Southeast Asia family journey

Epic Family Journey Tour

Countries: CambodiaThailandVietnamLaos

28 Days | $24,300

Many people talk about taking the adventure of a lifetime with their family, and this is the tour for those who want to make it happen! This tour was designed for families with children old enough to go out, have fun and explore. Bike, quad and trek your way through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia together, experiencing the Southeast Asia cultures first hand by getting out of the normal tourist spots and into the homes of locals, and out into nature. This is a family journey that will keep everyone entertained and will have your family talking for years to come.


Day 1 Bangkok – Arrival

Arrive in Bangkok where you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel.

Meals Included: None

Overnight at Centre Point, Silom Hotel – 2Bedroom Apartment

Day 2 Bangkok – Public Transport Tour with Klong trip

You will be met by your guide at your hotel at 9am and set off on the Skytrain. Enjoy the elevated view of central Bangkok as you speed across town to the river where you will board a river express boat to the Flower Market. Take in the sights and smells as you wander past stalls piled with flowers and then head off on an exciting tuk tuk ride to Wat Pho to see the famous Reclining Buddha.

Enjoy a thirty minute massage at the temple’s traditional Thai massage school followed by lunch at a local restaurant, and then head to the pride of Thailand, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew housing the Emerald Buddha. Take a stroll down the street to a local Buddhist amulet market before heading off along the klongs (canals) finally boarding a river express boat to the Skytrain station and returning to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Centre Point, Silom Hotel – 2Bedroom Apartment

Day 3 Bangkok – Floating Market with Bike Ride

Seventy kilometers south-west of Bangkok the Mae Klong River spreads into a sprawling delta before reaching the Gulf of Thailand. This low-lying land is extremely fertile and over hundreds of years the Thai people have constructed an extensive network of canals to aid irrigation and navigation. The local way-of life has remained traditional, agricultural and revolves around the colourful floating markets where the fruits of the surrounding orchards are traded. Starting in Bangkok we drive south to start our bicycle exploration of the Mae Klong Delta area at Damnoen Nam Saduak floating market, the biggest and most colourful in Thailand and a must for any visitor. Purchase just about anything from the vast array of “shops” on the river.

After discovering the sights and sounds of the floating market, we embark on along tail boat and cruise through a maze of canals cutting through local villages and various plantations. This eye-opening boat ride offers a glimpse of Thailand of old where local people are going about their daily life with the canal as the focal point. We start our ride from a temple on the Mae Klong River and head to Wat Amphwan Chetiyaram, a temple believed to be the birthplace of King Phra Phuttha Lertla, Rama II. The temple has been renovated by King Rama III, IV, and V and boasts antiques of the early Rattanakosin period. Our ride takes us further into coconut plantations and fruit orchards along quiet back roads. We stop to visit interesting temples such as the quirky Wat Bang Kung, held up by a huge banyan tree and the exceptional carved panels of Wat Bang Kae Noi. After lunch at a riverside restaurant we continue cycling on picturesque trails towards the floating market. After some refreshments, explore a temple complex and a local market before starting our journey back to Bangkok to beat rush hour. This 32 km trip is suitable for levels of riders and is an excellent trip for families.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Centre Point, Silom Hotel – 2Bedroom Apartment

Day 4 Chiang Mai – Doi Suthep and City Temple Tour

You will be transferred to Bangkok Airport for your flight -(morning flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai included). You will be met at Chiang Mai Airport and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon visit Doi Suthep, the most important Wat in Chiang Mai. Perched high above the city, it offers wonderful views of the city and countryside below.

Enjoy lunch with your guide a local restaurant.

Visit some of the more famous Wats, within the city walls of Chiang Mai. Your guide will discuss Buddhism and the role it plays in everyday life as well as showing you the many details of each temple.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Twin Deluxe Room
Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Premier Deluxe Room

Day 5 Chiang Mai – Patara Mahout Training at Patara Elephant Farm

You will be met in the lobby of your hotel at 7:30am and transferred to the Patara Elephant Farm outside of Chiang Mai. At the farm you will be given your training outfit and a brief talk on working with elephants before heading into the bush to find them. As the day goes on you will hear all about elephant farm management and the breeding program taking place here. You will meet the elephants and learn to approach them and work with them from the ground and to take them to the river for their morning bath.

