This trip is perfect for those who have two week and want to take in all the main highlight of this fascinating country. The combination of history, culture, architecture, countryside and beach will offers you a chance to discover Cambodia deeply.
Highlights of this tour
• Visit the opulent Royal Place
• Enjoy a tour to the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a Cyclo
• Visit Wat Phnom, the remarkable Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
• Visit the local market, cross the river to the island of Koh Trong and experience typical Cambodian village life, Visit the islands Wat
• Climbing up Phnom Santuk Mountain, go to Kampong Thom
• Visit these Pre-Angkorian ruins, towards Siem Reap
• See the sunrise over Angkor Wat, visit Angkor Silk Farm, explore the highlights of the Small Circuit, Ta Prohm temple
Upon arriving in Phnom Penh, your guide will meet and transfer you to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will explore the rich history and waterways of the capital. Visit the opulent Royal Place, home to Cambodia's Royal family, and the National Museum, with its superb collection of Khmer art. End the day with a delicious Khmer welcome dinner at Romdeng. Enjoy a dinner at a charity restaurant housed in a restored colonial building where former street children are taught the principles of hospitality.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
This morning, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you on a tour to the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a Cyclo. First you will visit Wat Phnom which demonstrates some good examples of Khmer architecture and statues. Continue along the riverfront to the Royal Palace. This afternoon, you will gain insight into Cambodia's recent history on a visit to the remarkable Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in a former school that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as its main detention and torture center named 'S-21'. A grim, but important visit that will allow you to dig below the surface and understand Cambodia better.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Head to Kampong Cham, a former French trading post town and soak in the scenery of rural Cambodia as you drive past cashew nut plantations, rice fields, and traditional villages. Tour the town center before continuing to Wat Nokor, an evocative 11th century sandstone Buddhist shrine. Spend the afternoon at your leisure in the sleepy riverside town of Kratie.This evening you will visit Wat Rokakandal on the banks of the Mekong to see the unique wall paintings before enjoying a special dinner served within the grounds.
Overnight at Kratie.
This morning, stroll through this laid-back northern town, visiting the local market where vendors sell everything from fresh fruits and meats to motorbike tires and helmets. Set out for a countryside tour and then board a boat in the afternoon to try and catch a glimpse of the endangered, freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. This afternoon, cross the river to the island of Koh Trong and experience typical Cambodian village life. Upon arrival, you can decide whether you would like to take a local horse cart or pedal yourself around the island on a bicycle. Visit the islands Wat where you will take part in a tree planting project initiated by a local farmer, in order to recultivate the once densely forested island. Continue with a visit to the Vietnamese floating village on the southern tip of the island. Return to Kratie by boat this afternoon.
Overnight at Udom Sambath, Kratie.
Depart for Kampong Thom passing through lush grasslands - home to a plethora of waterbirds - and watch out for ox-carts along the road, the main form of local transportation in this region. Although there are almost 1000 steps, climbing up Phnom Santuk Mountain offers spectacular vistas of the surrounding countryside and houses a small pagoda at the top. After soaking in the view, descend the steps and continue by road to Kampong Thom. This afternoon, will be spent at your leisure.
Overnight at Kampong Thom.
