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VIETNAM and CAMBODIA – Summer

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From$2,042
Price
From$2,042
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June 29, 2020
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5893
  • Hotels: Standard Class
  • Max Participants: 15
  • 6/29/2020 - 7/15/2020
  • 17 Days / 16 Nights

This 17-day program 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. 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.

 

Vietnam-Cambodia-Map
What's Included:
  • Halong Bay caves entrance
  • Halong Bay boat cruise with seafood lunch and dinner
  • Imperial Citadel and Tomb entrance (Hue)
  • Noodle-making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project (Hoi An)
  • Traditional Arts and Ethnology Museum guided tour
  • 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 with a local family (depends on departure)
  • Border crossing support
  • Internal flight
  • G Adventures Tour Leader, local guides
  • 15 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners. (Allow USD $200-300 for meals not included.)
  • Hotels (14 nts), sleeper train (1 nt), junk boat (1 nt)
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities by train, local bus, aircon bus, river boat, tuk-tuk, songthaew, taxi, cyclo, plane
What's Not Included:
  • International air travel
  • Incidentals
  • Travel health and cancellation insurance
  • Applicable visas
  • Tips or gratuities
  • Airport taxes
  • beverages
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Optional tours and admissions
  • Airport transfers
Itinerary

Day 1: HanoiArrive in Hanoi at any time.

Arrive in bustling Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. As passengers will be arriving at various times today, there are no planned activities. If you arrive early, you might consider taking a walk through Hanoi’s Old Quarter and its maze of streets, each one traditionally devoted to a different product or industry. Alternatively, you could 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.

You will have a scheduled group meeting in the evening around 6:00 p.m. Please check at the reception desk or look for a G Adventures notice board with details of the actual meeting time. After your meeting, you may consider heading out for dinner to further get to know your tour leader and fellow group members.

We overnight in the city center of Hanoi.

Day 2: Hanoi/Halong Bay (B,L,D)Enjoy a Ha Long Bay cruise on a junk boat with visits to a cave and an island lookout. Savor a seafood lunch and dinner.

A 4-hour drive takes us to Bai Chay harbor, 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. We board a traditional junk boat at Ha Long Bay harbor and cruise out onto serene waters, where we can marvel at massive limestone karst mountains jutting out of the sea, creating unforgettable spectacular scenery. Swim, kayak, or go cave exploring on one of the islands, if conditions are right. We will also indulge in fresh seafood meals with a variety of dishes to sample before drifting 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.

Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private bus

Day 3: Halong Bay/Hue (B,L)Cruise back to the port and take a private van to Hanoi. Enjoy more time in the city before an overnight train to Hue.

Today, we enjoy breakfast on board the junk boat before a morning sail back to the port. Back at port, we hop in a private vehicle for the drive back to Hanoi for a little more free time to enjoy the city. You will have enough time for shopping or further sightseeing before we catch our overnight train to Hue.

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 traveling 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.

Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private bus (Halong Bay to Hanoi); 14 hrs by overnight sleeper train (Hanoi to Hue)

Day 4: HuếGuided tour of the Imperial Citadel, Royal Tomb, and Tien Mu Pagoda. Opt to take a countryside motorbike tour.

We arrive in Hue, once the imperial capital of Vietnam, in the early morning. We start our visit with an Imperial Citadel tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site. We will see the walled fortress and former palace, which has many palaces, gateways, courtyards, and gardens to explore. The Forbidden Purple City, modeled on China’s Forbidden City, inside the citadel was once home to the imperial family and was significantly damaged during the Vietnam War.

We then visit Tien Mu, one of the tallest and, perhaps, most elegant pagodas in Vietnam at seven stories 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.

Later, we 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.

After, you may opt for a vegetarian lunch at a local nunnery. With your free time in the afternoon, you may want to take an optional motorbike tour of the area during which you will 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.

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

Day 5: Hue/Hoi An (B)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.

This morning, we depart for Hoi An. We will cross through the Hai Van Pass, weather permitting, with its fantastic views in all directions. We arrive in Hoi An in the afternoon for a 3-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. Clothing, silk lanterns, lacquer ware, and many other crafts abound. For sun worshipers, Cua Dai Beach, 4 kms from town, makes for a great, flat bike ride.

Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private minivan

Day 6: Hoi An (B, L)Spend 2 full days exploring all Hoi An has to offer. Dive into the culture, hang out on the beach, or buy tailor-made clothes. Enjoy a noodle-making demonstration and lunch at Oodles of Noodles, a G Adventures-supported project.

Today is the first of two full days for you to explore all that Hoi An has to offer. You can choose to immerse yourself in the culture, bike to the beach for some quality sun time, or get custom-made clothes by one of the many tailor shops around town.

We get together as a group for an included cooking class and lunch. Try some of the oodles of noodles (more than 26 types!) available in the city in this tasty cooking class. Run by a Planeterra Foundation partner, 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. The program helps these youth practice their English, increasing their skill set and opportunities available to them in the tourism industry.

You may want to continue your culinary education in the evening and take an optional cooking class to learn even more about Vietnamese food and its distinct flavors. Tour the local market to buy fresh ingredients before preparing some popular regional dishes. You get to enjoy your creations when you’re done!

Day 7: Hoi An (B)Spend another free day exploring Hoi An.

Today, you spend a second free day exploring all Hoi An has to offer.

You might consider a day trip visit to My Son. Travel approximately 1 hour from Hoi An to arrive at My Son, with its 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.

Another option is a lantern-making class. 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.

Day 8: Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City (B)Fly from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City. Enjoy free time in this hectic city.

This morning, we 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. Start by exploring the small alleys and busy streets, keeping an eye out for laquerware shops and delicious local food stalls.

Approximate travel time: 45 mins by private bus (Hoi An to Danang); 1 hr by plane (Danang to Ho Chi Minh City)

Day 9: Ho Chi Minh City (B)Take a guided tour of Cu Chi Tunnels in the morning. Enjoy more free time in the afternoon.

In the morning, we drive 1.5 hours to the Cu Chi Tunnels, where we will get a guided tour of this 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. Afterwards, we drive back to Ho Chi Minh City.

The afternoon is more free time for you, possibly 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 (“big market”), the Chinese quarter, and the War Remnants Museum.

Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private bus

Day 10: Mekong Delta (B)Enjoy a boat cruise through the villages, islands, and markets of the Mekong Delta. Visit traditional candy factories.

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. 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.

Approximate travel time: 4 hrs by private bus

Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City/Phnom Penh (B)Travel day with border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia. Enjoy a cyclo tour through Phnom Penh.

Today, we cross into Cambodia by public bus. The drive to the Vietnam-Cambodia border takes around 2 hours. After completing the border formalities, we continue by bus another 3 hours to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, arriving mid-afternoon.

After years of civil strife and political turmoil, Cambodia is open for visitors. In the late afternoon, we each get in traditional cyclos 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.

Approximate travel time: 5 hrs by public bus, including a short lunch at a restaurant and border crossing

Day 12: Phnom Penh (B)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.

This morning, a local guide will teach us more about the dark side of Cambodian history. We will visit to Choeung Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields. The grounds now stand as a powerful memorial filled with victims’ skulls and mass graves. Tour this somber, yet serene, site with a guide. Afterwards, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, where we will learn about the dark history and devastation that occurred when the museum operated instead as Security Prison 21 (S-21) under the Khmer Rouge. We will take a guided tour to hear the stories behind the somber photos lining the museum walls.

Afterwards, continue sightseeing on your own. You might want to explore the cities many sights: the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, and/or 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.

Day 13: Phnom Penh/Siem Reap (B)Drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the home base for exploring incredible Angkor Wat.

Today, we drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, the home base from which we will explore the incredible Angkor Wat tomorrow.

Approximate travel time: 6-8 hrs by private bus.

Day 14: Siem Reap (B)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 local home in a village outside the city.

