Essential Vietnam & Cambodia

  • Vietnam
  • Thailand
  • Cambodia

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

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, ruins, urban culture, and awe-inspiring landscapes. Cruise the Mekong for a day and overnight on a traditional sailing junk boat 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.

17 days from €1,699

(€99.94 per day)

Suitable for
All ages
Trip Code
AVEV
Travel Style
Classic
Service Level
Standard
Physical Grading
2 - Light
Trip Type
Small Group
Group Size
Max 15, avg 12
Transport
Train, local bus, air-con bus, plane, walking, cyclo, boat.
Accommodation
Hotels (14 nights), sleeper train (1 night), junk boat (1 night).
Meals
15 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Other
  • G Adventures for Good: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An G Adventures for Good: Local Khmer Meal, Siem Reap
  • Halong Bay caves entrance
  • Halong Bay boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
  • View more
    • Imperial Citadel and Tomb entrance (Hue)
    • Cu Chi Tunnels entrance and tour
    • 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)
    • Border crossing support
    • Internal flight
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Day 1 Hanoi

Arrive at any time.

There are no planned activities today until an evening welcome meeting. After the meeting, opt for dinner out with the group.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

accommodation

Church Boutique Hotel Lan Ong

Optional Activities:

  • Thăng Long Water Puppet Theatre Performance

    Watch a traditional Vietnamese water puppet show with beautiful live music and intricate puppets dancing in a water stage.

  • Tran Quoc Pagoda Visit

    Visit one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam located on the eastern shore of Tay Ho. Learn about Tran Quoc's history from the 17th-century stela found on site. View it later in the day, if you can – the tall structure is striking against the setting sun.

  • Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu) Visit

    Visit this sprawling temple built to honour Confucius, sages, and scholars. Dedicated to learning, it housed the country’s first university in 1076. Explore its five courtyards, containing various gates, altars, sanctuaries, shrines, the stelae of doctors, and the Well of Heavenly Clarity.

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum Visit

    Tour the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum built in the square where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence in 1945. Get in line to tour the grounds; queues of visitors come to pay their respects daily.

    The mausoleum and museum are closed for refurbishment from October-November each year.

Day 2 Hanoi / Ha Long

Enjoy a Ha Long Bay cruise on a junk boat with visits to a cave and an island lookout. Savour a seafood lunch and dinner.

Drive to Bai Chay harbour, the jumping off point for Ha Long Bay. Thousands of islands with intricate cave systems rise dramatically from the waters. Sail past limestone karst mountains in the junk boat and stop to visit some of the islands and caves.

In the evening, devour a seafood dinner, then opt to enjoy a drink on deck under the stars.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Junk

Skim across the water aboard this iconic traditional Asian sailboat.

Halong Bay Overnight Cruise

Board a traditional junk boat at Ha Long Bay harbour and cruise out onto serene waters. Marvel at massive limestone karst mountains jutting out of the water, creating unforgettable spectacular scenery. Swim, kayak or go cave exploring on one of the islands, if conditions are right. Indulge in fresh seafood meals with a variety of dishes to sample. Drift to sleep in a cozy cabin on board. On rare occasion Halong Bay is closed to tourist vessels by the government authorities due to extreme weather conditions. Should this occur, an alternate activity will be provided.

accommodation

Halong Bay Boat

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Day 3 Ha Long / Huế

Cruise back to the port and take a private van to Hanoi. Enjoy some time in the city before an overnight train to Hue.

Enjoy breakfast on board before a morning sail back to the port. Drive back to Hanoi for a little more time to enjoy the city before boarding an overnight train.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

free time

Spend a few hours exploring this beautiful capital city. Visit some shops, have a bia hoi on a street corner or grab a coffee in a lakeside café.

Basic overnight train (beds)

The sleeper train is quite comfortable with cabins of bunk beds that sleep four. All bedding is provided and cabin doors lock from the inside. The train is air-conditioned with squat and Western-style toilets with wash basins at the end of each carriage. Bags can be stored in each cabin and accessed at anytime. Food and drinks are available for purchase on board, but it is recommended to bring your own.

Drive about 15 mins to the station and then board the southbound train for the overnight journey.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 4 Huế

Guided tour of the Imperial Citadel, Royal Tomb and Tien Mu Pagoda.

Arrive early to Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam. Start the day with a visit to the Tien Mu Pagoda followed by a visit to the tomb of one of Vietnam’s former emperors.

After, opt for a vegetarian lunch at a local nunnery.

While in the city, try some local Hue specialties such as banh khoai (Hue savoury pancakes), and banh bot loc boc tom thit (thin rice paper filled with meat and shrimp). Wash it all down with a Hue beer.

