Asian Adventure

Tour Length
14 days
From
US$1875
Overview Reviews

  • Meaghan
  • Meaghan
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 4 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

You won't regret booking this Amazing Adventure!

03 Jan 2016 - 16 Jan 2016

This was my second contiki in Asia and can't think of any other way I would want to experience the culture, fun and history of these beautiful countries better than on tour! I had so much fun traveling around South East Asia with my highlights being: visiting the breathtaking Imperial palace, receiving a blessing from a monk and the hill tribes in Thailand, giving Alms to the Monks, visiting the waterfall and kayaking down the river in Laos, Meeting a survivor of the Khmer Rougue at the Tuol Sleng Prison, watching the sunrise on Angkor Wat and Pub Street in Cambodia. This tour is fast paced and your days are filled but you leave for home at the end feeling as though you have experienced the three countries and done them all justice!

A few tips:
ACTIVITIES
> Do all the Me Time extras plus the ones your tour manager offers as you go. They are all great and heaps of fun! Bring US$ as your tour manager will probably ask for it in this form on the first night
> Budget for extra activities. Not all the activities listed on the itinerary are offered for free and often activities will be offered along the way (eg China town, Siam Square and Wat Phra That temple in Thailand, walking up Mt Phu Si, giving alms, several 'family dinners', elephant riding, all the activities at Vang Vieng in Laos, the floating markets and Cambodian circus in Cambodia) The idea is that there are lots of additional activities so you can choose what you do but you will be asked to pay extra or you can make your own plans. In this way the tour may not be the best value for money compared to other tours however often the extra cost is worth it when you consider the exchange rate.
>take advantage of your local guides. Although some guides are nervous answering questions about communism/ their government/ their leaders they are willing to answer lots of other questions. Laos and Cambodia have rich and very recent histories that your guides know all about or has been personally effected by! To get these insights into what life is really like you have to ask!!

PACKING
>My tour was in January and some of the days in Laos particularly those on the boat were quite chilly so come prepared with a jumper or even tracksuit pants if you get cold easily
>Thailand and Cambodia are Hot during the days so shorts, singlets, t-shirts, summer dress and skirts are all culturally appropriate and comfortable
> I brought a cheap target backpack with me as carry on and it was a good choice! For the train and Pak beng you are asked to pack an overnight bag as you can't necessarily access your big bag so this came in handy here. Also just generally a backpack, bags that are hidden under your clothes or a bag that crossed across your chest are a lot safer than carrying a handbag or your wallet around as pick pocketing and stealing are common.
> pack light - you can (and probably will) buy clothing over there super cheap at the markets
> We were able to wash clothes in Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng and Siem Reap as you stay in these places 2nights, bring enough undies/ clothes to get you to this point.
>bring appropriate temple wear (clothing that covers your ankles and shoulders) as you visit a lot of sacred sites and temples. You can buy them over there but some people found the Asian sizes did not necessarily fit western body shapes and the fabric sometimes split. They won't let you in without it so come prepared with it in your day pack.
>bug spray and sunscreen are a must everyday! The mosquitos in Vientiane were ruthless and we were warned about Malaria in the areas we traveled.
> Buy any western toiletries/ medications you may need in Thailand or bring them from Home. Laos and Cambodia are still developing their tourist industry and you may not find what you need in their mini marts
> Also consider bringing/ buying some toilet rolls and hand sanitizer/ wipes and keeping them in your day bag. Although most places are generally pretty good- being caught out, without loo paper or a place to wash your hands in a squat toilet in Laos is not pleasant but conditions can be improved if you're prepared

TRAVELING
>consider bringing some 'travacalm' or car sickness medication as the bus trip between Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng is super windy and bumpy. I don't get travel sick usually but I (and all but 1 person on our tour) was grateful to have something to take. It's also worth considering taking it easy the night before this drive as being hungover on this drive would be torturous!
>it's also worth asking your trip managers generally before having a huge night out before a travel day/ drive. Some of my tour mates had some unpleasant bus trips with their head in a plastic bags after a big night out when we had an early start the next day.
> The Sleeper Train in Thailand is not something to be feared! Contiki pretty much books out a carriage so your belongings are safe (use bag locks if you are nervous) and you are surrounded by likeminded people. Yes the toilet is gross (might need that loo paper here) and the food isn't great and it probably won't be the best sleep of your life but the view is beautiful, it is a lot of fun with your tour buddies (playing cards are a good idea) and the beds are clean, comfortable and safe! It was one of the highlights of my trip in the end!