Today, we start with a guided tour of the Angkor Wat temple complex. You might opt to visit the Tonlé Sap floating village and the Angkor National Museum as well or enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food at a local home in a village outside the city.

You will have two days to explore Siem Reap and 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.

Day 15: Siem Reap (B)Spend another day in Siem Reap, exploring more temples of Angkor or going further afield.

Today, you have another free day to explore more temples of Angkor, Siem Reap, or go further afield.

You might want to take a tour of the floating villages of Tonlé Sap to see what life is like living on a lake – rice planting, pig farming, and even church meetings and school classes are all done on top of the water!

You may also consider takeng in Phare, a unique circus that injects Cambodian culture and history in its inspiring shows. See acrobatics, contortion, and aerial arts melded with theatre, modern dance, and more. Performers train for up to 10 years to master their art. Arrive before 20:00 (entrance closes at 20:05). Come early if you wish – the cafe opens at 18:00 and there is an option to enjoy dinner with the show.

You can also 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.

Day 16: Bangkok (B)Cross into Thailand on this long travel day. Spend an evening exploring Bangkok.

It’s a long travel day today as a 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 an hour. Upon entering Thailand, we continue our journey to Bangkok.

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

Approximate travel time: 8 hrs by private bus, including border crossing

Day 17: BangkokDepart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to experience this lively city fully.

You are free to depart at any time today, or we can book you extra hotel nights so you can spend more time in Bangkok.

Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).

If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!

Details
Frequently Asked Questions

Please click here to go to our general FAQ, which has essential information that applies to all of our programs. 

 
Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

 
Cancellation policy

All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to travel@geeo.org. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.

  • If you cancel 60 days or more prior to departure, all your program fee payments will be refunded besides your $350 deposit which is kept on file for future use
  • If you cancel between 30 and 59 days prior to departure, you will receive a 50% refund and your deposit is kept on file for future use
  • If you cancel within 30 days of departure, you will receive no refund, but your deposit is kept on file for future use
 
Group Leader Description

All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader 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 traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.

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.

 
Fitness Level

This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. The heat and humidity are the biggest physical challenges. Make sure you stay hydrated!

 
Single Travelers

Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email travel@geeo.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.

 

Joining Instructions

Day 1 is an arrival day, and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Please note: Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., during which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

When you arrive at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, you have a choice of an airport transfer, a 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 approximately $17 USD 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 45,000 Dong (approx $3 USD). From the Vietnam Airline office, there are taxis that can take you to your hotel with the meter on for about $2-4 USD.

WARNING: Please be wary of illegal taxi drivers. They will try to coax you away from the main airport taxi services and then charge an exorbitant price, either in U.S. Dollars or by getting you to change money into Vietnamese 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 Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh airports. We recommend that you do not take advantage of any offers of “help” at the airport and rather just organize 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 to which you are going. 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 starting point hotel.

 
Emergency Contacts

Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so that they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

Emergency Contact Details:

G Adventures Local Office, Bangkok, Thailand 
Open Weekdays 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (ITC) 
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After office hours Emergencies: 
South East Asia Managers: +66(0)870496074 (Bangkok, Thailand)

If you are experiencing complications with your Bangkok airport transfer that was booked through G Adventures please call: +66 81 847 3034 (081 847 3034 from within Thailand) or +66 86 339 5881 (086 339 5881 from within Thailand)

If you are unable for any reason to contact their local office, they have a toll-free line within North America (or our regular direct line), which will connect you directly with their Toronto office. In the event that you cannot get through, you can reach a member of their Operations department at the mobile number below.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Outside North America: 1 416 260 0999

 
Packing List

Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. 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 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.

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 (33 lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.

