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Epic Vietnam to Cambodia

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Epic Vietnam to Cambodia

Was From $ 1,920 AUD
Now From $ 1,632 AUD
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Description

Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand. Markets, all the good street food, beaches, temples, snorkelling, more food, ancient sites, homestays, drinks, long-tail boat rides and more food. If that sounds good, it’s time to take a 20-day adventure through Southeast Asia to the incredible Angkor complex, the bustling streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the serene waters of Cat Ba Island. Get active with cycling tours and hiking options and learn about everyday village life in Sambo Prei Kuk. Tour the incredible natural beauty of Ninh Binh and kick back on the paradisial beaches of Koh Rong Island. End it all in Bangkok, Thailand, where you can jet set home (to brag of an awesome trip well-travelled) or extend your stay and beach-it-up in another Southeast Asian gem.

Trip Name
Epic Vietnam to Cambodia
Last Updated
2024-07-23
Days
20
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Chill out in the cultural mixed bag of Hoi An and hit up the local beach, cycle through rice paddies or get some sweet threads tailor-made. Then, pick your own ingredients for lunch during a garden-to-table experience with a local chef. 
  • Who'd have thought green seas and giant mossy rocks could be so pretty? Take in the views of Lan Ha Bay by kayak as you explore the limestone islands during your visit to Cat Ba Island. 
  • Cycle around the ancient temples and expansive fields in Ninh Binh – a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. With loads of free time, you can hike to Mua Cave or take a boat down in Tam Coc to the nearby caves.  
  • A homestay in rural Sambor Prei Kuk puts you right in the heart of everyday village life in Cambodia – cycle through the village for the best perspective and see locals working the rice fields or getting stuck into handicrafts. 
  • See the sunrise over the incredible Angkor complex and take a guided Tuk-tuk tour of all the best sites (including Angkor Wat and jungle-covered Ta Prohm) with a company focused on employing local women in the community.   

