Travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam for the ultimate South East Asian experience

From the cool calm of rural villages to the steaming chaos of thriving cities, experience the diversity of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Along the way, revel in the sheer beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the locals and the intriguing ancient traditions that give each country its unique flavour.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Destinations
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
TKRNC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy the guidance of a local expert as you temple-hop at the dazzling Angkor complex, one of South East Asia's premier sites

  • Your homestays in the rural village of Chambok and in the Da Bac region will give you the chance to experience life with the locals and enjoy some delicious home cooked meals!

  • Enjoy some beach time in Tuy Hoa

  • Hoi An is another idyllic pocket of Vietnam that's best experienced from the seat of a bike. Take a guided bicycle tour through the rolling countryside

  • Cat Ba Island is dotted with tiny beaches and verdant jungle, situated in karst-studded Lan Ha Bay

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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 more basic – a combination of simple hotels, guesthouses and homestays and overnight trains. Accommodation and amenities on the overnight trains, and also at the homestays are shared and basic, however the opportunity meet with the locals makes it all worthwhile.

  • 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.

  • Your visit to Hoi An includes a bicycle tour of the surrounding countryside. Although the ride isn’t strenuous, you will need a basic level of fitness to take part.

  • There is an included hike of up to 6km (3.7 mi) in the countryside in Da Bac. Good walking shoes are recommended. While this hike is in the capabilities of most travellers, please let you booking agent know if you have any concerns.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

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. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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 some Thai massage? There is plenty to keep you occupied is this exciting city.
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.
Prepare for a long day of travel as we cross Thailand and enter Cambodia. You’ll want to load up on snacks and reading material for the 10-hour private bus ride to Siem Reap. This travel time includes time spent at the border (exiting Thailand at Aranyaprathet and entering Cambodia at Poipet) and a stop for lunch. Your leader will 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. From Poipet, it’s about another 150 kilometres/93 miles to Siem Reap. Enjoy a free evening upon arrival. 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), the Bayon (a marvel of many sculpted decorations) and Ta Prohm (the eerily beautiful temples covered in jungle).
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
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, you can buy a longer pass. Just ask your leader.
Enjoy free time in Siem Reap today. 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 three-hour tour which allows you to taste the many flavours of the city and feel the buzz of the local markets.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake Boat Trip - USD15
  • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Tonle Sap Lake - USD10
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline - USD129
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD62
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-Out - USD52
  • Siem Reap - Street Food Tour - USD47
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
  • Kompong Cham - Wat Nokor - USD1
  • Kompong Cham - Bicycle hire - USD2
  • Kompong Cham - Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel about five hours by private bus into rural Cambodia to the village of Chambok. There's a lot of natural beauty to discover here, from waterfalls to swimming holes to bat caves nestled in the mountains. The Chambok community is renowned for its ecotourism. Tonight, you'll join a local family in their home – a wonderful opportunity to participate in everyday Cambodian life. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner. You'll also be treated to a traditional dance performance while you're here.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Facilities on this homestay are basic and multi-share. Mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets are provided.
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 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)
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. Perhaps browse for goodies at the covered market. The nearby countryside is also a delight to explore – amongst fields of Kampot pepper and rice, there’s also a salt field and a limestone cave with a small 7th-century brick temple inside called Phnom Chhnork. A traditional massage is also highly recommended.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private bus 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. A recommended option is to visit the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made of some 8000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields, the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng. Or learn about a brighter period of Cambodian history by 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 central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument and Royal Palace. Keen shoppers can hit the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choueng Ek - USD3
  • Phnom Penh - Transport to Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) - USD15
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21) - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy another free day to further explore This will be your last night in Cambodia before moving on to Vietnam tomorrow. If you're looking to indulge in some proper rest and relaxation, 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)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 7 hours). You will exit Cambodia at Bavet and enter Vietnam at Moc Bai. Your leader will again assist you with border crossing procedures. Get out and discover the 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. Equally essential are visits to Reunification Palace (the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975) and the War Remnants Museum. Some of Intrepid's Urban Adventures available in this city include Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience and Saigon Street Food by Night. If your staying longer in Ho Chi Minh City and you'd like to take one, your leader can help you book.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - VND110000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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. Enjoy a free day today. Some of Intrepid's Urban Adventures available in Ho Chi Minh City include Cu Chi Experience, Cyclos & Markets, and Saigon Street Food by Night. 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 on the evening of Day 12 to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure - USD43
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh Discovery Urban Adventure - USD53
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Make your way to the province of Ben Tre, where you’ll get on a boat to tour the canals of the Mekong Delta. This fertile area is famous for its abundance of fruit, flower and rice crops, and is known as ‘the rice bowl’ of Vietnam. During your boat ride you’ll visit some local cottage industries and then head to your local guesthouse. Staying in simple local accommodation close to the Delta and hosted by a Vietnamese family will be one of the highlights of your trip as you get a taste of the life of a local and enjoy a home cooked meal.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mekong Delta - Boat cruise and guesthouse
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
At the local guesthouse, you will be sleeping in multi-share rooms with bedding and mosquito nets provided. Bathroom facilities are basic and shared between the group, and our hosts.
Rising early to the sounds of the delta coming alive, we enjoy a simple breakfast before boarding our boat, and catching a bus back to Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy some free time in Ho Chi Minh City this afternoon, perhaps visit the War Remnants Museum or Reunification Palace. This evening, board an overnight train to Tuy Hoa. Conditions are basic on these trains and hygiene standards may be lower than what you’re used to at home, however overnight trains are the best way to brush shoulders with the locals and make the best use of your time. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers like to take some food for the journey.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND40000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND40000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There are shared hotel rooms available this afternoon between up to 6 members of the group, if you would like to freshen up or organise your luggage.
Sleeper trains typically have four or six berth compartments 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. Depending on the configuration of the group, you may have to share with people of different genders or passengers who aren’t part of the group.
Arrive in Tuy Hoa early this morning for two days by the beach. Though Tuy Hoa is much quieter than its southern neighbours, you'll still find the perfect spot of sand to lay down a towel and plenty of dining options. Check out the Eglise de Mang Lang and Da Dia Reef, or head south to the Mui Dien lighthouse for a nature fix.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are shared hotel rooms available again this morning. Our normal twin-share rooms will be available from the hotel check in time this afternoon, but you can store your luggage at the hotel while you explore Nha Trang.
Today is all yours! Soak up some more free time on the beach. Board an overnight train late in the evening, bound for Danang (approx. 8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Danang and travel by minibus for one hour to Hoi An. Hoi An was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is being beautifully restored. It was a major trading port with the west from the 17th century onwards. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago. Your leader will take you on a sightseeing walk through the Old Town and visit some of the city's major attractions. A sightseeing pass is included in your tour for you to visit a selection of the major sights as you wish. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca, so head down to the markets and street stalls to browse paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is famous for its tailors who can make beautiful items to order.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD28
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Go on a bike ride through the countryside near Hoi An. There's no better way to explore the peaceful area than by bike. You’ll see places few tourists get the chance to see among green rice paddies and small creeks. You’ll get a true insight into rural life in Vietnam.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle hire
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure - USD51
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Say goodbye to Hoi An this morning and make your way to Hue. The drive in our minibus will take about five hours, but along the way you’ll stop at My Khe Beach (China Beach) and the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. You’ll be travelling on the incredible Hai Van Pass, through lush mountains. Once in Hue, you’ll have a free afternoon to explore. Hue was once Vietnam’s Imperial capital and has a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil enclaves. Perhaps visit the Dong Ba Market, which sells everything imaginable and is a great place to spend some time.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hue - Imperial Citadel - VND150000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in Hue. Perhaps visit the Imperial Citadel which includes the Forbidden Purple City that was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam war. The gaping holes left by bombs give you an idea of how much destruction occurred in this country. Another optional activity is a dragon boat cruise along the Perfume River and then a visit to Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue. Here you’ll see an active Buddhist monastery dating back to 1601, and a car belonging to a monk who set himself alight in protest against the treatment of Buddhists. You may also like to visit one of the royal tombs, that of Emperor Tu Duc, with its central lake set amid a grove of frangipani and pine trees.

