Cambodia Discovery Trip Notes

Cambodia Discovery

Last Modified: 13 May 2016
Cambodia Discovery
Trip code: TKRS
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
Take advantage of the plethora of things to do in Cambodia on this unique adventure packed full of ancient sights and breathtaking beauty. Explore the hustle of Ho Chi Minh City's tourist spots and journey to the bustle of Bangkok in Thailand, with an incredible trip through Cambodia in between. Take on Cambodia's beguiling Phnom Penh, relax on the palm-fringed beaches of Sihanoukville, pay a visit to Cambodia's ancient Angkor ruins and discover the laidback charm of the Khmer. Enjoy a voyage of discovery on this Cambodian travel adventure.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinishing point instructions
ThemesAccommodation NotesEmergency contact
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionVisas
Why we love itMealsWhat to take
MapMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
ItineraryGroup leaderHealth
Itinerary disclaimerSafetyTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining pointA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Important notesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Group sizeFinish pointFeedback
Your fellow travellersFinish point description
Style
Basix
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- - This trip involves a lot of public transport and some long days of driving, so some patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment here. Sit back, relax, watch the scenery go by, and embrace travelling like a local.
- - Accommodation is basic – a combination of simple hotels, guesthouses and a homestay.
- - This being a Basix trip, there are less included activities and meals, and more free time for optional activities. While this gives you freedom and flexibility, it does require a level of independence.
Why we love it
- - Enjoy the guidance of a local expert as you temple-hop at the dazzling Angkor complex, one of Southeast Asia's most stunning sights
- - Confront the sobering but important Khmer history in Phnom Penh, with included visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Memorial
- - A homestay in the village of Chambok puts you right in the heart of everyday life in rural Cambodia
- - Nature-lovers rejoice! Two days in Sihanoukville is your chance to delve into the mangrove forests of Ream National Park, or simply unwind on a secluded beach
- - Starting in Ho Chi Minh and finishing in Bangkok, you'll get the perfect glimpse of Cambodia's neighbouring countries. These action-packed cities are brimming with delicious street food and astounding histories
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these ready to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, get out and discover the city's blend of old and new, East and West. Be sure to sample a baguette or some of the excellent coffee on offer – both markers of the city's strong French influence. Equally essential are visits to Reunification Palace (the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975) and the War Remnants Museum.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception.
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Phnom Penh
    Travel by public bus through rural Vietnam and Cambodia to Phnom Penh (approximately 6–7 hours). Cambodia's capital city is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture. You will take a cyclo tour of the city's sights, including the central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument and Royal Palace. If you're in the mood for shopping, stop in at the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market) or travel out to Psar Tuol Tom Pong (the Russian Market) for the best range of local souvenirs.
    Optional Activities
    • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
    • Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD8
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Day 3 Homestay
      Travel by private bus (approximately 3 hours) into rural Cambodia to the region of Kampong Speu and village of Chambok. There's a lot of natural beauty to discover here, from waterfalls to swimming holes to bat caves nestled in the mountains. The Chambok community is renowned for its ecotourism. Tonight you'll join a local family in their home – a wonderful opportunity to participate in everyday Cambodian life. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner. You'll also be treated to a traditional dance performance while you're here.

