Custom Vacations To South East Asia

Posted by Nina Winwood · in South East Asia, Anywhere

Custom Vacations To South East Asia

Posted by Nina Winwood · in South East Asia, Anywhere

Have you dreamed about lounging on white sand beaches, visiting ancient temples, exploring wild jungles and seeing some of the world's best wildlife all in one trip? Look no further than South East Asia and all of the wondrous sights and experiences that it is has to offer. Wether you want to party on Thailand's infamous islands, kickback and relax on the white sand beaches of Indonesia, explore the ancient temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, or sail around the astonishing limestone cliffs in Vietnam's Ha Long Bay, South East Asia really does have something for everybody! Our Adventure Specialists at North South Travel are happy to work with you to create a fully customized South East Asia adventure to ensure that you get your dream trip! 

One of our favourite tour operators in South East Asia is Trails of Indochina who offer an array of adventures across the region and they allow us the freedom to create tailored experience trips that take you far off the beaten path. Trails of Indochina is proud to be recognized as a pioneer and leader in Destination Management and luxury travel within South East Asia. Their 250 international staff in 5 showcased destinations of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar ensures that they have the expertise, skill and insight to take you on a journey that is both inspiring and creative. They pride themselves on offering specialized and creative itineraries with a range of ‘Tailored Experiences’ made available only to you.

DESTINATIONS

THAILAND:

Thailand is SE Asia’s undisputed leader in tourism development, combining the region’s best-established tourism infrastructure and service levels with a huge diversity of landscapes, cultural sites and activities. Sun worshippers can choose from hundreds of stunning beaches on secluded islands. Gourmets can sample the justly famous local cuisine, from fresh seafood to fiery curries. Those with more spiritual leanings can explore the country’s thousands of temples and monasteries. Adventurous visitors can try watersports, trekking and cycling. Whichever facet of Thailand attracts you, one thing is constant – the Thai concept of ‘sanuk’, having a good time in everything you do. It’s why so many people return to the country time and time again! (I've already been twice!!)

Highlights

Bangkok: Wat Pho, The Grand Palace, Wat Prakeaw, Floating Market, Siam Centre, Weekend Market, Wat Arun, Khao San Road, Baiyoke Sky Tower, Day Trip to Ayuthaya 

Chang Mai: Zip-lining in the Jungle, Chiang Dao Elephant Training Camp, Wat Phrathat on Doi Suthep Mountain

Chang Rai: The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), The Golden Triangle, Wat Phra Kae (home of the Emerald Buddha)

Koh Phi Phi: Swimming, Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Sunbathing, Maya Bay, Viking Cave

Other Destinations: Koh Tao (for diving), Koh Samui (for relaxing), Koh Pha Ngan (full moon party), Phuket (beach time), Krabi (to visit Railay beach and go rock climbing), Khao Sok National Park (for an overnight jungle experience and floating hut accommodation), Kanchanaburi (the waterfalls of Erawan National Park)

Tailored Experiences

Chiang Mai Organic Farm Cooking Class: Enjoy a family atmosphere and share cooking secrets with a well known local chef. His passion for cooking encouraged him set up an organic farmhouse where he now takes care of a spacious garden full of Thai herbs and tropical fruits. Learn how to pound curry paste for an authentic Thai curry and create a delicious dessert with the sweet fruits you picked right from the trees. You can't miss learning how to make simple delicious Thai food while visiting this country, it is the best souvenir you can get!

The River of Kings: Step aboard a lovingly restored, 100-year old rice barge to experience the ultimate luxury river cruise through the heart of downtown Bangkok. Delight in sumptuous Thai set menus designed by a local celebrity in the culinary arts scene as this magnificent vessel meanders through one of the largest cities in Southeast Asia. Vivid snapshots of Thai river life will be around you at all times. Disembark and visit some must see destinations up close, such as the Grand Palace and the Santa Cruz Catholic Church before concluding this fascinating excursion. Seeing Bangkok from the water is one of the best ways to view this sprawling SEA capital.

CAMBODIA:

Most people know of Cambodia as home to the crowning glory of Southeast Asia – the magnificent temples at Angkor Wat, but visitors are often surprised at how much more this small country has to offer. Angkor Wat is simply unmissable, but take a little more time to explore Phnom Penh, the exciting, bustling gateway to the country; Tonle Sap lake, the largest in Southeast Asia; Sihanoukville, an increasingly chic beach destination; and Mekong River town Kratie, where lucky visitors may spot endangered Mekong river dolphins. For those wishing to learn more about the country’s recent history, Tuol Sleng prison and the ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek provide a chilling insight into Cambodia’s darkest hours. As Cambodia shakes off its past and attempts to embrace the future, there has never been a better time to visit a country that combines typical Asian bustle and energy with timeless spirituality.