Our heading today will be Sambor Prei Kuk Temple Complex, located to the north of the town of Kampong Thom, Cambodia. This solemn complex was erected in the 6th century AD and be seen as the Pre-Angkor masterpieces. Not so many tourists reach here because the temple is located quietly far from the center of province but if you are lucky and can get here, there are many things that you can't miss. And one of those things is the strangle-fig-covered temples, the unique style and combinations between nature and human's masterpieces. Moreover, the visitors can explore many other temples and Pre-Angkor ruins in the complex with special features. Discover deeper inside the complex, you will met the locals, and they will show you their hospitality by preparing a simple but tasty lunch for you. After say good bye to the friendly locals and special temples, we will continue towards Siem Reap. On arrival, check in to the hotel and enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Today is your most valuable day because the ancient city of Angkor Thom will be the first destination. Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII, is a famous complex beside the Angkor Wat. Explore deeper inside the ancient city, we will see the Bayon Temple with giant faces starring. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive, superb bas-reliefs, particularly the East and South Galleries. Till afternoon, we will leave the Bayon temples and move to the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap, where you will have the chance to learn about life on the river. Then board a local boat and visit charming village of Kampong Phluck which means "habor of the tusks". This village is very special because its appearance is depended on season. In the dry season, the wooden houses on stilts are commonly seen when you come here. But when the water level rises, those stilts will be disappeared so the only way to reach here is by boat. Finally, the rest of the day is spent at your leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the quiet Beng Mealea (1 h drive). Enjoy a short walk through the dense jungle and discover the wonders of an overgrown temple, Beng Mealea, which lay undiscovered for centuries. From here, travel to the "gem" of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srey. The so-called "Citadel of the Women" displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. This afternoon, you will have the opportunity to stop at local communities and interact with locals, followed by an introduction into the production of rice paper before sampling some Palm Wine and Palm Sugar, both local produce. Close your day perfectly, with a rural sunset over the paddy fields and the beautiful countryside from the pyramidal Pre Rup temple.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Today, you will embark on one of the most stunning boat trips in Cambodia, as you will be taken from Siem Reap to Battambang by a comfortable private boat (Note: from January to June alternative transfer by road). Cruising along the Tonlé Sap Lake you will encounter a rich and diverse eco-system and stilted houses, as you absorb the tranquil rhythms of life on the river. This afternoon, you will arrive in Battambang. Home to some of the most well preserved colonial French buildings in the country, Cambodia's second largest city had long been off limits to the tourist trail. After checking into your hotel the rest of the day is spent at your leisure.
Overnight at Battambang.
Today will be spent encountering friendly locals and exploring this unique city. After breakfast you will proceed to Phnom Sampeau, home to the killing caves and a small temple, representing both serenity and inhumanity in one place. Continue the tour with a ride on a bamboo train. Disembark as your guide leads you through local villages and farms on the way to Wat Banan, an 11-century temple on a mountain top situated between lush paddy fields and beautiful lotus ponds. Climb to the top and enjoy the views over the beautiful countryside and wander around the ancient temple, which is also home to scented flowering trees. This afternoon, you will be taken to some of the many cultural villages around Battambang, where you will learn how the locals produce rice paper, Prahoc (typical Cambodian fish paste), Grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Cambodian treats. You will also visit a weaving and handicraft centre.
Overnight in Battambang.
This morning you will depart from Battambang and travel to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery. Continue to Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. Upon arrival at Oudong, enjoy a traditional Khmer lunch at a picnic hut on the foot of the hill. An ox cart will pick you up for a fun ride through the Cambodian countryside, past rice fields and local farms - a unique way to experience Cambodia. You will then climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain and enjoy magnificent views over the plains below as your guide explains the history of the area and its buildings as well as the religious culture of the Cambodian people. This afternoon, you will drive to Phnom Penh stopping at Koh Chen, an island in the Tonlé Sap River known as the 'Silver Village' due to its production of 'silver' based crafts. From here it is not far to Phnom Penh where you will reach by mid afternoon. For your last evening in Cambodia you will enjoy an authentic Khmer farewell dinner.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Enjoy today at leisure until it is time for your transfer to Phnom Penh International Airport for your individual departure. Indochinavalue thanks you so much for traveling with us. We hope you had a beautiful Cambodia holiday. All the best, goodbye and see you again!
END OF SERVICE
• Accommodation with breakfast based Double/Twin room shared.
• Private transportation with a/c for whole program.
• All admission fees for the indicated.
• Meals as mentioned in the program.
• Englishspeaking guide.
• Drinking water during tours.
• Personal expenses, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, mini-bar in hotel, etc.
• Other tours & meals not mentioned.
• Early check-in and late check-out at the hotel.
• International air tickets.
• Airport’s departure tax.
• Visas arrangement.
Tour guides who worK with us are well-paid, experienced with a university background, eager to exchange our cultures and lifestyles ... with travelers, and have a great passion for their country and understand the personal touch. In some parts such as Sapa, we may use local tour guides who come from the ethnic hilltribes like H'Mong or Red Dao as they know about their land much better than anyone else and this is also the way that Indochinavalue helps the local people a better life.
Tour guide is one of the most inportant factors to a successful holiday. Indochinavalue understands that a good tour guide needs not only good knowledge on history, culture, good English, French... but also needs to have general requirements and follow our guidelines as below:
1 - Licensed at least for 4 years with work experience.