CURRENCY AND VISAS
> Visas seem scary but seriously they are not worth stressing over! For Aussies we can get all our visas at the boarder. All you need are some spare pages in your passport, 4 passport photos (2x Laos and 2x Cambodia) and US$35 for each Visa. Thailand gives you a visa on arrival for free. It's not a big deal if you are prepared
> Currency wise: Thailand is Baht, Laos is Kip and Cambodia is US$ and some locals will give you change in Riel. Bring some US$ for visas ($70) / your Me Time extras ($60) and Thai Baht to get you started but the rest you can exchange at the boarder or get at ATMs. (I took AU$400ish in Baht and it lasted me until I got to Cambodia {I exchanged some of it to Kip at the border} but everyone is different and some people spent more/ less than me.) Generally shops/ stalls/ places you eat won't accept card so your best bet is it carry cash and get money out when you need to/ can safely.

Finally bringing a positive, flexible and open attitude to your travels is essential! It doesn't matter if you are a solo traveler or have a friend (I have done it both ways in Asia) SE Asia is unpredictable, exciting and different to home! You will find the challenges you face much easier if you are open to every experience even if it's not what was planned, if you can go with the flow and accept its all part of your Asian Adventure or as the locals say "sabai sabai"

Review written Jan 2016

My Contiki was: Adventure , Picturesque , Fun

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  • Olivia
  • Olivia
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Life Changing Experience!

23 Dec 2015 - 05 Jan 2016

No words to describe how amazing this trip was. It was honestly the experience of a lifetime; exceeded my expectations BY FAR!

I went on this trip solo, and I have to say this was the way to do it in my opinion. I met so many incredible people, and made connections and friendships that will truly last a lifetime.

I have nothing negative to say about my first Contiki experience. This was my first time to Asia, as well, and I am so happy that I went through Contiki to get my feet wet in this new culture. I studied abroad in Europe for 6 weeks, and I would say that the culture in Europe is comparable to that of the United States. The countries are developed countries, and it was easier for an American girl to make her way around. However, Asia was a totally different story. I was actually going to plan a trip on my own, but I feel that I would not have done as much as I did having gone through Contiki. I was able to enjoy the trip and experience the culture much more. Contiki took all of the stress off when it came to hospitality, traveling, language, crossing boarders, etc.

I was a little nervous about doing a "tour group"; I didn't want it to be like a stereotypical tour group where you are sitting on a bus all day viewing sites out of the window with a guide feeding you boring facts about stuff you don't care about. However Contiki was NOTHING like this, and I was so happy. We actually were IMMERSED in the culture, doing this firsthand, and it was amazing. I have to admit, I am one of those people who does love a good history lesson and I wanted to learn about Asian culture entirely while on this trip. Between the tour guides we had in each city, to our tour manager (Margie I

A few tidbits of advice for this trip:

- Girls, do NOT bring a hairdryer. Seriously, you will not need it, as all of the hotels have hairdryers in the rooms. Also, I did not dry my hair once on this entire trip. You're in Asia for goodness sake, you don't need to be dolled up. Save time by skipping hair and makeup and actually get out there and experience Asia!! :)

- Definitely get a lot of cash converted BEFORE you leave for the trip. I was planning on using a travel credit card (not a debit card) for majority of my purchases, but I quickly noticed that almost zero places accept credit cards. Most shops, stands, and restaurants are cash only. I ended up paying ridiculous fees every time I pulled cash out of the ATM.

- Most importantly, go into this trip with an open mind. Do all of the optional "Me Time's"; they are so worth it. Also, don't be afraid to just be yourself and do what YOU want. Every person wants something different out of the trip, so make this a trip YOU will remember. I'm not a huge drinker, so I didn't go out to the bar every single night. Seriously, no one will judge you for doing your own thing.

I recommend this trip to ANYONE. This was the best experience of my life so far- between experiencing the Asian culture, to the connections I made with everyone on the trip, Contiki has something for everyone. I would do another Contiki again in a heartbeat.

Review written Jan 2016

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  • Rory
  • Rory
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Absolutely incredible trip!

27 Sep 2015 - 10 Oct 2015

This trip is an amazing way to see some of the best parts of South East Asia! Had such an awesome time on this tour, never a dull moment! We saw some amazing sights and ate amazing food and partied hard too! Came out the other end wishing it wasn't over and with a big family of friends from all over the world!

Review written Oct 2015

My Contiki was: Incredible , Humbling , Friends

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  • Laura
  • Laura
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure

Book this right now!

27 Sep 2015 - 10 Oct 2015

This was the first Contiki trip I have ever done and I was a bit apprehensive about it. It is pretty far outside my comfort zone and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it.

How wrong I was! This trip is absolutely amazing! I have genuinely had the time of my life and would go back in a heart beat. Not only did I meet some brilliant people but I also had so many once in a lifetime experiences.

This trip is very full on and your days will be jam packed but you will be astounded by the number of different things you will see and do. We had Courtney as our group leader and she was absolutely amazing. There was not one question she could not answer and she made everything so easy.
The days are all fully planned out and you really don't have to do any thinking for yourself which makes things so easy.

A few helpful tips if you are planning to do this trip...

