🇷🇺🇲🇳🇨🇳 TRANS-MONGOLIAN

Trans-Mongolian itineraryThis is one of those journeys-of-a-lifetime, where you get to experience the fascinating history of Moscow, the vast expanses of Siberia, the beauty of Lake Baikal, the Mongolian wilderness and the wonders of Beijing. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Trans-Mongolian itinerary:

Luxury Moscow, Russia (Trans-Mongolian itinerary)
1 To Moscow
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr:
Afternoon
🏨Four Seasons Moscow (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Red Square and down Ilinka and the Kitai Gorod lanes where you’ll see ancient churches. Continue on to Lubyanka Square, where you’ll see the KGB base, and down to the Russian parliament I recommend the agency Svezhy Veter for booking your Trans-Mongolian itinerary train tickets – they can help with visas too
2 Start with a visit to Lenin’s tomb then stroll along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square. Admire the Tsarist-era interiors of Yeliseyevsky Supermarket and the upscale GUM. Experience the regal metro and take the red line to Sportivnaya where you’ll find the Novodevichy Monastery and be able to see the resting places of famous Russians in the cemetery. Go back two stops on the red line to Park Kultury and pay a visit to Gorky Park Try to get familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you visit Russia – it may not be as hard as you think and can help when reading street signs
3-4 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg (Info & Book >) Dep: 23:55 (Wed) 🏨Train
On your last day in Moscow visit the Tretyakov galleries and the magnificent Kremlin. Day 4 is your first full day on the train, which you can spend gazing out at the vast landscapes of Russia Make it clear to your agency that you want a private 1st class cabin
5 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg Arr: 03:44 (Fri) 🏨Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg (Book >) All hotels >
A horrible time to arrive, and so I recommend getting two nights in your hotel. When you’re ready to emerge from your room it’s a 30-min walk in one direction to Ganina Yama and a 25-min walk in the other direction to the Church On The Blood Try to learn a few common Russian phrases
6-8 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Dep: 12:15 (Sat) 🏨Train
Onwards along the edge of Siberia. Relax, read a book and watch as you glide by endless silver birch forests and rustic rural villages. You’ll pass through Omsk at 02:31, Novosibirsk at 12:53 (worth getting off the train for a few minutes, but don’t linger long (take your passport in case the train leaves without you!) and Krasnoyarsk at 02:06 The train runs on Moscow time, which can get a little disorienting the further east you go
9 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Arr: 21:15 (Tue) 🏨Hotel Sayen (Book >) All hotels >
Another day to enjoy the serene life aboard the Trans-Mongolian The Trans-Siberian Handbook offers a great guide to the kilometre posts you see alongside the track
10-11 Set off on a two-day tour to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal. It takes about 5 hours to get there but the journey is truly worth it Bring clothes for all climates – it can be hot during the day and very cold at night
12 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Dep: 08:08 (Fri) 🏨Train
Back on the train and more time to gaze at the endless vistas. The tracks go along the edge of Lake Baikal, a real highlight of this trip There are hot water samovars in each carriage, very handy if you bring tea or coffee
13 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Arr: 06:50 (Sat) 🏨Accom. not included, contact tour company
Begin your 8-day tour of Mongolia (Book here >). Your guide will collect you from the train station and take you to the stunning natural scenery of Terelj National Park. Horse riding tours and tours to other parts of Mongolia are also available. Many roads in Mongolia are gravel and very bumpy. This can get uncomfortable so remember to bring travel sickness pills
14-20 Over the next several days you will visit a mini-Gobi desert, 8 Lakes base camp, an overnight horse riding trip by Shireet Lake and the Buureg Valley (staying in a nomadic family’s ger), see the Tsutgalan volcanic waterfall in the Orkhon Valley, relax in Tsenher hot spring and visit fascinating Kharkorin. You’ll return to Ulan Bator at around 16:00 on day 20 (I recommend the Kempinski Khan Palace for the night of day 20) Being vegan, or even vegetarian, isn’t easy in Mongolia – read this blog for tips
21 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Dep: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Train
The final leg of this Trans-Mongolian itinerary. From the window you’ll see the edge of the Gobi desert and, when you cross the border to China, you can watch as the wheels are changed for the different gauge of tracks Don’t miss the opportunity of going to the very back of the train (to the ‘caboose’) and watching the rails unravelling beneath you
22 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Arr: 14:35 (Mon) 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
After the serenity of the train, the busyness of Beijing may come as a shock. There’s a lot to see here so you may want to extend your trip by a day or two Beijing can’t easily be seen on foot – buy a smart card (aka Yikatong card) for the metro
23 Beijing to Home
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Trans-Mongolian itinerary with the China or Japan itinerary.
A little more time this morning to see the sights of Beijing before transferring to the airport
Mid-range Karakorum, Mongolia (Trans-Mongolian itinerary)
1 To Moscow
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr:
Afternoon
🏨PR Myasnitsky BoutiqueHotel (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Red Square and down Ilinka and the Kitai Gorod lanes where you’ll see ancient churches. Continue on to Lubyanka Square, where you’ll see the KGB base, and down to the Russian parliament I recommend the agency Svezhy Veter for booking your Trans-Mongolian itinerary train tickets – they can help with visas too
2 Start with a visit to Lenin’s tomb then stroll along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square. Admire the Tsarist-era interiors of Yeliseyevsky Supermarket and the upscale GUM. Experience the regal metro and take the red line to Sportivnaya where you’ll find the Novodevichy Monastery and be able to see the resting places of famous Russians in the cemetery. Go back two stops on the red line to Park Kultury and pay a visit to Gorky Park Try to get familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you visit Russia – it may not be as hard as you think and can help when reading street signs
3-4 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg (Info & Book >) Dep: 23:55 (Wed) 🏨Train
On your last day in Moscow visit the Tretyakov galleries and the magnificent Kremlin. Day 4 is your first full day on the train, which you can spend gazing out at the vast landscapes of Russia I recommend asking for a private 1st class cabin for the longer stretches on the train – you’ll really appreciate having your own space
5 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg Arr: 03:44 (Fri) 🏨Renomme Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A horrible time to arrive, and so I recommend getting two nights in your hotel. When you’re ready to emerge from your room it’s a 30-min walk in one direction to Ganina Yama and a 25-min walk in the other direction to the Church On The Blood Try to learn a few common Russian phrases
6-8 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Dep: 12:15 (Sat) 🏨Train
Onwards along the edge of Siberia. Relax, read a book and watch as you glide by endless silver birch forests and rustic rural villages. You’ll pass through Omsk at 02:31, Novosibirsk at 12:53 (worth getting off the train for a few minutes, but don’t linger long (take your passport in case the train leaves without you!) and Krasnoyarsk at 02:06 The train runs on Moscow time, which can get a little disorienting the further east you go
9 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Arr: 21:15 (Tue) 🏨Hotel Sayen (Book >) All hotels >
Another day to enjoy the serene life aboard the Trans-Mongolian The Trans-Siberian Handbook offers a great guide to the kilometre posts you see alongside the track