Tien Mu Pagoda Visit

Visit Tien Mu, one of the tallest and, perhaps, most elegant pagodas in Vietnam, at seven storeys high. Take a step back in time touring this historic temple - built more than 400 years ago along the north shore of the Perfume River, it has been the site of many political protests.

Imperial Citadel Tour

Tour this one-time capital city and UNESCO World Heritage site. See the walled fortress and former palace, which has many palaces, gateways, courtyards, and gardens to explore. The Forbidden Purple City (modelled on China's Forbidden City) inside the citadel was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War.

Royal Tombs Visit

Visit the Royal Tombs along the Perfume River in Hue. Embracing the concept of Feng Shui, these tombs are extremely ornate and provide fantastic insight into the lives of the former rulers.

accommodation

Asia Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Motorbike Tour

    Hop on the back of a motorbike and let your professional driver take you out into the countryside. Explore rice paddy landscapes and see local villagers at work in the fields. Take in temples, shops, a scenic overlook or two, or, perhaps, an ancient covered bridge – routes can vary on these interesting rides.

Day 5 Huế / Hoi An

Drive the Hai Van pass. Take advantage of Hoi An's many options over the 2.5 days in town. Opt for a cooking class, riverboat trip, bike ride, beach time, tailor visit or My Son ruins.

Start the day touring the wonderful ruins of the Imperial Citadel before heading towards Hoi An in the late morning. Cross the Hai Van Pass (weather permitting), with fantastic views in all directions, before arriving to Hoi An in the afternoon.

With three nights here, there's plenty of time to explore all this charming town has to offer.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

free time

Use free time in this quaint town to explore any way you like.

accommodation

Vinh Hung 2 Resort

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 6 Hoi An

Spend two full days exploring all Hoi An has to offer. Dive into the culture, hang out on the beach or get clothes tailor-made in one of the many shops around town. Enjoy a noodle making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project.

Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch

Try some of the oodles of noodles (more than 26 types!) available in the city in this tasty cooking class. Run by G Adventures for Good partners, STREETS International, the class was developed exclusively for G Adventures. Former street youth that are part of this hospitality training program, will help you prepare and cook a number of different types of noodles. This program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill-set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry. Enjoy your yummy creations while learning more about the local cuisine and this initiative which empowers street youth through skills and employment training.

free time

Explore this charming city.

accommodation

Vinh Hung 2 Resort

Optional Activities:

  • Hoi An Cooking Class

    Take a cooking class to learn more about Vietnamese food and its distinct flavours. Tour the local market to buy fresh ingredients before preparing some popular regional dishes. Enjoy your creations when you're done!

  • Bike Rental

    Rent a bike from a local shop and head out to explore.

  • Mỹ Sơn Excursion

    Travel approximately one hour from Hoi An to arrive at My Son. Tour these Hindu temples built between the fourth and 14th centuries; the site is widely accepted as one of the most important Hindu temple complexes in Southeast Asia. Learn about the architectural style and history of a site that’s often compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Bagan in Burma.

  • Lifestart Lantern Making

    Add a little light to your life! Visit Lifestart Foundation and learn how to make a traditional lantern from area residents. See how this project, supported by G Adventures, helps local Vietnamese with chronic disabilities gain sustainable employment.

  • Tailor Shops

    Go home with some new (handmade!) clothes from one of Hoi An’s famous tailor shops. Walk the streets lined with hundreds of local shops that turn out gorgeous suits, dresses, winter coats, shoes, purses – almost anything – in a day's time to create next season's wardrobe.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Day 7 Hoi An

Spend a free day exploring all Hoi An has to offer.

free time

Enjoy free time in this charming town.

accommodation

Vinh Hung 2 Resort

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 8 Hoi An / Ho Chi Minh City

Fly from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City with free time to explore this hectic city.

Drive to Da Nang for the flight to Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of South Vietnam and the country’s commercial centre. Start exploring the small alleys and busy streets, keeping an eye out for laquerware shops and delicious local food stalls.

Plane

Drive approx 45 mins to Da Nang Airport before hopping a flight south.

Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.

accommodation

Hong Hac Boutique Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 9 Ho Chi Minh City

Guided tour of Cu Chi Tunnels in the morning, free time in the afternoon.

Use free time to visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas and stroll through the immense Ben Thanh Market. The Reunification Palace, the city's Chinese quarter of Cholon, and the War Remnants Museum are also well worth a visit.

