Map of Epic Vietnam to Cambodia including Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam

A 22-day odyssey through Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand. Markets, all the street food, beaches, temples, snorkelling, more food, sites, homestays, really, really freaking amazing temples, fish pedicures, long-tail boat rides, more food. It's 22-days of full-throttle South East Asian travel with awesome adventure and a cool crew to keep you company.

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Destinations
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
TVYSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • A little touch of France here, a little bit of China there – and all in Vietnam! Chill out in the cultural mixed bag of Hoi An. Hit up the local beach, cycle through rice paddies or get some sweet threads tailor-made.

  • Who'd have thought green seas and giant mossy rocks could be so pretty? Cruising on Lan Ha Bay is bliss.

  • A homestay in Chambok puts you right in the heart of everyday village life in Cambodia.

  • Is Angkor the most incredible thing in South East Asia? Decide for yourself as you temple-hop with an expert local guide around the entire archaeological complex.

  • Cut loose in Bangkok, a frenetic wonderland of delicious street food and tuk-tuks, and the ideal launching pad for further travel in Thailand.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip is for travellers who appreciate a bit of independence. You'll get plenty of free time in each location to make your own choices, do your own activities and eat where you like. Your leader is always there to give you tips and suggestions.

  • We cover a lot of distance on this trip, including on overnight trains. You'll also be spending a night with a local family. Accommodation and amenities are shared and basic, but the experience of rubbing shoulders with the locals makes it all worthwhile. For more about what the overnight train experience is like, see our blog post here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/what-to-expect-on-an-overnight.

  • Vietnamese roads can be hectic and intimidating to cross. Never fear – your leader will show you how to do it like a local in Hanoi's Old Quarter.

  • Temperatures and humidity can be high, especially when walking around sights like the Angkor complex where there may be little shade. Be prepared by taking plenty of drink breaks and wearing appropriate skin protection. Some travellers find an umbrella handy to keep the sun off (this will also come in handy should it rain!).