10-11 Set off on a two-day tour to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal. It takes about 5 hours to get there but the journey is truly worth it Bring clothes for all climates – it can be hot during the day and very cold at night
12 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Dep: 08:08 (Fri) 🏨Train
Back on the train and more time to gaze at the endless vistas. The tracks go along the edge of Lake Baikal, a real highlight of this trip There are hot water samovars in each carriage, very handy if you bring tea or coffee
13 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Arr: 06:50 (Sat) 🏨Accom. not included, contact tour company
Begin your 8-day tour of Mongolia (Book here >). Your guide will collect you from the train station and take you to the stunning natural scenery of Terelj National Park. Horse riding tours and tours to other parts of Mongolia are also available. Many roads in Mongolia are gravel and very bumpy. This can get uncomfortable so remember to bring travel sickness pills
14-20 Over the next several days you will visit a mini-Gobi desert, 8 Lakes base camp, an overnight horse riding trip by Shireet Lake and the Buureg Valley (staying in a nomadic family’s ger), see the Tsutgalan volcanic waterfall in the Orkhon Valley, relax in Tsenher hot spring and visit fascinating Kharkorin. You’ll return to Ulan Bator at around 16:00 on day 20 (I recommend the Kempinski Khan Palace for the night of day 20) Being vegan, or even vegetarian, isn’t easy in Mongolia – read this blog for tips
21 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Dep: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Train
The final leg of this Trans-Mongolian itinerary. From the window you’ll see the edge of the Gobi desert and, when you cross the border to China, you can watch as the wheels are changed for the different gauge of tracks Don’t miss the opportunity of going to the very back of the train (to the ‘caboose’) and watching the rails unravelling beneath you
22 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Arr: 14:35 (Mon) 🏨Hunan Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
After the serenity of the train, the busyness of Beijing may come as a shock. There’s a lot to see here so you may want to extend your trip by a day or two Beijing can’t easily be seen on foot – buy a smart card (aka Yikatong card) for the metro
23-24 Beijing to Home
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Trans-Mongolian itinerary with the China or Japan itinerary.
A little more time this morning to see the sights of Beijing before transferring to the airport
Budget Beijing, China (Trans-Mongolian itinerary)
1 To Moscow
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr:
Afternoon
🏨ART Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Wander around Red Square and down Ilinka and the Kitai Gorod lanes where you’ll see ancient churches. Continue on to Lubyanka Square, where you’ll see the KGB base, and down to the Russian parliament I recommend the agency Svezhy Veter for booking your Trans-Mongolian itinerary train tickets – they can help with visas too
2 Start with a visit to Lenin’s tomb then stroll along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square. Admire the Tsarist-era interiors of Yeliseyevsky Supermarket and the upscale GUM. Experience the regal metro and take the red line to Sportivnaya where you’ll find the Novodevichy Monastery and be able to see the resting places of famous Russians in the cemetery. Go back two stops on the red line to Park Kultury and pay a visit to Gorky Park Try to get familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you visit Russia – it may not be as hard as you think and can help when reading street signs
3-4 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg (Info & Book >) Dep: 23:55 (Wed) 🏨Train
On your last day in Moscow visit the Tretyakov galleries and the magnificent Kremlin. Day 4 is your first full day on the train, which you can spend gazing out at the vast landscapes of Russia When booking train tickets ask for 4-berth cabins
5 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg Arr: 03:44 (Fri) 🏨RedLine hostel (Book >) All hostels >
A horrible time to arrive, and so I recommend getting two nights in your hotel. When you’re ready to emerge from your room it’s a 30-min walk in one direction to Ganina Yama and a 25-min walk in the other direction to the Church On The Blood Try to learn a few common Russian phrases
6-8 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Dep: 12:15 (Sat) 🏨Train
Onwards along the edge of Siberia. Relax, read a book and watch as you glide by endless silver birch forests and rustic rural villages. You’ll pass through Omsk at 02:31, Novosibirsk at 12:53 (worth getting off the train for a few minutes, but don’t linger long (take your passport in case the train leaves without you!) and Krasnoyarsk at 02:06 The train runs on Moscow time, which can get a little disorienting the further east you go
9 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Arr: 21:15 (Tue) 🏨Rolling Stones Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Another day to enjoy the serene life aboard the Trans-Mongolian The Trans-Siberian Handbook offers a great guide to the kilometre posts you see alongside the track
10 🚐Irkutsk to Olkhon Island (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 14:45 🏨Sunny Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Take a transfer to Olkhon Island – the perfect place to enjoy stupendous views of Lake Baikal. This afternoon pay a visit to the Khuzhir Museum (usually free) There are no ATMs on the island, so take out cash in Irkutsk before you depart
11 Contact your hostel for help with arranging tours on the island, but don’t miss out on experiencing the Buryat culture, including the Shaman Rocks Bring clothes for all climates – it can be hot during the day and very cold at night
12 🚐Olkhon Island to Irkutsk Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Rolling Stones Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Back to Irkutsk where you should have time to squeeze in a visit to the Prince Vladimir Temple You’ll need tram stop Detskaya St (ул. Детская) for the temple
13 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Dep: 08:08 (Sat) 🏨Train
Back on the train and more time to gaze at the endless vistas. The tracks go along the edge of Lake Baikal, a real highlight of this trip There are hot water samovars in each carriage, very handy if you bring tea or coffee
14 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Arr: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Accom. included in tour
Begin your 7-day tour of Mongolia (Book here >). Your guide will collect you from the train station and take you to Genghis Khan’s ancient capital Kharkorin. Many roads in Mongolia are gravel and very bumpy. This can get uncomfortable so remember to bring travel sickness pills
15-20 Over the next several days you will visit the Tsenkher hot springs, Tuvkhun monastery, Orkhon Waterfall, Naiman Nuur lakes, Shireet Lake and the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, occasionally staying in traditional gers. You’ll return to Ulan Bator at around 16:00 on day 20 (I recommend the Khuvsgul Lake Hostel for the night of day 20) Being vegan, or even vegetarian, isn’t easy in Mongolia – read this blog for tips
21 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Dep: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Train
The final leg of this Trans-Mongolian itinerary. From the window you’ll see the edge of the Gobi desert and, when you cross the border to China, you can watch as the wheels are changed for the different gauge of tracks Don’t miss the opportunity of going to the very back of the train (to the ‘caboose’) and watching the rails unravelling beneath you
22 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Arr: 14:35 (Mon) 🏨Kellys Courtyard (Book >) All hostels >
After the serenity of the train, the busyness of Beijing may come as a shock. There’s a lot to see here so you may want to extend your trip by a day or two Beijing can’t easily be seen on foot – buy a smart card (aka Yikatong card) for the metro
23 Beijing to Home
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Trans-Mongolian itinerary with the China or Japan itinerary.
A little more time this morning to see the sights of Beijing before transferring to the airport

