Peninsula Wanderer

Learn new road rules in Vietnam
Nha Trang cruise - the islands of the South China Sea
Phnom Penh's history
Tuol Sleng Prison Museum
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat
Cu Chi Tunnels - the underground network of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong
Vietnam's northern capital Hanoi
Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Phnom Penh
The bustling streets and cyclos of Saigon
Angkor Thom's stone-carved human faces
The tailors and market traders of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Hoi An
  • Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap… Temples, sights, beaches, sprawling rice paddies, cu chi tunnels, Angkor, Royal Palaces, all of the noodles. Vietnam and Cambodia, we’re comin’ at ya!


    Board a train, hit the road, cruise the waters and embrace some pedal power. There’s hundreds of ways to explore this crazy part of the world. We’ll show you just a few.


    Day 1-2 - Hanoi - overnight train

    See One Pillar Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (no relation to the Temple of Doom) and Hoa Lo Prison (aka Hanoi Hilton). Take an overnight trip on the Reunification Express to laugh at all the snorers in your group.

    Day 1

    • Arrive in Hanoi and get acquainted with the city. There will be a pre departure meeting at approx 6pm tonight!

    Day 2

    • 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 bikes to see the Forbidden Purple Palace, royal tombs and nearby villages. If you happen to get bonked* while riding, you can re-energise on a dragon boat cruise up the Perfume River. *cycling slang for “running out of energy” (why, what were you thinking?).  

    • 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 4-5 - Hoi An

    Hoi An is like a living museum, minus the entry fee and fat security guard. There's an option to jump back on the bikes, so if you forgot to bring shorts just ask one of the same-day tailors to whip you up a spiffy new riding outfit.   

    • 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

    Day 6-8 - Nha Trang - overnight train

    • Leave Hoi An and take the day train to Nha Trang

    The term “fresh seafood lunch” takes on a new meaning after watching your crew catch, cook and serve it in front of you while cruising on the South China Sea. There’s plenty of time to swim and snorkel before getting back on the Reunification Express.

    • 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 City
    Breakfast | Lunch

    Day 9-10 - Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnels

    Three random facts about the Cu Chi Tunnels: A lot of the 250 km network was dug by hand; the Vietcong ran around the tunnels wearing sandals made from rubber tires; parts of the tunnel have been blasted out so westerners can fit.    

    Day 9

    • 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)

    Day 10

    • 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 11-12 - Phnom Penh

    See the Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace, Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Toast the end of a long day with a G & T at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

    Day 11

    • Travel to Phnom Penh by public bus

    Day 12

    • Take a cyclo sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh
    • Join a bus to visit the reminders of the Khmer Rouge atrocities - the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
    • 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 temple of Wat Phnom, the National Museum, the Royal Palace and the French Quarter
    • Enjoy a home-cooked meal in a family's home
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 13-15 - Siem Reap - Angkor

    Put on your history hat and your exploring pants as we take a full day tour of Angkor Wat (spanning 220sqm and 600 years of history). We’ll throw in plenty of free time so you don’t get all templed-out.

    Day 13

    • Leave Phnom Penh on a public bus and head towards Siem Reap
    • Walk around town on an orientation of Siem Reap and enjoy some local snacks

    Day 14

    • Take an informative 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

    Day 15

    • 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
    • Optional boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, passing floating fishing villages
    • Optional flight of the gibbon zip line adventure
    • Kick back in Siem Reap and just wander around the town, visiting its market, shops and restaurants

    Day 16 - Siem Reap

    The tour ends today

  • What's Included

    • • Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour.

      • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Hanoi; Hue's Thien Mu Pagoda; Hai Van Pass; Hoi An; Ho Chi Minh City; Cu Chi Tunnels; Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek,  Siem Reap - Angkor archaeological zone (1-day pass).

      • Three journeys (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).

      • Cyclo sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh.

      • Dinner at a local family's home.

    Not Included

    • 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.
  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    31 Aug 2014 - 15 Sep 2014 Available
    US $1,240 On Sale
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    05 Oct 2014 - 20 Oct 2014 2 places left
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    26 Oct 2014 - 10 Nov 2014 Fully Booked
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    Sale: US $1,116
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    23 Nov 2014 - 08 Dec 2014 Available
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    07 Dec 2014 - 22 Dec 2014 Available
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    14 Dec 2014 - 29 Dec 2014 Available
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    28 Dec 2014 - 12 Jan 2015 4 places left
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    04 Jan 2015 - 19 Jan 2015 Available
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    18 Jan 2015 - 02 Feb 2015 Available
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    25 Jan 2015 - 09 Feb 2015 Available
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    08 Feb 2015 - 23 Feb 2015 Available
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  • 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.

    Peninsula Wanderer

    taryn - Australia, 2 Feb, 2104
    Overall Rating

    An excellent trip and itinerary! However when looking at booking, try to find trips that spend more than 2-3 days in each city because this is never enough time to explore everything! Also, look at doing some sections yourself without a tour at all, very doable!

    Peninsula Wanderer

    Eric - Australia, 2 Feb, 2104
    Overall Rating

    My first trip alone. Very impressed. No doubt I will use Geckos again. Will recommend to others

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- 16
Bicycle, Boat, Bus, Minibus, Private aircon bus, Private van, Public aircon coach, Train
2 nights Sleeper train, 13 nights Basic hotel
Siem Reap

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