Best of Cambodia and South Vietnam Trip Notes

Trip Overview

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Experience the Best of Cambodia and South Vietnam with an 8-day adventure through bustling cities, quaint countryside towns, floating village markets, and jaw-inspiring mountain landscapes. Kick-start your adventure in Vietnam’s metropolitan city of Ho Chi Minh, then cruise along the mighty Mekong Delta to experience a simpler way of life. Embrace the organised chaos in Cambodia’s capital. Explore the awe-inspiring architecture of ancient temples and palaces. Learn of treasured traditions including making silk and Khmer pottery. Experience pinch-yourself moments as you stand amongst the world’s largest and most impressive religious complex – The Temples of Angkor Wat. Discover the authentic side of Vietnam and Cambodia that most people miss!

Duration : 8 Days

Destination : Cambodia / South Vietnam

Start/Ends in : Ho Chi Minh / Siem Reap

Group Size : 13-35 People

Age Req. : 18+

Trip Theme : Classic, Overland

Hotels : 5 & 4 Star

Departs : All Year Round

Why you will love this tour

  • * This 8-day trek hits all the highlights of Cambodia and South-Vietnam, from ancient temples to scenic river landscapes, buzzing cities and the lush countryside.
  • * Stay in carefully-selected 4 & 3 star hotels with all breakfasts and 1 lunch included.
  • * Follow your local guide on an included city tour to the highlights of Hanoi, Hue, Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Sukhothai, Chiang Rai, and more.
  • * Get ready to pinch yourself as you stand amongst the world’s largest temple complex – Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the prized heart and soul of Cambodia!

  • * Spend a day cruising along the lush green wetlands and floating villages of the Mekong Delta! Keep an eye out for some tasty local dishes sold by the smiley locals!

  • * Get to know local villagers across South-East Asia and learn their crafts, from chocolate farming to the art of silk making and pottery.
  • Witness the magic of Cambodia’s talented performers at the Phare Circus and support the dreams of young students and graduate performers eager to earn a decent wage and a better living standard.

Arrival Details

The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.

Meeting Point:

The meeting point for the tour is :

Alagon Saigon Hotel – 4 Star – Ho Chi Minh City

Address : 291 Lý Tự Trọng, Phường Bến Thành, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam

Phone : +84 28 3828 2888

Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36

Making Your Own Way to the Starting Point

The quickest way to get from Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN) to Alagon Saigon Hotel & Spa is by taxi which costs 6$ -8$ and takes 10 min.

Finishing Point:

The finishing point for this tour is:

Siem Reap Somadevi Angkor Hotel

Address : Sivatha Blv, Mondol II Village, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap Town

Phone : +855 63 967 666

Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36

Highlights

Cai Rang: The biggest floating market in the Mekong Delta, Cai Rang is 6km from Can Tho. There’s a bridge here that serves as a great vantage point for photography

Chau Doc: Chau Doc is a city in An Giang, bordering Cambodia is a bustling center of trade and river transport, yet also a lazy, riverside burg and a throwback to another time.

Cu Chi Tunnel: The Chu Chi Tunnels are part of a massive war museum in Ho Chi Minh. They offer a sneak-peek at the underground life of Vietnamese soldiers back in 1948.

Mekong Delta: Network of distributaries in south Vietnam, between Ho Chi Minh City and Cambodia. The river itself starts in the Himalayas and reaches Cambodia.

Notre Dame Cathedral: Situated at the center of Ho Chi Minh City, Notre Dame Cathedral, aka Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica or Cathedral Basilica of the Lady of the Immaculate Conception.

Phnom Banan: The 11th-century Angkorian ruin is the best preserved of the Khmer temples around Battambang. As you will see the distinctive five towers pointing skyward.

Phnom Udong: Located in Psar Dek and Phnom Bat communes, Ponhea Leu district, about 41 kilometers north of Phnom Penh. The city drops behind while fishing villages and rice paddies.