After a short ride to a local temple you can learn about elephants in Buddhism and the Thai’s ancient relationship with these traditional beasts of burden. Around mid-day you will set off for a ride through the jungle to some waterfalls where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and a swim with your elephant in the falls. Return to the camp in the afternoon and say goodbye to your new friends before being transferred back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Twin Deluxe Room
Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Premier Deluxe Room

Day 6 Chaing Mai – Boat Ride to Farmer’s House and Sunday Walking Market

This morning your guide will meet you at your hotel and take you to the boat pier where you will board a small river boat and cruise for about two hours upstream through Chiang Mai town and into a rural area. Here you will stop at a local farmer’s house and see for yourself the cultivation of jasmine rice and a variety of herbs used in medicines and for cooking. Enjoy tasting the various fruits and some of their herbal juices. After enjoying the farm return by boat, stopping just out of town at a local market pier. Here you can wander through the market before catching a rickshaw back to Chiang Mai City in the early afternoon.

In the evening your guide will take you to the famous Walking Street of Chiang Mai. Every Sunday at 5 p.m. this amazing street comes to life with stalls displaying local crafts and unusual finds. Though the Chiang Mai night market is great, Walking Street is where the locals go for the real treasures! Your guide will drop you off and you are free to carry on on your own to explore and shop! Enjoy dinner in town before you catch a tuk-tuk back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Twin Deluxe Room
Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Premier Deluxe Room

Day 7 Chiang Mai Adventure

After an early breakfast you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the Mae Teang area outside of Chiang Mai for a day of adventure. Start with an elephant ride through the jungle along the side of the river. Next, jump on mountain bikes for a beautiful ride through the forest, enjoying the scenery as it passes by. top for a much deserved lunch and basic rafting instruction before climbing into your raft. Enjoy two hours of white water rafting on the Mae Teang River. Finally, say goodbye to your new friends before transferring back to Chiang Mai in an air conditioned van and return to your hotel for the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Twin Deluxe Room
Overnight at De Naga Chiang Mai Hotel – 1Double Premier Deluxe Room

Day 8 Luang Prabang – Arrival + Orientation tour

Transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for your onward flight – (flight from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang included). After your arrival in Luang Prabang you’ll be picked up from the airport and driven to the main part of town for a quick orientation tour. Your guide will give you an introduction to the city, showing you the main roads, some restaurants and the night market area, before dropping you off at your hotel to check in.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Lotus Villa Hotel – 1Double 1Twin Orchid Suite Room

Day 9 Luang Prabang – City Tour by Bike

Wake-up at sunrise to participate in giving the local monks morning alms. You’ll be accompanied by your guide who can demonstrate the proper method of alms giving and explain this daily Buddhist ceremony. Return to your hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast, head out to explore the town by bike. Enjoy the sense of freedom as you peddle off on your bikes with your guide who will lead you through town, along main roads and off the beaten path, through alleys and side-streets. Enjoy the views as you explore along the banks of both the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers stopping at temples and national landmarks on your way. Have lunch at a restaurant of your choice and then meet up with your guide again to continue your tour.

Later in the afternoon leave the bikes to climb Mt. Phou Si where you can relax and enjoy the amazing view.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Lotus Villa Hotel – 1Double and 1Twin Orchid Suite Room

Day 10 Luang Prabang – Life on the Mekong

Today you’ll escape the tourist hubs in town and see Luang Prabang through local eyes. First, you will drive up the Mekong to the village of Pak Ou. From here board a small boat and take a tour of the local fishing area, checking traps with the fishermen along the way and collecting any fish you might find. You will then cross the Mekong by longtail boat to visit the small village of Ban Mueng Keo, known for its production of local whiskey. Here you will be able to watch a demonstration of the whiskey-making process by a local Lao Lao Whiskey producer and, if you’re up for it, sample the finished product for an early morning. Continue on travelling downstream to visit the Pak Ou Caves, famous for the thousands of Buddha statues left inside by pilgrims.

Return to Ban Pak Ou, where the former village chief and his family will cook you a Lao-style lunch and you’ll learn about dining customs and etiquette. After lunch, board a long tail boat and travel along the Mekong for a scenic ride until you reach the small weaving village of Ban Phone Xay, where you’ll enjoy a weaving demonstration and have a chance to purchase handmade items directly from the source. Learn the story behind who really makes the beautiful textiles sold at the night market! At the end of the day you’ll be the only tourist in town who knows the real story behind the bottles of Lao Lao, the grilled Mekong fish and the night market.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Lotus Villa Hotel – 1Double and 1Twin Orchid Suite Room

Day 11 Luang Prabang – Day Trek to Kuangsi Waterfall

You will be met at your hotel and driven to Ban Long Lao, where you’ll visit Hmong and Khmu villages before starting your 3 – 4 hour hike. You will be accompanied by a local guide and trek along mountainous paths through stunning scenery until you reach your final destination, the Kuang Si Waterfall. Here you can enjoy a well deserved swim and lunch before returning to Luang Prabang by minivan.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Lotus Villa Hotel – 1Double and 1Twin Orchid Suite Room

Day 12 Hanoi – Arrival

Transfer to Luang Prabang airport from your hotel in time for your flight – (flight from Luang Prabang to Hanoi included). Arrive at Noi Bai airport in Hanoi where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Take a one-hour cyclo tour of this charming capital city through the scenic Colonial Quarter, the Old Quarter of “36 streets of 36 wares” and around Restored Sword Lake.

