Quintessential Asia

Ticking off Thailand, Laos and Cambodia’s classic highlights in 14 days may seem a little ambitious and we’re not denying it’s a fast-paced itinerary. However, it’s an excellent introduction to the region and we guarantee you will want to return and delve deeper into each country.

You’ll visit five of Asia’s most iconic cities: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang and Siem Reap. Whilst there are some similarities (welcoming local people for one), each city boasts its own individual vibe, unique cultural highlights and tasty regional cuisine. A leisurely cruise along the mighty Mekong River in the middle of the trip gives you time to reflect.

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides & drivers

You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.


  • Feel the buzz of Bangkok on tuk-tuk safari
  • Snack on streetfood at a Chiang Mai nightmarket
  • Meet rescued elephants in their natural habitat
  • Cruise downstream on the mighty Mekong River
  • Learn all about rice at a community project near Luang Prabang
  • Explore Angkorian temples with an expert guide
  • Weave through Siem Reap’s streets on the back of a Vespa

Bangkok, Siem Reap, Angkor Temples, Hoi An, Hanoi.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Bangkok

On arrival in Thailand, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel.

Day 2
City Safari

Step into the flow today on a tour of highlights, some well known, others further off the track. The city is kept in perpetual motion by a buzzing public network whose modes of transport span from ancient to ultramodern, and your transportation today will include a traditional longtail boat, the sky train, and the ubiquitous and exciting tuk-tuk - a combination that ensures you get to explore areas of the city that most visitors don't see. You'll cover a lot of ground, but there's is no better way to truly experience the 'City of Angels'. Start at the wonderful Lumpini Park where locals practice Tai Chi in the morning, before a proper exploration of Wat Pho. Visit one of the oldest traditional Thai massage schools in the country, a handicraft community known for the unique art of making monk’s alms bowls, the historic house of Jim Thompson, a mysterious American silk merchant, and the cutting-edge Siam Square. One key highlight is the Grand Palace, where you can see some of the buildings used for different occasions, including the Funeral Palace, Reception Palace, Throne Hall, Coronation Hall, Royal Guest House, and the Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha image in Thailand.

Day 3
Chiang Mai & Street food tour

Fly to Chiang Mai where you will be welcomed by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Your day is at leisure until early evening, when your guide will meet you for an evening spent sampling Chiang Mai’s streetfood in a local market. The variety on offer can be overwhelming, and you’ll be navigating some incredibly tempting smells! Our favourite dishes include Pad Thai, deep fried taro & noodle soup, khao soi (a popular northern Thai curry), kanom krok (coconut pudding) and sweet mango with sticky rice, but you guide will introduce you to many local dishes, and teach you how to order. Once you’ve made your selection, pick a seat and sit back to savour the flavours, not to mention the atmosphere.

Day 4
City Safari & Doi Suthep

Take several unusual means of transport on a city safari through Chaing Mai’s highlights and further off the beaten track. Ride a songthaew to the old trader community of Wat Gatekaram for a stroll around the alleyways, and on to the lost city of Wiang Kum Kam. Explore the ruined temples by bike, before taking a cruise on the Mae Ping River. Back on dry land, hop on a samlor (trishaw) and ride to the spectacular ruins of Wat Chedi Luang, which once housed the renowned Emerald Buddha. Continue by tuk tuk to Warorot Market to join the local bustle for lunch, then step into the secret jungle temple of Wat Phalad. Make a final stop at Phra Thad Doi Suthep, the most sacred wat in Northern Thailand, to wonder at its impressive chedi and beautiful murals. As dusk approaches and the tourist crowds leave, stay and listen to the monks’ evening chanting - a really special moment.

Day 5
Chiang Rai, The Golden Triangle

Leave by road for Chiang Rai, journeying deep into the Golden Triangle region. Make a stop en-route at Mae Chan, home to both Yao and Akha ethnic minority people, and Chiang Saen to explore the ancient ruins and temples. Arrive into Chiang Rai in the late afternoon.

