Cambodia in Angkor Ta Prohm Temple

Classic Vietnam & Angkor Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures, Premium Adventures
Destinations:
Cambodia, Vietnam
Programmes:
Culture
Trip Code:
AOI
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

16 Days Flight Inclusive
14 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

Vietnam’s landscape of limestone cliffs and great rivers provides a backdrop to a fascinating culture. Much of life in Vietnam is lived out in the streets, and in the cities of Saigon and Hanoi we are able to witness this endless spectacle. Slowing the pace, we visit scenic Halong Bay and enjoy the calm of the Mekong Delta. Hoi An provides remnants of a rich heritage. Finally in Cambodia we visit one of the world's great surviving archaeological wonders, the temple complex of Angkor.

At a Glance

  • 12 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night boat with twin share cabins, all en suite
  • Travel by private car/minibus/bus (subject to group size), 3 flights and boats
  • Some gentle walking in humid conditions
  • Leisurely pace of travel

Trip Highlights

  • Premium Adventure: upgraded accommodation throughout
  • 3 flights included to limit road journeys and maximise your time at each destination 
  • Boat trip around stunning Halong Bay
  • Explore the Mekong Delta
  • Discover the historic trading town of Hoi An
  • Crawl through the Cu Chi war tunnels
  • Explore incomparable Angkor temple complex in Cambodia

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is rated Activity Level 1- Leisurely

This is not a rushed trip and although there are early starts, the focus is on spending time in each area in comfort, with few long road journeys. Both Vietnam and Cambodia are humid and this can be tiring at times as we explore some cities and sights on foot. We have included three flights to reduce the amount of travelling time to a minimum as much as possible but please be aware that delays can occur at times.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

The trip is lead by locally qualified Vietnamese and Cambodian English-speaking leaders.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Hanoi
End City:
Siem Reap

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Hanoi

    The day is free to recover from the flight or stroll amongst broad tree-lined avenues dating from the French period. There is a faded colonial charm where baguettes and good coffee are sold from doorways of grand buildings of a past era. 

    This evening there will be a welcome briefing with your leader followed by an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.

    Lan Vien Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    City tour; afternoon free

    This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city that includes a visit to the Temple of Literature; the site of the oldest university in Vietnam with over 2000 graduates, Hoa Lo Prison & the Old Quarter of the city with its '36 Streets' where each street is home to shops selling particular products - e.g. 'silk street', 'gold street', 'paper street' and 'tourist souvenir street'. 

    We have the afternoon free in Hanoi to wander around the Hoan Kiem lake and perhaps enjoy the view from a lakeside café.

    Lan Vien Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    To Halong Bay; cruise; overnight on boat

    We make an early start for the approximately 4-hour journey to Halong Bay. This is one of the most stunningly beautiful sights in South East Asia with some 3000 limestone peaks rising directly from the clear emerald sea. We cruise amongst this amazing karst scenery, stopping to swim and kayak, allowing us to get to places inaccessible by boat (weather permitting), and enjoy a seafood lunch on board. We overnight on board in twin share cabins with en suite facilities.

    Overnight Boat

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Continue cruise; return to Hanoi

    We continue to cruise around Halong Bay this morning before returning to port. We then drive back to Hanoi where the evening is free to explore or relax. There is the option of seeing a performance of the famous Water Puppets, which your leader can arrange if you have not already seen them and wish to do so.

    Lan Vien Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Fly to Da Nang; transfer to Hoi An

    After breakfast we transfer to Hanoi Airport for a flight to Da Nang. In Da Nang, we climb Marble Mountain where we explore the large caves which were used by the Viet Cong as a hospital base during the war. From the mountain peak there are fantastic views over My Khe Beach and the surrounding countryside which leads on to Hoi An, our next destination.

    Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Walking tour of Hoi An; free afternoon

    This morning will include a walking tour of Hoi An, the original European trading port in Vietnam dating back to the mid-16th century. It is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant's houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences. It is also a marvellous place to wander around and enjoy the thriving riverside market and great silk clothes shopping.

