Current as of: July 23, 2024 - 19:41

Hoi An, Vietnam

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Cambodia, Vietnam
  • Programmes: Culture
  • Activity Level:

    2 out of 7 - Easy & Moderate

  • 14 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 12 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 16+
  • Trip Code: AOL

Trip Overview

Discover the highlights of two wonder-packed Southeast Asian destinations

Journey from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on an adventure packed with cultural and natural marvels. In Vietnam, you’ll cruise among limestone cliffs in Ha Long Bay; delve into culture and history in Hoi An; and take in the high-octane street life of Ho Chi Minh City. You’ll then travel to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to visit the temple complex of Angkor, one of the great archaeological wonders, before journeying to alluring Phnom Penh, where this ultimate highlights journey concludes.

At a Glance

  • 10 nights in comfortable hotels and resorts
  • One night boat stay with twin-share cabins
  • Group normally four to 16, plus leader
  • Travel by private air-conditioned buses, three flights and boat

Highlights

  • Stay overnight on a boat and cruise around scenic Ha Long Bay
  • Meander through the bustling Old Quarter of Hanoi
  • Tour the historic trading town of Hoi An
  • Taste the delicious Vietnamese and Cambodian cuisines
  • Discover the incomparable temple complex of Angkor in Siem Reap
  • Visit Phnom Penh and the sobering Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison

Is This Trip for You?

This trip is rated Activity Level 2 (Easy & Moderate). For more information on our trip gradings please visit the Activity Level Guidelines page. If you have any queries about the difficulty of the trip please do not hesitate to contact us.  

This is an active-paced trip taking in the highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia.

We travel by private minibus and two domestic flights in Vietnam and one international flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, Cambodia, to allow you to experience the must-see highlights of these two beautiful and diverse countries in a short amount of time.

The weather in both destinations is hot and humid; but can be cold in the winter months in the north of Vietnam around Hanoi and Ha Long Bay.

Please be advised some of the days can be fairly long and tiring, with long travel days.

Group

Your group will be led by a local leader in Vietnam and another local leader in Cambodia.

Adult min age: 16

Min group size: 4

Max group size: 16

Itinerary

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

Land Only

  • Start City: Hanoi
  • End City: Phnom Penh

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Hanoi

The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi, is ready for your arrival. Familiarise yourself with the city by wandering the tree-lined avenues. There will be a group welcome meeting this evening with your leader, followed by an optional group dinner.

Accommodation: Lenid Hotel (or similar)

Day 2
To Ha Long Bay; cruise; overnight on boat

Start early for the approximately four-hour journey to Ha Long Bay. This is one of the most beautiful sights in Southeast Asia with roughly 3,000 limestone peaks rising from the emerald sea. We cruise among this amazing karst scenery and enjoy a seafood lunch on board. We stay on the boat tonight in twin-share cabins.

Accommodation: Overnight boat

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3
Continue cruise; return to Hanoi

We continue to cruise around Ha Long Bay this morning before returning to port. We then transfer back (approximately four hours) to Hanoi, where the rest of the day is free for you to relax or discover more of the capital.

You may wish to wander through the Old Quarter, where the 36 Streets are named after the product in which each specialises, such as Silk Street, Gold Street, Paper Street, and Tourist Souvenir Street. Or perhaps take a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, a favourite pastime for many Hanoi residents.

You may have the choice this evening to see a water puppet performance, which your leader can arrange (subject to availability).

Accommodation: Lenid Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 4
Fly to Da Nang; transfer to Hoi An

We transfer to Hanoi Airport after breakfast for a flight to Da Nang. After arrival, we climb Marble Mountain to explore large caves used by the Viet Cong as a hospital base during the war. There are wonderful views over My Khe Beach and the countryside from the peak, which lead onto the captivating town of Hoi An, our next destination (approximately one-hour transfer).

