Bangkok, Chiang Mai & Vietnam
Travel 24 Apr 2019 - 17 Oct 2019
Book by 30 Apr 2019
Saving £165 per person
- 3 nts Rembrandt Hotel & Suites, Bangkok - FREE upgrade Deluxe room - Room only
- 3 nts Dusit Princess, Northern Thailand - Superior room - Breakfast
- 3 nts Liberty Saigon Centre, Ho Chi Minh City - Deluxe room - Breakfast
- 5 nts Ho Tram Beach Boutique Resort & Spa, Ho Tram & Long Hai - Garden View room - Breakfast
- Includes FREE upgrade to deluxe room in Bangkok
- Flights to Bangkok with Eva Airways and onwards to Chiang Mai & Ho Chi Minh City with Bangkok Airways from Heathrow, accommodation throughout, return private transfers and prepayable taxes.
- This holiday is ATOL protected 2713
FREE upgrade Deluxe room - Room only
Rembrandt offers superb value and is within strolling distance of the skytrain, street markets and the shops, bars and restaurants of Sukhumvit Road.
Superior room - Breakfast
Dusit Princess is centrally located in Chiang Mai, within a few steps of the fabulous Night Market. Relax in tasteful rooms and enjoy warm hospitality.
Deluxe room - Breakfast
The Liberty Central Saigon Centre, offering 4-star hotel accommodation near Ben Thanh market is located in one of the busiest hubs of Ho Chi Minh City.
Garden View room - Breakfast
This charming resort is situated along a stretch of unspoilt beach on Vietnam's southern coast against a backdrop of blue seas and rich garden landscapes
Upgrade to premium economy from only £299pp per way
Flights to Bangkok with Eva Airways and onwards to Chiang Mai & Ho Chi Minh City with Bangkok Airways from Heathrow, accommodation throughout, return private transfers and prepayable taxes.
Regional Departures: Regional supplements are available from Manchester from £200, Belfast from £240, Newcastle from £200, Edinburgh from £200, Glasgow from £200. Other regional airports may be available, please ask for details.
Prices are per person based on 2 adults sharing (unless stated otherwise). Subject to availabilty, terms and conditions apply.
FREE upgrade Deluxe room - Room only
Experience a few days in Bangkok to explore this vibrant, sometimes chaotic, metropolis. Wherever you look in this diverse city, you'll see the old and cultured mingling with the bright and the new. Whether it's the stunning opulence of the palaces, the chaos of the streetlife or the extremes of the nightlife, Bangkok offers an experience not to be missed at amazing value for money.
Bangkok is most people's first introduction to this fascinating country and there is really nowhere else quite like it. Love it or hate it, you really must see it! There are fabulous hotels, which offer real value for money. Whether you choose one located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River or one located in the Sukhumvit/city, you will never be far from the shops and culture.
Bangkok's chaotic streets are notoriously crowded with traffic so travelling by road can be painfully slow, but taxis are plentiful and cheap while a journey by tuk tuk is a hair-raising experience not to forget. Alternatively, the clean, cheap and very efficient skytrain (BTS) and underground (MRT) rail systems connect the main shopping, entertainment and business areas of the city making it easy to navigate your way around.
The city's most famous landmark is the spectacularly elaborate Grand Palace complex, which was the former residence of the Thai royal family but is now used for ceremonial purposes. Incredibly well preserved the complex is home to several impressive buildings including the highly revered Wat Phra Kaew (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha). Other notable temples within the city include the exquisitely decorated Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) and Wat Pho which houses the 150 foot long Reclining Buddha.
The Chao Phraya River, with its backdrop of temples and hotels, is a constant hive of activity with longtailed speedboats and water taxis whizzing to different points along the river, or heavily laden barges chugging sedately upstream. Join a tour of the river and explore the ramshackle world of criss-crossing canals (klongs) which are lined with precariously perched wooden houses.
Boasting over 50,000 places to eat Bangkok has just about everything on the menu, so whether you choose to sample appetising delights from roadside food sellers or dine out in style you're sure to find something to tantalise your taste buds. Another notable feature of the city is the nightlife, which in recent years has evolved to offer everything from sophisticated rooftop cocktail bars and jazz lounges to chic clubs, microbreweries and so much more.