Itinerary

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. This adventure kicks off with a group meeting at 6 pm. Get to know your leader and your group mates and see who’s up for grabbing some food and a fresh bia hoi at a roadside stall and watching the motorbikes zoom by tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex - VND80000
  • Hanoi - Street Food Experience Urban Adventure - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
You do you in Hanoi today. The day is yours to explore however you’d like. Check out your reflection in beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, wander along shaded boulevards or relax in a public park with some delicious street food (spring rolls inside rice paper rolls, anyone?). Museum-wise, you could visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serene Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Street Food Experience Urban Adventure - USD35
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex - VND80000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by bus and ferry (approximately 3.5 hours) to Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay. With thousands of little limestone islands scattered around, this area is one of those quintessential Vietnamese scenes in which bright green water is dotted with traditional junk boats and limestone karsts. Take a cruise around Lan Ha Bay and enjoy a seafood lunch prepared by your on-board chef. Hop off the boat to get up close and personal with this other-worldly landscape by kayak.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cat Ba Island - Boat trip on Lan Ha Bay
  • Cat Ba Island - Kayaking
Meals Included
  • Lunch
This morning, ferry back to the mainland and head to Ninh Binh province, once the site of Vietnam’s capital which is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hoa Lu was the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries. Join a local guide on a cycling tour to visit the ancient citadel. This once covered 300 hectares of land, however the passage of time has left few remains of this once glorious capital. You’ll pay a visit to the 17th century temples built in honour of King Dinh and King Le among other temples, pagodas, monuments and lush grounds surrounded by mountains.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoa Lu - Temple of King Dinh and King Le
  • Ninh Binh - Bike Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The day is yours to explore the many other wonders of Ninh Binh. You might choose to lace up your hikers to trek to the incredible Mua Cave. While the cave sits at the base of a mountain, be sure to make the trek up the 500 steps to the mountain peak for amazing views of Hoa Lu and Ngo Dong River. Or maybe get out on the water and take a boat tour past limestone karst peaks, caves, temples and maybe even the locations of scenes from a King Kong movie. Tonight, board an overnight train to Hue (approximately 13 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ninh Binh - Mua Cave Hike (entrance fee and taxi) - USD12
  • Ninh Binh - Trang An Boat Trip (entrance fee, boat, taxi) - USD21
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Arrive by train in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You have today free to do as you please. You can easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace that's enclosed within it. Perhaps jump on board a dragon boat and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu Pagoda. You could also check out Dong Ba Market, which offers locally made goods, fresh produce and some tasty street food. This is a good place to try the dishes that Emperor Nguyen used to feast on: the banh khoai royal rice. If you like being on two wheels then maybe cycle out to one of the royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (one of the most excellent remaining examples of its kind). Tonight, head into the home of a local family and enjoy a prepared dinner. You’ll be chatting and laughing over your chopsticks in no time!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hue - Home cooked dinner
Optional Activities
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike (without lunch) - USD23
  • Hue - Highlights & back streets by motorbike (with lunch) - USD28
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda - VND220000
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Continue along the coast to Hoi An by private bus (approximately 3 hours). Once in Hoi An, your leader will take you on a walking tour of this unique town which has been influenced over the years by Europe, China, Vietnam and Japan. The town was a major trading port from the 17th century onwards, and its old-school flavour is written all over its architecture. For a small town, it's pretty lively in places. In others, it's chilled out. The tour will take you down the streets that are being restored and look a lot like they did 100 years ago or more. You'll check out a historic house (formerly home to a prominent trader), the Japanese Covered Bridge, a Chinese assembly hall and a museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD37
  • Hoi An - Cooking class - USD28
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Start the day by cycling through the beautiful surrounds of Hoi An to the organic vegetable and herb gardens of a local chef. See, smell and taste what makes Vietnamese food so delicious. After a tour of the gardens, enjoy a freshly prepared lunch using some of the ingredients you picked during your tour. Much of the food waste here is composted, recycled or reused. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own explorations. Maybe wander to the Central Market and browse the paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is also famous for its talented tailors, so if you’ve been wearing the same shirt every day (who hasn’t), why not hit one of the same-day tailors and get yourself something new? Or, if you're still feeling adventurous, hire a bicycle and tour the surrounding countryside, or take a ride to the coastline for an afternoon on the South China Sea – this is one of the best ways to travel in and out of town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Garden-to-Table with A Local Chef
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Cooking class - USD28
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD37
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Special Information
You’ll get the chance to help collect ingredients for today’s lunch. Please advise your booking agent of any dietary requirements to ensure this can be requested in advance.
Lucky you, it's another free morning in this historic haven. You could take a trip out to the My Son temples (World Heritage-listed beauties that reflect the rich cultural traditions of the Cham civilisation), join a cooking class or take the stairs or the escalator up the Marble Mountains to explore the many pagodas, tunnels, caves and shrines. Afterwards begin your overnight train journey to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 16 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Cooking class - USD28
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham tour (entrance fee, guide and transport included) - USD35
  • Hoi An - Food Adventure Urban Adventure - USD37
  • Danang - Marble Mountain - VND40000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City very early (approximately 5:45 am) and transfer to your hotel, then leave your gear in a day room at the hotel. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is a whirl of sights and sounds. You can still see the French influence in the top-notch baguettes and coffee on offer. Compared to the north, the food here is spicier, sweeter and more varied. Perhaps take advantage of the early morning by checking out the markets and tucking into a bowl of pho with the local traders. Your leader will let you know the best places to check out during your free time. Well worth the visit are the Reunification Palace and War Remnants Museum. Included for today is a visit to a local market, where you can browse the exotic street foods and maybe take the chance to try some. Then finish the visit by sitting down to try the iconic Saigon café sua da (iced coffee with condensed milk) amid the market’s everyday bustle as your leader shares stories about life in Ho Chi Minh City. Tonight, why not get your group together for a meal and some drinks on Pham Ngu Lao Street?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Local Market Visit
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Local Coffee Experience
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are shared day use hotel rooms available on arrival into Ho Chi Minh. There is one room provided between up to 6 members of the group. Single supplements do not apply to day use rooms.
