The vibrancy of Asia is extraordinary. Bustling cities and bright colours, and an array of archaeological treasures to discover. The beaches are stunning, rarely explored trails are inviting, and its people will delight.

  • Country information
    •  

      Capital

      Currency

      Language

      Thailand

      Bangkok

      Thai Baht (THB)

      Thai

      Vietnam

      Ho Chi Minh

      Dong (VND)

      Vietnamese

      Cambodia

      Phom Penh

      Dollars (USD), Riel (KHR)

      Khmer

      Laos

      Vientiane

      Dollars (USD), Kip (LAK)

      Lao

      China

      Beijing

      Chinese Yuan (CNY)

      Mandarin, Cantonese

      Hong Kong

      Hong Kong

      Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)

      Mandarin, Cantonese, English

  • Sights and attractions
    • • Angkor Wat, Cambodia
      • Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
      • Elephant Rides in Luang Prabang, Laos
      • Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia – the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia
      • Full Moon parties on Koh Pha Ngan, Thai Islands
      • Forbidden City in Beijing, China
      • Tienanmen Square in Beijing, China
      • Summer Palace in Beijing, China
      • The Terracotta Army in Xi'an, China
      • The Great Wall of China
  • What to pack
    • When packing for the Contiki Asia tours, you should be aware of the differing climatic conditions that exist in the region. Asia is generally a hot, humid travelling region, so attention should be paid to what the weather will be like in this area. It is also culturally different (being more conservative and respectful in terms of clothing worn).

      Some ideas include:
      • Surge protectors for electrical equipment
      • Some warm clothing for Laos (early morning starts can be chilly)
      • Using a backpack, rather than suitcase on wheels
      • Reef sandles (or something they can tie to their feet) for water activities (lots of people lose their thong/flip flops/jandles/slip slops/havanas)
      Temple wear – long (but loose) trousers that cover down to their ankles plus a t-shirt.
      • Clothing for swimming
      • Having a smaller overnight bag
      • Torch, flashligh, or headlamp (for a cave visit and the night in Pakbeng without power) You may like to bring items from home, but don't forget that many items can be purchased "in-country".

      During Contiki Asia tours, there will be many opportunities to make use of pools or visit the beach. The following items are considered essential to have:
      • Swimsuit / board shorts
      • Sunglasses
      • Hat
      • T-shirt
      • Shorts
      • Slip on shoes like sandals/thongs/flip-flops/slip-slops/jandles/Havianas (these are useful when visiting pagodas or local houses)

      Weather conditions in Asia can also change quickly from hot and humid to torrential downpour. The following items are also suggested:
      • Lightweight long sleeve tops
      • Light waterproof rain jacket (that is rain and wind resistant)
      • Sandals that can attach to the ankle are a wise investment as they can get wet, but will also not fall off easily.

      Nightclubs and bars
      There are opportunities to explore some of the nightlife in Asia while on tour. Unlike bars and nightclubs at home, many or the locations in Asia are more conservative in the music they play and drinks that are served. In Luang Prabang, Laos for example, there is a curfew that sees most nightlife close at 11.30pm.
      Nightclubs and bars will accept denim jeans in their establishments. Jeans should be clean and not torn or frayed. Nice shoes should also be worn wear possible.

      Expensive/flashy jewellery should be left at home. You can buy some cheaper stuff on tour!

      Temple wear

      In many Buddhist temples and some palaces that are visited as inclusions on a Contiki tour, there is a requirement to dress respectfully. This dress code is strictly enforced at the Royal Palace in Bangkok (Thailand) and the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) with entrance refused to those who do not comply. This is similar to the conventions followed in churches in Europe.

      It is essential that knees and shoulders be covered for both sexes.

      The following list is an example of the prohibited outfits for the Bangkok Royal Palace:
      • Sleeveless shirts
      • Singlets/vest tops
      • Shirts that have the mid-riff exposed
      • See through shirts
      • Short trousers that expose the knees or ankles
      • Trousers that have rips in them
      • Trousers that are too tight (and thus revealing)
      • Culottes
      • Mini skirts
      The above list is enforced at the Royal Palace. It should also be looked at as a guideline for other places of religious significance.

