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Experience Indochina

From £1155 for 26 days
           (See Reviews)
Trip Overview

From the cool calm of rural villages to the steaming chaos of thriving cities, experience the diversity of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Along the way, revel in the sheer beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the locals and the intriguing ancient traditions that give each country its unique flavour.

Essential Info
Starts: Bangkok
Ends: Hanoi
Ages: Min 15
Theme: Discovery
Trip Code: ITKRNC
Countries visited: Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
What's Included

Meals

4 Breakfasts included
2 Lunches included
3 Dinners included

Transport

Boat,Overnight sleeper train,Private Bus,Private minibus,Taxi

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nts),Homestay (2 nts),Hotel (15 nts),Overnight boat (1 nt),Overnight sleeper train (3 nts)

Trip Highlights
-Enjoy the guidance of a local expert as you temple-hop at the dazzling Angkor complex, one of Southeast Asia's premier sites
-Your homestays in the rural village of Chambok, Cambodia, and in the Mekong Delta will give you the chance to experience life with the locals and enjoy some delicious home cooked meals!
-Enjoy some beach time in Sihanoukville and Nha Trang
-Hoi An is another idyllic pocket of Vietnam that's best experienced from the seat of a bike. Take a guided bicycle tour through the rolling countryside
-Halong Bay feels like paradise, with its blue-green waters and spectacular caves. Spend an afternoon cruising and exploring its beautiful bay
Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Direction
Price GBP
Availability
14th December 2016
8th January 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,190pp 
G
 
Good
16th December 2016
10th January 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,190pp 
G
 
Good
25th December 2016
19th January 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,160pp 
G
 
Good
18th January 2017
12th February 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,245pp 
G
 
Good
25th January 2017
19th February 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,255pp 
G
 
Good
1st February 2017
26th February 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,255pp 
G
 
Good
8th February 2017
5th March 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,280pp 
G
 
Limited
22nd February 2017
19th March 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,200pp 
G
 
Good
1st March 2017
26th March 2017
Bangkok - Hanoi
£1,200pp 
G
 
Good
Show more dates
Itinerary & Notes
 
Day 1 - Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. With free time, 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?

Additional Activities

Bangkok - Grand Palace
500 THB
Bangkok - Wat Pho Temple
200 THB
Bangkok - Thai Massage
250 THB
Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House
150 THB
Day 2 - Siem Reap
Travel from Bangkok to Siem Reap by private bus today (approximately 10 hours, including the border crossing and lunch). You will exit Thailand at Aranyaprathet and enter Cambodia at Poipet. Your leader will help you with border procedures. If you are getting your visa at the border you will need cash in US dollars. From Poipet to Siem Reap is approximately another 150 km. When you arrive, perhaps spend the evening relaxing in preparation for tomorrow's visit to Angkor Wat.
Day 3 - Siem Reap / Angkor Wat
Today you'll visit the world-famous Angkor complex with your guide. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres; this is the biggest religious monument in the world. However, 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 astounding main attraction), the Bayon (a marvel of many sculpted decorations) and Ta Prohm (the eerily beautiful temples covered in jungle). Notes: A single-day Angkor Pass is included on this tour. If you'd like to return to Angkor outside of your included visit, you can buy a longer pass. Just ask your leader.

Additional Activities

Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
Included in Price
Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Included in Price
Day 4 - Siem Reap
Enjoy free time in Siem Reap today. If you feel like some adventure, you can take the optional Flight of the Gibbon zip-line course, which gives you a birds-eye view of the rainforest, plus an adrenaline rush. Other options here include a visit to the sobering Landmine Museum – it's located a little further field but is well worth the journey. There is also the Siem Reap Street Food by Night Urban Adventure, a three-hour tour which allows you to taste the many flavours of the city and feel the buzz of the local markets.

Additional Activities

Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake Boat Trip
15 USD
Siem Reap - Remork transport to Tonle Sap Lake
10 USD
Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon Ziplining
129 USD
Siem Reap - Landmine Museum
5 USD
Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
62 USD
Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-Out
48 USD
Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Street Food By Night Tour
47 USD
Day 5 - Kompong Cham
Travel by public bus to Kompong Cham (approximately 5 hours). This peaceful town was once an important trading hub and is now a great opportunity to experience life in small-town Cambodia. A great option here is to visit the serene 11th-century Wat Nokor. You can also hire a bicycle to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, which is linked to Kompong Cham by an elaborate bamboo bridge (it's 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.

