Angkor at Sunset

South East Asia Adventure Family Holiday Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Family Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Destinations:
Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Programmes:
Family
Trip Code:
FIJ
Moderate
Moderate

Moderate trips are more challenging for a number of different reasons, which can be found in trip notes for specific itineraries. Things to consider are the amount of physical activity that can be expected and the length of time children will be expected to engage for. If there’s more travel and less downtime on a trip, it’ll fall into this category. As will multi-centre trips and those in extreme climates.

15 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
Designed for: Ages 13-16
Also for: Ages 9-12

Trip Overview

This exciting South East Asia adventure takes us through three countries with divergent histories and strikingly different cultures. Journey from the frenetic streets of Saigon to the tranquillity of rural Cambodia and visit the magnificent shimmering palaces and temples of Bangkok. Pass through a spectacular patchwork of waterways in the Mekong Delta, take a cyclo (rickshaw) tour of Phnom Penh and relax on a tropical island with white sand beaches before arriving at the magnificent temple complex of Angkor, which we explore by bicycle to escape the crowds. We end our adventure in bustling Bangkok, sampling the street food delights and admiring an enormous reclining golden Buddha.

At a Glance

  • 12 nights hotels, all en suite, and 1 night homestay
  • Travel by private minibus, bike and boat

Trip Highlights

  • Sample delicious varied cuisine and master chopstick skills!
  • A night in a village homestay
  • Cruise the waterways of the Mekong Delta by dug-out boat
  • Crawl through the Cu Chi war tunnels
  • Fruit and pepper plantations of rural Cambodia
  • Cycle tour of the Angkor Wat temple complex 
  • Bangkok’s glittering Grand Palace and huge reclining Buddha

Is This Trip for You?

Designed for 9-12 year olds, also suitable for 13-16 year olds. 

Our family activity levels are aimed at children in the primary or ‘Designed for’ age group. We are confident it is also suitable for those in the ‘Also for’ age range, however please note if your child is in this secondary category they may find it a little easier. Please see the family activity levels on our website for further information. When grading our trips we consider multiple factors, such as the pace, the level of activity involved, the amount of time a family will spend travelling and the weather is an important factor too.

This holiday is designed so that you can see the best parts of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand using a mixture of private buses and boats. There is a lot to see in the time you are there, but it is paced so that it doesn't feel too rushed.

Travel time is kept to a minimum and most transfers are no longer than 3-4 hours. There are a few longer drives (7-8 hours) but there is plenty of time for sightseeing and the trip has numerous stops where we spend two or more nights.

Whilst choosing this trip please note that some of the accommodation will be basic but is clean and tidy. The swimming pools may not be up to western standards.

Locals and other Asian tourists may want to take photos of themselves with your children particularly if they are young, blonde and have blue eyes, you should be prepared for them to do this without asking permission first. You should also be prepared for lots of traffic in the bigger cities like Saigon and Bangkok, where you will have to relearn crossing the street, as things like zebra crossings are not used as they are in the west.

Group

Generally, we use different staff and vehicles for each country. For this trip, there will be a Vietnamese leader to start with followed by a Cambodian leader who will accompany the group throughout Cambodia and to Bangkok.

Adult min age:
17
Child min age:
9

Child max age:

16
Min group size:
8
Max group size:
20

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Saigon
End City:
Bangkok

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Saigon

    Arrive in the heat, hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City. Still commonly known as Saigon, it is an exciting and absorbing city where scooters pack the streets and temples stand defiantly alongside modern developments. Devastated by the Vietnam War, it is now a bustling free market city where anything goes. Our hotel is in the heart of this incredible city. A welcome group meeting will be held later this afternoon with you leader followed by an optional group dinner after the meeting.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Visit Cu Chi Tunnels used by Viet Cong during the war; free afternoon; markets within walking distance of hotel

    Depart early to beat the traffic as we head out to visit the Cu Chi tunnels, located 2 hours outside of the city. Used by the Viet Cong during the war the network covers 3 levels and approximately 240km of tunnels. Exploring Cu Chi gives us an indication of the tenacity of the Vietnamese people and the conditions that both Vietnamese and American troops had to endure. Originally the tunnels were very narrow but some areas have been widened to allow visitors to explore the system. We are able to crawl through the tunnels and are introduced to life below ground as we visit make-shift kitchens, bedrooms and even an underground hospital. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine!

