Day 1 Ho Chi Minh City
Travellers will be arriving at all times today so there are no activities arranged. Please try to arrive by 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. You have the day free to relax and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Saigon. 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.
Day 2 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: Round trip to Mekong Delta today is approx 4 hours.
Days 3-4 Phnom Penh (2B)
On the day 3, we cross in to Cambodia by public bus. The drive to the border takes about 2 hours. After processing all border formalities, we continue on 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 4, 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 perished. 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 where the sanctuary for which the city is named once stood. It is a Buddhist shrine, although a Taoist goddess and numerous monkeys also reside here, and one of the pleasure spots for residents of the city. A drink in one of the many riverside café’s watching the sunset is a fitting finale to the day. We overnight 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: Public bus Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh: 6 hours including a short lunch at the local restaurant and border crossing
Days 5-7 Siem Reap/Angkor Wat (3B, 1D)
After a private bus trip through the Cambodian countryside we arrive in Siem Reap, explore 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, visit 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. Trips departing on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays will enjoy a meal in a nearby village at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project. Trips departing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays 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 the Siem Reap. Our hotel is located away from the noisy area of city center but still within a walking distance or a short tuk tuk ride to town area. Swimming pool inside the hotel should keep you relaxed away from the heat of Siem Reap. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free-Wifi and a computer are available in the lobby. Enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food in a local home. Wander the village, teach English to the local kids and savour some authentic cuisine. Approx travel time: Private bus Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 6 hours
Day 8 Bangkok (B)
A long day's private bus ride takes us from the countryside of Cambodia to the modern kingdom of Thailand. It is a scenic drive through a very rurual part of Cambodia. The border crossing formalities can take up to 2 hours. Once we reach the Thailand side we continue on with the drive to Bangkok. We have time to check-in to our centrally located hotel and head out for an evening meal and time to take in the local nightlife. 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. Approx travel time: Private bus Siem Reap to Cambodian border: 2.5 hours Private minivans Thai border to Bangkok: 4 hours
Day 9 Bangkok (B)
You are free to depart at any time today. Please note check out time is 12pm midday. 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 in line and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.