Days
26
Price from
€1,495EUR

This trip has it all. Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, beaches in Sihanoukville, history in Phnom Penh, and pho in Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hanoi…

Never heard of Indochina? Don't stress. You'll come for Angkor Wat, but you'll stay for the pho/amok/spring rolls (we could go on).

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
On the 13th of October 2016 the Thai Government announced the passing of his majesty, the King of Thailand. Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej a 1 year mourning period has been declared in Thailand. In the first 30 days all government offices will fly the Thai flag at half-mast and there will likely be restrictions on the opening hours or selling of alcohol at entertainment venues including pubs and clubs. I. As this is an emotional time for Thailand and its people we ask that our travellers wear dark coloured clothing over the next 30 days as a mark of respect to the much loved King.


Start
Bangkok, Thailand
Finish
Hanoi, Vietnam
Countries
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Code
GTMM
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
13 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 39
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Spend a whole day at the biggest (and one of the most awesome) religious monuments in the world

  • Get some quality time with the locals in Cambodia and Vietnam during your homestays in each country. It's these experiences that'll stick with you for years to come

  • Soak up the rays during your beach time at the beautiful towns of Sihanoukville and Nha Trang

  • Get a better look at Hoi An than other travellers - from the seat of a bicycle

  • Spend a stunning afternoon floating on Halong Bay. There's nothing quite like cruising on these blue-green waters 

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes three overnight train journeys, each one taking up to 12 hours. You'll be sharing the cabin with three to five other people and sharing amenities with the carriage. Although the rides are long and the conditions basic, this is an awesome way to see Vietnam and travel alongside the locals

  • The trip also involves a few long days of travelling on public transport, which isn’t the most comfortable option, but definitely the most adventurous.

  • You’ll have two nights in homestays with basic accommodation, sharing with several others in a dorm-style arrangement, and shared amenities with cold water only. The accommodation may be simple, but chilling with the locals and feasting on home-cooked food sure as chips makes up for it

  • 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

  • Your adventure in Hoi An involves jumping on a bicycle to ride around the lovely countryside. If you don’t feel up to a bit of exercise, then consider doing a different trip

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - 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?
You may wish to take the opportunity to join one of the following Urban Adventure in your free time.
    Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok by Bike - THB1500
    Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
    Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Temple & River of Kings - THB2200
    Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Tuk Tuk city tour - THB1400
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple - THB200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
A long travel day awaits us today. It's a long drive from Bangkok to Siem Reap (approx. 10 hours/450 km total by private bus, including border crossing and lunch). We exit Thailand at Aranyaprathet and enter Cambodia at Poipet. Your tour leader will help you with border crossing procedures. If you are getting your visa at the border you will need USD cash. From Poipet to Siem Reap is around another 150 km.
The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travellers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. The markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.
Relax in town this evening in anticipation of visiting Angkor tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Angkor complex - USD20
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD62
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We visit the world-famous Angkor complex with our guide. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day - watching a sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 sq km, but 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 Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.
A 1 Day Angkor Pass is included on this tour. If you would like to return to Angkor outside of our included tour, you can purchase a longer pass through your tour leader.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day for you to experience Siem Reap in your own way. If you feel like some adventure another option is to do the "Flight of the Gibbon" zip-line course, giving you a birds eye view of the rain forest with extra adrenalin rush thrown in!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by public bus to Kompong Cham (approx 5 hours/300 km)
This peaceful town was once an important trading hub and is now a great opportunity to experience life in small-town Cambodia.
Options here include:
Explore the serene 11th-century Wat Nokor.
Hire a bike to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, linked to Kompong Cham by an elaborate bamboo bridge (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.
Catch a public bus to the capital city of Phnom Penh (approx 3 hrs/175 km).
Phnom Penh, 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.

There's lots of activities to chose from here including:
Head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng and standing in this peaceful setting it's almost unthinkable to imagine that to date nearly 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area.
Learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
Explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named. According to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill.
Check out the National Museum. Housed in a beautiful traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship.
Take in the sites by cyclo. Tours generally take in the following: central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument, finishing at the Royal Palace.
If you're in the mood for shopping, stop in at the art deco-designed Psar Thmei (Central Market) which is a great place for browsing, or travel out to Psar Tuol Tom Pong (the Russian Market) for the best range of local souvenirs.
Urban Adventures on offer in Phnom Penh include Phnom Penh's Past, Phnom Penh Secrets & Mekong Sunset. Your leader can help you make bookings if you are interested.
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 - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21) - USD3
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private bus into rural Cambodia (approx 3 hrs/70 km) to the region of Kampong Speu and village of Chambok, the location of our homestay for the night.

