Road Scholar : Home
Road Scholar World Academy Segment 1: Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam & Hong Kong

Program Number: 21082RJ
Start and End Dates:
1/1/2014 - 1/19/2014;
Duration: 18 nights
Location: Malaysia/Singapore/Vietnam/China
Price starting at: $5,496.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 46; 16 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 16 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Experience Road Scholar World Academy 2014 on this segment of the voyage that brings you from Southeast Asia to Hong Kong.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day. Uneven terrain and stone stairs without railings will be common. Conditions can be hot and humid.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Voyager, 11 nights; Hanoi (Vietnam), 1 night; aboard Voyager, 4 nights.



Days 1-2: Overnight flight from the U.S.A. / cross International Date Line


Days 3-4: Arrival Malaysia—Kuala Lumpur / embark Voyager:

Begin your voyage in the modern metropolis of Kuala Lumpur. Visit the National Mosque and the Thean Hou Chinese Temple. Share a homemade lunch with a Malay family then take in spectacular views of the skyline from the observation deck of the Telekom Tower.



Day 5: Singapore:

Sail down the coast of the Malay Peninsula to the city-state of Singapore, where your shore excursion includes the excellent Asian Civilisations Museum.



Days 6-10: At Sea / Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam):

Continue across the South China Sea to Vietnam. Discover Ho Chi Minh City, chat with university students and enjoy a day to explore independently. Journey to the Mekong Delta to find traditional villages and a floating market.



Days 11-12: At Sea / Nha Trang:

Visit a Nha Trang family’s countryside home and fruit orchard.



Days 13-15: Da Nang / disembark / flight to Hanoi / reembark:

Experience Hoi An’s ancient port, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Hue, the imperial seat of the Nguyen dynasty. Fly to Hanoi, the bustling capital, to discover Ho Chi Minh’s home and mausoleum and visit one of Hanoi's many outstanding museums. Lodging: Four-star Hanoi hotel.



Day 16: Ha Long Bay:

Transfer to a traditional sailing vessel to navigate among the wondrous limestone islands of Ha Long Bay.



Days 17-19: At Sea / Hong Kong / disembark / departure:

Follow China’s southern coast to Hong Kong, once a British colony, now a special administrative region of China. Learn about this city’s unique origins and view its spectacular skyline from atop Victoria Peak.



Voyager

Sail aboard the 540-guest Voyager, Voyages of Discovery’s newest flagship. Newly upgraded in 2012, Voyager boasts all the amenities and facilities of a large ocean liner while offering the convenience, flexibility, and intimate ambience of a small ship. It features spacious public areas, comfortable staterooms and balcony suites, a choice of open seating restaurants and al fresco dining, a variety of lounges and bars including the elegant Scott’s Lounge, a library and internet center, a swimming pool, two whirlpools, a beauty center and a gym. Voyager is your home at sea and you will be welcomed back warmly each time you return to the ship.


