Indochina Family Holiday Trip Notes

Indochina Family Holiday

Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016
Indochina Family Holiday
Trip code: TVFC
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2017
Take the family on a trip to remember when you voyage across Indochina from Hanoi to Siem Reap via Halong Bay, Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh and Angkor. This trip takes in beaches, historic sites, bustling cities and beautiful rice paddies.
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 disclaimerJoining pointTravel insurance
Physical ratingJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Included activitiesJoining point instructionsResponsible Travel
Group sizeFinish pointThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish point descriptionFeedback
Is this trip right for you?
- There are some long stints of travel, including a 12-hour overnight train journey to Hue. Although conditions on this train trip are basic, the beds, food vendors and the chance to interact with locals make it a fun and authentic experience. Remember to bring a lock for your hand luggage.
- It’s important to prepare for hot and sticky temperatures during the day and cooler climates in the evening. Layers are the best way to tackle this disparity in weather. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.
- You will visit a number of temples on this trip. Arms and knees should be covered, as per local custom, out of respect for sacred sites. A light scarf is a great idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.
Why we love it
- Angkor Wat is simply one of the most amazing sights in South East Asia, and a three-day pass gives you and your family plenty of time to explore this staggering Khmer complex
- There's a great mix of included activities and free time, which is perfect in atmospheric destinations like Hoi An, with the beach just a short bike ride away
- Halong Bay is not only an amazing and unique natural wonder – it's a proper escape from the world around you. Sleep under the stars on a comfortable cruise boat and enjoy a sumptuous lunch and dinner on board
- By dining at KOTO in Hanoi, you'll not only dine on delicious northern specialties, you'll be supporting an excellent cause that connects street kids with careers in hospitality
- One of the many advantages of group travel is the social aspect, and kids often have playmates, giving you a little more time to relax
- The novelty of travelling on the back of a cyclo seems to never wear off. Explore Phom Penh's atmospheric riverfront from the back of this three-wheeled wonder

Day 1 Hanoi
Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Meet your driver and be transferred to your hotel. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and thriving Old Quarter. The latter is a veritable architectural museum piece – a great place to explore if you have time today. Your adventure begins with a 6 pm welcome meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the welcome meeting, 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. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Notes: Your arrival transfer is valid only if arriving on Day 1, or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum of 15 days prior to travel (note that we may not be able confirm requests made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details, a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 2 Hanoi
Enjoy a guided tour of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum. You will also visit the tranquil Temple of Literature, an oasis of calm in the heart of town. A little later, head to the Museum of Ethnology to learn more about the diverse heritage of Vietnam. For lunch you will dine at the KOTO restaurant, an excellent establishment and longtime friend of Intrepid which lives by the philosophy of 'know one, teach one'. It supports the underprivileged local youth by giving them a chance at making a career in the hospitality industry. In the evening, sit down to a traditional water puppet performance. This northern tradition, dating back nearly a thousand years, is performed alongside Vietnamese music that employs drums, wooden bells, horns and bamboo flutes.
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Water puppet show
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
    Optional Activities
    • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
    • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
    • Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
    • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
      Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel or similar (1 nt)
      1 breakfast, 1 lunch
      Day 3 Halong Bay
      Travel by minibus to the spectacular World Heritage-listed site of Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours). The bay is a breathtaking secluded harbour with some 2,000 limestone islands jutting out of the waters of the Bac Bo Gulf. Board your private boat and cruise among these limestone peaks. There's an opportunity to swim in the famous Vietnam East Sea and explore caves filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Spend a peaceful night on board, beneath a sky alive with stars. Your sailing junk has twin-share cabins, air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar.

      Notes: Due to recent, unforeseen changes by local authorities, many boats are no longer permitted to stay overnight on the bay. This has resulted in a boat shortage. To ensure Intrepid travellers are all accommodated, a larger boat, usually with twelve cabins, may be used, and passengers may be split across multiple boats. An Intrepid leader will be present on each boat, and the route and onboard inclusions will remain the same.
      Included Activities
      • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
        1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
        Day 4 Halong Bay
        Return to Hanoi by bus (approximately 3.5 hours). From Hanoi you will take an overnight train to Da Nang. Although conditions are basic on your train journey, overnight trains are a classic South East Asian experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Lie back and enjoy the ride! Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but it's a great idea to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit before you head off.

