Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam

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Expand Your Perspective!

Quo’s phenomenal expedition to Thailand, Cambodia & Vietnam presents one of the richest, most unforgettable educational adventures on earth!

Encounter an incredible spectrum of experiences, from ancient palaces & pagodas to ornate French colonial architecture. From soaring modern cities that define the future, to spectacular, crumbling ruins that anchor nations to their past. You’ll encounter diverse & ancient cultures and meet your peers from a world entirely unlike your own.

Bring a sense of adventure,
a curiosity for new and different cultures
and an open mind about history from another perspective.
Every colorful moment will reward you with
fragrances, flavors and friendships
that leave you forever changed.

Program Snap Shot

Smaller Group. Bigger Impact!

Program length:  16 days
All Inclusive Price:  from $7,595
Departure Date: week of July 1st, 2019

Minimum Group: 30 Paying Travelers

Program priced from Leader’s departure airport

$500 Deposit due at time of Enrollment.

Upcoming Information Meetings:

Wednesday October 17 – 6pm CST – Yorkville, IL

Thursday October 18 – 8pm CST – Online Webinar link will be sent after RSVP’ing

Friday October 19 – 7pm CST – Yorkville, IL

Saturday October 20 – 10am CST – Yorkville, IL

Saturday October 20 – 6pm CST – Yorkville, IL

Saturday October 20 – 8pm CST Online Webinar link will be sent after RSVP’ing

Sunday October 21 – 4pm CST – Yorkville, IL


Program Highlights:
  • Help disadvantaged children improve their English
  • “Sail the Angkor” on a Chinese junk boat, marveling at Ha Long Bay
  • Explore water tunnels, hidden lagoons and caves by kayak
  • Discover cities that artfully blend ancient, colonial & modern architecture
  • Learn about the “Vietnam War” from a different perspective
  • See the “Killing Fields” of Cambodia
  • Explore the spectacular ancient temples of the Khmer Empire
  • Travel through time at ancient Angkor Wat, the most famous spot in Cambodia
  • Experience the diversity and excitement of the Angkor Night Market
  • Cooking lessons in all 3 countries
  • Meet Thailand’s jungle elephants up close & personal
  • Explore some of Asia’s greatest Bazaars
  • Visit the floating market of Bangkok
  • Take an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • Explore a Thai Rainforest by zipline
  • Thai Farm Stay: Authentic Hands-On Life Experiences with Locals

Thailand Education Travel - Quo Student Travel - Thailand

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LEAD this Adventure!

Full Program Itinerary

Day One: Bon Voyage!

The adventure gets going as our Hanoi-bound travel group checks in for our international overnight flight!

Day Two: Chào mừng bạn đến, Vietnam!
When we arrive at Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport, our expert, in-country Travel Manager and motor coach driver will meet us as we clear customs formalities.

Then, we’re headed to our accommodation for the evening. After a late check-in, we may want to explore the hotel a bit and stretch our legs, but it will be late – so more than anything we’ll likely be ready to get a good night’s sleep.

Day Three: Hanoi – An Ancient, Grand City
Today, we’ll enjoy a full day of sightseeing in the ancient and modern districts of Hanoi. Hanoi presents an alternative perspective on Vietnam. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera.

  • We’ll begin with a tour of the city by rickshaw – also called a “cyclo” – which is a chauffeur-pedaled tricycle. Your driver will take you through Hanoi’s Old Quarter – also known as “36 streets.” This bustling area of narrow streets and alleys is home to thousands of small businesses and shopkeepers. It’s a great place to explore, with plenty of photo ops – make sure to bring your camera!
  • We will visit Ba Dinh Square. Here, silent sentries guard the marble and granite mausoleum where Ho Chi Minh lies in state.
  • We’ll see the simple cottage where “Uncle Ho” lived and worked.
  • Nearby, we’ll visit the Ho Chi Minh Museum, an extraordinary tribute to the life of the ‘father of the country’ and the evolution of Vietnamese independence.
  • French architecture is a feature of Hanoi, and the nearby former Governor’s Residence is a fine example.
  • We’ll also visit the One Pillar Pagoda, and hear the legend of its construction.
  • The densely populated Ancient Quarter was once a center of commerce, where goods were sold under the street name of a particular guild. Still a thriving community of sellers today, we’ll see street names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street. Ancient homes and temples are interspersed with stores in this souvenir hunter’s paradise.
  • Visit Hoa Lo Prison, nicknamed the “Hanoi Hilton” by American POWs (mostly downed pilots) who were held captive there. The prison was notorious for its harsh conditions. Today we see what little remains of the original complex built by the French in 1896.
  • We’ll explore the West Lake area by foot. The lake is adorned with numerous temples and pagoda and offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of local residents with old men fishing waist deep, and a mixture of colonial, Vietnamese, and modern architecture.
  • Also this afternoon, we will spend the time with Students at Birla Village and take part in our first community service experience.