Siem Reap: Siem Reap province is located in northwest Cambodia. It is the major tourist hub in Cambodia, as it is the closest city to the world-famous temples of Angkor.

Silver Pagoda: Located on the South side of the architectural Royal Palace complex, the Silver Pagoda as well as Wat Preah Keo Morakot is the most beautiful and popular pagoda.

South Gate of Angkor Thom: The most famous city gate and a kind of emblem. Every visitor of Angkor will see it, as the only road from Angkor Wat to the second-most popular destination.

Terrace of The Elephants: The Terrace of the Elephants is one of the most visited sites in Angkor Park. It is a 2.5m tall, 300m long platform and was used by King Jayavarman VII.

Tra Su Sanctuary: This forest is home to an astounding number of wading birds. Much of the wetland is off-limits to visitors so that the birds’ breeding grounds are not disturbed.

War Remnants Museum: This interesting and well-curated museum is a must-do for any visitor to Saigon given the impact of the American War, as it is known in Vietnam.

Wat Phnom: Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple located in Phnom Penh. It was built in 1372, and stands 27 metres above the ground. It is the tallest religious structure in the city.

Itinerary

Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.

Welcome to South Vietnam! Kick off your epic adventure getting amongst the hustle of Vietnam’s metropolitan city, Ho Chi Minh. Formerly known as Saigon, this city is a bubbling pot of energy, hidden gems and a cultural blend of old meets new! Join your guide and new tour mates in the hotel lobby for an informal meeting at 6.00pm. Then, hit the streets for an optional tour group dinner, enjoy a cold beer at Bui Vien or head to Ben Thanh Market for some night shopping.

Accommodation : Alagon Saigon Hotel – 4 Star

Included Activities : Welcome Meeting

Optional Activities :  Group Dinner

Rise and Shine, it’s time to farewell Ho Chi Minh city and head towards the mighty Mekong River! Snag a window seat and soak in the views on a 2-hour drive to Cai Be. On the way, you’ll stop in at South-Vietnam’s first-ever chocolate factory and learn how to make the local sweet (and taste test, of course!). On arrival at Cai Be, hop on board the wooden boat and kick back as you cruise past lush green islands of the mighty Mekong. Enjoy lunch on board. Cruise past small river-side towns like Vinh Long and learn of the typical rural life on the Mekong. Your day cruising will end in Can Tho with free time to explore the buzzing town, lively waterfront, and quaint backstreets!

Accommodation : West Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast, Lunch

Included Activities :

Chocolate Factory Visit

Mekong River Boat Ride

No place gives a better insight into life on the river than the floating markets in Cai Rang. After filling up on breakfast at your hotel, take a boat ride 6km from Can Tho to visit the fascinating markets, where hundreds of wooden rowboats trade everything from rice and clothing to exotic fruits on the river. Wander around the markets by foot and visit the nearby Orchard Garden. Then, continue on to Chau Doc for a boat tour of the Tra Su Sanctuary – home to an array of tropical birds and splendid canals deep in the forest of the Mekong. Finish up your day in Chau Doc town and rest up before we cross the border for Cambodia bright and early tomorrow morning!

Accommodation : Chau Doc Victoria Nui Sam Lodge

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Cai Rang Floating Market

Tra Su Sanctuary Boat Ride

Entrance Fees: Tra Su Sanctuary – 10 USD

Goodbye Vietnam, Hello Cambodia! Set an early alarm for your 7.00am transfer via public speed boat to Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. Rest up on the way and arrive in Phnom Penh by 1.00pm with plenty of time to explore the fascinating city on a guided city tour in the afternoon. First up, one of the most popular attractions in the city – the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda complex! Built in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom, the palace is amongst the most impressive Khmer-style designs in Cambodia. Then, visit the National Museum, the Independence Monument, and Wat Phnom Temple – where you’ll score some epic views over the city!

