequently. So do not take this as the current law.

Take £100 a week and you will be living very well. Remember that everything is included on this trip. So all the food, the accommodation, the transfers, airport pick up and loads of activities and adventures along the way are already paid for.

On Saturday, after breakfast, we will transfer you back to Singburi for Bangkok, if you have further programmes with us or to Hua Hin bus station if this is the end of your program, where you can catch a bus back to Bangkok to catch your flight home.

Usually there is an average of 15 fellow travel mates on the trip, but it can be more or less. Did you know that you can meet other travellers before you head out to Thailand? Simply sign up to our online travellers meeting point and you start to chat to other people interested in Thailand. Once you book, securing a place with £200 deposit, you will be given access to an exclusive buddy list. This enables you to talk directly with other people signed up your trip! So you already make some new friends on your trip before you go!

Yes, you can start off with this trip and then do some backpacking in Laos afterwards for example. Another really popular option is to get a 60 day visa before you leave Thailand, and then bolt on the Koh Tao adventure after this trip giving you two months in Thailand.

 

Duration Option Price  
4 (Week)Standard Shared RoomGBP 949Book Now

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Included

  • Information pack before departure
  • Airport pick up in Bangkok
  • Orientation including a Thai language and cooking lesson
  • One week trekking or buddism and culture
  • Cultural Exchange projects or try some Muay Thai Training!
  • 6 nights in the beautiful Hua Hin District
  • All meals
  • All accommodation through the four weeks
  • Transfers between weeks
  • Access to online buddy lists to chat to other members of the group

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Drinks
  • Extra spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Airport drop off (but its cheap and we help you!)

Dates

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New Zealand Xplorer

The Xtreme New Zealand Xplorer  (Our Awsome New Zealand Travel pass) enompasses all of the xtreme highlights of NZ, bungee jumping, rafting, glacier trekking, volcano walking, as well as taking you way off the beaten track to isolated hill stations, glacial lakes, massive surf breaks, golden beaches and big blue skies.

The Xtreme New Zealand Xplorer  (Our Awsome New Zealand Travel pass) enompasses all of the xtreme highlights of NZ, bungee jumping, rafting, glacier trekking, volcano walking, as well as taking you way off the beaten track to isolated hill stations, glacial lakes, massive surf breaks, golden beaches and big blue skies.

New Zealand Xplorer

New Zealand wow.  Two amazing islands That will simply take your breath away.  This awesome flexible adventure will take you to some of the following places:

  • Hang out with surf dudes staying in a Lodge at Raglan – overlooking New Zealand’s Best surf beach.
  • Go with the globe.  Hang out with glowworms and go caving in Waitomo Caves.
  • Overnight stay on a Marae (Maori meeting house) in Mourea includes your accommodation, hangi (dinner), breakfast and unique cultural experience (Optional $80).
  • Go Xtreme in Rotorua. Geysers, the worlds highest white water rafting drop and bungee!
  • Discover history and culture  at Lake Aniwhenua.
  • Tongariro National Park Do the crossing and it will change your life.  (If you don’t fall in Mount doom).
  • Indulge in Animal conservation in Whakahoro for wild, wilderness activities!
  • Have you ever seen a massive squid?  Well you can in Wellington – NZ’s capital city, home to our national museum Te Papa.
  • Unique overnight and a free day in Abel Tasman National Park. Go sailing or walking or rent a kayak if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • The West Coast is the best coast. Get experienced in  Punakaikiand.
  • Majestic Franz Josef glacier with a free day to hike and explore it. Grab an acts and strap on your crampons it’s time to explore.
  • Spend a few days in Queenstown – the adventure and party capital of NZ! Feeling extra bold add-on the Queenstown adrenaline overload!
  • The stunning fiord of Milford Sound and historic Gunn’s Camp. New Zealand at its beautiful best.
  • Stewart Island’s natural untouched beauty and wildlife or the Catlins wilderness area for seals and remote scenery.
  • The Head for the hills and stay at base camp. NZ’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mt Cook.
  • High country sheep station in Lord of the Rings scenery at Rangitata. Home to some of museums best whitewater rafting.
  • Visit Kaikoura, for the awe-inspiring whale watching and wildlife spotting.

PHOTOS

Full Details

 

  • AUCKLAND TO RAGLAN
  • RAGLAN (VIA WAITOMO) TO MOUREA
  • MOUREA (VIA ROTORUA) TO LAKE ANIWHENUA
  • LAKE ANIWHENUA (VIA TAUPO) TO WHAKAHORO
  • NON-TRAVEL DAY: WHAKAHORO
  • WHAKAHORO TO NATIONAL PARK
  • NATIONAL PARK TO WELLINGTON
  • WELLINGTON TO MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN)
  • NON TRAVEL DAY: MARAHAU (ABEL TASMAN)
  • MARAHAU TO PUNAKAIKI
  • PUNAKAIKI TO FRANZ JOSEF
  • NON TRAVEL DAY: FRANZ JOSEF
  • FRANZ JOSEF TO WANAKA
  • WANAKA TO QUEENSTOWN
  • QUEENSTOWN TO GUNN’S CAMP
  • GUNN’S CAMP TO INVERCARGILL/STEWART ISLAND
  • INVERCARGILL/STEWART ISLAND TO QUEENSTOWN
  • NON TRAVEL DAY: QUEENSTOWN (RECOMMENDED)
  • QUEENSTOWN TO AORAKI/MT COOK
  • MT COOK TO RANGITATA
  • RANGITATA (VIA CHRISTCHURCH) TO KAIKOURA
  • KAIKOURA TO PICTON OR WELLINGTON
  • WELLINGTON (VIA NATIONAL PARK) TO AUCKLAND

Start Points:

Most travellers start this pass in Auckland. See the Timetable tab for all other departure days and times.

  • Auckland Northbound: Mondays, Tuesdays (Summer-only), Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • Auckland Southbound: Tuesdays, Wednesday (Summer-only), Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (Spring-only).

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodation is not included in the New Zealand Xplorer.  Why?  Well let’s just think about this.  New Zealand is an incredible place with so much to see and do and has lots of places that you will want to stay for longer.   As this is not a set tour with specific day-to-day itinerary, you can stay longer in certain places should you wish.  So we do not include accommodation to allow the trip to be flexible.  That doesn’t mean you will be stranded, we can pre-book accommodation for you as you go (the guide will sort that out for you on the bus).
As a bare minimum you can do this in 23 days.  But that really is pushing it, we would recommend spending four weeks
Then you should definitely join.  Most of our travellers are solo travellers looking to join a group.  The New Zealand Xplorer is designed to help you meet people easily.  Backpacking in New Zealand is highly social, but this really makes it easy.
Most people start in Auckland although you can start in Christchurch as well.
We would work on the basis of about £30 per day.  You will need to cover your hostel bed for the night and food.  Also if you wish to do any adrenaline activities as you travel these can be fairly expensive, be sure to budget enough for some skydiving bungeejumping!
Just talk to us, hit the e-mail button and send us your question, we are experts at sending people backpacking New Zealand.
Duration Option Price  
12 (Month)recommended 32 days GBP 925Book Now

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Great Value
Well Priced
Can´t Afford it right now

INCLUDED

  • All transport through New Zealand in one continuous loop
  • Funky drivers and guides
  • predeparture support and advice

EXCLUDED

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Extra activities not included on itinerary
  • Travel insurance

Dates

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Backpacking in South East Asia

Get off the beaten path and visit Laos! Let us take you off the beaten path on our backpacker trip in Laos. Starting in Bangkok Thailand, you can head through one of the most rewarding countries in South East Asia, and experience the joys of tubing, waterfalls and mind boggling scenery and beer Lao!

Get off the beaten path and visit Laos! Let us take you off the beaten path on our backpacker trip in Laos. Starting in Bangkok Thailand, you can head through one of the most rewarding countries in South East Asia, and experience the joys of tubing, waterfalls and mind boggling scenery and beer Lao!
 

Discover The Best Parts  of South East Asia

backpacking in south east asia (1)Backpacking in South East Asia´s incredible Laos, Cambodia and Thailand!
Discovering mountain villages, with incredible views and a country set back in time in Laos. Find out why people rave about Luang Prabang and Vientiane on our blog and not forgetting there is the awesome tubing experience, drifting down a river in an inner tire stopping off at bars and rope swings all the way down.
Cambodia will amaze and horrify you with an incredible history and people. See the horrifying S21 Genocide museum in Phnom Penh, relax on an undeveloped island in Koh Tunsay and speed down an abandon railway on a bamboo cart.