🇱🇦 LAOS

Laos itineraryLandlocked, but moving to the aquatic rhythm of mighty rivers such as the Mekong, Laos is a country full of dramatic scenery and adventure. The itineraries below differ due to budget, and range from 14 to 17 days in length. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Laos itinerary:

Luxury Vang Vieng
1 ✈To Pakse (Book >)
🚕Pakse to Champasak taxi
Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨The River Resort (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re travelling from Cambodia then you can fly from Siem Reap, departing and arriving in the afternoon
3 Take a day trip to the Bolaven Plateau, which can be arranged by your hotel. Relax in the evening with a stroll around the resort grounds and relaxing by the infinity pools Anyone not from Japan or the ASEAN countries will need a visa for Laos
4 Journey to the beautiful 4000 Islands area (which can also be arranged by your hotel) Save the environment by using a good filter water bottle
5 🚕Champasak to Pakse taxi
✈Pakse to Luang Prabang flight (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Sofitel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Luang Prabang in time for sunset by the Mekong river. Dress conservatively when visiting temples
6-8 So much to see over the next couple of days! Start with the early morning alms-giving (which starts at 05:30 in summer and 06:30 in winter) on Sisavangvong Road. Visit the Royal Palace and the Golden Buddha Phra Bang within. The top of Mount Phousi is a wonderful place from which to watch sunset. Wat Mai palace, Wat Visoun and Xieng Thong are also worth some of your time. Pick up some souvenirs from the morning market (06:30-10:00). Take a tuk tuk to Kuang Si Falls. This blog post offers guidance on how to behave respectfully at the alms-giving.
9 ⛴️Luang Prabang to Pakbeng ferry (Book >) Dep: 07:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Luang Say Lodge
Embark on your tour up the mighty Mekong. Today you’ll visit Pak Ou cave and a hill tribe village. Pack plenty of sunscreen – the sun is especially strong on the river
10 ⛴️Pakbeng to Huay Xai ferry Dep: 08:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Nakaraj Princess (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll make more stops today including, after lunch, a visit to a traditional Laotian village of Ban Gon Dturn, before arriving in Huay Xai on the border with Thailand. The border closes at 18:00 and cruise staff on both sides of the border can help with travel to Chiang Rai.
11 🚕Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha taxi Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨The Boat Landing (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived in Luang Nam Tha take a look at the Golden Stupa and enjoy dinner at the bustling night market. Be aware of pick pockets in busy market areas.
12 Book a one-day trek in the verdant, magnificent Nam Ha National Protected Area, where you’ll taste some local food as well as visit a Khmu village. Trekking here is mildly challenging – bring insect repellant.
13 ✈Luang Nam Tha to Vientiane flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Crowne Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in a traditional herbal sauna before flying to the capital. Luang Nam Tha is close to the Chinese border, should you wish to add to your Laos itinerary.
14-15 ✈Vientiane to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Laos itinerary with the Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Cambodia itinerary
Spend the morning chilling in the roof garden infinity pool before heading to the airport.
Mid-range Luang Prabang
1 ✈To Pakse (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Athena Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re travelling from Cambodia then you can fly from Siem Reap, departing and arriving in the afternoon.
3 Your hotel can help arrange a taxi to tour around the Bolevan Plateau – a superb day trip from Pakse. Anyone not from Japan or the ASEAN countries will need a visa for Laos
4 Today you’ll go on a day trip to the 4000 Islands (book here), departing Pakse at 08:00 and returning at 14:00. Spend the rest of your day visiting pretty Wat Luang. Save the environment by using a good filter water bottle
5 ✈Pakse to Luang Prabang flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Mekong Riverview (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Luang Prabang in time for sunset by the Mekong river. Dress conservatively when visiting temples
6-8 So much to see over the next couple of days! Start with the early morning alms-giving (which starts at 05:30 in summer and 06:30 in winter) on Sisavangvong Road. Visit the Royal Palace and the Golden Buddha Phra Bang within. The top of Mount Phousi is a wonderful place from which to watch sunset. Wat Mai palace, Wat Visoun and Xieng Thong are also worth some of your time. Pick up some souvenirs from the morning market (06:30-10:00). Take a tuk tuk to Kuang Si Falls This blog post offers guidance on how to behave respectfully at the alms-giving
9 🚐Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw minibus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:00 🏨Mandala Ou Resort (Book >) All hotels >
There are many hikes around Nong Khiaw, including to the nearby Phatok Caves. If you prefer to get on the water then go on a kayaking trip along the Nam Ou, or maybe hire a bike and visit the Khmu and Hmong villages in the area. Ask your hotel for help with booking a minivan to Nong Khiaw
10 🚌Nong Khiaw to Oudomsay bus Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Namkat Yorla Pa (Book >) All hotels >
A couple more hours to enjoy the countryside around Nong Khiaw before taking the bus to Oudomsay. When you arrive you can walk up to the stupa and admire the views from the top, or hire a motorbike and visit Nam Kad Waterfall. Oudomsay is also known as Muang Xay and Udom Xai (many places in Laos have multiple names)
11 The tourism office offers a 1-day tour to Ban Chom Ong village and the Chom Ong cave – the largest in Laos and a breathtaking sight to behold. Remember to bring insect repellant and sunscreen
12 ✈Oudomsay to Vientiane flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Crowne Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
In Vientiane you may have time to visit the That Luang stupa. In the evening head to the Mekong riverfront for a memorable sunset. From Oudomsay you can also travel by bus to China or Thailand via Luang Nam Tha, should you wish to add to your Laos itinerary.
13-14 ✈Vientiane to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Laos itinerary with the Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Cambodia itinerary
Spend the morning chilling in the roof garden infinity pool before heading to the airport.
Budget Luang Nam Tha
1 ✈To Pakse (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Chato Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re travelling from Cambodia then you can take a bus from Siem Reap at 08:00, arriving into Pakse by 18:00
3 Your hostel can help arrange a tour around the Bolevan Plateau – a superb day trip from Pakse Anyone not from Japan or the ASEAN countries will need a visa for Laos
4 🚌Pakse to Vientiane bus (Book >) Dep: 20:30 🏨Bus
Today you’ll go on a day trip to the 4000 Islands (book here), departing Pakse at 08:00 and returning at 14:00. Spend the rest of your day visiting pretty Wat Luang before your night bus to Vientiane It’s also possible (and considerably faster, but more expensive) to fly to Vientiane
5 🚌Pakse to Vientiane bus
🚐Vientiane to Vang Vieng minibus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 06:30
Arr: 14:00
🏨Jasmine Vang Vieng Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
While Vang Vieng is known to be a party town, it’s also an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. After you’ve arrived hire a bicycle and visit the Blue Lagoon Save the environment by using a good filter water bottle
6 Beat the crowds and go on a tubing trip earlier in the day. If you like to be more active then kayaking is also available This Wikitravel page offers some advice on unscrupulous practises in Vang Vieng.
7 🚌Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Mad Monkey  (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in time for sunset from the top of Mount Phousi Dress conservatively when visiting temples
8-9 So much to see over the next couple of days! Start with the early morning alms-giving (which starts at 05:30 in summer and 06:30 in winter) on Sisavangvong Road. Visit the Royal Palace and the Golden Buddha Phra Bang within. Wat Mai palace, Wat Visoun and Xieng Thong are also worth some of your time. Pick up some souvenirs from the morning market (06:30-10:00). Take a tuk tuk to Kuang Si Falls This blog post offers guidance on how to behave respectfully at the alms-giving
10 🚐Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw minibus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:00 🏨Pho Sai River View (Book >) All hotels >
There are many hikes around Nong Khiaw, including to the nearby Phatok Caves. If you prefer to get on the water then go on a kayaking trip along the Nam Ou, or maybe hire a bike and visit the Khmu and Hmong villages in the area. Ask your hostel for help with booking a minivan to Nong Khiaw
11 🚌Nong Khiaw to Oudomsay Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Amphon Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A couple more hours to enjoy the countryside around Nong Khiaw before taking the bus to Oudomsay. When you arrive you can walk up to the stupa and admire the views from the top, or hire a motorbike and visit Nam Kad Waterfall Oudomsay is also known as Muang Xay and Udom Xai (many places in Laos have multiple names)
12 The tourism office offers a 1-day tour to Ban Chom Ong village and the Chom Ong cave – the largest in Laos and a breathtaking sight to behold Remember to bring insect repellant and sunscreen
13 🚐Oudomsay to Luang Nam Tha minibus (Info >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 14:30 🏨Zuela Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived in Luang Nam Tha take a look at the Golden Stupa and enjoy dinner at the bustling night market Be aware of pick pockets in busy market areas
14 Book a one-day trek in the verdant, magnificent Nam Ha National Protected Area, where you’ll taste some local food as well as visit a Khmu village Trekking here is mildly challenging – bring good walking boots
15 🚌Luang Nam Tha to Huay Xai bus (Info >)
🚌Huay Xai to Chiang Rai bus (Info >)
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 16:00
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 19:00
🏨Na-Rak-O Resort (Book >) All hostels >
Once you’ve arrived in Chiang Rai (Thailand) you’ll have time in the evening to visit the night bazaar. Luang Nam Tha is close to the Chinese border, should you wish to add to your Laos itinerary.
16-17 ✈Chiang Rai to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Laos itinerary with the Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Cambodia itinerary
Take a trip to Wat Rong Khun and the Black House before heading to the airport.