        Notes: Sleeper trains typically have four-berth compartments (occasionally they're six-berth, depending on seasonal variations) with bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group.
        1 breakfast
        Day 5 Hoi An
        Arrive in Danang and travel by minibus to Hoi An (approximately 1 hour). On arrival, your leader will take you on an orientation walk around Hoi An's gorgeous Ancient Town. Recently declared a World Heritage site, this old town is beautifully preserved and exudes a tranquil atmosphere. It's perfect for strolling around at a leisurely pace, with many beautiful Japanese houses and Chinese temples lining the narrow lanes. Parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago. It's also a shopping mecca – browse local markets and shops for original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery and lanterns. Hoi An has also become famous for its tailoring, with a great variety of fabrics and tailors to choose from.
        Included Activities
        • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
          Optional Activities
          • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
          • Hoi An - Thu Bon river boat trip - VND100000
          • Hoi An - cooking course - VND420000
          • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle hire - VND40000
            1 breakfast
            Day 6 Hoi An
            After a hearty breakfast, head out on an excursion to CHIA (Children's Hope in Action Centre). This community-based project is a longtime friend of Intrepid. The project endeavours to support disadvantaged children in central Vietnam with a range of services. Here in the wider Quang Nam province, many families are barely surviving on less than three dollars per day, and while life has improved across the country in the last ten years, this is still one of its poorest areas. After learning about the project, and perhaps interacting with some of the local kids, you'll have an afternoon of free time with which to further explore Hoi An.
            Included Activities
            • Children Hope in Action visit
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch
              Day 7 Hoi An
              Spend today as you please. Perhaps take up a cooking class and learn the secrets of preparing local specialties like cao lau (dark pork broth with thick yellow noodles, sliced pork, bean sprouts and green vegetables). Street food tours can also be arranged. Alternatively, hire some bikes and take the family out on a cycling trip into the gorgeous surrounding countryside. Another great activity which kids will enjoy is a bamboo basket ride down the waterways of the jungle. For more optional day trips and half-day trips, chat to your leader. Getting some clothing tailored while you're here is a great idea – it's a speciality of this town, and many merchants offer a same-day service.
              1 breakfast
              Day 8 Ho Chi Minh City
              Take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 1 hour). Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterised by a vast array of sights and sounds – a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. Check out Ben Thanh Market and experience a delicious local lunch of street food. Afterwards, you're free to explore the city on your own. Your leader will have plenty of interesting and fun ideas for you and the family. Consider scooting off on cyclos to Cholon, the Chinatown area of Ho Chi Minh City, for a bit of temple-hopping. Or visit the Vietnamese version of a department store for some serious shopping.
              Victory hotel Saigon or Similar (1 nt)
              1 breakfast, 1 lunch
              Day 9 Ho Chi Minh
              Board the boat to Ben Tre to see a coconut candy factory and sample the local candies for which this region is famous. Take the opportunity for a tuk-tuk trip around this remote village with a stop to sample tropical fruits, and visit a honey farm to learn more about local rural life. Then visit a nearby restaurant in the heart of the delta, where you can sample some of the regional specialities such as elephant-ear fish. After lunch, you will board a sampan (small rowing boat) and paddle past the many water coconut trees that populate the Mekong Delta. Boarding your main private boat, cruise through more major waterways, arriving in My Tho town. Here your bus back to Ho Chi Minh City will be waiting for you.
              Optional Activities
              • Ho Chi Minh City - Cyclo tour - VND90000
              • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
                Victory hotel Saigon or Similar (1 nt)
                1 breakfast
                Day 10 Phnom Penh
                Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia. It's a short flight here (approximately 1 hour). The sensational ruins of Angkor may be the main attraction, but Cambodia’s secluded beaches, charming villages and magical markets deserve lots of attention too. While Phnomh Penh has suffered from years of civil war, its former glory and colour is re-emerging. Your hotel in Phnom Penh is located in the heart of the city. A welcome meeting will be held today with your leader for the Cambodia section of the trip. Afterwards, there is an optional group dinner with your fellow travellers.
                Included Activities
                • River cruise
                  Ohana Palace Hotel (1 nt)
                  1 breakfast
                  Day 11 Phnom Penh
