The meeting time and place for this trip is on Day 1 at 21:30 at the lobby of Central Backpackers Hostel in Hanoi (Vietnam).
Day 1: Hanoi, Vietnam
- Meet your group and adventure leader at the hostel in Hanoi.
- Get to know your new travel companions and join in on the free bar crawl heading towards the city’s Old Quarter.
Day 2: Hanoi, Vietnam
- Optional: Visit Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Museum (£1.50) and learn about the communist party of Vietnam. Afterward, take a chance to see the other side of the nation’s history with a visit to the ancient Hanoi Citadel, used by Imperial Vietnam’s emperors. (£1.50)
- End the touring at the Temple of Literature, the city’s main temple. (£1.50)
- Have some dinner and then take the sleeper bus to Sa Pa, travelling from 10 pm – 6 am.
Day 3: Sa Pa, Vietnam
- After breakfast, trek through the Muong Hoa Valley. Admire the incredible scenery of the Hoang Lien mountain ranges and trek through terraced rice paddies.
- Meet local Black H’mong tribes.
- Cross the suspension bridge into the Zay tribe’s village where you will enjoy one of the families’ hospitality. Receive a wood-fired meal and then stay in a homestay in their hut.
Day 4: Sa Pa, Vietnam
- Continue the trek, travelling through bamboo forests towards the Giang Ta Chai waterfall.
- Pass through more tribal villages, home to both H’mong and Red Zao tribes.
- Take the bus back to Sa Pa for dinner and a shower, then head back to Hanoi on the sleeper bus, 4 pm – 10 pm.
Day 5: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
- In the morning travel to Halong Bay by bus and boat.
- The area’s known for its beautiful and dramatic landscape, defined by its towering karst peaks. In fact, it looks so impressive it’s where they chose to film King Kong: Skull Island.
- Spend the afternoon on a boat cruise – have a go at kayaking and, if you are bold enough, go cliff jumping.
- In the evening we head out to spend the night on our own private beach with a chance for some partying and late night bonfires.
Day 6: Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
- Wake up to a beautiful sunrise and spend your morning hanging out with the local monkeys.
- Optional: Try your hand at rock climbing; it’s a scary climb, but the view is worth it, at least some people think so… (£18)
- In the afternoon return to Hanoi and then hop on the night bus to Phong Nha, 6.30pm to 4 am.
Day 7: Phong Nha, Vietnam
- Sleep in until 10 am to get some rest after a night’s travel than enjoying a late morning cycle into Bong Lai village.
- In the afternoon bike to the brilliantly named Pub With Cold Beer. Take a chance to relax there; play some volleyball, eat some food and jump in the river.
- Optional: Spend the evening enjoying some karaoke with your group. You should be comfortable enough to sing around each other now, right? (£5)
Day 8: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam
- Spend the day exploring Phong Nha’s coastal caves in full, with activities including floating in the mud, zip-lining across the water and kayaking.
- In the evening you’re free to do as you wish.
Day 9: Hoi An, Vietnam
- It’s an early start hopping on the 4 am – 12.30 pm sleeper bus to Hoi An, with a mid-way stop for breakfast.
- In the afternoon arrive at the beautiful Hoi An. Get a tour of the old town, the river front, and the Japanese and Vietnamese architecture
- Make the most of Hoi An’s boutiques and take the opportunity to buy a new suit or pair of boots at a price you wouldn’t see at home.
Day 10: Hoi An, Vietnam
- Free day.
- It’s a lovely opportunity to dedicate a whole day to Hoi An’s beach and, if you fancy it, having a go on a crab boat. (£20)
- Alternatively, go to a local farm and learn about how local farmers work in the area. (£20)
- In the evening take the bus to Danang and then head on the night train to Saigon at 11 pm.
Day 11: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Arrive in Ho Chi Minh (often referred to as Saigon) at 4 pm.
- Head over to the hostel to refresh. The evening bar crawl starts from the hostel’s roof top bar.
- For those interested, visit Ben Thanh Market for great fashion bargains and a delicious street food dinner.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- A day of history starts at the Cu Chi tunnels dug by the Communist guerrilla group, the Viet Cong, that used the tunnels as a war asset to fight American and South Vietnamese troops during the civil war.
- Optional: Spend your afternoon at the War Remnants Museum to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). (£5)
- Use the evening to explore Ho Chi Minh after dark.
Day 13: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Begin the tour of the Mekong Delta by going to the Tho Floating Market.
- In the afternoon, take a boat ride through the tranquil Tra Su Forest, moving through a layer of plant life growing out of the water.
- As it reaches evening, arrive at the hostel in Chau Doc.
Day 14: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
- Cross the border at Ha Tien and wave goodbye to your Vietnam guide as you enter Cambodia.
- Transfer to Sihanoukville Beach. Drive a couple of hours and then arrive at the ferry jetty, taking the ferry to Koh Rong Island.
- Embrace the beautiful paradise island you have now entered, full of stunning beaches and moon parties.
Day 15: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
- Enjoy a free day on the beach on Koh Rong Island.
- Optional: If you’re a restless soul and the beach isn’t enough, take the opportunity to try out scuba diving. (£70)
Day 16: Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
- Set off in the morning to go on a boat trip for the day.
- Explore the surrounding islands, visit a local village, and go snorkeling to discover the marine life lying beneath the waves.
- Spend the night sleeping in a hammock on a deserted beach.
- As the daylight fades, bioluminescent plankton reveal themselves in the seawater. It’s an incredible sight, which you’ll never forget.
Day 17: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- Spend a day travelling back across the islands
- Step aboard the ferry to head back to Sihanoukville, where you’ll transfer to a bus taking you to Phnom Penh, travelling 1:30 pm – 6 pm.
Day 18: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
- In the morning, we will spend a sombre visit to the Killing Fields and S21 prison, learning about darker times in Cambodia’s history.
- In the afternoon visit the stunning Royal Palace.
- Take an evening off to soak up Phnom Penh.
Day 19: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Hop on the bus to Siem Reap (8:45 am – 3:45 pm) to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the pool.
- In the evening take on the Fear Factor Challenge (exploring strange exotic food) complemented by enjoying drinks from a ‘tuk tuk cocktail bar.’
Day 20: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- Start the day by seeing the Angor Wat at sunrise; it’s an essential part of visiting Siem Reap.
- Wander around the area’s temples: Angor Wat, Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm (which gained increased fame for its role in Tomb Raider).
- Enjoy some free time by the pool in the afternoon.
- In the evening, get ready for our last big night out! Explore Pub Street, the centre of Siem Reap, and visit the night market for a bite to eat.
Day 21: Siem Reap, Cambodia
- After 21 days of revelling in some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, it’s time to bid farewell to your companions. However, rest assured, while you may be leaving Southeast Asia, the spirit of these beautiful nations will never really leave you.
- Take the bus back to Bangkok to continue your travels.