🇱🇰 SRI LANKA

Sigiriya, Sri LankaAncient sites, tough but rewarding treks and gorgeous beaches await intrepid travellers in Sri Lanka. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Sri Lanka itinerary:

Luxury Galle, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Jetwing Beach  (Book >) All hotels >
Ease into Sri Lanka by starting your journey in Negombo, close to the airport yet beside beautiful, serene beaches. Book your private transfer from the airport here.
3 🚗Negombo to Habarana drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Cinnamon Lodge Habarana (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your driver and guide, who will drive you to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
4-5 Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. You’ll also have plenty of time for a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – arrive early to avoid crowds.
6 🚗Habarana to Kandy drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨The Secret Kandy (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the drive to Kandy. You may also want to ask your drive to stop at one of the fragrant spice gardens in Matale (the drive time has allowed for both stops). Travel times here can be a little slower than expected – I’ve built in extra time to reflect this.
7 🚗Kandy to Ella drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Ella Master Point Luxury Suite (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🚗Ella to Galle drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Aditya Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the drive to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.
Mid-range Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Cinnamon Red (Book >) All hotels >
Dive in to the bustling streets of Colombo, focusing on the colonial buildings in the Fort area Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
3 🚄Colombo to Habarana train (Book >) Dep: 15:05 Arr: 18:42 🏨Priya Home Stay (Book >) All hotels >
Take the train to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. For the Colombo to Galle journey on day 8, buy your ticket in Colombo Fort station.
4-5 Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa (you can either take a taxi or train here). Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. If you’ve time go on a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – take a taxi to get there early and avoid the crowds.
6 🚌Habarana to Dambulla bus
🚌Dambula to Kandy bus
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 08:52
Arr: 13:00
🏨Private Apt With Scenic View (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the way to Kandy. When you arrive into Kandy, drop off your bags then visit the New Ranweli Spice Garden. Take bus 48-16 from Habanara towards Colombo. From Dambulla buses leave for Kandy every 30 mins or so.
7 🚕Kandy to Dalhousie taxi (Book >) Dep: 16:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Slightly Chilled Yellow House (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🛺Dalhousie to Hatton tuk-tuk
🚄Hatton to Colombo train (Book >)
🚄Colombo to Galle train
Dep: 09:15
Dep: 10:39
Dep: 15:50
Arr: 10:15
Arr: 15:27
Arr: 17:34
🏨Aditya Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the journey to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.
Budget Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Miracle City Inn (Book >) All hostels >
Dive in to the bustling streets of Colombo, focusing on the colonial buildings in the Fort area Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
3 🚄Colombo to Habarana train (Book >) Dep: 15:05 Arr: 18:42 🏨Green Garden Resort (Book >) All hostels >
Take the train to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. For the Colombo to Galle journey on day 8, buy your ticket in Colombo Fort station.
4-5 Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa (you can either take a taxi or train here). Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. If you’ve time go on a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – take a taxi to get there early and avoid the crowds.
6 🚌Habarana to Dambulla bus
🚌Dambula to Kandy bus
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 08:52
Arr: 13:00
🏨Bed Station 210 (Book >) All hostels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the way to Kandy. Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Take bus 48-16 from Habanara towards Colombo. From Dambulla buses leave for Kandy every 30 mins or so.
7 🚄Kandy to Hatton train (Book >)
🚌Hatton to Dalhousie bus
Dep: 12:31
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Mountain Villa Adams Peak (Book >) All hostels >
Visit the New Ranweli Spice Garden before setting off for Dalhousie and an early night. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🛺Dalhousie to Hatton tuk-tuk
🚄Hatton to Colombo train (Book >)
🚄Colombo to Galle train
Dep: 09:15
Dep: 10:39
Dep: 15:50
Arr: 10:15
Arr: 15:27
Arr: 17:34
🏨Luna Beach Home & Cabanas (Book >) All hostels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the journey to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.

🇮🇳 SOUTHERN INDIA

Hampi, India - Southern India itineraryFrom the sublime backwaters of Kerala, to wildlife wonderlands, to ancient cities and perfect beaches – this two-week journey will give you memories to last a lifetime. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Southern India itinerary:

Luxury Kerala, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Old Harbour  (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚕Kochi to Alleppey taxi Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Book a taxi through your hotel and join your houseboat for a midday departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Be sure to take a filter water bottle some insect repellant with you.
4 🚕Alleppey to Mettupalayam drive (Book >) Dep: 12:30 Arr: 19:00 🏨Kurumba Village Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the water before meeting your driver and heading to the foothills of Nilgiri hills. I highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >) Dep: 07:10 Arr: 12:00 🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. You will need to register with IRCTC to use the links featured in this Southern India itinerary before buying a ticket on their site.
6 🚕Ooty to Nagarhole National Park drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Drive through more plantations and spectacular views – asking your driver to stop whenever you wish – on your way to Nagarhole National Park. Settle in to your hotel then join the 15:30 jeep safari into the park. Visit TripSavvy for a guide on how much to tip your driver.
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 road and river safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚕Nagarhole National Park to Mysore taxi Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Radisson Blu Plaza
(Book >)
All hotels >
Your hotel can help arrange your taxi to Mysore. Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction here. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Remember to dress modestly when visiting temples.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨WelcomHeritage Shivavilas Palace (Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >) Dep: 06:20 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel Taj Exotica Goa (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A) is the most comfortable way to travel by public train in India.
12-13 Bored of the beach? Arrange tours with your hotel, including to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Se Cathedral in Old Goa, Singbal’s Book House in nearby Panaji and the Dudhsagar Falls. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
14-15 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern India itinerary with the Sri Lanka, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.
Mid-range Hampi, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Old Harbour (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚄Kochi to Alleppey train (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:40 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tuk-tuk to the station and arrive into Alleppey in time to board your houseboat for a midday departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Be sure to take a filter water bottle and some insect repellant with you.
4 🚌Alleppey to Coimbatore bus (Book >) Dep: 15:20 Arr: 21:00 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the water before heading to bustling Coimbatore. I highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚄Coimbatore to Mettupalayam train
🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >)
Dep: 05:15
Dep: 07:10
Arr: 06:15
Arr: 12:00
🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. You will need to register with IRCTC to use the links featured in this Southern India itinerary before buying a ticket on their site.
6 🚌Ooty to Bandipur bus (Info >) Dep: 08:24 Arr: 10:30 🏨Dhole’s Den Bandipur (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags off at your hotel and arrange your safari in the village. If you want to save money then join the 15:30 bus safari into the park. Bus times from Ooty  may change. Your bus will depart from Udhagamandalam Central Bus Stand (close to the station and so, on Day 5, you may want to check times)
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚌Bandipur to Mysore bus (Info >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Lok Sagar Mysore Palace
(Book >)
All hotels >
Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction in this city. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Your bus will be the one from Ooty and so exact times may not be available.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨Capital O 41723 Shree International(Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >) Dep: 06:20 Arr: 14:00 🏨FabExpress Vagator Cottage (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A) is the most comfortable way to travel by public train in India.
12-13 Bored of the beach? Arrange tours with your hotel, including to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Se Cathedral in Old Goa, Singbal’s Book House in nearby Panaji and the Dudhsagar Falls. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
14-15 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern India itinerary with the Sri Lanka, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.
Budget Goa, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Bastian Homestay (Book >) All hostels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚄Kochi to Alleppey train (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:40 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hostels >
Take a tuk-tuk to the station and arrive into Alleppey in time to board your houseboat for an 11:30 departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Don’t forget to take a filter water bottle and some insect repellant.
4 🚄Alleppey to Coimbatore train (Book >) Dep: 10:15 Arr: 15:27 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hostels >
Glide to the end of your houseboat journey then board the train to Coimbatore. Your hotel is near the Karpagam Cinema – going to see a Bollywood film can be great fun. This train only departs on Fridays. See here for other train times.
5 🚄Coimbatore to Mettupalayam train
🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >)
Dep: 05:15
Dep: 07:10
Arr: 06:15
Arr: 12:00
🏨Prabhu’s Place
(Book >)
All hostels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. If you use IRCTC links featured in this Southern India itinerary you’ll need to register before buying a ticket on their site. I highly recommend buying train tickets in advance.
6 🚌Ooty to Bandipur bus (Info >) Dep: 08:24 Arr: 10:30 🏨The hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags off at your hotel and arrange your safari in the village. If you want to save money then join the 15:30 bus safari into the park. Bus times from Ooty may change. Your bus will depart from Udhagamandalam Central Bus Stand (close to the station and so, on Day 5, you may want to check times)
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚌Bandipur to Mysore bus (Info >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨The Mansion
(Book >)
All hostels >
Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction in this city. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Your bus will be the one from Ooty and so exact times may not be available.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨Apartment (Book >) All hostels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >)
🚌Madgaon to Panjim bus
Dep: 06:20
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 17:00
🏨The White Balcao (Book >) All hostels >
Spend a night amidst the wonderful old buildings of Panjim, including Singbal’s Book House. When you arrive in Madgaon take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the KTC Bus terminus from where there are frequent services to Panjim.
12 🚕Panjim to Arpora Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:00 🏨Woke Morjim (Book >) All hostels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
13-14 Enjoy a couple of days unwinding on the beach before heading home. Be very wary of strong rip currents when in the sea
15-16 🚕Arpora to airport
✈Goa to home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Evening
Arr: 1hr later
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Southern India itinerary with the Sri Lanka, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.

