Days
22
Price from
FR1,490CHF

Too much greatness for this tiny space. In short: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand. Markets, all the street food, beaches, temples, snorkeling, more food, sights, homestays, really, really freaking amazing temples (ie Angkor), fish pedicures, long-tail boat rides, more food… GREATNESS.

There's over 400 tailors in Hoi An. Here's our top shopping tips:
If you want something made from scratch, bring along a picture from a magazine or a USB stick with some designs that you like.
Shop around. Don't just go to the first place you see. 
Be super clear – don't just ask them to "take your skirt up a few inches" or you'll soon be exposing more than just your lack of preparation.


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Countries
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Code
GTHSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Balance on a tiny streetside stool in Hanoi's Old Quarter, soaking up the buzzy vibes and the city's best entertainment - the traffic

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

  • 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

  • Is there anything more awesome than Nha Trang? Yep! It's free time in Nha Trang. Whether you fill it with beachside lolling, village hopping or partying is up to you

  • There's nothing quite like staying with a Vietnamese family in a traditional homestay. You'll be feasting and gossiping with the locals down the sunny Mekong Delta in no time

  • After a guided tour of Angkor Wat, we guarantee you’ll be feeling very 'Tomb Raider'

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip includes three overnight train journeys, each one taking up to 12 hours. You'll be sharing a cabin with three to five other people and amenities with the rest of 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 may not be the most comfortable or luxurious option, but definitely the most adventurous.

  • You’ll spend one night in a homestay with basic accommodation, sharing with several others in a dorm-style arrangement. Amenities are also shared, and there is 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.

  • 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 and do your own activities. Your leader is always there to give you tips and suggestions.

Itinerary

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. This adventure kicks off with a group meeting at 6 pm. 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, maybe arrive a day early so you're able to attend. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. At the meeting have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Because this trip doesn’t spend much time in Hanoi, why not arrive a day or two early to see the sights? 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, why not visit the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, drop into the serene Temple of Literature or get arty at the city's Fine Arts Museum. Tonight, grab a streetside stool and a fresh Beer Hoi and watch the motorbikes zoom by.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle - USD88
  • Hanoi Urban Adventure - Village Discovery by Bike - USD33
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private minibus (approximately 4 hours) to the awesome World Heritage site of Halong Bay. This secluded harbour has something like 2,000 little limestone islands. And the water is one pretty green scene. It's one of Vietnam's most 'scenic' places, so get that camera ready. You'll jump on a boat and cruise the bay so you can take it all in. You'll explore some of the awesome caves in the area and fill up with both lunch and dinner onboard. What's on the menu? Seafood of course. Once you settle into junk boat life you won't want to go anywhere – so spend the night rocking away on the waters of Halong Bay (with the waves and maybe a spot of karaoke).
Accommodation
  • Overnight Boat (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
It is recommended to pack a smaller overnight bag to take to Halong Bay. You can store your main luggage in Hanoi for tonight.

There are restrictions on the number of boats that are permitted to stay in the bay overnight. To ensure all travellers can enjoy the experience of a night on the water, we’re occasionally using a larger boat (with approximately 12 cabins) or splitting groups across different vessels. An group leader will be present on each boat, and the route taken and inclusions on board will remain the same.

