The Best of Southeast Asia

Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia & Burma
Repertory Trip: No Future Dates Set

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: TBA  
Length: 26 days
Arrive: Luang Prabang, Laos
Depart: Yangon, Burma
Lodging: 25 nights in deluxe hotels
Meals: All meals included except 3 lunches and 7 dinners
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Overland travel wtih walking tours, cultural explorations


  • Luang Prabang, an ancient Laotian temple town on the Mekong
  • Hanoi, with its medieval Old Town, Hoi An, 17th century trading port
  • Angkor Wat, one of the architectural wonders of the world
  • Burma’s magical Shwedagon, ethereal pagodas of Bagan, Inle Lake’s floating market

Taking the trip as a whole over the near month-long that it was, I unquestionably rate it as outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Southeast Asia.Greg W.—Pittsburgh, PA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Repertory Trip

This is one of our special Repertory Trips offered every two to five years.  Future dates have not been set for this trip, but you can see the “Itinerary at a Glance” and the “Full Detailed Itinerary” below (there may be small changes to the itinerary for the future departures, and prices will be finalized closer to departure). Contact us to receive early notification of the trip dates. These special trips fill very quickly once the exact dates are set!

Join veteran Asia Trip Leader Roger Williams for a journey into a world of gold-leafed pagodas, straw-roofed sampans drifting down tranquil rivers, and ornate royal capitals. Our exploration of Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma brings us into a realm of stunning beauty and vibrant cultures. We get a glimpse of daily life as we meet a mosaic of intriguing peoples in their villages, schools, homes, and temples, and discover irresistible settings like Luang Prabang in the heart of the old Lao kingdom, glorious Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s jungle-shrouded city of temples lost in time, and magical Burma, with its shimmering lakes and hilltop shrines. Our adventure abounds with visual delights, from the bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi to sunset over the pagodas of Bagan, but it’s our encounters with its graceful and deeply spiritual people of Southeast Asia that linger in our minds long after journey’s end.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-5
Luang Prabang, Laos / Vientiane

Explore Laos’ ancient royal capital, a delightful l town of gilded temples, palaces, and French colonialist architecture, now a World Heritage Site visit hilltribe markets,  and boat up the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves, a Buddhist pilgrimage site. In Vientiane, Laos’s sleepy capital, visit traditional temples including Wat Ho Phra Keo, originally constructed in 1565 as the Lao royal family’s personal chapel.

Days 6-10
Hanoi, Vietnam / Hue

Discover ancient Hanoi, whose Old Quarter still features magnificent French colonial architecture. In Hue, Vietnam’s cultural and religious capital, venture into the countryside to visit two Royal Tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty then take a private “dragon boat” up the Perfume River to Thien Mu Pagoda, one of the most famous structures in all Vietnam.

Days 10-13
Danang / Hoi An / Saigon

Visit Danang’s Marble Mountains en route to 17th century Hoi An, a picturesque riverside town with a real sense of history on its streets.  Stroll around this charming town, a World Heritage Site, and visit houses, temples, and the old Japanese Covered Bridge. On Day 12, fly to Saigon to tour Vietnam’s vibrant capital, including the Chu Chi Tunnels, an immense network of connecting underground tunnels constructed by the Viet Cong.

Days 14-19
Phnom Penh, Cambodia / Siem Reap / Angkor Wat

After exploring Phnom Penh, fly to Siem Reap to experience Angkor, a lasting monument to the glory of a bygone Khmer civilization and one of the wonders of the world, all in a spectacular jungle setting. The city was built between the 9th and 13th centuries to glorify a succession of Khmer kings.

Days 19-26
Yangon, Burma / Inle Lake / Mandalay / Bagan

Fly to Yangon, Burma, with its magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, then fly to Heho and visit shimmering Inle Lake, home to fascinating villages and “floating markets.”  In Mandalay,  hike up Mandalay Hill and visit the venerated Maha Muni Pagoda, a huge Buddha image that devotees have covered with countless layers of gold leaf. In Bagan, one of the most extraordinary sights in all of Southeast Asia, explore a valley filled with over 2,000 pagodas and temples, some huge and glorious, others small and graceful, all set in simple fields. Depart via Yangoon on Day 26.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated 3, Moderate, according to our trip rating system. While this trip is not expected to be physically strenuous, the rustic accommodations, long travel days, and transportation conditions may be quite demanding. Accommodations are in excellent hotels. Overland travel is in minivans and small buses, depending upon the size of the group. Road conditions can be very basic, and trip members should be prepared for long drives. Please note, however, that on some parts of the trip, we will be traveling in some areas with a still-developing tourist infrastructure. We believe that the most important requirements are a spirit of adventure and the understanding that you are visiting a remote and fascinating region. This is not a hiking trip, but we do hope to have opportunities for walks of two hours or more during the journey.

Explanation of Trip Levels

Roger Williams

In 1986, Roger Williams led his first Wilderness Travel trip. Nearly 30 years later, he shows no sign of stopping, with added trips filling up quicker than the one before. If it isn’t the surplus of knowledge Roger brings when he leads a trip that makes it so unique, including his cultural insight to places like Nepal (where he spent eight years studying Tibetan Buddhism, Buddhist iconographics, Himalayan languages, and woodblock art) and Japan (where he spent another two years studying Japanese woodblock art, Japanese language, and Shingon Shu, an esoteric sect of Japanese Buddhism), then it may be his awareness for cultural preservation that keep clients coming back. In July 2014, he returned from The Great Game journey, a special Wilderness Travel Expedition that included visits to the Wakhan Valley as well as Mazar i-Sharif and Balk (formally Bactria) in northern Afghanistan. Roger has also been working as a technical advisor with USAID consulting in tourism development projects in Mongolia, Armenia, and Croatia. When not leading trips, Roger is the director of Snow Lion Graphics/SLG Books in Berkeley, California, a publishing house specializing in books and calendars relating to Asian cultures. “There should be a rating higher than excellent for Roger,” one client wrote after her Central Asia Explorer trip with Roger. “His knowledge, energy, planning, and attentiveness are superlative.”