Accommodation : Phnom Penh Frangipani Royal Palace Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Phnom Penh City Tour

Entrance Fees :

Royal Palace Entry – 10 USD

National Museum – 10 USD

Wat Phnom – 1 USD

Today we’re off to Battambang, but first visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh to learn about a tragic period. Delve further into history as we continue to the ancient Cambodian Capital of the Khmer Empire – Phnom Udong! Here you’ll find two large hills with incredible views across the countryside. Atop the twin humps stands several impressive stupas that survived bombing from both the Americans and Khmer Rouge during Cambodia’s recent wars. After soaking in the views, continue on to Kompong Chhnang for a stop at a local pottery village. This village is famous for producing traditional Khmer pottery, a craft passed down through generations for over 1,500 years! As night falls over South-East Asia, we’ll head towards the Phnom Sampeau Mountains to witness thousands of nocturnal bats take flight through the caves. It’s something quite spectacular to sit at the foot of Battambang’s Phnom Sampeou caves as the sun sinks into the horizon and a stream of thousands of bats parade through the caves and zoom across the night sky. Be sure to bring your camera!

Accommodation : Battambang Classy Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Entrance Fees :

Tuol Sleng Museum – 5 USD

Phnom Udong – 3 USD

Phnom Sampeu Mountain – 5 USD

Ever ridden on a Bamboo Train before? All aboard as we take an 8km journey through the scenic countryside and rice fields of Battambang. This Bamboo Train was set up by villagers to facilitate the transportation of goods and people. It’s basic but effective with a single bamboo platform, 4 wheels, and a small motor. Then, get your hiking shoes on and camera ready for a visit to the 11th-century Angkorian temple of Phnom Banan. The 350+ step climb is well worth it, with peaceful views across the countryside waiting at the top! Soak up these picture-perfect scenes. In the afternoon, we’ll leave Battambang and drive towards Siem Reap. Stopping at Puok District to visit the National Silk Centre, a fascinating way to learn about Cambodian silk. Here we will spend some time learning about the process of creating silk, harvesting mulberry, and the life cycle of the silkworm. Tonight we recommend a full night’s rest, before the long-awaited visit to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples tomorrow!

Accommodation : Siem Reap Somadevi Angkor Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Entrance Fees :

Bamboo Train – 5 USD

Phnom Penh Banon Temple – 3 USD

Prepare for one awe-inspiring day at the world’s largest temple complex – Angkor Wat! First up you’ll visit Angkor Thom’s South Gate to see the intricate Bayon Temple. This temple is famous for its Elephant Terraces and 54 towers decorated with over 200 enormous smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara. Then, we’ll return to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple of Angkor Wat to marvel at the prized heart and soul of Cambodia. Snap some beautiful pictures of the temple as it reflects across its impressive moat. Then, wander through the outer gallery walls as your local guide narrates stories from Hindu mythology. Tonight we’ll head out to Siem Reap to witness some of Cambodia’s most talented performers at the Phare Circus! This uniquely modern circus provides young students and graduates performers the opportunity to hone their skills and earn a decent wage doing what they love!

Accommodation : Siem Reap Somadevi Angkor Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat Visit

Entrance Fees :

Angkor Wat – 37 USD for 1 day visit / 65 USD for 3 day visit

Phare Circus (Section B) – 25 USD

Just like that, it’s over! Our trip will end in Siem Reap after we say our goodbyes to strangers who quickly became friends. Enjoy a final breakfast together before hotel check-out at 11.00am.

Included Meals : Breakfast

Inclusions & Exclusions

The tour price covers the following services:

Accomodation : 5 & 4 Star Hotels

Meals : 8 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch

Transportation : A/C Vehicles, Speedy boat from Chau Doc to Phnom Penh

Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licenced by the Ministry of Tourism

Sightseeing : Cai Rang, Chau Doc, Cu Chi Tunnel, Mekong Delta, Notre Dame Cathedral, Phmon Banan, Phnom Udong, Siem Reap, Silver Pagoda, South Gate of Angkor Thom, Terraca of The Elephants, Tra Su Sanctuary, War Remnants Museum, Wat Phnom

What is NOT included in the tour price?

