Encounter the cultural, natural and historic riches of Cambodia and Vietnam.

Be charmed by Cambodia and Vietnam on this 17-day adventure from picturesque Phnom Penh to the alluring Hanoi. From the temples of Angkor to the colonial-era architecture of Battambang and the devastating history of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is a country that emanates history at every turn. Jump over the border to Vietnam's fast-paced Ho Chi Minh City, wander the ancient Vietnamese streets of Hoi An and bask in the natural charm of Halong Bay. This South East Asian adventure abounds in insightful history, enchanting culture, charismatic cities and delectable cuisine, so why not try it out yourself.


Start
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Destinations
Cambodia, Vietnam
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
TKKVC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy a day out in the countryside near the French colonial town of Kampot, walking through rice fields, discovering a hidden cave temple, and relaxing on a sunset river cruise.

  • Marvel at the spectacle of the ancient Angkor complex with two full days dedicated to this wonder. See the site in depth, and take your own time to discover the beauty and mystery of each temple.

  • Learn about local cottage industries in and around historic Battambang, visiting local businesses from pottery and silversmithing to sticky rice and fish paste production.

  • Discover why Halong Bay is just so popular as you spend the night on a boat among the evocative karst landscape, indulging in a feast of fresh seafood at twilight.

  • Dine at the Friends restaurant in Phomn Penh and KOTO restaurant in Hanoi, to not only taste delicious local food but also support organisations that train and protect disadvantaged youth.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. You’ll visit a number of temples on this trip, which requires a certain level of modesty. Please bring clothes that cover the arms and pants/skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms, especially when it’s hot and sunny.

  • Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. Summer temperatures can be very high in Vietnam and Cambodia, which can make things uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.

  • There is some walking involved on this trip – not only around cities, but in exploring places such as the caves in Halong Bay and the temples of Angkor. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness. Also, be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • There is some driving involved, with some flights to maximise your time in each destination. There are some long travel days on rough and bumpy roads with delays due to weather and traffic often unavoidable. Plenty of patience with the pace will go a long way.

  • Visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels is an incredible experience of life for the Vietnamese during the war. Going inside the tunnels is optional, and can be a little claustrophobic for those who don’t like small spaces. If you do not wish to crawl through the tunnels, you can enjoy the site from above ground.

  • The stories and history shared at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are confronting and many travellers will find them upsetting. This is an important part of Cambodia’s recent history that we feel is important for travellers to know. If you would prefer not to join these activities your leader can recommend some optional alternatives for the day.