Additional Activities

Kompong Cham - Wat Nokor
1 USD
Kompong Cham - Bicycle hire
2 USD
Kompong Cham - Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei
10 USD
Day 6 - Phnom Penh
Travel by private bus to the capital city of Phnom Penh (approximately 3 hours). 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. A recommended option is to visit the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields, the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng. Or learn about a brighter period of Cambodian history by visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Wat Phnom, shrouded in myth, is equally worth a visit, as is the National Museum with its excellent Khmer collection. Cyclo tours around the city are a great alternative to walking and generally include the central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument and Royal Palace. Keen shoppers can hit the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market).

Additional Activities

Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choueng Ek
3 USD
Phnom Penh - Transport to Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
15 USD
Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
10 USD
Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom
2 USD
Phnom Penh - National Museum
5 USD
Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour
4 USD
Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21)
3 USD
Day 7 - Chambok Homestay
Travel by private bus (approximately 3 hours) into rural Cambodia to the region of Kampong Speu and village of Chambok. There's a lot of natural beauty to discover here, from waterfalls to swimming holes to bat caves nestled in the mountains. The Chambok community is renowned for its ecotourism. Tonight you'll join a local family in their home – a wonderful opportunity to participate in everyday Cambodian life. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner. You'll also be treated to a traditional dance performance while you're here. Notes: Facilities on this homestay are basic and multi-share. Mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets are provided.

Additional Activities

Chambok - Traditional Dancing
Included in Price
Day 8 - Sihanoukville
A private bus takes you to Sihanoukville today (approximately 4 hours). Named after the Cambodian royal family, this town has miles of lovely beaches and warm, welcoming people. It's also a jumping-off point to many beautiful islands. Settle in and perhaps take a refreshing swim.
Day 9 - Sihanoukville
Enjoy a day of free time. There are a variety of exciting optional activities on offer. You can take a boat to one of the nearby islands, enjoy a barbecue lunch or simply relax among swaying palms, white sands and blue waters. Perhaps make the trip out to the Ream National Park, which boasts 21 hectares of coastal mangrove forest and a great variety of animal and bird species. You may like to take a Khmer cooking class, or perhaps partake in some windsurfing or kitesurfing.

Additional Activities

Sihanoukville - Island Boat Trip & Snorkelling
20 USD
Sihanoukville - Ream National Park entry fee
5 USD
Day 10 - Phnom Penh
Take a local bus back to Phnom Penh (approximately 4 hours). This will be your last night in Cambodia before moving on to Vietnam tomorrow. If you're looking to indulge in some proper rest and relaxation, the Seeing Hands massage parlours are some of the best in the city, and all patronage supports the visually impaired masseurs whose years of expertise may be just what you need today.

Additional Activities

Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage
8 USD
Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City
Travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 7 hours). You will exit Cambodia at Bavet and enter Vietnam at Moc Bai. Your leader will again assist you with border crossing procedures. Get out and discover the city's blend of old and new, East and West, when you arrive. Be sure to sample a baguette or some of the excellent coffee on offer – both markers of the city's strong French influence. Equally essential are visits to Reunification Palace (the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975) and the War Remnants Museum. Some of Intrepid's Urban Adventures available in in this city include Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience and Saigon Street Food by Night. If your staying longer in Ho Chi Minh City and you'd like to take one, your leader can help you book.

Additional Activities

Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace
30000 VND
Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum
15000 VND
Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City
Enjoy a free day today. Some of Intrepid's Urban Adventures available in in this city include Cu Chi Experience, Cyclos & Markets, and Saigon Street Food by Night. As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting on the evening of Day 12 to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.

Additional Activities

Ho Chi Minh City - Cu Chi Tunnel Experience Urban Adventure
43 USD
Ho Chi Minh City - Ho Chi Minh Discovery Urban Adventure
53 USD
Day 13 - Mekong Delta
Make your way to the province of Ben Tre, where you’ll get on a boat to tour the canals of the Mekong Delta. This fertile area is famous for its abundance of fruit, flower and rice crops, and is known as ‘the rice bowl’ of Vietnam. During your boat ride you’ll visit some local cottage industries and then head to your overnight homestay. Your stay with a Vietnamese family will be one of the highlights of your trip as you get a taste of the life of a local and enjoy a home cooked meal.