 

Backpacking in South East Asia Highlights:

  • backpacking in south east asia (5)Trek to mountain villages, see a way of life less known, and most of all be greeted by a heart warming “Sabaidee”
  • Travel on trains, buses, longboats and tuk tuks up Thailand and around Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the friendliest and least discovered country in Asia!
  • This is the first guided bus travel network in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam! Connect from Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south to Cambodia and then on to Vietnam, or choose a section that appeals to you.
  • We have an extensive range of South East Asian bus tours and travel passes for all time frames.
  • Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time to explore!
  • ´Jump-on´ and ´jump-off´ the trip anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route.
  • Go further off the beaten track and save money with unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities.
  • Travel with like-minded people, and get guidance from our legendary guides and local drivers.
  • Our guides organise your accommodation at each overnight stop from guest houses, backpacker hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping.
  • Backpacking in South East Asia trip time depends on the pass you take you can do it in 10 days or 3 weeks or even longer if you need. Starting in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting Xtreme Gap crew private boat in Huay Xai, Laos. A superb combination with any of our Thailand programs you can experience a whole different side to Asia.

Want more?

Make it a bigger trip!

By combining exciting programmes like the Xtreme Thailand Experience at the start and finishing with the Vietnam Experience you can turn these trip in to an epic adventure!

Add Vietnam!

Did you know you can add Vietnam to your itinerary with our South East Asia Xplorer? Check it out!
Vietnam is an assault on all the senses, breath in the amazing smell of the coffee plantations in Da Lat, Taste amazing Pho, see incredible locals at the Ban Ma Thout home stay, hear the incredible story of the Ho Chi Minh trail in Vin Moc and touch beautiful golden sand beaches and the finest silks in Hoi An.

Photos

Hop On Hop Off  Backpacking Passes In Laos, Cambodia and Thailand

Discover why people are starting to discover Laos as an incredible backpacking destination. From tubing in Vang Vieng, to the stunning Luang prabang, sublime water falls, national parks, epic scenery. Fair warning though, this will make you want to book your flight and leave immediately!

backpacking in south east asia (23)Minimum Trip Times

  • Mekong Pass – min 36 days
  • Full Moon Pass – min 30 days
  • Dtui Noy Pass – min 17 days
  • Tom Yum Pass – min 16 days

 

Mekong Pass

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct,  TUESDAYS, SATURDAYS,
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through northern Thailand, Laos and Cambodia with the option to end in Bangkok, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Ho Chi Minh City.
For travellers who have 4 weeks or more and want to see as much of these amazing countries as possible.

Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Bangkok, travel north via the amazing Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai, before meeting the  Bus at the Huay Xai border crossing in Laos.
Experience mountains and vibrant cultures in Northern Laos and amazing wilderness and wildlife in the South; follow narrow mountain roads to scenic rivers and waterfalls, hidden archaeological sites, communist caves and friendly remote villages.
Head into Cambodia to explore ancient temples, pagodas and palaces, snack on fried spiders or enjoy a local Khmer BBQ. Chill out in the beach sanctuary of Koh Tunsay, see the rare Irrawady Dolphins and visit the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 prison and killing fields. Cycle or trek the Bokor National Parks and get to know the locals in a remote village homestay.

backpacking in south east asia (15)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu
  • S21 & Killing Fields
  • Udong
  • Bamboo Train

Mekong pass itinerary

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your guide and group. After a brief induction to how the pass works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train or bus (price included)
Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20
Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai

You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20
Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong

Meet your group and guide at the Xtreme  preferred accommodation, before kicking off your Xtreme  journey. We leave at midday to visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), and then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20
Chiang Khong to Pakbeng

A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15
Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune (homestay)

Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD $17
Ban Lad Khammune (homestay) to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat downriver to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Here you will see thousands of Buddha images that were placed throughout the caves over a period of hundreds of years. A short trip takes us into the stunningly beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a fusion of French colonial architecture and traditional Lao buildings. This is home to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, a bear sanctuary, ancient Buddhist temples and many sacred sites.
Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD12-40
Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30
Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20
Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor, and the Phu Hin Bun National Park. About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the “Buddha´s Footprint” temple, which has become an important pilgrimage site for local communities. There is time before sunset to explore the Kong Lor village and take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding rice paddies and limestone Karst Mountains.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10
Non Travel Day: Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. There may also be the option to travel to Ban Tabak village, to take a ride in a ‘bomb boat´ made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War (this is subject to availability on the day).
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10
Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day and includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Tha Kek” before heading into town to check into our hotel on the banks of the Mekong River. This afternoon we´ll head out of town towards the Khammouane Protected Area, home to the Mahaxai Caves scattered amongst rugged limestone cliffs and pristine jungle scenery. We will stop at Tha Farang for an afternoon swim before returning to town to relax and enjoy a sunset over the Mekong River.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what Xtreme is all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17
Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10
Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15
Don Det to Phnom Penh

Saying goodbye to Laos, we make an early start to join the public bus for the journey to Cambodia. A short drive will bring you to the Don Kralor Border where you will complete immigration procedures, then continue the journey into Cambodia, once again following the mighty Mekong River. We arrive in the majestic capital of Phnom Penh late evening, and you´ll get a chance to freshen up before meeting your new tour leader for dinner and drinks along the iconic waterfront.
Guesthouse near the main tourist area USD20
Phnom Penh to Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island)

After a tour of the infamous Khmer Rouge S21 Prison and Killing Fields we head for the Cambodian coast, passing through the river town of Kampot. Kampot is famous for its pepper and salt farms and delicious seafood – your local guide will show you the best spot to taste some! From Kampot we head to the old French resort town of Kep where we board traditional Khmer wooden fishing boats for a 30 minute voyage to the island sanctuary of Koh Tunsay. Once on shore you can check out the island or just relax on the beach, and watch the sun go down.
Bungalows on the beach (sleep 4 people) USD25 per bungalow
Koh Tunsay (Rabbit Island) to Kampot

Tearing ourselves away from the beach, a short drive takes us back to the town of Kampot where you will have a free afternoon to visit the pepper and salt Farms, do some cycling or trekking in Bokor National Park or take a sunset cruise up the river.
Highly Recommended: Hop off here to head to Sihanoukville to enjoy the beach; local seafood and nightlife!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD6-15
Kampot to Battambang (homestay)

A full day today will take us to our village homestay near the provincial town of Battambang. En-route we will visit the 18th Century Khmer stronghold of Udong, where you can hike to the mountain top pagoda or relax in a hammock and enjoy a local Khmer BBQ! We pass through Kompong Chhnang (pronounced kom pong ch nang) with its bustling local market and floating villages along the river and delta area. Our homestay tonight will give you a taste of local family and community life in the village with its seasonal farming, fishing, temple gatherings and festivals.
Homestay in local village including meals USD18
Battambang to Siem Reap

After breakfast with our homestay family we drive into Battambang where we will take a ride on the Bamboo Train before an early lunch and drive to Siem Reap home of the incredible Angkor Temples. We recommend a free day to explore the magnificent Angkor Temples and take in some of Siem Reap´s vibrant markets and nightlife. Your guide will show you the best one to head to first!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD8-20
Non Travel Day: Siem Reap

Today is a free day for you to explore the magnificent Angkor Temples and take in some of Siem Reap´s vibrant markets and nightlife. Your guide will show you the best ones to head to first!
Guesthouse with dorm beds or private rooms USD8-20
Siem Reap to Bangkok or HCMC (via Phnom Penh)
If you are traveling to Bangkok you will be driven to the border town of Poipet. Here you will process through Thai immigration and change buses for the drive to Bangkok, arriving in the evening. Alternatively if you are travelling to HCMC you´ll board the bus from Phnom Penh and head to Moc Bai on the Vietnamese border, where you will be processed through immigration (you will need to organise your Visa in advance) and then driven on to Ho Chi Minh City arriving mid-afternoon.

 

Fullmoon Pass

backpacking in south east asia (21)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phu

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct:  TUESDAY, SATURDAYS
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Laos, for those travellers who have two and a half weeks or more. By joining us in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting the  bus in Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience Laos from the mountains and vibrant cultures in the north to the islands and Mekong falls in the south. Return to Bangkok via local bus or train from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani and train from there. We will get you closer to the action the whole way.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)

Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your  guide and group. After a brief induction to how it works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.

