Southeast Asia: Hilltribes & Street Food

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Overview

Now's the time to explore Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore on your terms with this tour that's affordable for young travellers. Feast on mouth-watering laksa at the night market in Kuala Lumpur, explore the hilltribes of northern Thailand by foot, and mellow out on the white-sand beaches of the sunny south. Get the freedom of roaming where you want, between highlights and must-sees, and experience this side of Southeast Asia like never before.

Itinerary

Day 1: Bangkok

Arrive at any time and welcome to Bangkok - Thailand's bustling capital!

This evening, the famous Khao San Road is on the itinerary for your first night out. Explore this buzzing traveller hub with your CEO and check out the lively bars and dance parties that line the street. Grab a Thai beer or tea and connect with your fellow travellers. Don't forget to sample local delicacies, and try a deep fried scorpion if you dare!

Day 2: Bangkok/Chiang Mai

This tour is off to a colourful start with a day to freely explore Bangkok. Visit Wat Pho, the Grand Palace, National Museum, or Jim Thompson's House. Try a riverboat trip along the Chao Phraya River and through the canals (or klongs) for a different perspective of daily life in this busy city. Tonight, you'll take the overnight train to Chiang Mai.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 3: Chiang Mai

Make sure you've got room for more than three meals today, because you're heading to the best street food spots in Chiang Mai. Besides eating, there's lots to do here — like a visit to Doi Suthep temple, taking it easy with a soak in the Sankampang Hot Springs, or checking out a Thai boxing match.

Day 4: Chiang Mai/Ban Mae Jok

It's time for a change of pace. Today, drive from Chiang Mai to Mae Malai village, where you'll set off on a trek through rugged forests to see how diverse this region of hilltribe communities really is. Every village you'll see has its own language, belief system, style of dress, and traditions. It's a few hours to the first village of hilltribe thatch bungalows, but every step is worth it as you get to know the lay of the land.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Ban Mae Jok/Pa Khao Lam

Trek for 2–3 hours before stopping for lunch. Then head to a Karen village to see how traditional blankets and scarves are made. Keep trekking for a few more hours (you've got this!) before stopping in the next village for the night.

Along the way, you might get the chance to stop at Mae Tang River to learn to fish using local tools or build a raft using bamboo.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Pa Khao Lam/Chiang Mai

After breakfast, leave the village by bamboo raft and get a closer look at other villages along the way. Meet the van after lunch and head back to Chiang Mai, a foodie's paradise. Try the city's most famous dishes like khao soi (noodles in curry broth) and sai usa (northern Thai sausage) and get ready for your big night out. Venture to the best bar in town and grab a drink on our tab to cheers to a completed trek and life-changing adventures!

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Chiang Mai/Bangkok

Make the most of Chiang Mai with more free time, where you can go shopping in the market, get a Thai massage, or explore any of the many temples. Or, hey, you could always go back for another taste of khao soi curry. Tonight, catch up on sleep during an overnight train and wake up in Bangkok.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 8: Bangkok

Get out and explore this fantastic city where there is endless sightseeing to be done.

Day 9: Bangkok/Surat Thani

Get on first-name basis with Thailand's capital city by bike with an optional bike tour. Today, you can check out Wat Pho and the Grand Palace, go for a street food crawl, relax with a Thai massage, or explore the klongs (canals) by boat before boarding the overnight train.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 10: Surat Thani/Khao Sok

Lush Khao Sok National Park awaits. Today, you can set off to Lake Cheow Lan to take in the views while hiking or swimming in the national park. Spend tonight falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle.

This area is known for its natural beauty. You know what that means: lots of chances for photos.

Day 11: Khao Sok/Ko Samui Island

Your next stop is just a ferry ride away. Today, explore Ko Samui Island's beauty by catching the sunset at Chaweng Beach before eating your weight in street food at the night market. For your big night out, head to a popular beach bar, enjoy a drink on us to celebrate life-changing adventures, and dance the night away.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 12: Ko Samui Island

Take a day trip to scenic Ang Thong National Marine Park. The views here are unforgettable — perfect for making friends back home jealous. Try to spot all the different kinds of marine life here. Be forewarned: it might take you all day.

Includes: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Ko Samui Island/George Town

Gear up for a long day of travel. Ferry back to the mainland and continue by private vehicle to cross the border into Malaysia and on to George Town, Penang.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 14: George Town

Get a full day in Penang. Explore the busy streets and check out the colourful famous street art. Trust us: they make for a great backdrop!

Day 15: George Town/Chenderoh Lake

Learn about local culture (especially how to properly tie a sarong!) at this island homestay, nestled in the middle of a beautiful lake. Tonight, relax as you take in the scenery and connect with the family that runs this homestay.

Includes: Dinner

Day 16: Chenderoh Lake/Cameron Highlands

Enjoy slightly cooler temperatures in the Cameron Highlands. Here, explore the well-marked trails through the lush tropical forest, visit a tea plantation, or search for the rafflesia: the world's largest flower.

Includes: Breakfast

Day 17: Cameron Highlands/Kuala Lumpur

Today is yours to take on. Walk around and explore, but don't skip trying the national dish of Malaysia, nasi lemak — a traditional rice dish made with coconut milk and pandan leaf.

Once the sun sets, see another side to the city as you stop by the famous Petronas Towers (which light up at night) before checking out the local nightlife.

Day 18: Kuala Lumpur

You've got the whole day for exploring. Head out of town to visit the famous Batu Caves or the Orang Alsi Museum. Later tonight, head to some rooftop bars for drinks and dancing, or stop by the night market and find some flavours you never knew existed.

Built in 1928 as a fresh market for locals, and revamped in the 1980s as an outlet for all Malaysian handicrafts, the night market is a local institution. Make sure you don't miss it.

Day 19: Kuala Lumpur/Melaka

Take to the canals by boat, and see a different side of this old port town. Stop for some famous chicken rice at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah in Chinatown. Locals love it here; they often line up for hours to get a taste.

The streets of Chinatown (also known as Jonker Walk) are also lined with Peranakan (Straits Chinese) shophouses offering their traditional cuisine, Nyonya. Explore the many temples, churches, mosques, museums, and forts.

Visit the old port town of Melaka, wander the narrow streets and absorb the atmosphere of this historically important town. The streets of Chinatown are lined with Peranakan (Straits Chinese) shophouses offering their traditional cuisine, Nyonya. There are temples, churches and mosques, museums and forts to explore.

Day 20: Melaka/Singapore

Head to Singapore today, where you can use your free time to see that famous skyline by boat or eat so much street food, you can barely walk. For a peek into the city-state's past life, wander the old streets of Little India and Chinatown.

Day 21: Singapore

Today, it’s time to say goodbye to your group of newfound friends. Be sure to sneak in some last-minute photos and cheers before you head on your way.

Includes: Breakfast

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