Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - December 31st, 2016 Last Updated:
Download PDF

Introduction

Begin in Bangkok—a city that never sleeps—and end by braving Hanoi's bustling streets. Plug in to Cambodia and Vietnam on this electric journey with breaks to bliss out on white-sand beaches. Get a history lesson exploring Angkor Wat and walking Ho Chi Minh City’s streets. With your accommodation and transport arranged by our expert CEOs, this adventure offers a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.

  • Explore the bustling streets of Bangkok
  • Revel in the majesty of Angkor Wat
  • Enjoy a delicious local Khmer meal in a small village
  • Relax on golden beaches
  • Shop Hoi An's quaint streets
  • Float through Halong Bay.
Duration: 20 days
Start/Finish City: Bangkok to Hanoi
Service Level: Basic
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
  • Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
  • Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Yolo
Adventures for 18 to thirty somethings

Designed for young, budget-minded travellers, Yolo trips maximize time and money by squeezing the most out of a destination. This ain't your typical big-bus tour, though. Small groups, insider access and personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment are the order of the day, every day.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring (ATCV)

Day 1 Bangkok

Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned. You are free to relax, explore the city & adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Bangkok.

Please arrive at our start point hotel before 6pm for an important group meeting where you will meet you Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please look for a sign on the hotel's notice board for the time and location of your group meeting.

At this meeting you CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance, check that you have a visas for Vietnam and complete some other paper work. Please note that you MUST arrive on tour with your Vietnam visa. Please refer to the visa information section of these trip notes for more information on obtaining your Vietnamese visa.

After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members.

We spend this evening in Bangkok. Our hotel is located in China Town, next to the central train station and MRT (Subway), and is only a short USD2 taxi ride from Khao San road and the central shopping area of Siam Square, MBK, Siam Paragon, etc. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel has a small pool and wifi is available at extra cost.

*Please note: if you have pre-booked the Adrenaline Bundle your CEO will inform you when you will do each activity throughout your tour: Flight of the Gibbons (Day 1 - Bangkok) (pre night recommended), Sunset ATV tour (Day 3 - Siem Reap) and Cave Rappelling (Day 14 - Hoi An). For more information on the Bundle see the Optional Activities section.

Days 2-3 Siem Reap/Angkor Wat (2B, 1D)

After breakfast on day 2, we leave Bangkok and make way on the long journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia. It will take us approximately 4 hours to travel from Bangkok to the border. It is possible to get your Cambodian visa at the border - ask your CEO for details. Once at the border, we will disembark with our luggage and cross the border by foot. This process can take up to an hour or more so please pack your patience. After the border formalities are complete, we meet our Cambodian bus and continue on to Siem Reap. The scenery is spectacular and the contrast between Thailand and Cambodia is immediate.

Enjoy an included tour of Angkor Wat temple complex. Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer Kingdom, is one of the wonders of the archeological world. Rediscovered at the end of the last century by French explorers, this vast ruined city is becoming one of the most popular sites in South East Asia. Your included tour will enable you to visit many of the highlights of this ancient capital, such as the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic faces of Bayon within the walled city Angkor Thom and the much photographed temple of Ta Prohm which is slowly being re claimed by the jungle.

Depending on the day of the week that your trip travels to Siem Reap you will have one of these two experiences. You will either enjoy a meal in a nearby village at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project or visit a local home in a nearby village for a traditional meal. With so many travellers coming through these areas, alternating experiences helps to allow both small businesses to flourish. Both experiences are truly unique and memorable.

We spend two nights in Siem Reap. Our Hotel is located some 10 minutes walk from city center. The hotel lobby has 2 computers for guests to browse the internet. Free wifi is also available. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom.

Approx travel time:
Bangkok to Thai/Cambodian border: 4 hours by private transport.
Border crossing from Thailand to Cambodian border: 30 mins to 1 hour.
Cambodian border to Siem Reap: 3 hours by private transport.

Days 4-5 Phnom Penh (2B)

On day 4, we journey by local bus to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. After a brief walking orientation tour from your CEO, you are free to explore Phnom Penh. Sights you might choose to visit this afternoon include the National Museum and adjacent complex of the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace.