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure kicks off in Hanoi – Vietnam’s capital – with a welcome meeting at 6 pm tonight. If you arrive early, wander these gorgeous streets and see the sights. Tonight, maybe grab your new group and see who’s up for some food and a fresh bia hoi at a roadside stall or watch the motorbikes zoom by. Hanoi is also a great place for local beer and cocktail bars, so maybe hit the nightlife and discover what this city has to offer after sundown.
Day 2 - Hanoi
Today is a free day in Hanoi to explore however you’d like. Maybe check out your reflection in beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, wander along shaded boulevards or relax in a public park with some delicious street food (spring rolls inside rice paper rolls, anyone?). Museum-wise, you could visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serene Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum. Maybe head to KOTO for a delicious lunch – this organisation is dedicated to developing the hospitality careers of disadvantaged youth. Later, maybe explore the centuries-old architecture as the sun goes down.
Day 3 - Cat Ba
Travel by bus and ferry to Cat Ba Island – the largest island in Lan Ha Bay, connected to the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay. With thousands of little limestone islands scattered around, this area is one of those quintessential Vietnamese scenes in which bright green water is dotted with traditional junk boats and limestone karsts. Take a cruise around Lan Ha Bay and enjoy a seafood lunch prepared by your onboard chef. What could be better? This afternoon, hop off the boat to get up close and personal with this other-worldly landscape by kayak. Paddle through serene waters and then watch the sunset over this awe-inspiring landscape.
Day 4 - Ninh Binh
This morning, take a ferry back to the mainland and head to Ninh Binh province – once the site of Vietnam’s capital in the 10th and 11th centuries, which is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a local guide on a cycling tour to visit the ancient citadel. This once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of the once glorious capital. You’ll visit the 17th-century temples built in honour of King Dinh and King Le among other temples, pagodas, monuments and lush grounds surrounded by mountains.
Day 5 - Ninh Binh - Overnight Train
The day is yours to explore the many other wonders of Ninh Binh. You might like to lace up your hiking boots and trek to the incredible Mua Cave. While the cave sits at the base of a mountain, be sure to make the trek up the 500 steps to the mountain peak for amazing views of Hoa Lu and Ngo Dong River. Or maybe get out on the water and take a boat tour past limestone karst peaks, caves, temples and maybe even the locations of scenes from a King Kong movie. Tonight, board an overnight train to Hue.
Day 6 - Hue
Arrive by train in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You have today free to do as you please. You can easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace that's enclosed within. Maybe jump on board a dragon boat and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda. You could also check out Dong Ba Market, which offers locally made goods, fresh produce and some tasty street food. This is a good place to try the dish that Emperor Nguyen used to feast on – the banh Khoai royal rice. If you like being on two wheels, maybe cycle out to one of the royal tombs like the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (one of the most excellent remaining examples of its kind). Tonight, head into the home of a local family and enjoy a freshly prepared dinner. You’ll be chatting and laughing over your chopsticks in no time!
Day 7 - Hoi An
Continue along the coast to Hoi An by private bus. When you arrive, your leader will take you on a walking tour of this unique town which has been influenced over the years by Europe, China, Vietnam and Japan. The town was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and its old-school flavour is written all over its architecture. For a small town, it's pretty lively. The tour will take you down the streets that are being restored and look a lot like they did 100 years ago, then you’ll discover some of the more chilled out spots. Check out a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. Later, maybe play bingo with your leader in a town square – a popular local past time.
Day 8 - Hoi An
Start the day by cycling through the beautiful surroundings of Hoi An to the organic vegetable and herb gardens of a local chef. See, smell and taste what makes Vietnamese food so delicious. After a tour of the gardens, enjoy a freshly prepared lunch using some of the ingredients you picked during your tour. Much of the food waste here is composted, recycled or reused. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations. Maybe wander to the Central Market and browse the paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors, so if you’ve been wearing the same shirt every day (who hasn’t), why not hit one of the same-day tailors and get yourself something new? Tonight, maybe wander the streets, lit up by lanterns for some great photo ops.
Day 9 - Hoi An - Overnight Train
This morning, your group will make their way to the train station for your second overnight train journey. If you didn't last night, you might want to rise early and grab some snacks for the train. As you make your way to Ho Chi Minh City, maybe play a few (or many) rounds of cards or get stuck into a good book. As the light changes outside, you can watch the everchanging scenery pass you by, showing you a glimpse into what rural life is like in Vietnam.
Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City very early this morning and transfer to your hotel. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a whirl of sights and sounds. You can still see the French influence in the top-notch baguettes and coffee. Compared to the north, the food here is spicier, sweeter and more varied. Maybe take advantage of the early morning by checking out the markets and tucking into a bowl of pho with the local traders. With your group, you’ll visit a local market, where you can browse the exotic street foods and maybe take the chance to try some. Then try the iconic Saigon cafe sua da (iced coffee with condensed milk) amid the market’s everyday bustle as your leader shares stories about life in Ho Chi Minh City. Tonight, why not get your group together for a meal and some drinks on Pham Ngu Lao Street?
Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City
Your day is free to explore Ho Chi Minh at your own pace. If you want to get out of the city, the Cu Chi Tunnels are an interesting day trip you can book. Alternatively, maybe head down to the Mekong Delta! You’ll have a second meeting at 6 pm this evening to meet the new members of your group. Why not head out tonight and enjoy a group dinner or explore the nightlife with some great recommendations from your leader.
Day 12 - Phnom Penh
Today, travel to Phnom Penh on a public bus – this is a long journey that includes two border crossings and a stop where you can grab some lunch. Have your favourite books or road trip games ready – this is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers better. Your guide will assist with the formalities at both sides of the border. When you arrive, why not treat yourself to a traditional Khmer massage to ease the tension. Look no further than Seeing Hands – a great organisation supporting visually impaired masseurs.
Day 13 - Phnom Penh
Today, you’ll have an authentic local breakfast near one of the markets. Then, the group will head to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek – both sobering but important and informative experiences in Cambodia. After, you may like to explore some of the sights in your own time, like the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, which both offer brighter aspects of Cambodia's past. You might also head for the National Museum or Wat Phnom – a Buddhist temple built in 1372. The main centre of the city sits on the Western bank of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. In the evening, you’ll head out with your group for a sunset river cruise and enjoy an included drink as you sail along the water and see the city from a different perspective. Then, you might like to hit up a rooftop bar with some amazing views of the city – there are lots of options to choose from, so just ask your leader. 
Day 14 - Koh Rong
Today, leave Phnom Penh on a private bus to Sihanoukville. Then, you’ll take a speed boat to the paradise of Koh Rong. You’ll have a couple of days on the island to really bliss out and adjust to island time – this afternoon is for swimming, relaxing on the warm sandy shores of the beach and walking along the coast in the balmy evening in search of somewhere for dinner (your leader will have some great recommendations).
Day 15 - Koh Rong
Today is another free day to chill at the beach. Soak in the sun, order a few cocktails or cold beers to cool down and go swimming in the serene waters of Koh Rong. If you’re looking for something active, maybe ask your leader for your hiking options, as there’s plenty of gorgeous jungle and hidden waterfalls waiting to be discovered inland. Tonight, why not party it up at Nest Beach Club – a lively spot known for its nightlife.
Day 16 - Sambor Prei Kuk
This morning, you’ll leave the island behind and head to your homestay in Isanborei – a rural community that maintains a traditional lifestyle. This community lies within Sambor Preikuk, a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 100 ancient temples. This is also home to a Cambodian community-based tourism project involving seven Khmer villages that collaborate to conserve the historic area and provide residents with job opportunities. When you arrive, take a tour of the village with your local guide, who will introduce you to the local people, your homestay and your hosts. Tonight, catch the sun setting over the rice fields before unwinding as you enjoy a traditional homemade Khmer dinner with your host family.
Day 17 - Siem Reap
Enjoy breakfast prepared by your local host this morning. If you didn’t get a chance yesterday, you can visit the nearby Sambor Preikuk Temple – some of the oldest ruins in the country (dating back to the 6th century). Maybe opt to cycle over the rural roads through the village, passing locals working in the rice fields, or perhaps try a sample of Sombai Cambodian Liqueur. After a day of exploring, say goodbye to your homestay hosts and travel on towards Siem Reap – home to the bucket list site, Angkor Wat. When you arrive, maybe spend some time looking around the central markets and pick up some delicious local food for dinner tonight. 
Day 18 - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat Sunrise
Early this morning, you’ll visit the mighty Angkor complex at sunrise – this is the largest religious structure in the world, and it’s pretty special to see the dawn rise over the temples. Get the camera ready because these 400 acres are full of picturesque settings. You’ll take a guided tour of the complex on a tuk-tuk with a local social enterprise that focuses on providing employment opportunities for women in the community – and see the larger-than-life Angkor Wat, the grand Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm. Some buildings are over a thousand years old from the Khmer Empire – these beauties were known to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. If you like, try to catch the majesty of the temples at sunset, too – you can even head back to your accommodation after your guided tour for a nap and then re-enter the site in the late afternoon.
Day 19 - Bangkok
Goodbye Cambodia, hello Thailand. Drive from Siem Reap to Bangkok in a private minivan today. After a long travel day, arrive in Bangkok. The khlongs (canals) are a great way to escape from all the chaos – maybe take a boat to the popular Chinatown for a delicious street food dinner. A traditional Thai massage may also be a good option to relax into the evening. There’s some great nightlife and rooftop bars to explore here, so be sure to stake out a place with your travel buddies and watch day turn to night, celebrating your final evening. 
Day 20 - Bangkok
There are no activities planned for today and your trip comes to an end. Bangkok is full of things to do, including the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or the Jim Thompson Museum. If you’d like to stay in Thailand for longer, just speak to your booking agent ahead of time.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
28-07-202416-08-2024AUD $ 1,764-
11-08-202430-08-2024AUD $ 1,632-
25-08-202413-09-2024AUD $ 1,632-
05-09-202424-09-2024AUD $ 1,666-
08-09-202427-09-2024AUD $ 1,666-
15-09-202404-10-2024AUD $ 1,649-
22-09-202411-10-2024AUD $ 1,713-
13-10-202401-11-2024AUD $ 1,738-
27-10-202415-11-2024AUD $ 1,857-
03-11-202422-11-2024AUD $ 1,804-
10-11-202429-11-2024AUD $ 1,804-
14-11-202403-12-2024AUD $ 1,804-
17-11-202406-12-2024AUD $ 1,894-
24-11-202413-12-2024AUD $ 1,804-
01-12-202420-12-2024AUD $ 1,804-
08-12-202427-12-2024AUD $ 1,840-
12-12-202431-12-2024AUD $ 1,804-
15-12-202403-01-2025AUD $ 2,005-
19-12-202407-01-2025AUD $ 2,005-
22-12-202410-01-2025AUD $ 1,905-
29-12-202417-01-2025AUD $ 2,045-
05-01-202524-01-2025AUD $ 2,215-
12-01-202531-01-2025AUD $ 2,215-
19-01-202507-02-2025AUD $ 2,235-
26-01-202514-02-2025AUD $ 2,130-
02-02-202521-02-2025AUD $ 2,130-
09-02-202528-02-2025AUD $ 2,050-
16-02-202507-03-2025AUD $ 2,050-
23-02-202514-03-2025AUD $ 2,050-
02-03-202521-03-2025AUD $ 2,050-
09-03-202528-03-2025AUD $ 2,130-
16-03-202504-04-2025AUD $ 2,130-
23-03-202511-04-2025AUD $ 2,130-
30-03-202518-04-2025AUD $ 2,130-
06-04-202525-04-2025AUD $ 2,130-
20-04-202509-05-2025AUD $ 2,130-
27-04-202516-05-2025AUD $ 2,050-
04-05-202523-05-2025AUD $ 2,050-
18-05-202506-06-2025AUD $ 2,050-
01-06-202520-06-2025AUD $ 2,050-
15-06-202504-07-2025AUD $ 2,050-
22-06-202511-07-2025AUD $ 2,050-
29-06-202518-07-2025AUD $ 2,050-
06-07-202525-07-2025AUD $ 2,050-
13-07-202501-08-2025AUD $ 2,050-
20-07-202508-08-2025AUD $ 2,050-
27-07-202515-08-2025AUD $ 2,050-
10-08-202529-08-2025AUD $ 2,130-
24-08-202512-09-2025AUD $ 2,130-
07-09-202526-09-2025AUD $ 2,130-
14-09-202503-10-2025AUD $ 2,130-
28-09-202517-10-2025AUD $ 2,130-
05-10-202524-10-2025AUD $ 2,130-
12-10-202531-10-2025AUD $ 2,130-
19-10-202507-11-2025AUD $ 2,130-
26-10-202514-11-2025AUD $ 2,130-
02-11-202521-11-2025AUD $ 2,215-
06-11-202525-11-2025AUD $ 2,215-
09-11-202528-11-2025AUD $ 2,215-
13-11-202502-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
16-11-202505-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
20-11-202509-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
23-11-202512-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
27-11-202516-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
30-11-202519-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
04-12-202523-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
07-12-202526-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
11-12-202530-12-2025AUD $ 2,215-
14-12-202502-01-2026AUD $ 2,215-
18-12-202506-01-2026AUD $ 2,215-
21-12-202509-01-2026AUD $ 2,215-
28-12-202516-01-2026AUD $ 2,215-
04-01-202623-01-2026AUD $ 2,135-
11-01-202630-01-2026AUD $ 2,135-
18-01-202606-02-2026AUD $ 2,135-
25-01-202613-02-2026AUD $ 2,135-
01-02-202620-02-2026AUD $ 2,135-
08-02-202627-02-2026AUD $ 2,135-
15-02-202606-03-2026AUD $ 2,135-
22-02-202613-03-2026AUD $ 2,135-
01-03-202620-03-2026AUD $ 2,135-
08-03-202627-03-2026AUD $ 2,135-
15-03-202603-04-2026AUD $ 2,135-
22-03-202610-04-2026AUD $ 2,135-
29-03-202617-04-2026AUD $ 2,135-
05-04-202624-04-2026AUD $ 2,135-
19-04-202608-05-2026AUD $ 2,135-
26-04-202615-05-2026AUD $ 2,135-
03-05-202622-05-2026AUD $ 2,135-
17-05-202605-06-2026AUD $ 2,135-
31-05-202619-06-2026AUD $ 2,135-
14-06-202603-07-2026AUD $ 2,135-
21-06-202610-07-2026AUD $ 2,135-
28-06-202617-07-2026AUD $ 2,135-
05-07-202624-07-2026AUD $ 2,135-
12-07-202631-07-2026AUD $ 2,135-
19-07-202607-08-2026AUD $ 2,135-
26-07-202614-08-2026AUD $ 2,135-
09-08-202628-08-2026AUD $ 2,135-
23-08-202611-09-2026AUD $ 2,135-
06-09-202625-09-2026AUD $ 2,135-
13-09-202602-10-2026AUD $ 2,135-
27-09-202616-10-2026AUD $ 2,135-
04-10-202623-10-2026AUD $ 2,135-
11-10-202630-10-2026AUD $ 2,135-
18-10-202606-11-2026AUD $ 2,135-
25-10-202613-11-2026AUD $ 2,135-
01-11-202620-11-2026AUD $ 2,135-
05-11-202624-11-2026AUD $ 2,135-
08-11-202627-11-2026AUD $ 2,135-
12-11-202601-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
15-11-202604-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
19-11-202608-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
22-11-202611-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
26-11-202615-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
29-11-202618-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
03-12-202622-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
06-12-202625-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
10-12-202629-12-2026AUD $ 2,135-
13-12-202601-01-2027AUD $ 2,135-
17-12-202605-01-2027AUD $ 2,135-
20-12-202608-01-2027AUD $ 2,135-

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights),Lodge (1 night),Overnight sleeper train (2 nights),Bungalow (2 nights),Homestay (1 night),Hostel (2 nights)

Transport

Boat,Overnight sleeper train,Private minibus

Map