Mythical palaces, colorful markets, and warm turquoise waters inviting you for a swim—Southeast Asia is a dream for adults and kids alike. On this trip, explore the jungle-shrouded ruins of Angkor, delight in a fascinating water puppet show, somersault with Cambodian circus performers, and more. Brimming with history and adventure, Southeast Asia will dazzle your mind and enthrall the imagination.
- Travel Style : National Geographic Family Journeys
- Service Level : Upgraded
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Merchandising : New Trips
- Merchandising : Planeterra Project
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Oodles of Noodles Local Market Excursion, Hoi An
Your G for Good Moment: Oodles of Noodles Demonstration and Lunch, Hoi An
Your G for Good Moment: New Hope Vocational Training Restaurant, Siem Reap
Your Family Journeys Moment: Hoi An Custom Shirt Tailoring, Hoi An
Your Family Journeys Moment: Phare Circus Workshop, Siem Reap. Arrival transfer. Cyclo tour of Hanoi's Old Quarter. Water puppet Show. Traditional junk boat cruise in Lan Ha Bay. Guided tour of the city and countryside of Hue. Walking tour of Hoi An Old Town. Hoi An Countryside cycle and basket boat float. Cyclo tour of Ho Chi Minh City. Guided tour of the Cu Chi Tunnels. Guided tour of Angkor Wat. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- Highlights:Hop on a bicycle taxi for an action-packed tour of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Sail aboard a traditional wooden boat in Lan Ha Bay. Visit a tailor to get fitted for a shirt made especially for you in Hoi An. Cook up oodles of noodles at a G Adventures-supported training kitchen. Explore the awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor. Show off your acrobatic skills with a Cambodian circus.
- Dossier Disclaimer:The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
- Itinerary Disclaimer:While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
- Itinerary Notes:Prices are based on double occupancy; all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.
Family Journeys are designed for groups traveling with children between the ages of 7 and 17. Your group must include a child in order to book, and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Important Notes:1. WEIGHT RESTRICTION
There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20kg (44lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
2. FAMILY INSURANCE
Options for family travel insurance are available. Please enquire with your Family Trip Specialist for more information.
3. PROOF OF EXITING VIETNAM
Important thing to note for our travellers arriving into Vietnam, and travelling onwards with G Adventures to neighbouring counties (i.e. Cambodia & Laos). When you are checking onto your international flight heading to Vietnam, you will often be asked by airline ticket counter personnel to provide a proof of exit from Vietnam.
In respect to this requirement, we encourage our travellers to print out a copy of their tour vouchers, along with a PDF copy of their Tour Details from the webpage. These references, along with entry and exit details on travellers Vietnam visa should be sufficient information.
- Group Leader Description:All National Geographic Family Journeys with G Adventures group trips are accompanied by two of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense; you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
- Group Size Notes:Small group experience; Max 20
- Meals Included:12 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
- Meals:Eating is a big part of traveling and we encourage you to experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Its important to remember, that food may be different from what you are used to at home and that some things may not be available in other countries.
Some meals are included in the trip price, while others are not, to allow flexibility and choice to you and your family. For non-included meals our CEOs will still make arrangements for the group to eat together, which allows you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and approximate budget (per person) for meals not included.
Throughout this trip, breakfast is included daily (ranging from continental to buffet depending on the trip). Drinking water is available throughout (don't forget your refillable water bottle as you will have access to either filtered water from hotels or as made available by the CEO). Healthy, local snacks will also be available.
Note that any special meal requirements or dietary restrictions need to be specified at time of booking.
- Transport:Private bus, boat, cyclo, plane, walking
- Local Flights:All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
There may be a weight restriction for the internal flight on this tour. Each passenger is allowed to carry one checked bag with a maximum weight of 20 kg (40lbs). Additional bags or excess weight charges may apply. These charges are the responsibility of the passengers.
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Odd number adult travellers in your family will be paired in twin accommodation with another adult traveller of the same sex for the duration of the trip.
- Accommodation:Hotels (12 nts)
- My Own Room:Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
- About Accommodation:Rooming is based on double occupancy (2 passengers per room); all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will try to accommodate triples/quad requests whenever possible and its important to note that rooming configuration can change from city-to-city.
Please remember that hotel standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. As well, in some cities in Vietnam, some hotel rooms do not have windows and rooms can be small.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or if you arrive up to three days prior provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through National Geographic Journeys in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Our driver will be waiting for you with a National Geographic Journeys sign, and they will be waiting for you outside the luggage hall. There is a common scam at the airport for non-National Geographic drivers to pretend they are working for the company. It is very important to confirm your name and booking number with your airport transfer representative.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1, please make your way to the joining hotel via your included transfer. Details on where to meet your transfer can be found in your voucher notes or on the G Adventures app.