Attend a water puppet show to experience a truly traditional Vietnamese evening. Enjoy a relaxing meal sampling the delicious cuisine of Vietnam. Your guide will be on hand to transfer you to and from the restaurant, and to help you select your meal.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Hilton Opera Hotel – 1Double with 2 extra beds Suite Room

Day 13 Hanoi – City Tour

This morning start by discussing with your guide what you would like to do and see today. There are so many options that we like to leave it up to you and your guide to decide what suits you best. Some interesting highlights that you may want to consider are the Hanoi Hilton, where John McCain and other prisoners were held during the war, it now houses a museum; the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum where you can see Uncle Ho laid out to rest; or if you like art you can visit the Fine Art Museum or see which local galleries are offering shows. The Temple of Literature is always a relaxing area to stroll through and is a great stop before or after lunch. Your guide will be with you all day so discuss what suits you and then have fun!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Hilton Opera Hotel – 1Double with 2 extra beds Suite Room

Day 14 Halong Bay with Kayaking Day 1

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00 am and you will take a private minivan with driver to Halong Bay (Approximately 31/2 hours). Arrive in Halong Bay and board a Vietnamese “junk” (boat) where you will have lunch. Then take a fantastic cruise in Halong Bay, where the cast limestone islands rise vertically out of the water and you will wonder if you are dreaming or sailing into a movie set.

Visit Dinh Huong, Ga Choi, Dog, and Snail Island. Paddle from Titov beach to Luon cave. Enjoy dinner on the boat followed by optional night paddle, fishing and drinking of Vietnamese wine before heading to your air-conditioned cabin.

Overnight onboard Huong Hai Junk – 1Double and 1Twin Deluxe Room

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 Halong Bay with Kayaking Day 2

After an early breakfast on the boat continue kayaking in this incredible area from Luon Cave towards the islands of Man’s Head and Tortoise Islands. Return to the boat after your morning paddle to rinse off and enjoy your last lunch aboard as you make your way back to Halong City. Return to Hanoi in a private car. Enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Hilton Opera Hotel – 1Double with 2 extra beds Suite Room

Day 16 Hoi An – Arrival and City Tour

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to Noi Bai airport for your flight – (flight from Hanoi to Danang included). Arrive in Danang where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Hoi An. In the afternoon have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch your guide will take you on a walking tour of HoiAn. Visit the ancient town including the beautiful Chua Cau, or roofed bridge, Hoi Quan, the ancient meeting places, some ancestral family homes and some of the lovely and hidden pagodas.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Victoria Hoi An Hotel – 1Double and 1Twin Superior Room

Day 17 – 18 Hoi An – Days at Leisure

Have a free day to explore on your own.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Victoria Hoi An Hotel – 1Double and 1Twin Superior Room

Day 19 Saigon – Arrival

Enjoy your morning at leisure.
Drive to Danang (an hour)  where you will transfer to the airport for your onward flight (flight from Danang to Saigon included). Arrive in Saigon where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Grand Hotel – Deluxe Suite 2Bedroom

Day 20 Saigon – City Tour

Our guides are the experts so we leave you in their hands to discuss and decide what you want to see and do today. There are some great markets if you are in the mood to shop or you can visit some of the museums like the History Museum, or some pagodas, like Thien Hau Lady Goddess Pagoda and Jade Emperor Pagoda. If you are interested in history of the Vietnam War, then we recommend that you take the time to visit the Reunification Hall formerly known as the Presidential Palace, and the War Remnants Museum. Chat with your guide and decide what suits you!

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Grand Hotel – Deluxe Suite 2Bedroom

Day 21 Saigon – Tay Ninh Temple, Cu Chi Tunnels and dinner with War Veteran

Leaving Saigon behind and heading northwest in to Tay Ninh province you will find the Cao Dai Great Temple. Here we will stop for you to see where Cao Daism is practiced and witness the midday mass. Cao Daism is a unique religion worshiping Jesus, Confucius and Buddha! Have lunch at Ngoc Tuyet restaurant in Tay Ninh.