Cu Chi Tunnels Guided Tour

Take a guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels, a complex network of tunnels that the Viet Cong lived in to protect themselves from opposing forces during the Vietnam War. Try crawling through some of the tunnels (if you’re not claustrophobic). These tunnels stored ammunition, had underground hospitals, and served as a hidden base for attacking allied forces.

free time

Enjoy free time to explore this hectic city any way you like.

accommodation

Hong Hac Boutique Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Thien Hau Pagoda Visit

    Visit the Thien Hau Pagoda, a beautiful temple in the Chinatown district of Ho Chi Minh City. Learn more about the customs associated with this 19th-century monument – it is dedicated to the goddess Thien Hau (the 'Lady of the Sea') who is worshipped in Chinese communities throughout Asia by those who depend on the sea for their livelihoods.

  • Giac Vien Pagoda Visit

    Find this hidden pagoda behind some small alleyways – it’s a rare treat of a monument that has been spared the over-restoration that has been done to so many temples. Tour the inside of this 18th-century pagoda to see nearly 100 carvings of divine beings.

  • Ben Thanh Market

    Wander this bustling market for more insight into Ho Chi Minh City. Pick up souvenirs, sample local cuisine, and experience local living. Talk to your CEO to learn about the market's origins – Ben Thanh started as a cluster of street vendors selling wares by the Saigon River and formalized into a true market in 1859.

  • Reunification Palace Visit

    Wander the historic halls of the Reunification Palace (Independence Palace), a landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. This former home of the South Vietnamese president during the Vietnam War became the location of the end of the war when a North Vietnamese tank pushed through the palace gates on April 30, 1975.

  • Cholon Visit

    Take in the busy rhythm of daily life in Cholon, the Chinatown of Ho Chi Minh City. Tour the area full of teahouses, pagodas, and people, and learn a little more about the unique culture within the city.

  • War Remnants Museum Visit

    Visit the War Remnants Museum, a gut-wrenching but worthwhile experience that includes three storeys of exhibits and military hardware. Learn about the devastation that occurred in Saigon during the Vietnam War, a period that greatly contrasts the joy and liveliness of the Vietnamese people today.

  • Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos

    You may be a seasoned pro at group travel by now, but there will likely be some new travellers joining the group. Sit in on the welcome meeting to meet the newest members of your group and learn about the next leg of your tour.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 10 Ho Chi Minh City

Enjoy a boat cruise through the villages, islands, and markets of the Mekong Delta, and visit traditional candy factories.

After enjoying a day in the Mekong Delta, travel back to Ho Chi Minh City in time for an optional dinner.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Day Trip to Mekong Delta

Travel to where the mighty Mekong empties into the South China Sea. Board a small boat and navigate through narrow canals, witnessing local living along the way. Stop to see cottage industries and their products for which the area is famous: delicious, chewy coconut candy and rice cakes.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

accommodation

Hong Hac Boutique Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 11 Ho Chi Minh City / Phnom Penh

Travel day with border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia. Enjoy a cyclo tour through the city to benefit a local organization.

Drive to the border and cross into Cambodia. Continue on to the capital, Phnom Penh, and enjoy a cyclo ride through the city for a street-level perspective.

Local bus

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Border Crossing (Vietnam - Cambodia)

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

Local bus

Cross from Vietnam to Cambodia, then enjoy an optional lunch at a local restaurant.

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

Phnom Penh Cyclo Tour

Settle in a traditional cyclo and depart from Wat Phnom. Tour busy streets to soak up the real vibe of the city. Pass the post office and Van's restaurant, both stunning colonial buildings, and make your way to the Royal Palace and National Museum. Go along the riverside road and take in the atmospheric cafes that line the street.

accommodation

Diamond Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 12 Phnom Penh

Guided tour of Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields). Opt to visit the Royal Palace, the National Museum or the Central Market.

Meet a local guide to learn more about the dark side of Cambodian history. Visit to Choeung Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields. After, visit Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison), the notorious Khmer Rouge prison where thousands of Cambodians perished.

Enjoy a free afternoon to sightsee. Opt to explore the city's many sights: the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum. With time, choose to visit the Russian Market, Wat Phnom or sip a drink at a riverside café.

Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) Guided Tour

Learn more about the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge visiting the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek; the grounds now stand as a powerful memorial filled with victims’ skulls and mass graves. Tour this sombre, yet serene, site with a guide.

Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) Guided Tour

Learn about the dark history and devastation that occurred at Security Prison 21 (S-21); the prison, used by the Khmer Rouge regime, is now Tuol Sleng Museum. Take a guided tour to hear the stories behind the sombre photos lining the museum walls.

free time

Use free time to customize your experience and see the sights that interest you most.

accommodation

Diamond Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Russian Market

    Visit the Russian Market for a selection of souvenir stalls along with jewellers and fabric sellers.

    Open daily from 07:00 to 17:00.

