31 Day Backpacking Tour of SouthEast Asia
Embrace Southeast Asia’s wealth of unforgettable experiences on our 31-day adventure tour of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Our adventure leaders will guide you around the region’s hidden gems and major highlights so you can get the most out of your trip. Explore the jungle to lead you to a remote waterfall, feed playful elephants, and swim amidst bioluminescent plankton. Experiences that will stay with you forever. Curious to find out more?
The meeting time and place for this trip is on Day 1 at 17:00 in the rooftop bar of River View Bangkok Hotel in Bangkok (Thailand).
Day 1: Bangkok, Thailand
- Arrive in Bangkok to meet your group and adventure leader who will provide you with your trip briefing.
- Get to know your new travel companions over dinner and drinks in an idyllic rooftop bar with stunning views.
- After dinner head to the sleeper train to kick-start your journey! Your train will depart at 7.35PM from the station – so don’t be late!
Day 2: Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Wake up to see the stunning scenery your train will be passing through before you arrive in Chiang Mai, the 700-year-old cultural capital of Northern Thailand.
- Spend the morning at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, an ecotourism project set-up by The Karen Hilltribes Trust. Feed, walk and wash the elephants.
- After, we head straight to the hostel (with a pool) to check in.
- Optional: In the evening, learn how to cook authentic Thai dishes. (£19)
- Optional: Watch a Muay Thai Boxing Show and cheer on the fighters as they go fist to foot! (£9/£13)
Day 3: Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Explore the city’s dozens of temples and cultural delights. For the thrill seekers amongst you, get your adrenaline fix on one of the optional adventure activities.
- Optional: Go zip lining, drive a quad bike, or go rafting down the Mae Taeng River. (£55-130 package dependent)
- For our first night out in the town, explore the vibrancy of the famous night market.
Day 4: Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Optional: Hop on a Songthaew and head to Wat Doi Suthep temple and take in panoramic views of the city.
- Enjoy a free afternoon! Why not explore Hmong Village near Doi Suthep temple, or make your way back to explore the old city.
- For your last night in Chiang Mai, hit up one of its most iconic bars, ‘Zoe in Yellow.’
Day 5: Chiang Dao, Thailand (L, D)
- Transfer to Chiang Dao and check into your tree-top accommodation.
- After lunch, go off the beaten track and hike through the thick jungle to a waterfall that, to this day, remains wonderfully untouched by the outside world.
- Return to your accommodation and enjoy dinner with the locals.
- Make the most of your stay in the ‘City of Stars’ as you enjoy one of the best stargazing experiences from your tree-top houses.
Day 6: Chiang Dao, Thailand (B)
- Wake up to an incredible sunrise looking out over the Thai countryside.
- After breakfast, go biking along the outskirts of Chiang Dao and enjoy the tranquil countryside.
- Head back to Chiang Mai where you will catch your transfer to Chiang Kong on the Laos border.
- After checking into the hostel, spend the evening slipping into the backpacker vibe with a few cold ones.
Day 7: Mekong River, Laos (B)
- Make the boat crossing into Laos for the next leg of your adventure tour.
- To get to the boat, we will go on a short bus drive where you will have the chance to grab some snacks before setting off on your boat journey.
- Board the slow boat at midday and begin your ride down the Mekong River. It’s a slow paced (the clue’s in the name) way to travel and makes a change from the buses. Take the chance to relax, have a few beers and smile at the water buffalo as you pass them by.
- At 6pm you will arrive in Pakbeng village. Meet your Adventure Leader at the pier and walk to your accommodation. Enjoy time to wander around and sample the local delicacy of ‘buffalo curry.’
Day 8: Luang Prabang, Laos (B, L)
- With some of the slow boat journey still to go, be sure to pick up some Pakbeng sandwiches, a cultural remnant from French occupation.
- Arrive at Luang Prabang at 4:30 pm where you will be picked and taken to your accommodation.
- Spend the evening at Hmong Market and enjoy drinks on the river, watching the sunset.
Day 9: Luang Prabang, Laos (B)
- Spend the morning at the Big Brother Mouse volunteering program, interact with local children who are learning to speak English and develop your understanding of Laos’s culture.
- Optional: Learn about ‘the farm to table process’ of making rice at the Rice Experience farm. (£30)
- Spend the afternoon at Kuang Si Falls, made up of three tiers and the biggest in the Luang Prabang area. Jump in, slide down, and prepare to get very wet!
Day 10: Vang Vieng, Laos (B)
- In the morning, it’s time make your way to Vang Vieng.
- Head straight to the Blue Lagoon 2 where you can swim in the refreshing waters and relax in the sun.
- Transfer to the hostel at about 5pm and check in.
