Round the World - Spice and Rice Route

Trip code: QSEA

  • Adventure 3 out of 5
  • Relaxation 3 out of 5
  • Culture 3 out of 5
Your Complete South East Asia Gap YearYour Complete South East Asia Gap YearYour Complete South East Asia Gap Year

Trip Highlights


  • Immerse yourself in Indian culture, volunteer and see the Taj Mahal!
  • Explore Thai culture and it’s islands, beaches and temples
  • Enjoy the frenetic energy of Ho Chi Minh City
  • Help Vietnamese Children build happy memories of their childhoods
  • Get off the beaten track in China and visit places tourists can't usually go


Trip Summary

See full itinerary

See the wonders of the travel world including the Taj Mahal, a variety of beautiful Thai islands, the world famous Halong Bay and the Great Wall of China.


As you travel through the wide expanses of India, Thailand & Vietnam and China, you’ll have the opportunity to live and work with local people on volunteer projects and observe a different way of life along the way.  Discover the range of culture, wildlife and amazing landscapes of Asia. And remember, this itinerary is totally flexible so feel free to mix and match our trips to suit you.

When do I want to go?

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Dates of Departures Duration Price (Land Only) Trip Status

What will I be doing?

  • First stop India (4 weeks)

  • Next stop Thailand (5 weeks)

  • Next stop Vietnam (6 weeks)

  • Final stop China (4 weeks)

First stop India: 4 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

Asia- the worlds largest and most populous continent with a population of over 4 billion people! Steeped in history and culture and jam-packed with buzzing cities, futuristic buildings, majestic temples, World Heritage Sites and some of the world's most beautiful coastline.


The Republic of India - second most populous country in the world and former British colony. All of the world’s major religions put in an appearance here, the best represented being Hindu (hence the many ‘sacred’ cows causing traffic jams in the capital, New Delhi!) as well as Muslims, Christians and Buddhists. The hustle and bustle is virtually constant, but there are always peaceful, spiritual spots that you can escape to easily. 

  • Location: Various places in India


India Experience - 4 weeks
If you're looking to infuse your travels full of adventure, culture, great food and discovery then India's the place! Full to the brim of fantastic activity, our India Experience trip is perfect for those who fancy seeing the 'real India' whillst exploring and volunteering through different regions of the country.
Although it's almost impossible for us to pick out highlights of our fantastic four week trip, we have become rather attached to our camel safaris in the Thar desert (including a night under the stars in a tented camp), the visit to the Taj Mahal, trekking in Rishikesh and the conclusional week in the beautiful Goa! 
Fancy something different? Check out our other India trips

Next stop Thailand: 5 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

The Kingdom of Thailand, is located in the heart of Southeast Asia and shares borders with Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, also well known for its appetising food and the people renowned for their friendly manner.

  • Location: Various places in Thailand

Thailand Experience – 4 weeks 

Experience adventure travel in Thailand with all the best bits packed into just four weeks! You'll spend a full month getting to know Asia, Thailand, Thai food, Thai people and Thai landscapes!
We’ll take you to some of the best tourist spots in unspoilt Kanchanaburi and Sangklaburi and you’ll have a few days to get involved with worthwhile volunteer work or get a taste for adventure whilst trekking.
To round off your ultimate Thailand experience, the trip will end with an obligatory week hanging out on the beach on the island of Koh Pha Ngan. Well someone's got to do it!
Experience some of the best diving in Asia and go home with a PADI qualification. This course offers proper training from fully accredited leaders and is a great way to see another side of the country and explore it's vast and beautiful underwater world.

Next stop Vietnam: 6 weeks

Next Leg

Destination info

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is bordered by China, Laos and Cambodia. It is the 13th most populous country in the world and although it has had a reasonably troubled past, the name Vietnam does tend to conjure up pictures of quaintness and tranquillity, especially when you consider the fact that it has thousands of miles of beautiful coastline to its name! Occupied by the French from the mid-1800s until shortly after the end of WWII, it is not surprising that the influence is obvious, especially in the big cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (formerly Saigon), so much so that you may even think you’re in France, when you’re strolling down the wide colonial boulevards.