This evening, we will enjoy a traditional water puppet show, followed by a welcome dinner, Hanoi-style, at a local restaurant!

Day Four: Halong Bay & Junk Boat Cruise
After breakfast, we’ll depart Hanoi for the magnificent and wondrous Halong Bay: 600-square-miles studded with almost 2,000 jutting, lushly forested limestone islands, or karsts.

En route, we’ll journey through the rich farmlands of the Red River Delta.  Enjoy the unique opportunity to observe everyday life of Vietnamese villagers as you see them work the local rice fields, take live pigs to market on bicycles, and plough the fields with their large water buffaloes.

We’ll board a traditional sailing “Junk Boat” for a beautiful cruise around Halong bay. Tonight will be particularly memorable, as not only will we enjoy dinner as we cruise, we’ll also overnight onboard the Junk!

Day Five: Ancient Floating Culture & Water Adventures
Today, we’ll continue our Junk Boat sailing adventure!

We will rise early for a stunning morning view of Halong Bay’s mountainous landscapes, which we’ll enjoy over a delicious fresh breakfast as we sail.

  • One of the most compelling experiences for visitors to Ha Long Bay is the ability to swim in beautiful hidden lagoons and kayak through the numerous water tunnels and caves. This morning we will explore the wonders of Sung Sot Cave, Lan Ha.

At mid-day, we’ll enjoy a 4 course fresh seafood lunch back onboard our sailing vessel.

  • Then we’ll sail along the coast to visit Ba Ham Lake. Here, we can have a swim and kayak to the lovely beaches.
  • Later, we will visit the vulnerable Cua Van Floating Village. This traditional community has floated on these waters for generations, but due to concerns from climate change and government intervention, the citizens are being steadily relocated to dry land. With luck, however, we will still be able to tour the village and visit its famous floating school.

We will enjoy dinner and another overnight onboard this unique and comfortable sailing vessel.

Day Six: Floating to Flying, Vietnam to Cambodia
  • We will rise early for another spectacular start to the day, savouring the glorious scenery of Halong Bay one final time while we enjoy an appetizing brunch.
  • One last cruise this morning as we sail to Bai Tho Mountain in Bai Tu Long Bay before returning to the harbor.

Say “càm ón bån” to your crew and captain as our junk arrives back into port mid-morning. The driver of our land-yacht (motor coach) will meet us for the drive back to Hanoi.

This afternoon, we’ll board a flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia!

  • Upon arrival at the airport in Siem Reap, your guide will facilitate the process of acquiring our Cambodian visa. (Prior to travel, your Group Leader will collect 3 passport-sized photos and $50 US cash from you for this procedure.)
Day Seven: Siem Reap – Timeless Temples & Traditions
While in Cambodia, we can look forward to all manner of exploration, discovery and understanding.

  • One of the first things you will notice is the seemingly endless rice paddies that stretch along the stunningly beautiful Siem Reap River.

Today, we will focus on two spectacular and memorable temples that help define the rich history of this region. We will also spend time exploring the area around the small provincial capital of Siem Reap Town, which serves as the gateway to the millennia-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire.

  • Early this morning, we will explore the Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. This is an impeccably well-preserved example of Khmer architecture and an active display of this culture’s dominant faith.
  • This afternoon, we will visit the Ta Prohm temple, which has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. Hauntingly beautiful and mysterious, you’ll compare and contrast these two temples in your memory for years to come.
Day Eight: Community Service
Rise early and bring your work gloves! This morning we will prepare for a special day of service in the rural village of Kompheim.

  • We will start the morning with the construction of a home for a poor family in the village. We’ll work alongside local craftsmen who will instruct our efforts and help complete the detail work.

Lunch and Learn!

  • It’s hard work, and the locals in Kompheim like to show their appreciation for your generous assistance. We’ll visit a house in the village at lunch time, where we will be introduced to the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine.
  • Not only will we enjoy a Cambodian cooking lesson, but we’ll get to enjoy the delicious results for lunch!
  • Khmer cuisine is quite similar to Thai cuisine but less spicy and influenced by Indian, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine.

In the afternoon, we will begin work on the facilities at the local school. 

  • Work at the school will be followed by games both new and familiar, and we’ll enjoy playing and interacting with the children of Kompheim Village.

This evening, enjoy the famous Cambodian Circus! This traditional celebration of strength, agility and artistry is similar to Cirque du Soleil. A beautiful demonstration of world-class athleticism and culture!

Day Nine: Angkor Wat & a Buddhist Blessing
You’d better have lots of space available on your camera today! Day 9 is all about Angkor Wat, a magnificent and recognizably-famous 12th century temple (think Lara Croft: Tomb RaiderIndiana Jones: Temple of Doom).