    The afternoon is free to enjoy a town that has become a favourite for so many travellers to Vietnam. Options include a trip to My Son, the Cham civilisation's spiritual home, where Cham kings were buried as long ago as the fourth century. Although wartime bombing has destroyed much of the site, there's a number of interesting stone towers and sanctuaries.

    Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cruise on Thu Bon River to a cooking class; free afternoon

    We spend the morning at the wonderful Red Bridge restaurant, located on the bank of the Thu Bon River. Visiting the colourful local market first, we shop for ingredients before taking a boat ride to the restaurant. Here we learn the intricacies of Vietnamese cooking. Under the supervision of an English-speaking Vietnamese chef you have the opportunity to create your own dishes. You don't need to be a proficient cook to enjoy this activity but be warned, you get to eat your creations at the end of the morning! You may choose to stay on and enjoy the idyllic garden at the restaurant or make your way back into Hoi An town for an afternoon at leisure, or jump on a bike (optional) for a ride through the countryside, passing markets, schools and villages before continuing on to Cua Dai beach (5 km).

    Hoi An Riverside Resort & Spa or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 8

    Fly to Saigon; afternoon city tour

    This morning we transfer to Da Nang Airport for the flight to Saigon, officially known as Ho Chi Minh City. This 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. The Saigon River and Ben Thanh market, are within easy walking distance and are highly recommended. This afternoon a city tour will include a visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Reunification Palace and the War Remnants Museum. The Museum has an interesting photographic record of the Vietnam/American War. Please be aware that some images at the museum are very graphic.

    Sila Urban Living or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Morning visit to Cu Chi tunnels; free afternoon

    Today we leave the city behind us and head north to visit the infamous Cu Chi tunnels. Used by the Viet Cong during the war, the network covers 3 levels and incorporates around 240km of tunnels. Traditionally these were very narrow but some areas have been widened to allow tourists to explore the system. Claustrophobes may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine! In the afternoon we return to Saigon and the rest of the day is free for individual exploration.

    Sila Urban Living or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 10

    To Mekong Delta; cruise through waterways

    In the morning we drive to Cai Be in the Mekong Delta (approx 2½ hours), known as the 'rice bowl' of Vietnam. This region produces most of Vietnam's fruit, sugar cane and coconuts. We take a boat trip on the mighty Mekong River, passing many orchards and friendly locals also travelling by boat. Recently, Cai Be floating market has become 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. We stop to see some small cottage industries such as rice paper and coconut candy, getting a chance to sample the produce along the way before enjoying the local speciality, ‘Elephant Ear Fish', for lunch. After lunch, we continue by boat to Vinh Long where our bus is waiting to take us to Can Tho.

    TTC Can Tho Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 11

    Visit floating market; return to Saigon

    This morning we take a boat trip to visit Cai Rang floating market, the biggest and most lively floating market in the Delta, with great photo opportunities. It is a maze of hundreds of boats packed with fruits, vegetables and plants, where samples are hung from the tops of long poles so that buyers can see from a distance what is for sale. Later we drive back to Saigon where the remainder of the day is free.

    Sila Urban Living or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia

    Today we transfer to Saigon Airport for the flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia. On arrival in Siem Reap, we will be met by our Cambodian tour leader. Flight-time dependent we may have the opportunity to see the sunset at the temple-complex this evening. If not, we will enjoy this magnificent marvel tomorrow evening. 

    Tara Angkor Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Full day to explore Angkor

    A full day spent exploring the Angkor complex. We will visit the incredible Angkor Wat and the many temples inside the Royal City of Angkor Thom, including the magnificent Bayon, which comprises of 54 intricately carved towers in one single temple. The Bayon certainly left an impression on an early traveller in 1925 who stated 'we stand before it stunned. It is like nothing else in the land.' We will also see other less-visited outlying temples. Particularly impressive are Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm, which is still covered in jungle as it was first found. Re-discovered in the 1870s and famously described as being 'grander than anything of Greece or Rome' by the French explorer Henri Mouchot, this World Heritage Site stands alongside Chichen Itza and Machu Picchu as one of the world's most spectacular archaeological sites. A truly magical experience and a photographer's paradise.
    Tara Angkor Hotel or similar

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Siem Reap

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

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels & Boat

During this trip you will spend 12 nights in comfortable hotels and 1 night aboard a boat with twin share cabins, all of which feature en-suite facilities. We have selected hotels both for their character and relative luxury and we utilise the best hotels available in each area.

