As Many Friends as Phos
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.
Day 1-2 - Hanoi - overnight train
Explore Hanoi by cyclo or on foot, because crawling on your knees would take ages. Visit the pagoda-lined lake and do all the touristy stuff. Or just find a quiet spot, knock back a Tiger beer and watch the world tick by, then catch the overnight train.
Arrive in Hanoi and attend a welcome meeting at 6pm
Begin by visiting the One Pillar Pagoda near the Soviet-inspired mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh
Walk to the Temple of Literature - Vietnam’s first educational institute
Visit the Hoa Lo Prison, probably better known to most as the ‘Hanoi Hilton’
Enjoy a free afternoon to wander around town and check out the lifestyles of Hanoi’s people
Perhaps stop by the city’s Old Quarter, situated to the north of the lake
Board the Reunification Express in the evening for the trip to Hue
Day 3 - Hue
Jump on a bicycle and pedal through Hue, you'll discover heaps ancient royal treasures, or you can take a boat trip along the Perfume River. There is a place called the Forbidden Purple City at the Imperial Citadel, which is possibly the most humorously-named forbidden city we've ever come across.
- Mount local ‘shopping’ bikes, as they’re known here, and cycle down to the riverside
- Place the bikes on board a ‘Dragon Boat’, and enjoy a cruise up the Perfume River to visit the Thien Mu pagoda
- Choose to either cycle back into town from here, approximately 8km, or staying on the boat to head back down river to the Citadel
- Spend a couple of hours exploring Hue’s massive walled citadel and the Forbidden Purple Palace enclosed within
- Perhaps 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
Day 4-6 - Hoi An - Nha Trang
Call in to China Beach, which isn't in China (it's in Vietnam). There's an option to take another bike ride, this time around Hoi An, and experience rural life. Or, you might wanna practice your MasterChef at a cooking place. Do whatever you want. It's your holiday.
- Enjoy a free morning to explore Hue under your own steam
- Take an enjoyable four-hour drive to Hoi An in the afternoon, through a region of rural and coastal Vietnam
- Pass through Lang Co Beach, and join Highway One through Hai Van Pass or, ‘Pass of the Ocean Clouds’
- Drive through the busy streets of Danang and pass by the massive former US airbase that was, in 1968, the busiest airport in the world
- Take a walking tour of Hoi An
- Enjoy free time - there’s such a broad choice of things to see and do, and they can all be experienced without difficulty
- Perhaps rent bicycles and set off to explore the surrounding countryside, take a boat trip on the river, relax on the nearby beach, enjoy the cuisine on offer at some of the town’s numerous cheap cafes or have some clothes made up
- Why not venture further afield to Vietnam’s world famous ‘China Beach’ (My Khe Beach) and the adjacent Marble Mountains
- An optional visit to the Kingdom of Champa, the ancient ruins at My Son, can be completed in half a day
- Leave Hoi An and take the day train to Nha Trang
Day 7-8 - Nha Trang - overnight train
Become the bronzed god or goddess you've always dreamed of on the beaches of Nha Trang. Explore the local islands on a relaxing boat trip, or just fall asleep in the sun.
Breakfast | Lunch
- Enjoy plenty of time to worship the sun during two full days in Nha Trang
- Head out onto the water for a day to cruise around the islands
- Spend stacks of time swimming and snorkelling
- Indulge in a lunchtime feast of freshly caught seafood and other delights for non-fish eaters
- Board the Reunification Express for the final time and make our overnight journey to Ho Chi Minh
Day 9-11 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels - Phnom Penh
The Cu Chi Tunnels helped the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war. Going there will also help you understand just how real the fear might have been for those tucked inside. Hop in and see if you could have managed it.
- Wake to the sounds of frenzied activity this morning as the train rolls to a halt at Ho Chi Minh City
- Choose to make the most of your time, by hiring a ‘cyclo’ (bicycle rickshaw)
- Crawl through a section of the Cu Chi Tunnels
- Learn how the brave men and women of Cu Chi built underground hospitals, kitchens and meeting rooms during their struggle
- Spend the last afternoon in Vietnam shopping in the city’s main business district, or take a stroll through the busy city streets of Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown district, Cholon
Day 12 - Phnom Penh
Say bye-bye to Vietnam and take a bus to Phnom Penh. Depart Vietnam at the Moc Bai checkpoint and arrive in Cambodia at the Bavet checkpoint. Visit the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields. Cambodia's recent history is no joke, but learning about and understanding this stuff is all part of the reason we travel.
- Take a cyclo sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh to include the Royal Palace and the infamous Tuol Sleng Prison
- Join a bus to visit another reminder of the Khmer Rouge atrocities, the Choeung Ek Killing Fields
- Visit the Central Market, located in an old French colonial building - a good place to look for clothing or sarongs
- Enjoy the rest of the day exploring Phnom Penh city
- Perhaps stop by the Silver Pagoda, the temple of Wat Phnom, the National Museum and the French Quarter
Day 13 - Chambok Homestay
Experience Khmer life as a guest at a rural homestay. Practice your Cambodian language skills with the locals and just take the time to soak up the slower pace of life. Gorge yourself on some home-cooked food. Ain't nothing better.
Witness everyday Cambodian life and enjoy a traditional-style dinner
Facilities are basic and multishare with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets providedDinner
Day 14-15 - Sihanoukville
Relax on the beaches, take a boat trip, or explore Ream National Park. It's your call.
Sihanoukville is a beach town with warm, welcoming people
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 speciesBreakfast
Day 16 - Phnom Penh
Stroll through the markets and try and become even more immersed in the city of Phnom Penh. Take in the markets of Psar Thmei or just get a massage and kick back.