1) It is a very full on trip and you will be up early every morning - even after a few late night party nights! There are also two mornings when you have to be up before 5am but believe me, both are totally worth it!

2) It is HOT! Very hot and very humid so be prepared to sweat! Bring clothes which are light and breathable.

3) You need temple dress for all temple visits (there are quite a few of them) which means you need to have your shoulders and knees covered. So bring long trousers/skirts and t-shirts. You can buy elephant pants everywhere when you are there but beware as they are not great quality and rip easily! I went through 3 pairs in just a few days!

4) Don't bring fancy clothes! We had 4 nights out on our trip, all of which were very casual - shorts and t-shirts.

5) Bring a good travel pillow - you will spend a fair amount of time on coaches. I got one called a "Travel Rest" which is amazing and meant I could catch up on some sleep during long journeys. Also, if you are prone to travel sickness then bring some medication as there are a couple of journeys along bumpy roads.

6) Bring an umbrella or rain jacket. We were there during rainy season and it rained a lot and I was so thankful to have remembered to bring my umbrella!

8) Money wise - everything is very cheap so you won't spend much money at all!
I'd suggest taking about £200 in Thai Baht to get you started. You can then change that into Laos Kip when you get to the border. You can then easily take money out at ATMs in Laos.
For Cambodia, everyone uses US dollars which again you can get from any ATM.

9) Bring insect repellant and bite relief cream. I had super strong insect repellant and I still got quite a few bites.

10) Beware of the Contiki cough! If one person catches a cough or a cold it tends to spread pretty fast so bring some cough mixture and cold and flu meds with you. Also bring some vitamin C and rehydration stuff to make sure you keep healthy.

11) If you can, bring a waterproof camera. There are many moments I missed as my camera wasn't waterproof.

12) Try to pack light and bring plenty of underwear! Also, i'd suggest bringing some travel laundry detergent so that you can wash stuff in the hotels yourself. There is laundry service available but only at a few of the hotels.

13) Say YES to everything! There are quite a few optional extras you can do on this trip. Do them all! They are not expensive and trust me you will love every single one!

14) Be prepared to make friends for life! I went on this trip with a friend from home but many people came on their own. Do not hesitate to do this trip on your own as I guarantee you will make so many new best friends. We were a big family and there were many, MANY tears when we all had to say our goodbyes.

Hopefully I have covered everything and made you change your mind if you were having second thoughts about doing this trip. Enjoy!

Review written Oct 2015

My Contiki was: Outstanding, Once in a lifetime, The most fun you will ever have!

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  • Default_avatar
  • rodriport
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure

The Best Time of My Life

26 Jul 2015 - 08 Aug 2015

I don't have words to describe what I lived on this trip and the such amazing people and friends I made... Here is the link for the video that shows our amazing asian adventure https://vimeo.com/141276240 #noregrets

Review written Oct 2015

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  • Shaun
  • Shaun
  • Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 18 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

An incredible ride!

16 Aug 2015 - 29 Aug 2015

Get ready for an insane adventure! This trip exceeded all of my expectations and I certainly won’t be forgetting the experiences we had as a group any time soon.

Notes:

It's HOT. Proper hot. You will sweat and at times will be uncomfortably hot. Nothing you can do, just ride it out, drink lots of water and enjoy those cool showers when you can.

Consider packing light. There are an abundance of markets where you can buy cheap shirts, tops and ‘elephant pants’ that will cover you for temple dress.

90% of the time we wore thongs (flip flops) or sandals. Good idea to have a light weight comfortable pair of walking shoes too though.

Rain coats are a waste – they will make you sweat. Take a good quality umbrella instead. An emergency poncho is also worth it though I never used mine.

Any type of suitcase is fine but be prepared to carry it up stairs in some hotels that are minus an elevator.

All Visas (Laos & Cambodia) are available on arrival for most nationalities, if you get yours beforehand you will still wait for the others in the group. Might not be worth worrying about it at home. All you need are passport photos and two blank pages in your passport for each country.

Tap water shouldn’t be drunk so plan on buying heaps of bottled water; drink bottles are not needed.

Take lots of sunscreen, good quality bug spray and a wide brimmed hat. Lots of people got savaged by mozzies.

Malaria is described as not being present in all three countries – Meds shouldn’t be needed but it’s up to you if you’d rather be safe.

Don’t fear the cheap street food. It’s generally very good, but check with the tour manager for tips.

Do all of the optional extras – cheap and all are good fun. The Thai cooking class is particularly enjoyable!

The whole group share a car on the overnight train to Chiang Mai in a bunk bed style arrangement. Air conditioned and much more comfortable than it sounds.

The bus trips in Laos are windy and bumpy at times – if you get motion sick easily, sit at the front and take it easy the night before.

Spectacular View Restaurant is exactly that. Have the camera ready!

