Genting Highlands, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia
This comprehensive 29-day, 28-night tour of nine Southeast Asia countries will fill up your soul as surely as it will fill up your passport
All of Southeast Asia is a lot to take in, but for travelers with the budget and the time, this 29-day tour immerses you in the region's best spots.
Start with a four-day romp through Cambodia, where you'll see the ancient Angkor temples left over from the Khmer Empire that once held court here; meet students creating traditional Cambodian crafts; and visit the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, home to a silver-floored pagoda and next to the National Museum.
Next up, spend six days in Vietnam: a country that combines breathtaking natural landscapes with a highly-developed culture. For the former, you'll visit Da Lat's Pren waterfalls and Lang Biang Mountain, and Nha Trang's expansive sand dunes; for the latter, you'll explore Da Lat's historic buildings and Nha Trang's resorts.
A three-day interlude in neighboring Laos takes you to the capital Vientiane, whose temples and buildings betray Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French, and American influences; the artificial lake Nam Ngum, now home to fishermen and beautiful islets; and craft villages like Ban Keun and Ban Nong Bouathong.
The next lap also takes three days, this time spent in Myanmar, where you'll spend your days exploring the capital Yangon's sights and sounds, including the world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda; Karaweik Hall floating on a lake; and the Bogyoke Aung San (Scott) Market.
A short flight begins your four-day jaunt through Thailand, covering the urban sprawl of the present-day capital Bangkok and the tropical beach fervor of Pattaya. In Bangkok, see the towering Wat Arun before visiting rustic shops for leather, honey and Srirach. In Pattaya, explore local sights like the Coral Island and Nong Nooch Village.
Spend the following six days shuttling between Singapore and Malaysia, from the former's hyper-modern skyline of Marina Bay and fun beach activities of Sentosa; to the latter's urban experiences through Malacca, Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
Then you'll take three days to explore the Indonesia province of North Sumatra, particularly its biggest city Medan, full of markets, traditional restaurants and dazzling places of worship; and Lake Toba, the world's largest volcanic lake, whose traditional villages demonstrate a vibrant culture unsullied by modern influences.
Your last stop takes you to the Philippines' island Boracay, one of the world's top beach islands. Over five days, you'll dig deep into what makes Boracay special, from snorkeling spots to beachside picnics to the many dazzling white-sand beaches around the island, of which White Beach is just the biggest.
Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar. Image courtesy of Mike Aquino
Tour includes accommodations, tour guide, tours and transfers in private vehicles, entrance fees and meals. It is recommended for travelers to Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to get travel insurance with coverage for medical evacuation flights. Flights, visa fees, and personal expenditures are not included.
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