                  Explore the historic buildings of the Riverfront area by cylco, Cambodia's signature three-wheeled rickshaw. In the afternoon, journey by remork (local tuk tuk) and a local boat to a Mekong Island, where you will get an insight into the daily lives of the people who make their living from silk weaving, agriculture and aquaculture. Your day concludes with a boat cruise starting along the junction of the Tonle Bassac, Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. If the weather's fine, the sunset is sure to be spectacular from out on the water. This is one for the photographers!
                  Included Activities
                  • Local Guide half day Phnom Penh
                  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour
                    Optional Activities
                    • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD7
                    • Wat Phnom - USD2
                      Ohana Palace Hotel (1 nt)
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 12 Siem Reap
                      After breakfast, fly to Siem Reap (approximately 1 hour). Siem Reap is the gateway to Ankor, Cambodia's larger-than-life Khmer temple complex, which is located about 7 kilometres away. The town of Siem Reap itself is worth exploring too. The street food, inexpensive and delicious, is sure to be a hit among spice lovers and foodies alike. A visit to the old market is a must, even if you're not looking for souvenirs. Wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops the silks, cottons, sarongs, silver and statues are a riot of colour and a feast for the eyes. There's also a long tradition of shadow puppetry in the region, and if you're lucky you might catch a show at one of the local restaurants in the evening. For something relaxing, perhaps indulge in a traditional Khmer massage.
                      Angkor Holiday Hotel (1 nt)
                      1 breakfast
                      Day 13 Siem Reap
                      After breakfast, be collected by your local guide and head to Angkor. This mind-boggling temple complex was built between the 9th and 12th centuries and were meant to represent the cosmic world, perfectly aligned in balance and symmetry. Look out for the monkeys that gather on the temple ruins along the way. Your tour of the site visits Angkor Wat (the largest religious site in the world), Ta Prohm (the jungle temple made famous by the Tomb Raider films) and Bayon (a 54-tower marvel adorned with some 200 huge smiling faces carved from stone). Angkor Wat is particularly spectacular, and nothing can quite prepare you for your first glimpse of the temple's five majestic towers. As you approach, the intricacy of the layout becomes apparent, and close up, every nook and cranny reveals itself to be filled with finest detail. Throughout the day, the colours of the stone seem to change, and at dusk the spires are a lovely golden colour.
                      Included Activities
                      • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
                        Angkor Holiday Hotel (1 nt)
                        1 breakfast
                        Day 14 Siem Reap
                        Venture into the countryside to visit ACCB (Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity) which is housed at the base of Kbal Spien Moutain. Its resident creatures include gibbons, monkeys, anteaters, snakes, giant ibis and turtles. On the way, you'll pass through rural villages where you can sample sugar palm candy as it is made. On the way back to town, visit the exquisite Banteay Srey (Citadel of the Women) and see its classical Khmer art carved into the pinkish sandstone. You might like to stop at the Landmine Museum which was set up in 1997 by the former child soldier Aki Ra. After lunch at Bong Thom homestay you will visit Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre. After dinner tonight you will visit Phare The Cambodian Circus whose performers come from vulnerable households. Like a Cambodian Cirque Du Soleil, its modern Khmer tales mix theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, and contortion.
                        Included Activities
                        • Siem Reap - Phare Cambodia Circus Ticket
                        • Angkor Butterfly Center Ticket
                        • Siem Reap - Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity
                          Optional Activities
                          • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
                          • Entry Chong Kneas (Tonle Sap Lake) - USD3
                          • Siem Reap - Walking tour to Artisan D'Angkor - Free
                          • Khmer Ceramics Fine Arts Siem Reap - USD20
                            Angkor Holiday Hotel (1 nt)
                            1 breakfast, 1 lunch
                            Day 15 Siem Reap
                            Today is a departure day and no activities have been planned. If you and your family are not 'templed out', perhaps explore some more of Angkor with your three-day temple pass. Your leader can help you arrange a remork or a car to take you out. If you have extra time, you might like to deepen your culinary knowledge with a Khmer Cooking Class, take a trip to the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake, indulge yourself with high tea at Raffles Hotel, or simply relax by the hotel pool.
                            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