Day 6
Elephant Valley Project

Spend a fantastic day at Elephant Valley, Chiang Rai’s first elephant sanctuary. Spread over 40 acres of prime elephant habitat, the project is (currently) home to four former Mae Sot elephant ‘loggers’. Closely modelled on the practises and ideas of the renowned Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia, the sanctuary puts elephant care and conservation at the heart of its ethos. There's no riding, tricks or shows; the elephants are free to wander and graze, break down trees, and play in the mud. It’s a unique chance to experience these amazing animals up close. You'll meet the elephants, and spend the morning learning about each individual by observing them in their natural habitat. After a local-style lunch, it’s all hands on deck to maintain and re-establish this thriving habitat. This is a major part of the project, and can be a mammoth task (pun intended!), so any assistance from visitors is much appreciated. You'll help to plant and harvest crops for the elephants' meals, tidy up the site, and feed the elephants before heading back to Chiang Rai.

Day 7
Laos, Mekong River to Pakbeng

Cross the Friendship Bridge from Thailand into Laos, where you will be met by your cruise representative and transferred to the boat pier. Here you will board the Shompoo Cruise for your journey downstream along the Mekong River. It’s a stunning section of this mighty river that begins high in the Himalayas and passes through seven countries before exiting at the huge delta in Vietnam. As you travel south a stop will be made to visit a Kamu minority village, before arriving into Pakbeng in the early evening. Enjoy dinner in your lodge overlooking the Mekong River

Day 8
Mekong River, Luang Prabang

After breakfast board the Shompoo once again and continue your cruise downstream towards Laos’s cultural capital, Luang Prabang. Stops will be made along the way at minority villages and the Pak Ou Caves, which house literally thousands of Buddha statues that range from a few centimetres to the size of a human. Approaching Luang Prabang in the late afternoon, it’s a wonderful way to arrive at this engaging city. You will be met at the jetty by your guide who will transfer you to your hotel where the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Day 9
Tak Bat, Weaving Villages

Rise before dawn to witness tak bat - the giving of alms to the monks who leave their pagodas to receive offerings of food from local residents - from a respectful distance. Get an overview of the country’s history at the Royal Palace National Museum, take in the city’s iconic temples, and get a deeper insight into Laos culture at the excellent Arts and Ethnology Centre. See colourful textiles being woven in the surrounding villages and join the crowds climbing Mount Phousi for spectacular sunset views across the Mekong. If you'd prefer to avoid the steps, visit Wat Prabath Tai for an accessible sunset experience and see the monks and novices go about their daily rituals in Wat Aham’s colourful prayer hall.

Day 10
Living Lands Organic Farm

After breakfast drive out of Luang Prabang to the Living Lands Organic Farm, a community enterprise, where you will meet the local farming guide for an informative, but fun morning. Rice is an important part of life in Laos: it’s eaten at every meal and there are over 500 types of rice grown in the country. During your time at the farm, you’ll learn about each step of the rice harvest and cultivation process, and try your hand at the traditional techniques (and basic tools) that have been used for centuries. The morning concludes with a rice tasting session, by which time you will have a much greater appreciation of the work and effort that goes into a simple bowl of rice! Return to Luang Prabang where the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Day 11
Siem Reap, Foodie Vespa Tour

Take a flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia. There will be plenty of time to relax on arrival until 6pm, when it's time for an evening tour with a difference. Riding pillion on a Vespa, you’ll experience the city by night from a local perspective, enjoying authentic Cambodian food and drink along the way. Start in a chic bar where you'll join your fellow passengers and local guide for a cold beer, before heading to a food market to learn about the ingredients found in Cambodian cuisine. At a buzzing local night market, you'll sample street food, including the country’s infamous bug snacks, and enjoy a picnic style dinner. Although food is the focus of the evening, you'll also stop at a popular local shrine. Finish the evening at a winery, where you'll have the opportunity to taste Cambodia’s famous (and quite potent!) rice wine.


Day 12
Angkor Temples exploration

Begin your exploration of Angkor Wat, and the complex of ruined temples and palaces around it. You’ll be driven between them, so you can fit quite a few in (if you want to), and our guides know when to see the ruins at uncrowded times. If you wish, start the day with the magical (but popular!) sunrise over Angkor Wat, and let your guide know what kind of pace you prefer, whether you want to fill your day with archaeology, or spend some of it on Tonle Sap lake, or even back at your hotel pool.