Accommodation: Hoi An Sincerity Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5
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 to the mid-16th century. It is now a living museum, with attractive wooden merchant houses and pagoda-style temples with Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and European architectural influences. It is also a marvellous place to wander around, dipping into the thriving riverside market and shopping for silk clothing.

The afternoon is free to enjoy a town that has become a favourite for so many travellers to Vietnam.

There is also the chance to take a trip (optional) to My Son, the spiritual home of the Cham civilisation, where Cham kings were buried as long ago as the fourth century. Although bombing has destroyed much of the site, there are several interesting stone towers and sanctuaries.

Accommodation: Hoi An Sincerity Hotel & Spa (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City; afternoon city tour

This morning, we transfer to Da Nang Airport for the flight (approximately 1hr 25min) to Ho Chi Minh City (formally Saigon). This is an exciting, absorbing metropolis where scooters pack the streets and temples stand 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 walking distance and are highly recommended.

An afternoon 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, some images at the museum are very graphic.

Accommodation: Acnos Grand Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7
Morning visit to Cu Chi tunnels; free afternoon

Today we leave the city and head north to the Cu Chi tunnels, a 150mi (240km) long underground network used by the Viet Cong during the war. Traditionally, these were very narrow, but some areas have been widened to allow tourists to explore the system. People with claustrophobia may prefer to stay outside in the sunshine.

In the afternoon, we return to Ho Chi Minh City and the rest of the day is free for individual exploration.

Accommodation: Acnos Grand Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8
Fly to Siem Reap, Cambodia

We bid Vietnam farewell and transfer to Ho Chi Minh City Airport for the flight (approximately 1hr 15min) to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

On arrival, we are met by our Cambodian tour leader before transferring to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Siem Reap.

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 9
Sunrise and full day at Angkor

We rise early this morning to visit the incredible Angkor Wat for sunrise and the many temples inside the royal city of Angkor Thom, including the magnificent Bayon, which comprises 54 intricately carved towers in a single temple. The Bayon certainly left an impression on a traveller in 1925, who stated, ‘we stand before it stunned. It is like nothing else in the land.’

We will also see the less-visited outlying Ta Prohm temple, which is still covered in jungle as it was first found. Rediscovered in the 1870s and described as being ‘grander than anything of Greece or Rome’ by French explorer Henri Mouchot, this Unesco World Heritage site is one of the most spectacular archaeological zones in the world. A truly magical experience and a photographer’s paradise.

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 10
Transfer to Phnom Penh; optional sunset cruise on the Mekong River

We transfer by road (approximately seven hours) to Phnom Penh, a great opportunity to see the real Cambodia. We have stops along the way to stretch our legs and eat lunch. We also visit the Santuk Silk Farm, a Fairtrade organisation and a valuable source of employment in a poor rural community (Santuk is closed on some important Khmer holidays).

We should arrive in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh in the late afternoon, the perfect time for those who wish to join a cruise (optional) on the Mekong and enjoy a sundowner.

Accommodation: Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 11
Sightseeing including Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

The fortunes of Phnom Penh have shifted dramatically during its history and the terrible years of the Khmer Rouge and subsequent civil war through the 1970s and 1980s have scarred the country.

During our stay, we visit two sites that give us a vivid impression of some of the horrors. There is the Genocide Museum, which is the former Khmer Rouge prison known as S-21 or Tuol Sleng, in the city centre. And 9mi (15km) out of town is the Killing Fields, a mass grave and execution site for the S-21 inmates. While visiting Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields may not appeal to everyone, we feel they give visitors an important understanding of what the country and its people had to endure just a few decades ago.

Now, the city is on the rise again and is a fascinating place with fine examples of French colonial architecture. This afternoon, we tour the Royal Palace with its Silver Pagoda.

Accommodation: Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel (or similar)

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12
End Phnom Penh

The tours ends this morning after breakfast. To make your journey as easy as possible, there’s a free shared transfer to the airport. To utilise the free departure transfer, request to join it with your sales representative before your trip. And if you’d like to explore this interesting city a little more, you can always speak to your sales representative about extending your stay at the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels, Resorts and Boat

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

We spend 10 nights in three- or four-star hotels and resorts, with all rooms offering air conditioning or fans. We also spend one night on a junk-style boat cruising Ha Long Bay. While the accommodations typically used are detailed on the day-to-day itinerary, below are a few of the notable accommodations on this trip.

