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Asia in Depth - Bangkok to Shanghai

Trip Length

Trip Code

28 days PAAD

Maximum Passengers

16 people

Countries Visited

China, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam

Start City

End City

Bangkok, Thailand Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Asia in Depth - Bangkok to Shanghai

Vibrant, bustling Bangkok is the quintessential city that doesn't sleep – a great place to start our epic Asian journey. Across the border, laid-back Laos is sure to captivate. The Mekong River remains its lifeblood, the Plain of Jars is a monument to a mysterious past and Vientiane is perhaps one of the world's most relaxed capital cities. However, we find the country's heart and soul in the serene, former royal enclave of Luang Prabang.
Cambodia beckons with the carved-stone glories of the Angkor period still evident, and Phnom Penh is a 'phoenix rising from ashes' as it leaves its recent turbulent past behind. Beautiful Vietnam completes our Indochina stretch, with French colonial traces interspersed with a magnificent oriental heritage our setting.
Full-on Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), magical Hoi An, colonial Hanoi and spectacular Halong Bay all combine for fine adventure before we hit China and the Great Wall.
In true Peregrine style, we walk along an original, remote and largely unvisited section of the wall. Beijing beguiles with the legendary Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven. Seeking the lesser-known side of China, we explore the exotic Muslim enclave in Xian, as well as the famed terracotta warriors. In Shanghai, bustling markets and fantastic food stalls give us an insight into local lifestyles, while a walk along the colonial waterfront facades of the Bund provides awesome views of Pudong’s futuristic towers across the river. We finish this amazing adventure in the footsteps of Marco Polo, roaming the canals and streets of that Venice of the East, Zhouzhang.

Why we love it:

Asia in Depth - Bangkok to Shanghai


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok

Accommodation: Nouvo City Hotel or similar, Bangkok

Activities:

Day 2: Bangkok - Chiang Rai

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Wiang Inn Hotel or similar, Chiang Rai

Activities:

Day 3: Huay Xai - Pakbeng

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Activities:

Day 4: Luang Prabang

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: New Daraphet Villa or similar, Luang Prabang

Activities:

Day 5: Luang Prabang

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: New Daraphet Villa or similar, Luang Prabang

Activities:

Day 6: Phonsavan

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Anoulack Ken Lao Hotel or similar, Xiengkhouang

Activities:

Day 7: Phonsavan - Vientiane

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: City Inn or similar, Vientiane

Activities:

Day 8: Vientiane

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: City Inn or similar, Vientiane

Activities:

Day 9: Phnom Penh

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Ohana Palace Hotel or similar, Phnom Penh

Activities:

Day 10: Phnom Penh

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Ohana Palace Hotel or similar, Phnom Penh

Activities:

Day 11: Siem Reap

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap

Activities:

Day 12: Siem Reap

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap

Activities:

Day 13: Siem Reap

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel or similar, Siem Reap

Activities:

Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC

Activities:

Day 15: Cu Chi Tunnels - Ho Chi Minh City

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Asian Ruby Hotel or similar, HCMC

Activities:

Day 16: Danang - Marble Mountain - Hoi An

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Hoi An Hotel or similar, Hoi An

Activities:

Day 17: Hoi An

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Hoi An Hotel or similar, Hoi An

Activities:

Day 18: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch

Accommodation: Lan Vien Hotel or similar, Hanoi

Activities:

Day 19: Halong Bay

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Activities:

Day 20: Hanoi

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Lan Vien Hotel or similar, Hanoi

Activities:

Day 21: Beijing

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing

Activities:

Day 22-24: Beijing - Xian

Meals included: 3 breakfasts

Accommodation: Dong Fang Hotel or similar, Beijing

Activities:

Day 25: Xian

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Accommodation: Forest City Hotel or similar

Activities:

Day 26-27: Shanghai

Meals included: 2 breakfasts

Accommodation: Metropole Hotel or similar, Shanghai

Activities:

Day 28: Shanghai

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Activities:


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

Not Included

Optional Extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

China

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance

MAINLAND CHINA & HONG KONG:

Most nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be difficult to obtain outside your country of residence. You may be able to apply for your visa in Hong Kong If you have time here before your trip departs. You will need a Single Entry Tourist for your trip valid for 30 days. Hong Kong is not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities do not require a visa. Please check with an embassy for specific requirements.

INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:

Itinerary:

Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.

Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
606 InterChina Commercial Building
33 Dengshikou Street
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100006
+86 10 6406 7328

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:

* Hotel List - this will be sent to you by your booking agent. If you do not receive this please email us with your booking number and trip details. Please tick the hotels in all destinations that your trip visits.
* Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the embassy or not.
* Itinerary – please print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website and include it with your application, listing the dates you will visit each destination.
* Photocopy of your passport.
* Passport size photo (up to 4 may be required).
* Please check with the embassy for any other specific requirements.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR TRAIN TICKET BOOKINGS

We require you to send the following at the time of booking, or no later than 60 days prior to travel: Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport
Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.

Cambodia
Visas can be organised on arrival, or in advance. If you wish to obtain you visa prior to departure please contact the embassy or consulate and allow approx 3 weeks for the visa to be processed.

If you are obtaining your visa on arrival at the airport or at a border crossing you can do so for approx US$30.00 (cost subject to change)- you will need a passport photo if you wish to do this.

Most countries can obtain their visa on arrival including, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the USA. If your country is not listed above please contact your embassy.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavour to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Laos
We ask all our travellers to obtain their Laos visas at the border, and NOT in their home country. Your tour leader will assist you in obtaining a Laos visa, generally at the border, depending on the current state of affairs, as it can vary.

Please ensure that you have at least 1 passport photos and up to US$60 cash (this may vary too) to fulfil the requirements. There will also be an Immigration Fee of USD1. To assist us in processing your Laos visas, please provide your agent with accurate passport details prior to the departure of your trip as these details will be passed on to our leader.

When crossing the border you will most likely see a lesser entry fee than what you have paid. This is due to the leader having to use a local agent to process the visa which allows the group to cross the border as quickly as possible.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Thailand
If you are flying into Thailand you will be issued with a 30 day stay on arrival.

If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border. If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.

If you are not from one of the following countries please contact your consulate or embassy for more information on visa conditions for Thailand; Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Vietnam
You will need to obtain your Vietnam visa in advance. When obtaining your visa for Vietnam you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approx USD$60 to USD$100.00 (subject to change). Some nationalities are exempt from requiring a visa if their stay is less than 15 days, but if you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance.

Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.

If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: PEAK Vietnam 57A Nguyen Khac Hieu St, Hanoi, Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996.

The above information has been put together as a guide. We do endeavor to update this information as much as possible but it’s also important that you check for yourself as visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

China

There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: Wild Swans-Jung Chang The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices-Xinran Riding the Iron Rooster-Paul Theroux From Heaven Lake-Vikram Seth One’s Company-Peter Fleming Red China Blues-Jan Wong Mr China’s Son: A Villager’s Life-He Liuyi China, Renaissance of the Middle Kingdom-Odyssey Guide China-Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrase Book-Lonely Planet. The following are recommended for travellers on the Silk Road: The Great Game-Peter Hopkirk Foreign Devils on the Silk Road-Peter Hopkirk.

Cambodia

A History of Cambodia-David Chandler Brother Number One (A Political Biography of Pol Pot)-David Chandler Sihanouk (Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness-Milton Osbourne A Dragon Apparent-Norman Lewis Angkor (An Introduction to the Temples)-Dawn Rooney Angkor: An Introduction-George Coedes River of Time-Jon Swain Angkor Heart of Asian Empire-Sharon AuRick Cambodia-Lonely Planet

Laos

Travels in Siam, Cambodia & Laos-Henri Mouhot A Dragon Apparent-Norman Lewis Treasures from Laos-Lao Govt History of Laos-M. Viravong Laos: War & Revolution-Nina Adams Historical Dictionary of Laos -Martin Stuart-Fox and Mary Kooyman The Mekong-John Hoskins The Ravens (Pilots of the Secret War of Laos) -Christopher Robbins Laos-Lonely Planet

Thailand

There are a number of books that make interesting reading and provide insight into the country's history, politics and culture. A few suggestions are: Mai Pen Rai Means Never Mind-Carol Hollinger Monsoon Country-Pira Sudham The Hilltribes of Northern Thailand-Gordon Young Thailand-Lonely Planet Thai Ways-Dennis Segaller Thailand: A Short History-David Wyatt Culture Shock! Thailand & How to Survive It-Robert& Nanthapa Cooper The English Governess at the Siamese Court-Anna Leonowens The Beach-Alex Garland Travelers’ Tales Thailand -Charles Nicholls, Pico Iyer, et al. Borderlines -Charles Nicholls