      Notes: Facilities on this homestay are basic and multi-share. Mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets are provided.
      Included Activities
      • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
        Accommodation
        Homestay (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 dinner
        Day 4 Sihanoukville
        A private bus takes you to Sihanoukville today (approximately 4 hours). Named after the Cambodian royal family, this town has miles of lovely beaches and warm, welcoming people. It's also a jumping-off point to many beautiful islands. Settle in and perhaps take a refreshing swim.
        Accommodation
        Guesthouse (1 nt)
        Meals
        1 breakfast
        Day 5 Sihanoukville
        Enjoy a day of free time. There are a variety of exciting optional activities on offer. You can take a boat to one of the nearby islands, enjoy a barbecue lunch or simply relax among swaying palms, white sands and blue waters. Perhaps make the trip out to Ream National Park, which boasts 21 hectares of coastal mangrove forest and a great variety of animal and bird species. You may like to take a Khmer cooking class, or perhaps partake in some windsurfing or kitesurfing.
        Optional Activities
        • Sihanoukville - Island Boat Trip & Snorkelling - USD20
        • Sihanoukville - Ream National Park entry fee - USD5
          Accommodation
          Guesthouse (1 nt)
          Day 6 Phnom Penh
          Travel by private bus back to Phnom Penh (approximately 4 hours). Visiting the Choeung Ek Memorial is highly recommended. This is the site of the Killing Fields, the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng. Alternatively, learn about a brighter period of Cambodian history by visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Wat Phnom, shrouded in myth, is equally worth a visit, as is the National Museum and its excellent Khmer collection. Perhaps indulge in a traditional massage at Seeing Hands massage parlours (a great social enterprise supporting the talents of visually impaired masseurs). 
          Optional Activities
          • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
          • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
          • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD7
          • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21) - USD3
          • Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) - USD3
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Day 7 Kompong Cham
            Travel by private bus to the riverside town of Kompong Cham (approximately 3 hours). This peaceful town was once an important trading hub and is now a great opportunity to experience life in small-town Cambodia. You might like to explore the serene 11th-century Wat Nokor. Alternatively, hire a bike to explore the rural island of Koh Paen which is linked to Kompong Cham by an elaborate bamboo bridge (it's passable only in the dry season; you'll have to take a ferry across in the wet). The locals here make their living fishing, growing tobacco and sesame, so it's a good place to go for a closer look at some of Cambodia's cottage industries. A little further afield are the twin 'mountain temples' of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei.
            Optional Activities
            • Kompong Cham - Wat Nokor - USD1
            • Kompong Cham - Bicycle hire - USD2
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Day 8 Siem Reap
              Take a public bus to Siem Reap (approximately 5 hours). Experience rural Cambodia along the way and take the opportunity to sample the local cuisine of Skun – deep fried spiders! The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travellers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South-East Asia. The markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.
              Accommodation
              Hotel (1 nt)
              Day 9 Siem Reap / Angkor Wat
              Today you will visit the world-famous Angkor complex with your guide. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day – seeing them at sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap. You'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.

              Notes: A single-day Angkor Pass is included on this tour. If you'd like to return to Angkor outside of your included visit, you can buy a longer pass. Just ask your leader.
              Included Activities
              • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
              • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
                Accommodation
                Hotel (1 nt)
                Day 10 Siem Reap
                Today there may be a chance (depending on the season) to visit Tonle Sap Lake for a look at local life. If you feel like some adventure, another option is to do the Flight of the Gibbon zip-line course, which gives you a birds-eye view of the beautiful rainforest – and an adrenaline rush, of course. Another option is to visit the sobering Landmine Museum. It's located a little further field, but is well worth the journey.
                Optional Activities
                • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Tonle Sap Lake - USD10
                • Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake Boat Trip - USD15
                • Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon Ziplining - USD129
                • Siem Reap - Khmer Cooking Class - USD25
                • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD45
                • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Angkor complex - USD20
                  Accommodation
                  Hotel (1 nt)
                  Day 11 Bangkok
                  It's a long drive from Siem Reap to Bangkok (approximately 8–9 hours including border crossing and lunch). You'll be travelling by private minivan. Embrace Thailand's bustling capital, a world of tuk tuks, khlong (canal) boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Perhaps take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets; wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road; pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage; explore the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous canals. Life along these canals seems a world away from the chaotic streets of the city.
                  Optional Activities
                  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1904
                  • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
                  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
                  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
                    Accommodation
                    Hotel (1 nt)
                    Day 12 Bangkok
                    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
                    Meals
                    1 breakfast
                    Itinerary disclaimer
                    ITINERARY CHANGES Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

                    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
                    Physical rating

                    Included activities
                    Chambok - Traditional Dancing
                    Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
                    Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
                    Important notes
                    A single supplement is available on this trip at time of booking. Please see trip notes for further information.

