Discover the charming yet confounding kingdom of Cambodia on this authentic adventure

Prepare for a unique adventure loaded with ancient sights and breathtaking beauty as you travel from the hustle of Bangkok to the bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. Discover the laidback charm and easy smiles of the Cambodian people, call into the ancient temples at Angkor in Siem Reap, get a taste of Khmer hospitality with a village homestay in Chambok and reflect on Cambodia's tragic history at the sobering sites of Phnom Penh. With an expert guide bringing the history to life, and plenty of freedom to explore at your own pace – this eye-opening adventure is so much more than a transitional trip through one of South East Asia’s most captivating countries.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Destinations
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
TKRR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Begin in the bustling hub of Bangkok and get a taste of its excellent street food, enchanting canals, sprawling marketplaces and vibrant nightlife.

  • Let a local expert bring Cambodia’s ancient history to life as you temple-hop at the Angkor complex, one of South East Asia's most stunning attractions.

  • A homestay in Chambok puts you right in the heart of everyday village life in Cambodia, enjoy a delicious dinner cooked by the locals and be treated to a traditional dance.

  • Confront the sobering but important Khmer history in Phnom Penh, with included visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.

  • Wrap up your Cambodian journey in action-packed Ho Chi Minh City, the perfect starting point for an extended adventure through Vietnam.

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll be spending a night with a local family on this trip. While the accommodation is shared and basic, this is a great opportunity to connect with the local people (and enjoy delicious home-cooked meals). Read more about the experience here: intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodia-homestay-experience

  • This trip involves a lot of public transport and some long days of driving, so some patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment here. Sit back, relax, watch the scenery go by, and embrace travelling like a local.

  • Accommodation is basic – a combination of simple hotels, guesthouses and a homestay.

  • The stories shared at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and 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 options your leader will be able to suggest alternatives.

  • This being a Basix trip, there are less included activities and meals, and more free time for optional activities. While this gives you freedom and flexibility, it does require a level of independence.