Superior room - Breakfast
Delve deeper into Thai culture by heading north and it will feel like you're in a different country: the landscape, the language, the architecture, the food and the people of this region are quite distinct. The "Rose of the North" and Thailand's second largest city, Chiang Mai is the gateway to the region and the most culturally significant; Chiang Rai is gateway to the infamous Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar (Burma) come together; and the sleepy market town of Mae Hong Son nestles high up in a picturesque valley surrounded by mist-shrouded hills.
Famous for its beautiful women, historic temples, distinctive festivals and handicrafts, Chiang Mai is also a great location for those seeking soft adventure such as elephant encounters, mountain biking and rafting. Its moat-encircled Old City dates back to the 13th century and it's within these narrow streets that you'll find many remarkable temples including Wat Phra Sing, which houses the highly revered Phra Singh Buddha. Not too far away is one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, which overlooks the city from its spectacular setting atop Mount Suthep. Dating back to the 14th century this awe-inspiring temple is crowned by a gold-plated Chedi (monument) and on a clear day has towering views over the city and valley. Adding to the prestige of Doi Suthep is Phu Phing Palace, the winter residence of the Thai royal family, whose landscaped gardens are open to the public.
Surrounded by majestic mountain scenery Chiang Rai has more than its share of natural attractions and antiquities. Thailand's most northern city, it's a peaceful and laid-back place, which is easy to explore on foot, whether you explore by the Kok River where there's even a 'beach', or head out to the nearby hills and forest parks. Alternatively bicycles are readily available to hire and the river itself is great for rafting or longtail boat rides.
Mae Hong Son is home to a number of attractive temples, the most striking being Phra That Doi Kong Mu, set high up on a hill overlooking the city. Visit at dawn to see Mae Hong Son bathed in the mist or later in the afternoon for panoramic views of the surrounding area. Other notable temples include Wat Jong Klang and Wat Jong Kham which sit beside the serene waters of Jong Kham Lake in the heart of the town. Many hilltribes can be found in the area – Shans, Lanna, Thais and Karens, each with their own unique style, language, customs, traditions and cuisine. The most popular villages to visit are those inhabited by the long neck (Padong) Karen tribeswomen, who originated from Myanmar and are so called because of the layers of brass rings worn around their necks.
Trekking is a major attraction in Mae Hong Son and can be done as part of a day tour for a few hours or even longer to fully appreciate the stunning mountain scenery. Alternatively a more leisurely option is to combine an elephant trek through the jungle with a gentle raft trip along the picturesque Pai River. As you glide along, you'll hopefully catch glimpses of the local women washing clothes in the river while children splash and play about nearby.
Chiang Mai is an area rich with cottage industries and it's possible to visit workshops to watch the artisans at work and learn about the production of umbrellas, silk, silverware, lacquerware, furniture and ceramics. At the bustling Night Market, which sprawls along the main thoroughfare, there are countless pavement stalls selling the handicrafts as well as local wares, clothing, authentic Thai cuisine and much more. It's a great place to practice your bartering skills and pick up some bargains. Chiang Rai has its own Night Bazaar, which while a fraction of the size of that in Chiang Mai, you'll still find stalls brimming with hilltribe handicrafts, clothing and souvenirs.
Deluxe room - Breakfast
Formerly known as Saigon, vibrant Ho Chi Minh City is one of Asia's most compelling cities and definitely not to be missed. This fast-paced, thriving metropolis is a city of contrasts as soaring skyscrapers, chic shopping malls, fine restaurants and glitzy bars rub shoulders with delightful districts full of colonial charm, classic French architecture, incense-infused temples and bustling markets.
Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is divided into 24 districts, although tourists rarely travel beyond districts One, Three and Five. The city's central area, District One, is where most of the main shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions are located along with the original French Quarter. The more sedate District Three offers more colonial architecture, parks and wide boulevards interspersed with a few restaurants and shops while District Five incorporates Chinatown with its markets, pagodas, temples and authentic Chinese restaurants.