  • Any flights not mentioned above
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated above
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips & gestures
  • Entrance fees to the sights and museums
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Hotels & Accommodation

Solo travellers will be roomed with another solo traveller of the same gender in a twin or triple room, or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.

ALAGON HOTEL – HO CHI MINH – 4 STAR

Enjoying a prime location in the heart of the vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, Alagon Hotel & Spa features modern rooms and a rooftop pool that leads the way in imaginative and creative interior design.

VICTORIA NUI SAM LODGE – CHAU DOC – SUPERIOR LODGE

Located in Sam Mountain near Ba Chua Su Temple, Victoria Nui Sam Lodge is a perfect starting point from which to explore Chau Doc. The mountain lodge has an outdoor swimming pool.

WEST HOTEL – CAN THO – 4 STAR

Located on the bank of the romantic Thu Bon River, Vinh Hung Riverside Resort is a short walk from Hoi An’s ancient town and offers elegant rooms with river view

FRANGIPANI ROYAL PALACE – PHNOM PENH – 4 STAR

Frangipani Royal Palace Hotel is located along the lovely River Front area and features a rooftop saltwater pool. Guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant or have a drink at the bar.

CLASSY HOTEL – BATTAMBURG – 4 STAR

Set across the river from Downtown, this relaxed hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, an in-house restaurant, and sensational views over the Sangker River.

SOMEDEVI ANGKOR HOTEL – SIEM REAP – 5 STAR

With the abundance of tropical plants lining its center and its location in the heart of Siem Reap, Somadevi Angkor Hotel reflects an oasis-like feel. The hotel also offers an excellent on-site cafe.

Budgeting

Please note that entrance fees to sights and optional activities are not included in the tour price.

Entrance Fees

Tra Su Sanctuary: 10 USD

Royal Palace: 10 USD

National Museum: 10 USD

Tuol Sleng Museum: 5 USD

Phnom Udong: 3 USD

Phnom Sampeu Mountain: 5 USD

Bamboo Train: 5 USD

Phnom Penh Banon Temple: 3 USD

Angkor Wat: 37 USD

Phare Circus (Section B): 25 USD

Essential Information: Vietnam & Cambodia

Passport & Visas

Visas to enter Vietnam is compulsory for most tourists including travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. An eVisa is available to many nationalities. Processing times and fees vary per application location, nationality, and travel dates. eVisas are typically issued for a maximum of 30 days, single entry, and cost 25 USD.

Further to this, 24 nationalities have not required a visa for touristic visits for up to 15 days, which include the United Kingdom and EU passport holders.

Travel Talk strongly recommends travellers obtain a tourist visa, where applicable, before arriving in Vietnam. For more information on Vietnam eVisas, please visit https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/.

Passport validity entry requirements: Travellers entering Vietnam must also carry a passport or travel document with a minimum of 6 months validity remaining.

Visas to enter Cambodia are compulsory for most tourists including travellers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. An eVIsa is available to most nationalities and is valid for three months from the date of issue and allows tourists to visit for a total of 30 consecutive days. Travel Talk strongly recommends travellers obtain a tourist visa, where applicable, before arriving in Cambodia. For information on how to obtain a Cambodian tourist visa please visit https://www.evisa.gov.kh/.

Travel Advice

We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Vietnam and Cambodia, and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office (FCDO). For the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/vietnam, https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cambodia.

We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:

Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/

New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

USA – https://travel.state.gov/

Travel Insurance

All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels

Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.

Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.

Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.

Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.

Weather

The weather across Vietnam varies significantly from North to South, making it a year-round destination for avid travellers. In Northern Vietnam, the typically hot and humid summer months fall between May and August. Meanwhile, central Vietnam experiences extended summers from January until August and South
Vietnam is known for its year-round pleasant temperatures. March to May (Spring) and September to November (Autumn) are considered the best months to visit Vietnam in its entirety due to minimal rainfall and moderate temperatures. If visiting Halong Bay and Sapa in Vietnam’s north – consider travelling between Spring and Autumn to ensure the most picturesque weather conditions with minimal rainfall. For more, check out our Vietnam weather guide.