Our homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Cambodian life and in the evening we enjoy a traditional-style dinner. Facilities are basic and multishare with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets all provided.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
Meals Included
  • Dinner
A private bus takes us to Sihanoukville (approx 4 hrs/250 km).
Named for the Cambodian royal family, Sihanoukville has miles of beaches and warm, welcoming people.
Some of the things you might like to try here are:
Take a boat to one of the nearby islands, where you're free to enjoy a barbecue lunch and relax among swaying palms, white sands and blue waters.
Make a trip out to the Ream National Park - 21 hectares of coastal mangrove forest, which hosts a great variety of animal and bird species.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Sihanoukville - Ream National Park entry fee - USD5
  • Sihanoukville - Island Boat Trip & Snorkelling - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)
Take a local bus back to Phnom Penh (approx 4 hrs/250 km).
We have our last night in Cambodia here before moving on to Vietnam tomorrow.
Why not indulge in a traditional massage at the Seeing Hands Massage parlours - they are some of the best in the city and your patronage supports the visually impaired masseurs, whose years of training are sure to work wonders on muscle aches and pains.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (approx 7 hours/280 km). We exit Cambodia at Bavet and enter Vietnam at Moc Bai. Your leader will assist you with border crossing procedures.

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterised by a vast array of sights and sounds, and is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. The huge number of people rushing about their daily lives in Vietnam's largest city gives it a dynamic atmosphere and the French influence is evident in the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer. Much of city life takes place on the busy streets lined with shops, stalls and vendors, who have their wares spread out on the footpath and sell everything from soup to sophisticated electronics.
If you have extra time in Ho Chi Minh City after this trip, ensure you make a visit to the Reunification Palace - formerly known as the Presidential Palace, it was the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975, and the War Remnants Museum - originally opened in September 1975, it displays old military equipment and other related items from the Vietnam War. In the courtyard you'll find some larger exhibits including a F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter.

Some of the Urban Adventures available in HCMC include Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience and Saigon Street Food by Night. Your leader can help you book on the tour of your choice.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Free day until you meet your new group leader tonight at 6pm.
Some of the Urban Adventures available in HCMC include Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience and Saigon Street Food by Night. Your leader can help you book on the tour of your choice.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head down to the Mekong Delta and visit unexplored Ben Tre where coconut is everything and anything. The fertile delta is famous for its abundant harvests of tropical fruits and flowers as well as boating along the canals. On arrival, we board our private boat and cruise along the maze of waterways to visit some local cottage industries. Then head to our overnight homestay along the water. We'll be sleeping on simple camp beds in dorm-style rooms with all meals included. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities are basic.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mekong Delta - Boat cruise and homestay
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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. Board an overnight train to Nha Trang (approx 11 hours). Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are all part of the experience and the best way to travel long distances with the locals. Sleeper trains typically have four berth compartments (occasionally six berth depending on seasonal variations and group configuration), which have bench seats that convert into sleeping bunks. A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although some travellers prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. On occasion, passengers of different genders will be required to share a compartment and there will be occasions where you'll be sharing with local travellers or travellers who are not part of your group. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers take the opportunity to stock up on fresh bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure.
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arrive in Nha Trang at approx. 5am and transfer to your hotel. Once referred to as the 'Cannes of the Orient', Nha Trang's sandy palm-lined beach and island-dotted bay still make an idyllic picture, and a cosmopolitan feel prevails in the town itself. Spend your days here soaking up the sun on a lovely beach, exploring the local markets or checking out the ancient Cham Towers nearby. Make sure you try some of the excellent seafood restaurants.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nha Trang - Boat trip - VND1316000
  • Nha Trang - Row boat tour - VND20000
  • Nha Trang - Mud baths - VND280000
  • Nha Trang - Bao Dai Villa - VND120000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is the day is yours! Soak up some more free time in Nha Trang.
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 to Hoi An (approx 1 hr).
Recently declared a World Heritage site, Hoi An is being beautifully restored and preserved. Known as Faifo to early western traders, it was one of South-East Asia's major international ports during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago and it retains the feel of centuries past, making it the sort of place that grows on you the more you explore it.
It's also a shopping mecca – with much to browse and buy. Choose from original paintings, handcrafted woodwork, ceramics, embroidery, lanterns and more. Hoi An has also become famous for its tailoring, with a great variety of fabrics and tailors to choose from. Bring your favourite piece of clothing or even just a picture, and you'll be able to have it copied.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle tour
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - cooking course - VND420000
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
  • Hoi An - Thu Bon river boat trip - VND100000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
There's no better way to explore the peaceful countryside of Hoi An than by bike. Your leader will take you to places few tourists get the chance to see, past green rice paddies and small creeks, this is a true insight into country living in Vietnam.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day to explore Hoi An. Ask your leader for suggestions for how to maximise your time in Hoi An.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Departing Hoi An, we can pass by My Khe Beach before crossing the dramatic Hai Van Pass to the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. After a quick stop, continue on to Hue (approx 5 hrs including stops).

