Essential Vietnam & Cambodia

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2014 - January 10th, 2016 Last Updated:
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Introduction

A wide-ranging adventure showcasing the region’s natural wonders and fascinating cultures, this 17-day trip offers a combination of guided excursions and free time to explore beaches and ruins, urban culture and awe-inspiring landscapes. Cruise the Mekong for a day and overnight on a traditional sailing junk in Halong Bay. Witness the heights of Cambodia's past at Angkor Wat, and contemplate its lows by walking the infamous Killing Fields. Although many activities are included, there is still plenty of time to explore on your own and create the ultimate adventure.

  • Sail on a junk boat through Halong Bay
  • Sip iced coffee in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Float through the Mekong Delta
  • Enjoy sunrise over breathtaking Angkor Wat
Duration: 17 days
Start/Finish City: Hanoi to Bangkok
Service Level: Standard
  • Great value, reasonable prices, quality experiences
  • Comfortable and varied tourist-class accommodations chosen for location and character
  • Mix of public and private transport for the best overall experience
  • All the top highlights included, plus plenty of time to explore on your own
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Classic
The trips we've built our reputation on.

Designed for maximum variety, these trips are geared towards travellers searching for a healthy mix of active exploration, uncommon landscapes, amazing wildlife and local cultures.

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 Essential Vietnam & Cambodia (AVEV)

Day 1 Hanoi

Arrive in bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As passengers will be arriving at various times today, there are no planned activities. Some suggestions include: Taking a walk through Hanoi's Old Quarter – a maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry. In the evening attend a performance at the famous Water Puppet Theatre. Visit 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 (the mausoleum and museum is closed in October-November).

You will have a scheduled group meeting in the evening around 6pm. Please check at the reception desk or look for a G Adventures notice board with details of the actual meeting time. At this meeting your CEO will ask to sight your travel insurance, double check your Vietnam visa and complete some other paper work. Please note that most nationalities requires a visa to enter Vietnam, please double check this with your travel agent or local Vietnamese Embassy. 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 overnight in the city center of Hanoi. Our hotel is located in an Old Quarter. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free-Wifi and a computer are available in the lobby.

*Please note: if you have pre-booked the Adrenaline Bundle your CEO will inform you when you will do each activity throughout your tour: Cave Rappelling (Day 6 - Hoi An), Sunset ATV tour (Day 14 - Siem Reap) and Flight of the Gibbons (Day 17 - Bangkok). Due to the late end we strongly recommend a post-night accommodation, or book onward flight after 21:00. For more information on the Bundle see the Optional Activities section.

Day 2-3 Halong Bay (2B,2L,1D)

On day 2, a 4 hour drive takes us to Bai Chay harbour, our entry point to Halong Bay.
Thousands of islands rise dramatically from the waters of Halong Bay and, to further their beauty, intricate cave systems naturally exist throughout these limestone karst formations. Our sailing junk will take you to visit some of the islands and caves. You could enjoy a pre-dinner swim (depending on the season) and have an evening drink on the deck beneath the stars. Our accommodation tonight is a truly special experience – sleeping on a boat surrounded by high limestone karsts. All cabins are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom.
On day 3, after an early lunch on board the boat we head back to Hanoi. You have enough time for shopping or further sightseeing until our overnight train to Hue.
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.

Approx travel time:
Halong Bay to Hanoi is 4 hours by private bus. Toilet stops can be made en route.
Overnight sleeper train Ha Noi to Hue is approximately 14 hours.

Day 4 Hue

We arrive early on day 4 into Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam.
After checking in to our hotel, we start our day with a visit to the wonderful Tien Mu Pagoda. Built over 400 years ago, and at seven stories high, Tien Mu is still the tallest and perhaps the most elegant pagoda in Vietnam.
We then visit a tomb of one of Vietnam’s former emperors. These tombs are extremely ornate and embrace the concept of Feng Shui.
Afterwards, you may choose to enjoy a vegetarian lunch at a local nunnery and there are various options to head out by bike to explore the local countryside.
Please ask your CEO for more information.
In the evening, take the chance to try some local Hue specialties such as banh khoai (savoury pancakes), and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). You might want to wash it all down with a Hue beer. Yum!