Cambodia is known for its tropical monsoon climate with two distinct seasons: the rainy season from May to early November and the dry season from late November to April. During the rainy season, Cambodia experiences 75% of its annual rainfall with warm temperatures and lush, green countryside waiting to be explored! The dry season from November to April appears more popular amongst visiting travellers, with clearer skies and sunshine. Temperatures in Cambodia remain warm and consistent across the year making it a perfect place to travel any month. However, if travelling throughout the North during the winter months (December to March), be sure to pack extra layers as temperatures can become cold during the evenings.

Distances

Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho: 170km, 3 hr 30 min

Can Tho to Phnom Penh: 220 km, 5 hr 20 min

Phnom Penh to Battambang: 280 km, 6 hr 10 min

Battambang to Siem Reap: 160 km, 3 hr 15 min

Siem Reap to Angkor Wat: 6 km, 15 min

Money Matters

The official currency of Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). The numerous denominations of VND can be confusing for foreigners, so it is worth noting that 25,000 VND converts to approximately 1 USD. Credit and debit cards are accepted at major hotels and tourist attractions across Vietnam but are not accepted for small payments such as snacks. Travel Talk recommends carrying VND cash to cover daily expenses. ATMs are quite common across Vietnam and US dollars can also be used to pay for hotels, restaurants, and some other services in major cities.

The official currency of Cambodia is the Khmer Riel (KHR) and 1 USD converts to approximately 4,000KHR. Credit and debit cards are accepted at ATMs across Cambodia. There is no need to dispense large quantities of KRH prior to arrival in Cambodia. Most travellers never require more than 20USD worth of Cambodian riel on them at any one time. USD cash is also widely accepted across Cambodia; however change is often given in KHR. Many businesses will not accept notes larger than 20USD, so we recommend carrying small denominations of both KHR and USD. Credit and Debit cards can also be used to pay for accommodation or more expensive services in Cambodia’s major cities, however cash remains king. We recommend you do not exchange bulk sums of money at the airport, as the exchange rates are usually more favourable in the major cities. Your tour leader will be happy to help if you need any assistance.

Please remember that everyone has different spending habits, some prefer to spend more on souvenirs, some on experiences and others on a night out! Make sure to budget your trip to your spending habits for shopping, drinking, and tipping.

Tipping is not customary in Vietnam and Cambodia but is very much appreciated, a small tip can equate to a large portion of daily wage for service staff. Rounding your bill to the nearest 1 USD equivalent is a small gesture that is greatly appreciated across the nation for good service. You may also consider tipping your leader and driver for outstanding service at the end of your trip.

Eating & Drinking

Vietnamese cuisine is distinct and unforgettable, made famous for its use of tangy herbs and zesty flavours. Traditionally, Vietnamese cuisine is boiled and steamed, rather than stir-fried like Thai and Chinese. Inexpensive food markets, street vendors and casual restaurants line almost every corner of Vietnam’s major cities and small towns – making it extremely easy to find these popular meals and more. Check out our Vietnam food guide for more.

Goi Cuon: Translucent spring rolls packed with greens, coriander and minced pork or shrimp. These traditional spring rolls are served as a starter in most Vietnamese restaurants.

Banh Mi: Known as Vietnam’s most popular street food, Banh Mi is a unique French-Vietnamese sandwich that consists of a toasted baguette with pickled vegetables, pate, butter, soy sauce, cilantro and chillies.

Pho: Considered Vietnam’s signature dish, Pho is comprised of rice noodles in a flavourful soup with meat and various greens, plus a side of nuoc cham, or chilli sauce. A basic bowl is often topped with bean sprouts, lime wedges, fresh herbs, mint, cilantro and onions. The dish is commonly eaten at breakfast by the locals.

