The definitive Asian journey
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Duration: 67 days
Trip code: VTCA
Discover the delights of Vietnam, Thailand and China and pack all these perfect Asian destinations into one incredible multi-country experience. We have selected three of our most popular and flexible Asia programmes and put them together to create the ultimate Asian adventure tour! Jam-packed with top sights and unique experiences, this combo trip gives you the very best these three countries have to offer, including city tours, boat cruises, island adventures, cooking classes, wildlife experiences, homestays and beach parties - it’s the ideal way to explore the Asian continent!
Please note: If you are travelling from 15th March 2018 onwards, you will follow a new updated Thai Adventure itinerary. Please see the further trip information for more details.
Maximum group size is 26.
Explore three amazing Asian countries in one combo trip. Begin by discovering vibrant Vietnam, hop across to Thailand for a whole month of fun and adventure and end your epic trip in China - awesome!
Day 1: Welcome to Vietnam. Arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, where you’ll be met and transferred to your accommodation. Enjoy your first night in Vietnam!
Day 2: Hanoi Rickshaw Tour. Tour around the city on a rickshaw and keep your eyes peeled for key sites such as the Presidential Palace, the beautiful West Lake, the Ho Chi Minh complex and the One Pillar Pagoda. Breakfast included.
Day 3: Ha Long Bay cruise. Wake up early and make your way to the traditional Vietnamese junk boat that’ll be your home for the night! As you cruise you’ll have the chance to go caving, sea kayaking and even try your hand at a spot of late-night squid fishing! Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 4: Wake up in Ha Long. A real treat in store tonight – a stay on your very own private island! Chill out on this gorgeous island, get competitive with some beach volleyball and soak up the glorious sun! Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
Day 5: Ninh Binh Homestay. Return to Ha Long Bay before plunging south to the stunning landscapes of Ninh Binh. Check in to a fantastic riverside homestay, and watch the sky turn orange and pink as the sun sets in this magnificent location. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 6: Beautiful Ninh Binh. Join a bicycle tour through the countryside. Then hop on a boat and glide along gentle rivers and delve into atmospheric caves. After lunch, ascend the legendary 450 steps of Dragon Mountain Viewpoint and prepare for a magical sunset. Overnight train down to Hoi An. Breakfast included.
Day 7: Hoi An. Wake up this morning in Danang and hop on a bus to Hoi An. Explore the lantern lit streets, wander around the shops and market stalls or simply gaze out over the wonderful waterways.
Day 8: Cycling and Crab Fishing. Today, jump aboard a fisherman’s boat and learn to catch crab as you float through tranquil Vietnamese waters! Then, learn how to whip up some tasty Vietnamese delicacies at a cooking class. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City. Jump on a short flight to southern Vietnam and visit famous Ho Chi Minh City. Soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant place.
Day 10: Mekong Delta. Back on the water today as you explore the beautiful Mekong Delta on board a traditional canoe. Glide through natural tree arches and open waters and visit a local honeybee farm and coconut village before browsing at a floating market! Breakfast included.
Day 11: Cu Chi Tunnels. Head underground and explore the incredible Cu Chi Tunnels, a sprawling network of underground passages that were used during the war for supplies and communication. Then enjoy a farewell night out in Ho Chi Minh City. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 12: Vietnam tour ends. Your amazing adventure in Vietnam has come to an end! Exchange contact details with your group, say ‘Tam Biet’ to your guide, and fly across to Thailand for the next leg of your trip!
Please note: We try to organize our trips so that your Thai Adventure can begin as soon as your tour in Vietnam comes to an end. On occasional start dates you may have a few days spare between these tours. This is a great opportunity to have a real backpacker adventure with some independent exploration! Any extra accommodation you require will be at your own cost. Please contact us for more details.
Day 1: Begin in the buzz of Bangkok. Touch down on Thailand’s tropical soil and be met by one of our trip guides who will transfer you to your guesthouse near Khao San Road. Meet your fellow travellers and enjoy your first night in Thailand!
Day 2: Explore Bangkok. Explore some incredible must-see sights on a Bangkok tour, starting with a long tailed boat ride. After temple visits to Wat Po, Wat Arun and the stunning Grand Palace, round off the day with a night out partying on the legendary Khao San Road.
Day 3: Bangkok to Chiang Mai. Enjoy a final day in Bangkok and then sit back, relax and prepare for the next stage of your Thai adventure on an overnight private bus transfer to Chiang Mai.
Day 4: Chiang Mai and Cookery Class. Arrive early in Chiang Mai and spend the day relaxing or exploring. In the evening you’ll learn to cook delicious Thai dishes in a cookery class and sample what you make!