The first realistic opportunity to do washing is in Luang Prabang (7 days in). The next is in Siem Reap just before the end. Usually about US$1-2 per kilo.

Angkor Wat on a busy day can be ruined by big crowds. Be prepared. Look for the monk near the main entrance – good photo op.

Do not miss the afternoon trip to the other Siem Reap temples – they are better than Angkor Wat.

If you get time in Siem Reap after the trip – go to the circus. It is incredible (brochure at hotel reception).

Honestly though, the best piece of advice is to simply approach the trip with an open mind. First time contiki travellers, fear not, this was my fourth trip, my fourth exceptionally talented tour manager and my fourth insanely colourful and friendly group of travel buddies. You WILL have a good time, never doubt that. It’s quite a journey, take each experience as it comes and jump at every opportunity to see every inch of three amazing countries. You can sleep when you get home! Enjoy!

Review written Sep 2015

My Contiki was: Exciting, Crazy, Inspiring

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  • Sherrie
  • Sherrie
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

*MOST INSPIRING TRIP*--Go now!

12 Apr 2015 - 25 Apr 2015

If you are wondering whether or not you should take this trip, don't think--just do! You'll never regret it. This is by far the most incredible trip I've ever taken. From the culture, art, food, water sports, people and of course, your amazing tourmates, this is the trip to end all trips (and be the envy of your friends). Two weeks pass by in a flash, but you get a great mix of big city, landmark highlights, nature, history and laughter, not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and interactions.

My highlights: riding an elephant in the jungle, waterfalls in Laos, giving food to the monks, seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat, tubing in caves and playing with monkeys... here are some of my photo highlights from Laos:

http://shaireproductions.com/travel-photos-laos/

If you get a chance, go around the Songkran New Yr Water Festival (April 13th or so), which is super humid/hot, but there's a great water fight in the streets of Thailand, complete with supersoakers, partying in the streets and crazy adventures. Our tour guide, Jeenah, was awesome, really fun and knowledgeable about the local culture and hot spots. If you really wanted to, you could just relax and do your own thing, but I recommend doing the optionals, as they were all pretty amazing. There were a few times that you'll have to wake up super early (like 4am) for alms giving to the monks and checking out Angkor Wat, but we were able to beat the crowds (and heat), and the scenery was incredible. This is the second Contiki trip I've taken (1st was Europe), but this trip was really unique as you get to check out the countries by train, tuk tuk (motorcart), bus and boat--so you get a whole different experience than just by bus. To put it simply, be prepared to have your mind blown by everything you see and experience, from the gorgeous art of the temples to the sad genocide museum of Cambodia, to the simple beauty of the Laotian landscape, and even the crazy partying in Thailand.

Food: Thailand--amazing snacks and street food! I was really wary of the drinks, as I was trying to avoid ice (to be safe), but found out later that the ice in Thailand is made with filtered water, so enjoy those fruit smoothies--they're incredible! Laos, try the street crepes--yum! In Cambodia, avoid street food, as the quality isn't so great and you may get sick. Though, in the restaurants, you could get an amazing slab of steak for under $8. Cambodia has a unique "Kampot pepper", which is pretty pricey if you get overseas, but is cheaper there, and has amazing flavor. Also, if you have a weak stomach, stay away from salads and dairy, as it's so hot there, you never know...

If you love shopping, you'll definitely enjoy this trip--everything is super cheap. Luang Prabang is where you could get more handmade, unique items (silk scarves!) and Cambodia/Siem Reap, you'll find great prices for silver jewelry, clothes and other souvenirs. Haggling for the prices is super fun.

Mobile connection in Laos is really spotty at best. Also, English is not really spoken much, so I'm glad I created this Visual Guidebook beforehand. This may be helpful for you too--just point to the pic and smile :)

http://shaireproductions.com/freebies-traveling-by-icons-visual-travel-guide-when-english-and-tech-are-scarce/

Tips:
-Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses
-Mosquito wipes/spray and lotion (if you get bit)
-Temple Wear: Depending where you go, you'll need a couple tees and pants/capris that cover your knees. You could always buy something there too
-Trainers/tennis shoes: You'll have to walk up hills and some rocky areas; some of my tourmates hurt themselves while wearing flip flops
-Small packet of vitamins/medicine: With the constant go-go-go, lots of folks get sick...
-Earplugs: on the overnight train, this comes in handy
-Tissue paper and wipes/purell: some bathrooms don't have the essentials or soap/running water
-Currency: Cambodia is the only spot that widely accepts American dollars as well as Riel, so be sure to get local Thai and Laos currency as they don't really take the other ones. Small bills are best as most places won't have much change.

Good luck and happy travels!

Review written Jul 2015

My Contiki was: Inspiring, Cultural, Eventful

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  • Melita
  • Melita
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 4 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A Bucket list must to do!

07 Jan 2015 - 20 Jan 2015

This trip went so quick, but loved every minute of it!