  • 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
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you will meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. If you arrive before this important meeting, why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. There is plenty to keep you occupied in this exciting city. After the welcome meeting, why not head out with the group to try some of Bangkok’s famed street food – pad thai anyone?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho - THB200
  • Bangkok - Thai Massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
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.
Prepare for a long day of travel as you cross Thailand and enter Cambodia. You’ll want to load up on snacks and reading material for the 10-hour private minibus ride to Siem Reap. This travel time includes time spent at the border crossings and a stop for lunch, and don’t worry, your leader is on-hand to assist with the border procedures. Keep in mind, if you are planning on getting your visa at the border, you will need cash in US dollars and a passport photo. On arrival, enjoy a free evening to explore this small but bustling town. You may want to head to Pub Street to grab a bite to eat and sample the city’s nightlife, otherwise, rest up in preparation for tomorrow’s visit to Angkor Wat.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll visit the world-famous Angkor complex with your guide. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres; this is the biggest religious monument in the world. However, the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap, so you'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat (the astounding main attraction), Bayon (a marvel of many sculpted decorations) and Ta Prohm (the eerily beautiful temples covered in jungle). As visually stunning as these sites are, your guide will add to your experience by bringing their ancient history to life through their extensive knowledge and expertise.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - One day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass - USD62
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
A single-day Angkor Pass is included on this tour. If you'd like to return to Angkor outside of your included visit today, you can buy a longer pass. Just ask your leader in advance.
Enjoy a free day to explore Siem Reap and its surrounds. If you feel like some adventure, you can take the optional Angkor zip-line course, which gives you a birds-eye view of the rainforest, plus an adrenaline rush. Other options here include a visit to the sobering Landmine Museum – it's located a little further afield but is well worth the journey. There is also the ‘Siem Reap Street Food by Night’ Urban Adventure, a 3-hour tour which allows you to taste the many flavours of the city and feel the buzz of the local markets. If you purchased a longer Angkor Pass, then you might opt to travel further afield to visit more of the incredible sites within the complex, or get up early and experience the world-famous sunrise at Angkor Wat.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline Silver Tour - USD129
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Full day remork transport to Angkor complex - USD20
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-out - USD52
  • Siem Reap - Rehash Trash Recycling Workshop - USD8
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventures Tonle Sap Secrets - USD45
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Street Food by Night - USD48
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by public bus to Kampong Cham (approximately 5 hours). This peaceful town was once an important trading hub and is now a great opportunity to experience life in small-town Cambodia. A great option here is to visit the serene 11th-century Wat Nokor. You can also hire a bicycle to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, which is linked to Kampong Cham by an elaborate bamboo bridge (it's passable only in the dry season, take a ferry in the wet). The locals here make their living fishing, growing tobacco and sesame so it's a good place to go for a closer look at some of Cambodia's cottage industries. A little further afield are the twin 'mountain temples' of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kampong Cham - Wat Nokor - USD1
  • Kampong Cham - Bicycle hire - USD2
  • Kampong Cham - Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private vehicle (approx. 5 hours) into rural Cambodia to the region of Kampong Speu and the village of Chambok. There's a lot of natural beauty to discover here, and the Chambok community is renowned for its ecotourism. A member of the Chambok community will take you on a village walk and be happy to chat about their community’s history, lifestyle and local ecotourism projects. Meet the families your group will spend the night with and settle into your homestay accommodation. You may like to trek to a stunning waterfall this afternoon, it’s a 60-90-minute trek and access is weather dependant. In the evening, head to the community centre to enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner prepared by people from the community. You'll also be treated to a traditional dance performance.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chambok - Traditional dancing
  • Chambok - Homestay and activities
Optional Activities
  • Chambok - Waterfall hike - USD3
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 a cold water washing area.
Take a private bus to Kampot (about 3 hours), one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns. Famous for its pepper, Kampot supplied most French restaurants with this vital spice for many years during colonial rule. Today, the region is more renowned for its plantations of durian, a spiky, pungent fruit that incites either adoration or sheer loathing – try it if you dare! In your free time, you might choose to stroll along the riverside and observe the French colonial architecture, or have a cup of coffee on the veranda of one of the riverside restaurants and admire the view of Bokor Mountain Range.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in this chilled-out town. For a unique photo opportunity, head to the roundabout in the centre of the town, where a giant durian statue sits smack in the middle and perhaps browse for goodies at the covered market. The nearby countryside is also a delight to explore – among fields of Kampot pepper and rice, there’s also a salt field and a limestone cave with a small seventh-century brick temple inside called Phnom Chhnork. Otherwise, why not have a relaxing day and enjoy one of the highly recommended traditional massages.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private vehicle to the capital city of Phnom Penh (about 4 hours). Cambodia's capital is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture. Perhaps spend your free afternoon visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Wat Phnom, shrouded in myth, is equally worth a visit, as is the National Museum with its excellent Khmer collection. Cyclo tours around the city are a great alternative to walking and generally include the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market), US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong riverfront, Independence Monument and Royal Palace.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Urban Adventure Mekong Sunset - USD65
  • Phnom Penh - Urban Adventure Phnom Penh Street Food by Night - USD47
  • Phnom Penh - Futures Factory cocktail class - USD20
  • Phnom Penh - Khmer massage - USD8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of two sites which tell the story of the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21), a former school which served as a torture centre and it's estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. You’ll also head out to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, where a stupa made up of some 8000 human skulls marks the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng, standing in this peaceful setting it's almost unthinkable to imagine that to date, nearly 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area.

The afternoon is free for you to explore further. If you're looking to relax, the Seeing Hands massage parlours are some of the best in the city, and all patronage supports the visually impaired masseurs whose years of expertise may be just what you need today.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
The stories and history shared at the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) 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. Some further information on visiting these sites can be found here: intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-killing-fields
Travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 10 hours including border crossings and lunch). Your leader will again assist you with border crossing procedures. Get out and discover Ho Chi Minh City's blend of old and new, east and west, when you arrive. Be sure to sample a baguette or some of the excellent coffee on offer – both markers of the city's strong French influence.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
For your final day, there are no activities. If you're staying longer, you might want to go on one of the Urban Adventures offered: Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience, or Saigon Street Food by Night. Your leader can help you book the tour of your choice.
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - VND110000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure - USD43
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Discovery Urban Adventure - VND59
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cyclos & Markets Urban Adventure - USD41
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Saigon Street Food by Night Urban Adventure - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

2 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Private minibus, Public bus

Accommodation

Guesthouse (3 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Siem Reap - One day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Chambok - Traditional dancing
  • Chambok - Homestay and activities
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choeung Ek

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Important notes

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 6 (homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.

Essential trip information

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