Overnight train or bus (price included)

Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai
You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong
After a chilled out morning, we depart after lunch and visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng
A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune
Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD17

Ban Lad Khamoune to Luang Prabang
Our boat journey this morning takes us to the Pak Ou Caves where you will see thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves over hundreds of years. From the caves we have a short trip to Luang Prabang, arriving around midday into this world heritage town with French colonial architecture, temples and sacred sites.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms clost to night market $12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7km Cave)

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Laos, for those travellers who have two and a half weeks or more. By joining us in Bangkok, you can travel to Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, enjoying a free day in Chiang Mai, before meeting the  bus in Luang Prabang, Laos. Experience Laos from the mountains and vibrant cultures in the north to the islands and Mekong falls in the south. Return to Bangkok via local bus or train from Pakse to Ubon Ratchathani and train from there. We will get you closer to the action the whole way.

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7 km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. You also have the chance to travel to Ban Tabak village and take a ride in a ‘bomb boat’! These are made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Thakek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins.
Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

Don Det to Bangkok

We leave Don Det early by local mini-van towards Pakse and then on to the Thai border and Ubon Ratchathani, where you board the overnight bus. Your bus journey finishes when you arrive in Bangkok early the next morning.

 

Full moon pass

Dtui Noy Pass

DEPARTS:

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct,  TUESDAYS, SATURDAYS,
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

Finishes Pakse (for Thailand) or Don Det (for Cambodia)

A comprehensive trip through Laos, for those travellers who have 2 weeks of more. Meet your  guide and group and head on the slow boat to Luang Prabang and experience Laos from the mountains, ethnic cultures and monastic traditions in the north to the natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle of the south. Hop off the  bus in 4000 Islands and continue on your own to Cambodia. Or hop off the  bus in Pakse and take a local bus to Ubon Ratchathani in eastern Thailand, where connections to trains, buses or planes are available to other Thai destinations.   You’ll want to hop-off and explore… the waterfalls, caves and jungles of Laos, and chill out on the idyllic island of Don Det)

Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave
  • National Park Entry
  • Kong Lor Park Entry
  • Mahaxai Cave
  • Turtle Lake
  • Hotay Pitok Library
  • Tad Ngeuang
  • Wat Phou

 

Dtui Noy pass itinerary

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng

A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune (homestay)

Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square! Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD $17

Ban Lad Khammune (homestay) to Luang Prabang

We wave goodbye to the village and jump back aboard our private boat downriver to the famous Pak Ou Caves. Here you will see thousands of Buddha images that were placed throughout the caves over a period of hundreds of years. A short trip takes us into the stunningly beautiful Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage town with a fusion of French colonial architecture and traditional Lao buildings. This is home to the famous Kuang Si waterfalls, a bear sanctuary, ancient Buddhist temples and many sacred sites.
Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms close to night market USD12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.

Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

An early escape this morning takes us away from the crowds and south to Kong Lor, and the Phu Hin Bun National Park. About an hour into the journey we visit Wat Prabat Phonsone, the “Buddha´s Footprint” temple, which has become an important pilgrimage site for local communities. There is time before sunset to explore the Kong Lor village and take in the stunning scenery of the surrounding rice paddies and limestone Karst Mountains.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Non Travel Day: Kong Lor (7 Km Cave)

This morning you´re free to head down to the Cave (or Tham Kong Lor to the locals) and venture deep into the 7 km abyss! Ride in a traditional motorised canoe and take in the amazing rock formations, swim in the cool waters of the cave entrance. You also have the chance to travel to Ban Tabak village and take a ride in a ‘bomb boat’! These are made from the metal fuel casings of B52 bombers, dumped on Laos during the Secret War.
Comfortable guesthouse with spectacular views of the Karst Mountains and just a short 10 minute walk from the cave USD10

Kong Lor (7 Km Cave) to Thakek

Today is a short travel day, which includes a stop to view the “Great Wall of Thakek” before heading onto Pha Tam Kam, home of some of Southeast Asia´s best rock climbing and amazing lush, jungle scenery. For the adventurous crowd, there is the option to try out slack-lining or rock climbing, before heading back into town.
Mekong riverside Guesthouse USD12

Thakek to Xe Champhone (village stay)

This is what we are all about, getting totally off the beaten track! We head into Xe Champhone wetlands – an area so remote that occasionally our  buses can’t access it, so we have to jump on board an off-road truck! Along the way we visit Old Wat Taleow, a beautiful temple bombed in 1969, then onto Turtle Lake where you might spot soft-shell turtles. Our last stop for the day is the 200-year-old Hotay Pidok Buddhist library. Once here we spend the night with the friendly locals in the Monkey forest, a sacred place and home to hundreds of wild Rhesus Macaque monkeys.
Basic village stay including accommodation and meals USD17

Xe Champhone to Pakse

Driving south this morning we head for the bright lights of Pakse. From here, you can check out the Bolaven Plateau with its cool climate, coffee and tea plantations, and spectacular waterfalls. Paske is a great place to hop off the bus and experience the unforgettable Tree Top Explorer adventure. This an amazing experience that includes trekking though jungle, tree house accommodation, wildlife, thundering waterfalls, and a zip- line system that will have you flying through the tree-tops and across ravines.
Guesthouse with fan or air-conditioned rooms in the centre of town surrounded by everything you need USD8-10

Pakse to Don Det (4000 Islands)

An early start takes us to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wat Phou, an ancient Khmer temple. We´ll explore the site and climb to the mountain top temple, before heading south to the 4000 Islands area to experience its laidback lifestyle and natural beauty. We arrive around lunchtime giving you time to cycle across to the neighbouring Don Khone Island and visit Li Phi waterfall or take a boat trip for a chance to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins. Rustic style guesthouse USD5-15

 

Tom Yum Pass

backpacking in south east asia (4)Pass Highlights and Inclusions

  • Ayutthaya Temples
  • Pha Tok Cave
  • Pak Ou Cave
  • Tham Jang Cave

DEPARTS:  

  • Wet Season / Jun – Oct  TUESDAY, SATURDAYS
  • Dry Season / Nov – May  TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS, SATURDAYS

A comprehensive trip through Northern Thailand and Northern Laos for those with 10 days or more. Start in Bangkok, visit the ancient capitals of Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai enroute to the northern Laos. Once in Laos, join the  bus and encounter the magic of the northern provinces; Luang Namtha, trekking central (dry season); Pak Beng and Ban Lad Khammune riverside villages (wet season); Luang Prabang remote river villages and the monastic capital of the same name; Vang Vieng with its tubing and night life, and Vientiane, the country´s capital. Hop off the  bus in Vientiane for the overnight train or bus back to Bangkok.

Bangkok to Chiang Mai (Via Ayutthaya)
Your adventure kicks off 8am at the  Bangkok shop where you meet your  guide and group. After a brief induction to how it  works we depart for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ayutthaya. We arrive mid-morning, giving you plenty of time to explore the fascinating historical park by bike or enjoy a boat journey through the “Venice of the East”. We leave late evening to Chiang Mai.
Overnight train or bus (price included)

Non Travel Day: Arrival in Chiang Mai
We arrive into the train station between 8:00 11:00am. Chiang Mai is an amazing city with endless activity options. Some of our favourites are a tree top adventure with Flight of the Gibbon, trekking, rafting, and traditional cooking classes. For those looking for adrenalin try the down-hill mountain biking and traditional Muay Thai Boxing training! There’s also the famous night market, the Night Safari (Asia’s largest) and easy access to Pai village.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Non Travel Day: Chiang Mai
You have a full day to enjoy this historically rich city, or partake in one of the many adventure activities on offer. We suggest spending time to take in the ancient sights, including the old walled-city and the Tapae Gate, and some of the magnificent 300 Buddhist Temples.
Guesthouse located near the historic, old quarter USD12-20

Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong
After a chilled out morning, we depart after lunch and visit the famous and intriguing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), then continue on to the border town of Chiang Khong to enjoy our last night in Thailand.
Guesthouse with views across the Mekong River USD20

Chiang Khong to Pakbeng
A short boat ride across the Mekong River whisks us away towards Huay Xai, Laos. This is where we clear customs before boarding the boat to Pakbeng. Sit back and soak up the incredible journey as the river winds through lush farmland, rugged mountains and jungle. You will spot water buffalo, mountain-side rice paddies, local fishermen, and kids splashing in the shallows. We arrive in the remote village of Pakbeng late afternoon and stay overnight by the river.
Guesthouse near boat ramp USD8 15