- Enjoy a free evening to relax or explore this backpacker paradise.
Day 11: Vang Vieng, Laos (B)
- Optional: Try your hand at rock climbing (£17), or take a biking tour of the area, followed by a hike up to Pha Ngern Viewpoint for breath-taking views. (4)
- Optional: Later on, explore the surrounding area and bars by tubing along the Mekong River. A hedonistic backpacking classic. Grab an inflatable and relax as you float downstream. (£5)
- Enjoy some free time in the evening to further explore the wonders Vang Vieng at night.
Day 12: Hanoi, Vietnam (B)
- In the morning take a bus journey to the airport to fly out to Hanoi, moving onto Vietnam.
- After landing, take a bus into town and arrive at the hostel at 6:30 pm.
- Join in the free bar crawl, which heads around the city’s Old Quarter.
Day 13: Hanoi, Vietnam
- Optional: Visit the Hoa Lo Prison (£2) and learn about Vietnam’s history before heading over to relax by Hoan Kiem lake.
- Have lunch at Old Quarter Street followed by a free afternoon to explore Hanoi.
- Optional: Pay a visit to Hanoi Opera House, built by French colonial administration. Take a look around the building for free or pay to see one of the shows on offer.
- Optional: Fancy some evening entertainment? Watch a unique Water Puppet Show. (£4)
Day 14: Hanoi, Vietnam
- Optional: Head to the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the resting place of Vietnam’s most iconic leader.
- Optional: Visit the Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to learn about the country’s history.
- Grab a bite to eat for lunch and enjoy the rest of the day to explore as you please! Get a good night’s sleep as it’s an early start tomorrow.
Day 15: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam (B, L, D)
- In the morning travel to Halong Bay by bus and boat.
- The area’s known for its beautiful and dramatic landscape, defined by its towering karst peaks. In fact, it looks so impressive it’s where they chose to film King Kong: Skull Island.
- Spend the afternoon on a boat cruise, and if you are bold enough, go cliff jumping.
- In the evening we head out to spend the night on our own private beach with a chance for some partying and late night bonfires.
Day 16: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam (B, L)
- Wake up to a beautiful sunrise and enjoy a relaxing breakfast.
- Hop into a kayak and explore the famous karst peaks on the water.
- Grab some lunch to refuel before heading back to Hanoi.
- Arrive in Hanoi at approx. 5pm and then hop on the night bus to Phong Nha, 6.30pm to 4 am.
Day 17: Phong Nha, Vietnam (B)
- Optional: Sleep in until 10 am to get some rest after a night’s travel or enjoy a late morning cycle into Bong Lai village. (£4)
- In the afternoon bike to the brilliantly named Pub With Cold Beer. Take a chance to relax there; play some volleyball, eat some food and jump in the river.
- Spend the evening enjoying some karaoke with your group. You should be comfortable enough to sing around each other now, right?
Day 18: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam (B, L)
- Optional: Spend the day exploring Phong Nha’s coastal caves in full, with activities including floating in the mud, zip-lining across the water and kayaking. (£36)
- In the evening you’re free to do as you wish.
Day 19: Hoi An, Vietnam
- It’s an early start hopping on the 4 am – 12.30 pm sleeper bus to Hoi An, with a mid-way stop for breakfast.
- In the afternoon arrive at the beautiful Hoi An. Get a tour of the old town, the riverfront, and the Japanese and Vietnamese architecture
- Make the most of Hoi An’s boutiques and take the opportunity to buy a new suit or pair of boots at a price you wouldn’t see at home.
Day 20: Hoi An, Vietnam (B)
- Today is a free day!
- Optional: Embark on a Ba Na Hills day tour. (£54)
- It’s a lovely opportunity to dedicate a whole day to Hoi An’s beach and, if you fancy it, having a go on a crab boat. (£18-£20)
- Alternatively, go to a local farm and learn about how local farmers work in the area. (£18-£20)
- Enjoy a free evening to grab some delicious food or explore Hoi An at night.
Day 21: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (B)
- Grab some breakfast before boarding the bus to Da Nang.
- Catch a flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City and arrive at your accommodation at around midday.
- Optional: Embark on an orientation walking tour of the city.
- For those interested, visit Ben Thanh Market for great fashion bargains and a delicious street food dinner.
- Head to the hostel’s rooftop bar, the first stop of this evening’s bar crawl.
Day 22: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (B)
- Optional: A day of history starts at the Cu Chi tunnels dug by the Communist guerrilla group, the Viet Cong, that used the tunnels as a war asset to fight American and South Vietnamese troops during the civil war. (£7)
- Optional: Spend your afternoon at the War Remnants Museum to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). (£1)
- Use the evening to explore Ho Chi Minh after dark.
