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2025 JAPAN with S.E. ASIA cruise

includes: Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Singapore
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2025 JAPAN with S.E. ASIA cruise

includes: Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam & Singapore 24 day tour - March 14, 2025

We have wanted to do Japan for years, but in 5 days, you can see the best of what Japan has to offer. We finally decided the best solution was to combine our S.E. Exotic Asia cruise and tour with a land tour of Japan. With high-speed trains, we can see the best of the best in 5 to 6 days of touring. Here is an overview of what we consider to be the SECOND BEST TOUR IN THE WORLD!!! Only China beats out this tour in the number of fantastic highlight days! This needs to be at the top of your list of places you need to see and experience. Here is a partial list of the highlights of this tour and cruise:

Vietnam & Cambodia:

  • Angkor Wat: The BEST ruins in the world. Beating out the Taj Mahal, Petra, Machu Picchu and even the Pyramids.
  • 5-Star Luxury AmaWaterways Cruise Ship on the Mekong river between Ho Chi Min and outside of Siem Reap. You will love every stop as the ship stops at ancient small villages where life hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years.
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Min: The world has changed since the Vietnam War – the Vietnamese love Americans. Hanoi is one of the most picturesque cities in all of Asia.
  • Halong Bay: On the list of the most beautiful places on earth. Your wonderful boat ride will take you through many of the thousands of small islands made up of towering limestone sticking out of the water.

Thailand:

  • Bangkok: Exotic and wonderful. The golden temples and palaces of the kings that have ruled Thailand for a 1,000 years are simply stunning!!!
  • Chiang Mai: Many of our passengers have labeled it their single best day of touring anywhere in the world. The day includes a visit to Tiger Kingdom, where you will have an opportunity to pet a tiger or play with baby tigers. The Picture above is one of the owner’s grandchildren at Tiger Kingdom. You will also see an amazing elephant show, followed by riding elephants through the jungles and across streams. The day also includes a visit to the Long Neck Tribe, where the women put steel rings around their necks to stretch them. It is a highlight day to beat all other highlight days.

The #1 Airline in the World: Singapore Air

  • Singapore Airlines gives us great rates into Hanoi and home from Tokyo.
  • They allow a stopover in Singapore, which gives us time to do a wonderful tour of Singapore before continuing to Hanoi.

Japan:

  • Cherry Blossom Season: Experience the staggering beauty of Japan’s Cherry Blossoms. We have reviewed the last eight years of when the Cherry Blossom season occurs. Mother Nature can never fully be predictable, but the time we have scheduled for your tour has all worked during the last five years. The odds are in our favor.
  • Osaka and Kyoto: Castles and more. The best part of Japan.
  • High-Speed Trains: With trains that travel at speeds reaching over 200 miles an hour, it is only a short ride to the other best areas of Japan.
  • Hiroshima: It is sad but a must to visit.
  • Mt. Fuji: We plan to take a boat ride near the bottom of Mt. Fuji.
  • Tokyo: The vast amount of high rises are amazing.

Highlight Day in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Package Price Includes:

Our 24-Day Special Package Price is a combination of an AmaWaterways Luxurious Cruise through Vietnam and Cambodia COMBINED with a uniquely designed land tour in Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Singapore (if flying Singapore Airlines).

Important Note regarding AmaWaterways Charter Pricing: In order to receive special charter prices from AmaWaterways, we have to Guarantee we will take the majority of the ship. That Guarantee gives us huge pricing discounts and we are passing the $800 per person savings on to our loyal Fun For Less Tours Customers!

Our Total Package includes both the AmaWaterways Cruise and our Fun For Less Tours Land Tour

Here is what is INCLUDED in our Total Package:

