China, Thailand, Laos & Vietnam

Prepare yourselves to cover some serious ground in the adventure of a lifetime! From the bustling markets of Thailand, to the majestic sweep of Ha Long Bay, Vietnam; via the steaming jungles of remotest Laos, and the ancient tea plantations of China’s Yunnan Province, the Oriental Explorer expedition will give an insight into South-East Asia in all it’s glorious diversity. Experience a challenging trek and an inspirational project in rural communities on this truly rewarding and unforgettable school trip.

Teams may choose a three week itinerary covering Thailand, Laos & China, or a four week itinerary that will also include Vietnam.


Here are just some of the incredible experiences you can choose from for your Oriental Explorer expedition:


As the former royal capital of the historic Kingdom of Lanna, Chiang Mai in Thailand is bursting with cultural significance and things to do. Take a stroll around the ancient city walls, visit some of the countless wats or shop at the renowned night market.

Community Projects

Making a Difference

Throw yourself into educational infrastructure projects in rural Chinese schools, living with and working alongside the community to improve teaching and boarding facilities. There may be opportunities to organise English lessons with students whilst your team completes basic maintenance and renovation tasks.


Head deep into Luang Nam Tha in Northern Laos where you can learn survival skills from your expert guides, take in breathtaking scenery as you follow the footsteps trodden by tea pickers for over thousands of years in the hills of Xishuangbanna.

Teams on a four week expedition may travel onto Vietnam’s Hoang Lien Mountains to tackle the country’s highest peak, Mt Fansipan.

Rest & Relaxation

Naturally this expedition has some amazing R&R options! Wander through the mysterious Stone Forests of Kunming, a UNESCO World Heritage listed site. For those on a 4 week expedition travel further still to the distant shores of stunning Ha Long Bay featuring some 1,600 islands and islets forming a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars.


Oriental Explorer Expedition Factfile

  • Thailand, Laos, China & Vietnam, South East Asia
  • Terrain: Jungle, mountains, tea plantations
  • When can I travel there?: Expeditions are possible all year round, though will be more challenging during the monsoon season in May and September.
  • Expedition Physical Rating: Medium to high.
  • Expedition Duration: 21 or 28 days (3 week expedition does not include Vietnam).
  • Culture Shock: High.
  • Typical accommodation: Hostels and homestays.
  • Ideal for: An unforgettable cultural experience, fantastic trekking.

Things to Know

  • There are four recognised Communist states left in existence, and three of them (China, Vietnam and Laos) are in Asia.
  • Watch the scenery, the culture and the architecture change around you… it’s sometimes hard to believe how much all of these can change in the course of a day!
  • You will travel through China’s Yunnan Province famous for its Pu’er Tea; in fact this area is home to the Tea Tree King, reported to be the oldest on earth!
  • People in remote areas of the Southern China are very inventive when it comes to limited access to everyday neccessities. You will often find that items like shoes, fans, hats, baskets and even cooker covers are made with woven bamboo and paddy straw.
  • ‘Nguyen’ is the most popular surname in Vietnam with approximately 40% of all Vietnamese (or more than 30 million people) sharing this one family name!
  • Laotians believe that the head is the most sacred part of the body so avoid touching people anywhere above the shoulders.
  • The Thai Royal Family is deeply loved and respected. It is prohibited by law to criticize anything they do and is even a bad idea to step on a coin, which features an image of the King!

In-Country Agent

Edward Zhao

Edward has been working for World Challenge since 2013 and has travelled extensively in China. Fluent in Mandarin and English, when not working for World Challenge Edward is a School Tours Manager for an off-road adventure company.


Click here to contact us or
call 1300 728 568.


Your students choose activities from any of the following phases:
Rest & Relaxation


Every World Challenge starts long before your students step on a plane. With our support, develop life skills and take ownership of:

  • Destination and itinerary planning
  • Fundraising ideas and events
  • Budgeting and money management
  • Preparation, fitness and nutrition
More about our school expeditions

Get in touch with one of our consultants to start planning your overseas school expedition today!

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You could be experiencing all of this! Check our these Oriental Explorer destination images.

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