Day 5: Meet the Elephants. Journey into the stunning Thai countryside and spend a day at an incredible elephant home. Feed and bathe the elephants and then spend the night in huts next to the herd – fall asleep to the soft sound of elephant snores!
Day 6 & 7: Hill Trek. Head to the foothills of northern Thailand for two days of wild adventure trekking in spectacular scenery – a must do experience! Possibility of bamboo rafting adventure. Spend the evening of day 7 back at the Elephant Home.
Please note: Your luggage will be looked after for you during the trek, so you only need to carry a small daypack.
Day 8: Chiang Mai. Enjoy more time with the elephants in the morning before heading to Chiang Mai in the afternoon.
Day 9: Chiang Mai. Enjoy some free time in Thailand's second-largest city and add in some more exciting optional activities, plus enjoy a guided tour of Chiang Mai's famous night markets and some lofty temples. Explore the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and snap up some bargain souvenirs!
Day 10: Return to Bangkok. Hop back on the bus to the bright lights of Bangkok. Arrive early evening. Head out and hit the town to enjoy Bangkok’s legendary nightlife!
Day 11: Bangkok to Koh Samui. Make the most of a fun, free day to explore amazing Bangkok before boarding an overnight bus to the Thai island of Koh Samui.
Day 12: Koh Samui. Arrive on the wonderful island of Koh Samui and get settled in to your rural village setting.
Day 13: Dam! Take part in a community dam building project and make a difference to the ecology in Koh Samui's beautiful inland forests. Enjoy Koh Samui's vibrant nightlife.
Day 14: Chill on Koh Samui. A free day to laze on the beach, recover from the night before(!), and reflect on the adventure so far.
Day 15: Angthong National Marine Park. Head over to beautiful Angthong for a day of kayaking and swimming around green islands, white beaches and turquoise waters.
Please note that the visit to Angthong Marine Park is weather dependent; if the day trip is unable to go ahead an alternative activity will be arranged.
Day 16-20: Koh Tao. Five days of beach break paradise, party time and snorkelling on the gorgeous shores of Thailand's pint-sized island, Koh Tao. Extra option to learn to scuba dive and gain a PADI qualification during your stay on Koh Tao.
Day 21: Depart Koh Tao. Head across to the party island of Koh Phangan!
Day 22-25: Koh Phangan. Laze your days away in a haze of sun, sea and sand, and take part in some amazing optional activities on this beautiful island. Live it up at a legendary Full, Black or Half Moon Party and stay in gorgeous beach-front accommodation!
About the Parties
The Full Moon Party is what Koh Phangan is most famous for. Anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 people gather at Haad Rin beach and dance to everything from trance to reggae until the sun rises the next morning. Entry costs approx. £2-3. The Black Moon Party hosts a night filled with the latest trance music from Thai and International residents, and guest DJs. Entry costs approx. £2-3. The Half Moon Party is a more alternative music party on Koh Phangan, with top quality music and a unique atmosphere. Top DJs play fantastic sets and the forest setting creates a buzzing, intimate vibe. Entry costs approx. £20-25. Please contact a travel advisor to find out which start dates coincide with which party!
Please note: We try our best to plan our start dates to coincide with a legendary Moon Party but this is not always possible. There is no guarantee that your trip will coincide with a party and Gap 360 cannot take responsibility if your trip dates do not coincide with a Moon Party. Please contact a travel advisor to check that your planned trip coincides with a party.
Day 26: Transfer to Koh Phi Phi. Head across Thailand to the iconic Koh Phi Phi, an island of stunning beaches and sparkling blue seas. Prepare for three days in this perfect paradise!
Day 27-28: Koh Phi Phi. Free time to enjoy everything this fantastic island has to offer. Opt to relax on the sand, snorkel in the sea or party on the beach.
Day 29: Koh Phi Phi. It’s time to say goodbye to this incredible tour through Thailand and fly to China for more Asian adventures! Return airport transfers are not included but are easy to arrange. Speak to us for transfer advice.
New Thai Adventure Itinerary
If you are travelling from 15th March 2018 onwards, you will follow an exciting new Thai Adventure itinerary.
Your trip will include a Bangkok bicycle tour, a Chiang Mai cookery class, an elephant experience, a 2-day hill trek, Krabi beach time, a Koh Phi Phi island boat trip and party time on Koh Phangan. You’ll also enjoy 4 days of volunteer experiences and adventure excursions on Koh Samui and 5 days of beach bliss on Koh Tao. The trip ends on Koh Tao on day 29.
You’ll also enjoy two included internal flights which will cut down the time you spend on the road and increase the time you spend exploring and relaxing!
For more information, please see the updated Thai Adventure information here.
