If this is your first set into travelling. Make it an awesome trip! Enjoy the best of  Vietnam and Thailand on this superb combined group travel adventure! Starting of in Vietnam for a 3 week experience followed by 4 weeks in stunning Thailand!

Vietnam & Thailand Unleashed

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Perfect trip for first-time travellers who would love to see 2 fantastic Asian destinations. You do not need a huge budget and it is a great way to meet people as you join our groups!

    3 Weeks Vietnam  Highlights:

  • Fancy going somewhere completely different? You will love Vietnam travel through the entire country and soak it in!
  • Explore the vibrant 1,000 year old of historic city of Hanoi during the first week, stay outy on Halong bay. Epic!
  • New fun and new friends. It´s about the journey with superb landscapes, mountains and coastlines
  • Go trek the amazing Sapa mountain and learn about the culture here, visit markets.
  • Discover Ho Chi Minh City and dwell on the history of Vietnam
  • 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!
  • 4 Weeks Thailand  Highlights:

    Squeeze out the most fun! This 4-week trip has been tailored for you: Introduction week, Adventure week (chose your favourite option), Cultural immersion week and a week on in a stunning beach resort 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 with Elephants, 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! in the last week, we will take you to a different beach each day where you can relax and unwind amidst white sand and crystal-clear blue waters.
  • 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!
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Photos

Vietnam

Thailand

 

 

Starting In Vietnam

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.

After 3 weeks Vietnam it´s time for Thailand

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

This what happens on the Thailand Adventure:

Check Full Itineraries

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 low down 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

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

WEEK TWO: ADVENTURE OPTIONS WEEK – TAKE YOUR PICK!

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

  • Elephant conservation
  • 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: ELEPHANT WEEK

Elephants are the symbol of Thailand and are held as sacred in Thai Culture. Training along side the Mahouts, the Thai Elephant keepers, this week is all about hanging out with the elephants!

Your role this week will be the caring for and feeding the elephants, bathing them, taking the older female elephants for walks, and generally helping out.

Then you will actually get to learn how to ride the Elephants, heading off through forests and around the camp. This week is an unrivalled opportunity to learn about Elephants and connect with your very own! Take it for baths, feed it and get to know him, but just be warned you can ´t take it with you when your week is up.

According to World Wildlife Fund estimates, only 2,000-3,000 elephants remain in the wild in Thailand. The numbers of these majestic animals are gradually shrinking as elephants and villages compete to survive on the land. Sadly, domesticated elephants roam through Thailand´s cities with their mahouts, begging for food and performing tricks for tourists.

During this elephantine adventure of a week you´ll learn about the importance of elephants in Thai culture, their needs and the social problems. Be prepared to get down and quite literally dirty. Daily chores include cleaning (that´s mucking out to you and me) and feeding these majestic animals. You´ll also learn gardening skills to impress the folks back home!

Don´t miss out on the chance to experience the thrill of white water rafting in the nearby river over the weekend. Don´t worry, if you prefer calmer waters, there´s always the swimming pool. Please note, Thailand´s tropical climate does give way to the occasional violent thunderstorm, torrential rain and flooding so the schedule may be subject to change during that time.

WEEK TWO OPTION TWO: 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.

WEEK TWO OPTION THREE: 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 spend 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!

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

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

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)

It is not just the beach we will take you to in this last week in stunning Thailand. The Beach week combines cultural activities and several visits to Buddhist temples to learn about Thai Buddhism. Also, we take you to several local markets to do some souvenir shopping, eat local food. And yes! Every day we bring you to one of the paradise beaches to top up your tan!

We also visit the rural community and spend time with the kids there. You can try and help out with some classes. English or sports.

Your stay during the beach week is in our center, located in the hilly countryside of Prachuap Khiri Khan province amidst green surroundings. The accommodation consists of luxury tents with a fan, private hot water showers and Western style toilets attached to the tents. Its really fantastic!

All tents are single gender and have a maximum capacity of four people per tent. There is free Wi-Fi available throughout the center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Return transfer is not included in the price of the trip, please budget about £15 to cover this, our rep can help you organise a ticket. It is a busride of about 4,5 hours and the bus will bring you to the centre of Bangkok. From here you can get a taxi to the airport which will (depending traffic) take about 1 hour.

 

Accommodation & Meals

Vietnam accommodation

In Vietnam 21 nights’ accommodation is included. Most nights, are spent in guesthouses where you share with doubles or triples. You will also spend 1 night in basic, shared accommodation in a rural village homestay, 1 night in a shared cabin on a cruise boat in Halong Bay and 2 nights on overnight trains. Where you stay is all part of the adventure!

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

Thailand Accommodation

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 hang out 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.

Hua Hin beach week accommodation

Your stay during the beach week is in our center, located in the hilly countryside of Prachuap Khiri Khan province amidst green surroundings. The accommodation consists of luxury tents with a fan, private hot water showers and Western style toilets attached to the tents. Its really fantastic!

Meals

That’s a real budget saver. In Vietnam you get all breakfast included. You will have to pay for your own meals for the rest of the time but don’t worry, there are plenty of cheap and great places to eat in Vietnam. The food is delicious! For Thailand all meals are included except for a few times lunch on beaches and lunch at the weekend. Also at the accommodation water, tea and coffee are included for free.

Trip timings

Depending on your dates, then maybe an overlap of time between starting Thailand and finishing in Vietnam. If this is the case we will happily book your few extra nights in Vietnam (at your own expense) before flying on to Thailand. Of course we will help you arrange any accommodation that is required.

 

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

For Vietnam you will certainly need a Visa please arrange this in good time prior to travel. The cost is around £50. You can arrange a Visa at the Vietnamese Embassy.

If you are planning on travelling to Thailand for 30 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 30 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 a lot is included on this trip. Breakfast in Vietnam and in Thailand all meals are included, also included is all accommodation, most transfers, airport pick up and loads of activities and adventures along the way are already paid for.

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The groups are not massive, so you can experience the culture to the max! Usually, there is an average of 6-15 fellow travel mates on the trip, but it can be more or less on the Vietnam part.

Duration Option Price  
7 (Week)USD 2699Book Now

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Included

Vietnam

  • Breakfasts and accommodation throughout programme
  • Airport transfer on arrival, to make it easy for you!
  • Fully guided
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Orientation by our rep
  • Vietnamese cooking lessons
  • Vietnamese language lessons
  • Jungle trekking or cultural immersion at local schools. Let us know at time of booking!
  • Access to buddy lists before you go

Thailand:

  • Airport pick up in Bangkok
  • Orientation including a Thai language and cooking lesson
  • One week to learn all about elephants
  • Cultural Exchange projects or try some Muay Thai Training!
  • 6 nights on our resort in Hua Hin
  • All food during your weeks in Thailand
  • 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
  • Meals after the first 3 weeks
  • Extra spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Airport drop off (but its cheap and we help you!)

Dates

2017
SUNDAY 15 JAN –
SUNDAY 12 FEB –
SUNDAY 19 MAR –
SUNDAY 16 JULY- 2 SEPT
SUNDAY 13TH AUG – 1 OCT

New trip dates will be under Vietnam and Thailand unleashed 2017

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