2 - Guiding does require more than just hanging out in the sun. Guides must be friendly and good with people, organized enough to keep groups or people on schedule, quick on their feet and ready for the inevitable snafus that arises.
3 - Must be an honest broker of their services and able to take criticism.
4 - Should be qualified at some level in health, health care or first aid.
5 - Able to relate to people from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds.
6 - Clear speech and good hearing.
7 - Must not be a alcoholic or No-alcohol during working time or anytime when on tour.
8 - Tour guide is a nurse to take care of visitors, a boss to keep the right itinerary, a teacher to give information, an ambassador to introduce our country, an entertainer because Indochinavalue's clients want to be entertained in extend, a friend...
9 - Must be on time every time. Being late or delay is unacceptable.
10 - Check flight tickets, train tickets, meals, weather... to make sure things are in order and inform local office if any changes that might effect the tour.
11 - Solve problems with care when there is dissatisfy. Argument should be averted by courtesy.
Kind of vehicle (offered on tour) depends on the size of your group size or your requirements.To ensure your comfort, all cars feature air conditioning and enough room inside. Drivers are local, with years of experience, taking you to your destination quickly and safely.
1 - Our drivers are professional and reliable with at least 5 years of experience, driving safely.
2 - Our drivers are not allowed to hear cell-phone or smoke, chat, drink when driving.
3 - Our drivers must be friendly, helpful with good behavior and attitude.
4 - Our drivers are not allowed to take you to shops unless you ask for.
2 Stars from: US$35 -> US$40
The 2 star hotels are good for budget travelers and sometimes, we have no choice but stay in a guesthouse, mini hotel, 2 star hotel in the remote and mountainous areas. Basically, 2 star hotels will offer good size and clean guest rooms with AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms
3 Stars from: US$40 -> US$80
The 3 star hotels are good for many travelers because they offer basic needs for a comfortable stay, good size and clean guest rooms with Free access high speed Internet, Welcome baskets and drinking water, Telephone with international dialing, Electronic safe box in room, Hairdryer, Coffee and Tea, Wake-up service, AC, TV, hot water, shower and private bathrooms. On-site restaurants with breakfast included and lunch or dinner at your own pick up. A small fitness center, spa and swimming pool can be expected.
4 Stars from: US$80 -> US$130
Offering a wide range of comfortable boutique hotels are available with shopping, dining andentertainment facilities nearby. Featuring quality service, fully furnished rooms, restaurants, fitness center with spa (and swimming pool in most cases), the hotels are expected to offer an above-average accommodation experience.
5 Stars from: US$130 -> US$200 –> US$ 300
Offering an extensive range of facilities for an excellent experience. Multiple restaurants on siteand a wide range of choice for buffet breakfast, good size of swimming pool, fitness center and concierge service round out the experience.
The restaurants we will take you for lunch or dinner are all designated tourist restaurants approved by local tourist administration bureau. They have very good sanitary conditions and the food is prepared fresh and clean.
Note: If you have any special dietary needs, just let your travel consultant know when booking.
Breakfast is included at all hotels and is buffet breakfast with Asian and Western food.
Lunches (if included) are usually set menu at handpicked local restaurant with comfortable dining environment where you can rest assure to taste the local flavor. All restaurants are carefully selected and highly recommended.
Dinners are only included if you stay overnight in a homestay with a local family, on cruise inHalong Bay, Mekong Delta or at some special occasions such as welcome dinner, farewell dinner or on requested. So dinners are at your own choice and arrangement, but our tour guides will always give you good suggestions based on your preferences.
If allergic to some food
We suggest you to list any food or ingredients that you are allergic to and let our travel consultant know. Then your travel consultant will mark them in the guide’s itinerary, so that our guides in different cities can make some preparations and arrangements in advance.
Do our guide and driver join the meal with us?
The tour guides and driver will be at the same restaurants with you, but they will only join themeal when you invite. Sometimes the drivers are shy to join as they usually eat fast and could not understand English talk around the table, so the guide will be with you more often.
Street food tour:
Street foods in Vietnam are very delicious and should you want to taste the specialities of each Vietnam holiday destination, we can arrange a street food tour for you. Please contact us at email@example.com for a detailed tour itinerary and quotation.
