Ultimate Cambodia, Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh - 12 Days
Get blown away by this essential tour of Cambodia, there are plenty of temples, beaches, markets and much much more. Not only do you get to see the very best parts of historical Cambodia but as an extra we will throw in the busy city of Bangkok in Thailand, plus you will get to see another historic city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh formerly known as Saigon. This remarkable tour takes you right from Bangkok - Sihanoukville - ancient historical sight of Angkor Wat with a bonus of a Cambodian Homestay thrown in for extra measure too plus so much more….!
- Bustling Bangkok, Visit to the Grand Palace is a must!
- Night Markets in Siem Reep
- Sip on a beer or two in the Siem Reap street bars
- The infamous Angkor Wat
- Hire a bike to explore the rural island of Koh Paen
- Explore the historic Phnom Penh - killing fields is a must!
- Chill on the beach at Sihanoukville
- Explore the Vietnam war museums in Ho Chi Minh City
Is this trip for you?
- This is an organised group tour - maximum of 16 people
- Most of our travellers are solo, so great way of meeting new friends!
- Accommodation will be comfortable guest houses, hotels and a homestay (Twin room)
- Transport will be private and public bus
- Although we have a lot organised for you, you will get free time don't worry!
- Transport on tour
- Some meals
- Local guides
- Some activities
What's NOT included?
- Flights (request a quote)
- Insurance (Gapseekers can help with this)
- Optional activities
DAY 1 - BANGKOK
Welcome to Thailand!
The big adventure will begin for you at 6 pm on your 1st day, please keep an eye out for a note in the hotel lobby or ask receptionist. In the event that you are not able to get a flight that will arrive in time, a good idea is to arrive a day early so that you can attend. Subject to availability we will be able to book the extra night accommodation for you, no problem. We ask all adventure seekers that are attending this trip to inform the hotel reception if you feel you will be late, also we will be taking note of all your insurance details plus all other relevant info for this amazing trip so please make sure you have everything with you that you need, you will be able to give this to your group leader.
Bangkok has so much to offer, so those of you with a little time to explore, a great idea might be (and there are plenty more) to jump on a riverboat straight up to Chinatown where you can explore the many crowded streets and uncover the spectacular Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca that is Khao San Road, or relax with a little Thai massage.
Just a few optional activities that you might like to try:
• Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
• Bangkok - Wat Pho temple - THB200
• Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
• Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok by Bike - THB1500
• Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
• Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
• Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Temple & River of Kings - THB2200
• Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Tuk Tuk city tour - THB1400
Accommodation: Asteria Sathorn or similar
DAY 2 - SIEM REAP
Cambodia HERE WE COME!
Get ready for a long journey as today as we will be taking you from Bangkok, Thailand to the breathtaking city Siem Reap, this will take approx 10 hours and is 450 km and will be driven by your private bus with fellow travelers, this time accounts for your border crossing, which is a experience in itself!
You will leave Thailand at Aranyaprathet and then enter Cambodia at Poipet. This is where your tour leader will help you complete your boarder crossing procedures. If you have not already purchased your visa before hand, you will need to buy one at the border and will need USD cash.
The journey to Poipet to Siem Reap is around another 150 km.
The small but growing town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most visited destination for travelers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. You will find the markets are a fantastic place to shop till you drop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.
Kick back and unwind in the town this evening in anticipation of visiting Angkor tomorrow.
Accommodation: Victory Guest House or similar
Day 3 - Siem Reap Angkor Wat
Today you will get to visit the world-famous Angkor complex with our guide. You will be in awe! These remarkable temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries. This was when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia.
The temples were believed to symbolise the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day, watching a sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 sq km, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap so you will have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat, the Bayon plus the jungle-engulfed Ta Prohm.
• Siem Reap - 1 day Angkor Pass
• Siem Reap - Guided tour
Accommodation: Victory Guest House or similar
Day 4 - Siem Reap
Today is a free day…so go explore! Check out a market or you can even take the "Flight of the Gibbon" zip-line course, giving you a high up view of the spectacular rain forest with that all important adrenalin rush thrown in for good measure.
More things to do here allow for a visit to the sobering Landmine Museum or our Siem Reap Street food by night urban adventure.
Also a one day Angkor Pass is included in this tour. If you would like to return to Angkor outside of our included tour, you can ask to buy a longer pass through your tour leader…. Excellent stuff !
• Siem Reap - Tonle Sap boat trip - USD15
• Siem Reap - Remork transport to Tonle Sap Lake - USD10
• Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon ziplining - USD109
• Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
• Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass - USD40
Accommodation: Victory Guesthouse or similar
DAY 5 - KOMPONG CHAT
Travel by public bus to Kompong Cham (approx 5 hours/300 km)
You will come to learn that this tranquil town was at one time quite a important trading hub and is now a excellent opportunity for you to experience what life in small-town Cambodia is truly like…
Options here include:
• Explore the serene 11th-century Wat Nokor.
• Hire a bike to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, linked to Kompong Cham by an elaborate bamboo bridge (passable only in the dry season, take a ferry in the wet).
You will see that the locals here make their living by either fishing, growing tobacco or sesame so this is a great place to get a closer look at some of Cambodia's cottage trades.
Go a little further out and you will find the twin 'mountain temples' of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei, which make for great viewings.