                            These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.
                            Included activities
                            Hanoi - Water puppet show
                            Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
                            Hanoi - Temple of Literature
                            Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology
                            Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
                            Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
                            Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
                            Children Hope in Action visit
                            River cruise
                            Local Guide half day Phnom Penh
                            Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour
                            Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
                            Siem Reap - Phare Cambodia Circus Ticket
                            Angkor Butterfly Center Ticket
                            Siem Reap - Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity
                            Group size
                            Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
                            Your fellow travellers
                            You will travel in a group with other like-minded families who may have come from all over the world. We find that the kids of all ages usually bond really well and act as a catalyst for the rest of the group. If you are keen to know the ages of other children on the trip then please ask. 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.

                            Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. On our Family Adventures, single relatives or friends are welcome to travel along with a family. These single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip and in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Please note that 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 Comfort and Original style trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (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, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
                            Hotel (9nt)
                            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 your selected accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

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

                            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.

                            GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
                            Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.

                            Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.

                            Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

                            Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
                            Meals introduction
                            While travelling with us you'll experience a vast array of dishes, beverages, dining experiences, ingredients and produce.

                            To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, the trip price does not include all meals. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility – whether you wish to partake in budget, mid-range or high-end dining options. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. Generally, our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company, however there's no obligation to do this.

                            For travellers wanting to eat at a particular high profile and/or ‘fine dining’ restaurant, there will be specified free nights in certain locations where you can make your own restaurant reservations. It is recommended you make reservations for high profile and/or ‘fine dining’ restaurants well in advance of your departure, as there can be long lead times for booking in some instances.

                            Food is cheap in SE Asia and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in SE Asia the availability of certain specialized products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialized dietary items from home. You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home; high energy snacks are not readily available locally. For snacks and drinks during the rides, a kitty is normally arranged.
                            14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner
                            Money matters
                            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.

                            The official currency of Vietnam is Dong (VND).
                            US dollars are also accepted for some payments. It is almost impossible to change VND into US dollars without a flight ticket showing your onward destination.

                            Only change money at official money exchange counters with a clear sign showing this status. Illegal exchange places like gold shops may offer a higher rate you may risk losing your money.

                            Credit cards are becoming more widely accepted, but outside main centres you may find cash the only acceptable currency. It may be difficult to cash travellers’ cheques.

                            ATMs are widely available in major cities and tourist areas.

                            You can have funds transferred to Vietnam via international money transfer companies like Western Union or Moneygram.

                            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. Clean bills in small denominations are most useful. Notes should be 2006 series onwards. Torn, dirty or old notes, as well as the $2US note will be refused in most businesses Traveller's cheques can be difficult to change. Visa cash advances are available in major banks, and ATMs are are now available in most towns with most dispensing both KHR and US$. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels.

                            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).

                            If you are happy with the services providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is 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.

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

                            Restaurants: Please check the bill and if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
                            At local markets and basic restaurants: Leave the loose change.
                            Local guides/Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1 per person, per day for local guides/porters.
                            Your crew (including the leader and driver, and perhaps cook depending on your trip): You may also consider tipping your crew for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline US$2-3 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.

                            Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss 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.

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

                            All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

                            Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.

                            EMERGENCY FUNDS:
                            We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.
                            Group leader
                            All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, 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 countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

                            Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.
                            Joining point
                            Hong Ngoc Cochinchine Hotel
                            97 Nguyen Truong To St
                            VIET NAM
                            Phone: +84 437164143
                            Fax: +84 38285054
                            Joining point description
                            Located within walking distance to Hanoi's Old Quarter, the newly renovated Hong Ngoc 5 features 35 well appointed rooms, a restaurant serving buffet breakfast, bar and café, and lift. Room facilities include IDD phone, air conditioner, cable TV, mini bar, bathroom with bathtub, and natural daylight.
                            Joining point instructions
                            If you have pre-booked an airport transfer you will be met on as you exit the Customs Hall by a transfer representative holding a sign with The Family Adventure Company and 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 please proceed to the Information Counter, 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 taxi ranks are available outside the airport entrance. Go out of the customs hall and walk through the airport exit gates A4 and A5 on level 1, you will find Noi Bai Airport taxis (+84 4 3886 8888) readily available outside. Noi Bai Airport taxi drivers wear yellow uniform shirt. Taxi fare to your hotel in town will cost approx. US$18 (VND350000) in total. Please note these taxis are not on meter - but generally charge per trip. Please AVOID taxi touts who tell you that they have a metered taxi parked outside the airport.