It was a great way to experience every countries culture, history, food, their nature and beautiful monuments.

The trip also allowed plenty metime options to ride an elephant, hug a tiger, go water tubing in caves and much more!

The highlight was seeing Ankor Wat Temple in Cambodia and definitely just how beautiful and kind the people in Laos are.

I went in January and it was very hot, bring LOTS LOTS of undies as you will go through 2 a day from all the sweating! There was 2 places in Thailand up high in the mountains where it was raining and very cold and our group was not prepared for such a dramatic change in weather so bring 2 spare warm jumpers or jackets and warm pants.

Review written Jun 2015

My Contiki was: awesome, beautiful, culture

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  • alyssa!
  • alyssa!
  • Level 5 Traveler
  • 5 Contikis
  • 16 Countries
Asian Adventure

<3

10 May 2015 - 23 May 2015

Asia is absolutely beautiful an amazing. Hot, but it's so worth it to go. Asian Adventure is a great taste and intro to 3 great cities and I can not wait to go back for more. The trip is a highlights trip - only twice do you spend more then 1 night in the same city. Laos is a huge surprise, it's now one of my favourite countries. The only downfall was free time was limited - you would get 1-2 hours at most in between contiki's planned activities which was never enough time to venture too far away from the hotel to go see/do something that Contiki doesn't take you to. There are a lot of temples, an temple wear in Asia is dreadful but each is different, and fascinating so go to them all! Do as much as you can as the 2 weeks go by super fast and you want to get as much in as possible. You can always rest and sleep on the plane back home.

Review written Jun 2015

My Contiki was: Culture, Variety, Temples

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Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing Asian Adventure

04 Jan 2015 - 17 Jan 2015

This trip was my first time travelling overseas by myself and I honestly had never been so terrified/nervous/excited in my entire life! As quite an introverted person I was worried about going by myself and having to make friends, but going by myself ended up being one of the best decisions I have ever made! I met so many amazing people on this trip, and it was easily the best two weeks of my life! Our tour guide Danny was amazing!! He had such extensive and helpful knowledge on everywhere we went - make sure to to go to his restaurant recommendations in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, they were off the beaten track and so delicious! Make sure to bring at least one jumper and pair of pants and some wet weather clothes, we had really unusual weather in Laos and we were all permanently drenched and cold for the majority of Prakbeng and Luang Prabang! Enjoy Vang Vieng, it was easily my favourite place on the entire trip. Go to Kangaroo Sunset and talk to all the staff there, they all have incredible stories to share, and make sure to write your name on the wall! Definitely do all the optional extras as well, like tubing and kayaking in Vang Vieng as they made the trip so much better! Also, on your return flight home, don't book it too early in the morning. Everyone gets absolutely crazy on the last night and I made the mistake of booking a 9am flight from Siam Reap and then having an 8 hour stopover in Bangkok airport hungover as hell without a wink of sleep. But most of all just enjoy it! It was one of the most incredible experiences of my entire life and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to go on this trip and to see so many amazing places and meet so many amazing people. My only regret is not continuing onto Vietnam with everyone!

Review written May 2015

My Contiki was: Takemeback, Life-changing , Phenomenal

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  • Default_avatar
  • Serena
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 4 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Asian Adventure

17 Dec 2014 - 30 Dec 2014

This was without doubt the best thing I've ever done! I would recommend this trip to anyone! It's action packed and full of wonderful little surprises. Our Contiki tour manager was an absolute Gem, he was so knowledgeable, always willing to help and hilarious! Thanks Soki. Hint: Do all the optionals, it's well worth the small amount of dollars for the unforgettable experiences!

Review written Jan 2015

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  • Matt
  • Matt
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

10/10 Experience

10 Dec 2014 - 23 Dec 2014

I originally decided to do a Contiki tour because it was an inexpensive way to travel through a country I was unfamiliar with. I had little expectations and large preconceptions before leaving. Despite this, I can honestly say that my preconceived doubts were blown out of the water. My Contiki experience was cultural, adventurous, scenic and exciting. Every day was something new and unforgettable. My guide, Kristen Schuster, was informative, caring and easily approachable. Kristen and her flawless organizational skills were impressive to say the least. All in all, I can’t wait to book my next holiday with Contiki.

Review written Dec 2014

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  • TyLo06
  • TyLo06
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

*Fantastically Mindblown*

25 May 2014 - 07 Jun 2014

This two week trip through SE Asia has it all: Grand Temples, Buddha’s, Canal Cruise, Overnight Train, Monk Blessing, Thai Cooking Class, Hill Tribe Visit, Mekong River Cruise, Caves, Bike Tour, Snake Whiskey, Monk Feeding, Waterfalls, Elephant Riding, Kayaking, Blue Lagoon Swimming, Arc de Triomphe, COPE visit, Killing Fields, Karaoke, Quick Flights, Floating Villages, Tuk Tuks, Bug Eating, Night Markets, Angkor Wat Temples, lots of Food, SO MUCH FUN, and much more!