Pakbeng to Ban Lad Khammune
Leaving Pakbeng early, we continue our journey down the Mekong to the secluded village of Ban Lad Khammune. Here you will experience traditional village life by staying with a local family in their home. Attend a Baci (welcoming) Ceremony and have a chance to wander around the village, watch the women weaving or try your luck in a friendly game of petanque in the square!
Homestay including accommodation, traditional Baci ceremony and meals USD17

Ban Lad Khamoune to Luang Prabang
Our boat journey this morning takes us to the Pak Ou Caves where you will see thousands of Buddha images placed in the caves over hundreds of years. From the caves we have a short trip to Luang Prabang, arriving around midday into this world heritage town with French colonial architecture, temples and sacred sites.
Accommodation: Guesthouse with fan or AC private rooms clost to night market $12-40

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng
It´s an early start as we head south through mountainous terrain, taking in the breathtaking views. Upon arrival into Vang Vieng there is plenty of time to go tubing, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, hot air ballooning, start partying or even kick back and watch re-runs of old TV shows playing at the bars around town!
Family run guesthouse in the centre of the action USD8-30

Vang Vieng to Vientiane
Today we cruise through to the capital of Laos and take a tour of the city´s main attractions: Putaxai, Pha That Luang, That Dam, the Presidential Palace, and the COPE centre a non-profit organisation that educates visitors and raises awareness for victims of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance) and the Secret War. After check in at our centrally located accommodation, you are free to get a massage, go shopping at the night market, or watch the action from one of the local restaurants by the river.
Hotel with modern facilities including WIFI and breakfast USD20

Vientiane to Bangkok
You´ll be collected from your guesthouse in Vientiane mid-afternoon and be taken by tuk tuk to Thanaleng Train Station. Here you clear Lao customs, pay your departure fee then board a connecting train which takes you over the Friendship Bridge to Nong Khai in Thailand. You complete Thai Immigration at the train station and have time for a meal or drink across the road before boarding the overnight train to Bangkok where your  adventure will end: until next time.

 

 

With our partners , you travel on trains, buses, longboats and tuk tuks up Thailand and around Laos and see the parts most people miss!

Connect from Thailand on trains and traverse Laos from north to south, or choose a section that appeals to you.

  • Jump-on’ and ‘jump-off’ the bus anywhere that you want along the way around our comprehensive route.
  • Go further off the beaten track for unique down-to-earth stops, local culture and amazing activities.
  • We have an extensive range of Thailand – Laos travel passes for all time frames.
  • Your pass is valid for 12 months so take your time to explore!
  • Travel with like-minded people, our legendary guides and local drivers
  • We can organise guest houses, hostels, budget hotels, ecolodges and camping accommodation options enroute.

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodation

Actually there is none with this trip! The passes do not include accommodation because you can choose how long you want to stay in one place and where. If you want the tour leaders to book you a bed, it is no problem, you can do it on the bus as you travel. This way we make it easy for you and you do not have to look around in the hot sun to check out accommodation options and haggle on prices.

Light clothes for the wet season (May Oct) and something warm for the dry season (Nov Mar), especially for the north of Laos and Thailand; a good travel medical kit supplied by a doctor (for any inconveniences, dietary or otherwise); your travel insurance details; sunscreen; bug repellent (at least 30% deet content); girls – a sarong for swimming in remote areas, Lao culture requires modesty; a poncho or light raincoat (it can rain even in the dry season in the north), shoes/trainers for walking and a good sense of adventure!
The best (and easiest) way to carry gear around Laos is in a sturdy backpack. You can bring a suitcase with wheels but you may find yourself dragging it down a dirt track! Bring a smaller day pack so you can carry bug repellent, a camera, sunscreen and water.
things may change depending on the group, driver, season and local conditions. On our bus routes you can break your journey and spend longer anywhere along the way.
We pick up from selected locations in each town (specific accommodation places and our offices). You need to advise us before 5pm the day before you want to depart where you want to be picked up. Please login to your bookings to confirm your departure time and place. Please note we do not visit all departure points every day, only if we have confirmed pickups, so please ensure you let us know where you will be waiting.
Western food is sparse outside the main centres of Laos so be prepared and open minded about eating local food. At our stops we recommend tasty restaurants but when you get into local villages and home stays be prepared to eat simple local fare, with maybe the odd wildcard ingredient (which is part of the fun). Supermarkets are not the norm but we will point out places where you can stock up on food for the day. Please note vegetarian meal options are not always available but excellent fruit and vegetables are plentiful at the local markets.
Duration Option Price  
16 (Days)Tom YumGBP 585Book Now
17 (Days)Dtui NoiGBP 695Book Now
30 (Days)Full MoonGBP 895Book Now
36 (Days)Mekong PassGBP 1279Book Now

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Well Priced
Can´t Afford it right now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
16 (Days)Tom YumGBP 585 GBP 573 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
30 (Days)Full MoonGBP 895 GBP 877 (Early Bird)
Enquire here
36 (Days)Mekong PassGBP 1279 GBP 1253 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 16 - Jan - 2018 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Pre departure information
  • Pick up at different locations in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia
  • Reservations for extra tours and accommodation will be made by the guide
  • Flexible hop on hop off Tour Pass
  • All Transportation
  • Services of the Tour Leader

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Activities

A guide to inclusions

So what’s included in your backpacker bus pass? The following inclusions listed below explain many of the activities involved on most of these passes. Please refer to the individual pass itinerary to see which inclusions are valid for that particular pass.

Thailand

Ayutthaya Temples The ancient former Thai capital of Ayutthaya was founded in the early 1300s and quickly became one of world´s largest trading ports. History tells of a lavish city, laden with golden palaces, huge monasteries and temples. The city was burnt almost to the ground in 1767 when the Burmese invaded, and today only a fraction of the impressive city remains. In 1991 the significant cultural value of this historic city´s ruins were recognised when it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Laos

  • Pha Tok Cave– The Pha Tok Caves were used by the Laos people as a secret stronghold and hideaway from the America bombings during the second Indochina War in the 1960s and 70s. The cave was accessed by a long bamboo ladder, of which the remains can still be seen today.
  • Pak Ou Cave – Located on the convergence of the Mekong and Ou Rivers north of Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Cave is an ancient pilgrimage site containing thousands of Buddha images placed there over hundreds of years.
  • Tham Jang Cave Tham Jang Cave is one of many limestone caves located near Vang Vieng in central Laos. The cave was used as a bunker during the war in the early 1900s and is now a popular sacred site for the locals. A crystal clear spring is located deep inside the cave, which is a popular swimming spot.
  • Tad Leuk Waterfall – Tad Leuk Waterfall is a popular but uncrowded swimming spot situated inside a national park. The picturesque flat, sandstone waterfall is surrounded by native flora and fauna and lots of bush walks.
  • Kong Lor Cave Situated underneath tall karst mountains, the 7 kilometre long Kong Lor Cave is lined with beautiful limestone stalic tights and stalic mights. Travel through the pitch black, windy cave by guided narrow boat using headlamps to see. The river is also popular for swimming in.
  • Mahaxai Caves – located 12kms west of the town of Thakek in southern Laos, Mahaxai is a complex of caves in the surrounding limestone mountains. This is also a popular mountain climbing region and eco tourism site.
  • Turtle Lake or Hong Dao – Located on the Xe Champhone Wetlands in south, central Laos is a large lake important in local mythology because of the many turtles that live in the lake. These turtles are considered sacred.
  • Hotay Pitok Library – located on the Xe Champhone wetlands is an old Buddhist Repository where thousands of Buddhist manuscripts written on reeds and bamboo are stored.
  • Tad Ngeuang – This waterfall is located on the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos. It is one of the highest waterfalls in the region and you can take a refreshing swim in the pools.
  • Wat Phu – located in Champassak Province in southern Laos was the capital of the Khmer Empire before it was moved to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
  • Vieng Thong Hot Springs – located in western Laos these natural hot springs are popular with the locals for the treatment of all sorts of ailments. You can take a bath with the locals or cook an egg in the boiling waters at the spring source.
  • Vieng Xai Caves – located in western Laos near the Vietnamese border this complex of caves was the stronghold and head quarters of the Phathet Lao during the Secret War during the 60’s and 70’s.
  • Plain of Jars – located around Phonsavanh in western Laos, these giant stone jars litter the countryside around the township. No one really knows their origin or use but there are a number of local legends shedding light on the story of the jars.