How to request a tour package?
To request for a free tour itinerary and quotation, you can just fill out the tour inquiry form at www.indochinavalue.com or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org then give us as much information as possible. One of our experienced travel consultants will get back to you shortly. All changes will be made (free of charge) until the your tour package meets your needs and personal interests.
How to book a tour package?
As soon as you agree on our proposal, please send us your full name, international flightinformation (if you have) and your special requirements. We will make reservations and arrange everything then confirm back to you when all done.
- Deposit is a "must". We request 30% of the tour cost. You can pay by wire transfer, creditcards, western union, onepay (online)
- Balance can be made before your arrival or on arrival in cash or by credit cards.
Changes are possible at the last minutes. However, if changes caused extra costs, you willhave to pay for. (For examples, hotels, flights, cruises...)
In case of cancellation, we will not apply any charge if we are not charged by the third partiessuch as hotels, cruises, flights, trains...We will recalculate the costs and resend you the money as soon as possible.
Thanks you Tipping is not mandatory but it is expected inTipping is not mandatory but it is expected in many circumstances for service. You can tip your driver/tour guide more or less or nothing. All depends on the services you receive.
- US$10 – US$ 15 per day for tour guide
- US$7 – US$ 10 per day for driver
- US$1 – US$ 3 per meal for waiter or waitress
- US$2 – US$ 5 for short boat trips/ cyclo/ tuktuk (1 – 2) hours
Note: Please check with your travel consultant before coming and your tour guide if you are to tip someone on tour.
What you get when booking a private tour with Indochinavalue?
1. Private guide, driver and vehicle are for your exclusive use; no matter you are individually,or in a family or friends group. The tour is run exclusively for you without strangers.
2. Every itinerary can be customized to meet your specific interests/ wishes, that is, you can choose your favored hotels, sightseeing spots, the tour length, means of transportation, budget, etc. All are free of charge.
3. Start the tour on any date you want.
4. Escort you from start to finish. All private transfers during the tour are offered, including airport/ train station transfer, hotel-attractions round trip transfer.
5. The sightseeing during the tour could be based on your own timetable and pace. Flexible to change at your short notice.
6. Considerate care and assistance, such as the old, the disabled or families with small kids and children.
7. You can save time and money when traveling with us or your wants meet you budget.
How do I get a visa?
Vietnam Visa On Arrival is available for help. It is legitimated and supported by the VietnameseImmigration Department. We recommend that you choose visa upon arrival, as picking up visa at the Vietnam int'l airport/ border is quite simple, easy, no additional charges and no fail.
Please provide the following information for us to apply for your visa:
2) Passport number
3) Date of birth
5) Date of arrival
6) Date of issue
7) Date of expire
8) Please make sure that your passport is still valid for 6 months.
Can I use credit cards in Vietnam?
Major credit cards such as Master Card, Visa, Diner's Card, American Express and JCB can beused to purchase goods in large shopping malls and stores in the big and medium cities, to pay for hotel rooms and for meals in some of the fancier restaurants, and to buy plane tickets with them.
- You can use US dollar, Euro in all big cities or at major tourist sites, airports.
- If you are to travel to those small cities or even remote rural areas, only cash in Dong can be used.
Do I need to bring my medical record with me?
Yes, we suggest you take your medical record with you in case that you need it in the event ofan emergency, and please also take with you your doctor's name, address and phone number, emergency contact name and phone number, and your insurance company's name, address and phone number.
Note: You can buy medicines everywhere in Vietnam so do not need to bring medicines from home.
When I finish my tour in Vietnam, if I still have some local money, what can I do?
Upon leaving Vietnam, if you still have some local money, you can change them back to foreign currency with your passport and the exchange memos given by the banks or money exchange counters. So please keep those exchange memos well whenever you change money.
What should we bring along on our trip to Vietnam?
It is best to travel light in Vietnam. Onemedium sized bag and a day pack will provide more than enough room to carry everything you'll need, and enough space for the things you'll buy in Vietnam.
There are lots of consumer goods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so do not worry about running out of something. If you do forget something you can easily find it here. Before you leave home complete the following checklist:
- Lightweight and quick dry clothing is most appropriate for the summer months, and warmer clothing for the winter months. As well, sun hat, swim suit, ultra lightweight rain jacket.
