Day 1 - Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Bangkok has so much going on if you've got time to explore. Why not hit the canals for riverboat trip to Chinatown? Visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha? Or indulge in some Thai massage?
Day 2 - Siem Reap
Brace yourself for a long day of travel as you board a private bus to Siem Reap (approximately 10 hours, including border crossing and lunch). Say 'Laew phop gun' to Thailand as you exit at Aranyaprathet, and enter Cambodia at Poipet. Your tour leader will help you with border crossing procedures. You'll need some US currency for this, so ready those greenbacks. When you arrive in Siem Reap (150 km or so past the border), the markets are a great place to start practicing those haggling skills. Better yet, try some cheap and tasty street food. Get some rest and relaxation tonight before your Angkor visit tomorrow.
Day 3 - Siem Reap – Angkor Wat
Time to visit the mighty Angkor complex with your guide. Get that camera ready, because it's going to be oh-so-pretty. Some of these temples are over a thousand years old, going back to the days when the Khmer Empire was top dog in South-East Asia. These beauties were known to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. Let your mind be blown as you roam around the complex with your leader. Don't even think about missing the sunset. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap, so you'll have plenty of time to get to grips with the larger-than-life Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.
Notes: A 1-Day Angkor Pass is included on this tour. If you'd like to return to Angkor outside of your included visit, you can buy a longer pass. Just ask your leader.
Day 4 - Siem Reap
Today is a free day for you to experience Siem Reap in your own way. If you're all templed out, but still feel like something pretty out-there, you can opt for a Angkor zip-line course, which will have you soaring like an eagle over the rainforest (and perhaps getting that ticker started again, if Angkor Wat made it stop).
Day 5 - Kompong Cham
Jump on a bus and head to Kompong Cham (approximately 5 hours). It's a public bus, which means you'll reaaally travel like a local. When you arrive, you might notice how chilled out this town is. It used to be an important trading hub in the area. Mingle with the locals and enjoy the change of pace. It's a slice of small-town Cambodia with plenty to see and do. You can explore the 11th-century Wat Nokor (also very chill, some might say 'tranquil'). You can hire a bike to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, linked to Kompong Cham by a fancy bamboo bridge (in the wet season you'll have to take a ferry over). The locals here make their living fishing and growing tobacco and sesame, so it's an awesome place to go for a closer look at some of Cambodia's cottage industries. A little further afield are the twin 'mountain temples' of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei.
Day 6 - Phnom Penh
Catch a private bus to the capital city of Phnom Penh (approximately 3 hours). Cambodia's capital is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some mighty fine examples of French-inspired architecture. Top of the list of things to do: head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, and the infamous Killing Fields where a stupa made of some 8,000 human skulls lies. Confronting but important to see, these sites are places to learn about the dark legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda to learn about brighter parts of Cambodian history. You can also explore Wat Phnom, check out the National Museum, take a cyclo tour of the city's key sites, or hit the pretty art-deco Psar Thmei aka Central Market (it's pretty AND pretty art-deco).
Day 7 - Chambok – Homestay
Travel by private bus into rural Cambodia (approximately 3 hours) to the region of Kampong Speu and the village of Chambok. This is the location of your homestay for tonight. Here is your chance can really immerse yourself in everyday life. Facilities may be basic, but this is your chance to BE in Cambodia with the PEOPLE. Not to mention feast on a traditional Khmer dinner, prepared by your lovely and very talented hosts.
Notes: Accommodation is multi-share, with mattresses, bedding and moquito nets provided.
Day 8 - Sihanoukville
Take a private bus to Sihanoukville (approximately 4 hours). Named after the Cambodian royal family, Sihanoukville has loads of beaches and welcoming folk. It's probably stating the obvious that you'll want to take a dip here.
Day 9 - Sihanoukville
There are plenty of ace things to do here, like taking a boat bound for one of the nearby islands. If you do that, you can chillax among swaying palms trees and have nice barbeque lunch. Or, if the jungle is more your thing, make the trip out to the Ream National Park. It's 21 hectares of coastal mangrove forest, buzzing with exotic birds and animals.
Day 10 - Phnom Penh
Take a local bus back to Phnom Penh (approximately 4 hours). Tonight will be your last night in Cambodia before you move on to Vietnam. The perfect way to cap off your time here would be to take an optional traditional massage at the Seeing Hands Massage Centre. The visually impaired masseurs here are some of the best in town, and it's a great cause to support. Also, let's be honest, after that bumpy bus ride you could probably use a little limbering up.
Day 11 - Ho Chi Minh City
Travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (approximately 7 hours). You'll exit Cambodia at Bavet and enter Vietnam at Moc Bai. Your leader knows the drill, so they'll assist you with border crossing procedures. Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and get your first taste of this fast-paced, fun city. You'll see it's a combo of all kinds of flavours, old and new, East and West. Get a French baguette, best taken with a cup o' joe (the coffee is excellent here). Don't miss Reunification Palace. And there are some really cool things to see at the War Remnants museum, like a helicopter and a fighter jet.
Day 12 - Ho Chi Minh City
Your trip comes to an end today and you can leave your accommodation at any time. If you're staying longer, you might want to go on one of the Urban Adventures offered: Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience, or Saigon Street Food by Night. Your leader can help you book the tour of your choice.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Meals Included: Breakfast: 2 Lunches: 0 Dinners: 1
Get a sneak peek of Bangkok and all its charging tuk-tuks, enchanting canals and dee-lish street food
Is Angkor the most incredible thing in Southeast Asia? Decide for yourself as you temple-hop with an expert local guide
Learn more about Cambodia's confronting but important history, with optional visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Memorial
A homestay in Chambok puts you right in the heart of everyday village life in Cambodia
Need some time to chill? This trip has got you covered, with two days in Sihanoukville, your launching pad to secluded island beaches and mangrove forests
Your trip ends in action-packed Ho Chi Minh City, the perfect place for a glimpse of Vietnam
There's loads of free time to make your own fun and have your own experiences
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money