After 1975, when Pol Pot and his henchmen took power, Cambodia was thrown into an abyss of unspeakable violence and mass-murder. Millions of Cambodians perished during this time. Witness to this genocide are the Killing fields of Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng prison. A Tuk Tuk can be hired locally to take you there, or your CEO can organise a bus and private guide for the group. You may also wish to explore town or go shopping at the famous Russian Market. Phnom Penh can be confusing and we recommend to always keep a hotel card with you when you are exploring. Tuktuks (local transport) usually cost between 2-3 USD to anywhere in town.

In the evening, there are many pleasant local restaurants where you can try some local specialties such as fish amok.

We overnight two nights in Phnom Penh. Our Hotel is centrally located, close to the riverfront. The hotel has free wifi. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms.

Approx travel time:
Public bus with A/C from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: 6-7 hours
It is best to prepare your earplugs ready for this journey if you are not a fan of loud Khmer pop music!

Days 6-7 Sihanoukville

We travel by public bus to Cambodia's southern coast and the beaches of Sihanoukville. Time to relax on the white sand while perhaps enjoying a massage and eating fresh seafood, or why not join a boat trip for a day of snorkelling and lunch on an uninhabited island.

In the evening, enjoy a barbeque on the beach before hitting one of the many fun bars to dance the night away.

We spend two nights in Sihanoukville. The hotel has free-Wifi available. Bar and pool table are also available. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Tuktuks (local motorised transport) usually costs 2-3 USD in and around town.

Approx travel time:
Public bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville: 4-5 hours
The bus will stop for a break after approximately 2.5 hours of travel. The bus has air-conditioning and public Karaoke. Best to bring out those earplugs again if you like to relax on your bus journeys!

Day 8 Mekong Delta (1D)

This morning we make our way to the Cambodia/Vietnam border. After driving for approximately 2 hours, we'll stop for a break in Kampot, an attractive riverside Cambodian town, well-known for the quality of its local pepper. It is approximately another 2 hours to reach the Vietnamese the border. The border crossing requires you to walk approx 150 meters on a flat road with your bags into Vietnam where our private bus will be waiting for us. After completing the necessary formalities, we will continue on to Chau Doc (Vietnam), a 4-5 hour drive.

Tonight we will stay in a basic village homestay that includes dinner.

Approx travel time:
Private bus from Sihanoukville to Chau Doc: 9 hours (not including border formalities)

Days 9-10 Ho Chi Minh City (2B)

After breakfast on day 9, we head to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) a journey which will take most of the day. This evening, why not head to one of the rooftop bars such as the Rex Hotel, one of the classic colonial Saigon institutions, where there is often live music.

Enjoy one of several street food crawls with the group and CEO while in Ho Chi Minh City. Bring your appetites and your wallets, and the CEO will bring you to the best spots and teach you a bit about the local street food.

Day 10 is free for you to explore. You may choose to visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of tunnels 90 minutes from the city where the locals lived during the American War to keep safe. Perhaps visit the the immense Ben Thanh Market and grab a snack at one of its many food stands. Those with an interest in Vietnam's recent war history may like to visit the Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1974, and the fascinating nearby War Remnants Museum. Also very interesting is Cholon, Saigon’s Chinese quarter. A cyclo can take you to any of these places for a very reasonable price and is a fun way to travel around Ho Chi Minh City.

On the evening of day 10, we take an overnight train to Nha Trang, the first of 3 sleeper trains you will take in Vietnam. The sleeper trains throughout Vietnam are quite comfortable. Each cabin sleeps 4 people in 2 bunk beds. You will be able to lock the door from the inside. All bedding is provided. The train is air conditioned and has squat and Western style toilets with a wash basin at the end of each compartment. Bags can be stored in your cabin and accessed at anytime. Food and drinks are available for purchase on board. This is not to everyone’s taste so we recommend you bring your own.

Our Saigon hotel is located in front of the city’s main market, Ben Than Market, and very close to Saigon's backpackers street. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Wifi is available. A small swimming pool is also available on the second floor.

Approx Travel Time:
Private bus from Chau Doc to Ho Chi Minh City: 7-8 hrs

Please note: As this is a combination trip, some of your tour members may depart in Ho Chi Minh City and you may be joined by some new travelling companions on Day 10.