Today you may be required to move to a different hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, for the next section of your trip. Your leader will let you know if this is the case, and will help with the transfer to the next hotel. You will have a free day today for many optional activities. The Cu Chi Tunnels are an extremely interesting day trip nearby – ask your leader about how to book. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome, as ever, to attend.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, travel to Phnom Penh by public bus (approximately 10 hours), which includes two border crossings and a stop for your own lunch. Your guide will assist with formalities at both sides of the border. After your long bus ride to Phnom Penh, why not treat yourself to a traditional Khmer massage? Look no further than Seeing Hands, a great cause supporting visually impaired masseurs.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Khmer massage - USD8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, wake up and enjoy an authentic local breakfast near one of the markets. Afterwards, the group will head to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek on an included visit – both very sobering but important and informative experiences in Cambodia. Afterwards, you may like to explore some other Phnom Penh sights in your own time, like the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, which both offer brighter aspects of Cambodia's past. You might also head for the National Museum or Wat Phnom – a Buddhist temple built in 1372. Later on, if your riels are burning a hole in your pocket, look no further than the Central or Russian markets, both great places to interact with the locals. In the evening, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the start of your journey in Cambodia at a rooftop bar with views over the junction between the Tonle Sap and the Mekong.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Rooftop Drinks and Snacks
  • Phnom Penh - Local Breakfast
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The stories shared at 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 to share, however if you would prefer not to join in these tours, please let your leader know.
This morning, it’s time to head south. Take a private vehicle to the township of Kampot, approximately 3.5 hours from Phnom Penh. Once arrived and settled in, time to look around. Take a heritage walk with your group around the city, and discover the architecture of this quaint town, all from the French Colonial era. You’ll have the opportunity to learn a little of the history of Kampot, plus find some places you’d like to check out on your free day tomorrow! Afterwards, capture a spectacular sunset from the water as you embark on a cruise on the Kampot River. Keep your eyes peeled when the sun goes down, as fireflies may begin to swarm and flicker in the night sky – such a cool sight to see!
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise
  • Kampot - Heritage walking tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Good morning Kampot! Life is laidback here, and with your full day of freedom, you can do what you want. Kampot is far less overwhelming or touristy than the big cities of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and has some great restaurants and bars along the river to chill out in during the day. It also acts as a good base for some of the best activities in southern Cambodia. There are several options available for you to take up, including a hike in the thickets of Kep National Park, followed by a visit to the veranda restaurant for panoramic scenery, and hopefully a colourful sunset! Otherwise, take a day trip to Rabbit Island for a beach day, or head to a pepper plantation in Kep Province on the mainland. You’re living on Kampot time now, so take your time and see the Cambodia past all the temples.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Khmer massage - USD5
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private vehicle (approximately 3 hours) into countryside Cambodia to Chambok: a village in the region of Kampong Speu. Chambok is very close to the beautiful Kirirom National Park and the serenity and peace of the jungle is also felt in town. A homestay tonight is your chance to really immerse yourself in everyday life with the locals. You and your group will have the option to trek to an awesome 40-metre waterfall nearby. lt is a 60 to 90 minute trek and access is weather dependant. At night, feast on a traditional Khmer dinner, prepared by the talented women of the community, and enjoy a celebration of traditional dancing.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chambok - Traditional dancing
  • Chambok - Waterfall hike
  • Chambok - Homestay and activities
  • Chambok - Khmer Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
We stay in one room in multishare homestay accommodation. Depending on the group size, we may use two homes that are located close to each other. There will be a thin mattress on the floor, pillow, mosquito net and towel for each traveller. Bathroom facilities will be shared and will often consist of a squat toilet and cold water washing area.
Kampong Cham in a nutshell is frontier charm with French-colonial character. Take a private vehicle there (4.5–5 hours) and soak it all up. Included today is bicycle hire to explore the surrounds, and potentially ride across to the island of Koh Pen (weather permitting). Your group leader will also take you to the 11th-century Wat Nokor temple – one of the lesser-known ‘wats’ in Cambodia. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, a little further away are the twin mountain temples of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei which, as well as being fascinating sites of religious, historic and spiritual significance, are more than worthy of a picture or two.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampong Cham – Wat Nokor, Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei
  • Kampong Cham – Bicycle hire
Optional Activities
  • Kampong Cham - Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
In the event of limited bike availability in Kampong Cham, tuk-tuks will be arranged as the alternative transport for your exploration.
Take a public bus to Siem Reap (approximately 5 hours). Your leader will take you on an orientation walk to get your bearings of the town. Afterwards, you might want to hit the markets or head to a restaurant for some cheap and tasty street food, like some lort cha (fried egg noodles) or chive cakes, then get some rest and relaxation before tomorrow's visit to the crowd favourite: Angkor Wat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Get your camera ready, strap on your walking boots and get ready: it’s temple time. The Angkor complex is arguably South East Asia's biggest highlight. This area has been made famous by films such as Tomb Raider, but more importantly has a deep history spanning six centuries from around AD800 as the site of different capitals of the Khmer Empire. The obvious attraction is the world-renowned Angkor Wat, which is every bit as amazing as everyone says it is, especially at sunrise and sunset. As a group, you'll have a guided tour of the whole site, and depending on the weather and the group’s desires, your leader can tailor the time of day and the parts of the complex you’ll see. There’s also plenty of time to visit the other monuments of this sprawling complex, like the giant carved faces of Bayon and the peculiar Ta Prohm – a temple being swallowed by the grip of tentacle-like tree roots.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - One day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Kick back in Siem Reap and wander around town, visiting its markets, shops and restaurants. Depending on the season, you might like to visit Tonle Sap, the big freshwater lake, for a glimpse of local life. Adventure-seekers and adrenaline-junkies can do the Angkor zip-line course that will have you soaring like an eagle over the lush rainforest. For even more bragging material, you can learn the tricks of the trade in a Khmer cooking class. And if you just can't stay away from Angkor, longer passes than the standard one-day option are available. Ask your leader for more information as they can hook you up with a good deal. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Full day remork transport to Angkor complex - USD20
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass - USD62
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket - USD18
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline Silver Tour - USD129
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Goodbye Cambodia, hello Thailand. Drive from Siem Reap to Bangkok in a private minivan (approximately 10 hours, including a border crossing and lunch stop). Again, your leader will assist with the border crossing formalities. If you expect a soothing and charming day, think again – it's go, go, go in Thailand's frenetic capital, but that’s all part of the fun. The khlongs (canals) are a great way to escape from all the chaos – maybe take a boat to the popular Chinatown for a delicious street food dinner. A traditional Thai massage may also be a good option to relax into the evening. Bangkok has some great nightlife and rooftop bars, so be sure to stake out a place with your travel buddies and watch day turn to night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you prefer not to travel by bus for the day, you are welcome to book a flight between the two cities instead. This flight will be at your own expense, however Intrepid can assist with Airport transfers where required.

