Days
22
Price from
€1,340EUR

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.

Trip update 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.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
In 2015 this trip was called "Indochina All Stars."


Start
Hanoi, Vietnam
Finish
Bangkok, Thailand
Countries
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Code
GTHS
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
12 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 39
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.
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.
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.

Optional Activities:
Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum - VND50000
Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum - VND30000
Hanoi - Army Museum - VND20000
Hanoi - Women's Museum - VND30000
Hanoi - Temple of Literature - VND20000
Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison - VND20000
Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology - VND40000
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Travel by private minibus to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay (approx 4 hrs).

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 and 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 a bus back to Hanoi (approx 3.5 hrs).
Head out on a walking tour of the Old Quarter with your leader.
Board an overnight train bound for Hue (approx. 12 hours).
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 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
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Packed with historic monuments, Hue is also perfectly located to explore the surrounding countryside, which features stunning scenery, quaint villages and the peaceful Tam Giang Lagoon.

Hue is Vietnam’s former royal capital and its cuisine is considered by many Vietnamese as the best in the country.
Hue’s cuisine is influenced both by its imperial heritage (small dishes and a focus on aesthetic presentation) as well as its strong Buddhist heritage, reflected in the high proportion of vegetarian restaurants in the region.
The bustling Dong Ba Market offers a plethora of goods and foods to see and sample, and it's a good place to try some of the specialities that graced the Nguyen emperors' banquet tables, such as the banh khoai, a royal rice cake.
You have a free day to explore. You could also easily spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace enclosed within. Perhaps jump on board a ‘Dragon Boat’, and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda. Or cycle out to one of the Royal tombs such as the tomb of Emperor Tu Duc, one of the best remaining examples of its kind.
Alternatively, set off on an optional motorcycle tour of the sights in Hue and some surrounding villages.

Optional Activities:
Hue - Citadel Imperial Enclosure - VND 105000
Hue - Discovery Urban Adventure - VND 1490000
Hue - Countryside Bike Urban Adventure - VND 525000
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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. Your leader will take you on a walking tour, past some of the 800 UNESCO preserved historical buildings.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
Optional Activities
  • Danang - Marble Mountain - VND15000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
You have time here to explore the beautifully restored and preserved Chinese shop houses, enjoy the vibrant and busy market, visit Cua Dai Beach, cycle to the rice fields and browse the array of art galleries.
With lantern-lit streets, vibrant markets, skilled tailors, artisan shops, ancient houses, colourful temples and beautiful smiles, Hoi An is a Vietnamese wonderland.

Hoi An is 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.

Optional Activities
Hoi An Food Urban Adventure - VND 1030000
Hoi An Boat and Bike Urban Adventure - VND 590000
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After a free day, board your next overnight trin this evening to Nha Trang (approx 8 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive in Nha Trang around 7am 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.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 pig out on freshly caught seafood. Bliss!

Optional Activities:
Nha Trang - Mud baths - VND280000
Nha Trang - Bao Dai Villa - VND120000
Nha Trang - Boat trip - VND1316000
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After free time today, it's back on the Reunification Express tonight for one last ride (approx 7 hours).
Accommodation
  • Overnight sleeper train (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Arrive very early (approx 4am) and transfer to our hotel.
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.

Quite a contrast to its more sedate northern counterpart, the city's food is spicier, sweeter and more varied, with an abundance of great restaurants to choose from for our evening meals or take to the streets to tackle the culinary delights of the street food stalls.

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. Your leader will take you on a walk through the city to point out the best places and sites.

You have some free time this afternoon. Well worht the visit are the Reunification Palace, and War Remants Museum. The Reunification Palace - formerly known as the Presidential Palace, was the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975; while the War Remnants Museum - originally opened in September 1975, and 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.

Included Activities:
Orientation walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City (not including entrances)
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.

Optional Activities:
Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels Urban Adventure USD42
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive to Phnom Penh by public bus (approx 6-7 hrs).
When you arrive, hit the Foreign Correspondents Club for a mojito on the rooftop.

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.

Indulge in a traditional massage at the Seeing Hands Massage parlour. An initiative set up to support visually impaired masseurs, who are also some of the best massuers in the city.

Optional Activities:
Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD5
Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Transport to Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) - USD15
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21) - USD3
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Sitting close to the greenery and beauty of the Kirirom National Park, Chambok provides serenity, an abundance of nature and a taste of traditional Khmer life.
Travel by private bus into rural Cambodia (approx 3 hrs).
Enjoy a homestay - witness everyday Cambodian life and enjoy a traditional-style dinner.

Facilities are basic and multishare with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets all provided.

