Feature Articles


The Essence of Southeast Asia

This region of the world brings the exotic, the historic and the modern into plain view and easy to access. From the awe-inspiring Grand Palace in Bangkok to the ancient Angkor Wat, from the culturally rich experience of Northern Thailand in Chiang Mai to the towering islands in Halong Bay in Vietnam, Southeast Asia packs a lot in for such a geographically small region of the world. And we make it easy to travel on your own but not alone. Avanti and our local partners give you the ability to travel seamlessly between the regions and always have someone to rely on while you travel.

Here’s a bit on what to see and do in Avanti’s Southeast Asia.

Amazing Thailand

Thailand is famously and affectionately known as the “Land of Smiles” as it is one of the most friendly and most easily traveled countries in Asia. This makes Thailand a perfect fit for the independent traveler, and Avanti Destinations along with our local partners can help facilitate all of your travel needs.

When To Go

The climate in Thailand is hot and humid throughout most of the year, making it a great year-round destination for those seeking warm tropical climates. For those seeking a bit cooler temperatures and hoping to avoid the crowds, the rainy season from July to October is a great time to visit.

Before You Go

For U.S. passport holders Thailand allows up to 30 days of travel without a visa requirement, allowing passengers the freedom to pick up and go. Make sure to pack light and save some room in your luggage, as you will certainly want to bring back some goodies from your journey.

Getting There

Since Thailand is almost on the opposite side of the globe from the US, it may take some time to arrive, but don’t let this discourage you! With plenty of options for entertainment, food, and refreshments on board, your flight will fly by. Because of our long history and great reputation within the industry, we have been able to negotiate some great fares with excellent airlines: Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, and United Airlines.

Once You Are There

Thailand is 11-12 hours ahead of US EST. The local currency is Baht, and your US dollars can be easily exchanged at currency kiosks, banks, or even your hotel. There are also plenty of ATM machines that will work with your cards, so be sure to advise your local bank to activate your card before you depart. Thai people are very friendly so don’t be shy about practicing your Thai.

Where Should You Visit  

First timers will want to make sure these three cities are included: Bangkok, a wonderful metropolitan mix of history and culture, Chiang Mai, a city where you can enjoy the rich culture of the Thai highlands on an elephant’s back, and Phuket, a small island where you can find yourself snorkeling with colorful exotic fish in crystal clear water.

What Other Destinations In Thailand Should Be Considered

Beyond Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, we also recommend Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Kanchanaburi, Lampang, Phitsanulok, Koh Samui, and Krabi. Thailand has great culture, geography, and people. It doesn’t matter where or when you go, you’ll be sure to receive plenty of fun and exotic experiences.

  Avanti’s Inside Tip On Thailand

A must see from Bangkok is the historic Damnoen Saduak floating market, located about 60 miles from the city center. Avanti offers a private tour of this colorful hidden gem, where you can experience authentic food, exotic fragrances, and purchase handmade local crafts.

Cultural Cambodia

Avanti’s Cambodia and its Highlights

More than the magnificent Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s many sights and sounds await to be discovered, from untouched jungle to its cultural heritage found throughout its amazing landscapes. Because of its rich history, Cambodia offers inspiring experiences for all types of visitors and Avanti offers perfect privately guided excursions to fit the interests of your clients.

When To Go

Though the best time to visit Cambodia is in the cool dry months from November to January, your clients may want to avoid the crowds by visiting Cambodia’s off season between May and October.

Before You Go

A visa is required to enter Cambodia and now you can process it online before departure. Make sure you bring a nice pair of walking shoes to explore the gigantic historic temples.

Getting There

As Cambodia is almost on the opposite side of the globe from the US, it takes some time to get there but don’t let this discourage you! We have great airline partners that provide plenty of entertainment on board, where customer service and your clients’ comfort and safety are their mission.

Once You Are There

Cambodia is eleven hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time, so a little jetlag is expected. We recommend more than a one week visit to Southeast Asia. You can bundle a trip to Cambodia with Thailand, Vietnam and even Laos. Since Cambodians still strongly rely on tourism money, the US dollar is widely accepted.

Where Should You Visit

First time visitors definitely want to visit the world heritage UNESCO site, the ruins of Angkor in Siem Reap. The interesting capital city of Phnom Penh is also a must-see between the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Avanti has created a perfect package for your clients called Cambodia Essentials, starting from $865. Besides the main destinations as Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Kep and Song Saa Island should be considered for second time visitors or for those who want a longer vacation.

  Avanti’s Insider Tip to Cambodia

The best way to explore Siem Reap is by Tuk Tuk. Avanti can provide you with a local experience by taking you through town by Tuk Tuk and then cooking outdoors with a local in the countryside. There’s no better way to experience the culture than by getting up close and personal with the locals and experiencing their world.

Exotic Vietnam

Avanti’s Vietnam and its Highlights

Vietnam is rapidly developing but still holds its charming traditions and culture, making it a fascinating holiday destination. History has left its mark on Vietnam by way of Chinese, French, and American influence.

When To Go

The most popular times to go are November through June, however Vietnam can be considered a year-round destination. The dry season lasts from November to April and the wet season is from May to October.

Before You Go

You are going to need a visa for entry into Vietnam. We’ve made getting a visa easy by partnering with Visa Central to manage the application. It is a very simple process, just ensure your US passport has at least six months of validity remaining after your US departure date.

Getting There

With plenty of options for entertainment, food, and refreshments on board, your long flight will fly by enjoyably. Because of our long history and great reputation within the industry, we were able to negotiate some great fares with some excellent airlines: United, Delta, and Cathay Pacific. We suggest a break in the journey with a few nights in Hong Kong either on the way or heading back home.

Once You Are There

Vietnam’s only time zone is twelve hours ahead of our Eastern Standard Time. Arrange an international data plan with your cell phone carrier as smart phones will work. You can purchase Vietnamese Dong from your local bank before you leave, or change when you arrive at your hotel or local banks. Be prepared to try many delicious foods, and meet many friendly locals.

Where Should You Visit

Northern Vietnam boasts some of the country’s most spectacular scenery with soaring mountains, forested limestone karsts, and cascading rice terraces. The capital city, Hanoi, bears the traces of centuries of change in its wide Parisian boulevards and colorful Chinese temples. The seascape of Halong Bay is a magical sight; breathtaking rock pinnacles rise dramatically from the sea and floating villages sit languidly in the bay. The Mekong Delta is blessed with lush fertile land where villagers in traditional conical hats work in vibrant green rice paddies while traditional boats with dragon eyes ply the murky waters. Ho Chi Minh City’s wartime past is displayed at the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum, but this vast metropolis is also full of modern bars, shops, and restaurants.

  Avanti’s Insider Tip to Vietnam

Walking shoes for exploring Vietnam’s numerous natural wonders and attractions is a must regardless of the weather. Warm clothes for the north and mountainous areas throughout the country are also highly recommended, especially in the cooler months. Light clothes for the beaches and lowland areas of the south and a jacket for air-conditioned transfers is recommended.


Vacation Side Travel

Steven Talbott
Vacation Side Travel

533 Church St Ste #278
Nashville, TN 37219

 855-822-8747 (Toll-free)
 615-800-8069 (Fax)

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