I’m a 26 year old male that traveled solo and ended up in a group of 13 from all over the world. This trip provides you with an authentic cultural experience in each of the countries visited. Everyone’s familiar with Thailand, but Laos and Cambodia were unknown gems. You see the amazing offerings of each country but also get to experience the more emotional side of their day to day lives by learning about what their ancestors have been through, and also their current struggles. You come to appreciate the simplicity of their culture and the happiness that they are so eager to share with you. From the city to the rural countryside this adventure is extremely well rounded. I don’t want to release any spoilers but there wasn’t anything on the itinerary that I didn’t enjoy, it’s a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times, but that’s a good thing.

Traveling with CONTIKI was great; they’ve really planned the itinerary around what young professionals would want to do/see. It was so worry free and easy that you truly get to focus on enjoying the experience of it all. The places we stayed were all really nice and in great locations, the Pakbeng guesthouse is the only ‘roughing it’ stop, but it was enjoyable as well.

This trip filled travel urges I didn’t even know I had and left me wanting to see/learn more about the areas visited, as all good travel should. Honestly, if you’re debating this trip, quit it and sign up now.

Top notch #CONTIKI, thanks to you and Allison our tour guide for the experience of a lifetime, I will be using y’all again in the future!

TIPS for this trip:
-If you go in the summer months bring BANDANAS, they’re great as sweat bands, which will be 24/7 but still worth it.
-Use sunscreen, their sun is strong.
-Find the bamboo bridge in Luang Prabang!
-Don’t drink the night before the drive to Vang Vieng, that’s the craziest road I’ve ever been on.
-Be sure the money you bring is crisp/clean US$, they often turn down old bills and won’t take them. Also bring an ATM card.
-At Utopia, when you take your shoes off, carry them with you, mine got stolen from the front entrance.
-When debating buying souvenirs you can wait until the very end in Siem Reap, their night market has anything and everything, so you don’t have to tote extras around the rest of the trip. Go ahead and buy some temple pants early on though, you’ll use those a lot.
-Do ALL of the Optional Add-Ons, they’re awesome, and probably some of the best experiences of the trip.

If interested you should be able to see my Public Facebook Album at the link below:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10102399873735758.1073741833.16737784&type=1&l=f4e5efff65

Review written Jul 2014

My Contiki was: EPIC, AWESOME, REPEATABLE

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  • Andrea mcg
  • Andrea mcg
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

If you can only take one trip - THIS IS THE ONE

17 Nov 2013 - 30 Nov 2013

I loved this trip. I always knew I wanted to go to Asia. This trip was the best introduction into how amazing Asia can be. I'm definitly addicted and want to go back.

Our tour guide was Amazing. She went above and beyond every day. Always giving us ideas of what to do with our free time so that we did not miss anything.

Our tour mates were great - always cracking jokes and the puns. We still keep in touch and are hoping to travel together in the future. The age group was all over the place once group younger one group older. But we all got along. I think there were 30 of us.

Do all of the optionals - If you are like me then #YOLO - How often will you be going back to the same places in Asia? Asia's huge.

Also Asia is cheap - the hotels are amazing b/c they are cheaper then Europe, food is usually $10 or under for a meal. Getting around town is generally under $10. Anything you ever wanted to do - will be more affordable in Asia. Side note - Bring American dollars with you or use debt at ATMs for $.

This trip is jammed packed. If you want to only sleep and party - this is not your trip, sleeping is not part of the deal. Also make sure you sleep before this trip. You will want to go out every night to experience all these amazing cities.

If you want a play-by-play of what is on this trip read my blog: http://andreamcgrath.com/?cat=7

This trip will be one of the top 10 highlights of my life :)

Review written Jun 2014

My Contiki was: Amazing, Adventurous, Fast-paced

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  • Default_avatar
  • Christine
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 14 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Wasn't ready to come home.

07 Apr 2013 - 20 Apr 2013

This trip truly is an adventure! A lot of fun, but also educational. I love architecture so that was a treat. The group I traveled with were great to meet and get to know. They helped make the trip. The tigers are hard to resist if you get the chance of course. I went during the water festival, and ended up celebrating a little bit w/ the owners of a closed restaurant I unwittingly wandered into. Definitely an experience I'll never forget. I would definitely recommend it.