🇳🇵 NEPAL

Poon Hill, Nepal - Nepal itineraryYou’ll need to be somewhat fit to tackle the magnificent treks in this Nepal itinerary, but the reward for all that effort is a front-row view of the world’s highest mountains. Back where the oxygen is less thin are fascinating cities and incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Nepal itinerary:

Luxury Chitwan National Park, Nepal
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel The Dwarika’s (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 ✈Kathmandu to Pokhara flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Pavilions Himalayas (Book >) All hotels >
You have a little more time this morning to see any sights you missed out on yesterday before the breathtaking flight to Pokhara. Once you’ve arrived, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hotel for help.
5 🚕Pokhara to Nayapul taxi
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 08:45
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Birethanti hike
🚕Birethanti to Pokhara taxi
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 17:00
🏨The Pavilions Himalayas (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Birethanti and stopping off at Ghandrung village. Back in Pokhara treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚗Pokhara to Bandipur drive (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Depche Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your guide and enjoy the drive to Bandipur. This well-preserved medieval town boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Be wary of the signs of altitude sickness.
10 🚗Bandipur to Andrauli drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 11:00 🏨Barahi Jungle Lodge(Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Take a power bank with you on treks and safaris.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚗Andrauli to Kathmandu drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel The Dwarika’s (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4 of this Nepal itinerary. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Kathmandu, Nepal
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tibet International (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 ✈Kathmandu to Pokhara flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
You have a little more time this morning to see any sights you missed out on yesterday before the breathtaking flight to Pokhara. Once you’ve arrived, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hotel for help.
5 🚕Pokhara to Nayapul taxi
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 08:45
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Naya Pul hike
🚌Naya Pul to Pokhara bus
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:15
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 17:15
🏨Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Naya Pul and stopping off at Ghandrung village. At the end of the trek you’ll need to wait for a passing bus back to Pokhara. Back in the city treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚌Pokhara to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar to Bandipur bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Gaun Ghar (Book >) All hotels >
The well-preserved medieval town of Bandipur boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Ask your hotel about transport from Dumre and to book your bus ticket to Sauraha.
10 🚌Bandipur to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar  to Sauraha bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 13:30
🏨Green Park Chitwan (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Ask your Chitwan hotel to collect you from the bus stop.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚌Sauraha to Kathmandu bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Tibet International (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4 of this Nepal itinerary. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Mount Everest
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Flock Kathmandu Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 🚌Kathmandu to Pokhara bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 15:00 🏨The Mountain House (Book >) All hostels >
Once you’ve arrived in Pokhara, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hostel for help.
5 🚌Pokhara to Nayapul bus
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 09:00
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. The trekking times in this Nepal itinerary allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Naya Pul hike
🚌Syauli Bazaar to Pokhara bus
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:15
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 17:15
🏨The Mountain House (Book >) All hostels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Naya Pul and stopping off at Ghandrung village. At the end of the trek you’ll need to wait for a passing bus back to Pokhara. Back in Pokhara treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚌Pokhara to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar to Bandipur bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Hotel The North Face (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your guide and enjoy the drive to Bandipur. This well-preserved medieval town boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Ask your hotel about transport from Dumre and to book your bus ticket to Sauraha.
10 🚌Bandipur to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar  to Sauraha bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 13:30
🏨Hotel Rhino Land (Book >) All hostels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Ask your hostel to collect you from the bus stop (free service).
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚌Sauraha to Kathmandu bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Flock Kathmandu Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4 of this Nepal itinerary. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Ask your hostel for help flagging a meter taxi to the airport.

🇮🇩 INDONESIA

Borobudur, Indonesia - Indonesia itineraryThis busy 18-day Indonesia itinerary gives travellers an amazing journey through the islands of Java, Bali and Lombok. Got some spare days? Spend longer at the beach in Lombok and Bali. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Indonesia itinerary:

Luxury Mount Bromo, Indonesia
1 ✈To Yogyakarta (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have most of the day to relax by the pool in your hotel, if you’re feeling refreshed in the afternoon then visit some local Batik makers, the Taman Sari water castle and the opulent Kraton Palace.
3 Arrange a driver for with your hotel, because it’s all about the temples today, starting with Prambanan and ending with incredible Borobudur. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival or are exempt.
4 🚄Yogyakarta to Surabaya (Book >) Dep: 09:56 Arr: 15:27 🏨Hotel Majapahit (Book >) See all hotels >
Built in 1910, your hotel is a part of the history of this city. But make time to get out and see the out-of-place submarine monument. Seat 61 has excellent tips for buying Indonesian train tickets (I recommend paying a little more for first class AC).
5 🚄Surabaya to Probolinggo train (Book >)
🚕Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang taxi
Dep: 15:27
Dep: 18:15
Arr: 18:14
Arr: 19:15
🏨Bromo Terrace (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a couple of hours in Surabaya’s fascinating House of Sampoerna before travelling to Cemoro Lawang. Keep small denominations of cash on you for food, taxis, drinks etc.
6 Awake before dawn to witness sunrise over the incredible Mount Bromo landscape. Then go on a guided hike over this barren terrain and get close to the volcano itself. You’ll need to pack for the cold – it’s freezing before sunrise!
7 🚕Bromo to Probolinggo taxi
🚄Probolinggo to Banyuwangi train
(Book >)
⛴️Banyuwangi (Ketapang) to Gilimanuk ferry (Book >)
🚕Gilimanuk to Pemuteran taxi
Dep: 10:00
Dep: 11:04
Dep: 16:00
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 11:00
Arr: 15:20
Arr: 16:45
Arr: 17:30
🏨Matahari Beach (Book >) All hotels >
Descend the Bromo area and take the train on to the end of Java. At Banyuwangi hop in a taxi to the docks at Ketapang. Be prepared for unreliable departure times (I’ve built in a little allowance in this Indonesia itinerary).
8 See Bali Barat National Park, which is full of forests, mangroves and rare wild animals. The Tegal Bunder Trail is highly recommended, as is a visit to Menjangan Island if you want to see some amazing marine life. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
9 🚐Pemuteran to Gunung Batur drive (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Volcano Terrace Bali (Book >) All hotels >
After a relaxing morning in your hotel, meet your guide who will drive you through northern Bali to the rim of Gunung Batur volcano. Dress conservatively when visiting temples.
10 🚐Gunung Batur to Ubud drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah (Book >) All hotels >
Another early start for another stunning sunrise, before driving on to the vibrant town of Ubud The Ubud Art Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs – bargain hard!
11-12 Meet the animals at the Ubud Monkey Forest, walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, visit the Goa Gajah temple complex, Pura Taman Saraswati temple and Puri Saren, take in the air along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Bluebird taxis are the recommended way of making short trips. Download the app on Google Play or Apple.
13 🚐Ubud to Padangbai minibus
⛴️Padangbai to Lembar ferry
🚐Lembar to Mataram minibus (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 10:35
Arr: 11:45
🏨Hotel Oberoi Lombok (Book >) All hotels >
This is a day on which to enjoy the journey. From the greenery and bustle of Bali, to crossing the Bali Sea, to driving along the verdant hills of Lombok. Arrive in time for sunset at the beach. You may want to get a taxi to Denpasar and fly to Lombok, which could be faster but much less enjoyable.
14-15 Snorkel with giant sea turtles, walk beside Mount Rinjani, take a horse and cart to Tanjung Village and enjoy the exquisite beach. Protect the reef and wildlife by using an eco-friendly sunscreen.
16 🚕Mataram to airport taxi (Book >)
✈Lombok to Denpasar flight (Book >)
Dep: 13:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 15:00
Arr: Evening
🏨The Samaya Seminyak Bali (Book >) All hotels >
Fly back to Bali and relax on the beach when you arrive. If red flags are flown on the beach do not swim – there are dangerous undercurrents here.
17-18 ✈Denpasar to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Indonesia itinerary with the Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Australia itinerary
Soak up the sun before returning home.
Mid-range Ubud, Indonesia
1 ✈To Yogyakarta (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have most of the day to relax by the pool in your hotel, if you’re feeling refreshed in the afternoon then visit some local Batik makers, the Taman Sari water castle and the opulent Kraton Palace.
3 Arrange a driver for with your hotel, because it’s all about the temples today, starting with Prambanan and ending with incredible Borobudur. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival or are exempt.
4 🚄Yogyakarta to Surabaya train (Book >) Dep: 09:56 Arr: 15:27 🏨Hotel Majapahit (Book >) All hotels >
Built in 1910, your hotel is a part of the history of this city. Spend a couple of hours in Surabaya’s fascinating House of Sampoerna. Seat 61 has excellent tips for buying Indonesian train tickets (I recommend paying a little more for first class AC).
5 🚄Surabaya to Probolinggo train (Book >)
🚌Probolinggo bus station to Cemoro Lawang bus
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 10:56
Arr: 13:30
🏨Bromo Terrace (Book >) All hotels >
Go on a guided hike over the barren Mount Bromo terrain and get close to the volcano itself. You’ll need to take a bemo to Probolinggo bus station (Banyuangga).
7 🚌Bromo to Probolinggo bus station
🚄Probolinggo to Banyuwangi train
(Book >)
⛴️Banyuwangi (Ketapang) to Gilimanuk ferry (Book >)
🚕Gilimanuk to Pemuteran taxi
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:04
Dep: 16:00
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 10:30
Arr: 15:20
Arr: 16:45
Arr: 17:30
🏨Amertha Bali Villas (Book >) All hotels >
Rise early for sunset, then descend the Bromo area and take the train on to the end of Java. At Banyuwangi hop in a taxi to the docks at Ketapang. This is the coldest you’ll get on this Indonesia itinerary, so pack accordingly – it’s freezing before sunrise!
8 See Bali Barat National Park, which is full of forests, mangroves and rare wild animals. The Tegal Bunder Trail is highly recommended, as is a visit to Menjangan Island if you want to see some amazing marine life. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
9 🚌Pemuteran to Gunung Batur bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Volcano Terrace Bali (Book >) All hotels >
After a relaxing morning in your hotel, wait for a passing bemo to take you through northern Bali to the rim of Gunung Batur volcano. Dress conservatively when visiting temples.
10 🚌Gunung Batur to Ubud bus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah (Book >) All hotels >
Another early start for another stunning sunrise, before taking a bemo to the vibrant town of Ubud The Ubud Art Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs – bargain hard!
11-12 Meet the animals at the Ubud Monkey Forest, walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, visit the Goa Gajah temple complex, Pura Taman Saraswati temple and Puri Saren, take in the air along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Bluebird taxis are the recommended way of making short trips. Download the app on Google Play or Apple.
13 🚐Ubud to Padangbai bus
⛴️Padangbai to Lembar ferry
🚐Lembar to Senggigi bus (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 10:35
Arr: 12:00
🏨Puri Mas Boutique(Book >) All hotels >
This is a day on which to enjoy the journey. From the greenery and bustle of Bali, to crossing the Bali Sea, to driving along the verdant hills of Lombok. Arrive in time for sunset at the beach. You may want to get a taxi to Denpasar and fly to Lombok, which could be faster but much less enjoyable.
14-15 Snorkel with giant sea turtles, walk beside Mount Rinjani, take a horse and cart to Tanjung Village and enjoy the exquisite beach. Protect the reef and wildlife by using an eco-friendly sunscreen.
16 🚐Sengiggi to airport transfer (Book >)
✈Lombok to Denpasar flight (Book >)
Dep: 10:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:30
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Villa Bali Asri Batubelig (Book >) All hotels >
Fly back to Bali and relax on the beach when you arrive. If red flags are flown on the beach do not swim – there are dangerous undercurrents here.
17-18 ✈Denpasar to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Indonesia itinerary with the Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Australia itinerary
Soak up the sun before returning home.
Budget Lombok, Indonesia
1 ✈To Yogyakarta (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨OTU Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
You’ll have most of the day to relax in your hostel and, if you’re feeling refreshed in the afternoon, visit some local Batik makers, the Taman Sari water castle and the opulent Kraton Palace.
3 Arrange a driver for with your hotel, because it’s all about the temples today, starting with Prambanan and ending with incredible Borobudur. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival or are exempt.
4 🚄Yogyakarta to Surabaya train (Book >) Dep: 09:56 Arr: 15:27 🏨The Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Spend a couple of hours in Surabaya’s fascinating House of Sampoerna. Seat 61 has excellent tips for buying Indonesian train tickets.
5 🚄Surabaya to Probolinggo train (Book >)
🚌Probolinggo bus station to Cemoro Lawang bus
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 10:56
Arr: 13:30
🏨Cafe Lava Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Go on a guided hike over the barren Mount Bromo terrain and get close to the volcano itself. You’ll need to take a bemo to Probolinggo bus station (Banyuangga).
7 🚌Bromo to Probolinggo bus station
🚄Probolinggo to Banyuwangi train
(Book >)
⛴️Banyuwangi (Ketapang) to Gilimanuk ferry (Book >)
🚌Gilimanuk to Menjangan bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:04
Dep: 16:00
Dep: 17:30
Arr: 10:30
Arr: 15:20
Arr: 16:45
Arr: 18:30
🏨Bananaleaf (Book >) All hostels >
Rise early for sunset, then descend the Bromo area and take the train on to the end of Java. At Banyuwangi hop in a taxi to the docks at Ketapang. In Gilimanuk wait for a bemo going towards Pemuteran. This is the coldest you’ll get on this Indonesia itinerary, so pack accordingly – it’s freezing before sunrise!
8 See Bali Barat National Park, which is full of forests, mangroves and rare wild animals. The Tegal Bunder Trail is highly recommended, as is a visit to Menjangan Island if you want to see some amazing marine life. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
9 🚌Menjangan to Gunung Batur bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨BlackLava Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Wait for a passing bemo to take you through northern Bali to the rim of Gunung Batur volcano. Dress conservatively when visiting temples.
10 🚌Gunung Batur to Ubud bus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨Arya Wellness Retreat (Book >) All hostels >
Another early start for another stunning sunrise, before taking a bemo to the vibrant town of Ubud The Ubud Art Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs – bargain hard!
11-12 Meet the animals at the Ubud Monkey Forest, walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, visit the Goa Gajah temple complex, Pura Taman Saraswati temple and Puri Saren, take in the air along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Bluebird taxis are the recommended way of making short trips. Download the app on Google Play or Apple.
13 🚐Ubud to Padangbai bus (Book >)
⛴️Padangbai to Lembar ferry (Book >)
🚌Lembar to
Kuta Lombok bus
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 10:35
Arr: 13:00
🏨Pipes Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
This is a day on which to enjoy the journey. From the greenery and bustle of Bali, to crossing the Bali Sea, to driving along the verdant hills of Lombok. You’ll need to wait for a bemo in Lembar port and negotiate the price to Kuta Lombok.
14-15 Snorkel with giant sea turtles, walk beside Mount Rinjani, go surfing and enjoy the exquisite nearby beaches. Protect the reef and wildlife by using an eco-friendly sunscreen.
16 🚐Kuta Lombok to airport transfer (Book >)
✈Lombok to Denpasar flight (Book >)
Dep: 10:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:30
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Pudak Sari Unizou Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Fly back to Bali and relax on the beach when you arrive. If red flags are flown on the beach do not swim – there are dangerous undercurrents here.
17-18 ✈Denpasar to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Indonesia itinerary with the Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Australia itinerary
Soak up the sun before returning home.

🇰🇭 CAMBODIA

Angkor Wat, Cambodia - Cambodia itineraryA lot of people visit Cambodia as part of a longer trip, but there’s so many phenomenal sights here that it justifies its own two-week holiday . Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Cambodia itinerary:

Luxury Mekong, Cambodia
1 ✈To Phnom Penh (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨La Rose Suites (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in the evening, so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Ease in to life in Cambodia with a gentle day of sightseeing in the capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are peaceful and magnificent buildings worthy of a couple of hours of your time. Next door is the National Museum of Cambodia, full of ancient Angkorian artefacts. End the day with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Get your eVisa for Cambodia online here.
4 🚐Phnom Penh to Kratie minibus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 15:30 🏨Rajabori Villas (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive into Kratie in plenty of time to see the sun set over the Mekong on Koh Trong Island – the perfect start to a visit of this relaxing location. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
5 Kayak or cruise along the river to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. In the afternoon admire the Kratie’s French-era architecture and tour the temples in and around town. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
6 🚐Kratie to Phnom Penh minibus (Book >)
🚐Phnom Penh to Kep minibus
(Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Knai Bang Chatt Resort (Book >) All hotels >
The longest day of travel on this Cambodia itinerary, rewarded with ending at the spectacular beaches of gorgeous Kep. Try to book your bus in advance during busy periods.
7-8 Spend a couple of days (or more) on the beach. Take the 20-minute boat ride to tranquil Rabbit Island and, if you get bored of the sand, visit a pepper farm or the nearby Bokor Hill Station. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
9 🚐Kep to Phnom Penh minibus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Shinta Mani Angkor (Book >) All hotels >
Say goodbye to the beach and hello to another day of bus travel. But at the end of it you’ll be in bustling Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Buy your multi-day ticket after 5pm and it will only count from the next day. Miss the connection to Siem Reap? No problem, buses depart until 18:00.
10-11 The Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square kilometres, so hire a car and driver to explore the site. Must-sees include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Other places for your list are the Terrace of the Leper King, Baphuon, Srah Srang, Preah Ko (Sacred Bull), Baksei Chamkrong, Elephant Terrace, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. At the end of the day go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Ask your hotel to help arrange a car and driver.
12 ✈Siem Reap to Phnom Penh flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨La Rose Suites (Book >) All hotels >
More time to see more temples, or any that you may have missed out on during days 10-11. Continuing to Laos? Book your bus from Siem Reap to Don Det (4000 Islands) here (bus departs at 08:00).
13-14 ✈Phnom Penh to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening (next day) Connect this Cambodia itinerary with the Thailand or Vietnam itinerary
Take some culinary inspiration home with you on a food tour.
Mid-range Phnom Penh, Cambodia
1 ✈To Phnom Penh (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨IRoHa Garden (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in the evening, so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Ease in to life in Cambodia with a gentle day of sightseeing in the capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are peaceful and magnificent buildings worthy of a couple of hours of your time. Next door is the National Museum of Cambodia, full of ancient Angkorian artefacts. End the day with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Get your eVisa for Cambodia online here.
4 🚌Phnom Penh to Kratie bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:30 🏨Rajabori Villas (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive into Kratie in plenty of time to see the sun set over the Mekong on Koh Trong Island – the perfect start to a visit of this relaxing location. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
5 Kayak or cruise along the river to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. In the afternoon admire the Kratie’s French-era architecture and tour the temples in and around town. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
6 🚌Kratie to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Kep bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Samanea Beach (Book >) All hotels >
The longest day of travel on this Cambodia itinerary, rewarded with ending at the spectacular beaches of gorgeous Kep. Try to book your bus in advance during busy periods.
7-8 Spend a couple of days (or more) on the beach. Take the 20-minute boat ride to tranquil Rabbit Island and, if you get bored of the sand, visit a pepper farm or the nearby Bokor Hill Station. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
9 🚌Kep to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Golden Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Say goodbye to the beach and hello to another day of bus travel. But at the end of it you’ll be in bustling Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Buy your multi-day ticket after 5pm and it will only count from the next day. Miss the connection to Siem Reap? No problem, buses depart until 18:00.
10-11 The Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square kilometres, so hire a car and driver to explore the site. Must-sees include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Other places for your list are the Terrace of the Leper King, Baphuon, Srah Srang, Preah Ko (Sacred Bull), Baksei Chamkrong, Elephant Terrace, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. At the end of the day go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Ask your hotel to help arrange a car and driver.
12 ✈Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨IRoHa Garden (Book >) All hotels >
More time to see more temples, or any that you may have missed out on during days 10-11. Continuing to Laos? Book your bus from Siem Reap to Don Det (4000 Islands) here (bus departs at 08:00).
13-14 ✈Phnom Penh to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening (next day) Connect this Cambodia itinerary with the Thailand or Vietnam itinerary
Take some culinary inspiration home with you on a food tour.
Budget Kep, Cambodia
1 ✈To Phnom Penh (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Envoy Hostel (Book >) See all hostels >
You’ll arrive in the evening, so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Ease in to life in Cambodia with a gentle day of sightseeing in the capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are peaceful and magnificent buildings worthy of a couple of hours of your time. Next door is the National Museum of Cambodia, full of ancient Angkorian artefacts. End the day with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Get your eVisa for Cambodia online here.
4 🚌Phnom Penh to Kratie bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:30 🏨Hotel River Dolphin (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive into Kratie in plenty of time to see the sun set over the Mekong on Koh Trong Island – the perfect start to a visit of this relaxing location. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
5 Kayak or cruise along the river to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. In the afternoon admire the Kratie’s French-era architecture and tour the temples in and around town. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
6 🚌Kratie to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Kep bus (Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Khmer Hands Bungalows (Book >) All hotels >
The longest day of travel on this Cambodia itinerary, rewarded with ending at the spectacular beaches of gorgeous Kep. Try to book your bus in advance during busy periods.
7-8 Spend a couple of days (or more) on the beach. Take the 20-minute boat ride to tranquil Rabbit Island and, if you get bored of the sand, visit a pepper farm or the nearby Bokor Hill Station. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
9 🚌Kep to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Lub d (Book >) All hostels >
Say goodbye to the beach and hello to another day of bus travel. But at the end of it you’ll be in bustling Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Buy your multi-day ticket after 5pm and it will only count from the next day. Miss the connection to Siem Reap? No problem, buses depart until 18:00.
10-11 Must-sees here include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Other places for your list are the Terrace of the Leper King, Baphuon, Srah Srang, Preah Ko (Sacred Bull), Baksei Chamkrong, Elephant Terrace, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. At the end of the day go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Hire a bicycle, take your time and enjoy sedate, peaceful journeys around the site. If you want to go further then a tuk-tuk can be good value (ask the hostel for advice).
12 ✈Siem Reap to Phnom Penh flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Envoy Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
More time to see more temples, or any that you may have missed out on during days 10-11. Continuing to Laos? Book your bus from Siem Reap to Don Det (4000 Islands) here (bus departs at 08:00).
13-14 ✈Phnom Penh to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening (next day) Connect this Cambodia itinerary with the Laos, Thailand or Vietnam itinerary
Take some culinary inspiration home with you on a food tour.