Cambodia

  • Preah Vihear – located on the Thai/Cambodia border in northern Cambodia, this ancient temple is a source of ongoing territorial disputes between the two countries. Located on the top of a mountain it has stunning views across both countries.
  • S21 & Killing Fields – these two sites located in and around Phnom Penh were used during the Khmer Rouge era to imprison, torture and kill anyone who was considered a threat to the regime. They have become a museum and shrine in modern day Cambodia.
  • Udong – located just northeast of Phnom Penh, ancient Udong was a Khmer stronghold when Cambodia was under siege from Thailand in the 16th century. Today it is a popular sacred site for the locals who come to make offerings at the mountain top pagodas and picnic at the hammock restaurant at the base of the mountain.
  • Bamboo Train – located outside Battambang in eastern Cambodia the bamboo train is what is left of the rail system built by the French and destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. Locals use it as simple form of transport between villages and tourists are welcome to take a ride.

Dates

Starts 2 times per week. Mostly Tuesday and Saturday.

Thailand Backpacker Experience 8 Days

The ideal way to start your backpacking adventure in Thailand! Travel as a group from Bangkok to Koh Phangan in 8 days. We will take care of everything for you including accommodation, activities and transport, plus your group leader will be on hand all week to ensure you have an awesome and trouble free trip. See the best of this amazing country and meet new friends whilst enjoying the experience of a lifetime! The best value for money backpacker tour in Thailand – everything only £499!

A great value arrival into Thailand, jam packed with exciting activities and excursions. Timed perfectly to give you a eight day introduction, helps you meet people and get to know your surroundings and gives you a further 20 day ´s with a visa on arrival to explore on your own steam if you want.

 Thailand Backpacker Experience

Exceptional value group backpacking experience!

You will meet loads of new friends as we explore bustling Bangkok and cruise the River before travelling south to Koh Phangan via Khao Sok National Park. Our awesome Group Leaders will be with you to help you stay safe and get the most out of your week and are all experienced backpackers so can give you loads of info and advice on onward travel if you need it. Consider it being like welcomes into a family, even after you finish travelling with us if you choose to travel elsewhere independently it’s good to know you have a team to backup and support you in Thailand. That’s exactly what you get on this trip.

It’s not just about where go it is who you are with.

We take all the common worries out of travelling alone or in an unfamiliar country and our aim is to give you the best week of your life. Our groups are made up of mostly solo travellers or people in twos and threes who are all looking to meet new travel buddies so you will quickly make friends to travel with after the tour.

Some of our groups are also timed to finish a few days before the famous Full Moon Party in Haad Rin and our resort is just a 5 minute walk from the action so perfect if you want to stay on for the party, Or head over to the neighbouring island Koh Tao where we have our own base to join the other Xtreme Gappers there.

We run tours all year round, however spaces on groups are limited so please book early to ensure you get a place on the start date that best suit your plans!

Highlights Include:

  • 8 days in the land of the smiles for a price that will keep you grinning!
  • The excitement and hedonism of Khao San Rd
  • Tuk Tuk ride through Bangkok
  • Temples, palaces and markets and cruising down the Chao Praya river
  • Go Xtreme in the stunning Khao Sok National Park with, kayaking tubing and cliff jumping.
  • You get to spend the night on amazing unique floating bungalows in an off the beaten track beautiful destination
  •  Amazing longtail boat trips and boat parties
  • Stay overnight on Bottle Beach one of the most secluded paradises in Thailand
  • Eating some of the most amazing Thai food with the rest of the Xtreme Gap group in Koh Phangan
  • Stay a few nights on Koh Phangan. the party Island
  • Wicked laughs and fully guided with a trip leader
  • All accommodation, activities and transport included

 

Photos

Thailand Backpacking Experience Itinerary

Tropical beaches? Island paradises? Amazing adventure? Welcome to the trip of a lifetime; the ultimate bucket list journey through Thailand! If you love beaches, nature, adventure and a healthy dose of partying, then this is the trip for you!

Amazing value, and perfect for first-time or solo travellers, you´ll instantly make a bunch of new friends in your travel group who will share amazing travel experiences with you.

From the bustling metropolis of Bangkok, to the remote hidden beaches and islands made famous by legend and movies, this tour packs in so much epicness and adventure in just 8  days!

Day 1: Arrive to the Land of Smiles!Day one Bangkok

You´re getting closer and closer to the greatest adventure of your life. Just 10 minutes from landing in Bangkok airport, you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach. A new friend is waiting for you on the other side, ready to take you through the crazy streets of Bangkok to your accommodation and a group of fellow travellers who will soon become close friends. Once you´ve taken some time to relax and unwind in the guesthouse after your flight, you´ll head out for dinner and drinks with your new friends and travel buddies on the iconic Khao San Road.

Welcome to the first day of your amazing Thai adventure! It only gets better from here!

Day two River cruiseDay 2: Exploring the In´s and Out´s of Bangkok

Bangkok is known as the ´Venice of the East´, so what better way to explore the city than taking to the rivers. Cruising along the Chao Phraya River, you´ll experience one of the most epic skylines in Asia, seeing how the modern metropolis has merged with the ancient temples to create one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

After the river cruise, you´ll visit two of the most important temples in Thailand, where you´ll get your first experience of the beauty and intrigue of Thai history and culture. Next, we´ll jump on a Tuk Tuk for a whirlwind ride through the city back to Khao San Road. If you´ve never been on a Tuk Tuk before, you´ll be laughing (and possibly screaming) all the way, as it swerves and dodges all sorts of traffic and obstacles imaginable. Who knew driving could be so adventurous!

Finish the day with an amazing lunch and dinner in one of the best eating spots in Bangkok, Khao San Road; cheap, authentic and delicious!

MassageDay 3: Preparing to head South

Your final day in Bangkok sees you getting ready to head to the tropical south of the country. After checking out of your accommodation, you´ll have an opportunity to relax with a traditional Thai Massage in a local spa. This should keep you sufficiently chilled out during your overnight train journey to the south of the country. You´ll probably be so relaxed that you´ll fall asleep on the train. If not, make sure to check out the awesome views of the Thai countryside.

Don´t worry though, as you´ll have plenty of time to pick up some souvenirs and do a little shopping in the awesome Khao San Road before you depart from Bangkok.

Kao Sok national ParkDay 4: Visiting Paradise in Khao Sok National Park

Prepare to be in awe of the beauty of Khao Sok National Park. Arriving bright and early at 7am, after the overnight train, you´ll be taken direct to the stunning park. Your accommodation here just so happens to be floating on the Cheow Larn Lake. Yep, you read correctly! These cute wooden bungalows are situated on a beautiful turquoise lake, surrounded by mountains covered in lush evergreen rainforest. You can even sit right outside your bungalow door, cooling down by dangling your feet in the lake!

Swimming, kayaking, tubing, bamboo rafting and cave exploring are just some of the awesome adrenaline-pumping activities that can be enjoyed in the park, while surrounded by some of the most gorgeous scenery you´ll ever see. We´re sure you´ll never want to leave your temporary home floating on the lake. However, Thai beaches are waiting:and that´s a pretty good excuse to keep moving!

Koh PhanganDay 5: Beaches, Waves and Cocktails

Today we leave Khao Sok National Park via ferry to Koh Phangan, one of the most iconic and beautiful areas in Thailand. You´ll spend the day on Bottle Beach, a postcard-perfect beach with bright white sand and turquoise blue water, often regarded as one of the best beaches in Thailand!

Swim, sunbathe, relax or snorkel during the day, while in the evening we´ll prepare an awesome private beach party for you and your travel buddies. Cocktails, a campfire, lanterns and music will make this evening one of the most memorable during your travels in Thailand.

After a few drinks and dances around the campfire, you won´t have very far to go for a good nights sleep. In fact, you´ll still be able to hear the sounds of the ocean as you stay in your own private beach bungalow just a few metres from the waves. Not a bad way to spend a day!

DAY 6: MUAY THAI TRAINING LESSON

Wake up in paradise and step out onto the soft sand of Bottle Beach. Today, you can spend the morning sleeping, swimming, getting your tan on, or taking selfies with the world´s best backdrop!

The afternoon is reserved for your Muay Thai boxing experience! Hopping in a taxi boat, we´ll head towards the fishing town of Chaloklum, where you´ll get picked up by open air taxi and travel back through the heart of Phangan to Haad Rinn. It is here where you will try your hand at a bit of Thai boxing. Over the course of an hour your will learn about the sport of Muay Thai, techniques of the national sport and experience a training session with a local fighter. After building up a sweat we check into our accommodation in Haad Rinn just in time for a shower and some sunset drinks in one of our favourite beach bars.

elephant trekking

Day 7: Exploring The Phangan Islands

Koh Phangan is one of the best snorkelling and diving spots in the world, and at 11am you´ll be on your way there to explore the water and island for the day. From bathing in a waterfall like a boss, to enjoying lunch on the beach and watching the sunset from the boat, your day in Koh Phangan will definitely be one for the scrapbook!