  • AmaWaterways Luxury 8-Day 7-Night Cruise – between Ho Chi Min, Vietnam and Cambodia.
    • 3,598 Cat B Large Luxurious Double Balcony Cabin with both a French Sliding Glass Door Balcony and a Balcony you can sit outside.
    • $3,598 Ship price for Cat B Cabin with two large porthole windows.
      • Minus $800 per person Charter Savings.
      • $2,798 Actual price you pay for Cat B Cabin.
    • Option to upgrade to Cat A Cabin (better location): $400 per person.
    • Option to upgrade to larger Suite Cabin (better location): $900 per person.
    • $200 in ship taxes and port charges.
    • All Shore Excursions are included.
    • With Fun For Less Staff: Ron and Robin Beck.
    • Three quality meals on board the ship every day.
    • Free internet and free movies.
    • Unlimited bottled water.
    • Use of quality headset receivers.
  • Land Portion in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, and Vietnam:
    • 3 Nights 5-Star Luxury Hotel Hanoi, Vietnam.
    • 1 Night 5-Star Luxury Hotel Ho Chi Minh (Saigon).
    • 2 Nights 5-Star Luxury Hotel Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
    • 2 Nights 4-Star Deluxe Hotel Chiang Mai.
    • 4 Nights Deluxe Hotel Osaka, Japan (our base – with High-Speed trains and buses to other cities).
    • 1 Night Hotel Tokyo. Will lilkey be a 2 or 3-star, not a 4-star for our one night in Tokyo.
    • 3 Airfares:
    • Hanoi, Vietnam to Chiang Mai.
    • Chiang Mai, Thailand to Bangkok, Thailand.
    • Bangkok, Thailand to Angkor Wat, Cambodia.
    • Includes all airline Taxes and Fees. (limit on luggage)
    • National Park Pass Cambodia.
    • Full Day visiting the many ruins of the Angkor Wat area.
    • All transfers, if you booked our group airfare or your flight arrives on or before and departs on or after our group flights.
    • Elephant Show, Elephant Ride, Long Necks.
    • Halong Bay boat ride.
    • All tours, guides, buses, entrance fees in Japan, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
    • Bullet Train Osaka to Hiroshima.
    • Bullet Train Hiroshima to Osaka.
    • Bullet Train to Mt. Fuji.
    • With Fun For Less Staff: Ron and Robin Beck.
    • Individual headset receivers.
  • Not included in our Package:
    • The option to purchase our group International airfare.
    • The international flight from Ho Chi Minh to Osaka. This flight will be required to purchase through Fun For Less Tours. Price will be known about 6 months before departure.

AmaWaterways Package Price: $2,798
AmaWaterways Taxes & Port Fees: $200
Special Land Package: $4,997

Package Price: $7,995 - Total (includes $800 SAVINGS per person)*

*Per person cash discount price, based on double occupancy. Does not include international airfare, visas and tips.

Ship Cabins

Amawaterways Asia cabins are more luxurious and larger than almost any other river cruise ship.

  

Note: the lower level is for staff, Cat B cabins are on the main level, Cat A cabins are one story above B and Suite Cabins are the top floor two stories above main level.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 March 14Fly
Today you will fly from your home to Los Angeles (LAX) where you will board the Singapore Airlines Jet. Your flight will take you to Singapore, where we will have a city tour and then take a late afternoon flight to Hanoi.  If you are doing your own airfare, you must get your airfare all the way to Hanoi.

Day 2 March 15Flying
Cross the International Date Line and lose a day.

Day 3 March 16: Hanoi, Vietnam
You will arrive early morning into Singapore, have a short city tour, and continue on a late afternoon flight to Hanoi.  After arrival, we will head to our hotel.  (Transfers are included if you booked our group airfare or your flight arrives on or before and departs on or after our group flights.)

Day 4 March 17: Hanoi
Our tour of Hanoi will include the mystery and charm of past centuries narrow lanes and traditional shophouses on our walking tour. We also include the Ho Chi Minh Memorial Complex, the Temple of Literature, and the highlight, the Old Town. The Old Town is best seen on foot. The maze of narrow streets dates back to the 13th century. We will also visit the famous Hanoi Hilton (prison).

Day 5 March 18: Hanoi- Halong Bay – Hanoi
Today will be a full-day tour to Halong Bay with a boat trip. According to legends, Halong Bay was formed by dragons who used their tails to gouge out valleys and crevices and spat out jewels that turned into islands. This is truly one of the most beautiful places on this earth. On a traditional wooden “junk” (boat), we’ll drift through a fairyland of sheer limestone islands that rise from the emerald water. We will pass by unique rock formations and discover caves in the rocks. At the end of a fantastic day, we will return to our hotel in Hanoi.

Day 6 March 19: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Today, we will fly to Chiang Mai.  Upon arrival, if there is time, we will do a city tour.  Overnight Chiang Mai.