Days 11-12 Nha Trang

We arrive in Nha Trang in the morning with plenty of time for you to explore the local shops and markets, relax on the beach soaking up the sun or visit nearby historical sites. Optional activities in Nha Trang include a boat trip to nearby islands for snorkeling, or perhaps a fun filled all day beach party.

On the evening of day 4 we take the second of our overnight trains in Vietnam to Danang, where we will transfer to our final destination, Hoi An. The train is air conditioned and has squat and Western style toilets and wash basins at the end of each compartment. Your bags are located in your cabin and can be accessed at anytime.

Our hotel in Nha Trang is centrally located in town and everything is within walking distance. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Wifi is available.

Approx travel time:
Transfer train station to hotel: 10 min each way
Overnight sleeper train Nha Trang to Danang: 9-10 hrs.

Days 13-14 Hoi An (B)

From Danang, it is only short drive to the picturesque port town of Hoi An. Once known as Faifo, it was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections.

Take a self guided walking tour of this living museum whose main sights includes the Museum of History and Culture, the Tan Ky house, the Japanese bridge, the Fujian Assembly Hall and lunch at a riverside restaurant to sample some of the delicious local delicacies and fusion food at the restaurants for which Hoi An is becoming famous. This is a great place to sign up for a cooking class. You might consider heading off on an optional motorbike or bicycle tour to visit the beautiful countryside surrounding Hoi An.

Hoi An is a shopping mecca. Tailors can produce virtually any item of clothing you may wish for overnight at extremely reasonable prices, and silk lanterns, lacquer ware and many other crafts abound. It is also the centre of modern art in Vietnam. For sun worshipers, Cua Dai Beach is 4kms from town- a great flat bike ride away. Add in lots of fun bars into the mix and this really is a town that has it all and trust us, you’ll have trouble tearing yourself away!

Our hotel is located approximately ten minutes walk from Hoi An downtown. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel also has swimming pool.

Approx travel time:
Transfer from train station in Danang to Hoi An: 45 min

Approx Travel Time:
Danang to Hoi An, 45 minutes by private mini van.

Days 15-16 Hue (B)

We continue our journey north to the city of Hue. We will make a stop about half way into our ride at the Hai Van Pass where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.

When in Hue, options to explore include a visit to the former Royal Citadel which was modeled on the Forbidden City in Beijing or traveling by boat along the Perfume River. Don't miss a visit to the seven tiered Tien Mu Pagoda and try to fit in a visit to at least one of the tombs of the former rulers of Vietnam, located here in the quiet countryside, all of which are like self contained mini palaces. A true highlight of Hue is the surrounding countryside and cycling is a great way to get out and experience this while checking out the sights.

On the late evening of Day 8 we will travel by sleeper train from Hue to Hanoi.

Our hotel is centrally located in town and is very convenient to explore the city. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning. The hotel has internet, with a computer available for passengers at the lobby.

Approx travel time:
Private bus from Hoi An to Hue (Day 7): 4 hours
Overnight sleeper train Hue to Hanoi (Day 8): 14 hours

Day 17 Halong Bay/Bai Chay Harbour (1L)

We arrive in the early morning to bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. After meeting our local guide we transfer to a private bus and make our way to the beautiful and famous Halong Bay.

Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the waters of the Bay and, to further their beauty, intricate caves have been hollowed out through these limestone karst formations. Aboard a sailing junk we'll enjoy a seafood lunch and a visit to one of the islands and caves before transfering to the mainland for our overnight stay.

Our hotel is located on the Bay Chai beach front with great views of Halong Bay. Our hotel has internet in the lobby with one public computer being available and free wifi. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning.

Approx travel time:
Private bus Ha Noi to Halong Bay: 4 hours

Days 18-19 Hanoi (B)

After breakfast, we'll transfer back to Hanoi. Upon arrival, explore Hanoi with an orientation walking tour through the city's old quarter. Each street is named after the trade practiced on that street for several generations; it's an interesting glimpse into the life of a Hanoian in one of the oldest parts of town.

Opt to visits the Tran Quoc Pagoda, the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu) or Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum and Museum. The Mausoleum houses the remains of Ho Chi Minh, the founding father of the unified Vietnam (closed October-November). Don’t miss taking a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of street, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry. Follow this up with a walk around nearby Hoan Kiem lake and see if you can spot one of the famous 100 year old turtles which may still live within its murky waters. In the evening you have an option to attend a performance at the famous Water Puppets and sample some of Hanoi's amazing eating venues. Ask your CEO to tell you about the local Northern delicacies.

Our hotel in Hanoi is located in the Old Quarter some 20 minutes walk to Hoan Kiem Lake, the centre of Hanoi. Make sure you grab the map and hotel card before you leave the hotel. All hotel rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Computers and wifi are available.

Approx Travel Time:
Private bus Ha Long Bay to Ha Noi: 4 hours

Day 20 Hanoi (B)

You are free to depart at any time today. Please note that hotel check out time is 12pm.

We look forward to receiving your evaluation regarding this tour itinerary and your CEO's performance. We value your input into what we could improve to make this trip even better and of course love hearing about what we are already doing well! You will be sent a post tour email on your return with details on how to go on line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.

Some of your group will most likely continue traveling through Laos with G Adventures. If you are interested in ongoing travel in Laos have a look at the following trip on our website:

Roam Laos and Thailand
http://www.gadventures.com/trips/roam-laos-thailand/AVRL/2012/

What's Included

Halong Bay boat cruise with lunch and guide. Local Khmer meal at Planeterra-supported project New Hope or local home (Siem Reap). Orientation walks in Phnom Penh and Hanoi. Guided tour of Angkor Wat temple complex. Street food crawls in several cities. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Explore the bustling streets of Bangkok, revel in the majesty of Angkor Wat, enjoy a delicious local Khmer meal in a small village, relax on golden beaches, shop Hoi An's quaint streets, float through Halong Bay.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

Please note that this trip is a combination of multiple G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and/or particular vehicles operating your tour may change between tour segments. You may also expect some group members to join or leave the tour, between tour segments.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 10.

Meals Included

14 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. Included breakfasts will usually be asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD380-500 for meals not included.

Transport

Local bus, air-con bus, walking, junk boat, local boat.

About our Transportation

Train travel in Vietnam is very basic and train cleanliness is often not a priority for train staff. Sleeper trains normally have 4 seats per compartment, which convert into sleeping bunks (two upper and two lower). A sheet, pillow and blanket are provided, although many people prefer to bring their own sleeping sheet. At times, passengers of different genders may be required to share a sleeper train berth and/or share a compartment with people not travelling in your group.

Simple food is available on the train but many people like to stock up on freshly baked bread, cheese and fruit prior to departure. Water should also be bought before the journey.

Train journeys in Vietnam are an experience and allow you to get a real taste of Vietnam.

Local Flights

There are no internal flights in this itinerary.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Simple hotels (15 nts), sleeper trains (3 nts), homestay (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 10, 12 & 16, Sleeper train and Night 8, homestay.

About Accommodation

A variety of styles of hotels/guest houses are used on this trip. In many instances they might not be like what you are used to back home as service and efficiency can vary. In some areas we stay in simple local guest houses in stunning locations - rooms are small and simple and there may only be shared toilet facilities and showers.

Joining Hotel

Bangkok Centre Hotel
328 Rama IV Road
Bangkok
+66 (0) 2 238-4980-99

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Suvarnabhumi Airport (pronounced 'su wan na poom') in Bangkok proceed to the Arrivals Hall where you can change money into Thai Baht. (You may be approached by nicely dressed, official looking touts offering an expensive limousine service to your hotel; ignore these offers.)

You have three transport options; public bus, the Airport Train & MRT or public taxi. All transportation is located on the ‘ground’ floor.

Public Bus
The Airport Bus operates 4 bus routes to downtown for a cost of 150 Baht for the entire route. Bus AE2 goes to Banglamphu and Bus AE4 goes to Hua Lamphong train station. Our hotels are located in both the Bang Lamphu and Hua Lamphong areas.

Taxi
The airport is located 30km’s away from downtown Bangkok. Approach the taxi counters, advise them where you are going and they will write this information down for you along with the taxis registration details. Taxis should always use the meter and you are required to pay a 50 Baht airport surcharge on top of the metered fee plus any tollway fees (approx 70 Baht depending on the route taken). Total journey will cost between 350 THB – 500 THB, depending on traffic and toll fees. The expressway is substantially faster, so tell the taxi driver to use the expressway, you can say either ""kuen ton-way"" (from 'tollway') or ""kuen taang duan"" in Thai (but most understand Tollway/express way in English).