Angkor Thom

Highlights:

Siem Reap: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple, Ta Prohm, Ton Le Sap Lake, Night Market, Artisans d'Ankor, Chhong Kneas (Floating Village), The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity

Phnom Penh: National Museum, Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, The Killing Fields, Wat Phnom, Take a sunset Cruise on the Mekong, Udong Temple

Other Destinations: Sihanoukville (beaches), Koh Rong (secluded island with good diving), Kampot (market town)

Tailored Experiences

Biking Kampong Thom To Sambor Prei Kuk: Hop on a bike and follow the rural trails from Kampong Thom that lead through beautiful paddy fields, local villages and friendly local villagers. Stop for lunch in a traditional local home, thentransfer the rest of the way to Sambor Prei Kuk by vehicle. Sambor Prei Kuk is one of Cambodia’s oldest temple sites dating back to the 6th century and remains remarkably well preserved.

Phnom Penh With Expert Guide: Discover Phnom Penh in more detail with a tour led by a French Anthropologist and historian who has been based in Cambodia for many years. The tour will follow the city’s history through five distinct periods and pay a visit to some intriguing sites including Post Office square, the Hainan temple, the station square, the official buildings surrounding Vat Phnom, the former Cantonese temple, the providence church, the Chinese district, Vat Unnalom, and several important monuments around town.

LAOS

Landlocked Laos is Southeast Asia’s least developed and least known country – and therein lies its appeal. The pace of life here is extremely laid back and has changed little for centuries, which makes it arguably the region’s most captivating destination. Laos has stylish, elegant cities such as Vientiane and Luang Prabang, which combine French colonial architecture, stunning Buddhist temples and a sleepy atmosphere far removed from other Asian cities, to create an intoxicating mix for the visitor. The countryside is no less fascinating, with the mysterious Plain of Jars and the unusual Mekong River islands all contributing to Laos’ unique ambiance.Add the warmth, kindness and amiably vague timekeeping of the Lao people, and you have an unapologetically old-fashioned travel experience. Laos is one of my favourite countries in the world and it is impossible to not fall in love with its natural beauty.

Highlights

Luang Prabang: Royal Palace National Museum, Phousi Hill, Night Market, Ban Nayang Village Artisans, Kuang Si Waterfall, Cruise the Mekong, Pak Ou Caves, Ban Muang Keo Whisky Village

Vang Vieng: Tham Phu Kham Cave, Blue Lagoon, Tham Nam Cave Tubing, Hot Air Ballooning, Nam Song River Tubing/Kayaking, Wat Kang

Vientiane: Wat Sisaket, Wat Si Muang, Lao National Museum, COPE Visitors Centre, Buddha Park, That Luang

Other Destinations: Nong Kiau (scenic landscapes), Phu Hin Bun National Park (Tham Kong Lo Cave), Luang Namtha (Hill Trekking)

Tailored Experiences

Sunset Cruise Aboard The Amantaka: Depart from Luang Prabang town in the late afternoon on the luxurious Amantaka Boat for a cruise up and down stream. The Mekong River plays an intrinsic role in everyday life for those living along its shores. From the boat, observe the local villages and rural life along the tree-lined banks of the river. Enjoy the cool breeze off the water with a refreshing cocktail and canapés, and experience a magical sunset over the Mekong River.

Laos Coffee Time: High in the mountains surrounding the city of Luang Prabang, dwell a bouquet of diverse hill tribes who produce a rare specialty highland Arabica coffee. Meet a local expat who has been living in Laos working in agriculture. Learn about the different types of coffee beans produced in Luang Prabang and what positive effects the project is having on the locals. Have a chance to see coffee being roasted and of course taste the final product of these fine Lao Arabica beans in the form of a latte, cappuccino or the local specialty, the Luang Prabang espresso.

20th UNESCO Anniversary Walking Tour: In celebration of the 20th UNESCO Anniversary in December 2015, a book was published that highlights myriad aspects of this unique and charming World Heritage Site. The walking tour we propose you to take, which is based on the book, has been put together by connoisseurs of Luang Prabang. Set out on foot for an ‘off the beaten track’ walking tour with your local guide and the 20th Anniversary Book in hand. Observe Luang Prabang’s distinct architecture and let your guide tell you stories about the houses you see and the places you pass. 