Day 7 March 20: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Today will be a fantastic highlight day that you will never forget.  We start with a visit to the Tiger Kingdom. Here you will be able to see many tigers, and if you would like, you will have an opportunity to play with baby tigers or pet the larger ones.  From there, we head to see the elephants, where you’ll see them perform a fantastic show, then we will ride them thru the jungles of Thailand.  Then we will have a visit to the Long Neck Village.   As seen in National Geographic, the women of the Long Neck Tribe put multiple metal rings around their necks to stretch them.  The rings weigh over 20 pounds.  We return to Chiang Mai to overnight.

Day 8 March 21: Bangkok, Thailand
This morning we will fly to Bangkok. Upon arrival, we will visit THE ROYAL GRAND PALACE, the nation’s landmark, and the most praised royal monument. This is the former royal residence of the Chakri Kings. The palace is a perfect example of an ancient Siamese court. Built in 1782 by King Rama I, it was the center of power for over 150 years.  Today, the Palace is Bangkok’s major landmark and most popular tourist attraction.  WAT PHRA KAEW, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is located right next to the Grand Palace and together form perhaps the greatest spectacle for the visitor to Bangkok.  It consists of over 100 brightly colored buildings, golden spires, and glittering mosaics, and dates back to 1782 when Bangkok was founded.  When you enter the compound, you first see Wat Phra Kaew and the nearby attractions and then move on to the Grand Palace. Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. At the end of today’s tour, we will transfer to our hotel, where we overnight.

Day 9 March 22: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat
Fly to Siem Reap – transfer to your 5 Star Luxury Hotel.

Day 10 March 23: Angkor Wat – Siem Reap
Our visit to Angkor Wat will be a fantastic highlight day! The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, ANGKOR WAT is the national symbol and a favorite of Cambodia. The largest, best-preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple you must cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building you will ascend through a series of galleries and courtyards before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, we stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery, walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day.
Visit Angkor Thom: The fortified city of ANGKOR THOM covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental SOUTH GATE over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the TERRACE OF THE ELEPHANTS and the TERRACE OF THE LEPER KINGS, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas-reliefs. We will visit the ruined BAPHUON, ROYAL ENCLOSURE and PHIMEANAKAS before continuing to TA PROHM, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor. Much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Tomb Raiders and other movies were filmed here. Overnight Siem Reap, tomorrow we board our luxury cruise to sail the Mekong River.

Day 11 March 24: Embarkation – Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Transfer via motorcoach from Siem Reap to the AmaDara in Kampong Cham for your seven-night cruise. Your afternoon excursion takes you to the Twin Mountains, known as Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (male and female mountains). In the Khmer legend, the twin mountains were formed as the result of a competition between the men and women of an ancient Cambodian kingdom to resolve which gender would be responsible for wedding proposals. As the story goes, the women lit a fire at night, which made the men believe the sun was rising. As a result, the men stopped working and the women won the competition. Thus, men still need to ask the women’s parents for permission, and Phnom Srei is higher than Phnom Pros. Later, join fellow guests for an evening Welcome Dinner. (L, D)

Day 12 March 25: Angkor Ban – Oknhatey
During the morning, go on a walking tour to Angkor Ban, one of the few villages in Cambodia that were not destroyed under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s. Here, people still live in their traditional wooden abodes and keep their old cultural traditions alive. Hundreds of wooden houses stand intact on stilts, shaded with banana trees, among the hustle and bustle of the daily agricultural on-going of the local villagers. After visiting here, the ship sails to Oknhatey or “Silk Island,” located on the lush banks of the Mekong River. This island is known for its rich tradition of silk weaving. While here, you’ll visit a local elementary school and observe the traditional silk weaving that has been preserved for centuries. Your ship moors in Oknhatey village. (B,L,D)

Day 13 March 26: Oudong – Kampong Tralach – Phnom Penh
Your cruise continues to sail to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. The morning excursion takes you to Oudong, Cambodia’s former royal capital from the early 17th century until 1866. Today, Oudong is a place of pilgrimage for Cambodians. While here, be treated to a memorable Buddhist Blessing Ceremony at a monastery. After visiting Oudong, be treated to a truly authentic excursion, an oxcart ride through a local village Kampong Tralach. Later in the day, experience Phnom Penh via a tuk-tuk ride and be enchanted by the city’s French Colonial architecture and tree-lined boulevards set amidst monumental Angkorian architecture. After returning to the ship, enjoy Khmer folk dancing performed by local children in the Saigon Lounge. (B,L,D)

