(Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket)
(Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hoi An)
Wake early and stroll out on to the deck of your overnight cruiser as the rising sun awakens the quaint floating villages of Halong Bay in calming shades of pink, blue and gold.
Halong Bay is Vietnam’s most stirring natural wonder and you’ll experience several of its 2000 idyllic islets aboard a luxury overnight cruise as it glides past deep caves, pristine beaches, traditional fishermen at work, and abstract rock formations that rise from gentle tides. Elsewhere, enjoy a Vietnamese water puppet show in Hanoi; see the golden temples of Bangkok; explore the rainforests of Chiang Mai atop an elephant and meet the region’s hill tribes; take a traditional wooden boat to the cliff caves of Pak Ou and French heritage of Luang Prabang; marvel at the vast labyrinth of ancient temples at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat; and recharge your batteries in the island paradise of Phuket.
This extensive four-country tour of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia puts you squarely in the center of the action as you’re encouraged to take part in a variety of activities from Tai Chi on Halong Bay to bicycle excursions through rural villages and tropical countryside. You’ll stay in a selection of historic colonial villas, authentic village guest houses, great city hotels and world-class spa resorts.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Avoid the potentially long queues at the immigration counter with an exclusive immigration fast track service. You will be met by a hostess and porter after exiting your aircraft and will be escorted to the fast track immigration counter where your entry into Thailand will be quickly expedited. The airport staff will handle all airport formalities with immigration and customs officials. Your hostess and porter will also assist in obtaining your baggage from the carousel and escort you through customs. In the event of lost luggage, your hostess will assist in filling out any necessary forms.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
During this tour you will visit the Royal Grand Palace - the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand, with the enclosed and dazzling Wat Phra Keo with its revered Emerald Buddha, the Golden Chedi, the Pantheon of the Chakri Kings, and the Eight Colored Towers. It's considered by many to be a living example of classical Siamese Court, being the former residence of the kings of Thailand. Wat Po is also regarded as the first center of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple served to educate people on subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, and meditation and is considered to be the home of Thai traditional massage. In the afternoon, sail along the bustling Chao Phraya River and the quiet klongs in a long tail boat. A stop will be made at Wat Arun - the “Temple of Dawn”. Finally, a visit to the flower and vegetable market will round off the day. Located close to the Chao Phraya River, this part of Bangkok brings you to a rural piece of Bangkok where you will find a vast selection of flowers, especially orchids and tropical flowers and see how the merchants create very special flower garlands.
Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. Please dress respectfully (no bare shoulders, knees or strapless-heel shoes) when visiting the Grand Palace and temple complex. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple buildings as a matter of respect. The Palace may be closed without prior notice during Royal ceremonies and officials or head of state visit.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
On this tour you will visit the most sacred temple in northern Thailand: the Wat Pra That Doi Suthep. It's the most sacred temple in Chiang Mai and contains a holy relic of the Lord Buddha. Tucked away in the mountains at an elevation of 3,520 feet, the temple is reached using a Naga (7- headed dragon head serpent) railing rising along both sides. The temple compound – accessible via a 300-step staircase – offers an exhilarating view of Chiang Mai and the surrounding countryside. Drive back down to the city center to visit some of the other impressive temples of. Wat Suan Dok is one of them, which dates back to the 14th century when it served as the pleasure gardens to the Thai monarchy. Nowadays it houses several white Chedi’s containing the ashes of Chiang Mai’s former Royal family. This temple also houses one of the most famous monk schools in all of Chiang Mai and the Wat Jedyod, also known as the Temple of Seven Spires. Please dress respectfully by not wearing sleeveless T–shirts, shorts or strapless sandals when visiting the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
The two ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun are located in the southern Chiang Mai region. One of the interesting highlights of this tour is a visit to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center. It was founded in 1993 under Royal Patronage, and cares for more than 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest with a relaxed non-commercial feel. Here you will learn how to care for an elephant and experience a one-hour jungle ride on top one of these majestic animals. After a delicious local lunch, the tour heads back towards Chiang Mai, stopping at Lamphun. Steeped in a history that dates back to A.D. 700, Lamphun is famous for several ancient and revered temples. Among them is Wat Prathat Hariphunchai, built in A.D. 1044 at the site of the ruins of the Royal Palace, and Wat Jamathevi, named after a 7th century queen and founder of Lampoon. Her ashes are interred in the main stupa of the Wat. The trip concludes with a fascinating ride along the old Lampoon-Chiang Mai Road.