Ha Long Bay: Junk boat cruise (night 2)

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

Board a traditional junk-style boat to cruise among the magnificent limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay. Each of the twin-share cabins has air conditioning and a window out to sea, while the boat has a rooftop deck with chairs – this is where most of our travellers tend to gather for views over the bay. There’s also a dining room with glass windows so we can continue to admire this extraordinary landscape during lunch and dinner.

Hoi An: Hoi An Sincerity Hotel & Spa (nights 4-5)

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

In the heart of the Ancient Town, this four-star contemporary resort has spacious, modern rooms, plus an outdoor pool, gym, restaurant and spa. The resort is an ideal oasis to relax and unwind after meandering through Hoi An.

Siem Reap: Stueng Siem Reap Hotel (nights 8-9)

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

In the heart of Siem Reap, this four-star hotel is only a few minutes’ walk to sites such as the Old Market and Wat Preah Prom Rath temple. The French colonial-style property has elegant rooms and an outdoor swimming pool, providing a relaxing retreat in this vibrant town.

Worth knowing

  • Single supplements are available (on request) but only for 10 nights of the trip (hotel nights). Please advise your sales representative at the time of booking if you would like to request a single supplement.
  • The accommodation listed in each location on the day-to-day itinerary are the standard hotels used. However, there may be some departures where groups stay at similar hotels of the same standard and quality.

Single supplement from £ 275

Food & Drink

All breakfasts, one lunch and one 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 a reputation as one of the healthiest, tastiest cuisines in the world.

Vietnamese food relies on fresh fish, vegetables, rice and a myriad of verdant herbs and spices; lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime all play a key role. 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 bowl of pho (noodle soup).

Be sure to 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.

Cambodian food is all about contrasts: sweet and bitter, salty and sour, raw and cooked. It shares many dishes with its neighbours, and you’ll find noodle soup similar to Vietnamese pho, the refreshing salads and sour soups of Thailand, Indian-inspired curries, and noodles and stir fries handed down from years of Chinese migration.

Food is cheap in Vietnam and Cambodia and you can generally avoid the spicier food if you wish. Western food is readily available almost everywhere.

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

Transport

Throughout the tour we use a private coach/minibus, usually with air conditioning. Road conditions are generally good and improving all the time, particularly in Vietnam. However, progress can be slow in the main cities due to traffic.

There are three flights included in the itinerary and all bookings on flights are in economy class.

Tet Holiday Period (Vietnamese New Year)

During the Tet holiday period,  9-15 February 2024 and 28 January to 3 February 2025, 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

The weather will be hot and humid throughout with temperatures during the day usually 28C-34C (82F-93F). It is only a little cooler at nights.

There is quite a range of seasons between the north and south of Vietnam: 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 drizzly rain).

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

Please note, the Ha Long Bay boat trip can be subject to short notice change if certain adverse weather conditions develop during your trip. These could occur year-round, but especially in monsoon season (from October to April). Boat trips on Ha Long Bay are governed by the local authorities who are authorised to make such appropriate safety decisions. If your Ha Long Bay trip is affected by adverse weather, this could either result in a reduced excursion on Ha Long 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 Ha Long Bay. While 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 occurs.

The weather in Cambodia is 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.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)

Getting to the start hotel

The start hotel is approximately 30 to 60 minutes’ drive (traffic dependent) from the airport. Exodus provides free arrival transfers to the start hotel from the airport for all customers.

Catching your return flight

Exodus provides free departure transfers for all customers to Phnom Penh Airport (PNH) from the end hotel.

Please note, unless specified otherwise, the transfers will be to the 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 should be booked with your sales representative at least two weeks before the tour starts.