 

In the evening, back at the resort we´ll enjoy a farewell dinner courtesy of the tour organizers. Of course no event is finished without some celebratory drinks to commemorate your first amazing week in paradise! On the beach, you´ll party, enjoy a famous Thai bucket or two, and dance the night away, preferably in your bare feet!

Day 8 After the week is up…

neptunesWhen the week has finished it doesn’t mean the experience has to end. If you wish to stay in Haad Rin for the next Moon Party you are already in the perfect location and your Group Leader can arrange for you to stay on at the resort for as long as you like.  If you have to get back to Bangkok for an onward flight, we can help you arrange your transport.

Don ´t miss out on the opportunity of the Koh Tao Adventure though, a superb bolt on to this trip.

Please note this is a flexible itinerary. Due to local conditions, changes can and often do happen at local level,  which means the above itinerary, and things listed in the included section,  is meant as a reference guide as to what might happen not as a contractual obligation as to everything included. Sometimes we add additional things into the itinerary, sometimes we do not do all the things listed due to group members wanting to do other activities instead.

Prefer To Spend Longer?

Short trips like this are great to kick start your travels, but the long trips are better value with more inclusions. Check out the 12 Day Epic Thailand, or the 18 Day Thai Buck list Tour for longer versions of this trip.

Accommodation

During the trip you will stay in a variety of gorgeous cosey guesthouses, backpacker hostels and even in a floating resort. You share your accommodation With one other person of the same sex. We really go to town on the quality of accommodation as well for instance on the final night you will stay in a luxurious resorts.

 

Koh Sok National Park

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

It depends how long you are travelling for or if you are moving onto another country after but you will not need to pack much for SE Asia. The climate will stay the same all year round which will be in the mid 30´s so light clothing will be best. It will also help if you use a backpack rather than a suitcase as it will be more comfortable for you to travel around with.
Can I speak to other group members before I go? Yes of course you can. We will put you in touch with other group members shortly before your tour. You can also join our Facebook page to interact with your group and others, see pictures etc.
It is recommended that you do take malaria pills in some parts of Thailand and the surrounding countries. The areas that we visit during the tour are generally considered malaria free however this can change so always speak to your GP before you travel and if you are going to other areas of Thailand and S.E. Asia it is very likely that you will need some. You can also consult the CDC website for more info
If you are susceptible to motion sickness then you may experience symptoms during a cruise/ferry, although symptoms tend to disappear as you adapt to the conditions in one or two days. Your Group Leader can help you pick up some medication that will help with this or you could look into getting some sea sickness bands which are now commonly available
Some meals are included so please make sure you let us know in good time if you have any special dietary requirements. Please click here to see the itinerary in full which will tell you what meals are included.
The Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) does recommendations vaccinations such as hepatitiis A & B and Typhoid as well as being sure you are up to date on routine vaccinations. For more information you can visit the CDC website but please remember that information surrounding vaccinations changes on a regular basis so always consult your GP before you travel.

The first day of your tour is mainly a check-in/meet and greet. It gives you the chance to chill out after a long haul flight. Day two is the start of your activities. Do I need to pay for any transport? All transport is included with the Experience within the week.

(Please note: If you arrive in Bangkok 3 days or more prior to your start date, you may have to arrange and pay for your own airport transfer.) and if you choose to go out in the evenings or take part in activities not included in the itinerary then you will need to pay for your own cabs etc…

Any time is a good time. The climate is relatively steady throughout the year and it depends where in Thailand you are going. It can rain more down South during October and November and there are some fluctuations in temperature but in most of the country it is guaranteed to be hot all year round! See our Weather page for more info. When will I meet my group leader? Your tour leader will greet you off your flight at Bangkok airport and take you to your guesthouse. If you have already arrived in Bangkok prior to your start date, then we will put you in touch and your Group Leader will arrange to meet you at the guesthouse when you arrive.
It differs from city to city but very rarely drops below 25 degrees Celsius. Bangkok is always around 35c and tends to have the odd down pour. Do not pay attention to the iphone weather app as it will always say thunderstorms in Bangkok. Not the case! On the islands it is less humid and averages around 33c all year round. They do have a brief rain season between October and November, however it usually only rains for about an hour or two with sunshine for the rest of the day. Check out our country info page for more info.
 Yes. The media has a tendency to report only the very worst news, which means that we can get quite a negative impression of a country and quite often we don’t hear anything about the very friendly, helpful people and extraordinary cultures in these amazing destinations.
Nearly 95% of Thailand’s population is Buddhist of the Theravada school, though Buddhism in this country has become integrated with folk beliefs such as ancestor worship as well as Chinese religions from the large Thai-Chinese population. Buddhist temples in Thailand are characterized by tall golden stupas, and the Buddhist architecture of Thailand is similar to that in other Southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia and Laos, with which Thailand shares cultural and historical heritage.
You will automatically be granted a 28 day tourist visa on entry to Thailand if you are from one of the countries on the exemption list (see our Visa page). If you are considering staying in Thailand for longer then you may need to arrange your own visa. Visit the Visa Info page on our website to find out all you need to know.
Book your flights to land on your start date if you can. Do not book your flights until you have booked with us and received a confirmation invoice. Generally people will arrive on that date or one or two days before hand. If you land much before or are already in Thailand just let us know and we will help you arrange a transfer and to meet at our accommodation.
Yes. Let us know via email if you are arriving early and your group leader will reserve a room for you at your guesthouse. All you would need to do is pay for the additional nights. Once your group starts,we will cover the rest.

Duration Option Price  
8 (Days)GBP 589Book Now

Pricing Feedback

Great Value
Well Priced
Can´t Afford it right now
Book 16 or more weeks up front to secure these deals.
Duration Option Price
8 (Days)GBP 589 GBP 518 (Early Bird)
Enquire here

Book today with a deposit and travel after 16 - Jan - 2018 to lock in the early bird price. "Hurry only limited early bird spots available !"

Terms: £200 GBP deposit required on booking. Full payment 12 weeks prior to trip start.

Included

  • Airport pick-up
  • 7 Nights´ accommodation
  • Bangkok River Cruise
  • Visit two historical temples
  • Experience Bangkok nightlife
  • Tuk Tuk ride
  • Thai massage
  • Overnight train
  • Visit Khao Sok National Park
  • All food included at Khao Sok National Park
  • Go kayaking and explore caves
  • Stay in floating bungalows
  • Boat trip around Koh Phangan (lunch provided)
  • Snorkel at some of Thailand´s best spots
  • Spend a day and night on Bottle Beach
  • Muay Thai Training lesson
  • Farewell Dinner & Beach party
  • All accommodation, activities and transport included.

Excluded

  • Travel Insurance
  • Most Meals
  • Visa
  • Flights
  • Return Transfer from Koh Phangan (can be organised easily through our rep)

Dates

Start Dates 2017

July: 26th 29th
Aug: 4th 9th 13th 18th 24th 26th 27th
Sept: 2nd 9th 13th 20th 24th 26th 27th
Oct: 3rd 8th 14th 22nd 24th 25th
Nov: 1st 8th 15th 21st 23rd 24th
Dec: 1st 5th 11th 15th

Start Dates 2018
Jan: 5th 7th 9th 12th 16th 19th 22nd 28th
Feb: 2nd 5th 8th 10th 14th 16th 18th 21st 26th 28th
March: 6th 10th 13th 16th 19th 30th
Apr: 6th 9th 13th 15th 17th 20th 27th
May: 2nd 7th 11th 15th 17th 20th 27th
June: 4th 6th 8th 10th 12th 15th 18th 26th 30th
July: 5th 7th 10th 13th 16th 19th 27th
Aug: 1st 4th 6th 9th 14th 17th 27th
Sep: 3rd 7th 10th 13th 16th 23rd 28th
Oct: 2nd 6th 9th 13th 16th 26th 30th
Nov: 2nd 4th 7th 10th 13th 21st 25th 28th 30th
Dec: 2nd 8th 10th

The Ho Chi Minh ConneXion – Vietnam Arrival Pack

Tell me… Have you ever blown up a polar bear with M-16 assult rifle? Well with this awesome Vietnam arrival pack, the Ho Chi Minh conneXion you can. Not only do you get two nights private accommodation plus a visit to the water puppet Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City. You also get an airport pickup plus entrance and transport to the Chu Chi tunnels, built by the Vietcong to fight the Americans and French.