                    Group size
                    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                    Your fellow travellers
                    GROUP TRAVEL
                    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

                    SINGLE TRAVELLERS:
                    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

                    A single supplement is available on this trip. On the following nights a single room is not available:
                    Day 3 Homestay
                    Accommodation
                    Guesthouse (2nt), Homestay (1nt), Hotel (8nt)
                    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
                    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

                    TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
                    Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

                    CHECK-IN TIME
                    Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

                    PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
                    If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

                    WINDOWLESS ROOMS:
                    Some hotels in Vietnam and Cambodia have windowless rooms, or windows that don't necessarily have a view. This is often due to high population density in large cities, however local building standards also don't require rooms to have windows. We do request rooms with windows, however they aren't always available.
                    Meals introduction
                    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

                    In Cambodia - Breakfasts are often simple: eggs, bread, jam and coffee/tea would be most common.
                    Meals
                    2 breakfasts, 1 dinner
                    Money matters
                    SPENDING MONEY
                    When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

                    We recommend USD220.00 for meals not included.

                    The official currency of Vietnam is Dong (VND).

                    Some establishments will accept US currency (USD), but usually only for large purchases and in some restaurants and hotels that cater to tourists. It's not possible to exchange Vietnamese Dong outside the country, so convert or spend all your Dong before leaving.

                    The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel (KHR).

                    Unofficially however, US currency (US$) runs the country and is the currency you should bring, mostly in cash - notes should be 2006 series onwards. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Notes should be 2006 series onwards. Torn, dirty or old notes, as well as the $2US note will be refused in most businesses. ATMs are available in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap and also dispense in both KHR and US$.

                    The official currency of Thailand is the Baht (THB).

                    The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM). ATMs are now available in most towns and visa cash advances are available in major banks. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels. Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange; clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change.

                    EMERGENCY FUNDS
                    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$500, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster, civil unrest, strike action or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

                    TIPPING
                    If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Although can be difficult to source we advise you to carry small notes of local currency each day to make tipping easier.

                    The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:

                    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

                    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.

                    Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.

                    Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

                    In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

                    Optional Tipping Kitty:
                    At your group meeting on Day 1 your tour leader will discuss with you the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This is often the easiest way to avoid the hassles of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Participation in this kitty at your own discretion.

                    Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

                    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.

                    A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
                    Group leader
                    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

                    Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
                    Safety
                    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

                    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

                    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

                    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

                    FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
                    Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

                    SEAT BELTS:
                    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

                    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
                    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

                    MOTORBIKE BAG SNATCHING:
                    Be particularly aware of motorbike bag snatching, especially in the bigger cities, such as Ho Chi Minh City.

                    There has been a recent spate of bag/purse snatchings in Sihanoukville. They normally occur at night and often the assailant is on a motorbike. Travellers are reminded to leave all valuables at the hotel in a security envelope/safety box and to only take out money you will need for the evening. Carrying a bag can make you a target, if you choose to carry a bag, please ensure the bag is slung across the body. Don't walk alone if returning late at night and consider taking a 'remork' (tuk tuk) instead.

                    LIFE JACKETS:
                    While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

                    RENTING MOTORBIKES, QUAD BIKES AND JET SKIS
                    There have been incidents of scams involving rental of motorbikes and jet skis in areas frequented by tourists and expatriate residents in some regions of Cambodia including the town of Sihanoukville. Due to safety concerns we do not recommend renting motorbikes, quad bikes or jet skis in Cambodia.
                    Joining point
                    Saigon Royal Hotel
                    12 D Cach Mang Thang Tam Street, Ben Thanh District .1
                    Ho Chi Minh City
                    VIET NAM
                    Phone: +84 0838294846
                    Fax: +84 0838225346
                    Joining point description
                    Located near Ben Thanh Market, Saigon Royal Hotel consists of 37 rooms and is close to Zen Plaza, Tao Dan Park, and Mariamman Temple. In addition to a restaurant, Saigon Royal Hotel features a 24 hour reception, laundry service, coffee shop/café with complimentary wireless Internet access. Rooms include private bathrooms, television with cable channels, WiFi, refrigerators, and air conditioning. Check in time is from 2pm
                    Joining point instructions
                    Intrepid are able to assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.

                    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer you will be met on as you exit the Customs Hall by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign with your name on it.
                    If you cannot find your transfer representative, or if your flight is delayed, please call our hotline at +84 903 117 770. Additionally proceed to Column 12 outside the International Arrival terminal. Your driver will wait here if you do not meet upon arrival.
                    Please note that neither the driver nor any representative should ask you for additional payment.