Today you will go to a Lanna style school located in a countryside village, just 15 minutes from the city of Chiang Mai. The school offers lessons on how to cook delicious Thai food, Thai sweets, fruit carving, and presentation. When cooking Thai food, various local spices that enhance your health and physical well-being are used as ingredients. It's the ideal school to learn how to cook Thai food to preserve it for generations to come. The atmosphere surrounding the school is filled with warmth, sympathy, and helpfulness, all representing ancient, traditional Lanna custom and culture.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, Laos via Bangkok.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle.
By bicycle, you will visit Wat Xieng Thong temple, the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang with its mosaic decoration and the former royal carriage then. You will later will ride your bike to nearby areas such as Ban Phone Hueang, Ban Aphay, Ban Visun to observe lives of locals, another visit to handmade Photisak silver shop and Minority Art Center. Last but not least, a visit to Wat Phabat Tai, a monastery complex built in the 17th century, a best place to view sunset if visiting in the evening.
Take a traditional wooden boat upstream to visit the famous cave of Pak Ou. The caves are located right on the cliff; it’s a very impressive and stunning sight. Inside the cave, there are more than one hundred Buddha images which have been brought by local people since the early 14th century when the cave was found. On the way, a short stop will be made at Ban Muang Kham, which specializes in river weed making. After, a stop will be made at Ban Xanghai where you can enjoy the taste of the local rice wine. Lunch will be served on the terrace facing the Nam Ou River. After lunch, continue to Kuang Si Falls, located 30 kilometers south of Luang Prabang. The many tiered waterfalls have scooped out small basins of turquoise color. A short trek and swim around the falls is recommended. On the way back a stop will be made at one of the local villages.
Fly one way from Luang Prabang, Laos to Hanoi, Vietnam.
Welcome to Vietnam! Please be sure that your visa has been pre-arranged, or that your visa-on-arrival letter is in your carry-on luggage. These documents will be presented to customs at your first point of entry into the country.
You will be picked up at your hotel by private car with an English speaking guide and taken to visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh and his former residence, One pillar Pagoda, and the Temple of Literature. For lunch, enjoy a lovely meal at a local restaurant. After lunch, continue your city tour to your choice of one of Hanoi's many museums, including Fine Art, History, Revolutionary, War, and Ethnology, then head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple and experience a 1 hour cyclo tour. Finish your day off at the Thang Long Opera Theatre for a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show.
In the morning, transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. The transfer is approximately 3 hours. You may stop on the way to admire the local scenery.
Your journey across Halong Bay starts around noon. As the vessel sets sails, you will be greeted by Paradise Crew and Cruise Manager who will aim throughout your stay at providing you with the highest standards of service and utmost comfort onboard the ship’s luxury facilities in stunning surroundings.
Begin sailing and pass through a magical bay, where thousands of sculpted limestone islands rise from the waves like dragons’ teeth. After lunch, take a short trek to a nearby summit for a panoramic view of the bay dotted with golden sails, go swimming on a quiet beach or sunbath on the sundeck. Later in the afternoon, you will visit an interesting fishing village with an opportunity to interact with local people who have been living in the bay for almost three generations. An optional kayaking trip is available weather permitting. Back onboard enjoy a lavish dinner.
While onboard, you can take advantage of the spa, beauty, and massage services provided. You will also have the opportunity to attend the chef's cooking demonstration and try your skills in the art of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Defined to be one of the highlights of your Paradise stay, a highly refined, innovative and varied cuisine will be presented for lunch and dinner in the elegant dining room, accompanied by a wide selection of wines and beverages from around the world.
In the morning, early risers can attend a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck at the break of dawn. Start the day enjoying some Paradise delights with a colorful buffet breakfast. Continue exploring Halong Bay sailing across its 2000 islets and visiting some of its major highlights.
Disembark the Paradise Luxury in Halong City for a transfer by private vehicle and guide to your next destination.
Fly from Hanoi to Danang. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Transfer from Danang to Hoi An with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 40 minutes.