Vietnam

There are a number of books which make interesting reading and provide insight in the history, politics and culture of the country. Suggestions are: The Quiet American- Graham Greene The Sacred Willow-Duong Van Mai Elliot Paradise of the Blind-Duong Thu Huong Vietnam: Yesterday & Today -Ellen Hammer One Crowded Hour- Tim Bowden Catfish and Mandala-Andrew X Pham Hitchhiking Vietnam-Karin Muller Vietnam- Lonely Planet A Bright Shining Lie-Neil Sheehan (on the Vietnam-American War)


Important Information

Your Fellow Travellers
On this trip you may link up with passengers booked on other Peregrine tours. You may also be joined by like-minded travellers from our sister company Intrepid Travel.

Local Tour Leaders
By employing and training local guides to lead our group holidays, there is a two-fold benefit. Firstly, we provide employment opportunities for the local community. Just as importantly is the benefit to you, the traveller. Your tour leader’s friendship, humour, passion and intimate knowledge of the region will be key factors in making your holiday a success. Peregrine will use different tour leaders to run the various sectors of this particular trip. We will have separate local leaders for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. You will be unescorted on the flights from Vientiane to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Beijing.

Thai Etiquettes and Customs
Your tour leader will advise you further on Thai cultural etiquettes during your tour; however, here are some simple ones to get you started.
· Patting a Thai on their head is considered extremely rude and insulting
· Public displays of affection are not acceptable, including holding hands and kissing.
· Losing your temper or showing anger and shouting or yelling will lose respect immediately; to remain cool, calm and collected at all times is an admired quality in a person in Thai culture
· When visiting temples, ensure your shoulders and knees are covered. They are places of worship, so it is important to dress modestly
· The monarchy is held in very high esteem in Thailand. Please show the highest level of respect to the king of Thailand and never make jokes about him

Songkran in Thailand
The Thai Buddhist New Year or Songkran is celebrated every year on 13th April, although the associated water throwing festivities can start well before and go on through to a week well beyond this date. Songkran is a time of cleaning and renewal. Thais go to the temple to pray, give food to the monks and clean the Buddha statues with scented water. It is believed these practises will bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. Water is used to pay respect to your elders, particularly your parents, during the Songkran period. It is poured in small amounts over the hands as a sign of respect. These days the nation erupts into one huge water fight and the small amounts have turned into bucket loads. The date used to be set by astrological calculations, but these days the date is set. Until 1888 Songkran represented the beginning of the year in Thailand. After 1888 the date of 1st April was considered the first day of the year. In 1940 the date of 1st January was recognised as the beginning of the new year, in line with international practice. It is a great time of year to be in Thailand and a lot of fun taken in the right spirit. However you will need to have an easy going attitude to your travels, as when you head outside there is a good chance that you will get wet. In addition to this it is a busy travel time, so you may find that the transport listed in the itinerary is not always the transport you get.

Dry Season Tours
Please note that March and April are traditionally the hot dry months. During this time, the villagers burn their fields before the onset of the wet season, in order to prepare for the following season’s harvest. Whilst travelling at this time of the year, please be prepared for the fact that the fields and jungles are not lush and green, but dry and brown.

Infrastructure and Tet Holiday Period
Please note that Vietnam is a developing country whose infrastructure may differ from what you expect in your homeland. Expect poor road conditions and be prepared for some inconveniences due to such things as restaurants or tourist sites being closed and our regular transport services not always being available, especially so during the Tet holiday period (Vietnamese New Year).

During Tet (Vietnamese New Year), most businesses will be closed as Vietnamese people usually spend this period returning to their homes and celebrating with their families. This will involve a major burden on all forms of transport, and despite booking in advance, tickets for planes and trains especially are extremely difficult to obtain. Even if bookings are obtained, transport services during this period will be overcrowded and heavy delays are to be expected, so you will need to make sure that you pack your sense of humour. In order to facilitate your travels during the Tet period, we may need to substitute your train/plane journey with a private bus trip, if required.

Single Supplements
Please note if you have booked a single supplement for this trip it will not be applicable for the following nights:
Day 3 in Pakbeng
Day 19 in Halong Bay.
To enquire about booking a single supplement please contact your sales agent.

Local Emergency Contacts
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please see our local office number below:
Peregrine Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722
Peregrine's Cambodia office can be reached on Tel: +855 92 555 969
Peregrine's Vietnam office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770
Peregrine's Beijing Office can be reached on Tel: +86 10 6406 7328.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

17 April 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine