South East Asia is a feast for all the senses.
Pique your interests and satisfy your appetite with a fast-paced and far-flung adventure through the heart of Vietnam and Cambodia. Spend 18 days traversing the diverse South East Asian countryside, through local villages, past stunning coastline and into bustling cities. Beginning in the manic capital of Thailand, Bangkok, you’ll focus your attention on memorable experiences, the local people, and, of course, the delicious cuisine, all the way to Hanoi in Vietnam’s north. An Angkor temple tour here, a Mekong Delta homestay there, and plenty of time to forge your own path – what’s not to love about this fascinating part of the world?
As well as a guided tour, you’ll also have a three-day Angkor pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap, so that you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.
Discover the temple ruins at Sambor Prei Kuk and enjoy a local village homestay to experience everyday life in rural Cambodia.
Learn the confronting yet important history of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh.
Spend an unforgettable night on a boat in Halong Bay, one of Vietnam’s most remarkable natural wonders, and visit a centre dedicated to turning the bay’s discarded trash into beautiful, handcrafted items.
Sample local food wherever you go – from a seafood dinner on Halong Bay, a meal at a Buddhist monastery, coconut candy in the Mekong Delta, and dinner at KOTO restaurant, you won’t go hungry!
Visit some of the must-see sights with your small group on walking tours in Hoi An and the Temple of Literature in Hanoi, as well as plenty of free time to make your own local discoveries.
Some travellers find the pace of this trip quite fast as you cover a lot of destinations in a short amount of time. If you would like a more relaxed pace with more time to explore, you might like to consider a longer trip, or additional days at the start and finish points.
You’ll cover a lot of distance on this trip, including on overnight trains. Accommodation and amenities are shared and basic, but the experience of rubbing shoulders with the locals makes it all worthwhile. For more about what this experience is like, see our blog post here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight
There are also some long travel days by both private and public transport (up to 10 hours on the road), including the day that we cross from Thailand to Cambodia. Your leader and local guides will assist with the border crossings, but plenty of patience is advised
The homestay and local experiences are a wonderful opportunity to witness every day rural life. Facilities are simple and multi-share but comfortable, with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets all provided. Some travellers are nervous about the homestay experience before they arrive, but we find most end up naming this as a highlight of their time in South East Asia and a rewarding, authentic experience. While the accommodation is shared and basic, this is a great opportunity to connect with the local people and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals! Other accommodation is in no frills, simple guesthouses and hotels, perfect for travellers on a budget. On occasion our accommodation may not have hot water, but you will probably be keen to cool down from the heat with a refreshing cold shower!
Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be very high in South East Asia, which can make things uncomfortable. Depending on where you come from, the weather in Vietnam and Cambodia might be hotter and more humid than what you are used to. We recommend checking online for what the typical temperatures will be at the time you're looking to travel. It’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat, and drink plenty of water.
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.
The sightseeing tour by motorbike in Hue is great fun with bikes driven safely by professionals (and helmets provided), but alternative transport can be arranged for those who would prefer not to travel by motorbike.
If you would prefer a similar itinerary in the reverse direction and with only hotel accommodation, why not check out our Best of Vietnam & Cambodia trip – see trip code ‘TVSKC’ on the Intrepid website for more information.
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.
1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude Day 6 (Homestay) and Day 14 (Sleeper Train) and Day 16 (Overnight Boat) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
Rooms booked only for day use are also excluded.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train and flight tickets. 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 new tickets.
3. This trip includes a domestic flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum of 20 kilograms, plus up to 7 kilograms carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check-in.