If you have booked pre-tour accommodations through G Adventures, please note that you must contact us to confirm the included arrival transfer. Check-in time at your start hotel will be in the afternoon.
Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1.
Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, they will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your CEO will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
- Emergency Contact:Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) and then our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
If you are experiencing complications with your Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) AIRPORT TRANSFER that was booked through G Adventures please call: +84 866472056
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 508 8630
From within Thailand: 02 508 8630
After hours emergency number:
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
G Adventures Local Representative (Vietnam)
Emergency number: +84 91 204 0262
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
- What to Take:You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labelled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. There is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. Porters may not always be available, so be prepared to carry your own bags.
- Packing List:Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a light waterproof jacket. Layering is essential.
In Cambodia, temperatures can be very hot and humid, lightweight breathable clothing is recommended.
We’re working with our accommodation partners to reduce single-use plastic on our tours by providing safe drinking water for refillable bottles wherever possible. Find out more about our Plastics Partnership Project here.
- Laundry:Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry, so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
- Visas and Entry Requirements:Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your Governments Foreign Ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change.
If you require a visa for Vietnam, they need to be arranged ahead of time (BEFORE your trip) as the processing time varies and they are not available upon arrival.
As of March 2017, a select 40 nationalities are now eligible to enter Vietnam with an E-Visa. Please contact your Foreign Ministry or Vietnamese consulate to see if your nationality is eligible. Please note that you should ONLY apply for a Vietnam E-Visa if you are entering Vietnam by international airport - either Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) or Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City).
If you are entering Vietnam by land border, please apply for a regular visa for Vietnam. Many of the land borders we travel through do not accept the Vietnam E-Visa.
Please note that while MOST countries require a Visa ahead of time for Vietnam, certain countries may be allowed entrance for 15 days with proof of exit. As of July 1st, 2015 this will include citizens of Scandinavian countries, Japan, Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. However, we STRONGLY recommend checking with your Embassy on the requirements as these change often. Please contact your Foreign Ministry for up to date entry/exit requirements. Your sales agent can assist with departure documentation from Vietnam once we are within 30 days from departure.
Visas can be obtained in advance from your local Embassy. You can also obtain your visa at the Cambodian border or Siem Reap Airport for approx. $35 USD very easily. Please have *at least* 2 passport photos with you as well.
*Please have extra USD on hand in case the customs officials charge more at the border crossing.
Cambodia has now also introduced an e-visa that can be applied for in advance. Please contact the Embassy for more details if you would prefer to get your visa in advance (please be sure to check that your nationality is eligible).
Please be aware that you will require two clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least six months validity.
- Spending Money:Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
- Money Exchange:During this tour the local currency you will use is the Vietnamese Dong. As currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date daily exchange rates: www.xe.com for each of the above mentioned currencies. The best way to carry your money is in debit cards, withdrawing cash in local currencies from ATM machines. ATMs are found throughout South East Asia and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible in case of loss or problems with one card, you will have a back up. Please note, your bank will charge a fee for overseas withdrawals. USD Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix. Travellers cheques can be tricky, timely and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, it is great to have one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers' cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange. Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.Credit cards can be used at some upmarket restaurants, and at some larger stores if shopping for big items. If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Departure Tax:Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets in China, Thailand & Vietnam.
- Tipping:Local tipping is included on this Family trip which covers local guides, drivers and gratuity for included meals. At the end of your trip if you felt your two Chief Experience Officers did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline; per CEO $5-$10 USD per person, per day can be used.
- Optional Activities:Huế
- Bicycle Rental (5-10USD per person)
- Lantern Making Experience (10USD per person)
- Sunset Boat Ride On River (5USD per person, 20USD per group)
Ho Chi Minh City
- Dam Sen Water Park Excursion (8USD per person, 15USD per group)
- Health:Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are traveling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travelers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
- Safety and Security:Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
- Trip Specific Safety:Be aware that petty theft can be an issue in some Vietnamese towns and cities especially late at night. A common tactic is opportunists on motorbikes that drive by and snatch bags. Please always leave valuables and passports etc in your hotel, in safety boxes if available, and only carry with you enough cash to spend for the day. Bags should always be carried over the neck and not left to sit on your shoulder.