This afternoon take another overnight train bound for Hanoi. The journey will take approximately 12 hours.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hue - Countryside Bike Urban Adventure - USD25
  • Hue - Hue Royal Street Eat by Cyclo Urban Adventure - USD40
  • Hue - Royal tomb - VND136000
  • Hue - Perfume River cruise & Thien Mu Pagoda - VND220000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Hanoi at about 5am and transfer to your hotel. Today you’ll take a walking tour of Vietnam’s charming capital. Explore the 36 streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, including the Dong Xuan Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and the unique architecture nearby. Hanoi has a French provincial feel remaining from its colonial times, but it also has a Buddhist influence and striking modern buildings. The rest of the day is yours to explore Hanoi as you please.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD31
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
  • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Complex: Ho Chi Minh, Stilt House and Museum - VND80000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are shared hotel rooms available this morning prior to the standard check in time this afternoon.
After an early breakfast, leave Hanoi around 8am and make the drive to Sung village (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy lunch at the Sung village homestay before heading out on a 6-kilometre trek (3.7 mi) through this beautiful, practically untouched landscape of rivers, mountains and rice fields. We start at 500m and maintain around the same elevation for the first 4km of the trek. We descend over the last 2km to finish at around 120m. This trek can be quite slippery after or during rain, so we highly recommend suitable footwear. Our home stay hosts can provide bamboo trekking poles on request. At the end of the trek, take a boat to Da Bia village, home to the Muong ethnic group and where you’ll spend the night in a homestay.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Da Bac - Ba Dia Village Homestay and activities
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The homestay is shared accommodation, usually with the group in one room together. There are separate beds with clean linen, blankets and mosquito net provided. There is also a shared bathroom with hot shower.

Should Sung Village be inaccessible due to weather conditions, we will put an alternative itinerary in place visiting Mai Chau.
This morning is free to make the most of your lovely surrounds and just soak up the serenity of this place – or maybe use the time soak in the reservoir instead! This afternoon, return by bus back to Hanoi (approximately 4 hours). 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)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Rise and shine for the 7.30 am bus, stop for a quick break, then jump on the ferry. This morning of travel will deliver you to beautiful Cat Ba Island before midday.There's no time to waste, so begin exploring the picturesque waters around Cat Ba. You’ll board a boat and spend the rest of the day cruising the breathtaking Lan Ha Bay. Located in the greater Halong Bay area, Lan Ha Bay is one of Vietnam’s most scenic places, where limestone islands and caves rise from the emerald waters. Enjoy lunch on board, then get up close and personal with giant karsts in a kayak.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cat Ba Island - kayaking
  • Cat Ba Island - boat trip on Lan Ha Bay
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake up in paradise, maybe starting your morning with a refreshing swim. Make sure you soak up as much sun and sand as possible, because this afternoon it's back to Hanoi via ferry and bus. Tonight you can head out for an optional last dinner with your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for today and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time after check out.
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle Urban Adventure - USD88
  • Hanoi - Village Discovery by Bike Urban Adventure - USD33
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

Transport

Boat, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Taxi

Accommodation

Guesthouse (4 nights), Homestay (2 night), Hotel (16 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
  • Mekong Delta - Boat cruise and guesthouse
  • Hoi An - Old Town walking tour
  • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle hire
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Da Bac - Ba Dia Village Homestay and activities
  • Cat Ba Island - kayaking
  • Cat Ba Island - boat trip on Lan Ha Bay

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 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 on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. Please note the single supplement excludes days 6, 13 and 22 (homestays) and days 14, 16 and 20 (overnight trains) where you will be in shared accommodation. Day use rooms are also excluded.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Cambodia & Vietnam Experience trips score an average of 4.83 out of 5 based on 24 reviews in the last year.

Cambodia & Vietnam Experience, March 2018

Eric Barnes

Cambodia & Vietnam Experience, February 2018

Philip Maund