      Open-toed shoes/sandals/thongs/flip-flops/slip-slops/jandles/Havianas are permitted.

      It is suggested that the following items be packed as "temple wear" for Asian tours. They can also be purchased on arrival, if needed:
      • Lightweight trousers such as Fisherman's pants: light, loose fitting trousers that cover down to the ankle, jeans are also acceptable
      • Sarongs can also be worn
      • Cotton t-shirt with sleeves (standard t-shirt is okay). Look for options that are both respectful and cool (for the heat/humidity).

      After the visit to the locations is completed, the clothing can be changed to something else better suited to the climate.
  • Getting around
    • This section provides details on where your Contiki tour will depart from, departure times and how to get there.

      For all tours please see your day-by-day itinerary and Travellers Guide information book, which will be sent with your final documents, for details of your pre-departure meeting and confirmed departure time.

      BANGKOK DEPARTURES
      Tour starts at the Viengtai Hotel, Bangkok at 6.00pm
      42 Rambuttri Road, Bangkok 10200. Thailand
      Phone: + 66 2280 5434
      Fax: + 66 2281 8153

      Getting there: new Suvarnabhumi International Airport is 30 km from the Viengtai Hotel, or approximately 50 minutes' drive.

      HO CHI MINH CITY DEPARTURES
      Tours start from the Vien Dong Hotel at 6pm.
      275A Pham Ngu Lao Street
      District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
      Tel: +848 836 8941
      Fax: + 848 8369 010

      Getting there: Drive time from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the Vien Dong Hotel is approximately 45 minutes.

      IMPORTANT NOTE
      All the above hotels are subject to change. Please check your documentation for final details.

      Where you stay
      With Contiki in Asia, there are great quality places to stay, but to mix it up, we've thrown in some cool surprises!

      For the majority of the time, you'll stay in 3 star hotels and resorts (3 stars goes a long way in Asia), but we have included some real Asian experiences too. Like a Homestay in the Mekong, local stilt houses on an overnight Vietnamese trek, a traditional junk boat in Halong Bay and an authentic local guesthouse in Laos.

      Here's a taster of some of the great properties you'll stay in!

      • Vietnam
        • Hoi An Hotel – Hoi An
          The 4 star Hoi An Hotel is a lot like the town its named after – serene, tranquil and relaxing. Occupying lush and spacious grounds in the heart of the old town this modern, Asian styled hotel is the perfect place to hit the town. Or make the most of the facilities in this oasis with a swim-up pool bar, tennis courts and the beautiful Zen Spa.

          Vien Dong Hotel – Ho Chi Minh City
          You can't beat the location of the Vien Dong Hotel, located in the commercial district just a 5 minute stroll from the Ben Thanh markets and great nightlife. Modern and spacious, it's the ideal base for your Saigon adventures.

          Bai Tho Junk boat cruise – Halong Bay
          All aboard for one of the most authentic Vietnamese experiences, an overnight stay on a slow-cruising, traditional Chinese junk boat. Made of wood, the cabins feature windows and ensuites, as well as an onboard restaurant with plump cushions – perfect to relax on after a delicious Vietnamese meal. But we've saved the best for last – the large rooftop outdoor deck. Watch theUNESCO listed Halong Bay drift by and swim in the jade green waters.

          Homestay – Mekong Delta
          This is an experience you will never forget. Staying with your entire group altogether, overnight with locals and seeing up front and first hand the Vietnamese lifestyle will add a unique point to your journey.
      • Laos
        • Elephant Crossing Hotel – Vang Vieng
          Nestled on the banks of the Nam Song River amongst verdant jungle, this new boutique hotel is a world away in laid-back Laos. The ambience is typically Laotian, relaxed, friendly and the river view and majestic limestone mountains are stunning. Enjoy the view from the riverside restaurant and bar or from your private balcony. The hotel is only a short stroll from local restaurants, temples and a market.

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