Banh Xeo: Like a crepe or pancake, Banh Xeo is made of rice flour, coconut milk and turmeric. The pancake batter is then filled with vermicelli noodles, chicken, pork or beef slices, shrimps, sliced onions, beansprouts, and mushrooms. The sizzling pancake is sold at local food markets and is dipped in peanut sauce.

Bun Cha: Traditional to Hanoi, Bun Cha consists of grilled pork belly, vermicelli noodles, salad and herbs with a side of chilli fish sauce.

Egg Coffee: Unique to Hanoi, Egg coffee is a sweet and delicious beverage made from a coffee base with frothy egg yolk and condensed milk.

Com Tam: Commonly referred to as Broken Rice, Com Tam is a simple but tasty dish of grilled meat, fried egg, salad and pickles. The broken rice element is actually broken grains of rice left over from traditional drying and milling processes. It’s eaten by locals at any time of the day and is a very inexpensive meal costing approximately 1USD.

Vietnam’s national drink of choice is green tea, which is the accompaniment to every social gathering. Vietnamese coffee is also extremely popular amongst travellers, made from condensed milk and drip coffee. At the harder end of the spectrum, you will find rice wine! In Northern Vietnam amongst the farming regions, most rice wines are made in small home distilleries using sticky rice.

Cambodian cuisine is modest and comforting with a unique twist. Rice and freshwater fish are staples and a traditional Cambodian meal almost always includes a samlor (traditional soup). Inexpensive food markets, street vendors, and casual restaurants line almost every corner of Cambodia’s major cities and small towns – making it extremely easy to find these popular meals and more.

Kuy Teav: This popular street food dish is a noodle soup made from pork or beef bones and rice vermicelli. The flavorsome broth is topped with fried shallots, garlic, bean sprouts, and aromatic herbs.

Beef Loc Lac: Another signature dish in Cambodia, beef loc lac is stir-fried strips of beef served atop a bed of lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumber, and rings of raw onions. The dish is often topped with a fried egg with a dipping sauce of lime juice and pepper.

Green Mango Salad: Cambodian salads are renowned for being crunchy and zesty. The Green Mango salad features fresh chilli, fish sauce, sliced green mango, sliced tomatoes and shallots, pickled cucumber, onion, peppers and fresh basil or mint.

Tarantula: Believe it or not, snacking on a spide is another Cambodian delicacy that locals relish! Deep-fried and then salted, the tarantula is served at local markets after being caught by hand in the jungle. If you are feeling game, you can purchase a tarantula at the local markets from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.

Lap Khmer: Thin slices of beef marinated in lime juice with lots of shallots, garlic, fish sauce, basil, mint, and bell peppers. Travelers are warned, this dish has plenty of kick!

Kampot Pepper Crabs: Along the coastline of Cambodia, delicious pepper crabs caught fresh from the sea and cooked in roadside restaurants are extremely popular. The dish is hot, delicious, and very savory.

Khmer Red Curry: Often made from chicken, beef, or fish this curry dish is made with potatoes, coconut milk, lemongrass, and a special Cambodian ingredient known as Kroeung.

Sweetened with condensed milk, the beloved ice coffee is a must-try drink in Cambodia costing only 1USD a cup. With tap water not being safe to consume in Cambodia, beer is the choice of beverage among locals!

While we only recommend drinking alcohol in moderation, there is no denying that the local drop is extremely cheap! Angkor Beer is the most well-known beer in Cambodia with prices varying from 1-2 USD per glass. Palm wine is also quite popular in more rural regions and travellers should be warned that it can be extraordinarily strong.