- Travel Documents: Passport, Visa, Travel Insurance, Air Tickets (you should scan them and email them to yourself in case you loose them).
- Health requirements, medications, and travel insurance arranged.
- Flashlight, alarm clock, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, small personal first aid kit, personal toiletries.
- Money: US dollars or travelers cheques and/ or credit card(s).
- Raincoat or umbrella, good hiking shoes are needed for all Footprint trekking trips.
- Camera with charger, extra batteries, and memory cards.
Are there any restrictions on the type of luggage that we bring? Domestic airlines have their weight restrictions. On most domestic and low-cost airlines You may only have one suitcase or backpack, with a maximum weight of 20kg, and one piece of hand luggage, with a maximum weight of (5 – 7)kg. An extra charge for overweight is applied.
There is no actual limit on our trips, but we would suggest you travel light with one suitcase or backpack and one small daypack or small bag which you can access during the day and carry items like your camera, drinking water, toilet paper, hat, sunscreen, etc.
It is essential that you have a lock for each piece of luggage. Without one, railway and airline staff and some hotels may refuse to handle it.
What is the best type of clothing we should bring?
Here is a short checklist of best type of clothing you should bring:
- Shorts and comfortable pants;
- Shirts, t-shirts and maybe some long sleeves shirts (for regions with mosquitos like the Mekong delta);
- Swim suits (for the beaches and Halong Bay);
- Good sandles as well as good shoes if trekking.
Nevertheless, it will really depend on where you travel to, when you plan on travelling, and what you plan on doing. Please note that the weather can be very cold during the winter in the Northern Vietnam (Nov to Mar) and quite cool in the central highlands (Dalat). You will need to bring a good jacket along for this time of the year, the avarage temperature is about 15 oC, but can get as cold as 3 oC.
Tip: Do not worry if you do not pack enough clothes or forget something because you can buy in Vietnam.
Shopping in Vietnam
Shopping in VietnamMany tourists can’t help but throw themselves head-first into shopping while in Vietnam. Why? Probably the variety of quality goods and the tempting prices have a lot to do with it. Many low-budget travelers considered Vietnam a heavenly place because in many shopping situations they can bargain the prices down to as much as a third of the original cost.
The list of Vietnamese bargains is seemingly endless and features bespoke tailoring and the national dress, the 'ao dai' from high-quality silk and many other types of material and textiles while many shoppers cannot get enough of the local handicraft, art and jewelry.
How to bargain?
Bargain is not common in some countries, but in Vietnam it really is. In Vietnam, bargaining isalways worthwhile. Yet, it is not always due to the fact that the local have a great deal of time and very little money. Bargaining is part of Vietnamese culture as through bargaining people communicate with others, create and build up their relationship, not to mention a form of entertainment.
Rule - 1: It's like the monster ride at the amusement park. If you're not having fun, get off.
Rule - 2: Don't bargain with the first person who approaches you (i.e., when looking for a taxi at the airport.) In general the further you go from the center of action, the cheaper the price.
Rule - 3: Don't be afraid to use walking away as a bargaining tool. You can always come back.
Rule - 4: Don't let pride get in the way of coming back (or Rule #3 is useless).
Rule - 5: If you really want something and the price isn't coming down, give in gracefully. (It's that pride thing again.)
Rule - 6: Don't always assume you're getting ripped off just because you're in a third-world country. Sometimes the price they're asking is the real one.
Rule - 7: Bargaining is a time/ money tradeoff. If you're in a hurry, be prepared to pay for it.
Rule - 8: Ask (Vietnamese) fellow shoppers the price of an item before you begin bargaining.
Rule - 9: Always carry small bills. Otherwise all that work is likely to be for nothing.
Rule - 10: Always bargain in native currency. Conventional wisdom says anyone who has dollars can afford to spend them.
Rule - 11: If possible, keep going back to the same person until you've gotten to know him/ her. Most third world countries have a name for this kind of relationship. The deal is that you offer your business on a regular basis and the seller responds by saving you their best tomatoes
Rule - 12: No matter what your parents told you, when you're bargaining it's perfectly okay to lie