Our accommodation tonight is centrally located in the main street of Hue. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. A swimming pool is also available.

Day 5-7 Hoi An (3B)

This morning we’ll start our day touring the wonderful ruins of the Imperial Citadel, from where the whole of Vietnam was once ruled. You’ll enjoy exploring the many palaces and gateways, courtyards and gardens of this beautiful complex and of course hearing the stories of the emperors who once lived here.

In the late morning we begin our drive to Hoi An. After crossing over the Hai Van Pass, with fantastic views in all directions, we will stop at Lang Co Beach, arriving in Hoi An in the afternoon for our three night stay.

Once known as Faifo, Hoi An was an important trading town with strong south Chinese influence and connections. You can take a walking tour of this living museum which 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 local delicacies. Hoi An is also a shopping mecca for tourists in the region. Tailors can produce virtually anything overnight, with clothing, silk lanterns, lacquer ware and many other crafts abound. For sun worshipers, Cua Dai Beach, 4kms from town makes for a great, flat bike ride.

We overnight three nights in a Hoi An. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby. The hotel also has a swimming pool to relax beside.

Approx travel time:
Hue to Hoi An by private minivan is approx 4 hours.

Day 8-9 Ho Chi Minh City (2B)

Drive to Danang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that was once the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center.
On the morning of Day 9 we take our guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. A complexed network of tunnels 90 minutes from the city where the locals lived during the American War to keep safe.
The afternoon is free time to visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas and stroll through the immense Ben Than Market. There is also the Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1975, Cholon (literally translated: Big Market),the Chinese quarter and the War Remnants Museum.

We overnight two nights in Ho Chi Minh City. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel is well located in near the Benh Than Market, backpackers area, war remnant museum and within walking distance to all the French colonial buildings. Free-Wifi and a computer are available at the lobby.

Approx travel time:
A flight time from Danang to Ho Chi Minh City is approx 1 hour. Transfer from Hoi An to the airport in Danang is 45 minutes.

Please note: As this is a combination trip, some of your tour members many depart in Ho Chi Mihn City and you may be joined by some new travelling companions on Day 9.

Day 10 Mekong Delta Day Trip (B)

Today we travel to where the mighty Mekong River approaches and empties in to the South China Sea. We board a small boat and navigate through the narrow canals, witnessing local lifestyle, floating vendors and small industrial boats. You will notice that many of the Vietnamese boats have eyes painted on the front to ward off evil spirits and to help guide the boat and crew safely back to land.
We disembark our boat to visit some cottage industries for which the area is famous such as delicious and chewy coconut candy, rice cakes, Vietnamese popcorn and pottery production. Don't miss the chance to try the unique regional 'elephant fish' at a local restaurant during our lunch break.
After a day of touring this unique region, we return to Ho Chi Minh City in time for dinner.

Approx travel time:
The round trip to Mekong Delta by private bus is approx 6 hours.

Day 11-12 Phnom Penh (2B)

On Day 11, we cross into Cambodia by public bus.The drive to the Vietnam/Cambodian border takes around 2 hours. After completing the border formalities, we continue by bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, arriving mid-afternoon.
After years of civil strife and political turmoil Cambodia is open for visitors. Late afternoon we take a short Cyclo ride around the city.

With our local guide on day 12, we witness the dark side of Cambodian history with visits to Choeng Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng prison, the notorious Khmer Rouge prison where thousands of Cambodians died at the hands of their captors.

Afterwards, continue sight seeing on your own.You can explore the cities many sights: the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum. There is time to visit the huge Russian Market packed with souvenirs and all the necessities of daily life. Late afternoon is a great time to visit Wat Phnom: the sanctuary where the city's namesake once stood. It is a Buddhist shrine, although a Taoist goddess and numerous monkeys also reside here. Wat Phnom is a popular hangout for residents of the city in the afternoon heat. A drink in one of the many riverside café’s watching the sunset is a fitting finale to the day.