Day 14 March 27: Phnom Penh
This morning’s excursion takes you to Cambodia’s infamous Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge’s grim Tuol Sleng S21 detention center (Genocide Museum). Alternatively, you may wish to shop for unique treasures at the bustling yellow-colored Central Market. After lunch on board, you’ll explore the highlights of the city, followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, the spectacular Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum, which has an outstanding collection of Khmer crafts. (B,L,D)

Day 15 March 28: Border Crossing into Vietnam
Spend the day cruising the Mekong River as your ship crosses the border into Vietnam. (B,L,D)

Day 16 March 29: TAN CHAU – SA DEC
Visit Tan Chau, a small Mekong River town unspoiled by tourism. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an authentic experience via a traditional “xe-loi” (trishaw) ride around the town, with stops at silk-making and rattan mat workshops, followed by a boat ride through the narrow channels of the Mekong River to “Evergreen Island.” Later in the day, cruise to Sa Dec. (B,L,D)

Day 17 March 30: SA DEC – XEO QUYT – CAI BE
Once ashore in Sa Dec, tour the town where French writer Marguerite Duras spent many years in her youth. Visit a colorful local market and the 19th-century house of Mr. Huynh Thuy Le, Duras’ Chinese paramour, on whom her prize-winning novel “The Lover” is said to be based. Later, board a motorcoach for Xeo Quyt, once used as a military base during the French war and now an important ecological site. You will have an opportunity to visit candy and rice paper-making workshops and the historic Kiet Old House. In Cai Be, cap the day off with a festive Farewell Dinner on board. (B,L,D)

Day 18 March 31: Ho Chi Minh City – Disembarkation
Disembark the ship and travel to Ho Chi Minh (Saigon). We will do a city tour before catching an evening flight to Osaka, Japan. The flight to Oaska is an evening redeye flight. (This flight is not included in our tour package.  It will be priced around 6 months prior to departure.)

Day 19 April 1: Osaka, Japan
We will arrive this morning into Osaka, Japan. We will do a half-day tour and then transfer to the hotel to check in and rest.

Day 20 April 2: Osaka – Himeji Castle
Himeji Castle, also known as White Heron Castle due to its elegant, white appearance, is widely considered Japan’s most spectacular castle for its imposing size, beauty, and its well-preserved complex castle grounds. It is also a World Heritage Site. We will then visit Osaka Castle Park, which is beautiful during the Cherry Blossom Season. We will also visit the lively Shinsaibashi Walking Street and Dotonbori, the most lively areas in Osaka.

Day 21 April 3: Osaka – Hiroshima – Osaka
We will depart early for the train station. You have heard about Japan’s high-speed bullet trains that can travel up to 200 miles an hour; today, you’re going to experience it going to and returning from Hiroshima. It is around 1.5 hours to Hiroshima by bullet train. Upon arrival, we will take a ferry to see the Itsukushima Shrine (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Red Torii Gate floating in the sea before heading to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Then return by train to Osaka.

Day 22 April 4: Osaka – Kyoto – Osaka
Today will be another huge highlight day. Kyoto, on most lists, is considered the #1 place to visit in Japan. We will visit the Golden Pavilion and its gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then we will visit Nijo Castle, built in 1603 and at times used as a Royal Palace; it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will also visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace, used as the residence of Japan’s Imperial Family until 1868, when the emperor and capital were moved from Kyoto to Tokyo. The Kiyomizudera Temple (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan. Near Kiyomizudera Temple is the ancient, unspoiled historical streets of Ninenzaka that you will be able to explore.

Day 23 April 5: Mt. Fuji – overnight Tokyo
This morning we head to Mt. Fuji by bullet train, getting off at Odawara station. We will then travel by bus to Hakone, where we will take a cruise to enjoy Lake Ashi, where we can have a view of Mt. Fuji. We will then travel by cable car on the Hakone Rope Way to Owakudani Volcanic Valley. At the end of the day, we continue by bus to Tokyo.

Day 24 April 6: Tour Tokyo – fly to LAX and on home
Today’s tour will also include the Emperor Palace and other important sites in Tokyo. Mid-afternoon, we will transfer to the Narita Airport for an evening flight on Singapore Airlines. You will arrive on the same day, around noon into Los Angeles.  (Transfers are included if you booked our group airfare or your flight arrives on or before and departs on or after our group flights.)