Additional Activities

Mekong Delta - Boat cruise and homestay
Included in Price
Day 14 - Mekong Delta - Overnight Train
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. This evening, board an overnight train to Nha Trang (approx 11 hours). Conditions are basic on these trains and they may be a little dirtier than what you’re used to, however overnight trains are the best way to brush shoulders with the locals and make the best use of your time. Most trains have a dining carriage serving simple food, but some travellers like to take some fresh bread, cheese and fruit for the journey.
Day 15 - Nha Trang
Arrive in Nha Trang at about 5am and transfer to your hotel. You’ll have today free to spend as you wish. Perhaps enjoy your time on the sunny beaches or explore the local markets. Be sure to try some of the excellent seafood in town. Also nearby are the Cham Towers, where you can go for a day trip to see the fascinating archaeological site.

Additional Activities

Nha Trang - Boat trip
1316000 VND
Day 16 - Nha Trang - Overnight Train
Today is another free day to take in the coastal delights of Nha Trang. In the evening, board another overnight train for Danang (approximately 8 hours).

Additional Activities

Nha Trang - Mud baths
280000 VND
Nha Trang - Po Nagar Cham Tower
22000 VND
Day 17 - Hoi An
Arrive in Danang and travel by minibus for one hour to Hoi An. Hoi An was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is being beautifully restored. It was a major trading port with the west from the 17th century onwards. Today, parts of Hoi An look exactly as they did more than a century ago. Your leader will take you on a sightseeing walk through the Old Town and visit some of the city's major attractions. A sightseeing pass is included in your tour for you to visit a selection of the major sights as you wish. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca, so head down to the markets and street stalls to browse paintings, woodwork, ceramics and lanterns. Hoi An is famous for its tailors who can make beautiful items to order.

Additional Activities

Hoi An - Ancient town walk and entrance ticket
Included in Price
Hoi An - Street Food By Night Urban Adventure
28 USD
Day 18 - Hoi An
Go on a bike ride through the countryside near Hoi An. There's no better way to explore the peaceful area than by bike. You’ll see places few tourists get the chance to see among green rice paddies and small creeks. You’ll get a true insight into rural life in Vietnam.

Additional Activities

Hoi An - Countryside bicycle hire
Included in Price
Day 19 - Hoi An
Enjoy another free day in Hoi An. Perhaps take a cruise up the Thu Bon River or learn the secrets to cooking delicious Vietnamese dishes. Your leader can suggest activities to help you get the most out of your time.

Additional Activities

Hoi An - My Son Cham day trip
35 USD
Hoi An - Hoi An Walking & Cooking Class Urban Adventure
49 USD
Hoi An - Hoi An Boat & Bike Urban Adventure
51 USD
Day 20 - Hue
Say goodbye to Hoi An this morning and make your way to Hue. The drive in our minibus will take about five hours, but along the way you’ll stop at My Khe Beach (China Beach) and the picturesque fishing village of Lang Co. You’ll be travelling on the incredible Hai Van Pass, through lush mountains. Once in Hue, you’ll have a free afternoon to explore. Hue was once Vietnam’s Imperial capital and has a curious mix of bustling streets and tranquil enclaves. Perhaps visit the Dong Ba Market, which sells everything imaginable and is a great place to spend some time.

Additional Activities

Hue - Imperial citadel
150000 VND
Day 21 - Hue
Another free day in Hue. Perhaps visit the Imperial Citadel which includes the Forbidden Purple City that was almost totally destroyed during the Vietnam war. The gaping holes left by bombs give you an idea of how much destruction occurred in this country. Another optional activity is a dragon boat cruise along the Perfume River and then a visit to Mu Pagoda, the unofficial symbol of Hue. Here you’ll see an active Buddhist monastery dating back to 1601, and a car belonging to a monk who set himself alight in protest against the treatment of Buddhists. You may also like to visit one of the royal tombs, that of Emperor Tu Duc, with its central lake set amid a grove of frangipani and pine trees.

Additional Activities

Hue - Perfume river cruise and Thien Mu Pagoda
220000 VND
Hue - Royal tomb
136000 VND
Hue - Hue Royal Street Eat by Cyclo Urban Adventure
40 USD
Day 22 - Hue - Overnight Train
This morning, catch up on any optional activities you couldn’t fit in yesterday – perhaps an Urban Adventure to bike around the countryside – before taking another overnight train bound for Hanoi. The journey will take approximately 12 hours.