                            Normal check in time at the hotel is after 13:00.
                            Finish point
                            Angkor Holiday Hotel
                            Corner of Sivutha Blvd. and the 6th National Road
                            Siem Reap
                            Phone: +855 63966777
                            Finish point description
                            Angkor Holiday Hotel offers convenient access to banks, healthcare, restaurants, bars, cafes, convenience stores and shops, and is located in Commercials & Business district.
                            The hotel features a restaurant, swimming pool, spa & massage and 24 hour room service. All rooms have air conditioning, TV, hair dryer and tea and coffee making facilities.
                            Finishing point instructions
                            A taxi from the hotel to the airport will cost about US$10 and takes about 20 minutes. This can be booked through the hotel reception.
                            A departure transfer is available on request. Please enquire at the time of booking for prices.

                            Check out time from the hotel is at 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel.

                            Emergency contact
                            In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Thailand Office can be reached on Tel: +66 898 103 722 (Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Borneo, Indonesia & Phillipines) and Tel: +855 92 555 969 (Cambodia). Intrepid's Vietnam Office can be reached on Tel: +84 903 117 770.

                            For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist. For further contact details please use the following page:

                            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.

                            vietnam ops: +84913942101
                            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.

                            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
                            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.
                            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:

                            WATER BOTTLE:
                            Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
                            Climate and seasonal information
                            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.

                            VISA UPDATE:
                            Effective from 1st July 2015 - 30 June 2016 exempt visa nationalities will also include British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Viet Nam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. 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).


                            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).

                            WET SEASON:
                            During the rainy months (approx. June to October), our mode of transport can be changed at short notice due to weather conditions.
                            Kids bellies are delicate and standards of hygiene you may experience while travelling in this region can be less than what you are accustomed to at home. There are a few simple precautions you can take that will keep the family travelling in good health.

                            DRINKING WATER:
                            Make sure you always travel with plenty of water so you do not risk dehydration.

                            With all the exotic tastes available it would be a shame to avoid this great experience of trying new foods for the first time- both kids and parents! In most cases food is fresh and tasty and perfectly fine to eat, however it can contain ingredients that you are not used to. Any change in diet (no matter where in the world you travel) can result in an upset stomach. Usually this is the only side-effect and it can last a few days. We don´t want you to miss out savouring new flavours, but be wary of what you choose to eat - especially what your kids eat.

                            Keep your hands clean- and the kids'. It is important to remember to do this before eating especially if you will be eating with your hands as may be the custom. Antiseptic wipes or antiseptic hand gel (which you can use without water) are fabulous inventions - made with travelling families in mind.

                            CONTACT WITH ANIMALS:
                            In new and exciting destinations we often come across different animals such as camels, donkeys and elephants. There are also a lot of stray cats and dogs in some destinations. Keep an eye on children in these situations as aggravated animals can bite and may transmit diseases including rabies.

                            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 Travel 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.
                            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.
                            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.

                            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:

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

                            * The Blue Dragon Children's Foundation works in northern and central Vietnam with the most vulnerable children: street kids, children with disabilities, children from rural families living in extreme poverty, and victims of human trafficking and slavery. Their primary aim is to rescue kids from danger, reunite them with their families when they can, and provide all the services needed for recovery and growth.

                            * Children's Hope in Action (CHIA) provides vital health and disability programs and educational services to vulnerable families in Hoi An and surrounding rural areas. CHIA’s holistic Special Education program facilitates the social, physical and intellectual development of children who have motor disabilities and little, or no intellectual impairment.

                            * The KOTO Saigon Training Centre provides training in life skills and hospitality to former street children. Trainees at the Saigon centre will go on to work at KOTO's restaurant in the city (to open in 2011). Travellers may also visit the KOTO restaurant in Hanoi, which also provides training opportunities for disadvantaged youth and great food.

                            For more information, or to make a donation please visit:

                            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.

                            * 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.

                            * 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.

                            Intrepid Travel also supports the following non-profit organisation:

                            * The Children's Surgical Centre in Phnom Penh provides free surgery and treatment to children. Intrepid is collecting children's spectacles which are reconfigured and fitted by professional ophthalmologists. If you can help, please bring children's spectacles and give them to your leader at the start of your trip.

                            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.