                    Metered taxis are readily available as you leave the customs hall and cost approximately US$10 (VND220000). Avoid taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport.
                    Finish point
                    Astera Sathorn Hotel
                    143 South Sathorn Rd., Yannawa, Sathorn
                    Bangkok
                    10120
                    THAILAND
                    Phone: 22127090
                    Fax: 22123610
                    Finish point description
                    Situated in the centre of Bangkok's business area, Astera Sathorn is a cozy hotel close to many of the area's main attractions. Situated within walking distance to Silom road and Sathorn pier, guests can easily access to Asiatique the riverfront, and China town is only two kilometers away. Hotel services include outdoor pool, separate sauna and steam room, fitness center, free wireless internet in the room, satellite TV and laundry service.
                    Finishing point instructions
                    A pre-booked departure transfer is available. Please inquire with your agent at least 2 weeks prior to trip departure

                    If you have a transfer to the Bangkok Airport your transfer driver will collect you from your hotel 3 hours before your flight time. If your transfer has not arrived within 15minutes of the scheduled pickup time please ask the hotel / guesthouse reception to call our transfer operator World Travel Idea 24hr number 081 658 2727 or 081 566 9324.

                    A taxi to the airport will cost about THB700 (US$20). The hotel or your leader can help you organise a taxi. Otherwise you can catch the BTS sky train from Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Suvarnabhumi or Don Muang Airports.

                    Normal check out time is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.
                    Emergency contact
                    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

                    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

                    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

                    For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

                    In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below.


                    Intrepid's Cambodia Office: +855 92 555 969
                    Visas
                    As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required.
                    Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

                    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

                    VIETNAM VISA:
                    Most nationalities require a visa to travel to Vietnam.

                    Some nationalities are exempt from visas for a stay of under 15 days. If you are planning on staying in Vietnam for longer than 15 days you will need to obtain a visa extension in advance (please contact your relevant Consulate or Embassy). Effective from 1st July 2015 - 30 June 2017 exempt visa nationalities include British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws.

                    Vietnam visas need to be arranged in advance. When obtaining your visa you should allow 3 weeks for processing, the cost is approximately US$60 to US$100. Check with your embassy or consulate for further details.

                    Keep the customs and immigration form you receive on arrival, as you need it to complete exit formalities on departure.

                    If your visa application asks for a point of contact, please write: Intrepid Vietnam 57A Nguyen Khac Hieu St, Hanoi, Vietnam Ph +84 4 3715 0996.

                    Most nationalities do not require a letter of invitation for Vietnam but if you do need one, please contact your sales agent for more information.

                    CAMBODIA:
                    Visas can be organised either in advance or on arrival for most nationalities. Check with your embassy or consulate and allow approx 3 weeks for processing. It is also possible to obtain your Cambodian visa on arrival at the airport or border crossing for approx. US$30 (cost subject to change) - you will need a passport photo.

                    If a point of contact is requested, please write: Freedom Hotel, Road #6, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

                    E visas are now available for most nationalities through the official website www.evisa.gov.kh
                    E visa cost will be USD30 (visa fee) plus USD7 (processing fee)
                    IMPORTANT - please note the Cambodia Government has reported many fraudulent E visa websites that pretend to be official e visa websites. Intrepid recommends only using the official E visa website above or by contacting your Travel agent.

                    THAILAND:
                    If entering by air most nationalities will be granted a 30 day stay on arrival.

                    If entering by a land border, you will be granted a 15 day stay only (some exceptions are citizens of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan who are eligible for 30 day visa at land borders). A visa extension can be obtained in Thailand at an immigration office for approx. 2000THB or alternatively you can apply for a Thailand visa in advance from your embassy or consulate that will allow a 30 day stay when entering at an overland border.
                    If planning to enter Thailand via a land border multiple times during your travels, we recommend you pre-obtain a 60 day multiple entry visa from you embassy or consulate before you travel rather than attempting to obtain a visa at the border on multiple occasions which may result in being denied re-entry into the country.