Upcoming Trips:

India's Malabar Coast, January 27-February 20, 2016
Iran: In the Footsteps of Kings, March 10-April 2, 2016
Iran: In the Footsteps of Kings, April 7-30, 2016
Trans-Caucasus Adventure, May 20-June 13, 2016
Nagorno-Karabakh: Land of the Black Garden, June 13-22, 2016
The Great Game, July 16-August 10, 2016
The Great Game, August 20-September 14, 2016
Wonders of Nepal: Festival of Lights, October 18-November 1, 2016
Eastern Bhutan and India's Wild Northeast Frontier, November 21-December 17, 2016

Client Testimonials:

Roger is a lot of fun, as well as being extremely knowledgeable! He goes out of his way to make the trip interesting and comfortable for those traveling with him. Catherine H., Cambridge, MA
Journey to the Heart of China
Roger is amazing! His knowledge of the history and culture of the area is extensive and he can recall all sorts of information on any number of subjects. His enthusiasm, kindness, and energy never wane. Jane F., Naples, FL
The Great Game
Roger is a flexible leader who listens to his travelers and absolutely cannot do enough for people. He looked after us well and programmed as much variety into the trip as possible. Mary R., New York, NY
Trans-Caucasus Adventure
Roger was well organized, with careful planning and terrific knowledge of the culture and religion. His interaction with the group was unlike anything we have experienced on prior trips. He is a real treasure for WT, one of your best. Donald H., Farmington, CT
The Best of Southeast Asia
Roger was nothing short of outstanding as a trip leader...managing people as well as logistics of a 25+ day intensive trip. He has a clear desire to share his knowledge, interest, and excitement about Southeast Asia. We've had a lot of good Trip Leaders and I'd rate Roger as #1 on my list. Greg W., Pittsburgh, PA
The Best of Southeast Asia
Roger is an exceptional trip leader with an historian's grasp of the influences shaping this part of the world. Kathe W., Pittsburgh, PA
The Best of Southeast Asia
I'm struck again with the magnitude of the incredible adventure you led us on. I have pretty much traveled the world since that trip, with adventures galore...but nothing has, or ever will, compare to it. Aleen S., Cedar Mountain, NC
The Great Silk Road
Roger is simply a brilliant organizer and always finds the very best services available. He also brings a wealth of knowledge and insights to anything Asian. Elizabeth M., Providence, RI
The Burma Road: Kunming to Rangoon
Roger has tremendous skills as a trip leader. He has a real gift with people and his relationship with local guides enriches the areas we visit. Joan L., Baltimore, MD
Journey to the Heart of China
Roger is the best tour leader with lots of experiece and profound knowledge of the subject area. Kudos to him and WT. Tan Kiet T., Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tribal China
There should be a rating higher than excellent for Roger. His knowledge, energy, planning, and attentiveness are superlative. Debra B., Jackson, WY
Central Asia Explorer
Roger's extensive travel experience and knowledge of Asian culture and Buddhism greatly enhanced the trip. And all the planning he did before and during the trip ensured an excellent itinerary and made everything run smoothly. Nancy R., Walnut Creek, CA
Tribal China
Roger provided a unique and enjoyable travel experience. His knowledge and familiarity with the sites visited and enthusiasm for these countries and peoples made this a great travel experience. Judy A., Davis, CA
The Burma Road: Kunming to Rangoon
Roger is a wealth of knowledge and very well traveled. He takes his duties as trip leader extremely seriously and goes out of his way to please each client. Terri H., Berkeley, CA
Armenia and Beyond
Exceptional dedication, passion, and professionalism. Roger has the right personality and attitude for this. Jonathan T., Boston, MA
Passage to India
Roger is clearly a well-seasoned professional. He is passionate about India and it shows everyday, whether it is interacting with the locals or talking about the iconographics and sites. Grace L., Boston, MA
Passage to India
I can understand why Roger has such a big following. He worked all the time to make the trip the best it could be. Marsha S., New York, NY
The Great Game
Tibet is a place like no other on the planet! Roger’s language skills and knowledge of Tibetan Buddhism opened many doors. Connie D., Alamo CA
Heart of Tibet
Exceedingly knowledgeable, very caring. Priscilla and Franklin O., Malvern PA
Mystical Bhutan
Roger knows how to run a trip. He’s very organized and clearly communicates the daily plan. Also, he's a lot of fun and I was impressed with his expertise on Buddhist iconography. Fran M., Mill Valley, CA
Hidden Himalayas
Roger is remarkable. This trip showed him at his best. We could never have traveled across the roof of the world without his preparation and energy. Thanks for a grand experience! Ruth and Frank H., Edmonds WA
In the Footsteps of the Great Game
Roger takes good care of his travelers and we learned a lot about the people, their culture, and history. His love for this part of the world is infectious. Ruth G., Del Mar CA
In the Footsteps of the Great Game
Roger is great! Hard working, knowledgeable, personable. He really makes a difference. Bill R., Walnut Creek, CA
Passage to India

Client Comments

Taking the trip as a whole over the near month-long that it was, I unquestionably rate it as outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to Southeast Asia. Greg W., Pittsburgh, PA
This was a very complex trip that was impeccably choreographed to maximize our sightseeing time. Kathe W., Pittsburgh, PA