Highlights include ostentatious reminders of French rule such as Notre Dame Cathedral or the huge Central Post Office designed by Gustav Eiffel; the Reunification Palace, formerly the Presidential Palace; the Jade Emperor Pagoda and the 18th century Thien Hau Temple. A cyclo tour is a wonderful way to take in the sights whilst absorbing the flurry of activity around you, or take a seat at a roadside café and watch as conical-hatted vendors ply their goods or bicycles piled high with furniture and livestock pass by. Alternatively, those with a hunger for adventure can hop on the back of a Vespa for an unforgettable tour of the Saigon streets, joining the organised chaos through the different districts and mingling with the locals before stopping to sample some local cuisine.
No visit to Ho Chi Minh City is complete without a visit to the extraordinary Cu Chi Tunnels located just an hour's drive northwest of the city. This labyrinth of narrow tunnels, all dug using only hand tools, stretch for over 120 miles and were used as hideouts during the war by the Vietnamese army. Our highly recommended half day excursion to the tunnels includes original film footage from the war and also gives you the chance to explore enlarged sections of this extensive underground city from the not-to-distant-past which contained hospitals, kitchens and sleeping quarters.
Ho Chi Minh City is also the gateway to the Mekong Delta, a lush, tropical delta dominated by the mighty Mekong, one of the most scenic rivers in Asia. Take a cruise through this fascinating region to see the vibrant floating markets, bustling villages with houses built on stilts and countless temples. The Delta is also one of the most agriculturally productive areas in Southeast Asia, with fruit orchards, rice paddies, fish and flower farms jostling for space. We highly recommend our one night Mekong Delta cruise aboard a traditional wooden boat in the style of a converted rice barge (Bassac boat).
Shopping opportunities also abound in HCMC. Haggle for bargains of clothing and souvenirs at Ben Thanh Market or visit rambling Binh Tay Market in Chinatown where you'll find stalls crammed with exotic foodstuffs. Alternatively, browse the small, traditional shops within the main shopping areas, such as Dong Khoi, Hai Ba Trung and Le Thanh Ton, or the luxurious shopping malls with international fashion brands and designer boutiques springing up in the city including Diamond Plaza on Le Duan and Parkson Saigon Tourist Plaza on Le Thanh Ton.
There is a rich selection of restaurants in HCMC, ranging from bargain street side stalls to haute cuisine and everything in between. Cuisines you'll come across include French, Chinese and of course, local Vietnamese delights such as Banh mi (sandwiches), noodle soup (pho), seafood and crepes. Western food is also widely available for those who just can't survive without chips! Nightlife is equally varied, depending on where you are in the city. District One has rooftop bars, casinos and jazz or rock bands while in District Three you'll find local cafes with Vietnamese music and cheap eats.
Garden View room - Breakfast
Ho Tram and Long Hai are small resorts located on the southern Vietnamese coast. They provide perfect places to relax and rejuvenate after time spent touring the cultural sights of Vietnam without the need for internal flights, and are a wonderful alternative to some of the more bustling resorts within the area. So simply sit back and relish the opportunity to get away from it all.
Ho Tram is a small beach town with a wide expanse of beach and inviting crystal clear waters. While you may wish for nothing more to do than lazing on a lounger by the pool, with a good book and refreshing cocktail to hand, you can also take a leisurely stroll along the shore or hire a bicycle and pedal through the countryside where the rice paddies stretch infinitely. Visit nearby villages and sample some of the local delicacies at a street market, or visit the hot springs and mud baths of Binh Chau, popular with locals for their supposed healing properties.
Long Hai is a picturesque fishing town set on the shores of a pretty white sand beach, particularly along the eastern end where the palm trees reach down to the shore. The western end of the beach is full of hustle and bustle as that's where the fishing boats are moored, so take a wander and catch a glimpse of local life.
Both resorts are very much hotel based as apart from the beach itself, the choice of things to see and do is limited, although there are a variety of watersports for those keen to be active. You will also find an array of excellent restaurants within easy reach, serving delicious local fare as well as global favourites. Ho Tram also has a beautiful, yet challenging golf course and a popular casino where you might like to try your luck!