Essentials to Bring & Internet

-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/

-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)

-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)

-Personal medical kit and medicine

-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)

-Power Adapter

-Reusable water bottle

-Ear plugs and eye mask

-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen

-Comfortable, closed walking shoes

-Wind/water proof jacket

-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather

-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather

Internet Access

Most cafes, hotels and restaurants in cities of Vietnam provide free Wi-Fi, but the connection may be spotty or slow. If you wish to use your own 3G/4G Data, be sure to enable data roaming on your mobile. Purchasing a Vietnamese SIM card for the duration of your tour may be a cost-effective alternative. Make sure that your phone is unlocked before you leave home so a local SIM will be compatible. Your local guide will be able to provide advice on where to purchase SIMs in Vietnam.

Many cafes, hotels and restaurants in cities of Cambodia provide free Wi-Fi, but the connection may be spotty or slow. If you wish to use your own 3G/4G Data, be sure to enable data roaming on your mobile. Purchasing a Cambodian SIM card for the duration of your tour may be a cost-effective alternative. Make sure that your phone is unlocked before you leave home so a local SIM will be compatible. Your local guide will be able to provide advice on where to purchase data SIMs in Cambodia.

Culture, Religion, and Traditions

Vietnamese culture has been profoundly influenced by the Chinese, who occupied the country for 1,000 years and left a heavy influence in modern day. Vietnam is home to 53 ethnic minority groups (around 14 million people) with most living in the North and carving their existence from the lush mountainside landscapes along the Chinese and Lao borders. The nation hosts a large variety of beliefs and religions as reflected in its abundance of temples, pagodas, Buddhas and other religiously sacred sites. However, over the centuries, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism have fused with popular Chinese beliefs and ancient Vietnamese animism to form the Tam Giao (Triple Religion) that many Vietnamese identify with today. In many Vietnamese homes it is common to find a shrine dedicated to past ancestors, complete with offerings of flowers and incense. It’s also common to worship rulers of yesteryear, such as the likes of Ho Chi Minh.

More than 90% of the people who live in Cambodia are ethnic Khmers, making the country the most ethnically homogeneous in South-East Asia. The Khmer culture is based on tradition, honouring ancestors, respecting elders and living a life of humility, honesty and kindness. The local people are recognised globally for being gentle, humble, and hospitable. Cambodians have developed a unique Khmer belief from the syncretism of indigenous beliefs and the Indian religions of Buddhism and Hinduism. Buddhism is the most popular religion for the nation, with 95% of the population following Theravada Buddhism. Monks are highly regarded and respected in society and religious festivals and ceremonies are considered of upmost importance. Superstition almost runs parallel to religion, with the belief of spirits and superpowers.

Etiquette and How to Dress

Going to hot and humid places often calls for light, natural fabrics like cotton and silk. However, it is important to remember that Vietnamese people dress conservatively. Both women and men wear long shirts that cover their shoulders. For the most part, visitors are expected to do the same, while it is common to roam in swimwear on the islands and around the beaches. When visiting a religious complex, it is essential to wear clothing that covers your chest, shoulders, and knees or you will not be permitted entry. If invited to visit a local’s home, it is important to remember to take your shoes off at the entrance. It is also worth noting that small villages can find it intrusive to film or take photographs of them and their homes.

When travelling abroad it is important to be aware of the cultural etiquette of the destinations you will be visiting. If planning to visit religious or UNESCO World Heritage Listed sites in Cambodia, it is essential to remember shorts and skirts above the knee as well as shirts that show bare shoulders are not allowed.
Visitors must dress modestly with long shorts or a long skirt and cover their shoulders and chest. Monks are respected in Cambodia and if you wish to take a photograph of a Monk, it is respectful to ask their permission first. Women should not stand or sit too close to Monks, as Monks are forbidden from touching a woman, even for a handshake. Khmer people in more rural regions also may not appreciate hand holding or public displays of affection. While Cambodian people are warm, friendly, and patient – following these simple rules on etiquette will ensure your experience in Cambodia is met with authentic and pleasant experiences with all the locals.

Solo Travellers

We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.

Rules to Follow

We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.

We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.

You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.

If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.

Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/

Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.

Responsible Travel

We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/

Open until midnight

+44 20 809 995 96
[email protected]

Monday - Friday: 09:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday: Closed
W. Europe