  • You will visit a number of temples on this trip, and this requires a level of modesty. Be sure to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Sua s'dei! Welcome to Phnom Penh. An airport arrival transfer to the hotel is included today. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. After this, enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers in the excellent Friends restaurant, a Phnom Penh institution (and noble social enterprise). If you arrive early today and have some free time, why not stop in at the art deco-designed Psar Thmei (Central Market) – a great place for browsing. Or stroll along the atmospheric Sisowath Quay and grab a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while watching the busy river traffic.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
Head south this morning along National Road 2. You'll pass through the town of Takeo and continue towards Kampot, one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns. Arrive in Kampot and enjoy an afternoon of free time. You might choose to stroll by the river and observe the French colonial architecture or relax on the veranda of one of the riverside restaurants and admire the view of the Bokor mountains. A massage at Seeing Hands is also highly recommended – surely one of the most enjoyable ways to support a great local cause.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Khmer massage - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day out in the countryside. Visit the Kampot Pepper Project and learn why Kampot pepper has been acknowledged by international chefs as the world’s best. Also visit the Kampot salt field, the only salt field in Cambodia. Take a short walk through the rice fields and climb to where some lovely views of the surrounding countryside are found. A few steps later you will enter the mouth of Phnom Chhnork limestone cave, which has a small 7th-century brick temple inside. Enjoy a walk along the beach at Kep, passing the old buildings near the ocean front. The town was Cambodia's most popular and prestigious beach town from the early 1900s until the 1960s. Sadly many of the mansions and villas didn't survive the reign of the Khmer Rouge, and their ghostly remains mark a dark history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Countryside tour
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye to the beach and take a different route back to Phnom Penh (approximately 4 hours). In the afternoon you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. These serve as sobering reminders of the violent rule of the Khmer Rouge. Here you can learn more about this confronting but important chapter in history. If you'd rather not visit these sites, simply let your leader know. This evening, with free time, you might opt for a relaxing sunset drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club – a great way to spend the night, overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private minibus through the countryside to Battambang (approximately 5 hours, not including stops). Along the way you will stop to see some local pottery and silversmithing at work. This gives a fascinating insight into small cottage industries in a lesser-visited spot in Cambodia. Arrive in Battambang (pronounced Battambong) and put your feet up after the journey. Perhaps take a stroll along the riverfront to soak up the elegant French vibes of the town. Some of the colonial architecture has been beautifully preserved, and there are friendly Khmer people abound.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Jump in a remork (Cambodian tuk-tuk) and travel through the beautiful surrounding countryside of Battambang. You will visit some small cottage industries that produce rice paper, dried banana, sticky rice cooked in bamboo, and aromatic fish paste (Cambodia’s equivalent of Vegemite or Marmite). In the afternoon, head to a heritage Khmer house, where you will be met by the owner and taken on a journey through Cambodian history. The village of Wat Kor is known for its historic stilted wooden houses, some of which pre-date French colonial times. The house’s large wooden floorboards are shiny from generations of feet walking across them. The owner’s small collection of antiques and agricultural tools paint a picture of Cambodia in the early 1900s. Later in the evening, head to Phnom Sampov and witness the strange phenomenon of the Battambang Bat Caves. For around half an hour each night, the caves come alive with a dense swarm of bats flying out for their night of hunting. Watch the bats fly off into the sunset with a drink in hand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Battambang - Countryside tour of local producers
  • Battambang - Phnom Sampov bat caves
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Phare Ponleu Selpak Centre - USD12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy some breakfast, check out of the hotel, then take a private boat to Siem Reap (approximately 5–6 hours). This classic journey follows the Sangker River downstream to the Tonle Sap – the largest lake in South East Asia. Along the way you'll see fishing villages, a scattering of fishermen and no doubt some local people living atop floating and stilted houses. The roof of the boat provides shade while open sides make for nice viewing as you float along (there's also a toilet on board). Arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to the famous Angkor complex, which is roughly 7 kilometres out of town. Relax before your temple-hopping begins tomorrow. You might like to hit the night markets for some cheap and delicious street food, or maybe indulge in a traditional massage.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Between April and August, when water levels are typically at their lowest, we are unable to travel by boat. Instead make today's journey by minibus. In this case, a boat trip to a riverside village is included, so that travellers don't miss out on the Tonle Sap experience.
Spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. The famous Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset. Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. Today for lunch you will visit the Sala Bai Hotel School, where disadvantaged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
The Sala Bai Hotel School is closed on public holidays and school holidays. On these days, an alternative restaurant will be visited.
An early morning start for those looking to catch the sunrise over the temples. On a clear morning this is a truly spectacular sight. After breakfast, travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple but has been sometimes referred to as the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art. Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle. Tonight, after dinner, you will visit Phare the Cambodian Circus. Coming from vulnerable households, the performers have gained international recognition through their art practice. Think a Cambodian Cirque Du Soleil, with modern Khmer tales mixing theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, and contortion.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Cambodia behind today with a transfer to the airport and a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Please note that you will be unescorted on this flight, but you will be met in the arrivals hall of the Tan Son Nhat International Airport by a local representative and transferred to your hotel. This evening you will gather together for another briefing with your Vietnamese tour leader, usually around 6 pm. This meeting is generally followed by an optional group meal out at one of Ho Chi Minh City's many fantastic eating spots. Tonight’s again all about introductions, so why not get to know your new travel crew over some delicious food and a beer.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a welcome meeting tonight to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet travellers joining you. It’s important that you attend the meeting as your new leader will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Start your tour of Ho Chi Minh City with a visit to the Reunification Palace. Formerly known as the Presidential Palace, it was the site of South Vietnam's surrender at the end of the war. Next, head over to the War Remnants Museum where you’ll see old military equipment including an F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter. Finally, you’ll tour the famous Cu Chi Tunnels. This former Viet Cong stronghold provides an insight into the resourcefulness and tenacity of the Vietnamese people, as well as underground life during the Vietnam War.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye to Ho Chi Minh City and fly to Danang (1 hour 30 minutes). From here you’ll make your way to My Khe Beach a beautiful spot which lies against a backdrop of the Marble Mountains. This location was significant for both the Americans and the Vietnamese during the war. After a visit to the Marble Mountains, continue to Hoi An where you’ll stay for the night (approximately 30 minutes by private minibus).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Danang - Marble Mountain
  • Danang - My Khe Beach
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your leader will take you on a walk around Hoi An’s Old Town today. The city was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and has various architectural influences from Europe, China and Vietnam. Today the city is being restored and looks exactly like it did over a century ago. The tour will take you to a historic house, the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum. The rest of the day is free for you to do some optional activities or soak up the ambience of the place. You may like to wander the street stalls selling paintings, woodwork, ceramics, lanterns and much more. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors who can make beautiful items to order within a few hours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD28
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike with Sunset BBQ Urban Adventure - USD51
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Vietnam’s charming capital of Hanoi (1 hour 30 minutes). You’ll be taken on a guided half-day tour of Hanoi, visiting major sites such as the Temple of Literature, One Pillar Pagoda and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh. The tour will also include lunch at the KOTO cafe, an amazing project which provides vocational training for disadvantaged young people. You’ll have some free time this afternoon. Hanoi is a strangely quiet city compared to its southern counterpart. Escape from the noise by visiting the various parks and lakes, or hire a bike and cycle around town for the best view of the city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's stilt house
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Water puppet show - VND100000
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Travel by private minibus to the famous Halong Bay (approximately 4 hours), one of Vietnam's most spectacular natural wonders. Once you arrive at the bay, you’ll take a long, slow cruise through the area, exploring the beautiful green waters and amazing limestone caves. You may also have the opportunity to go swimming from Ti Top Island beach. You’ll spend the night on the boat. The traditional junk-style boat has twin-share cabins with air-conditioning and private facilities. There's also a dining room and bar where you’ll enjoy all of your meals, including a lavish seafood buffet for lunch.
Accommodation
  • Overnight boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
It is recommended to pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay for ease of boarding and disembarking. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.