Swimming in the bay from the boats is not permitted.
Take a bus back to Hanoi (approximately 4 hours). Then take your overnight train bound for Hue (approximately 12 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Although conditions are basic, overnight trains are a true Geckos 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 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.
Arrive in Hue, the former imperial capital of Vietnam. You have today free to explore. You could 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, tasty street food. This is a good place to try the grub that Emperor Nguyen used to feast on (banh khoai royal rice cake – can you taste the royalty?). 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), or set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hue - Hue Royal Street Eat by Cyclo Urban Adventure - USD40
  • Hue - Hue Discovery Urban Adventure - USD78
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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 - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure - USD28
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Enjoy a free day in Hoi An. 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 and it's starting to smell like coriander, 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 (this is one of the best ways to experience rural Vietnam).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure - USD49
  • Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure - USD51
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Lucky you – it's another free day in paradise. 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), hop on a cruise along the Thu Bon River and or get beachy with a trip to the nearby Cua Dai Beach. Afterwards, board your next overnight train. This one's to Nha Trang (approximately 8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Nha Trang at around 7 am 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 (dare we say it) trendy feel prevails in the town itself. Nha Trang is a charming town on Vietnam's southeast coast with pristine beaches, consistently good weather, a vibrant nightlife and excellent diving. You have two full days here to catch some rays, swim, snorkel and feast on freshly caught seafood. Bliss!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Don't get so relaxed from your chilled time in Nha Trang (lazing in a deck chair, swimming or perhaps taking a mud bath) that you forget that tonight it's back on the Reunification Express for one last ride (approximately 7 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nha Trang - Po Nagar Cham Tower - VND22000
  • Nha Trang - Mud baths - VND280000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive very early (approximately 4 am) and transfer to your hotel. Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is whirl of sights and sounds. A blend of old and new, East and West, if you will. You can still see the French influence in the top-notch baguettes and coffee on offer. Compared to the south the food is spicier, sweeter and more varied. Much of city life happens on the streets, which are lined with shops, stalls and vendors whose wares are spread on the footpath – everything from soup to sophisticated electronics. Your leader will take you on a walk through the city to point out the best places and sites. Then you have some free time this afternoon. Well worth the visit are the Reunification Palace, and War Remants Museum. Maybe join your newest and best travel buddies for a celebratory meal and drink tonight on Pham Ngu Lao Street.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • HCMC - Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • HCMC - Saigon Street Food by Night Urban Adventure - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are shared hotel rooms available this morning if you would like to freshen up before check in time this afternoon.
Today is a free day. You can shop for tiny ceramic tea sets at Ben Thanh Market while snacking on chao tom (barbecued shrimp paste on sticks of sugar cane).