After lunch you will be driven back in a southeasterly direction to arrive at the Cu Chi tunnels. Here you will learn about, and be given the opportunity to descend into, the tunnels themselves where the guerilla fighters constructed an amazing underground base and village network during the French Resistance, and the Vietnam War. Finally, to end your trip, you will be taken to the private home of Mr. Nam, a war veteran of the Vietnamese American war. Here you will have the opportunity to meet and chat with him and his family whilst enjoying a delicious home cooked dinner before heading back to Saigon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Grand Hotel – Deluxe Suite 2Bedroom

Day 22 Day 1 – Mekong Delta Exploration

This morning you will be driven to Cai Be village in the Mekong Delta (approx. 2.5 hours). At Cai Be board a private boat to explore Cai Be floating market and visit local families making popped rice (a favorite of the team!), coconut candies, rice paper…various local homemade Vietnamese products from the Mekong area. Then you’ll have lunch in a beautiful traditional garden house and be presented with local dishes such as, Elephant ear fish rolled and wrapped with rice paper, different Vietnamese vegetables and fruits served with tamarind dipping sauce

After lunch, you’ll carry on with your boat trip to Vinh Long, passing small and beautiful canals with peaceful tranquil villages. Time permitting you can even visit a local brick/pottery factory. After this your private transport will pick you up in Vinh Long and will drive you to Mr Nam ‘s homestay in Can Tho. The home stay is in Cai Tac and it is about 16km away from the city. Check in the home stay and then relax, your guide can help with translating with the family, so don’t be shy, you can ask questions about their life and the history of their country.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Mr Nam’s Homestay

Day 23 Day 2 – Mekong Delta to Saigon

Wake up early and enjoy a one hour bicycle ride around the village, stopping to take photos wherever suits you. You will then take a boat to the Cai Rang Floating Markets, a less touristy market that will be bustling this early in the morning. Have lunch at a local restaurant on route as you return to Saigon in the afternoon.

You will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the airport for your flight (flight from Saigon to Siem Reap included). You will be met by a Journeys Within representative and taken to Unique Boutique Hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel – Family Bungalow

Day 24 Siem Reap – Angkor Wat

This morning head to Angkor Wat in an air-conditioned car, or if you choose by bike, with your guide. Explore this majestic temple throughout the morning while it is still cool and has fewer tourists. Return to Journeys Within for lunch and a nap or refresh with a swim. In the afternoon head to Angkor Thom, the famous walled city and see the many temples within its borders, including the fascinating Bayon temple with its many magnificent faces smiling out. There are several beautiful spots from which to watch the sunset. Discuss with your guide where you would like to be and then relax and enjoy a memorable end to your day at the temples.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel – Family Bungalow

Day 25 Siem Reap – Beng Mealea, Banteay Srei and the Ta Prohm

Enjoy breakfast at Journeys Within before leaving the crowds behind and heading to Beng Mealea, a temple only recently opened to the public; about one and a half hours drive from Journeys Within. After an hour you will leave the paved road and get onto a beaten track running through rice fields and villages of rural Cambodia. At the temple our guide will help you imagine how it once was as you pick your way through the rubble now surrounded by jungle. In the afternoon head to Banteay Srei, an intricately carved temple known as the Lady Temple. On your way back to town stop to visit Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm, two of the prettiest temples in the complex.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel – Family Bungalow

Day 26 Siem Reap – Visit Well

Today visit the well you have generously donated through Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC). A JWOC representative will take you into the community to meet the villagers benefiting from the well and you will be able to see the clean water they are now using.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel – Family Bungalow

Day 27 Siem Reap – Kayaking

Experience a unique Journeys Within day kayaking on the Tonle Sap. You will set out with the rest of the group around 8am and drive for about an hour before boarding a boat for a 40 minute ride to one of the lake villages. Here the homes are built on stilts because, while in the dry season the surrounding area is dry, in the rainy season it is flooded and so they rise above the water level. You will arrive at the local home that stores our canoes and after a short safety briefing head off with your guide who will lead you thru waterways, flooded forests and out into the Tonle Sap lake where you can take a dip if you wish. Then back to wind through the village experiencing how the locals live in this watery environment before returning to the home for lunch and a leisurely boat and car ride back to town.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Journeys Within Boutique Hotel – Family Bungalow

Day 28 Siem Reap – Departure

Transfer to the airport in time to catch your flight – (flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok included).

Meals included: Breakfast

Tour Rate Starting at: $24,300 for a family for 4 (2 adults + 2 children ages 12 and 10)

Price includes:

  • Air tickets Bangkok – Chiang Mai – Luang Prabang – Hanoi – Danang – Saigon – Siem Reap – Bangkok
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips
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