Meals and Lodgings
   MV Voyager
  Aboard the MV Voyager, USA 11 nights
   Mercure Hanoi La Gare Hotel
  Hanoi, Vietnam 1 night
   MV Voyager
  Aboard the MV Voyager, USA 4 nights
 MV Voyager
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Voyager, built by Spanish yard Union Navale le LeVante, is a spacious and well-appointed vessel offering 278 cabins, 86% of which are outside, 35 suites, 30 of which have balconies, open seating dining in three restaurants and the personal service and comfort levels that have been the hallmark of our cruises since 2003. Carrying just 550 passengers, Voyager has all the amenities and facilities of a larger liner while offering the convenience and flexibility of a small ship. She is able to visit and berth alongside where others have to pass by, yet is able to traverse the world's oceans with ease. On board, passengers will be able to relax in the comfortable public lounges, enjoy a drink in atmospheric Harry's Bar, in the sunshine on deck, at the Lido Bar. Alternatively, read a book in the well-stocked library.
  Ship Information: Owner / Operator: All Leisure Group Year Built: 1990 Builder: Union Navale de LeVante, Spain Former Names: Crown Monarch, Walrus, Jules Verne, Alexander von Humboldt Gross Tonnage: 15,271 Length: 152.5 meters (500.2 ft) Beam: 20.6 meters (67.6 ft) Passengers: 550 Crew: 215 Service Speed: 18.0 knots
  Contact info: Voyages of Discovery - North America
1800 S E 10th Avenue, Suite 205
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 866-623-2689
web: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com
  Facility amenities: Three restaurants with option for open dining Al-fresco dining (Veranda) Third restaurant within Discovery Restaurant (Explorer Grill) Two lounges - Atlantic Lounge and Vista Lounge Four bars (Vista Lounge, Harry's Bar, Pacific Lounge, Lido Bar) Card/Function room Medical Centre Internet Centre Two Shops Swimming pool Two whirlpools Beauty Centre Gym
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Mercure Hanoi La Gare Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located opposite Hanoi Central Railway Station, Mercure Hanoi La Gare is an inviting oasis in the heart of the bustling city centre. Situated close to the Old Quarter, commercial precinct and ICE Exhibition Center, this Hanoi hotel features modern design and facilities, plus 102 spacious rooms, a French brasserie, internal courtyard and gym. Ideal for business and leisure guests, Mercure Hanoi La Gare offers easy access to Hanoi attractions including the Temple of Literature and Hoan Kiem Lake.
  Contact info: 94 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem Dist,
Hanoi,   Vietnam
phone: +84439447766
web: www.mercure.com/gb/hotel-7049-mercure-hanoi-la-gare/index.shtml
  Facility amenities: Restaurant : 1 Bar : 1 WiFi Internet access (paying) Room(s) : 102 Non-smoking rooms : 51 Reduced mobility rooms : 1 Number of free children in parent's room : 2 Fitness centre
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: usual bath configuration
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Day 3 at 5pm at orientation on board the mv Voyager in Port Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Malaysia. Embarkation begins at 3pm. You will be staying at MV Voyager that night.
  End of Program:
Day 19 after breakfast on board the ship in Hong Kong. You will need to disembark the ship at 9am. You will be staying at MV Voyager the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT: REGISTERING FOR YOUR CRUISE ONLINE** Voyages of Discovery requires all guests to provide full passport details, including address and telephone number. They also require next of kin contact information in case of an emergency. This information must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. Passengers must visit the website at www.voyagesofdiscovery.com - click on “Already Booked” then “Required Passenger Information” to enter your details. Furnished data will be provided to foreign government immigration officials and is required for on-board administration. PLEASE NOTE: Your cruise documents will not be issued prior to your online registration, and embarkation onto the ship may be denied. If you need assistance registering online, please contact our program department at 1.866.359.5966 and someone will assist you.
  Parking availability:
Driving is not recommended for this program.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Voyager
  Transportation to site: The mv Voyager will be docked in Port Kelang which is about 1 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. There will be a group transfer to the port. All contingent on group fight time.
  From End of Program
  Location: Aboard the MV Voyager
  Transportation from site: The mv Voyager will be docked at the Hong Kong port. The group flight will depart in the afternoon of January 19, 2014.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart for overnight flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(Wednesday, January 1)
   
 Depart From: Depart from home for overnight flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Day 2: En-route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
(Thursday, January 2)
   
 In Transit: Cross International dateline as you fly to Asia.

Day 3: Arrival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / Transfer to board the mv Voyager
(Friday, January 3)

Note: Transfer time is approximately 1 hour.