In the morning, you will be met by your English speaking guide at your hotel and taken to visit My Son, Vietnam's most important Cham’s site. My Son became a religious center in the late 4th century and lasted until the 13th century, the longest period of development of any monument in Southeast Asia. Transfer back to Hoi An, considered one of the most impressive towns in Vietnam. You will then have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, cycle to visit the lantern town with the Japanese Covered Bridge, the Chinese old house, and the Historical museum. If you want to keep riding, there is the option to go swimming. You will be biking about 20 kilometers.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Transfer from Hoi An to Danang with with a private vehicle, driver, and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 40 minutes.
Fly from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City. Flight time is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Fly from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Flight time is approximately 1 hour.
Today will be spent exploring the major temples of Angkor, an absolute highlight and must-do on any trip to Cambodia. Pace your time according to your personal tastes, as you move about the complex visiting sites that date back to the 12th century. Pass under the towering South Gate of Angkor Thom, known as the "Great City". Head into the Bayon group of ruins, famous for the multitude of ancient faces carved into the stone, now looking out over modern day visitors. Linger a while at photogenic Ta Prohm, a group of temples that have been overtaken by the jungle. Lunch will be served at a local Khmer restaurant. In the afternoon you will visit Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, and a symbol for Cambodia. Finally, watch the sky turn many colors of orange and pink from atop Phnom Bakheng, a hilltop monument with an ideal vantage point for sunset.
You will be picked up from your hotel and taken on a sightseeing tour by Tuk Tuk. Enjoy a half day tour visit to Lolei, Bakong, and Preah Ko Temples. At the end of the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Fly from Siem Reap to Phuket, Thailand via Bangkok.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle, driver and English Speaking Guide.
Fly from Phuket to Bangkok. Flight time is approximately 1.5 hours.
Park Plaza Sukhumvit Hotel is located in the centre of Bangkok`s thriving Asoke/Sukhumvit district - the city`s most sought after business, retail and entertainment area. Its prime position makes access to Bangkok`s historic buildings, shopping centres and riverside attractions easy. The Queen Sirikit Convention Center is within easy walking distance. The hotel overlooks the picturesque Benjakitti Park and lake.
Nestling on the banks of the Mae Ping River, the Aruntara Boutique Hotel is a unique way to experience Chiang Mai. The design of the hotel is an architectural marriage between British Colonial and Northern Thai influences, this can be seen by the traditional Lanna style handcrafted teak columns and high ceilings. Every piece of furniture in the hotel is exclusively designed and traditionally handmade by Thai craftsmen which enhances the overall Lanna concept. All the rooms are portrayed by one of the four classical elements which bring peace and tranquility to this Buddhist cultural theme.
The Mekong Riverview Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel with a personal touch located on the tip of the peninsula at the very end of the old town, in the UNESCO World Heritage area. The view from the rooms and Café/Restaurant is the meeting of great Mekong River and Nam Khan River. The hotel is quiet and peaceful with the beautiful former Royal temple Wat Xienthong as your neighbor.
The Silk Path is located in the heart of the charming old quarter of Hanoi, which has countless tourist attractions, government and diplomatic institutions, as well as proximity to the business district of the city. With the hotel's 106 well-appointed exclusively designed rooms and suites, it is no surprise that Silk Hotel is a preference choice of a traveler. The hotel has a 2 level restaurant with private dining rooms, a unique bar, and a fitness center and sauna. Silk Path Hotel guarantees a comfortable stay with all luxury amenities within reach.
Paradise Luxury I, II, III & IV were built according to the traditional Vietnamese junk design and present a lavish outfit blending in subtle harmony with the natural environment. The 4 Paradise Luxury Cruises offer 68 luxurious cabins and suites as well as an exciting array of activities to be enjoyed while experiencing the spectacular scenery of the "Bay of Descending Dragons". Each vessel features a stylish restaurant and bar for an exclusive dining experience on the third deck. The top deck serves as a perfect place to enjoy the sunshine and discover the splendid beauty of Halong bay with a 360° view while benefiting from the presence of the Moonlight Bar. Celebrated for being the only cruisers in Halong Bay to provide complete spa facilities with dry sauna, Jacuzzi, massages, and beauty treatments, Paradise luxury boats dispose of spa facilities aiming at reviving the senses and nurturing well-being. The Paradise Luxury fleet is committed to granting guests a genuine yet prestigious experience in Halong Bay.