  • Royal Palace

    Visit the Royal Palace, a complex of buildings where the kings of Cambodia have resided since the 1860s (except for during the reign of the Khmer Rouge). Be sure to tour the Silver Pagoda compound and the central compound.

  • National Museum

    Open daily from 8:00 to 17:00. Guided tours can be arranged at the museum entrance. Tours are available in Khmer, English, French and Japanese and last one hour. Photography is not permitted within the museum galleries.

    Visit Cambodia's largest museum of culture, history, and archaeology. Tour its buildings inspired by Khmer architecture – constructed in the early 1900s, they house one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art. Visits here are well worth your time.

  • Wat Phnom Visit

    Visit Wat Phnom (Hill Temple) in late afternoon, a historic monument with lots of green space. Keep an eye on your food and belongings; cheeky monkeys like to get a hold of anything they can.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 13 Phnom Penh / Siem Reap

Drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the home base for exploring incredible Angkor Wat.

Private Vehicle

Drive through the beautiful Cambodian countryside.

accommodation

Nagara Angkor Boutique Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 14 Siem Reap

Enjoy a guided tour of the Angkor Wat temple complex. Opt to visit the Tonlé Sap floating village and the Angkor National Museum. Enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food at a G Adventures for Good-supported project.

Spend two days exploring Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer kingdom and one of the wonders of the archaeological world. See some of the highlights of this ancient capital, like sunrise at the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom, and Ta Prohm, also known as the 'Tomb Raider' temple.

Enjoy a traditional meal to learn about Khmer food and meet some friendly locals. Alternating locations of our included local meal means we can support multiple small businesses and projects in the area. Each experience is truly unique and memorable.

Angkor Wat Guided Tour

Follow a local expert through the massive grounds of Angkor Wat for 2 days. You'll have the opportunity to go in and out of the complex, resting at the hottest part of the day.

Local Khmer Meal

Depending on the day of the week your tour visits Siem Reap, you will either enjoy a traditional meal at the G Adventures-supported New Hope project or in a local home in a nearby village. With so many travellers coming through this area, alternating experiences helps to allow multiple small businesses to flourish. Both experiences are truly unique and memorable. The New Hope Vocational Training Restaurant, an initiative kickstarted by G Adventures, provides skill-building opportunities to marginalized community members. The project also funds the adjacent free community school and health centre. Meals at Phila's house support the education of underprivileged children in the area. Visit either project – both run by locals – and see how they have supported positive change in the community.

accommodation

Nagara Angkor Boutique Hotel

Optional Activities:

  • Phare - The Cambodian Circus

    Enjoy a stellar performance by Phare, a unique and socially conscious circus that injects Cambodian culture and history into its inspiring shows. See acrobatics, contortion, and aerial arts melded with theatre, modern dance, and more. Take in stories of war, relationships, and discrimination, inspired by the real-life experiences of Phare’s creators and performers.

  • Tonle Sap Floating Village

    Tour the floating villages of Tonlé Sap. See what life is like living on a lake — rice planting, pig farming, even attending churches and school, are all done on top of water.

  • Angkor Museum Visit

    Learn about the story of Angkor and the Khmer empire at the interactive Angkor Museum. Explore the museum’s inspiring galleries and interactive technology, which bring Angkor’s past to life.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 15 Siem Reap

Spend another day in Siem Reap, exploring more temples of Angkor or going further afield.

free time

Get out and explore.

accommodation

Nagara Angkor Boutique Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 16 Siem Reap / Bangkok

Cross the border into Thailand and continue on to the bustling metropolis of Bangkok.

Spend the last night together in Bangkok. Opt to go out on the town and indulge in flavourful Thai food.

Private Vehicle

Drive through the countryside of Cambodia to the border of Thailand. It is a scenic drive through a very rural part of Cambodia.

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Border Crossing (Cambodia - Thailand)

Get ready to cross into Thailand. Aranyaprathet is known for being one of the most hectic border crossings but your CEO will help make the process go as smoothly as possible. The border crossing is done on foot and can take up to an hour so be patient and think of all the fun Thailand has in store.

Private Vehicle

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

accommodation

Prime Hotel Central Station Bangkok (formerly Centra Central Station Hotel)

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Day 17 Bangkok

Depart at any time.

Not ready to leave this vibrant city? Extend your stay with post-tour accommodation – your CEO can give you a hand.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
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Booking conditions

Adventure Tour prices are subject to terms, conditions and availability.

All Discounted prices quoted are only applicable to customers who also book their international flights with USIT. Customers can choose to avail of the Adventure Tour but book their flights separately to USIT but must then pay the full price displayed for the Adventure Tour. Only 1 tour can be discounted per passenger per reservation booking. If multiple tours are booked the discount will be applied to the most expensive tour booked.