As the former imperial capital of Vietnam, Hue holds the treasures of Vietnam's royal past and is a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil settings.

You have a free day to explore. The Dong Ba market, which sells everything imaginable, is a great place to spend some time.
Visit the Imperial Citadel, including the Forbidden Purple City. The latter was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, but the foliage-covered ruins are still atmospheric and the gaping holes left by bombs give an idea of the destruction wreaked upon the country during the war.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hue - Imperial citadel - VND150000
  • Hue - Perfume river cruise and Thien Mu Pagoda - VND220000
  • Hue - Royal tomb - VND136000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day. You might like to take a dragon boat cruise on the Perfume River, and a visit to Thien Mu Pagoda, considered by many to be the unofficial symbol of Hue. It's an active Buddhist monastery with its origins dating back to 1601. One of the most poignant displays is a car belonging to a former monk who, in 1963, drove to Saigon and set himself alight to protest against the treatment of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese regime.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You'll have some more free time to explore Hue today.
In the late afternoon board an overnight train bound for Hanoi (approx. 12 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Hanoi very early (approx. 4am) and transfer to the hotel.
The capital of Vietnam is a charming city with a population of over six million. Hanoi is famous for its beautiful lakes, shaded boulevards, verdant public parks and its thriving Old Quarter, which is an architectural museum piece with blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a 1930s provincial French town. As Vietnam develops to compete with other South-East Asian countries, the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake reflects the contrasts of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and the tangle of ancient streets in its still surface.
Take a walking tour of the Old Quarter. You'll visit the Dong Xuan market, the biggest wholesale market in northern Vietnam, stroll through the ancient '36 streets' where you can discover an amazing selection of shops selling everything from souvenirs to exquisite silk clothing, beautifully embroidered tablecloths. Your leader will point out some of the unique architecture around Hoan Kiem Lake and the myths and legends of the lake.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum - VND80000
  • Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
  • Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND30000
  • Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive through the Red River Delta to Halong Bay (approx 4 hrs), stopping en route for refreshments at a handicraft village run by disabled people.
Halong Bay is a breathtaking secluded harbour with 2,000 limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of Bac Bo Gulf. One of Vietnam's most scenic regions, this area of about 1,500 sq km is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos, created over thousands of years by waves and wind.
Board our boat and cruise the breathtaking bay with its limestone karsts rising from the clear emerald waters. We enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch on board, explore some of the limestone caves in the area.
Return to the dock late in the afternoon and stay overnight in a hotel in Halong City (Bai Chay).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Entrance and half day boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Take the ferry, followed by a bus back to Hanoi (approx. 3 hours) for some free time and a optional final group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The trip ends in the morning today.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Ferry, Private bus, Private vehicle, Public bus, Sleeper train

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Homestay (2 nights), Hotel (17 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 homestay
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • Hoi An - Countryside bicycle tour
  • Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
  • Halong Bay - Entrance and half day boat cruise

Reviews

Our Indochina Highlights trips score an average of 4.46 out of 5 based on 13 reviews in the last year.

Indochina Highlights, November 2016

Tayla Robertson

Indochina Highlights, March 2016

daniele flavoni

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information. The single supplement excludes:
Day 7 - Homestay
Day 13 - Mekong Delta homestay
Day 14 - Overnight Train
Day 16 - Overnight Train
Day 22 - Overnight Train
2. Please provide your full name as per passport and passport details 45 days prior to departure in order to secure Vietnam train tickets.
3. ITINERARY CHANGES for departures from 23rd December 2016: As the Vietnam portion of your combination trip starts after the 1st January, you will be travelling on the 2017 itinerary in Vietnam. You will return to Hanoi on Day 25, and arrive at approximately 4pm. If your trip commences before this date, your trip will travel on the 2016 itinerary, with an afternoon cruise on Halong Bay then staying in Halong City overnight.

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.