                    BORDER CROSSINGS:
                    Your visa application form may require you to state the dates on which you enter and exit that country. Please note we suggest you list your date of entry a few days before, and date of exit a few days after, your intended dates in case you encounter any delays or problems en route. The following are the international/administrative border crossings for this trip:

                    On Day 2 we cross the border from Vietnam to Cambodia
                    - The Vietnam border is Moc Bai
                    - The Cambodian border is Ba Vet

                    On Day 11 we cross the border from Cambodia to Thailand
                    - The Cambodian border is Poipet
                    - The Thailand border is Aranyaprathet

                    To help calculate the exact dates of these crossings we have found the following website to be very useful - http://www.timeanddate.com
                    What to take
                    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

                    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

                    Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/pdf/trips/packinglist.pdf

                    WATER BOTTLE:
                    Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.
                    Climate and seasonal information
                    TET:
                    Tet is Vietnam’s New Year festival which takes place in late January/early February based on the lunar calendar and is the most important celebration of the year. While this can be a fascinating time to be in Vietnam, you do need to be prepared for some businesses to be closed, tourist sites to be very busy and for transport to be packed as many Vietnamese are travelling around the country. Although we do our best to run trips during Tet as per the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or order of destinations visited. Due to the high demand on tickets at this time, flights and overnight trains may on occasion need to be replaced with day buses. We will aim to communicate any known changes prior to your departure.

                    CAMBODIAN FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS:
                    During public holidays and festival periods in Cambodia many businesses may close, transport may be extremely busy and travel times may increase. During these times please be patient and consider these moments as an opportunity to interact with the locals. Particularly worth noting are Khmer New Year (3 days in mid-April), Pchum Ben (3 days in early October) and Water Festival (3 days in late November).

                    FLOODING:
                    The Cambodia/Thailand land border is occasionally closed due to flooding. If this is the case, we may need to alter the itinerary and fly - at the travellers expense.

                    WET SEASON:
                    During the rainy months (approx. June to October), our mode of transport can be changed at short notice due to weather conditions.
                    Health
                    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

                    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

                    DENGUE FEVER:
                    Rare instances of dengue fever have been reported in this region. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn.

                    BOX JELLY FISH
                    Box jelly fish have been reported in Cambodia's waters throughout the year. Please be aware when swimming alone and follow any warnings from local authorities as stings require immediate medical treatment and fatalities have been known to occur.
                    Travel insurance
                    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

                    When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

                    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php
                    A couple of rules
                    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

                    Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
                    Responsible Travel
                    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.

                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

                    When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia, especially outside major cities. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. In many rural areas in Asia women will need to wear modest clothing even to swim. Singlets, tank tops and topless sun bathing are all unacceptable. When visiting religious sites men often need to wear long trousers and women a long skirt or sarong.

                    The Intrepid Foundation
                    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.

                    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

                    http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

                    Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Cambodia include:

                    * The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) is focused on delivering education and training to increase awareness of the need for conservation and environmental protection. It also provides rescue, rehabilitation and release services for wildlife, and conservation breeding of selected endangered species.
                    www.accb-cambodia.org/en/index.php

                    * Green Gecko provides security, education, love and opportunities to Siem Reap street kids through their formative years and into their adult lives. It also supports the children's families and the broader community through long term health, education and training initiatives.
                    www.greengeckoproject.org

                    * The Starfish Project helps those unable to access government and other large NGO assistance. Activities include medical care, housing projects, water and sanitation, woman and children in prison, as well as small business assistance. They also run a popular cafe/bakery, massage centre and handicraft shop.
                    site.starfish-project.com

                    * All Ears Cambodia (AEC) provides a much needed medical service in a country torn by years of war, building capacity in the prevention and treatment of ear disease and deafness. Intrepid is collecting old hearing aids which are cleaned, reconditioned and fitted by professional audiology clinicians. If you are travelling to Cambodia please bring these along and pass them to your group leader who will arrange for them to be delivered to AEC.
                    www.allearscambodia.org

                    * The Kaliyan Mith Riverside Restaurant provides quality skills training and business and employment support to caregivers of marginalized children. Based out of Friends-International’s existing support-services center, this new restaurant will aim to provide training to ten caregivers through an ongoing 3-6 month internship program.

                    For more information, or to make a donation please visit: www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/?projectcountry=cambodia

                    Feedback
                    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

                    http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback