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Vietnam & Cambodia

Introduction

Welcome to Vietnam!

Stunning scenery, combined with charming local culture makes Vietnam an ideal Southeast Asian destination. Venture into bustling Ho Chi Minh City and travel the beautiful Mekong Delta. You’ll explore the rivers and Buddhist pagodas that make Vietnam a unique part of the world.

Welcome to Cambodia!

For a true off-the-beaten-path experience with excellent service, look no further than Cambodia, the “Kingdom of Wonders.” The name isn’t unearned; from the 8th wonder of the world Angkor Wat, to the countryside of Battambang. You will adventure in the lush jungles, explore the amazing villages, lush rice fields, and the pre-Angkorian and Angkorian temples.

Duration: 12 days, 11 nights

Start: Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN)--Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
To ensure included transportation: plan to arrive before 3:00 pm on Day 1.

Finish: Siem Reap Airport (REP)--Siem Reap, Cambodia
To ensure included transportation: plan to depart after 12:00 pm on Day 12.

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration–please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.

What's Included

  • 12 days/11 nights shared accommodations in boutique hotels
  • 11 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 8 dinners
  • Flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Guided walking tour of Ho Chi Minh City
  • Visit The Reunification Palace
  • Stroll Dong Khoi Street
  • See Vietnam’s Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Southern Vietnamese cooking class in an organic farm
  • Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels--one of the most important historic sites of the Vietnam War
  • Cycle through the Vietnamese countryside in Vung Liem
  • Guided boat ride through the Mekong Delta canals
  • Visit a local farmers market in the Mekong Delta
  • Explore the Cao Dai temples and coconut factories
  • Cultural exchange with a former Viet Cong war veteran
  • Visit Preah Dak, a local Cambodian farmer’s market
  • Cycle through Siem Reap exploring small villages, beautiful rice paddies, and picturesque palm trees
  • Make Cambodian rice noodles and palm leaf souvenirs with locals families
  • Visit the well-preserved Banteay Samre and Phnom Bok temples
  • Experience Angkor Wat–the 8th Wonder of the World
  • Explore the Angkor Complex by tuk tuk
  • Visit a local silk farm
  • Experience the Bat Caves at Phnom Sampov
  • Hike Phnom Sampov for panoramic views of the region
  • Tour Battambang by tuk tuk
  • Private ground transportation throughout Vietnam & Cambodia for 12 days
  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Airport drop-off upon departure
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Vietnamese & Cambodian Guide
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences Community
  • Taxes always included, never hidden fees, & NO blackout dates

Travelers responsible for international airfare to Vietnam and from Cambodia

Highlights

  • Discover the colonial architecture of Ho Chi Minh City--the southern Capital of Vietnam.
  • Learn how to cook Southern Vietnamese cuisine with hand-picked ingredients.
  • Explore the Cu Chi Tunnels--one of the most important historical sites of the Vietnam War.
  • Stay in a perfectly situated Vietnamese riverside lodge with access to exclusive cultural exchanges, and guided cycling & boat rides.
  • Experience Angkor Wat--the 8th Wonder of the World.
  • Explore Battambang in a tuk tuk like a local.
  • Exclusive interactions with local Cambodian villagers, and visits to the mysterious temples of Angkor.

Is this Trip for You?

Are you interested in experiencing the unique cultures of two Southeast Asian countries on an epic 12-day adventure that combines bustling cities, tranquil countrysides, and ancient kingdoms?  Then this trip is for you.

The true gem of Southeast Asia is in it’s people. The countless smiles and laughs you’ll encounter in everyday interactions and observations are bound to have an affect on how you view life, family and community.

But traveling in Southeast Asia does offer challenges. The food is often spicy. The tropical, humid climate can be hot. The culture shock is real. So come in with an open mind and willingness to try new things, and this adventure will certainly fulfill you.

-Age requirement: 21+
-Group Size: 8-16 travelers
-Physical Rating: Moderate. Accessible for most travelers, with short cycling distances (less than 10 miles) on well-maintained roads.

Travel Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Once you come on a trip, you become part of our Travel Community forever.

From a secret Facebook group after your trip, to custom Facebook groups before your trip, to meetups across the US and Canada, you will have the opportunity to meet and stay connected to other like-minded adventurers.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo but everyone leaves with friends.