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.

Location start: Hanoi
Location end: Phnom Penh

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 (pants) if you are travelling at that time
  • A first-aid kit is carried on each trip, but you should bring your own with diarrhoea treatment, painkillers, rehydration sachets, plasters (band-aids) and a blister-treatment kit
  • Insect repellent containing DEET is also highly recommended
  • You may wish to pack a bag that can be used as an overnight bag. For the night in Ha Long Bay, you will be required to leave your main bag behind at the previous hotel for the night
  • Large refillable water bottle

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

Internal flights in Vietnam are subject to a weight limit of 44lb (20kg). As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline website for the latest information prior to your departure.

Water included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill or get burned. 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 to reduce the plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout; all you need to do is bring a bottle to refill along the way. Please add this to your packing list.

Practical Information

Passport

To enter Vietnam and Cambodia your passport must:
  • Have an expiry date at least six months after the day you arrive in each country
  • Be undamaged (including no water damage)
  • Be complete (no pages missing)
Vietnam also specifically requests that you have at least two blank pages, though you also need sufficient blank pages for Cambodia.

Visa

Vietnam

UK passport holders normally do not need a visa to enter Vietnam for visits up to 45 days, while those with a US or Irish passport normally do need a visa to enter. Visa requirements for EU citizens vary by country.

Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/asia/vietnam
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/vietnam
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Vietnam.html

Cambodia

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally need a visa to enter Cambodia. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

Important advice regarding e-Visas:

Please note, e-Visas are not accepted at all border checkpoints when travelling overland into Cambodia.

This applies to the following borders/trips:

  • Tinh Bien,Vietnam/Phnom Den, Takeo, Cambodia border: Thai Indochina Explorer (Trip Code: AOX) and Southeast Asia Express (AOK)
  • Xa Xia, Vietnam/Prek Chak, Cambodia (Ha Tien crossing): South East Asia Adventure (Trip Code: FIJ)

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:

Visa on arrival:

For obtaining a visa on arrival, you will need $30 USD in cash and 2 passport photos. You will be required to fill in a small application on arrival with your personal details including the address of the first hotel you stay at in Cambodia.

Applying for your Cambodia tourist e-Visa:

If you choose to apply for a Cambodia tourist e-Visa before arrival, will need to add in the following information to your application:

Address during visit (Address in Cambodia):

Steung Siem Reap Hotel

Address: Street 9, Sangkat Svaydangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Phone: (+855) 63 96 51 67

Intended date you enter Cambodia: The AOL: Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights tour arrives in Cambodia on day 8 of the itinerary.

Supporting documents: You can submit your Exodus trip invoice and/or booking confirmation with your application.

 

Important Information- Cambodia e-Arrival Card (CeA)

Applicable for all clients travelling on Exodus trips AOA/AOH/AOL & Angkor Wat Extensions.

As of 1 July 2024, all travellers arriving in Cambodia (via air only) are required to submit a Cambodia e-Arrival Card within 7 days before their arrival. The Cambodia e-Arrival Card (CeA) is free and is replacing the requirement to complete paper forms when arriving at Cambodia Airports. The e-Arrival card is separate from visa/e-visa requirements.

How to fill out the e-Arrival card online:

  1. Visit the official website https://arrival.gov.kh/
  2. Fill out the form online or download the app, available or iOS and Android devices.
  3. Once the form is completed, you will receive a confirmation email with QR code.
  4. Take a screenshot, download or print the QR code.

Vaccinations and Health

Cambodia

There are no required vaccinations. However, recommended vaccinations include hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and tuberculosis. You will also need a yellow fever vaccination certificate if you’re arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or transiting for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Please confirm your vaccine recommendations and requirements with your doctor or travel clinic.

Dengue fever, a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes, is a known risk in places visited. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, so take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Vietnam

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to speak to your doctor or travel clinic about vaccinations for hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and tuberculosis. The risk of malaria is slight, but you may want to consult your doctor or travel clinic for further advice.