Airport Train
If you are staying at the Bangkok Centre Hotel you can take the Airport Train. Board the express airport train at a cost of 150 THB to the City Air Terminal; Makkasan. Here you will need to disembark and change to the MRT (subway) Blue line, boarding at Phetchaburi Station. From Pethaburi Station travel to the last stop, Hua Lamphong, and follow the signs at the exit for the Bangkok Centre Hotel.

Arrival Transfers
If you have paid for an arrival transfer when you booked your trip then please proceed to the Airport Information Counter near entrance 3 and look for the driver who should be holding a G Adventures sign.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

If you have pre-booked an airport transfer please meet your driver near the information counter at Entrance Door number 3 of the airport, in the arrival hall. If for any reason you can not locate you driver please call the emergency transfer phone number at +66 (0) 800 562777.


If you have still have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

If your call is specifically concerning Bangkok Airport Transfer complications please call our local G Adventures Transfer provider directly at:+66 81 847 3034 (081 847 3034 from within Thailand) or +66 86 339 5881 (086 339 5881 from within Thailand)

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number:
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

What you need to bring depends on the trip you have chosen and the countries or regions you are planning to visit. We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible as your are expected to carry your own luggage. As a rule we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 10-15kg/22-30lb. Suitcases are not recommended for G Adventures trips! Most travellers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size (no XXL ones please!) as they need to fit under the beds when travelling on sleeper trains. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like ipods and mobile phones. If your trip involves overnights in homestays, villages or camping then you usually have the opportunity to rent sleeping bags if need be instead of bringing them with you.

Checklist

Passport (with photocopies)
Travel insurance (with photocopies)
Airline tickets (with photocopies)
USD cash (small denominations preferred)
Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
Any entry visas, additional passport photos or if vaccination certificates required
Alarm clock
Flashlight
Sun hat, sunblock, sunglasses
Insect repellent
Small towel and swim wear
Toiletries (biodegradable)
Sturdy walking shoes/sport sandals
Money belt
Shorts
Long trousers
Hiking pants/track pants
Shirts/T-shirts
Warm clothes for Nov-Feb. Hat, gloves, fleece, windproof/waterproof jacket
Waterproof clothes for wet season May-Oct. Umbrella or waterproof jacket
Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs
Camera and film
Reading/writing material
Binoculars
Pocketknife
First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Please note that visas for Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your Governments Foreign Ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself. For most travellers there will probably be an Embassy or Consulate in the country that you live in.

THAILAND - Most nationalities do not need a visa for Thailand for stays of 30 days or less but if you do they are available on arrival at Bangkok Airport. If you plan on staying over this time then please obtain a visa prior to arrival.

CAMBODIA - Visas can be obtained in advance from your local Embassy or on arrival in Bangkok. You will need at least one full working day to arrange this. You can also obtain your visa at the Cambodian border for approx. $30 USD very easily. You will will need two passport sized photos.

*Please have extra USD on hand in case the customs officials charge more at the border crossing.

VIETNAM - Visas for Vietnam need to be arranged ahead of time (before your trip starts) as the processing time varies and visas are not available at the borders. You will be entering Vietnam on day 8 of your trip. Please ensure your visa 'valid from date' is on or before this date. Please note that an E-visa can not be processed when entering Vietnam at a land border as we do on this trip. Please organize a regular passport visa prior to the trip.

Please be aware that you will require 2 clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least 6 months validity.

Some nationalities don't require a Visa for Vietnam for shorter stays - please contact your Foreign Ministry for up to date entry/exit requirements.

Detailed Trip Notes

Border crossings:
Poipet, Cambodia - Thailand to Cambodia
Vinh Xuong, Vietnam (or Chau Doc). Cambodia to Vietnam

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

During this tour the local currencies you will use are the Thai Baht, US Dollar, Cambodian Riel and Vietnamese Dong. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $250 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Tipping

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

PERSONALIZE MY TRIP
Our trip designers work very hard to assemble the life-altering experiences that fill this brochure. That said, our travellers are a diverse group driven by all sorts of different tastes, motivations and interests. What’s a trip designer to do? The solution? Extras! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, Extras are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Extras must be booked prior to departure.