  • We’ll begin our morning riding Tuk-Tuks into the countryside to reach the temple. Inside these massive, magnificent ruins, Hindu mythology is detailed in stone carvings and bas-reliefs, which our expert temple-guides will illuminate in detail.
  • There is a powerful history lesson here, as well as an education in art, religion and engineering.

Later this morning, we’ll set out on a cycling adventure through the Cambodian countryside. This is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of this pastoral region and engage with locals.

Special Moment Alert: We will visit a small, contemporary pagoda, where the local Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony especially for you, wishing you good health and a safe journey!

  • This evening, after a traditional dinner, we will enjoy an Apsara dance show.

Before we turn in for the night, we will wander through the area’s incredible night market.

Day Ten: Sa-wa-dee, Thailand!
A big part of the day today is spent in transit, but our guide will ensure we are learning every step of the way.

Whether we’re boarding our motor coach, headed to the airport, or if we’re making our way through the terminal, we’ll encounter things we’ve never seen before. This is one of the best parts of travel!

A critical aspect of every Quo adventure is increasing your global understanding and gaining the ability to put the world around you in context. This is the foundation of improving your Cultural Intelligence (CQ).

When we arrive back at the Siem Reap airport, we’ll board our flight to Thailand: next stop, Bangkok!

Upon arrival in Bangkok this afternoon, we will head directly to the Bangkok Grand Palace. This is THE “must see” attraction in Bangkok – an architectural wonder of golden stupas, where the walls and pillars are encrusted in shining and colorful mosaics.

  • We’ll tour the Reception Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Throne Hall, the Royal Guest House, and Wat Phra Kaew.
  • We’ll be on splendor overload as we head to dinner.

And tonight, there will be a feast of Thai culture in store for you, starting with this nation’s world-renowned cuisine. The spectacular meal will be accompanied by music and dancers who elegantly perform stories and folk-tales from classic Thai literature.

Day Eleven: Bustling Bangkok
This morning, we begin to really discover the magnificence of Bangkok. This modern metropolis is a frenzy of people, commerce, divergent cultures and traditions of every description.

One of the best ways to see this remarkable city is by boat.

  • We will board a modern sailing vessel to cruise along the Chao Phraya River and navigate the canals of Thonburi on the east side of the river. The alternative views from the water will reveal a Thai scene that stands in stark contrast to what we witnessed in the streets the night before.
  • Our guide will orient us to the history of this dynamic city, showcasing it’s oldest and newest landmarks, illustrating the elements that shape people’s lives today and the forces that will shape Thailand’s future.
  • Understanding Thailand’s present and future requires a connection to it’s past. On our return journey, we will stop at the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun), whose towering spire has become an iconic symbol of Bangkok. Here, you’ll glimpse the enduring qualities that have defined this culture for centuries, and will continue to do so for centuries to come.

After dinner this evening, we will explore one of Bangkok’s best night markets.

We’ll get a taste of modern Thai pop culture, as our guide introduces us to current music trends, influential Thai street art and the fashion trends making waves in this global city.

Day Twelve: A Quieter Side of Thailand
We’ll begin our day by discovering the astonishing array of goods and services that keep commerce flourishing at the Damnoen Saduak floating market.

  • There are countless floating markets in Thailand, but this is the most famous.
  • Situated 110 km from Bangkok in Ratchaburi province, this market is like a trip back in time to the Siam of old.
  • You will see colorfully-clad merchants paddle along congested canals in sturdy canoes laden with fresh fruit, vegetables and other foods to sell to shoppers on the canal banks.
  • Bargaining is part of the fun!

You’ll never forget the special moments you’ll encounter as you’re immersed in the dynamic local culture along these canals, and as you bicycle through peaceful tracks into fruit orchards and along picturesque trails.

This is an active morning, and we’ll explore this area by bike.

Then, we’ll have lunch before visiting the 18th century Wat Bang Kung, a quirky temple that’s actually held up by a huge banyan tree!

Later, we’ll proceed to Hua Lampong Train Station to board our air-conditioned sleeper train to Chiang Mai!

  • This time honored tradition will include a fun and delicious dinner onboard as the train rolls toward Chiang Mai.
  • Tonight’s train ride is sure to be one of those quintessential travel moments you’ll be telling friends about for years to come.
Day Thirteen: Chiang Mai – Elephant Sanctuary
We will arrive in Chiang Mai bright and early this morning.

One of the primary reasons to visit this region is the opportunity to meet and spend time with Thailand’s famed Jungle Elephants. Today’s the day!

We will board our motor coach and drive to the elephant sanctuary, where we will see for ourselves just how agile and intelligent these massive creatures really are. More than just observation, with meaningful instruction from the biologist and naturalist caretakers on staff, you’ll have time for hands-on interactions with these magnificent animals. Whatever your expectations, just be prepared to be surprised; elephants do not disappoint.