Due to strict immigration laws your Cambodian trip leader will escort you to the Cambodian side of the border where you will say farewell before going through immigration unaccompanied. Once exiting immigration you will be met by one of our Thai trip leaders who will escort you to Bangkok. All of our trip leaders have been briefed to ensure this is a simple and smooth process.
With no more activities planned, you're free to depart at any time. Bangkok is full of things to do, including the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or the very cool Jim Thompson museum. If you wish to spend more time in Bangkok, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB2500
  • Bangkok - Bangkok Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2900
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Sights and Bites Urban Adventure - THB1960
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat canal tour - THB900
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB200
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho - THB200
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Overnight sleeper train, Private minibus

Accommodation

Hotel (13 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights), Guesthouse (4 nights), Homestay (1 night)

Included activities

  • Cat Ba Island - Boat trip on Lan Ha Bay
  • Cat Ba Island - Kayaking
  • Hoa Lu - Temple of King Dinh and King Le
  • Ninh Binh - Bike Tour
  • Hue - Home cooked dinner
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Hoi An - Garden-to-Table with A Local Chef
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Local Market Visit
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Local Coffee Experience
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Rooftop Drinks and Snacks
  • Phnom Penh - Local Breakfast
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise
  • Kampot - Heritage walking tour
  • Chambok - Traditional dancing
  • Chambok - Waterfall hike
  • Chambok - Homestay and activities
  • Chambok - Khmer Dinner
  • Kampong Cham – Wat Nokor, Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei
  • Kampong Cham – Bicycle hire
  • Siem Reap - One day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Epic Vietnam to Cambodia trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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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 train 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 single supplement is available if you'd prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 3, 7 & 9 (overnight trains) and Day 16 (homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

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