Day 23: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (L, D)
- Begin the tour of the Mekong Delta by going to the Tho Floating Market.
- In the afternoon, take a boat ride through the tranquil Tra Su Forest, moving through a layer of plant life growing out of the water.
- As it reaches evening, arrive at the hostel in Ha Tien.
Day 24: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia (B)
- Cross the border at Ha Tien and wave goodbye to your Vietnam guide as you enter Cambodia.
- Transfer to Sihanoukville Beach. Drive a couple of hours and then arrive at the ferry jetty, taking the ferry to Koh Rong Island.
- Embrace the beautiful paradise island you have now entered, full of stunning beaches and moon parties.
Day 25: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
- Enjoy a free day on the beach on Koh Rong Island.
- Optional: If you’re a restless soul and the beach isn’t enough, take the opportunity to try out scuba diving. (£60)
Day 26: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia (L, D)
- Set off in the morning to go on a boat trip for the day.
- Explore Koh Rong island by boat, visit a local village, and go snorkelling to discover the marine life lying beneath the waves.
- As the daylight fades, bioluminescent plankton reveal themselves in the seawater. It’s an incredible sight, which you’ll never forget.
- Spend the night sleeping in a hammock on a deserted beach and fall asleep to the gentle sound of waves.
Day 27: Phnom Penh, Cambodia (B)
- Spend a day travelling back across the islands
- Step aboard the ferry to head back to Sihanoukville, where you’ll transfer to a bus taking you to Phnom Penh, travelling 1:30 pm – 6 pm.
Day 28: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Optional: Visit the S21 prison and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, to learn about the darker times in Cambodia’s history. (£2)
- Optional: In the afternoon explore a completely different side of the city’s history, with a visit to the stunning Royal Palace. (£8)
- Take an evening off to soak up Phnom Penh, the riverside promenade is beautiful at night.
- For a touch of class, have a drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. One of the city’s most sophisticated joints.
Day 29: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Hop on the bus to Siem Reap (8:45 am – 3:45 pm) to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool.
- In the evening take on the Fear Factor Challenge (exploring strange exotic food) complemented by enjoying drinks from a ‘tuk tuk cocktail bar.’
Day 30: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Start the day by seeing the Angor Wat at sunrise; it’s an essential part of visiting Siem Reap.
- Wander around the area’s temples: Angor Wat, Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm (which gained increased fame for its role in Tomb Raider).
- Enjoy some free time by the pool in the afternoon.
- In the evening, get ready for our last big night out! Explore Pub Street, the centre of Siem Reap, and visit the night market for a bite to eat.
Day 31: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- After 31 days of revelling in some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, it’s time to bid farewell to your companions.
- Take the bus back to Bangkok which will arrive at approx. 16:00.
- Western and local (English-speaking!) adventure leaders.
- Accommodation in hostels and hotels which meet The Dragon Trip’s high standards. All have their own unique charm, and at the same time are safe, clean, and hygienic.
- All train, boat and bus tickets.
- Entry to a whole range of places plus a vast number of included activities.
- 14 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 4 Dinners
- All taxes and charges.
What’s not included?
- Flights to and from South East Asia
- Aside from the many free unmissable activities The Dragon Trip offers you, we also offer some extra activities which are great value for money, safe and fun.
- Food and Drink
- Any train/bus tickets for journeys made after the trip
- Any hostels for after your trip has ended
1st Apr, 2019 - 1st May, 2019
25th Apr, 2019 - 25th May, 2019
6th May, 2019 - 5th Jun, 2019
20th May, 2019 - 19th Jun, 2019
3rd Jun, 2019 - 3rd Jul, 2019
17th Jun, 2019 - 17th Jul, 2019
1st Jul, 2019 - 31st Jul, 2019
8th Jul, 2019 - 7th Aug, 2019
15th Jul, 2019 - 14th Aug, 2019
22nd Jul, 2019 - 21st Aug, 2019
29th Jul, 2019 - 28th Aug, 2019
12th Aug, 2019 - 11th Sep, 2019
26th Aug, 2019 - 25th Sep, 2019
16th Sep, 2019 - 16th Oct, 2019
7th Oct, 2019 - 6th Nov, 2019
28th Oct, 2019 - 27th Nov, 2019
18th Nov, 2019 - 18th Dec, 2019
6th Jan, 2020 - 5th Feb, 2020
13th Jan, 2020 - 12th Feb, 2020
20th Jan, 2020 - 19th Feb, 2020
3rd Feb, 2020 - 4th Mar, 2020
10th Feb, 2020 - 11th Mar, 2020
17th Feb, 2020 - 18th Mar, 2020
24th Feb, 2020 - 25th Mar, 2020