We spend two nights in Phnom Penh. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free wifi and a computer are available at the lobby.

Approx travel time:
Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh is approx 6 hours including a short lunch at the local restaurant and border crossing.

Day 13-15 Siem Reap (3B,1D)

After a private bus trip through the Cambodian countryside we arrive in Siem Reap, our base to explore the ancient city of Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer kingdom and one of the wonders of the archeological world. Rediscovered at the end of the 19th century by French explorers this vast ruined city is becoming one of the most popular sites in Southeast Asia. Over 2 days, with our professional local guide, we visit some of the highlights of this ancient capital including the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, also known as the 'Tomb Raider' temple. Watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat is an experience not to be missed.

Trips departing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays will enjoy a meal in a nearby village at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project. Trips departing on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays will 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 three nights in Siem Reap. Our hotel swimming pool is a great place to escape the heat of Siem Reap. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathrooms. Free wifi and a public computer are available in the lobby. Our hotel is located within a walking distance of the town centre.

Approx travel time:
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by private bus is approx 6 hours.

Day 16 Bangkok (B)

It's a long travel day today as private bus ride takes us from the countryside of Cambodia to the modern kingdom of Thailand. The drive from Siem Reap to the border is around 3 hours. Please be aware that the border crossing formalities can take up to one hour. Upon entering Thailand we continue our journey to Bangkok.

We have time to check-in to our centrally located hotel and head out for an evening meal to celebrate the end of a wonderful journey.

Approx travel time:
Siem Reap to Cambodian border 3 hours.
Border crossing formalities, up to 1 hour
Thai border to Bangkok, 4 hours

Day 17 Depart Bangkok

You are free to depart at any time today.

What's Included

Halong Bay caves entrance. Halong Bay boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner. Imperial Citadel and Tomb entrance (Hue). Cu Chi Tunnels entrance and tour (Ho Chi Minh City). Mekong Delta day trip. Cyclo tour (Phnom Penh). Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) entrance and guide. Angkor Wat complex entry and guide, including sunrise tour (Siem Reap). Local Khmer dinner in nearby village either at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project or with a local family (depends on departure). Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Sail on a junk boat through Halong Bay, sip iced coffee in Ho Chi Minh City, float through the Mekong Delta, enjoy sunrise over breathtaking Angkor Wat

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.

In some major cities in Vietnam, many hotel rooms do not have windows.

There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 15 kg (33lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.

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 15, avg 12

Meals Included

15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinner.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. G Adventures understands the importance of breakfast to start your day, we strive to include a basic breakfast wherever possible. A typical breakfast may include toast, coffee and tea, however, they may also be Asian style, consisting of noodles, congee (rice porridge), bread or eggs; this may vary depending on the city we're visiting. Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. Should breakfast not be included, your CEO can suggest some local options.

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. 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 all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD325-375 for meals not included.

Transport

Train, local bus, air-con bus, plane, walking, cyclo, 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

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.

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

Hotels (14 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt).

My Own Room Exceptions

Night 2, Halong Bay boat; Night 3, Sleeper train

Joining Hotel

Asian Ruby Hotel
22 Tạ Hiện, Hàng Buồm, Hoan Kiem District
Hanoi
Vietnam
Tel: +84 -4-3935 2222

Note: Since May the 1st the joining hotel is going to be the Hong Ha hotel:

Hong Ha hotel
01 Le Lai street & 204 Tran Quang Khai Str.
Hoan Kiem, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel: +84-4-39387786

Note: For the departures of May 24, June 23 and 28, July 29, 30 ,31, September 3, October 4, 18, November 16,17,27,29,30, December 6, 14,15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27 and 29 the joining hotel is going to be Moon View 1:

Moon view 1 hotel
65 Cua Bac street - Ha Noi
Ha Noi
Vietnam
Tel: +84 -4- 37164777

Note: For the departures of September 27, November 8, 10, 12, 22, 26 and December 28 the joining hotel is going to be Moon View 2:

Moon view 2 hotel
61 Hang Than street - Ha Noi
Ha Noi
Vietnam
Tel: +84-4-39274705

* Please always check your vouchers

Joining Instructions

When arriving at Noi Bai Intl Airport in Hanoi you have a choice of pre paid taxi or Vietnam Airlines shuttle bus to get you into the city. The airport is 35 km outside of the city and the drive should take between 40-50 minutes depending on traffic. The airport taxis are a safe and convenient way to arrive at your hotel. The cost is approx 17USD and is paid directly to your driver WHEN YOU GET TO THE HOTEL. The other option is to take the Vietnam Airlines shuttle bus which drops everyone at the Vietnam Airlines office downtown, The cost of the tickets is 45000 Dong (approx 3 USD). From the Vietnam Airline office there are taxis that can take you to your hotel with the meter on about 2-4 USD.
WARNING - Please be wary of illegal taxi drivers. They will try and coax you away from the main airport taxi services and then charge a much increased price either in US Dollar or get you to change money into Vietnames Dong before you understand the exchange rate and thus charge you at least twice the going rate.

Unfortunately there have been cases in Vietnam of people misrepresenting themselves as G Adventures representatives at both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh airports.
We recommend that you do not take advantage of any offers of "help" at the airport, and rather just organise a meter taxi for yourself to our Starting Point Hotel.

If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area.
Please check that your driver knows your name and the hotel you are going to. If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes, call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.

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 and 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. 

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 mintues 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 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
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
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 Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand 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.

VIETNAM - Visas for Vietnam need to be arranged ahead of time (before your trip) as the processing time varies. Vietnam Visas are not available at the border. Visas are not available on arrival at the airport unless arranged in advance with a reliable online supplier.

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

CAMBODIA - Visas can be obtained in advance from your local Embassy or on arrival at the border. You will need two photos and approx $20* USD for this.

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

THAILAND - Most nationalities do not need a visa for Thailand for stays of up to 30 days. If you do require a visa you can get it at the border or airport. Please note that as of December 2008, 30 day Thai visas are no longer available at land borders. Only 15 day tourist visas are issued when you enter Thailand overland. If you are staying more than 15 days you should consider getting your visa prior to your trip.
*Please note that certain nationalities (including: Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Czech, Estonia, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Oman, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Taiwan and Ukraine) may not be able to obtain visa at a land border.

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

Detailed Trip Notes

Border crossings during the AVEV:
Bavet, Cambodia - Vietnam to Cambodia
Aranya Prathet, Thailand - Cambodia to Thailand

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 currency you will use is the 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 Thailand & 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*
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Approximate costs (per person) for popular optional activities taken in free time.
Allow $250 USD:

Kayak Rental for 1 person (Halong Bay)- USD10
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
Boat trip on Perfume River (Hue) - approx USD15/hour
Cooking Class (Hoi An)- USD25 for Half Day
My Son Cham Ruins including car transport (Hoi An) - USD24
Tu Bon River Boat Trip (Hoi An)- USD5
Cyclo tour (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD4
War Crimes museum (Ho Chi Minh City)- USD1
The Reunification Palace (Ho Chi Minh City) - USD2
Saigon Water Park (Ho Chi Minh City) - USD4
National Museum (Phnom Penh)- USD3
The Silver Pagoda (Phnom Penh)- USD6.25
Tonle Sap Lake Tour (Siem Reap)- USD5-15
Grand palace (Bangkok ) - USD11
Jim Thompson’s House (Bangkok) - USD3.5
National Museum (Bangkok) - USD1.5
Royal Barge Museum (Bangkok) USD1.5
Wat Po (Bangkok) - USD2
Klong(Canal) Tour (Bangkok) - Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
Thai massage (Bangkok) – USD10 per hour

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

As Vietnam embraces capitalism with open arms it is also falling victim to some of the problems of the West. Some parts of city centres are now a favourite hangout for pickpockets. If doing some exploring on your own carry only the necessary minimum with you and use a well-hidden money belt. Valuables, including your passport, should be left in the hotel safe - organize this at reception. There is no need to get paranoid, just be cautious.

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)

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 you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and 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

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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.