Review written Mar 2014

My Contiki was: Beautiful, Fun, Memorable

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  • Christie
  • Christie
  • Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 11 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Life-changing SE Asia

10 Nov 2013 - 23 Nov 2013

Wow. I've been back from my trip for a few months now and I'm still in awe of all that I've seen and experienced. This trip is non-stop with each city showing a change in culture and different experiences. So many amazing things happened on this trip! To name a few: elephant ride, Thai cooking class, Thai boxing, blessing by a Buddhist monk, visits to countless and unique temples (including sunrise at Angkor Wat!), river boat rides, city bike ride, visits to the hill tribes and floating villages and jumping into a waterfall! This trip really shows you how happy people can be with so little and after suffering so much in past wars (the people of Laos especially being the happiest people I've ever met!) I feel so blessed to have met the people I did (both locals and my tour mates!) and have come back with a new outlook on life! I felt safe everywhere we went and with our amazing guide James, everything was taken care of. An incredible way to see everything you could possible want to in these 3 countries, with no hassle. Would highly recommend. This trip definitely makes you richer :)

Review written Feb 2014

My Contiki was: life-changing, awe-inspiring, humbling

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  • Jmac
  • Jmac
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Asian Adventure!

04 Sep 2011 - 17 Sep 2011

I went on this tour a few years ago in 2011 and I have just booked another Contiki because I had so much fun on the last one. My tour guide was Cam and he was a very knowledgeable guide but was also very relaxed which made for a really fun 2 weeks!
I met up with some fellow Contiki crew the day before the tour started at the hotel, which was a nice welcome to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. Bangkok was certainly an experience, although I was very glad to make our way north on the overnight train to Chiang Mai in the country. The train was a very different experience but loved it, I did feel sorry for the 2 monks we had in our carriage though.This felt like the real Thailand! I loved the Thai cooking class, and making big flames with my cooking! The Tigers were absolutely amazing, scary at first until I gave him a big belly rub.
The Long neck people in Chaing Rai was very eye opening as I had never seen anything like this before, and they were so friendly. We had a nurse on our trip which was helpful to the locals who had a sick little boy at the time.
The boat was a nice relaxing time, being able to chill out was just what we needed to prepare ourselves for the next week, a great time to read a book!
Pakbeng was a really cute little place, and glad we got to stop by there.The accommodation was nice, as Cam said about the bathroom "you can sit on the toilet, have a shower and brush your teeth at the same time" that's how small it was :)
Luang Prabeng was great fun, the elephants, the water falls, and a night out a Utopia! Riding bikes around the town was super fun with our local guide Tooey! I did miss out on the giving of the alms which is the only thing I regret about the trip ( I turned my alarm off in my sleep ) So make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time for this activity! Once again the accommodation was nice, and they even have a laundry service so take advantage of this!
The bus trip to Vang Vieng was a very long and adventurous journey. It was supposed to take 8 hours it took almost 13!!! These roads were very very very rough due to the wet season and landslides etc. So be patient and remember its about the journey not the destination. We had a lot of fun singing to old classics and taking in all the local village life. We came to a section of the road that was literally a river! we had to stop and take our bags out of the bottom of the bus and put them into the bus as the water was going to go through the baggage area, it was an unexpected event but gave us a real insight into how the Laoation people live. The locals took the flooding as a chance to go fishing, drink beer and laugh at the tourists is the bus!!
After a very long day we arrived in Vang Vieng, this place is amazing! the accommodation is set right on the river amongst some beautiful mountains.
One thing you must do is Vang Vieng is to split up into some smaller groups and go on a local tour. It cost about $15 AUD, but worth every cent. They picked us up from the hotel and took us to a local street and talked all about their way of life, cost of building a house etc. They then took us into some caves and into a water cave on tubes that attached to a rope with headlamps on, meanwhile it was pouring rain, so don't wear anything you care about, buy a Lao Lao singlet or something! I also recommend taking some sandals such as Teva, that way you can wear them in the water without them coming off. Thongs were kind of impractical at times. The we had lunch in a hut by the river which was delicious! Our guides took all of our bags and followed us down the river tubing, making sure we were all ok. I know this part of the trip has been taken off the itinerary, which is unfortunate but I can understand. I am certainly glad I had a local guide with me when we did this for extra safety.
Vientianne was nice, I think we were only there for a night so I don't recall anything too crazy! We did go to a restaurant that had amazing local food that supported a charity.
We flew from Vientianne to Pnohm Penh which was a nice change to a long bus trip. Pnohm Penh was crazy! We hadn't even pulled up to our hotel and young locals were selling us thing through he windows, such as books and sunglasses. This is great if you want some bargains, but be careful, they wont leave you alone!! The tour to the Genocide museum was sad, but its great to have a real insight into their history.
From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap was also by plane! They save the best till last, I LOVED Siem Reap, the accommodation was just beautiful!! Visiting the floating villlages was unique, great photo opportunity here. Siem Reap had some nice shopping and cafes, I even bought and ipad there! I was envious of everyone else with one which made swapping photos with each other a lot easier. So having a computer or some spare USBs is handy at this point as the trip is about to end. Angkor Wat was just crazy!! Especially drinking champagne watching the sunrise up over the landmark. It made getting up early that little bit more interesting!
The last night in Siem Reap will be the best yet as you have made some really great friends. Believe it or not you only met them 1 days ago and you wont want to leave them :(
I went on this tour on my own and don't regret that at all. I am still in touch with some of the girls and guys 3 years on, and plan more trips together as they are all like minded people. That's why your on this trip right?! To meet people from the other side of the world, gain more contacts for your next adventure, visit them in their country!