  • Location: Various places in Vietnam

Vietnam Experience – 4 weeks

Vietnam is rich in culture and history and this tour has crammed in all of the best sights and activities the country has to offer. The fun will begin in the capital city, Hanoi, where you'll explore Ninh Binh, Tam Coc and Dinh Cac, followed by a trekking adventure in Cuc Phuonng National Park. Your final week will be spent at the breathtaking Halong Bay where you'll be cruising amongst the limestone karsts and relaxing on the beach after a busy four weeks. This is definitely an adventure tour to remember!
If you want to make a difference to the lives of disadvanted children on your travels then this is the project for you. You'll be heading to the buzzing Ho Chi Minh and getting stuck into one of our childcare projects. You could be teaching English, getting creative and helping out with arts and crafts or simply being on hand to dish out extra hugs! This is a great way to get to know a country as you'll be staying in a family run hotel, giving you a real insight into the culture and experiencing Vietnamese hospitality.

Final stop China: 4 weeks

Destination info

The country we know today as China actually derives from a long line of smaller civilisations dating back six millenia. China's influence of modern life is nothing short of remarkable having given the world a huge array of inventions  such a paper, the compass and even pasta. The country is steeped in traditions and ancient practices and it is all just waiting to be rediscovered by you.


China's rapid development over the last 20 years has helped transform it into a global economic super power but its historic roots are here to stay. You only have to visit one of the many temples, the Great Wall or the Terracotta Army to see that!

  • Location: Various places in China

China Ultimate Adventure- 4 weeks

This incredible circular tour of China gives you an unforgettable view of the real China. The volume and variety of experiences included on the itinerary make this trip quite unique. You'll see all of China's unmissible attractions such as  the Great Wall, Terracotta Army and the loveable panadas, but you'll also go off the beaten track to places tourists rarely get to visit, such as a rural farm in the QinLing Mountains. On top of this you'll get the chance to do some volunteering at an orphanage or a soup kitchen for homeless people.


This trip aims to provide you with a safe, interesting, hassle free and unforgettable experience during your epic 5,458km journey in the Middle Kingdom!

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To get a detailed PDF of information for this trip including full itinerary, country guides and travel advice on visas, money, insurance and the local weather, download our trip notes. By doing so you’ll also be kept updated on all the latest news, offers and stories on this particular trip. Happy reading!

What's included?

  • Flights from London – India – Thailand – Vietnam - China - London
  • India Experience
  • Thailand Experience
  • Thailand Scuba Diving Course
  • Vietnam Experience
  • Vietnam volunteer project
  • China Experience

What's not included?

  • Travel insurance
  • Extra activities not on itinerary
  • Visas

Additional Information & FAQs

Minimum age

Minimum 18 years, maximum decided on potential participants health.



You will be staying in a variety of accommodation during your trip. These will range from hostels and guesthouses to hotels, beach resorts and home-stays.



Depending on your choice of countries and experiences, some meals may be included but it will vary from place to place and project to project. Please refer to specific programme information to find out what’s included.


Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay.

You will be assigned a personal travel advisor who will co-ordinate your programme with you. Feel free to contact them at any time before you go, or when you are on your travels.

In addition, you will have access to a 24 hour emergency contact number so you can contact one of our UK staff at any time should you need to.




1. Could I change one of the programmes listed to an alternative programme that Real Gap offers instead?

Yes, that’s fine we have a selection on our web site for each location for you to choose from.


2. How flexible can Real Gap be about the duration of trips? Can I spend longer in Thailand as I would like to visit friends there?

Yes, you can tailor make the trip to suit yourself and add in time for independent travel as well - this is your trip after all!


3. How much additional money should I take for the trip?

We recommend that you allow £50 to £75 per week and take a credit card just in case; you will find that you will spend different amounts in each country you visit as the cost of living can vary quite dramatically. It’s always better to budget for more than you think you will need.


4. When’s the best time to go?

Whenever really, although March onwards is good to get the warmer weather in India and Thailand but take warmer clothing for the time in Vietnam if you travel at this time.


5. Can I add a different destination to my flights so I can visit family in Australia?

Yes, that would be fine.



This trip requires a Police Check to be carried out - please contact us for further information on how to do this. 

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