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 the Hoa Lo Prison (£2) and learn about Vietnam’s history before heading over to relax by Hoan Kiem lake.
- Have lunch at Old Quarter Street followed by a free afternoon to explore Hanoi.
- 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, 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 enjoy a relaxing breakfast.
- Hop into a kayak and explore the famous karst peaks on the water.
- Grab some lunch to refuel before heading back to Hanoi.
- Arrive in Hanoi at approx. 5pm 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 or enjoy a late morning cycle into Bong Lai village. (£4)
- 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.
- Spend the evening enjoying some karaoke with your group. You should be comfortable enough to sing around each other now, right?
Day 8: Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam
- Optional: 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. (£36)
- 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.
- Optional: Embark on a Ba Na Hills day tour (£54)
- 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. (£18-£20)
- Alternatively, go to a local farm and learn about how local farmers work in the area. (£18-£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
- Grab some breakfast before boarding the bus to Da Nang.
- Catch a flight from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City and arrive at your accommodation at around midday.
- Optional: Embark on an orientation walking tour of the city.
- For those interested, visit Ben Thanh Market for great fashion bargains and a delicious street food dinner.
- Head to the hostel’s rooftop bar, the first stop of this evening’s bar crawl.
Day 12: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Optional: 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. (£7)
- Optional: Spend your afternoon at the War Remnants Museum to learn about the impact of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). (£1)
- 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. (£60)
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 snorkelling to discover the marine life lying beneath the waves.
- As the daylight fades, bioluminescent plankton reveal themselves in the seawater. It’s an incredible sight, which you’ll never forget.
- Spend the night sleeping in a hammock on a deserted beach and fall asleep to the gentle sound of waves.
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
- Optional: Visit the S21 prison and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, to learn about the darker times in Cambodia’s history. (£2)
- Optional: In the afternoon explore a completely different side of the city’s history, with a visit to the stunning Royal Palace. (£8)
- Take an evening off to soak up Phnom Penh, the riverside promenade is beautiful at night.
- For a touch of class, have a drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club. One of the city’s most sophisticated joints.
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.
- Take the bus back to Bangkok which will arrive at approx. 16:00.