   
 Arrive To: Arrive to Kuala Lumpur and transfer to board vessel (approximately 1 hrs transfer).
 Afternoon: In the late afternoon check in and join your group leader for your program orientation.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 4: Kuala Lumpur Discovery
(Saturday, January 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Visit the National Mosque, or the Masjid Negara, the most distinguished mosque in Kuala Lumpur. Pass the Moorish-styled Federal Court, the old Railway station which is a striking piece of Mohammedan architecture, the Tudor-styled Cricket Club and the King’s Palace. Visit the Thean Hou Temple situated in Robson Heights, which is the home to patron Goddess Thean Hou of the Hainanese community. This striking six-tiered temple is regarded as one of the biggest Chinese temples in South East Asia.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch with a Malay family at their home.
 Afternoon: Continue to the Kuala Lumpur to the Petronas Towers and gain a birds eye view of Kuala Lumpur.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Singapore Highlights / Asian Civilization Museum / free time
(Sunday, January 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Depart for a morning discovery of Singapore. Explore the Asian Civilization Museum which will be a great introduction to Asian history and culture. Continue on a cruise on the Singapore River to gain an overview of Singapore. End the discovery at a Chinese clan house temple. Then transfer back to the ship for lunch or chose from a selection of restaurant in Singapore.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or on your own in town.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon on your own to explore Singapore. Singapore is a great place for free time. There are several ethnic neighborhoods to explore. Suggestions will be given to you.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: At Sea / Presentation
(Monday, January 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #1: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free time to enjoy the ships amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: At Sea / Presentation
(Tuesday, January 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #2: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free time to enjoy the ships amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Tea with students / Ho Chi Minh City Discovery
(Wednesday, January 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #3: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Lunch: Enjoy tea with university students. Then enjoy a traditional Pho Lunch, noodle soup with vegetables and meat if desired.
 Afternoon: Discovery Ho Chi Minh City, with a visit to the Reunification Hall, then the FITO Museum, Vietnam's first traditional medicine museum, that displays an amazing collection of 3,000 items relevant to the development of traditional Vietnamese medicine (which dates as far back as the Stone Age).
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City / Mekong Delta
(Thursday, January 9)

Note: You will be required to get in and out of small boats.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Discover the Mekong delta with a visit to the colorful Cai Be floating market. Proceed to evergreen islands among the Mekong River through a large network of meandering tributaries, crisscrossed with countless arroyos. Walk along the concrete path along the river through a local village and fruit gardens before coming to a preserved ‘Mandarin’ house. Built centuries ago, at least four generations of the same family have lived here.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at the family's home.
 Afternoon: Take a stroll through the family’s fruit orchard before continuing to Tan Phong Island where you will take a local rowing boat through the canals before returning to Cai Be. Return to Saigon late this afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Free day in Ho Chi Minh City / Presentation
(Friday, January 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Today is a free day in Ho Chi Minh City for you to explore on your own. Choose from an array of shore excursion from the ships' options, or choose to explore Ho Chi Minh on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or on your own.
 Afternoon: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #4: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At Sea / Presentation
(Saturday, January 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #5: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Nha Trang / Home visit / Cham Temples / Free afternoon
(Sunday, January 12)

Note: Cham Temple has stairs without railings. It is an ancient ruin,



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Explore the countryside of Nha Trang with a visit to a family’s home. Share tea and fruit with the family in their orchard. Interact with local elementary students. Then return to Nha Trang town and explore the Ponaga temple which was built in 8th century and the Xombong bridge for a photo stop.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore on your own. Nha Trang is a great little town to walk around. Visit the local market, take a walk on the beach or learn about silk embroidery.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Da Nang, Vietnam / Hoi An
(Monday, January 13)

Note: Transfer to Hoi An is 45 minutes one way. This will be a walking excursion in Hoi An. You will dinner at the Lido deck tonight.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #6: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Explore Hoi An, once a major Asian trading port in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hoi An’s architecture and relaxed lifestyle have changed little over the years. Join a guided walk through the ancient town center and visit the sites of former merchants’ homes, a 400 year-old Japanese Covered Bridge, and a Chinese Communal Hall.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship. Tonight's dinner will be on the Lido Deck because you will be arriving later.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Da Nang / Drive to Hue / Hue Exploration / fly to Hanoi
(Tuesday, January 14)

Note: Today will be a long day. Transfer from Da Nang to Hue is about 3.5 hours. It will be a late night as the flight out of Hue is late in the evening.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: This morning transfer to Hue via Hai Van Pass - Vietnams geographical and physiological boundary between north and south. Hue was once an outpost of the Hinduized Cham Empire, the area around Hue was conquered in the 14th century by the Viets from the north. In 1687 the Viets made Hue their capital, and continued their expansion into Cham territory. It remained the capital under the Nguyen dynasty, which had thirteen emperors, the last of whom ruled until 1945. Hue is still the intellectual capital of Vietnam with 12 schools of higher learning. It maintained its cultural identity while other cities were accumulating foreign influences. The Nguyen dynasty left an Imperial city of citadels, palaces, tombs and temples set in the peaceful countryside bordering the Perfume River. Hue today has regained its royal demeanor and is a calm, peaceful and relaxed place to visit. The remaining French colonial garden houses and villas, quiet streets, riverbanks, and outlying tombs and pagodas that escaped damage - all give Hue a unique atmosphere of tranquility.
 Lunch: Lunch in town.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, explore the Imperial Citadel where the Nguyen Dynasty ruled between 1802 and 1945. Continue on a cyclo ride from ‘Old City’ to Tinh Tam Lake where the Emperors used to come to relax; full of lotus flowers in summer there are many local style coffee shops around the lake where university students come to study. Continue to visit Thien Mu (Celestial Lady) Pagoda overlooking the Perfume River. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Hanoi. Upon arrival, check into hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the Mercure Hotel in Hanoi.
   