Take a local bus to Phnom Penh (approx 4 hrs)
Perhaps visit the infamous Tuol Sleng Prison or indulge in a traditional massage at the Seeing Hands Massage parlour. An initiative set up to support the visually impaired masseurs, who also some of the best in the cityBreakfast
Day 17 - Kampong Cham
Jump on two wheels, if you want, and explore all the French architecture around Kampong Cham. It's blooming marvellous.
Travel by public bus to Kompong Cham - once an important trading hub and now a laid-back small town
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
Day 18-20 - Siem Reap - Angkor
The temples of Angkor need no introduction, so we won't introduce them.
- Leave Phnom Penh on a private bus and head towards Siem Reap
- Follow the Tônlé Sap River and pass through fishing villages
- Drive out to the Angkor temple complex to watch the sunset from one of the structures; Phnom Bakheng, Pre Rup temple, Sras Srong, Phnom Krom or Phnom Bok
- Take an optional day-long tour of the Angkor complex, visiting the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and, of course, Angkor Wat
- Free time to do some exploring of your own
- Optional visit to the rose-coloured Banteay Srei Temple
- Perhaps visit Banteay Srei, located about 30 kilometres north of Siem Reap - considered to be the best preserved of all of Cambodia’s temples
- Optional trip with into the countryside to discover facets of rural life with a local site guide
- Kick back in Siem Reap and just wander around the town, visiting its market, shops and restaurants
Day 21 - Siem Reap - Bangkok
Pedal to the metal back to Bangkok, where a longtail boat adventure (optional) and a number of other exploratory escapades await. The gardens of the Grand Palace are pretty tops, so why don't you head there?
- Jump into local mini-vans for an adventurous journey to the Cambodian/Thai border town of Poipet
- Stop for lunch on on the Thai side in the border town of Aranya Prathet
- Continue on by local bus to Bangkok
Day 22 - Bangkok
Devote your last day in Bangkok to answering the age-old question, ‘which Thai dish is the best?’ Contenders include tom yum goong (spicy Thai soup with shrimp), som tam (spicy papaya salad) and ghang keow wan (green curry).
- Day 22 is your final day, you are free to leave at any time after breakfast on this day (or even before breakfast if you prefer)
What to Know
• Expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature and Hoa Lo Prison (Hanoi Hilton); Hai Van Pass; Hoi An’s ‘Old Town’; Cu Chi Tunnels.
• Three journeys (including two overnight) on board the Reunification Express train.
• Bike ride around Hue and Dragon Boat cruise up the Perfume River.
• Day cruise in Nha Trang, with a freshly-caught seafood lunch included (non-seafood options available).
• Free time to explore Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, the temples of Angkor and Bangkok.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 28 Sep 2014 - 19 Oct 2014 3 places left US $1,480 On Sale Sale: US $1,332 Book Now 05 Oct 2014 - 26 Oct 2014 2 places left US $1,480 On Sale Sale: US $1,332 Book Now 26 Oct 2014 - 16 Nov 2014 Fully Booked US $1,480 On Sale Sale: US $1,332 Contact us 23 Nov 2014 - 14 Dec 2014 Available US $1,565 On Sale Sale: US $1,408 Book Now 14 Dec 2014 - 04 Jan 2015 Available US $1,565 On Sale Sale: US $1,408 Book Now 21 Dec 2014 - 11 Jan 2015 Available US $1,565 On Sale Sale: US $1,408 Book Now 28 Dec 2014 - 18 Jan 2015 Available US $1,480 On Sale Sale: US $1,332 Book Now 04 Jan 2015 - 25 Jan 2015 Available US $1,525 On Sale Sale: US $1,372 Book Now 18 Jan 2015 - 08 Feb 2015 Available US $1,525 On Sale Sale: US $1,372 Book Now 25 Jan 2015 - 15 Feb 2015 Available US $1,525 On Sale Sale: US $1,372 Book Now 01 Feb 2015 - 22 Feb 2015 Available US $1,480 On Sale Sale: US $1,332 Book Now 15 Feb 2015 - 08 Mar 2015 Available US $1,435 On Sale Sale: US $1,291 Book Now 01 Mar 2015 - 22 Mar 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 22 Mar 2015 - 12 Apr 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 12 Apr 2015 - 03 May 2015 Available US $1,480 Book Now 31 May 2015 - 21 Jun 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 21 Jun 2015 - 12 Jul 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 12 Jul 2015 - 02 Aug 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 26 Jul 2015 - 16 Aug 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 16 Aug 2015 - 06 Sep 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 30 Aug 2015 - 20 Sep 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 13 Sep 2015 - 04 Oct 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 27 Sep 2015 - 18 Oct 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 11 Oct 2015 - 01 Nov 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 25 Oct 2015 - 15 Nov 2015 Available US $1,435 Book Now 15 Nov 2015 - 06 Dec 2015 Available US $1,520 Book Now 22 Nov 2015 - 13 Dec 2015 Available US $1,520 Book Now 06 Dec 2015 - 27 Dec 2015 Available US $1,520 Book Now 13 Dec 2015 - 03 Jan 2016 Available US $1,520 Book Now
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
As Many Friends as Phos
Amy - Australia, 24 Mar, 2013
Amazing trip that included so much culture and variety but also gave you free time to do some own exploring. Extra activities were a great optional and not much extra cost!! Wonderful experience!!
As Many Friends as Phos
Takeshi - Japan, 3 Mar, 2013
I could really enjoyed this trip! I could find that some similarities among three countries; Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. I was happy when I noticed that. There were plenty of free days. So I could enjoy by myself or with other members. I like that point.