    The afternoon is free for exploration and there are a number of interesting things to do and see - the Saigon River, Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace and Notre Dame Cathedral are all within easy walking distance. There is also time to visit the War Remnants Museum with an interesting (if a little gruesome) photographic record of the Vietnam/American War.

    Huong Sen Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Transfer to the Mekong Delta; pass through fruit orchards en route to overnight homestay on island

    This morning we leave the busy city for the rice bowl of Vietnam – the Mekong Delta. We’ll be struck by the fertility of the land and how every piece of land is used for producing food - fruit, vegetables, rice, fish farms, duck farms - there is cottage industry everywhere all fuelled by the amazing network of waterways. We visit the interesting Cai Be floating market and see some of the local industry taking place. Recently, Cai Be floating market is becoming less crowded and smaller as fruit trading is mostly now done by trucks due to the bridge being built. However, this is still a great opportunity to see a local market and the trade being conducted traditionally on a smaller scale.

    A short boat ride takes us from Vinh Long to our island homestay. The evening is tranquil as we have dinner at the homestay and enjoy some 'Delta' hospitality. We spend the night sleeping at a simple guesthouse built in the style of a local house. Bedding, a mosquito net and a small towel are provided. We will have the chance to try some local dishes cooked by our hosts for the night.

    Mekong Guest House Homestay or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Journey to Chau Doc in the foothills of Sam Mountain

    After breakfast at the homestay we transfer by boat back to Vinh Long then to Cai Rang floating market, one of the biggest in the delta; the colour and fragrance of the market is sure to be remembered! We then continue on to Chau Doc; close to Cambodia, it is an important trading town due to its border position. The town is in the foothills of the picturesque Sam Mountain. An optional trip to the mountain provides wonderful views of the Mekong Delta and Cambodia.

    Chau Pho Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cross border into Cambodia; overnight sleepy seaside town of Kep

    After breakfast we leave Chau Doc for the Xa Xia / Ha Tien border where we see a change of pace as we cross into rural Cambodia. We travel along coastal roads lined with coconut palms until we arrive in the quiet seaside town of Kep in the early afternoon. (Approx. transfer time excluding immigration process is around 3- 3.5 hours.) Kep was a resort town for Cambodia’s elite until the 1960s. The town still bears the scars of civil war with the ghost-like remains of old villas. A steep climb up Kep Mountain into the National Park provides a great location for watching the sunset. After some time to relax you might like to enjoy fresh seafood at the local crab market. Sit down on a mat at one of the sea-front shacks and take your pick of the day’s catch.

    Kep Bay Hotel & Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Full day boat trip to tropical Koh Tonsai Island or relax on Kep beach

    Today we jump on a local boat for the short trip to Koh Tonsai (Rabbit Island). Palm tree fringed with a small beach this is the perfect place to enjoy swimming in the warm water or relax on the sand. If the weather is not suitable for the boat trip we will venture out into the countryside surrounding Kep to see local rice fields, pepper plantations and the famous Phnom Chhnork caves. Alternatively, you may wish to spend the day relaxing on Kep beach.

    Kep Bay Hotel & Resort or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Head to Phnom Penh; cyclo (rickshaw) tour of capital city; dinner at local restaurant

    This morning, if we didn’t do it yesterday, we will journey to the countryside surrounding Kep to see rural Cambodia. In the afternoon we travel from our seaside home to the Capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. To get our bearings in this interesting city on the confluence of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Tonle Bassac Rivers we take a sunset cyclo (bicycle rickshaw) trip. We finish with dinner at a restaurant run by the Friends organisation that provides hospitality training and other programs to support former street children and youths (closed on school and public holidays).

    Ohana Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Visit Royal Palace complex in Phnom Penh; free time or optionals include National Museum and the Killing Fields

    This morning we visit the Royal Palace grounds and Silver Pagoda; named after the 5000 silver tiles weighing more than 1 kg each it is one of the most holy temples in Cambodia and is home to an impressive collection of gold, diamonds and other precious stones along with many traditional musical instruments.