Kayaking and swimming is restricted to designated zones within the bay.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight, sometimes resulting in a shortage. To ensure all Intrepid travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, occasionally you will stay on a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) and share your boat with another group. Or your group may be split across different vessels, in which case an Intrepid group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same. The boat is not likely to be a traditional sailing junk, as many older or imported vessels do not comply with waterway traffic safety laws.
Head back to Hanoi by private minibus (approximately 4 hours). This afternoon take in a unique water puppet performance. This evening is free for you to explore this delightful city. Why not relax at a cafe or stop for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) at one of the microbars in the Old Quarter?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, you are free to leave at any time, as there are no activities planned today. If you would like to spend some more time in Hanoi, we’ll be happy to organise some additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

16 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Plane, Private minibus, remork (tuk tuk)

Accommodation

Hotel (15 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Countryside tour
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Battambang - Countryside tour of local producers
  • Battambang - Phnom Sampov bat caves
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
  • Ho Chi Minh City - City tour
  • Danang - Marble Mountain
  • Danang - My Khe Beach
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Hanoi - Koto Restaurant lunch
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's stilt house
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
  • Hanoi - Local water puppet performance

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
3. A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. Please note the single supplement excludes day 15 (overnight boat) where you will be in shared accommodation.

Essential trip information

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