Additional Activities

Hue - Countryside Bike Urban Adventure
25 USD
Day 23 - Hanoi
Arrive in Hanoi at about 4am and transfer to your hotel. Today you’ll take a walking tour of Vietnam’s charming capital. Explore the 36 streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, including the Dong Xuan Market, Hoan Kiem Lake and the unique architecture nearby. Hanoi has a French provincial feel remaining from its colonial times, but it also has a Buddhist influence and striking modern buildings. The rest of the day is yours to explore Hanoi as you please.

Additional Activities

Hanoi - Old Quarter Walking Tour
Included in Price
Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum and Museum
80000 VND
Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum
30000 VND
Hanoi - Army Museum
20000 VND
Hanoi - Women's Museum
30000 VND
Hanoi - Temple of Literature
30000 VND
Hanoi - Hoa Lo 'Hanoi Hilton' Prison
30000 VND
Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology
40000 VND
Hanoi - Hanoi Street Food By Night Urban Adventure
31 USD
Day 24 - Halong Bay
Drive through the Red River Delta for about four hours and arrive at Halong Bay. Along the way, you’ll stop at the Hong Ngoc Humanity Centre, which provides vocational training and employment to Vietnamese people who experience a disability. Halong Bay is one of Vietnam’s most scenic places, a secluded harbour with 2,000 limestone islands and caves rising from the emerald waters. You’ll board our boat and spend the rest of the day cruising the breathtaking bay. Enjoy a sumptuous seafood lunch on board, stop for a visit to Sung Sot Cave, and take a swim at Titop Beach. Spend a night onboard your boat, with gentle waves rocking you to sleep.

Additional Activities

Halong Bay - Overnight boat cruise
Included in Price
Day 25 - Hanoi
Disembark from your boat in Halong Bay at around midday and take a three-and-a-half hour bus ride back to Vietnam’s charming capital, Hanoi. On the way back stop at the stop for refreshments at a handicraft village. Return to Hanoi at around 4pm. Enjoy your last few hours of free time then join the group for an optional farewell dinner.
Day 26 - Hanoi
There are no activities planned for today and you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Additional Activities

Hanoi Urban Adventure - Citadels, Karsts & Cycle
88 USD
Hanoi Urban Adventure - Village Discovery by Bike
33 USD
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Reviews
       
Great informative tour with flexibility
       
I generally had a good trip but see above. The main issue was the communication from Intrepid and the concern that it coincided with Tet holidays in Vietnam. I did not know that it was Tet when I booked and it may have been a good idea to mention it may have an effect then. You get to know when the trip notes arrive but that's after you have booked and paid - I may got at a different time. I understand the 'unforeseen circumstances' changes to an itinerary but what is unforeseen about Tet which happens every year? The changes to overnight buses was communicated far too late (in fact after I had left and we don't all have access to emails so I never saw it). Some people on my trip booked a flight to move on when you failed to book two overnight trains and we were left in the one town with not that much to do (Na Trang) for those who do not party that much. I would have taken that option too if I had known. You should have dealt with this far sooner and communicated better whilst on the trip - the plan changed as well - the one minute we had an overnight bus and the next we did not. We lost two days site-seeing to travel in the end and spent over 10 hours on the bus each day. You should have planned better for an event that you was happening. Hotels were generally good but there were issues with bed bugs in two of them. Several people had to move rooms including me. The homestays in both countries were a high-light and the families excellent (esp the lady in Vietnam, Phi I think). The guides were good and I appreciate that its not an easy job. Phi had excellent knowledge but organisation was not as good and Sam the other way round. Both did a pretty good job but if you get a guide who is on their last trip of their run of 5 the they will be tired. I was pretty annoyed to have to pay for a visa for Vietnam when the itinerary went one day over the 15 days you can get in free for. This cost me £160 using the Visa Machine you recommend. I know the rules have changed this year but isn't it your job to at least to keep an eye on this and advise? Difficult to change itinerary but you really need to look closely at this now. All told I really enjoyed the Cambodia part of my trip but Vietnam less so due to to the above. Tet was a great experience - it just wasn't managed very well. Manage it better and sell it as a high-light and not a hassle. I am going to do some research into the Imag Trav/Intrepid relationship for my future trips as I am keen to go back to Thailand/Laos next year. Thank you