    Afterwards the rest of the day is free for your family to explore. Some family friendly options are to visit the local markets or public gardens which your leader can provide details about. Close by is also the National Museum, which is set in a traditional Khmer building and displays a range of ancient artefacts as well as more modern pieces and where kids can feed the fish!

    Adults in the group may also want to confront Cambodia’s recent tragic past with a visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre but may not be suitable for the younger family members to visit. Your group leader will be available to make recommendations and assist you with your bookings and how best to spend your free time in the city.

    Ohana Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Transfer to Siem Reap; pause to sample local delicacies; sunset viewing of Angkor temples

    Travel by private air-conditioned bus (approx. 7 hours) to Siem Reap.

    A great opportunity to look at the real Cambodia, we'll make several stops at points of interest along the way. We also see the cottage industry at Santuk Silk Farm, a fair trade organisation, which is a valuable source of employment in a poor rural community (Santuk is closed on some important Khmer holidays). We'll also stop off at Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia's most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments with some of the oldest structures in the country. Afterwards, we will have a traditional Khmer lunch at a community restaurant before continuing our journey to Siem Reap.

    The small town of Siem Reap is the gateway to the World Heritage temples of Angkor. Get a sneak preview with sunset at the temples. 

    Angkor Holiday Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 10

    Cycle ride around Angkor temples; easy flat trails with option of opting out and taking moto-rickshaw

    This morning we leave early and take a fun bike ride around the Angkorian ruins. It is an easy ride on flat trails and roads but for non-cyclists there is the option to jump on to a local remork - motor-rickshaw. The ride today is approximately 30 km in total.

    On the bicycle, we can avoid some of the crowds and get a unique perspective on this amazing site which is well known more recently from being featured in the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider film. We take the back roads along the river through local villages and into the Angkor park before cycling along the wall of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. With the moat on one side and thick jungle on the other we will rarely see another visitor. We might also like to stop to see the monkeys that gather on the temple ruins along the way.

    We finish our day with a visit to Angkor Wat one of the most architecturally and photographically impressive sites in the temple complex. 

    Tonight we will visit the 'Phare' the Cambodian Circus. Coming from vulnerable households, the performers have gained international recognition through their art practice. Like a Cambodian Cirque Du Soleil, modern Khmer tales mix theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, and contortion appeal to all ages!

    Angkor Holiday Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Free day in Siem Reap; choose to visit floating village of Tonle Sap, a conservation centre or zip-line over the jungle canopy

    Today is a free day for exploration and your group leader will be able to make suggestions and can organise transport for activities.

    If you didn’t manage to fit it in yesterday then you might like to visit the jungle temple of Ta Prohm where some of the filming for Tomb Raider took place (Angkor pass required).

    Another option would be to take a journey into the countryside. Around 1 hour out of town is the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), which is housed at the base of Kbal Spien Mountain near the River of a Thousand Lingas. ACCB has a collection of animals that have been saved from trafficking. Creatures include gibbons, monkeys, anteaters, snakes, greater and lesser adjutant (Cambodia’s version of big bird), eagles, prehistoric water monitors and turtles. Pass through rural villages on the way where you can enjoy sampling sugar palm candy as it is made.

    On the way back to town you might like to stop to visit the exquisite Banteay Srey (“Citadel of the women”) (Angkor pass required). The small temple displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art carved into the pinkish coloured sandstone.

    For those who would like a more active day there is the option of trying ziplining in the nearby canopy of Angkor Park. Flying through the jungle after climbing up from one of the canopy platforms is a real adrenaline rush!

    There is also the choice of visiting the floating village on nearby Tonle Sap Lake.

    Angkor Holiday Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Drive to Bangkok; journey broken with stops at stone carving village and a garden restaurant for lunch

    It's a long drive from Siem Reap to Bangkok (approx. 10 hours including stops for border crossing and lunch) but we break the journey many times along the way to stop at local points of interest. On the way we stop at the stone carving village where many of the inhabitants carve religious and decorative statues of all sizes from sandstone and marble. Ganesh the elephant-headed God of beginnings and wisdom as well as Buddhist and Angkorian-style statues line the road in this town. After the border crossing we take a break and have our first taste of Thai food at a local restaurant before continuing onto the capital of Bangkok. Famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and incredible street food, Bangkok is an assault on the senses and provides a real contrast to sleepy Cambodia.