Similarly, dengue and zika, both viral diseases spread by mosquitoes, are known risks in Vietnam. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, so we strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Local Time

Cambodia's time zone: Asia/Phnom_Penh (UTC +07:00)

Vietnam's time zone: Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh (UTC +07:00)

Electricity

Cambodia's electricity: Plug types A (two flat pins), C (two round pins) and G (three rectangular pins) – 230V, 50Hz

Vietnam's electricity: Plug types A (two flat pins, US standard), C (two round pins, European standard) and F (two round pins) – 220V, 50Hz

Vietnam & Cambodia Highlights

Money

Cambodia's currency: Cambodian riel (KHR); however, US dollars are widely accepted

Vietnam's currency: Vietnamese dong (VND)

ATM Availability

ATMs are now widespread in Southeast Asian cities and are the easiest way of obtaining money. In Vietnam, it is possible to withdraw a maximum 2m Vietnamese dong (US$90) in major cities in one go. ATMs in Cambodia dispense money in US dollars or Cambodian riel.

Credit card acceptance is now widespread at restaurants and shops catering for tourists in cities in Southeast Asia. If you would like to bring cash, there will be ample opportunity for you to change this. US dollars and British pounds are both easily exchanged.

As you will likely be carrying much of your money in cash, we strongly recommend using a money belt.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need about US$350‐US$400 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 Activities

There are several optional activities, which your leader can help arrange for you and advise of costs locally. The below costs per person are approximate amounts only.

Hanoi

  • Water puppets 150,000 dong (US$6)

Hoi An

  • Tu Bon River boat trip 180,000 dong (US$7) depending upon numbers

Phnom Penh

  • Mekong sunset cruise 40,000 riel (US$10), subject to availability

Tipping

Tipping is at your discretion but is customary in Vietnam and Cambodia. To take the hassle out of tipping, the leaders in Vietnam and Cambodia will suggest you contribute to a tipping kitty of approximately 750,000 dong (US$31) per person in Vietnam and approximately 40,000 riel (US$10) per person in Cambodia. This is used by the leaders in each destination to tip drivers, hotel staff, on boats etc but it is not used at restaurants.

In addition (entirely at your discretion), 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 US$3-US$6 per day for your leaders.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that improve life for the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Find out more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here, and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of a local guide means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food, and the support of other local enterprise.
  • In Hanoi, we encourage people to dine at KOTO, an NGO that provides a two-year course in hospitality, English and life skills training for 16 to 22-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. Students also receive accommodation, food, medical check-ups and treatment while they are being trained. Many of the 400-plus graduates have gone on to continue their careers at KOTO restaurants or have gained employment elsewhere with their training so this is a great initiative to support.
  • In Hoi An, we also stop by Reaching Out, a shop selling gifts handmade by artisans with disabilities – helping them to develop their talent and independence.
  • There is the option to see a traditional folk dancing or water puppet show in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. This encourages local customs to continue and creates employment opportunities.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • Our entrance fees to the Angkor complex in Cambodia goes towards preserving these fascinating cultural sites.
  • We provide clients with a reusable tote bag at the start of the tour (made in Hanoi), offering an alternative to single-use plastic bags and a souvenir to take home.

 Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • Vegetarian and vegan options are available at majority of accommodation and restaurants.

 Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own reusable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.
  • Cultural respect:
    • Please remember you will be expected to cover your legs and arms (to the elbow) during visits to temples and sacred sites so packing a sarong or other suitable clothing is recommended. Also remember to remove hats when visiting a sacred site.
    • Do not rest your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice as this symbolises the burning of incense (which is usually reserved for times of mourning).
    • One should not show the soles of their feet or touch someone’s head, both are considered disrespectful.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When 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, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part 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. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances 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. 

Water safety

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. You should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim. Open-water or wild swim spots should be treated with extreme caution. Information on how to keep yourself safe while swimming is shown here.

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.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three 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.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

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; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, 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.

Licensing

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 money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.