Accommodations: Mercure Hanoi La Gare Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Hanoi Discovery / Transfer to board ship
(Wednesday, January 15)

Note: Transfer time from Hanoi to the ship is approximately 2.5 hours.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore Ba Dinh square, which includes Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, as well as his private residence from 1954 until 1969. The wooden ethnic minority style house, which was built on stilts, is surrounded by lovely peaceful gardens. In the same complex is One Pillar Pagoda, founded by King Ly Thai To in 1049, the structure has become an important symbol for the people of Hanoi. Continue to that National Fine Arts Museum which has an eclectic mix of contemporary Vietnamese art, religious pieces, lacquer-ware and sculptures. Then explore that Temple of literature, the first Vietnamese University.
 Lunch: Lunch on own.
 Afternoon: Time in the afternoon to explore the old quarters of Hanoi before transferring back to the ship in Haiphong.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Haiphong / Day Cruise on Halong Bay
(Thursday, January 16)

Note: Transfer time to Halong Bay is 1.5 hours each way.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Coach to Halong Bay and board a Vietnamese Junk for a day cruise on the emerald green waters of Halong Bay, among the 3,000 spectacular limestone islands.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, return to Haiphong port to embark the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: At Sea / Presentation
(Friday, January 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Participate in a presentation by your on board lecturer. Presentation #7: Pre-colonial culture and history.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship.
 Afternoon: Time to enjoy the ship's amenities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Hong Kong / Kowloon / Hollywood Road / Victoria Peak
(Saturday, January 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Ride the historic Star Ferry across the harbor to Central District. Even after 100 years, the ferry remains an important commuter link from Kowloon to Hong Kong island. The eight-minute crossing provides spectacular 360 degree views of Hong Kong’s magnificent harbor. Famous for its antique and curio shops as well as contemporary art galleries, this area is a favorite for collectors or simply those who want to browse and imbibe a feeling of 'old Hong Kong'. At the end of Hollywood Road, Man Mo Temple is one of Hong Kong's oldest and most active.
 Lunch: Enjoy a lunch of dim sum – a Cantonese/Hong Kong ‘tea meal’ favorite. These dishes include a selection of fried and steamed dumplings, as well as various other savory items. The term for this Chinese style of eating translates as "Heart's Delight." Originally dim sum referred to the Cantonese practice of serving small dishes in teahouses.
 Afternoon: Drive to the base of Victoria Peak and take the funicular up the highest mountain on the island, where spectacular views stretch over the city’s most valued real estate, to the harbor beyond.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Voyager
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Hong Kong / Departure
(Sunday, January 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 20: Final flight arrivals
(Monday, January 20)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive back home.