Located on the bank of the romantic Thu Bon River, Vinh Hung Riverside Resort & Spa is within a 5-minute walk to the ancient town of Hoi An. The 4-star resort, which blends Vietnamese tradition with modern facilities, offers guests gracious hospitality and impeccable service. The resort has well-appointed rooms set in the coconut-tree-shaded gardens that meander along the river. All the rooms are elegantly designed and furnished with the comfort of guests in mind.
The Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa provides a sense of serenity with the nostalgic comfort and elegant refinement of the French Art de Vivre in the heart of Siem Reap. The building's graceful colonial architecture of the 1930's provides a sense of peaceful tranquility. The hotel is located within close proximity to World Heritage listed Angkor Temples, the quaint old market town of Siem Reap, and the international airport. Featuring a Victorian touch, air conditioned rooms and suites come with dark furnishings, all with private balcony facing the pool, tropical garden or the Royal Park. International, Asian, and local Khmer dishes are served at L'Escale restaurant, while Le Bistrot de Siem Reap presents modern French gastronomy, complemented by the finest wines. L'Explorateur Bar and Le Pool Deck feature light meals, exquisite cocktails, and refreshing beverages. Surrounded by tropical garden, the hotel houses a magnificent outdoor saltwater pool with a spa tub. Relaxing massages, facial and body treatments are available at the Victoria Spa.
Following extensive renovations to all accommodations, Boathouse now offers a refreshing blend of its original elegance with modern luxuries and tropical flare. Their architects respected the most loved aspects of this iconic Phuket resort and successfully updated the classic with contemporary amenities to enhance your Thai beachfront holiday. Whether your palate prefers authentic Thai cuisine or sophisticated French cuisine, savor leisurely lunches and fine dinners. Enjoy the award-winning wine cellar, distinguished by prestigious Wine Spectator Awards since 1995. All guestrooms at the Boathouse look upon the captivating blue hues of the Andaman Sea. Sleep soundly, just steps from the powdery soft white sand, in whichever you choose among the classic yet entirely refreshed Asian retro-style guestrooms and substantial suites.
Maynard Fossum ,
December 12, 2014
"My trip to China proved to be an outstanding experience. Each location provided excellent learning and entertainment opportunities. The country was very impressive both in its deep history and in the huge modernization that has taken place in recent decades. The tour guides at each location were well informed and able to answer questions while also offering detailed information at all sites. It was a pleasure to be so well taken care of. The guides and drivers were always helpful. The meals on the tour were delicious and varied. I was pleased with the choice of restaurants. The hotels were comfortable and well located. I will recommend Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"I was a bit nervous about visiting Myanmar. Thanks to the outstanding help and planning via Kensington Tours, everything went off without a hitch!! It was a fantastic experience, that I would recommend to anyone with a spirit of adventure. "
Craig Gelman ,
December 12, 2014
"Fabulous trip. Every aspect from the planning to execution was excellent. "
Ruth Reinhard ,
December 12, 2014
"The trip was fantastic!!!Each guide and driver gave us so much information and were so helpful. They made sure that they took good care of our well being and requests. My husband, who we all call "the reluctant traveler" said, halfway through the trip, where are we going next? He said if he can go with Kensington then he will go anyplace. Thanks for making our trip to China a memorable experience."
SixtoCastenada Jr. ,
December 12, 2014
"100% satisfied! We had a wonderful trip. Our travel adviser, Tony Newman put together a tour that included everywhere we wanted to visit and within our very limited time frame. Conrad, who booked our transportation was very professional. The tour guides, hotel accommodations and transportation arrangements were all excellent. We will be using Kensington Tours again!"
December 12, 2014
"We were so impressed with all aspects of the trip that Kensington arranged for us - even at short notice. The itinerary was perfectly planned, full of extra activities like riding an elephant and a water buffalo cart ride. The guides were wonderful in all the places we went and the travel was easy between locations. Vietnam is a wonderful destination and Angkor Wat is amazing too. We loved the overnight on the boat in Halong Bay and the train ride to Sapa. The day we spent trekking between indigenous villages in the mountains of Sapa was one of the most interesting days of my life! We have travelled a lot and this was one of the best trips we have ever taken."
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
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