    Rembrandt Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Morning tour of Bangkok including the Grand Palace and Wat Pho

    This morning a short walk from our hotel takes us to the Chao Phraya River where we meet a longtail boat to journey along the khlongs (canals) of old Bangkok. Please be advised there may be a possibility of larger groups being accommodated in a bigger boat. Afterwards we pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage. In the afternoon we have free time to explore. Why not pay a visit to the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down to the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, take in some retail therapy, enjoy delicious street food or explore Bangkok’s colourful Chinatown.

    Rembrandt Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Bangkok

    For land only clients, the tour ends this morning in Bangkok after breakfast.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels and Homestay

During the tour you will spend 12 nights in  comfortable hotels all with en suite bathrooms and 1 night is also spent at a homestay on an island on the Mekong Delta (shared bathrooms).

Surrounded by small cottage industries and tropical fruit orchards our accommodation for the night in the Mekong Delta is a simple guesthouse built in the style of a traditional local house. We will feast upon sumptuous regional dishes while listening to the tranquil movements of the Delta.

Almost all hotels have swimming pools and there will be the opportunity to swim also at the beach in Kep. We have endeavoured to select hotels for their location as well as character, and in the rural areas use the best available accommodation. These will have en suite facilities, reliable electricity and water supply, good service and some added amenities.

There may be instances when you specifically want a single room. Perhaps a grandparent needs one, or parents of a family of three or five want to ensure they get a bit of space! Single supplements are available upon request (see price details below). Please advise as time of booking. A single room is available on hotel nights only.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can't guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Single supplement from £365.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

13 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners are included. 

 

The food on this trip is a real highlight for many. Southeast Asian cuisine is known for its abundance of freshly prepared dishes with strong aromatic flavours. There is a focus on herbs and citrus to ensure each dish packs a punch; chilli does feature highly too but is easily avoided if desired.

 

Food is cheap in all three countries and Western food is readily available almost everywhere, with the exception of the night in the Mekong Delta.

Breakfasts are usually buffet style and there is plenty to choose from; fruit, bread, cereal/yoghurt (sometimes) and cooked breakfasts.

You should allow at least GBP 10 - 20/USD 12-25 per day per person for lunch and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount.

 

Vegetarian food is widely available, however the offering will be fairly similar in most places within each country. Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary requirements. Please note that the availability of certain products is minimal or non-existent, for example wheat or dairy-free, please be prepared for this and you may need to bring these from home.

 

Transportation

We use private coach/mini-buses, which will be quite comfortable, usually with air-conditioning. There are a couple of long driving days on this trip (up to 8 hours). Road conditions are often not good, and progress can be slow. Boats are used at various points in the itinerary; these are nearly always private, and vary from converted trawlers to small riverboats.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The weather in Vietnam will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day between about 28ºC and 34ºC but at times is may reach 40ºC. It is only a little cooler at nights. The region is mostly dry between December to April and then a rainy season from May to November when it tends to come in short heavy bursts with bright sunshine in between.

In Cambodia the weather will be hot and humid all year round. The dry season is late October to May and the monsoon is normally between June and September; though there is an obvious transitional time between those settled periods. The dry season is as it sounds, with hot days and generally clear skies, though you can expect the odd shower. The monsoon is characterised by short, sharp bursts of rain and is generally overcast all day, though this does not detract from the enjoyment of the place; you just need to take an umbrella!

In Thailand the weather patterns are very similar to Cambodia and you should expect year round temperatures from 23-35ºC. The rainy season will normally run from June to September when you should expect short sharp showers but the sun will normally break through.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 15 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London
We normally use the scheduled services of Qatar Airways or Thai Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 14 days starting Saigon and ending in Bangkok

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Saigon in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Free Transfers

Exodus offers FREE airport arrival and departure transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Free transfers are only applicable if booked in advance directly through Exodus before a trip commences.