Day 1: Arrive in Hong Kong. Optional welcome meeting in the evening; meet your group and guide and enjoy a walk along the amazing Avenue of Stars and watch the electrifying light show. It’s an unforgettable start to your epic China Adventure!
Day 2: Hong Kong to Yangshuo. 8am start for an optional guided hike up Victoria Peak, followed by free time in the city. At 4pm you'll depart Hong Kong and cross the border into mainland China, where you’ll hop on a night bus to Yangshuo.
Day 3-6: Yangshuo. Arrive in Yangshuo 5am on day 3. Inclusive bamboo rafting experience down the Li River. Optional activities include a cooking class, a bike tour, visit to mud baths, deep water soloing, watching traditional fishing using birds, cupping treatment, or a local village visit. On day 6, you can opt to walk up a karst peak to a pagoda to watch the sunrise before boarding a bus to Guilin and a night train to Chengdu.
Day 7-9: Chengdu. Optional activities include a massage, sampling a traditional Sichuan Hotpot and a free Mandarin lesson. Day 8: Optional trip to see the impressive Leshan Buddha (extra cost). On day 9 you’ll make a morning visit to meet some of China’s most wonderful wildlife, the Giant Panda, at the world-renowned Panda Breeding Research Centre. Visit Wenshu Temple before making tracks for Xi’an.
Day 10: Xi’an. Guided tour of Muslim Quarter (25RMB) or join an optional bike tour around the city (extra cost of 100RMB, approx £10). In the evening you can help out at a soup kitchen providing food and support to Xi’an’s homeless people.
Day 11: Xi’an. The Terracotta Warriors. Marvel at one of the wonders of the ancient world today as you take a tour of the awe-inspiring site of the Terracotta Warriors, one of China’s must-see attractions. Hit the town for a night out and a spot of Karaoke!
Day 12: Xi’an to Dengfeng. Bus to Dengfeng. Orphanage visit with Kung Fu show and option to join in a Kung Fu lesson (extra cost of 150RMB).
Day 13: Dengfeng. Free time. Optional visit to a Shaolin Temple (extra cost of 100RMB). Night train to Beijing.
Day 14-16: Beijing and the Great Wall. Hike along the Great Wall as the sun goes down, then set up camp for a night under canvas. Wake to a memorable sunrise and then head to Beijing for two days of free time and fun in this buzzing capital city. Optional attractions include a visit to The Forbidden City, the Olympic Village & Bird’s Nest Stadium or a Beijing Acrobatics Show (all at extra cost).
Day 17-19: Beijing – Hangzhou - Shanghai. Today we will board a night train to the beautiful lake city of Hangzhou and a stay in the countryside around the Moganshan bamboo nature reserve, with a lagoon visit. On day 19 you'll experience a morning hike up to the peak of magical Moganshan Mountain. After another inclusive Mandarin lesson you'll travel onwards by minibus and bullet train to Shanghai.
Day 20-22: Shanghai. Optional activities include a French Concession Walking Tour, bar crawl or a visit to a roof bar to sip champagne in a hot tub (all at extra cost). On day 22 you will hop on another night train towards Nanjing in Fujian Province (not to be confused with the more famous Nanjing City North of Shanghai).
Day 23: Nanjing, Fujian Province. has been described as one of Asia’s most picturesque areas. Spend the night in a traditional roundhouse known as a ‘Tulou’, part of the culture of the local Hakka people.
Day 24: Fujian Province. Visit roundhouses, temples and stunning countryside in this area. Sip Chinese tea in a traditional tea ceremony, take a dip in the local river and then head into the hills, where you’ll camp out on a tea plantation (if you prefer, you can return for a second night at the roundhouse).
Day 25: Fujian Province to Guangzhou. Start your day on the tea plantation by picking and drinking the local tea as you enjoy the spectacular views. Cycle to a local village before having a last dinner with the locals. Travel by night train and bus towards Guangzhou.
Day 26: Macau - Hong Kong. Arrive early in Shenzhen and start the day in style with a soak in the natural hot springs. Travel on to Macau, famous for its casinos and lively nightlife. Travel back to Hong Kong in the evening and spend one final night at your city hostel.
Day 27: Hong Kong. The 27-day China Adventure ends today in Hong Kong.
Please note: All itineraries and optional activities are subject to change. Some activities and locations may change due to the size of the group, the weather, time of year and feedback from past customers.
Please note: Flights between destinations are not included. On occasional start dates you may have a few days spare between the end of one tour and the beginning of the next. This is a fantastic opportunity for some independent exploration. Any extra accommodation required is at your own cost. Please contact us for more details.
