Fantastic Cambodia and Thailand Trip Notes
Uncover new and unique experiences through Cambodia with a hint of city vibes in Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok! Go deep into the Mekong Delta as you cruise the lush forests and maze-like canals of the might river. Take in jaw-dropping views at the un-missable Angkor Wat Temples and soak up incredible countryside views in Battambang. Learn of treasured Cambodian traditions including silk making and Khmer pottery. Plus, there’ll be no shortage of tasty street food and unique souvenirs with plenty of village markets to explore along the way! Finish your adventure as you fly in to chaotic Bangkok – where old and new combine in a boiling pot of culture, cuisine and traditions. This 9-day adventure is packed with down-right incredible and authentic experiences.
Duration : 9 Days
Destination : Cambodia
Start/Ends in : Ho Chi Minh / Bangkok
Group Size : 13-35 People
Age Req. : 18+
Trip Theme : Discovery, Overland
Hotels : 5 & 4 Star
Departs : All Year Round
Why you will love this tour
- * This 9-day adventure through South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand’s capital is jammed-packed with authentic experiences including visits to local villages, craftsmanship workshops, temple chasing, and countryside exploration!
- * Stay in carefully-selected 4 & 3-star hotels with all breakfasts and 1 lunch included.
- * Get set to cruise the lush green wetlands and floating villages of the Mekong Delta, greeted by smiley locals in small river-side towns along the way.
- * Follow your local guide on an included city tour to the highlights of Phnom Penh including the Royal Palace, Wat Phnom Temple, and the National Museum.
- * Visit the world’s largest and most impressive temple complex – Angkor Wat. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is the prized heart and soul of Cambodia!
- * 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 better living standard.
- * Finish your trip in bustling Bangkok. Sleep at an elegant 4-star hotel with sensational rooftop views over Thailand’s capital city – the perfect spot to enjoy a final sunset with your new travel mates before a big night out in Bangkok!
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.
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
The finishing point for this tour is:
Furama Silom Hotel
Address : 533 Silom Road, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Phone : (66) 2 688 6888
Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36
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.
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 the 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 the Angkor Park. It is a 2.5m tall, 300m long platform and used by King Jayavarman VII.
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 meters above the ground. It is the tallest religious structure in the city.
Bangkok: Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is a large city known for ornate shrines and vibrant street life. The boat-filled Chao Phraya River feeds its network of canals.
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.
Inclusions & Exclusions
The tour price covers the following services:
Accomodation : 5 & 4 Star Hotels, Lodge
Meals : 8 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch
Transportation : A/C Vehicles, Flight between Siam Reap and Bangkok
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, Bangkok
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.
Please note that entrance fees to sights and optional activities are not included in the tour price.
Grand Palace — 17 USD
Tra Su Sanctuary — USD 10
Royal Palace Entry — USD 10
National Museum — USD 10
Wat Pho — USD 7
Tuol Sleng Museum — USD 5
Phnom Udong — USD 3
Phnom Sampeu Mountain — USD 5
Bamboo Train — USD 5
Phnom Penh Banon Temple — USD 3
Angkor Wat — USD 37
Phare Circus (Section B) — USD 25
Essential Information: Cambodia & Thailand
Passport & Visas
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 which 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/.
If you are a citizen of the following countries, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, you are exempt from a tourist visa and can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without the need to acquire a tourist visa. All travelers to Thailand must hold Passport or travel document with a validity not less than 6 months. We recommend checking the legal requirements from https://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand-visa/thailand-tourist-visa
This information is provided as a guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change at any time and with little notice. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling.
We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Cambodia and Thailand 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/cambodia, https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/thailand
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/
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.
The best time to visit Thailand is during the dry season between November and April. The weather is warm, and the days are filled with sunlight around this time, offering quality time in the country’s heartland. Thailand experiences its busiest and liveliest time from January to March, hosting numerous cultural events and exciting activities. In the rainy season from May to October, nature is at its finest. The inland forests flourish, and the rivers are majestic, creating the most spectacular landscapes for photography enthusiasts. It is also less busy in popular attractions such as Sukhotai and Lopburi. May to October offers the best time to visit Thailand to experience its cultural jewels. For more, check out our Thailand 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.
The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB) and 1 USD converts to approximately 36THB. Credit and debit cards are accepted at ATMs across Thailand. There is no need to dispense large quantities of THB prior to arrival in Thailand. Most travellers never require more than 20THB worth of Thai Baht on them at any one time. USD cash is also widely accepted across Thailand; however change is often given in THB. Many businesses will not accept notes larger than 20USD, so we recommend carrying small denominations of both THB and USD. Credit and Debit cards can also be used to pay for accommodation or more expensive services in Thailand’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.
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 Thailand, and Cambodia but is very much appreciated, a small tip can equate to a large portion of the daily wage for service staff. Rounding your bill to the nearest 1 USD equivalent is a small gesture that is greatly appreciated nationwide for good service. You may also consider tipping your leader and driver for outstanding service at the end of your trip.
Eating & Drinking
Thai food is one of the lightest among Southeast Asian cuisines. It makes use of various local ingredients and aims for a harmonious finish. Spices and herbs consist a pivotal part of Thai culinary arts, giving each dish a distinctive aromatic edge. It carries traces from Chinese cuisine, especially in the street food scene, with deep-fries and stir-fries among the most popular snacks. You will love the experience of browsing the food stalls for different flavors and dining multi-course at Thai restaurants. With a large number of regional variations and historical influences, Thai food may be difficult to explore. Check out our Thailand food guide for more.
Guay Teow: It is the classic broth filled with rice or egg noodles and either pork, beef, or chicken. Sadly, vegetarian versions are rare, but you can always ask.
Tom Yum Goong: Tom Yum is famous for its intense spice content, generally featuring lemongrass, galangal, and chili peppers. Lime juice and kaffir lime leaves give the dish a refreshing aroma.
Pad Thai: Pad Thai is fried noodles usually made with chicken or shrimp and seasoned with peanuts, bean sprouts, sesame, and sweet and sour sauces. You will mostly see it in street food stalls.
Thai Roti: Thai people replace waffles and pancakes with Thai Roti. It is a greasy and mouthwatering sweet dough cooked in street grills at almost every corner in Thailand. It is the signature dessert dish and a favorite quick bite for locals and travelers.
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. Check out our Cambodian food guide for more.
Fish Amok: Known as Cambodia’s esteemed signature dish, Fish Amok is a curry featuring diced fillets of freshwater fish baked in a creamy coconut, ginger, lemon grass and turmeric sauce. The dish is traditionally cooked by steaming it in a banana leaf shaped bowl, within which it is then served.
Kuy Teav: This popular street food dish is a noodle soup made from pork or beef bones and rice vermicelli. The flavoursome 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. Travellers be 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 savoury.
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)
-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
Many cafes, hotels and restaurants in cities of Thailand 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 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 Thailand.
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
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
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.
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.
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/