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Phnom Penh Central Market
One of the largest and busiest markets in Phnom Penh, the market was built in 1937 by French architects. This market is a good place to purchase silk scarves, silverware, gems and antiques.
  National Library
Located near Wat Phnom, this graceful building, another example of French colonial architecture, was built in 1924 and set in floral gardens. It was sacked by the Khmer Rouge and turned into a stable.
  Russian Market (Psah Toul Tom Poung)
This popular market has a more varied selection of souvenirs, curios and silks than the Central Market. It also has a good selection of CDs, videos, fabric, electronic goods and the city's best source of objets d'art. Items for sale include wooden and stone carvings, various ritual objects, silverware, and old Indochinese notes and coins, antiquities, Cambodian and Chinese silk and clothing.
  Sisowath Quay
Sisowath Quay is an attractive boulevard running along the banks of the Mekong and Tonle Sap, fronted by a pleasant park. The built-up side of the street houses cafés and shops and the better class of bars, and is extremely popular with tourists and expatriate Westerners. The esplanade along the river is equally popular with Cambodians, who come here in the cool of the evening to enjoy the quasi-carnival atmosphere. It begins at the riverfront park opposite the Palace and is perhaps best experienced in the early evening.
  Siem Reap Akira's Land Mine Museum
During the Khmer Rouge period, Akira's parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge and he was raised by them. Later, he worked for the Vietnamese army and the U.N. force. Now he is removing land mines. The museum houses a huge volume of the land mines removed by him, unexploded bomb shells and photos. Volunteers who lost arms or legs guide you around this museum. TEL: 012-598951. Free.
  Tonle Sap
The Tonle Sap is the largest fresh-water lake in Southeast Asia. Its size changes five-fold from dry season to the end of the rainy season. The lake is home to a number of floating villages; half-day tours can be arranged through the hotel.
  Bangkok, Thailand A Stroll Through Chinatown
One of the best ways to experience the true flavor of a city is to walk its streets. Discover Bangkok’s Chinatown, one of the most densely populated, richly ethnic neighborhoods in the city. Walk at your own pace through narrow lanes, peer into the doorways of apothecary shops with their medical herbs and natural cures. Take the opportunity to watch fresh Chinese delicacies being prepared and served while the aromatic fragrance of spice and herbs saturates the air. Pay special attention to the “funeral shops,” where they sell paper models of worldly items that ensure the deceased will have the complete comforts of home on the journey to the afterward. Wonder at the intricate architecture of ancient Chinese Temples, perhaps even donating some coins to the temple “burial society,” a charity devoted to recovering the bodies of unfortunate road accident victims.
  Suan Pakkad Palace
Suan Pakkad was built by Prince and Princess Chumbhot of Nakhon Sawan, who moved five traditional Thai houses from Chiang Mai in 1952. The cabbage garden was turned into one of Bangkok’s finest landscaped gardens and is calm in a uniquely Eastern way. The princess was one of the country’s most dedicated art collectors, and the house has been turned into a museum displaying objects such as perfume bottles, betel nut boxes and musical instruments. Antiques including an exquisite Buddha head from Ayutthaya, Khmer statues and European prints of old Siam. Located Prayatahi Road.
  Vimanmek Palace
The Palace is a magnificent, golden, teakwood residence of King Chulalongkorn that houses numerous exhibits, including antiques furniture, glassware, porcelain and many other items of historic interest. Located on Ratchavithee Road.
  Wat Pho
The temple was originally built in the 16th century and covers twenty acres. One of its pavilions houses a 150-feet long reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is also home to Thailand’s most famous school of massage. (See listing). Respectful dress required: Shorts, flipflops and bare shoulders are not permitted inside the temple complex and you should be prepared to take off shoes to enter temples. Open daily 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission fee of 20 baht. For additional information, visit www.watpho.com
  Wat Pho Thai Traditional Massage School
In the eastern end of the Wat Pho complex is the country’s most famous school of massage. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is a good idea to start your exploration of Wat Pho here before the line becomes too long. A 60-minute, full body massage costs approximately 300 baht ($8 U.S.) and is done fully dressed. A set of cotton clothing is provided for the 60-minute herbal massage that costs 400 baht ($10 U.S.). For additional information, visit www.watpho.com
  Wat Phra Kaeo
Home of the Emerald Buddha and located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is the most sacred and the most beautiful of Thailand’s temples. Open daily 8 a.m.– 4 p.m. Admission 200 baht ($5 U.S.). The dress code is very strict: No shorts, no bare shoulders, no slippers or sandals. For additional information, visit thailandforvisitors.com/north/chiangrai/prakeo/index.html
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Among the Believers, An Islamic Journey


Author: V.S. Naipaul


Description: A tenchant account set against the backdrop of Ayatollah Khomeini's return to Iran.



Atlas of the World's Religions


Author: Frederick Denny, Ninian Smart


Description: Three hundred illuminating color maps show the growth of religious thought and influence across the globe in this illustrated, informative geography of faith.



Buddhism, Introducing the Buddhist Experience


Author: Donald W. Mitchell


Description: A comprehensive, authoritative overview of the origins, philosophy and practice of Buddhism.