You should arrange your arrival into Noi Bai International airport, Hanoi, on day 1. An airport transfer is included, and you’ll be met and taken to your accommodation where you’ll meet your group and guide.
You can arrive in advance of the start date and still take up the inclusive transfer if you book extra night's accommodation through us. If you wish to arrive before the start date then please let us know this in advance.
Your arrival location is different from your departure location. Your arrival location is HANOI but your departure location is HO CHI MINH CITY.
Please note: A flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok is not included in the trip cost, and you will need to arrange this independently before you travel. Flights take less than 2 hours and (on average) cost less than £50.
You will need to arrange your flights to arrive in to Bangkok. Our friendly team will be waiting for you with a 'Gap 360' sign. They will take you to your hotel where you will be introduced to the rest of your group.
A return transfer from Koh Phi Phi to Bangkok is not included. We recommend you take a short ferry ride across to Phuket or Krabi and fly from Phuket Airport/Krabi Airport via Bangkok. Ferries from Koh Phi Phi depart fairly regularly across the day so you can depart when most suits you. Alternatively you can take a ferry and then a bus to Bangkok. You can then fly on to Hong Kong
You should arrange your flight to arrive into Hong Kong International Airport on day 1 in time for the evening welcome meeting at 6pm. Airport transfers are not included. Transfer options are:
The tour ends in Hong Kong on day 27.
11 nights of accommodation are included in Vietnam. You will mainly stay in twin or triple share hotel rooms. In Hanoi, you will stay in a funky ‘flashpacker’ hostel dorm. You will also spend one night on board a traditional junk boat on Ha Long Bay, one night on a private island, one night in a homestay and one night on a comfy bed on an overnight train!
9 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 3 dinners are included.
28 nights' accommodation is included on the Thai Adventure. For the majority of the trip your accommodation will be in twin or triple shared guesthouse rooms. The rooms offer typical backpacker-style accommodation so you can try out a taste of authentic Thailand - it's all part of the gap travel experience!
On Koh Phangan, you will stay in beautiful accommodation that overlooks the white sands of Baan Tai Beach. Here you can chill out by the pool, grab a few drinks in the bar or enjoy a dip in the turquoise sea. If your trip coincides with a Full Moon Party, your accommodation is just a 20-minute taxi ride away from the party beach. Split between your group, the cost of this journey will be approximately £2 each! This means you can easily head out for an unforgettable night and then retreat to your chilled-out beach-front accommodation to recover! And if your trip coincides with a Black Moon Party the festivities are right on your doorstep! You’re never far from the action on Koh Phangan!
Meals are not included, except lunch at the Elephant Home and meals during your days on the hill trek. This means you will need to bring a little extra money to cover your food costs. You can expect to pay about £3-5 for an average meal.
All your accommodation is included for the duration of this tour. Most nights will be spent in hostels, in shared (mixed sex) rooms. All hostels offer basic accommodation, which are clean, safe and with either air conditioning or fans in each room. All bedding is provided. There are shared bathroom facilities and modern showers in each hostel, plus laundry services (small fee) and Wi-Fi.
You will spend one night camping at the Great Wall. Camping gear will be provided. There are no bathroom facilities at the camp - it's al fresco in the great outdoors all the way tonight! You will spend one night sleeping in a traditional roundhouse and one night camping at a tea plantation. Some nights will be spent travelling by sleeper train with triple-level flat bunks to sleep on. You will spend one night on an overnight sleeper bus, with reclined bunk-style beds.
Food is not included as part of this tour. An average meal will cost around 30-40RMB (approx £3-£4) per person.
The minimum age to join this combo tour is 18.
You will need to apply for a visa for Vietnam before travel. Most UK citizens qualify for an e-visa which can be applied for online. You must have at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport from the date you enter the country.
Please note: Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the Vietnamese embassy website for up to date visa information.
Without a visa, British nationals arriving by air can remain in Thailand for a maximum of 30 days, though if you arrive across a land border you can only stay for 15 days. If you wish to extend your trip in Thailand for more than 30 days then you will need to apply for a 60-day tourist visa before you depart the UK.
Travellers to China will need a visa in advance of travel, which you will need to obtain in person from your nearest Chinese visa application centre, which are located in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
You will need to book an appointment slot online, and travel to the visa application centre with your passport, application form and letter of invitation. You will then be asked to return to the visa application centre at a later date to collect your visa.
Your letter of invitation will be issued to you within 3 months of your travel date, and you can then begin your visa application process. You will also be issued with a step-by-step guide that will help you with your visa application.
For more advice and information regarding visas, costs, or for visa application help, please contact us.
Please note: Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check relevant embassy websites for up to date visa information.