INDONESIA

Indonesia is a vast nation of over 250 million people spread over thousands of islands. Comprised of hundreds of ethnic groups and languages, Indonesia is proud of its diversity. Explore paradise on Bali, where stunning beaches dot the coast, juxtaposed by the dramatic volcanic landscape and terraced rice paddies of the interior. Island hop over to Jogjakarta, the capital of Java, which is home to the 9th century Borobudur Temple as well as an active volcano. Head further east to the island of Komodo, home of the legendary dragon, or to the isle of Moyo, a protected area which offers some of the best marine activities in the region. Indonesia offers an incredible range of rich and diverse experiences, and visitors to this nation remember their time here with fondness.

Highlights:

Yogyakarta and Central Java: Prambanan Temple, Water Castle, Ullen Sentalu Museum, Kotadge Central of Silver Smiths, Malioboro Stree, Borobudur Temple, Elo River White Water Rafting, Merapi Volcano, Dieng Plateau

Flores Island: Ledalero Museum, Paga Beach, Kelimutu Volcano, Mount Inerie, Lake Rana Mese, Kanawa Island

Ubud, Bali: Monkey Forest, Balinese Dance Performance, Elephant Safari, Market, Ubud Palace, Celuk Silver Village, Batuan Village, Elephant Cave, Yoga Classes, Agung Rai Museum Of Art, Tegalalang Rice Terraces

Kuta/South Kuta, Bali: Uluwatu Temple, Kuta Beach, Nightclubs, Waterbom Bali, Balangan Beach, Dreamland Beach

Other Destinations: Jakarta (museums and amusement park) (Mount Bromo (hiking), Mount Batur (hiking), Nusa Dua (beaches), Gili Islands (diving), Lombok (hiking and waterfalls)

Tailored Experiences

Discover Bali On A Bicycle: There is no better way to enjoy the beauty of Bali’s landscape than on a bicycle with sun and wind in your hair and interacting with the local Balinese along the way. Stop any time you wish during the journey to take a photo, breathe in the fresh air admire the sheer beauty of the green rice terraces.

Insights Into The Art In Ubud: Ubud is Bali’s cultural heart and many artists have settled in the beautiful surroundings of the town over the past decades. Visit the home and gallery of a local artist to observe the artistic flair with which the interior is designed. Receive some artistic tips from you host before continuing on to the Neka Art Museum, meet with the director who will escort you around this contemporary museum. Most of the artists whose works are on display are local artists and majority pieces remind us of the natural beauty, life and culture of Bali. 

VIETNAM

From the misty mountains of the north to the lush rice fields of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam is a beguiling destination which rarely fails to charm. Timeless images of Indochina abound – conical-hatted farmers toil in bright green rice fields; junks drift through the mist on Halong Bay; cyclo drivers ride through the narrow streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. There is also a new Vietnam emerging, in the upscale hotels, shopping arcades and fine dining restaurants of vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, and in the luxury designer beach resorts of Hoi An and Mui Ne. A perfect journey to Vietnam encompasses an exploration of the country’s arts, its culture and its communities. You can share tea and conversation with experts in the gastronomic and visual arts, hop on a bicycle and explore ancient villages or share your good fortune by donating a simple rowing boat to assist a local family to get ahead. Vietnam is a country of contrasts where pleasant surprises await at almost every turn. One thing does remain constant – the warmth, inquisitiveness and positivity of its people, which remain the abiding memory of those who spend time in this alluring country.

Highlights

Hanoi: Cyclo Ride through the Old Quarter, Overnight Junk Boat trip through Ha Long Bay, Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, Vietnam Museum, Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre

Sapa: Hill Trekking, Cat Cat Village, Muong Hoa Valley's Rice Fields, Love Waterfall, Fansipan Mountain

Hoi An: Japanese Covered Bridge, Night Market, Street Food Tours, Visit to a local Tailor, Boat Ride to Tra Nhieu Village, Thuan Tinh Island, An Bang Beach

Ho Chi Minh City: Independence Palace, War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Central Post Office, Day Trip to the Delta of the Mekong, Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Thanh Market, Gun Range Visit

Other Destinations: Nha Trang (beach resort town), Hue (ancient pagoda), Pho Quoc (tropical island)

Tailored Experiences

Outdoor Water Puppet Performance: Originating in the 10th century, water puppetry is a unique folk art that cannot be found anywhere in the world but Vietnam. Although water puppetry has gone on for over 300 years in Dao Thuc village, it really made a comeback several years ago by one particular artisan. At the village, learn how he and his family introduce this traditional art to the world, and enjoy a real performance right at the home of water puppetry. Finish the trip by enjoying a private outdoor show on the village pond accompanied by live, traditional orchestra music.