Communion, A Culinary Journey Through Vietnam


Author: Kim Fay


Description: Fay recounts in savory detail a five-week journey with two friends from Hanoi to Saigon in search of the traditions, rituals and pleasures of food from local markets and street foods to haute cuisine.



Eyewitness Guide Vietnam and Angkor Wat


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Featuring innovative site diagrams, local maps and hundreds of color photographs, this handy companion introduces the culture, history and attractions of Vietnam.



Eyewitness Top Ten Hong Kong


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map.



Eyewitness Top Ten Singapore


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions. With handy pullout map.



Geography of Religion: Where God Lives, Where Pilgrims Walk


Author: Susan T. Hitchcock, John Esposito, Desmond Tutu (Introduction), Mpho Tutu (Introduction)


Description: A handsomely photgraphed tour of the five major world religions and the places that each one holds most sacred.



Golden Boy, Memories of a Hong Kong Childhood


Author: Martin Booth


Description: Booth writes with warmth of his youthful rambles in this sharp-eyed, affectionate memoir of coming of age in colonial Hong Kong. The book is a portrait of place, of a lost time, and most especially of his friends and family.



Hong Kong


Author: Jan Morris


Description: A wonderful portrait of Hong Kong by one of our favorite travel writers. Morris enumerates the many personal pleasures of the city, deftly interweaving reportage, history and culture.



Hong Kong Map


Author: Nelles


Description: A detailed, colorful folded map of Hong Kong, scale 1:22,500.



Hong Kong, A Cultural History


Author: Michael Ingham


Description: Beneath the surface of Hong Kong's clichéd self-image as Pearl of the Orient and Shopping Paradise, Michael Ingham reveals a city rich in history, myth, and cultural diversity.



Southeast Asia Map


Author: Nelles


Description: A clear, double-sided map of all of Southeast Asia at a scale of 1:4,500,000.



Southeast Asia, A Concise History


Author: Mary Somers Heidhues


Description: A highly readable, illustrated history of Southeast Asia, covering politics, economics, society and culture. With 131 black-and-white illustrations and 11 maps.



The Eaves of Heaven, A Life in Three Wars


Author: Andrew X. Pham


Description: Pham recounts the story of his father's life during the French occupation, Japanese invasion and the American War, weaving such momentous events with anecdotes from his childhood and details of family, friends, food and daily life.



The Great Transformation, The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions


Author: Karen Armstrong


Description: Armstrong illuminates the origins of religious traditions in four distinct regions during the ninth century B.C.E.: Confucianism and Daoism in China; Hinduism and Buddhism in India; monotheism in Israel; and philosophical rationalism in Greece.



The Sacred Willow, Four Generations in the Life of a Vietnamese Family


Author: Duong Van Mai Elliott


Description: This vivid family saga, beginning with the author's great-grandfather, captures the life and momentous history of Vietnam over the last 100 years.



Understanding China


Author: John Bryan Starr


Description: The Yale professor’s essential primer on the history, politics and economy of China. A succinct and refreshingly forthright best-selling guide, this third edition brings us right up to date with events in the rapidly evolving nation.



Understanding Vietnam


Author: Neil Jamieson


Description: Jamieson's ambitious primer addresses politics, social history, village life, structural renewal, literature and the arts, illuminating the Vietnamese worldview with insight and depth. It's a terrific introduction to Vietnam.



Vietnam, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: John Balaban, Nguyen Qui Duc


Description: From rain forest and rural countryside to the cities, these 17 stories from Vietnam's finest writers explore its landscapes, myths and changing traditions.



Vietnam, Rising Dragon


Author: Bill Hayton


Description: The veteran BBC newsman covers the tangled politics, rapidly changing economy, culture, history and people of Vietnam with great insight in this timely portrait of a nation in transition.



Vietnamese, A Language Map


Author: Kristine K. Kershul


Description: This durable foldout card, featuring 1,000 words and phrases, works as a quick reference for travelers.



World Religions: Eastern Traditions


Author: Willard G. Oxtoby (Editor)


Description: A clear and insightful introduction to Eastern religions by a team of scholars, covering Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist and East Asian traditions. Scholarly, but still rewarding for the general reader.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768