 Suggested Checklist
  • Light windproof/waterproof jacket or umbrella
  • Sun hat
  • Personal clothing for hot weather (t-shirts, shorts, etc.)
  • Daypack – you will not bring your big luggage to Halong Bay, which instead will be kept at out Hanoi hotel; a normal book bag is fine for this
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sport sandals or flip-flops
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch or alarm clock
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Clothes for religious sites – knees and shoulders must be covered
  • Small Flashlight
  • Toiletries – your hotels will have soap and shampoo
  • Camera
  • First-aid kit, including: lip salve, aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Dramamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, electrolyte powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking
Optional Checklist
  • Light weight silk sleep sheet
  • Travel pillow
  • Money belt
  • Waterproof camera/phone bag (If you want to take pictures while kayaking in Halong Bay)
  • Water bottle
  • Phone/Tablet for internet – most hotels have WiFi
  • Chargers for electronics as well converters/adapters, if needed
  • Packing cubes – these are awesome
  • Earplugs – these are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate
  • Snacks – packing a few granola bars is a good idea; you can buy snacks when you get there too, so don’t go crazy here
  • Ziplock bags for wet clothing
  • Reading/writing material
  • Hand sanitizer/Baby wipes
Document Checklist
  • 2 Passport-size photos for Cambodia – you will need another 2 for Vietnam, if you opt to get the visa on arrival
  • Passport (with photocopies)
  • Travel insurance (with photocopies)
  • Airline tickets (with photocopies)
  • EUR/USD cash
  • Credit or debit card
  • G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information, and dossier
  • Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
  • GEEO Classroom action plans for your group – this is sent 10-30 days before departure
 
Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. If you want to do your own laundry, we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

 
Passports and Visas

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport.  Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.

Americans need a visa for travel in Vietnam and must take care of this before arriving in Vietnam. There are a few ways to get a visa, but our suggestion is to purchase it ahead of time online at this website: 
 
 
The cost is $25, and processing should take 3 days. 
 
You will need this information when filling out the form:
 
Purpose of Entry: Tourism
Intended Temporary Residential Address in Viet Nam: Church Boutique Hotel Lan Ong in Hanoi
Name of Hosting Organisation: Wide Eyed Tours 
Address:  Add: No 48, Lane 76, Yen Phu street , Tay Ho Dis, Hanoi , Vietnam 
Allowed to Entry through Checkpoint: Noi Bai International Airport  
Exit through Checkpoint: Moc Bai Landport.
You will need to scan or photograph the ID page on your passport as well as a Passport photo. Make sure you print out the visa and bring it with you on the trip.
 
If you are going on both our Bangkok to Hanoi and Vietnam/Cambodia programs you will most likely be ineligible for the evisa as you will be entering Vietnam twice and will exceed 30 days in country from the start to end of the visa. In that case you will need to get a visa on arrival pre-approval letter and then purchase the visa when you arrive in Hanoi at the airport. We recommend going to myvietnamvisa.com and purchasing their 3 month multiple entry approval letter ($43) with the private approval letter option clicked ($8). At the time of writing (8/7/19) the total fee for this should be $51. You then pay another $50 when you arrive at the airport. 
 
The Cambodian visa should be purchased online before the trip starts through their e-visa system, which you can find here: https://www.evisa.gov.kh/application_new
 
You will need this info when filling out the form: 
Address During Visit:  Diamond Hotel,  591 Preah Monivong Blvd (93), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Visa Type: Tourist
Port of Entry: Bavet
Intended Date of Entry into Cambodia: July 9, 2020
For Thailand, Americans do not need a visa for stays of less than 30 days. Check with your nearest Thai Embassy, if you are not American.
 
Please be aware that you will require 3 clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least 6 months validity for this trip. 

Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.

 
Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency, and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Travelers checks have security advantages, they can be difficult to change. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note that, if you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.

 
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 an opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your tour leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. Ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a guideline, $20-$25 USD per person per week can be used.

 
Vaccinations

We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. Please take this seriously!

 
Flights

We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.

Your trip begins in Hanoi and ends in Bangkok. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Hanoi and for the earliest time you can depart Bangkok.

 
Plugs and Converters

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.

Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand use a combination of both American and European outlets, known as type A and type C plugs. In all three countries the voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converter power packs at various vendors.

 
Expectations

Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.