A really fun Vietnam arrival pack, that gives you peace of mind that your start to your Vietnam holiday will be hasslefree. Visit the Vietcong tunnel complex Chu Chi (where contrary to popular belief you cannot blow up a cow with a bazooka – but you can deliver several thousand rounds of ammunition against evil polar bear targets). Plus time to explore Ho Chi Minh City, with its beautiful French colonial architecture, interesting museums and generally orientally awesome vibe.

 The Ho Chi Minh ConneXion.

Vietnam can be a pretty mental place to arrive into, in fairness it can be pretty full on travelling there even once you’re used to it. In our opinion it is essential to have Vietnam arrival pack in place before you arrive. Is the best way to ensure you do not get ripped off, taken to the wrong place or worse upon arrival, as travel scams and dodgy people prey on backpackers in their droves in Vietnam. It’s hard to avoid them especially when you enter via the airport. Not wishing to put you off visiting this stunning city and country, but it is wise to have a reality check especially for the sake of £129.

We speak from experience, when Oliver from Xtreme Gap Year visited Ho Chi Minh City he had the most pointless taxi ride of his life being picked up in the backpacker district to be taken to his hotel one hour later and $50 lighter  approximately 40 m from where he entered the Taxi.

Vietnam arrival pack highlights include:

  • Airport pick up (or bus station transfer).
  • Two nights guesthouse accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Entrance to the water puppet theatre and transport to get there.
  • Entrance and transport to the Chu Chi Tunnels.
  • Knowledgeable local guides.
  • But most importantly peace of mind.

Photos

Vietnam arrival pack full details.

Ho Chi Minh City Arrival: Day 1

On arrival at the hot and chaotic Ho Chi Minh City, your friendly Xtreme Gap Year representative will meet you at the bus station or airport and take you to your hotel to check-in. You can spend the afternoon exploring the narrow streets on foot, or hop into a cyclo for a comfortable cruise amongst the millions of motorbikes. There is plenty going on in Ho Chi Minh City, loads of French colonial architecture to explore, war history (the American war and the French prior to that), plus lots of modern-day Vietnamese culture as well. Your accommodation will be at the  Madam Cuc Hotel.

Ho Chi Minh City Arrival: Day 2

After breakfast you will be picked up at the hotel at 8.00am. Today we can hit the Cu Chi tunnels, to learn more about the Vietcong, Vietnam war and discover just how clever the VC were in their guerrilla war against the United States. The drive to Cu Chi Tunnels is 1.5 hours. You will pass through the city as it wakes up and then make you way through the countryside lush with emerald green rice paddies.

Cu Chi is a complex of over 200kms of tunnels used by the Vietcong  in their war against the US and their allies. You will hear how these people lived and survived in the tunnels, built schools and hospitals underground and eventually gained victory.

After the tour you get the opportunity to play with guns kids, for some reason for Vietnamese seem to have a real hatred of polar bears, you can help them by shooting all kinds of weapons at polar bear targets if you like that kind of thing.
After the tour you will return to HCMC for a free afternoon to explore and then head to an evening performance of traditional Water Puppet theatre.

Ho Chi Minh City Arrival: Day 3

You can spent the morning at leisure with included breakfast until check out at 12.00 noon. Or for those starting their Vietnam Xplorer trip, your next stop is Dalat.

Price

  • £129 per person

Included

  • Escort from bus station or airport to hotel
  • 2 nights’ accommodation in private room
  • Transport to Cu Chi Tunnels and Water Puppet Theatre
  • Entrance fees
  • English speaking guide for Cu Chi Tunnels

Excluded

  • Meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Ammunition!

Dates

You can start this trip any time, it is best to arrive on Friday and then you can depart on the Vietnam Xplorer on the Sunday if you have added this to the trip

 

“These evil polar bears must be stopped. Thank God Steve had an M-60. The Cu Chi tunnels were one of the most eye opening things I’ve seen in Vietnam. To actually be down crawling on your knees through these tunnels, where thousands of Vietnamese lived and fought during the war was incredibly humbling.”
Oliver Bray

 

Vietnam Xplorer

Discover the exceptionally diverse vietnam with are exciting fully guided Vietnam Xplorer. Backpacking your way up the country from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, we take you to some incredible locations, from the classic rice paddy vistas, pristine beaches and stunning French colonial towns. You will be exposed to the chilling history of the Vietnam War, world Heritage locations like Hoi Ann with a group of like-minded adventurers.

This flexible trip backpacking trip takes you through Vietnam starting in Ho Chi Minh city and ending in Hanoi. Fully guided with all transport included (we use our own private buses), we will take you to some of the most incredible locations and you will get to see sites normally missed out by the majority of backpackers. A great way to explore this fascinating country in the safety of the group with the backup support of our trip leaders.

 Vietnam Xplorer

Backpacking in Vietnam made easy. Hop on hop off backpacker bus pass.

  • Minimum trip time 14 Days
  • Recommended 18 Days

backpacking in south east asia (17)Vietnam is a fantastic country to visit, but it is also notoriously challenging to go backpacking through. Things operate a little bit differently in Vietnam compared to its neighbouring Southeast Asian countries: Being one of the last remaining communist countries, plus having had a harrowing history of protracted wars with the US and France, the people in Vietnam can be a little bit more pushy towards travellers.

Don’t let that put you off visiting though, Vietnam can be a very rewarding place to experience. Is a truly beautiful country, with mountains, thousands of miles of pristine coastline, exciting energetic cities filled with millions of people going about their daily lives: it’s a lot to take in and will leave a lasting awesome impression.

This trip is the perfect way to experience this country, without the stress and hassle that can be associated with a backpacking trip in Vietnam.

With all of your transport included and the backup and support of Xtreme ´s local guides you can spend as long as you like exploring this country with a hop on hop off pass. It’s a great way to meet other travellers, and hook up with other independent backpackers.

Vietnam Xplorer Highlights

  • Datania Falls
  • My Lai Memorial
  • Marble Mountains
  • Vinh Moc Tunnels
  • Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave

 

Photos

Vietnam Xplorer Itinerary

  • Starts: Ho Chi Minh City any Sunday
  • Ends: Hanoi
  • Minimum travel time: 12 days (we recommend you will want to spend about three weeks)

Starts: Ho Chi Minh City

This trip starts in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday a month. If you are flying in we can add on the Ho Chi Minh ConneXion arrival pack:  includes meet and greet arrival transfer, two nights´ accommodation, daily breakfast at your hotel and Water Puppet Theatre show. This also includes a guided tour of the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. Extensive network of Vietcong tunnels, where you can actually enter the tunnels, Discover more about the Vietnam war, and even fire AK-47s M-16’s and let rip Rambo style on an M-60 machine gun!

We would strongly recommend this as you will want to explore Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnams biggest and most interesting city it’s a great place to visit. So allow enough time prior to your arrival to take it all in.

Ho Chi Minh City is home to the War Remnant Museum which displays harrowing reminders of the American and Vietnamese war, the Saigon Opera House which is surrounded by shopping plazas, and even its own Notre Dame Cathedral  said to be a connection between the physical and spiritual life of Ho Chi Minh people.

ARRIVAL IN HO CHI MINH CITY
Your adventure kicks off in bustling Ho Chi Minh City. If you arrive early in the day, feel free to spend time exploring the narrow streets on foot, hop into a cyclo for a comfortable cruise among the millions of motorbikes or find a restaurant teeming with locals for a taste of the best cuisine. At 6pm you’ll meet your Tour Leader and new travel mates at the Khoi Hostel for a Welcome Night introduction. We’ll cover how the trip works and answer any questions you have about travelling in Vietnam. Afterwards, make the most of your first night by getting to know each other over a delicious Vietnamese dinner and a few cold beverages.