Please be advised that the accommodation listed in each location on the day to day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some trips where you will stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

 Single supplements are available (on request) and only available for 12 nights of the trip (hotel nights). Please advise the sales team at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.

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.

Single supplement from 469,90 €

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner are included.

Thanks to the tropical climate, the long coast and the gigantic range of mountains, Vietnam is blessed with numerous varieties of culinary offerings and consequently maintains its reputation as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world that still packs a punch with delicious, fresh and fiery flavours.

Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a whole myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play an important role in the cuisine. The Chinese and French influence is felt throughout the country where you are just as likely to be offered a Banh Mi (stuffed baguette) as you are a hot steaming bowl of Pho (noodle soup).

Each dish is prepared with the Asian principle of Wu Xing in mind (the five elements); meaning that the perfect combination of spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet is the ultimate aim. Be sure to also seek out the national beverages; Vietnamese coffee is served iced and sweet with condensed milk, a real sugar and caffeine hit, and beer hoi (local beer, brewed daily) is served on most street corners in the North out of large plastic jugs that are perfect for sharing.

Food is cheap in Vietnam and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere, with the exception of the the Mekong Delta area.

Food is cheap in Cambodia and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Cambodia's food is all about the contrasts—sweet and bitter, salty and sour, fresh and cooked. It shares many dishes with its neighbors, and you'll find noodle soup similar to Vietnamese pho, Thailand's refreshing salads and sour soups, Indian-inspired curries, and noodles and stir fries handed down from years of Chinese migration. From Cambodia's days as a French Indochina colony, there's a national love of coffee, pate, and good bread. Baguettes are served with soup, made into sandwiches, and sold by men riding bicycles carrying baskets of long loaves. Western food is also available in most of the places visited.

Vegetarian food is widely available, however the offering will be fairly similar in most places. Please advise at time of booking if you have any dietary requirements.

Transportation

We use private car/minibus/bus dependent on group size. Boats are used at various points in the itinerary; these are nearly always private, and vary from converted trawlers to small riverboats. There are three domestic flights, all bookings on flights are made in economy class. 

Tet Holiday Period (Vietnamese New Year)

During the Tet holiday period, 21-30 January 2020 and 10-17 February 2021, and two weeks either side of Tet, our itinerary is subject to minor change as despite booking hotels and trains in advance, rooms and seats are difficult to obtain during this busy festive period when people are travelling home to celebrate with their families. It is unlikely that changes will occur and if they do it is likely we will just need to use alternative accommodation.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day usually between 28ºC and 34ºC. It is only a little cooler at nights.

There is quite a range of seasons between the north and the south: the south up to Hue has a distinct dry season 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. Hanoi is cool in autumn, and even gets chilly between November and February (with a drizzly rain).

There is no ideal time to visit Vietnam; it is quite pleasant at any time of year, though due to the shape of the country it is unlikely that the weather will ever be perfect for the entire duration of any trip.

Please be aware that the boat trip on Halong Bay can be subject to short notice change if certain adverse weather conditions develop during your trip. These could occur all year round, but especially in monsoon season (from October to April). Boat trips on Halong Bay are governed by the local authorities who are authorised to make such appropriate safety decisions. If your Halong Bay trip is affected by adverse weather, this could either result in a reduced excursion on Halong Bay for your group, or less likely, the need to re-arrange the itinerary if it is not possible at all to go out on Halong Bay. Whilst this is not a frequent occurrence, our local team and leaders are well equipped to handle such situations and have long offered appropriate options to groups in the instances where this may occur.