Location start:
Saigon
Location end:
Bangkok

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Casual clothes. As it is generally hot and humid, light cotton clothing is recommended for most of the trip. Please remember that you will be expected to cover your legs and arms (to the elbow) during visits to some temples and palaces. Sandals are useful as they are cooler and are easier to take off when visiting temples.
  • Torch/flashlight
  • Day pack for carrying camera, water etc. when out and about will be useful
  • Sun cream, sun hat, sunglasses & swimming costume will be well used
  • Bike helmet: these will be available locally however we can't guarantee the quality and fit so please pack your own if you'd rather be confident in the standard and comfort of the helmets. 
  • A first aid kit is carried on each trip, but you should bring your own first aid kit with diarrhoea treatment, painkillers, rehydration sachets, plasters and a blister treatment kit.
  • Insect repellent is also highly recommended. Repellent containing DEET is thought to be highly effective.
  • Warm clothes/layers for the occasional cooler night temperatures.
  • Refillable water bottle (1-2 litre capacity)

There are laundry facilities at the bigger hotels we stay at or cheaper laundry facilities close to some hotels.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

If while packing you find a spare bit of space in your bag please be sure to check out our partner ‘Pack for a Purpose’ to identify items that are needed locally by schools and medical clinics. Your Tour Leader can assist with donating the items. http://www.packforapurpose.org

Optional Equipment

  • A lightweight waterproof jacket or an umbrella could come in use

 

Reading List

Travels in Siam: Cambodia & Laos, M. Henri Mouhot, The account of the final journey of the legendary 'discoverer of Angkor Wat.'
Stay Alive my Son: Pin Yathay (Cornell University Press)
The Tragedy of Cambodian history: David Chandler

Practical Information

Passport

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Cambodia

Arriving By Flight:

An electronic visa (e-Visa) facility is available via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation website at the cost of $37.

A tourist visa can be obtained on arrival for British nationals at most border crossings. Two passport photos are required. The cost is US$30, although an additional express fee of US$5-6 may be incurred at the border. For further information see the FCO site and check under Cambodia / 'Entry Requirements'.

Arriving Overland:

A tourist visa can be obtained on arrival for British nationals at most border crossings. Two passport photos are required. The cost is US$30, although an additional express fee of US$5-6 may be incurred at the border. For further information see the FCO site and check under Cambodia / 'Entry Requirements'.

Important advice regarding E-Visas

Please be advised, e-Visas are not accepted at all border check points when travelling overland. This applies to the following borders/trips:

Tinh Bien, Vietnam/ Phnom Den, Takeo, Cambodia border: AOX- Thai Indochina Explorer and AOG- Thai Indochina Grand Tour

Xa Xia, Vietnam/ Prek Chak, Cambodia (Ha Tien crossing): FIJ- South East Asia Adventure

You can only purchase a tourist visa on arrival at these borders as e-Visas will not be accepted. More information can be found at: 

https://www.evisa.gov.kh/

https://www.evisa.gov.kh/information/port_entry/3

 

Thailand

A visa for Thailand is not required for British nationals for stays of 30 days or less. If you are unsure of the requirements please check with your nearest Thai embassy.

Vietnam

**UPDATE 11.03.2020** The below visa advice is not valid at the current moment in time. If you are booked to travel to Vietnam within the next month, Exodus will contact you with further information when it becomes available.

A visa is no longer needed for British, German, French, Spanish and Italian citizens travelling to Vietnam (for all purposes) for a period of up to 15 days, and on the basis of meeting all conditions prescribed by Vietnamese laws. The visa exemption period will end on 30 June 2021. All other nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam and this must be obtained prior to departure.

For further information please check the FCO site and check under Vietnam / 'Entry Requirements'. If you have any questions about whether you need a visa for your trip please contact the Customer Operations department.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Cambodia

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Thailand

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Vietnam

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Diphtheria. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Cambodia's Timezone:
Asia/Phnom_Penh +07 (GMT +07:00)
Thailand's Timezone:
Asia/Bangkok +07 (GMT +07:00)
Vietnam's Timezone:
Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh +07 (GMT +07:00)

Electricity

Cambodia's Electricity:

230 Volts. Plug types A, C & G; establishments can often take two round pin plugs and/or two flat parallel pin plugs.

Thailand's Electricity:

220 Volts. Plug types A, B, C and F. Establishments can often take two round pin plugs and/or two flat parallel pin plugs.