All in all this was a life changing trip as I am still talking about this trip, it gave me such an unforgettable cultural experience and I still use the Language I learned on the trip on Thai restaurants here is AUS. I recommend using their language as much as possible, just to see the smile on their faces!

I'm sorry for the long review, once I got started i just couldn't stop, so I hope this was helpful - things may have changed from my trip to your trip though.

My next tour is the Thai Island hopper East in April!!
:)

Review written Feb 2014

My Contiki was: amazing, adventure

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  • Shayna
  • Shayna
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 11 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing, once in a lifetime trip.

05 May 2013 - 18 May 2013

This trip was out of this world, truly. It was the first part of the larger Indochine trip that continued on to Vietnam...I didn't have 25 days to spare for the whole journey, but felt fulfilled with the three countries I did visit and the people I met on this trip. The tour manager was extremely knowledgeable and fun, had a balance between friendly and organized. We got local info at every new stop with helpful hints. The local guides were interesting and informative, really hilarious in most cases. Our hotels were way better than I'd imagined...all but one had WiFi and only one in Lao was a bit rustic. Expectations were exceeded from the first night.

I'd have to say I had slight reservations booking (being on the older side of the age spectrum) but it wasn't even a factor. Everyone was well-rounded and unique, all taking the trip for their own reasons and most were pretty experienced in travel. Since we kept a good pace to get from place to place, there was a lot of accountability, and people looked out for each other. Friendships were made. There was enough free time built in that you could explore a bit on your own or opt out of certain activities...but most of them were worth taking part in.

As soon as I returned home to see photos of myself hugging a tiger, riding on an elephant's back, playing in waterfalls, dancing in the rain, drinking snake whiskey, w/friends drinking/eating/dancing and just overall having the time of our lives...I realized I would definitely be taking another trip with Contiki. It's well organized and Contiki has made the right choices to maximize the time you have in the locations you visit. Someday when I'm much older and retired I'll take months leisurely browsing through areas...for now I like the pace and social aspect.

Review written Aug 2013

My Contiki was: Amazing, Fast-paced, Life-changing

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  • Tania
  • Tania
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Asian Adventure

12 May 2013 - 25 May 2013

Best time ever! First trip solo and it was so worth it. It was a wonderful experience throughout. Met wonderful people, learned so much about the history and the culture of all the countries I visited, and most importantly, made great friends. I've been back for over a month and can't stop talking about it. I would reccommend this trip to everyone.

Review written Jul 2013

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  • Daniel
  • Daniel
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries
Asian Adventure
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Life Changing

14 Apr 2013 - 27 Apr 2013

Travelling to these three countries was one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences of my life, and I would seriously recommend the Asian Adventure to anyone. This tour provides the perfect mix between partying in the hubbub and excitement of Bangkok and Siam Reap and to the breathtaking sites in Veintianne and Chaing Rai socialising from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and in Pak Beng and the much needed relaxation element of every travelling holiday in Phonm Penh and Luang Prabeng. Not to be forgotten was the awe-inpiring journey along the mighty mekong river, Elephant riding in Laos and the truely unique and stunning white temple. As an added bonus you get a local tour guide with you nearly very step of the way as well as you tour manager, which provides the perfect mix between a travellers experience and a local persons view, not only did I come back more educated about the world but i returned with some amazing photos on facebook, a whole encylopedias' worth of facts and information, a novel worthy adventure, experiences I can brag to everyone I know about for years and most cherished: a more relaxed, open and accepting perspective on things not only in my own country but of the world. Worth every penny and honestly, honestly worth the 5 stars its received. In a word: #NoRegrets

Review written Jun 2013

My Contiki was: Inspiring, Educational, Exciting

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What's Included

All of this & more, included as standard on your trip.

Accommodation

  • 13 nights accommodation: 11 nights in 3-star hotels, 1 night in a guesthouse, 1 night on an overnight train
  • 2 internal flights
  • Transport & included sightseeing

Team

  • Experienced Contiki Trip Manager, Local English-speaking guides
  • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations
  • Local taxes, payments & service charges

Food

  • 17 meals: 13 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 2 dinners

Inclusions

  • 2 World Heritage Sites visited
  • Long-tail boat tour of the waterways and canals
  • Overnight train to Chiang Mai
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Me Time

  • Group Photo at Bangkok’s Grand Palace
  • Thai Cooking Class
  • Akha & Yao Hilltribes visit
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$133
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Easy Pay
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