• Kompong Cham - Wat Nokor - USD1
• Kompong Cham - Bicycle hire - USD2
• Kompong Cham - Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei - USD10
Accommodation: Mekong Hotel or similar
DAY 6 - PHNOM PENH
Big day for you today, lots to see!
Jump on the public bus system to the capital city of Phnom Penh (this will take approx 3 hrs/175 km).
The famous and truly captivating Phnom Penh is Cambodia's capital city. Set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers this town boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture.
There are lots of activities to chose from here including:
Go out to the Choeung Ek Memorial site, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the famous Killing Fields. This was indeed the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng and standing in this calm surrounding it is almost unthinkable to visualize that to date nearly 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area.
After you have been to Choeung Ek Memorial site, it is time for a bit more of a lighter look at the city. See the brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
Now that you have seen the Choeung Ek Memorial site and truly got to grips with thee wonderful Cambodian culture, it is time for you to explore Wat Phnom, a truly peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named.
As stated by legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found some sacred Buddhist objects in the close by river and then positioned them here on the small hill.
Go then and have a look at the National Museum. Lodged in a beautiful traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer workmanship.
Then take in the sites and sounds by cyclo. Tours generally show you following:
• Central market
• US Embassy
• Wat Phnom
• Mekong river front
• Independence monument
• The Royal Palace.
One for the shops?
If your mood takes it, stop off at the art deco-designed Psar Thmei (Central Market) which is a great place for browsing, or travel out to Psar Tuol Tom Pong (the Russian Market) for the best range of local souvenirs.
Some great urban adventures on offer in Phnom Penh include:
• Phnom Penh's Past
• Phnom Penh Secrets
• Mekong Sunset
Your leader can help you make bookings if you are interested.
• Phnom Penh - Killing Fields of Choueng Ek - USD3
• Phnom Penh - Transport to Choeung Ek - USD10
• Phnom Penh - Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda - USD7
• Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
• Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
• Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
• Phnom Penh - Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek - USD3
Accommodation: Nawin Guesthouse or similar
DAY 7 - THE HOME STAY:
Our home stay is a perfect and very rare opportunity to witness everyday Cambodian life and in the evening we can all enjoy a traditional-style Cambodian dinner, delicious! Facilities are as you would come to expect, basic and multi share with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets all provided for you.
You will arrive here by traveling by private bus into rural Cambodia (approx 3 hrs/70 km) to the region of Kampong Speu and village of Chambok, this is the location of our home stay for the night.
Chambok - Traditional Dancing, dance the night away.
DAY 8-9 - SIHANOUKVILLE
Jump on our private bus which takes you to Sihanoukville (approx 4 hrs/250 km).
Named after the Cambodian royal family, Sihanoukville has miles and miles of beaches and of course famous for its warm and welcoming people.
Some of the things you might like to try here are:
• Take a boat to one of the nearby islands, where you are free to enjoy a barbecue lunch and relax among swaying palms, white sands and blue waters.
• Take a trip out to the Ream National Park - 21 hectares of coastal mangrove forest, which hosts a great variety of animal and bird species.
• Sihanoukville - Ream National Park entry fee - USD5
• Sihanoukville - Island boat trip - USD15
Accommodation: Sunday Guesthouse or similar
DAY 10 - PHNOM PENH
Jump on the local bus back to Phnom Penh (approx 4 hrs/250 km). Where we will have our last night in Cambodia here before moving on to Vietnam tomorrow. Excited? You should be!
You could even indulge in a traditional massage at the Seeing Hands Massage parlours, they are some of the very best within the city. Your patronage supports the visually impaired masseurs, whose years of training are sure to work wonders on muscle aches and pains. Treat yourself, you have earned it, right?
Phnom Penh - Traditional Khmer massage - USD5
Accommodation: Nawin Guesthouse or similar
DAY 11 - HO CHI MINH CITY
Today you will travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam (this will take approx 7 hours/280 km). You will exit Cambodia at Bavet and enter Vietnam at Moc Bai. Your group leader will then assist you with the border crossing procedures to follow.
Ho Chi Minh City formerly known as Saigon, is made up of vast sights and sounds, and is indeed a mesmerising mixture of both the old and new, East and West. You will notice large numbers of people zooming around from place to place, many on motorbikes and scooters. Being in Vietnam’s largest city you will feel a energetic atmosphere and the French influence is indeed there for all to see in the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer.
Much of the local city life takes place on the hectic streets lined with shops, stalls and sellers, who have their merchandise laid out on the footpath with sell everything from soup to complicated electronics.
While in Ho Chi Minh City make sure you make a visit to the Reunification Palace - formerly known as the Presidential Palace, it was the site of South Vietnam's surrender in April 1975, and the War Remnants Museum - this was first opened in the September of 1975, displaying some old military equipment and other related items from the Vietnam War. Take a wonder into the courtyard and you will find some rathe large objects on display including a F5A fighter and a UH1-Huey helicopter.
Many of the urban adventures available in HCMC comprise of Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience and Saigon Street Food by Night. Your leader can assist in booking on the tour of your choice.
There are no activities as such planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
• Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000
• Ho Chi Minh City - War Remnants Museum - VND15000
• HCMC - Cu Chi Tunnels - VND9000
Day 12: HO CHI MINH CITY
There are no activities planned this day and you are able to leave the accommodation whenever you like.