HO CHI MINH CITY – FREE DAY
Today is a free day to explore the hot and lively Ho Chi Minh City. Learn about the history of the American and Vietnam War at the War Remnant Museum, visit the French Colonial Saigon Opera House, browse the surrounding shopping plazas or see a cultural show. Ho Chi Minh even has its own Notre Dame Cathedral, which is said to be a connection between the physical and spiritual life for the Ho Chi Minh people. We recommend taking a trip out to the famous Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex of over 200kms of tunnels used by the Viet Khong in the war against the US. Discover how the people lived and survived in these tunnels, built schools and hospitals underground and eventually gained victory. This evening enjoy a traditional performance at the Water Puppet Theatre, or dine out on delicious street food at one of the city’s many restaurants or bars

HO CHI MINH CITY TO DA LAT
Leaving behind the chaos and heat of Ho Chi Minh City, we head for the refreshingly cool climate of Da Lat, known as the honeymoon capital of Vietnam. Our journey today takes us through fertile farmlands that specialise in rubber, coffee and tea, locally produced wine, vegetables and flowers. Just a short distance from Da Lat we make a stop at the beautiful 20 metre Datanla Waterfall, where legend has it K’ho fairies often come to play and bathe at the base of the falls. You can either walk down to the waterfall or, for those who like a little bit of adrenalin, you can drive your own mini rollercoaster to the site. Afterwards we’ll head to Da Lat, where you can spend the rest of the day checking out the large market near the guesthouse, or one of many friendly cafes selling excellent coffee on every corner.

DA LAT – FREE DAY
Da Lat vaguely resembles a French town with sprawling old villas and towering pine trees. It is not on the main tourist trail so locals are curious and very friendly to western visitors. There are plenty of adventurous activities here, but many people choose to go on an adrenalin packed canyoning trip where you abseil over waterfalls and jump off a 5 metre high drop into the pool below. If that’s not for you, you can visit the last Emperor’s art deco-style summer palace, explore the never-ending local coffee or strawberry plantations, or hire tandem bikes at the market and cycle to the Hang Nga ‘Crazy House’ an unconventional exploration of surrealist architecture.

DA LAT TO BAI XEP
Leaving behind the cool climate of Da Lat we’ll head for the Vietnamese coast, stopping for refreshments and for those who want to hop off at the coastal city of Nha Trang. Driving on your destination is the tiny fishing village of Bai Xep located along a stretch of sandy white beach. Kick back and relax in this peaceful village setting, untouched by rampant tourism, where locals wave and greet you with smiles.

BAI XEP – FREE DAY
Today you are free to enjoy this remote coastal location and all it has to offer. Swim, snorkel and take long walks on the beach, learn to paddle a traditional round boat, go fishing and cook your catch for tea, wander the village and get to know the friendly locals or just relax at your comfortable seaside guesthouse.

BAI XEP TO HOI AN
A coastal drive takes us to the popular tourist spot Hoi An. We’ll stop along the way to visit the My Lai Memorial, a site that commemorates an event that marked a turning point in the American War, before arriving in Hoi An. A UNESCO World Heritage town, Hoi An is a must see town, with beautifully restored and preserved French Colonial architecture, funky bars, outstanding restaurants, art galleries, souvenir shops and countless tailor shops. With glorious beaches so close nearby, this is paradise! A great spot to hop off and enjoy the local nightlife; try local delicacies (and beers), then meander home through the motorbike free streets.

HOI AN – FREE DAY
Today is free for you to explore this charming town. Get some tailoring done, take a leisurely cycle to the beach, or just enjoy the tasty local coffee at one of the many restaurants around town. When the sun goes down this is when Hoi An really turns on its charm. Paper and fabric lanterns are lit throughout streets, bathing the historical French colonial and Chinese architecture in a warm glow. Take a sunset stroll through the old town, and try a local delicacy called the ‘White Rose’ – a dumpling stuffed with shrimp or pork bunched into the shape of a rose. Apparently the recipe is a family secret, held by only one family who supply all the restaurants around town.

HOI AN TO HUE
Today you head for Hue, Vietnam’s most liveable city. Here the people are friendly and modern architecture sits side by side with century old buildings. Surrounded by rolling hills and located on the Perfume River, Hue is regarded as the cultural and spiritual centre of Vietnam and is the former home to the Vietnamese emperors. Here you’ll see many elaborately decorated temples and beautiful pagodas, including the seven-storied Thien Mu Pagoda – where the most famous Vietnamese monk is buried, the intricate Citadel and Forbidden Purple City. This is a great place to take a motorbike tour of the Vietnamese countryside. Travel on the back of a motorbike through rice paddies, quaint, rural villages and down tiny roads and discover a little bit of the ‘real’ Vietnam.

HUE TO PHONG NHA
This morning we head for the fascinating Vinh Moc Tunnels, an impressive underground complex that was used by more than 90 families to live and work in during some of the heaviest bombings in the American War. From there it’s on to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, passing through the provincial town of Dong Hoi on our way to the charming hotel in Phong Nha town that will be our base for exploring the park.

PHONG NHA – FREE DAY
Today we visit the spectacular rural area of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, 45km from Dong Hoi. This area has pristine rivers (perfect for a refreshing dip or kayak) and boasts a number of impressive caves, including the recently discovered Thien Duong Cave. Inside you’ll find glittering limestone walls, phallus shaped stalagmites and stalactites, claw shaped formations, and a limestone waterfall. This afternoon you have the option to go on a guided tour of the ‘Dark Cave,’ suitably named as such because the rock is black. This is an exciting adventure where you’ll explore the caves darkness with the help of a head torch, discover ancient fossils and slide down muddy ridges, all while Asian bats fly overhead. Afterwards, back at the mouth of the cave you can wash off all the mud by spending the afternoon swimming and playing in the river.

PHONG NHA TO NINH BINH
Our journey today takes us through beautiful countryside and stunning limestone karst mountains. We’ll stop along the way for a chance to stretch your legs before continuing our express journey to Ninh Binh. We arrive late in the afternoon and you have time to wander around and acquaint yourself with the town before dinner.

NINH BINH TO HANOI
This morning we venture out in traditional canoes to discover the Trang An Grottoes. Sometimes called the ‘Halong Bay on land’, we’ll coast through caves in the mountains to view stony outcrops and dramatic karst formations towering above flat tranquil waters and rice paddies. After lunch in Ninh Binh, we jump back on the bus bound for the chaotic streets of Vietnam’s capital. Hanoi is an exotic city full of excitement and energy, and thousands of motorcycles that make the simple task of crossing the road seem like a real achievement! There’s an an excellent culinary scene. We recommend dining at Restaurant 69, which is said to be over 300 years old, or trying some of the delicious street food available on every corner, where the saying goes “the lower the chair, the cheaper the beer.”

HANOI
This morning your Tour Leader will take you out to see the main sights of Hanoi on foot. We start our walking tour by visiting the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, then the old Royal Palace Gardens and Ho Chi Minh’s Stilt House. From there, we’ll head over to the One Pillar Pagoda and the Temple of Literature. The main tour will end at Koto Restaurant and Training Centre for refreshments; those that are feeling fit can carry on to the Old Hanoi Hilton Prison and finish at Hoan Kiem Lake.

This is where your journey with Stray comes to an end, but there is plenty to see and do in and around Hanoi. If you have some extra days to spend here, we highly recommend booking a cruise around breathtaking Halong Bay or making a trip inland to visit the hill tribes of Sa Pa. Both of these excursions can be organised for you by your Tour Leader. We hope you’ve had a blast on your great adventure!

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

On each bus we have two guides, one local one Western. They are there to look after you, take you to some of the more interesting places that usually get left off a typical backpackers itinerary, and they can also help book you accommodation throughout the journey.
As the Vietnam Xplorer is a hop on hop off pass you may not be with the same people throughout the trip. This is because you can spend longer in certain locations if you want to hang out there awhile. In reality friendships form pretty quickly, so most people tend to hook up with the same people and share the same travel itinerary.
Accommodation is not included in this program, we have given you an indication as to how much you should budget at each stop in US dollars. Our driver guides are able to book you into accommodation as you go, so you do not need to worry about booking your own accommodation, however you will need to pay for it locally. Accommodation in Vietnam is inexpensive.
Duration Option Price  
18 (Days)No AccommodationGBP 719Book Now
19 (Days)Flexi Upgrade With Accommodation 19 Days RecommendedGBP 1099Book Now

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Included

  • All transport by private vehicles and public transport
  • Activities listed below
  • Services of Xtreme Gap Year guide and driver
  • Detailed predeparture pack

Included activities are as follows

  • Datanla Waterfall entrance fees in Da Lat
  • My Lai Memorial entrance fees near Hoi An
  • Vinh Moc Tunnels entrance fees near Dong Hoi
  • Entrance to the Thien Duong (Paradise) Cave, Phong Nha
  • Boat trip to the Trang An Grottoes
  • Guided city walking tour of Hanoi

 

Excluded

  • Accommodation (budget five pounds per night)
  • Meals
  • Airport pick up
  • Travel insurance

Dates

More dates

 

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