  • The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury. Sometimes the accommodation is not air conditioned.
  • We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.
  • You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack.
  • Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometime include day hikes with your daypacks.
  • We recommend always carrying snacks with you. Meals can sometimes be far apart.
  • Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring, and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

 
Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, 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 information on our website 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. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

 
Advice From Past Participants

“Don’t have any expectations about ANYTHING. It’s Vietnam – it’s loud, it’s dirty, it’s crowded, it’s hot. It’s got good food, inexpensive gifts, great sites. Keep an open mind!”

“You MUST be able to carry your own luggage on this trip.”

“I would recommend a cooking lesson at the ‘Little Hanoi’ cooking school. It is amazing and the instructor ‘Tin’ is a culinary artist. Our guide recommend it to us… and it was phenomenal. One of the highlights of the trip and we stumbled into it on the last day. It’s run by a small family, and Tin is their head chef.”

“Make it clear for the Vietnam trip that you should have two bags, one large bag and one backpack big enough for overnight trips. This was not clear to those in my group, and some people did not feel prepared. “

“There are plenty of opportunities to have your laundry done very inexpensively (about $1 USD per kilo), so only bring enough clothes for about a week to save space. “

“Looking back at the website, I do see that it says that there are tailors that can make anything overnight in Hoi An, but I didn’t see this and wasn’t as prepared as I could have been to have stuff made (knowing what I wanted, getting measurements from others for gifts, etc.) maybe this could be highlighted more…”

“I think it is already in there, but emphasize the need for small bills ($1, $5, $10). I brought plenty with me, but many of my tour group members struggled to get change.”

“When you get to Vietnam with your visa letter, you do not get in line like everyone else. There is a window (not well identified) where you go actually get the Visa in your passport, then wait in line.”

 

Weather

Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand’s wet season runs from around May to October. The wet season is characterized by a downpour for a few hours each day rather than all-day torrential downpours. The advantages of this season are lower temperatures, cleaner air, and smaller crowds. North Vietnam is typically dryer than South Vietnam during this time of the year.

Costs

Please keep in mind this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.

Tour Company Fee

See our price in the top right corner

Optional Activities

$125 USD

International Airfare from the United States

Roughly $1,000-$2,000 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare we would be happy to help you. 

Insurance

$25-$200 USD
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.

Tipping

$65 USD for your tour leader; another $35 USD for local guides and drivers.

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

$200-$300 USD

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

Make sure you budget for these types of expenses

Vaccines

Variable. Please consult your doctor.

Visa

$45 or $70 for Vietnam; $20-$35 for Cambodia

Souvenirs

Variable. At your personal discretion.

Non-Educator Donation

$100 USD (Suggested donation)

This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.

Optional Activities

Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.

Hanoi

Hoa Lao Prison: $1 USD
Museum of Ethnology: $1 USD plus transport
Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum: Free –  Please note: The Mausoleum is only open in the mornings on Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday; it is closed Mondays, Fridays, and all month in October and November. Please check ahead as Mausoleum may be periodically closed at other times also.
Temple of Literature: $1 USD
Fine Arts Museum: $1 USD
Women’s Museum: $1 USD
Army Museum: $1 USD
Taxi to each museum: Approx $2 USD

Halong Bay

Kayak Rental: $20 USD per person

Hue

Bicycle Hire: $1 USD

Hoi An

Cooking Class: $20-$25 USD
My Son Cham Ruins, including car transport: $24 USD
Tu Bon River Boat Trip: $5 USD

Ho Chi Minh City

Cyclo Tour: $25 USD
War Crimes Museum: $1 USD
The Reunification Palace: $2 USD
Saigon Water Park: $4 USD

Phenom Penh

National Museum: $3 USD
The Silver Pagoda: $6.25 USD

Siem Reap

Tonle Sap Lake Tour: $5-$15 USD

Bangkok

Grand palace: $11 USD
Jim Thompson’s House: $3.50 USD
National Museum: $1.50 USD
Royal Barge Museum: $1.50 USD
Klong (Canal) Tour: Approx $10-$30, depending on number of participants
Basic 1 hour massage: $10 USD

Photos