Welcome to Ho Chi Minh City, the sprawling metropolis that once was the capital of South Vietnam and remains the country’s commercial center. 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 Ho Chi Minh City. 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 and compete some other paper work. After your meeting, you may choose to head out for an optional dinner to further get to know your CEO and fellow group members. A city tour by cyclo is a great way to take in the sights: including Cholon (Cholon means Big Market) and the Chinese quarter. Visit the Thien Hau and Giac Vien pagodas and stroll through the immense Benh Tanh Market. Continue the tour with a visit to Reunification Palace, the residence of the presidents of South Vietnam before 1975. Or head out of town to the infamous Cu Chi tunnels where thousands of Vietnamese lived underground during the war. Our hotel in Ho Chi Minh City is well located near the Benh Than Market, backpackers area, war remnant museum and within walking distance to all the French colonial buildings. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel has free wifi and a computer available in the lobby.
Today we make our way to the Mekong river town of Chau Doc, aiming to arrive mid afternoon with time to relax and adjust to the change of pace. Take a trip up Sam Mountain to watch the sunset, take a boat trip through local fish farms, or take a walk through the local market- all of which will give you a taste of life in the Mekong Delta. Our hotel is centrally located in Chau Doc town and is very convenient to explore the town, market or river front park by foot. Free wifi is available. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Approx travel time: Private bus Ho Chi Minh City to Chau Doc: 7-8 hrs
After breakfast, we leave Chau Doc and drive 45 minutes to the Vietnam/Cambodian border. It is possible to get your Cambodian visa at the border - ask your CEO for more details. At the border, we will disembark with our luggage and cross the border by foot. Please be prepared that this process can take up to an hour. After the border formalities are complete, we continue onwards to Cambodia's southern coast and the beaches of Sihanoukville. Relax on the sand whilst having a massage and eating fresh seafood, or join a boat trip for snorkeling 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. Our Hotel is only a two minute walk to the beach. The hotel has swimming pool and free wifi available. Bar and pool table are also available. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Approx travel time: Private bus Chau Doc to Cambodian border: 45 min Border to Sihanoukville: 4 hours
Today we journey by local bus taking in the spectacular scenery to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. After a brief walking orientation tour by 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. Those who enjoy shopping may wish to visit the Central and Russian markets. After 1975, when Pol Pot 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. In the evening, there are many fantastic local restaurants where you can try some local specialties such as fish amok. We spend 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. 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. Approx travel time: Public bus Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh: 4-5 hours It is best to prepare your earplugs ready for this journey if you are not a fan of loud Khmer pop music!
Today we take a public bus to Siem Reap, the home of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat, 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. You can opt to purchase a day pass which 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. Your group may wish to hire the services of a local guide who will very much add to your experience, showing you all the highlights of this ancient complex. During your stay, you will enjoy a local Khmer dinner with your group at a nearby village. Supported by G Adventures, this particular meal is kindly prepared and served by our local partners – Philar and New Hope for Cambodian Children. Philar has set up school teaching English to Cambodian children while New Hope for Cambodian Children - NHCC is the local charity organization that provides a comprehensive healthcare and education for vulnerable children and their families. The meal here has been voted the best meal in Cambodia by most of our passengers...and even better, the money for your meal is going directly back to supporting these local grass roots projects. We spend two nights in Siem Reap. Our hotel is located some 10 minutes walk from city center. The hotel lobby has computers for guests to browse the internet and Free wifi is available. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Approx travel time: Public bus Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 7 hours. The bus has air-conditioning and public karaoke. Best to bring out those earplugs again if you like to relax on your bus journeys!
After breakfast, we leave Siem Reap and head for the Thai Cambodian border and onwards for our long bus ride to Bangkok. We cross the border on foot. This process can take up to 2 hours. After the border formalities are complete, we continue to Bangkok. The scenery is spectacular and the contrast between Thailand and Cambodia is immediate. 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 bus Thai border to Bangkok: 4 hours
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 online and fill in this simple form. Thank you so much in advance.