Home-Hosted Dinner At Former US Ambassador's Residence: Follow a trail through an alley dotted with colonial era mansions until you reach a gate, behind of which an enchanting home awaits. The US Ambassador to South Vietnam in the 1960s, Henry Cabot Lodge, lived in this stylish residence and today it has been restored to its former glory. Enjoy a cocktail reception complete with traditional dance performances in the intimate courtyard. A sophisticated Vietnamese meal will be served in the magnificent dining room and is accompanied by live music to create a memorable atmosphere.

MYANMAR

Travellers to secretive Myanmar are welcomed by local people as their only contact with the outside world, making this one of Southeast Asia’s most rewarding destinations. Myanmar’s travel experiences are simply unparalleled. Try taking a slow boat up the Irrawaddy to Mandalay. Relax in a private lodge on the shores of misty Inle Lake. Take a balloon ride and get a bird’s eye view of the extraordinary temples of Bagan. Trek into the forests to spot rare indigenous bird species. Myanmar is not the simplest Southeast Asian country to visit in terms of infrastructure and access, but travelers who make the effort are richly rewarded.

Highlights

Yangon: Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, National Museum, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Day Trip to see the Golden Rock and Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, Taukkyan War Cemetary, Kandawgyi Park

Pyay: Myo Mar Local Market, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Day Trip to Akauk Taung, Hmawza Museum, Archeological Museum

Bagan: Dhammayangyi Temple, Htilominlo Pagoda, Popa Mountain National Park, Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Temples, Nyaung U Markets, Shwezigon Pagoda, Ananda Temple, Sulamani Guphaya Temple

Mandalay: Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda, Amarapura Monastery, U Bein Bridge, Puppet Show, Mahamuni Pagoda, Shewendaw Monestary

Other Destinations: Pindaya (limestone caves), Inle Lake (local villages and floating gardens), Ngapali (beach)

Tailored Experiences

Exotic Boat Lunch On Inle Lake: After cruising around the picturesque nature of Inle lake, stop at a tranquil location along the shore for lunch while enjoying the view of mountain surroundings and rice paddies.

Culture Painting Talk Show: Meet local artist & filmmaker Soe Moe at his home for a presentation and discussion about Burmese art. Soe Moe is well-known for his paintings which depict the life of people and different ethnic minorities around Myanmar. Soe Moe is an Impressionist artist who paints with water colors on canvas. Soe Moe’s work has been exhibited in countries around the world.

SINGAPORE

Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian island city-state (and the only city-state in the world that is also an island) off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. A regional business hub, Singapore is the 4th largest financial center in the world. With a population of over 5 million, the city-state is a melting pot of cultures and people making a visit here truly energizing and inspiring. Whether you are staying for just a day or longer, Singapore offers something for everyone – from world-class shopping, varied, renowned cuisine and many opportunities for nightlife and culture.

Highlights

Singapore Botanic Gardens, National Orchid Gardens, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Afternoon Tea at the Raffles Hotel, Marina Bay, Clarke Quay, Chinatown, Singapore River Cruise, Sentosa Island, Cloud Forest, Gardens By The Sea, Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo

Tailored Experiences

Secrets Of The Five Dragons - Feng Shui: Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese practice of placement and arrangement of space to achieve harmony with the environment. In recent history, many Feng Shui masters were convinced that Singapore, a small dot on the world map, could not possibly possess any beneficial Feng Shui attributes. They were wrong! Join an expert and discover where the five auspicious, mythological Feng Shui dragons lie in Singapore and their contribution to the island’s prosperity. The Feng Shui Tour will undoubtedly open your horizons on how the ancient oriental art and science is being practised in the cosmopolitan Singapore – truly a melting pot of old & new.

Private Helicopter Tour Over Singapore: The single engine Eurocopter EC120B Hummingbird Helicopter is able to seat one pilot and up to 4 passengers. You will take the most scenic route over this amazing city and truly see Singapore unlike most people! Should there be a particular area of Singapore that you are interested in, the route can be adjust to suit your desires. 

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO START PLANNING YOUR TRIP TO SOUTH EAST ASIA! INQUIRE ONLINE BY CLICKING ON THE "GET PRICES & SCHEDULE ABOVE" OR CALL US ON 604-736-7447

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