The Cu Chi Tunnels or Mekong Delta are an interesting day trip nearby - ask your leader to book you an Urban Adventure to visit.
The composition of your group might change today. Meet your new leader and group at the meeting at approx. 6pm tonight.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure - USD43
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel to Phnom Penh by public bus today (approximately 6–7 hours). If you're looking for a tasty beverage on arrival, hit the Foreign Correspondents Club for a mojito on the rooftop. Or you can explore the city on a cyclo tour – generally these go to the central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument and Royal Palace. Phew! Maybe it's time for a traditional Khmer massage. Look no further than Seeing Hands, a great cause supporting visually impaired masseurs.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD8
  • Phnom Penh - Mekong Sunset Urban Adventure - USD63
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private bus into rural Cambodia (approximately 3 hours) to the region of Kampong Speu and the village of Chambok. It's right next to the beautiful Kirirom National Park, so you can imagine how serene it is here. A homestay tonight is your chance to really immerse yourself in everyday life. Not to mention feast on a traditional Khmer dinner, prepared by your lovely hosts. Weather permitting, you might be able to trek to the awesome 40-metre waterfall nearby today too (this is optional).
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
Optional Activities
  • Chambok Homestay - Bike Ride - USD2
  • Chambok- Entrance Fee to Waterfall - USD3
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Take a private bus to Sihanoukville (approximately 4 hours). Whether you like your beaches lively or chillaxed, Sihanoukville has something for you. You might get a clue as to why this place was named after royalty when you see the natural splendour that surrounds it. And the people are super nice and welcoming.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Sihanoukville - Foot massage - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You might take the option of scooting out to the nearby islands on a boat tour (barbeque lunch anyone?). Another excellent choice is to go on a tropical safari in Ream National Park, a wonderland of birds and wildlife. Coooowee!
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Sihanoukville - Island Boat Trip & Snorkelling - USD20
  • Sihanoukville - Ream National Park entry fee - USD5
  • Sihanoukville - Express Boat to Koh Rong Island - USD25
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Shake the sand off your feet and jump on a bus back to the capital (approximately 4 hours). Here there's the option of visiting Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) – both pretty sobering but important and informative. The very different Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are also well worth visiting, offering brighter aspects of the past. You might also head for the National Museum or Wat Phnom (more like 'Wat Phenomenal'). If your Riels are burning a hole in your pocket, look no further than the Central or Russian markets, both choice places interact with the locals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - Transport to Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) - USD15
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21) - USD3
  • Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) - USD3
  • Phnom Penh - Killing Fields - guide - USD17
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng (S21) - Guide - USD17
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Kampong Cham in nutshell: frontier charm, French-colonial character. Take a private bus there (approximately 3 hours) and soak it all up. Koh Paen Island is a good option while you're here, and you can hire a bike and get there with no fuss (you'll just have to take a ferry over the water if you visit during wet season). The 11th-century Wat Nokor is also worth a look. 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 Instagram-worthy.
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.
Take a public bus to Siem Reap (approximately 5 hours). Your leader will take you on an orientation walk to get you acquainted with the town. Afterwards you might want to hit the markets for some cheap and tasty street food, then get some rest and relaxation before tomorrow's visit to... (drumroll please!)... Angkor Wat!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Get your camera ready, strap on your walkin' boots and get excited: Angkor is one of Southeast Asia's number one highlights, possibly THE highlight. The obvious banger is Angkor Wat, which is every bit as amazing as everyone says it is, especially at sunset). But you'll also spend plenty of time visiting the other gems of this sprawling complex, like the giant carved faces of Bayon and the crazy jungle-juxtaposition of Ta Prohm (a temple that looks like it's being swallowed by the vice-like grip of Mother Nature's tentacles). And yeah, Tomb Raider.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (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.
Kick back in Siem Reap and wander around town, visiting its market, shops and restaurants. You may be a little templed out, so take this opportunity to explore your options and do something different. Depending on the season, you might be able to visit Tonle Sap, the big freshwater lake, for a glimpse of local life. Adventure-seekers and adrenaline-junkies can take the Flight of the Gibbon, a 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 not go back to Angkor, longer passes than the standard 1-day ones are available, just ask your leader.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Angkor complex - USD20
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD62
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Phare Cambodia Circus Ticket - USD15
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-Out - USD48
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventures Tonle Sap Secrets - USD40
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Street Food By Night Tour - USD47
  • Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon Ziplining - USD129
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive from Siem Reap to Bangkok in a private mini van (approximately 8–9 hours, including border crossing and lunch). Again, your leader will assist with the border-crossing formalities. If you expect a soothing and charming backwater, think again – it's go, go, go in Thailand's frenetic capital. If you don't go home exhausted from here, you didn't do it properly! Still, the khlongs (canals) are a great escape from it all – maybe take a boat to the highly recommended Chinatown for a delicious street food dinner. A Thai massage may also be a good option at this point. Those staying on can perhaps visit the Grand Palace, Temple of the Emerald Buddha, or the very cool Jim Thompson museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Khlong boat (canal) tour - THB850
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple - THB200
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB150
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Your adventure comes to an end today, with no more activities planned. You're free to depart the accommodation at any time. If you are staying longer in Bangkok check out some of our Urban Adventure tours, a great way to see the sights with a local guide.
Optional Activities
  • Bangkok - Tuk Tuk Experience Urban Adventure - THB1790
  • Bangkok - Temple & River of Kings Urban Adventure - THB2465
  • Bangkok - Chinatown Food Discovery Urban Adventure - THB2149
  • Bangkok - Bangkok by Bike Urban Adventure - THB1913
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Boat, Mini-van, Public bus, Sleeper train

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (12 nights), Overnight boat (1 night), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

Included Activities

  • Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
  • HCMC - Orientation Walk
  • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
  • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip and excludes nights 2 (overnight boat); 3, 7 & 9 (Overnight Train); and 13 (homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.
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.In 2016 the code for this trip was GTHS.

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.