Extras available on this trip:
SOUTH EAST ASIA ADRENALINE BUNDLE

FLIGHT OF THE GIBBONS
Bangkok, Full-day
Soar across 3 kilometres of Thai jungle on a zipline and learn about the local lore, wildlife and geology from an expert guide. (Not at the same time, of course. That’d be kinda complicated.)

Note: If the Extra is on the arrival or departure day we strongly recommend booking an additional night.

CAVE RAPPELLING
Hoi An, Half-day
Explore the temples of one of Vietnam’s most sacred mountain retreats, then test your faith in gravity by abseiling from the summit, then into a cave, then into a temple chamber. Mind = blown.

ATV TOUR
Siem Reap, Aprox. 1 hr
Starting in late afternoon, this Sunset ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) tour takes you through the countryside immediately surrounding Siem Reap and ends with a beautiful view of the setting sun as it dips below the rice fields.

*For specific days of each activity please see the Full Itinerary*
____________________________________________________
Please allow $200 USD for activities not included on this trip. Below are a list of popular activities with approximate costs:

Kayak Rental for 1 person (Halong Bay)- USD10
Water Puppet Show (Hanoi) USD3
Ho Chi Minh House on Stilts and Presidential Palace (Hanoi) USD1
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum (Hanoi)- free (Closed Oct-Nov)
Hoa Lao Prison- aka ‘Hanoi Hilton’ (Hanoi)- USD1
Museum of Ethnology (Hanoi)- USD1 plus transport
Temple of Literature (Hanoi)- USD1
Fine Arts Museum (Hanoi) - USD1
Women's Museum (Hanoi) - USD1
Army Museum (Hanoi)- USD1
Taxi to each museum - approx USD2
Bicycle Hire (Hue) - USD1
Royal Citadel (Hue)- USD5
Royal Tombs (Hue)- USD5
Perfume River Boat (Hue)- USD5-10
Cooking Class (Hoi An)- USD20-25 for Half Day
My Son Cham Ruins including car transport (Hoi An) - USD24
Tu Bon River Boat Trip (Hoi An)- USD5
Day trip to Islands (Nha Trang)- USD15
Visit to Mudbaths (Nha Trang)- USD3 plus transport
Water Sports: parasaling, Jet Skiing (Nha Trang)- USD20-30
Cu Chi Tunnels (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD8 plus transport USD5-10
Cyclo tour (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD5
War Crimes museum (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD1
The Reunification Palace (Ho Chi Minh City) - USD2
Saigon Water Park (Ho Chi Minh City) - USD5
Day trip to Islands (Sihanoukville)- USD10-15
Day trip to Ream National Park (Sihanoukville)- USD15
Tuol Sleng (S-21) Prison (Phnom Penh) $2
Killing Fields (Phnom Penh) $2
Transport around town (Phnom Penh) $5-10 per half day
National Museum (Phnom Penh)- USD3
The Silver Pagoda (Phnom Penh)- USD6.25
Tonle Sap Lake Tour (Siem Reap)- USD15-20
Entrance to Angkor Archaeological Park (Siem Reap)- USD20 per day
Transportation to Angkor Archaeological Park (Siem Reap)- USD10-20 per day

All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Be aware that petty theft can be an issue in some Vietnamese towns and cities especially late at night. A common tactic is opportunists on motorbikes that drive by and snatch bags. Please always leave valuables and passports etc in your hotel,in safety boxes if available,and only carry with you enough cash to spend for the day. Bags should always be carried over the neck and not left to sit on your shoulder.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

A Word of Warning

Please do not buy gems in Bangkok unless you know what you are doing. Even if genuine you should not expect to be able to sell them at home. If you fall victim to a gem scam, we are unable to assist you.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

Just a few miles from the sacred temple of Angkor Wat and the many large hotels of Siem Reap is one of the poorest communities with serious food and medical shortages. New Hope Cambodia Outreach Centre is a community centre in Siem Reap that provides free education, training and health programs for young people and their families. Through the support of traveller donations and contributions by G Adventures, Planeterra has funded the development of a vocational training restaurant. The restaurant has a trainee program that enables youth to gain the necessary skills to become employed in Cambodia’s booming tourism industry. Many G Adventures travellers will enjoy a meal at the restaurant while in Siem Reap.

Local Dress

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples, mosques or other holy sites.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.