Next up, another unexpected adventure that will make it into your brag book and guarantee jealousy from your friends back home: we’ll observe and study the northern jungle landscape as we make an exciting descent down the river on bamboo rafts! There is so much to see, as the jungle is teeming with life — particularly along the water’s edge.

This afternoon, in the rainforest, we will also visit an orchid plantation and explore the unique beauty of this prolific tropical floral species. The rainforest is adorned with tens of thousands of orchid species, and you’ll gain an awareness of the most common, the most important, the most beautiful and the most valuable varieties. You’ll never look at grocery store orchids the same way again!

  • Tonight, completing the culinary trifecta, you’ll participate in a delicious & fascinating Thai cooking class. For years to come, your friends and family will benefit from the scrumptious skillset you are perfecting with these incredible lessons. Under the direction of a talented Thai chef, you’ll come to understand the delicate and sophisticated Thai cooking palate, and then you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor. Bon appetite!
Day Fourteen: Thai Rainforest Zip Adventure!
Today, you’ll experience the beauty and magic of Thailand’s rainforest on an adventure like none other!

There is a lot to learn from our biologist guides about this fascinating biosphere, and the rich assortment of species that inhabit the rainforest – but there is plenty of time for fun, too!

  • High in the tree tops of a pristine national park, we’ll glide through the jungle canopy on 2 kilometers of thrilling zip lines!
  • Scenic sky bridges and adrenaline-inducing abseils are connected by 18 platforms.
  • Located next to the quaint Thai village of Mae Kampong, the “Flight of the Gibbon” is an exhilarating educational zipline adventure sure to be a highlight of your time in Thailand.

This afternoon, we will have some unstructured time to explore. Your guide will offer several options for your group to choose from. Hopefully you will have saved a little spending money for the busy Night Bazaar, and you’ll have a chance to collect all those last-minute souvenirs and gifts for family and friends.

After dinner, your evening will be punctuated with a jaw-dropping cultural performance, highlighting traditional movement, costume, music and culture as only professional Thai dancers can!

Day Fifteen: Experience a Day on the Farm
We have saved the best for last.

Your final day in Thailand presents an opportunity to bring together everything you’ve learned and encountered over the past two weeks, in one phenomenal day of cultural immersion and hands-on experiences. Today, you’ll be forging powerful personal connections with new friends on your Farm Stay.

We’ll begin the day with a short drive to Sanpatong, where we will meet local families and experience a unique “day in the life of a Thai farmer.”

Everything we do today will be enjoyed with locals who are eager to share their culture, offer glimpses of their lives, and invite you into their homes.

We will begin with villagers extending you a tour of their community, by bicycle! You’ll learn about village life and the definition of community as you observe the interconnectedness of the local families who, for generations, have been working together to support one another, raise families and find ways to thrive.

As you join these villagers for a temple visit, you’ll do more than observe their traditions. You’ll gain a more personal understanding of the ways their faith (a faith that’s likely unfamiliar to you) plays a vital role in sustaining & comforting them, and bringing meaning to their lives – just as your faith might do for you.

The personal connection is deepened with a Thai House Visit. Inviting you into their home is one of the most intimate gestures a Thai person can offer. Here, you will be invited into a family discussion about the “local lifestyle” you have witnessed, where you can ask (and answer) all sorts of questions.

As they have done with honored guests for centuries, you will be invited to have tea. A shared Thai tea ceremony will be an incredibly special event in the life of this family, and an opportunity for you to represent your country, your school, your family and yourself in a deeply meaningful way.

After tea, you’ll be ready to move some energy and try something distinctly Thai. A local expert will offer your group a Thai boxing lesson. “Muay Thai” is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundred years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon. Regardless of your familiarity or aptitude with this ancient martial art, the lesson will be fun, practical and memorable!

Next, why not try your hand at wood carving? This ancient practice has unlimited practical applications in the lives of traditional Thai people. They will be eager and proud to share some useful techniques as they show off their incredible skills. Who knows, this just might be your new past time when you return home?

Finally, you’ll never really understand what life is like for farmers in a community like this if you haven’t seen them at work. So, why not go out into the rice paddy fields with the farmers and give it a try for yourself? Wade into the flooded fields along with your hardworking hosts and see what it takes to plant, maintain and harvest a rice crop. We guarantee you’ll never forget this experience.

After the powerful bonding experiences of your day on the farm, your big Thai farewell dinner will be a welcome opportunity to reflect and reminisce. It’s hard to imagine that this adventure is already coming to a close!

Day Sixteen: Laa gorn, Thailand!
This morning, you’ll pack up your suitcase for the last time and board your coach for the airport.

  • We’ll head from Chiang Mai to the Bangkok airport for our flight back to the USA.  Jer-gun!
Quo Student Travel - Vietnam Cambodia Thailand - Educational Travel Program