Vietnam's Electricity:

220 volts AC, 50 Hz. In Vietnam all sockets are generally dual US (2-pin plug) /Euro (2-pin type) compatible but it is worth having both adapters with you.

Money

Cambodia's Currency

 The national currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (January 2020) of approximately 5240 to the GBP, 4000 to the USD, 3000 to the CAD, 4440 to the EUR, 2740 to the AUD and 2640 to the NZD.

In practice the economy of Cambodia as far as the visitor is concerned, runs mainly on US dollars (and is preferred). However, you will receive some change in Riel, which can be useful for smaller purchases. USD bills will not be accepted if they are torn, or printed before 2010.

Thailand's Currency

The national currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2019) of approximately 37 to the GBP, 31 to the USD, 23 to the CAD, 34 to the EUR, 21 to the AUD and 20 to the NZD.

 

Vietnam's Currency

The national currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (January 2020) of approximately 30,200 to the GBP, 23,000 to the USD, 17,600 to the CAD, 25,600 to the EUR, 15,780 to the AUD and 15,200 to the NZD.

In Vietnam, the local currency, the Vietnamese Dong is preferred. However, US dollars may be accepted in some tourist shops and restaurants. You can obtain Vietnamese Dong before travel or by using an ATM or changing money upon arrival.

ATM Availability

ATMs are now widespread in SE Asia's cities and are the easiest way of obtaining money. Credit card acceptance is now widespread in cities in SE Asia at restaurants and shops catering for tourists.

If you would like to bring cash there will be ample opportunity for you to change this. Sterling and US Dollars are both easily exchanged.  As you will probably be carrying much of your money in cash, we strongly recommend using a money belt.

Although local currency is preferred, US dollars are widely accepted in Vietnam in tourist shops and restaurants. You can obtain Vietnamese Dong before travel or by using an ATM or changing money upon arrival.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You should need about GBP 225-275/USD 290-355 per person for meals not included, which will allow you to eat well. Apart from the food, you should allow money to cover soft drinks (more if the adults like a beer/alcohol) and souvenirs.

Optional Excursions

There are a number of optional activities, which if you wish, your leader can help arrange for you.

  • Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) trip, Siem Reap: minimum donation of USD 3 but transport extra. 
  • Flight of the Gibbon ziplining, Siem Reap: GBP 78/USD 120pp (discounts for under 16's)
  • Khmer cooking class GBP 15/ USD 24pp
  • Boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake 6- 8pax GBP 9/USD 15pp

Tipping

This is entirely at your own discretion however; we suggest that you allow some money for tips for the local guides and staff. In the countries visited, with the increase in tourism, tipping has become customary. The local staff will probably expect some gratuity and we suggest you allow for this. The leader will suggest to the group that they donate a sum of GBP 30/USD38 per person towards a kitty on arrival. This money is then used for tipping of local guides, hotel porters, drivers etc. It is basically to ensure that the hassle is taken out of various activities for you. If you do not wish to contribute to a central pool for tips you are of course free to do so.

If you feel that your leaders have performed well over the course of your trip, you may want to show your appreciation of their services. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a guide, 2-4GBP/3-6USD per person per day would be a reasonable starting point. The 'tipping kitty' explained above is entirely separate from any contribution to the tour leader. Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

Family trips

On all trips the staff are there to help ensure the holiday runs as smoothly as possible and, in the unlikely event that it does not, to sort out the best possible alternatives. What they cannot do is act as child minders or babysitters; they will treat your children as 'young adults', but it is your responsibility to look after your young ones. During free time or if you decide to opt out of part of the itinerary, you are responsible for your family and any arrangements that need to be made. Under no circumstances should this responsibility fall on our staff or any of your fellow travellers outside of your immediate family.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.