Weather permitting you may have the option to trek to Chambok waterfall.
Included Activities:
Chambok Homestay Traditional Dance

Optional Activities:
Chambok homestay - trek to waterfall
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chambok - Traditional Dancing
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Visit the lively or quiet beaches of Sihanoukville or scoot out to the nearby islands on a boat tour. You can even go on a tropical safari in Ream National Park, if you want.
Take a private bus to Sihanoukville (approx 4 hrs) - named for the Cambodian royal family.
Sihanoukville is a beach town with warm, welcoming people.
Plenty of optional beach side activities to choose from:
Take a boat to one of the nearby islands, perhaps enjoy a barbecue lunch and relax on the beach
Make a trip out to the Ream National Park - home to a variety of animal and bird species.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (2 nights)
Optional Activities
  • Sihanoukville - Island Boat Trip & Snorkelling - USD20
  • Sihanoukville - Ream National Park entry fee - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)
Shake the sand off your 'feet and jump on a bus back to the capital. Take a local bus to Phnom Penh (approx 4 hrs)
Here you have the option to soak up more reminders of the country's horrific past in Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Chorung Ek Killing Fields.
Learn more about Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda or check out the National Museum..
Explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named
If you're in the mood for shopping, stop at Psar Thmei (Central Market) or travel out to Psar Tuol Tom Pong (the Russian Market)
Optional Activities
    Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choueng Ek - USD3
    Phnom Penh - Transport to Choeung Ek - USD10
    Phnom Penh - Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda - USD7
    Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
    Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
    Phnom Penh - Entrance fees to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek Killing Filelds - USD3
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD8
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Kampong Cham. Frontier charm, French-colonial character, etc. Hire a bike and pedal to Koh Paen island, if you want, or visit some nearby mountain temples.

Travel by public bus to Kompong Cham (approx 3 hrs) - once an important trading hub and now a laid-back small town
Optional activities on offer are:
Explore the serene 11th-century Wat Nokor
Hire a bike to explore the island of Koh Paen, linked to Kampong Cham by a bamboo bridge (passable only in the dry season, take a ferry in the wet)
Get a better understanding of local cottage industries
Perhaps travel further to 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.
Angkor Wat is the obvious highlight but you’ll get a real kick out of counting the faces of Bayon and exploring the jungle temple of Ta Prohm. There’s a bit of temple overload here, so take some free time to haggle for souvenirs at the market or get a pedicure from thousands of tiny fish.
Take a bus to Siem Reap (approx 5 hours)
Your leader will take you on an orientation walk to get you acquainted with the highlights of Siem Reap.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Angkor complex - USD20
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD62
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Spend a full day being guided around the massive Angkor wat complex.
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.

Included Activities:
Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass with guided tour
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Kick back in Siem Reap and just wander around the town, visiting its market, shops and restaurants.

Depending on the season, perhaps visit Tonle Sap Lake to see local life.
Get your heart pumping with the flight of the Gibbon zip line adventure where you can feel like a bird flying through the jungle. Today is a free day so you can do what you want with it.

Optional Activities:
    Siem Reap - Remork transport to Tonle Sap Lake - USD10
    Siem Reap - Tonle Sap boat trip - USD15
    Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon ziplining - USD129
    Siem Reap - Khmer cooking class - USD25
    Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD40
    Siem Reap - Remork transport to Angkor complex - Free
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Bangkok is as crazy as you expect it to be. It's a South East Asian gem, so make the most of everything on offer here. If you don't return home absolutely exhausted and overwhelmed, you did it wrong. Go back and try again.
Drive from Siem Reap to Bangkok (approx. 8-9 hours including border crossing and lunch break).

On arrival enjoy some free time. Perhaps indulge in a Thai massage, or travel by longtail boat down the Chao Phraya River to explore the famous 'khlongs' (canals).

If you have extra time in Bangkok after this trip, you could also explore the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

The trip will end after breakfast on day 22. There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Optional Activities:
    Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
    Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok by Bike - THB1500
    Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
    Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
    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 - Khlong boat (canal) tour - THB850
  • Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple - THB200
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (1)

Meals

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Mini-van, Public bus, Sleeper train

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (14 nights), Overnight sleeper train (3 nights)

Included Activities

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

Reviews

Our Indochina Odyssey trips score an average of 4.58 out of 5 based on 12 reviews in the last year.

Indochina Odyssey, July 2016

Stacy Mangan

Indochina Odyssey, June 2016

Andrew Thompson

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 3 - Overnight Train
Day 7 - Overnight Train
Day 9 - Overnight Train
Day 13 - Homestay
2. Please provide your full name as per passport and passport details 45 days prior to departure in order to secure Vietnam train tickets.

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.