🇫🇷 FRANCE

Paris, France - France itineraryFew countries offer as much to see as France. This France itinerary captures the highlights, from must-see Paris, to ancient Carcassonne, to the vineyards of Bordeaux, to Côte d’Azur beaches to the snowy French Alps. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your France itinerary:

Luxury Carcassonne, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Maison Souquet (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started on this France itinerary straight away by visiting as many sights as you can. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Grand Monarque (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨Yndo Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨La Cour des Consuls Hôtel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Hôtel de la Cité (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Domaine de Verchant (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Le Mas d’Entremont (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
🚄Nice to Monte-Carlo train (Book >)
Dep: 08:01
Dep: 11:37
Arr: 11:10
Arr: 12:03
🏨Hotel Hermitage (Book >) All hotels >
In Monte Carlo hang out on Larvotto Beach the visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Monte-Carlo as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit the cliff top village of Eve.
12 🚄Monte-Carlo to Avignon train
🚄Avignon to Lyon train (Book >)
Dep: 09:33
Dep: 14:28
Arr: 13:28
Arr: 15:29
🏨Hôtel Carlton (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon the Roman Theatre of Fourviére is the oldest in France, after you’ve seen that wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Don’t miss taking the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus
(Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hôtel Mont-Blanc (Book >) All hotels >
After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Switzerland, Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Belgium or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.
Mid-range Code d'Azur, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Design Secret de Paris (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started on this France itinerary straight away by visiting as many sights as you can. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Grand Monarque (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨L’ Hôtel Particulier (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨Mercure Toulouse Sud (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Hôtel Pont Levis (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Hôtel Eurociel Centre Comédie (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Renaissance Aix-en-Provence (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
🚄Nice to Monte-Carlo train (Book >)
Dep: 08:01
Dep: 11:37
Arr: 11:10
Arr: 12:03
🏨Hotel Colombus (Book >) All hotels >
In Monte Carlo hang out on Larvotto Beach the visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Monte-Carlo as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit the cliff top village of Eve.
12 🚄Monte-Carlo to Avignon train
🚄Avignon to Lyon train (Book >)
Dep: 09:33
Dep: 14:28
Arr: 13:28
Arr: 15:29
🏨Parksaône (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon the Roman Theatre of Fourviére is the oldest in France, after you’ve seen that wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Don’t miss taking the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus
(Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Auberge Du Manoire (Book >) All hotels >
After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Switzerland, Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Belgium or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.
Budget Chamonix, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨The People Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started on this France itinerary straight away by visiting as many sights as you can. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Première Classe Chartres Barjouville (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨Cœur de City Hotel (Book >) All hostels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨La Petite Auberge de Saint-Sernin (Book >) All hostels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Millett Guesthouse (Book >) All hostels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Forme-hotel & Spa (Book >) All hostels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Goclands (Book >) All hostels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:01 Arr: 11:10 🏨Hotel Ajoupa (Book >) All hostels >
Stroll along the beach and then visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Nice as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit Monte Carlo and the cliff top village of Eze.
12 🚌Nice to Lyon bus (Book >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 19:35 🏨Hotelo (Book >) All hostels >
In Lyon wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨La Folie Douce (Book >) All hostels >
In Lyon get up early and take the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica for stupendous views. After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Switzerland, Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Belgium or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.

🇨🇳 CHINA

Shanghai, China - China itineraryA massive country with a huge population and millennia of history – there’s a whole lot to see in fascinating and friendly China. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your China itinerary:

Luxury Great Wall Of China at Badaling
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Commune By The Great Wall (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨Fairmont Peace (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨W Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Golden Summit Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi from Emeishan station to Baogou Temple and from there a bus to Leidong Ping. Here you can ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit and your hotel for the night. Take motion sickness tables for the bus, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 16:54 Arr: 18:15 🏨The Ritz Carlton (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Golden Summit and hikes nearby, then return to Leidong Ping via cable car and Baogou on the bus. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Niccolo (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00 (call to book). Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight (Book >)
🚕Guilin to Yangshuo taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Banyan Tree(Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Ask the taxi driver to take the highway and pay them the additional toll fee.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨The Upper House (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. A filter water bottle will come in handy when visiting China and Hong Kong.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.
Mid-range Yangshuo, China
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel East (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Delight Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨Le Méridien Minhang (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨Hotel Tang Dynasty West Market (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Baoguo Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Take bus 5A to Baogou Temple. You’ll then have the rest of the day to hike in the Emei Shan national park. Tonight you’ll stay in a working monastery which, whilst perhaps not the most comfortable experience, will certainly be memorable. Take motion sickness tables for the bus to Leidong Ping, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 19:25 Arr: 20:46 🏨Shimao Yuluxe (Book >) All hotels >
Take a bus to Leidong Ping then ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit Return to Baoguo to collect your bags and head to the station. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00 (call to book). Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight (Book >)
🚕Guilin to Yangshuo taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Yangshuo Mountain Nest (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Ask the taxi driver to take the highway and pay them the additional toll fee.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨The T (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. A filter water bottle will come in handy when visiting China and Hong Kong.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.
Budget Hong Kong
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Kellys Courtyard (Book >) All hostels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight in this beautiful hostel located in a traditional Hutong.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Great Wall Cao’s Courtyard Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Take either metro line 4 to Beigongmen station or 10 to Bagou station and visit the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨The Phoenix (Book >) All hostels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train  (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨Hantang Inn (Book >) All hostels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Baoguo Temple (Book >) All hostels >
Take bus 5A to Baogou Temple. You’ll then have the rest of the day to hike in the Emei Shan national park. Tonight you’ll stay in a working monastery which, whilst perhaps not the most comfortable experience, will certainly be memorable. Take motion sickness tables for the bus to Leidong Ping, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 19:25 Arr: 20:46 🏨POSHPACKER FlipFlop Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Take a bus to Leidong Ping then ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit Return to Baoguo to collect your bags and head to the station. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Onboard the ship
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise (book here) along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00. Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight  (Book >)
🚌Guilin to Yangshuo bus
Dep: Morning
Dep: 13:30/15:30
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 14:50/16:50
🏨Yangshuo Sudder Street Guesthouse (Book >) All hostels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Buy shuttle bus tickets from the ticket offices near the airport bus stops.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨Wontonmeen (Book >) All hostels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. Many Hong Kong museums are free to enter on Wednesdays.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.

🇵🇹 PORTUGAL

Sintra, Portugal - Portugal itineraryPortugal remains excellent value for money and, with this 8-day Portugal itinerary, you’re sure to come away with some wonderful memories. Read about how this Portugal itinerary was put together in The Plan Workshop. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Portugal itinerary:

Luxury Lisbon, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Avenida Palace (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Sintra Marmoris Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Bairro Alto in Lisbon is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra to Lisbon Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Convento do Espinheiro (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Sintra then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Real D’Óbidos (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Sapientia Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨InterContinental Palacio das Cardosas (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. From Porto you can also embark on multi-day cruises down the Douro all the way to Spain.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the France, Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Douro Valley, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Britania (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Sintra Bliss House (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Bairro Alto in Lisbon is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Évora Olive Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Sintra then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Real D’Óbidos (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Sapientia Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. From Porto you can also embark on multi-day cruises down the Douro all the way to Spain (if you’ve time to extend your Portugal itinerary).
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the France, Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Budget Porto, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Home Lisbon Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Casa Azul Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Lisbon’s Bairro Alto is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Pousada De Juventude (Book >) All hostels >
See any sights you missed in Lisbon then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Hostel Argonauta (Book >) All hostels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Penedo Da Saudade – Suites & Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨PILOT Design Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. Café Majestic is a bit of a tourist trap, instead wander the side streets and stop in whichever takes your fancy.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the France, Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Purple Metro Line E runs to the airport.