- A Couple of Rules:Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
- Travel Insurance:Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
- Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Local Dress:When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative throughout Asia. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no very short shorts. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly hot Asian climate. Shorts should be knee-length.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
- Minimum Age:Minimum age of 7 years for this trip.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Itinerary (13 days)
Arrive in time to meet your fellow travelers for a welcome gathering this evening. Your arrival transfer is included.
Explore Hanoi’s vibrant old quarter on a traditional cyclo—a three-wheel bicycle taxi! Cruise past shops selling everything from wooden handicrafts to fresh fruit juice and traditional candy, and capture the neighborhood’s lively vibe on camera. Then hop off to watch a delightful water puppet show—a centuries-old storytelling technique that recounts popular Vietnamese legends and folktales.
Hanoi/Cat Ba Island
Take a ferry to Cat Ba Island, a paradise of karst cliffs, jungle-covered hills, caves, and waterfalls. After checking in to your hotel, spend the afternoon strolling through the town of Cat Ba, or meander your way to the beach.
Cat Ba Island
It’s time to set sail! This morning, we board a traditional junk boat for a cruise across breathtaking Lan Ha Bay—a lesser visited but equally stunning cousin to the famed Ha Long Bay. Glide past gigantic limestone peaks, hop aboard kayaks to explore echoey grottoes, or make a sandcastle on one of the powdery white beaches.
Cat Ba Island/Hue
Catch a flight to Hue, situated on the banks of the picturesque Perfume River. Despite being badly damaged during the Vietnam War, this former capital city retains much of its imperial splendor. Spend the evening at your hotel, or rent bikes and pedal along the river for a glimpse of some of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage sites we’ll dive into the following day.
Today, we venture into Hue’s grand citadel, guarded by a deep moat and imposing stone walls. Wander opulent palaces and ornate gardens, and hear dramatic stories of former royal inhabitants from your guide. Then venture to the Forbidden Purple City—modeled after Beijing’s Forbidden City—a fortified complex where the ruling emperor once lived. This city-within-a-city even has its own moat! Later, head to the countryside, dotted with rice paddies and pagodas. Have lunch at a Buddhist nunnery, then drive to Hoi An via the spectacular Hai Van Pass, winding across the hilly coast of the South China Sea.
Discover the enchanting port town of Hoi An, which thrived between the 15th and 19th centuries. Delve into the city’s World Heritage–listed old town, strolling streets strung with paper lanterns and navigating a maze of temples and tailor shops. Visit one of the town tailors to get measured for a custom-made shirt; then travel to a nearby factory to see how your piece of clothing is produced!
Return to the old town for a fun-filled noodle tour! The tour is led by guides from the G Adventures–supported Oodles of Noodles program, which trains local youth in the culinary arts. Taste your way through different kinds of noodles at a food market; pick out your favorite fresh ingredients; and take your haul to the Oodles of Noodles training kitchen, where we’ll cook up a delectable storm. Later, set out on a leisurely bike ride through the Hoi An countryside, then float down to a nearby farming village in a traditional basket boat.
Hoi An/Ho Chi Minh City
Transfer to the airport and fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s most populous city and economic hub. Get to know this buzzing metropolis—still commonly referred to as Saigon—on a cyclo tour. Cruise past French colonial buildings and stately monuments; then launch into a frenetic market, where the calls of vendors, the smells of street food, and the fascinating assortment of wares dazzles the senses.
Ho Chi Minh City
Today, we descend into the fascinating Cu Chi Tunnels, a vast network of underground passageways built and used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. The tunnels connected the residents with subterranean schools and hospitals, and included booby traps smeared with poisonous concoctions to injure enemy soldiers. Try the local cassava root, which sustained Viet Cong soldiers for years, and emerge from the bunkers to enjoy a traditional lunch by the river.
Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap
Catch a flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia, gateway to the magnificent ruins of Angkor. This evening, we enjoy a delicious Khmer meal at the New Hope Cambodia vocational training restaurant, an initiative spearheaded by G Adventures. The restaurant provides hospitality training to unemployed young adults, and also funds a free community school and a health program.
Who’s ready for a jungle adventure? This morning, we’ll explore the ancient Angkor temple complex, nestled deep within the Cambodian jungle. Discover hidden passageways and crumbling courtyards where the forest is rapidly reclaiming its territory. Later, brush up your acrobatic skills at a workshop with Phare, a Cambodian circus and social enterprise that employs underprivileged youth. Tumble and somersault to your heart’s content; then watch and photograph one of Phare’s amazing performances. Celebrate your unforgettable journey at a farewell dinner tonight.
Depart at any time.