Indochina overland tour, Saigon to Angkor

“Travel from the Mekong Delta to the ruins of Angkor on this two week land and river adventure through Vietnam and Cambodia.”

Highlights

Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) | Cu Chi Tunnels | Cai Be | Mekong Delta | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Killing Fields | Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum | Siem Reap | Angkor Wat | Tonle Sap Lake | Battambang bamboo train

Description of Indochina overland tour, Saigon to Angkor

This 2-week Indochina tour begins in bustling, vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, still known as Saigon to most of its residents, before turning south for a 3-day exploration of the landscapes, culture and everyday life of the evocative Delta region. We’ll travel by road, boat and on foot through this inland archipelago visiting the iconic floating markets and checking out cottage industries as well as learning about recent history with a dug-out canoe tour of the secret Vietcong jungle base at Xe Quit.

From here we travel up the mighty Mekong itself to Cambodia’s charming contemporary riverside capital of Phnom Penh and on overland to the awe-inspiring jungle-clad ruined cities and temples of Angkor. A comprehensive but leisurely-paced tour of this picturesque and atmospheric site is followed by a boat trip across the vast Tonle Sap Lake and up river past the unique floating villages to the provincial town of Battambang.

Iconic sites plus many lesser-known ones, rich history and culture plus the local markets, villages and traditional life of the region’s exceptionally friendly residents. A memorable and highly varied introduction to this wonderful part of Southeast Asia.

Features:

1. Explore the picturesque Mekong Delta region: a labyrinth of waterways, islands and traditional villages
2. Phnom Penh; fast recovering from its recent tragic history to regain its place as one of Indochina's most attractive and fun cities
3. Travel by boat up the mighty Mekong River from the Vietnam to Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh
4. Explore Angkor; World Heritage temples and mysterious carvings clad in steamy jungle
5. Journey down the unspoilt Sangkar River; past floating villages, Prek Toal bird sanctuary and across the Tonle Sap Lake
6. Sample the region's awesome and varied cuisine with the emphasis, as usual, on the authentic local food

Optional extensions

1. Extend your trip to discover the south of Cambodia with our 4-day Kep and Kampot tour
2. Add on a beach extension to jungle-covered Koh Chang, Thailand
3. Take a local flight to Vietnam’s spectacular tropical island of Phu Quoc for a few day’s quality island time
4. Stop off for a 2-day guided exploration of Thailand’s vibrant capital, Bangkok

Note groups sizes are 2 to maximum 12 persons with most meals (local-style) included and accommodation in good quality 3* hotels.

Travel Team

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Date
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Basis
25 Dec 2020
£1800
excluding flights
Available
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27 Jan 2021
£1800
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24 Feb 2021
£1800
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23 Mar 2021
£1750
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18 Apr 2021
£1750
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18 May 2021
£1700
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20 Jun 2021
£1700
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20 Jul 2021
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18 Aug 2021
£1750
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19 Sep 2021
£1700
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19 Oct 2021
£1750
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15 Nov 2021
£1800
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21 Dec 2021
£1800
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Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 12 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
In keeping with all our tours we take small groups (max 12) to rarely visited locations.

We encourage homestays and visits to local community craft and cottage industry – the brick works is a revelation… We also visit a plant nursery, a family rice paper business, and blacksmiths workshops.

Our use of local guides and homestays enable us to get a real understanding of the people and places visited and bring tales of the war torn past century of Vietnamese history to life (along with ample rice whiskey).

In Cambodia, too, through our regular visits to sites (and if present souvenir shops) we help sustain local businesses and enterprises, such as the handicraft school for handicapped persons in Siem Reap, to the ‘land-mine museum’ in Siem Reap where we help support the organizer’s mine clearance operations through donations.

The Overland crossing (by boat) from Vietnam into Cambodia is only recently opening up so tourists are being introduced to many small towns and communities new to Western tourism.

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

Climate

3 Reviews of Indochina overland tour, Saigon to Angkor

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 Mar 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Cu Chi, tunnels, Killing Fields and top of the list Angkor Wat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel lightly! You fo not need lots of clothes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It certainly benefited local people - not sure about environmental issues I think we might have added to that? Minibus, bottled water etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent - that is all I really need to say!

Reviewed on 18 Oct 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The crowds and crowds of mopeds on the roads in Vietnam and getting across the road! Joining crowds of people and the sense of anticipation felt when waiting for the sunrise over Ankor Wat. Being taught to create and cook my own wrap.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Relax and enjoy. When crossing the road in Vietnam.... just go for it! DO eat the local food - its delicious. Try to travel light - there is a lot of moving around and some of the buses struggled to accommodate a large amount of baggage.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Difficult to tell. We ate at local restaurants so we did put money into the local economies of where we were staying.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I really enjoyed it - generally I tend to go on wildlife orientated holidays; this was more cultural & historical so it was quite different from previous holidays we have been on. That said I found it interesting to learn about totally different cultures and countries. Our guides were very helpful and if there were any problems (one lady had an problem with her room in the first hotel) then they did their best to sort it out. Mark, our guide in Cambodia was very knowledgeable not only about Cambodia as it is today but also about its history. The trip was very well organised throughout.


Reviewed on 23 Jan 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The sampan ride through the jungle at Xe Quit and coffee in the floating market
in Vietnam.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Keep a journal! Be prepared for some gritty and moving history lessons! Remember the insect repellent.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, we ate in local restaurants, used sustainable travel methods (in the
main) and had the opportunity to buy souvenirs in the local markets.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Extraordinary and leaving me wanting to see more! The resort at Koh Mak was idyllic, the temples in Cambodia were a must see and the whole "vietnam" experience was very authentic.

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