Day 13
Village Explorer

Explore rural villages, and learn about the daily lives of the local people. You'll be a world away from Siem Reap - it's a perfect opportunity to get ‘off the beaten track’ and gain a better understanding of Cambodian rural life, along with insight into traditional Khmer culture; something few visitors are lucky enough to experience. You'll explore a local market and purchase supplies for your lunch, and travel by an (almost!) pollution-free ox and cart. Still widely used throughout Cambodia, the cart allows you to travel gently along the narrow sandy village roads. Spend time at the home of a local family, where there will be plenty of time to relax and chat (with your guide acting as interpreter) as they prepare lunch using your market produce. You can help if you wish; this is a fantastic opportunity to further your understanding of typical Khmer cuisine. You meal is likely to be very different from those offered in Siem Reap's more westerner-oriented restaurants! Explore the village before returning to Siem Reap via the workshops of Angkor Artwork - all products sold are produced using traditional methods, and the quality of craftsmanship is outstanding.

Day 14
Depart Siem Reap

Transfer to Siem Reap airport for your onward flight.

Booking Policy

English speaking, local guide
All accommodation listed
Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
All meals listed

Entry visas
International airport departure taxes
Any meals not listed in the itinerary
Drinks, other than water on activity days
Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
Travel insurance
All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

  • We know what you're thinking: where's the beach time? Asia is blessed with some picture-postcard beaches and if you have more time to spare then incorporating a few nights on one of these beaches is certainly possible. Speak to your Destination Specialist for suggestions. Your stay in Siem Reap doesn't have to just be about the Angkor temples; there are a number of other interesting activities you may wish to consider during your stay. One favourite is a boat ride up the Tonlé Sap to Kampong Phluk, the ‘flooded forest’. Accessible only during high water, you’ll pass amongst the tree tops while still seated in your boat! You'll also visit a village on the banks of the Tonlé Sap, before returning to Siem Reap in the early afternoon. At My Way we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget. Whilst many clients are happy with one of our recommended itineraries in its current form (and at the price quoted), there are those who wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination, or even starting from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region, they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.
  • Please note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.
  • We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all USA, AU & UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded Tour operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.
  • You will require a visa to enter Laos and Cambodia. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.
  • Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.
  • You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.
  • You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.
  • Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 30%.
  • We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.
Personalised design
We’ll plan your trip around your specific interests, tastes and preferences, providing helpful tips and honest advice based on firsthand knowledge of the destionation.
Authentic Experience
Our expert guides and brilliant travel concierges are hand-picked to provide a genuine experience, bringing you destination to life with care and passion.
Responsible Travel
Our luxury trips are designed with responsible travel principles that priorities travel experiences that are both good for you and good for the planet.
It is easy to customize your Quintessential Asia tours with us

What our clients say about us

Feb 2023
star star star star star
An amazing trip out together by Stephen at My Way Travel! This was our second trip ( went to Vietnam and Cambodia 2019). Stephen is great to work with- very flexible and listens to what we wanted to do. This trip was originally scheduled for April 2020. A honest company that asked if I wanted my deposit back and I said no - that I would use it in a future trip! How many companies around the world did this???? We had great guides In Bangkok and Chiang Rai and Chiang Rai. Fon was full of energy and fun in Bangkok. Ann was one of the best guides I have ever had- she took us to a couple of places not noted on the tour. We went for a hike at a waterfall and visited the cave where the Thai boys were rescued in the cave. Both Ann and Fon gave us wonderful suggestions for restaurants. I would absolutely recommend Stephen and My Way Travel! We plan to use him again in planning Bali!
April 18, 2023
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Our group of 26 people traveled to Japan & Thailand with My Way Travel, and had an incredible time. This was our third trip with My Way Travel and the trip was planned perfectly with every detail accounted for. Our tour guides were exceptional in every way. They exuded a warmth and friendliness that immediately put us at ease, making our trip more enjoyable. Not only were they amiable, but they also had extensive knowledge about the places we visited. We would highly recommend My Way Travel to anyone planning a trip to Asia.
July 28, 2023
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We have just returned from a 16 Day/15 Night trip to southeast Asia including stops in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand planned by Stephen at My Way Travel. We reached out to My Way Travel with quite a tall order asking them to arrange a trip for us that included visiting 9 cities in 15 nights! From the first point of contact, our experience with My Way Travel was absolutely fantastic. Stephen was very attentive and let us customize our tour however we pleased. All of the hotels he booked for us were incredible and the tour guides and drivers made us feel like family. It was very easy to keep in touch with Stephen throughout our trip via Whatsapp. The only thing we really needed during our trip was to add baggage for one of our flights and he was able to take care of it the day before we arrived at the airport. All the drivers/guides showed up on time and made transferring from airport to hotel to tour to wherever extremely easy. I will definitely recommend this company to anyone that plans on traveling to Asia.
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