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 May and October; 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 or buy a cheap local poncho!

Weather Charts

Hanoi

Siem Reap

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 16 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 Thai Airways or Singapore Airlines (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.

Long transit in Kuala Lumpur on return, ask at time of booking for details.

Travelling land only: 14 days starting in Hanoi and ending in Siem Reap

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Hanoi 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:
Hanoi
Location end:
Siem Reap

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Casual clothes. As it is generally hot and humid, light cotton clothing is recommended for most of the trip, though it will be cold in Hanoi between November and early March and you should bring a warm jacket, woolly hat, and trousers if you are travelling at that time. 
  • Please remember that you will be expected to cover your legs and arms (to the elbow) during visits to temples. Sandals are useful as they are cooler and are easier to take off when visiting temples and you will need comfortable footwear for exploring the Angkor complex.
  • 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.
  • You may wish to pack a bag that can be used as an overnight bag. For the night in Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta you will be required to leave your main bag behind at the previous hotel for the night.
  • Refillable water bottle (1-2 litre capacity)

There will be plenty of opportunities to get laundry done locally at a very affordable price so fine to pack light.

Internal flights in the destination country are subject to a weight limit of 20kg. 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.

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

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!

Optional Equipment

  • A sun hat, suncream, swimming costume for Halong Bay.
  • We recommend you bring a torch for the Mekong Delta and Marble mountain cave/grottos.
  • A money belt and light waterproof or an umbrella are useful.

 

Reading List

Romancing Vietnam
Justin Wintle (Penguin)

Turtle Beach
Blanche D'Alpuget (Penguin) About the boat people.

The Quiet American Graham Greene (Penguin) Considered to be his best book.

Vietnam, Now: A Reporter Returns
David Lamb (Perseus Books)

Catfish and Mandala
Andrew X. Pham (Penguin)

Vietnam: A History
Stanley Karnow

Two Cities: Hanoi & Saigon
Neil Sheehan

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

Stalking the Elephant Kings Cristopher Kremmer

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

 

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. 

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)
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.

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.

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. In Vietnam, it is possible to draw a maximum 2,000,000 VND or approx. 60GBP/80-100USD in major cities in one go. ATMs in Cambodia dispense money in US dollars or Cambodian Riel.

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.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need about 225‐275GBP/300‐360USD for all other meals, which will allow you to eat well. Apart from the food, you should allow money to cover drinks (more if you 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 and advise of costs locally.

Hanoi
Water puppets 4GBP/6USD

Hoi An
Tu Bon River boat trip 5GBP/7USD depending upon numbers

Tipping

Tipping is entirely at your discretion, but is customary in Vietnam & Cambodia. In order to take the hassle out of tipping, the leader will suggest you contribute to a tipping kitty of approx 32GBP/41USD per person. This is used by the leader to tip drivers, staff at hotels, on boats etc. but it is not used at restaurants.

In addition, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated if you are happy with the service you have received. As a guideline we recommend a contribution of 2-4GBP/3-6USD per day for your leader but this amount is just a suggestion and entirely up to youOur local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

All of the accomodation used on this trip are locally owned and staffed and use local produce wherever possible; this ensures that our visit directly contributes to the community. Many of the accomodation also have environmental policies to reduce waste, water usage and energy expenditure. On this trip, there is a chance to take a cooking class and learn the intricacies of Vietnamese cooking under a supervision of a local chef.

During the free afternoons in Hoi An, clients can plan a visit to ‘Reaching out’, a social enterprise that provides opportunities for people with disability to learn skills as artisans and gain employment so that they will be able to fully integrate fully with their communities and lead independent lives. Purchasing handmade gifts from them is a form of support to local production and its worthy cause.

When in Hanoi, we strongly encourage groups to have a communal meal at KOTO, which is an NGO that provides a two year course in hospitality, English and life skills training to 16-22 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of the graduates have gone on to continue developing their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training making it a great initiative to support.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus 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.

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 www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, 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.