Whether you are already an alumni or are looking for a group of people to travel with, we invite and welcome you to the Under30Experiences Travel Community.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and can vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Breakfasts will be served at your hotel. Dinners will be enjoyed in local restaurants or at your hotel.

Sample Breakfast Menu:

Fried/boiled eggs or omelet, toast, cheese, fresh milk, fruit, coffee, tea, local dessert.

Sample Lunch Menu:

Local seafood and chicken, vegetable soup, steamed rice, dessert.

Sample Dinner Menu:

Pork, seafood, chicken, fried or fresh spring rolls, stir-fried vegetables, traditional dessert, tea or coffee.

We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Most meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.

Transport

You will be traveling by private ground transportation throughout your trip. There will also be a scheduled flight from Vietnam to Cambodia included.

  • Private ground transportation to and from the airport (Included)
  • Private ground transportation to and from your hotels around the country (Included)
  • International flight from Vietnam - Tan Son Nhat Airport to Cambodia--Siem Reap Airport (Included)
    The luggage allowance is: (1) 44lbs checked bag; (1) 15lbs carry on bag; (1) personal item.
    Each traveler is responsible for any fees associated with bags being overweight when checking in at the airport.

Accommodation

You’ll be staying in boutique hotels throughout your trip and a local riverside lodge in Vinh Long.

Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. Ask your Trip Leader for details.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.
Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance. For World Nomads, the “Explorer Plan” will cover all of the included activities on U30X trips.

If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt or 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.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible

Give us at least 60 days notice and you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.

If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 60 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses. 
We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 60 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by our Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly!

  • Bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags.
  • Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment.

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.

Some links on this page are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders

Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

US Citizens, can apply for the Vietnam Visa in the following ways:

Apply for E-visa via the official Vietnamese Immigration website (Recommended)

  • Travelers can apply and obtain the E-visa in advance and the application can be processed through the official Vietnam Immigration website.
  • The E-Visa is valid for up to 30 consecutive days. It’s the equivalent of a visa, but no stamps or labels are placed in the passport. The travelers with e-Visa can touch down at any of Vietnam’s international airports, including Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh city, Noi Bai in Hanoi and Danang in the central region.
  • The online application could be done 1-6 months before entering Vietnam. The processing time takes 2–3 working days. We recommend applying at least 30 days in advance to avoid unexpected problems.
  • The E-visa fee for a single entry is $25 USD

In person, at the Vietnamese Embassy in the United States

  • The standard tourist visa is valid for a 1-month stay. You can apply for a Visa at the Vietnamese Embassy in the US. The length of the process can vary.  
  • To apply for a visa, you must fill out a form that can be downloaded from the Embassy website, present 2 recent photos, and your passport.
US Citizens, can apply for the Cambodian Visa in the following ways:

Apply for E-visa via the official Cambodian Government’s website. (Recommended)

  • Travelers can apply and obtain the E-visa in advance and the application can be processed through the official Cambodian Government's website.
  • The online application could be done 3 months in advance. The processing time takes approximately 3 days. We recommend applying at least 30 days in advance to avoid unexpected problems.
  • The Cambodia Visa stamping fee is $36 USD.

On arrival at Siem Reap or Phnom Penh Airports

  • The visa can be obtained directly at the international airports of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. You must provide 2 recent passport size photos and 1 visa request form available at the airport and distributed by airlines.

Health & Insurance

The tap water in Vietnam & Cambodia is not safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle to refill from filtered water stations and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep these countries beautiful.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.

There are no required vaccinations needed to enter into Vietnam & Cambodia however the CDC recommends routine inoculations.

More specific Health information for travelers to Vietnam & Cambodia can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Money & Currency

We suggest bringing USD $300 in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.

This is not a total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your own spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

The official currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong (VND).
The official currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR).

In Vietnam, although US Dollars and Euro are welcome in big restaurants we strongly suggest getting Vietnamese Dong (VND) for all purchases. Any remaining Vietnamese currency can be exchanged at the airport when leaving the country.

In Cambodia, the US Dollar is commonly used throughout the whole country. We recommend having plenty of small bills ($1 and $5), or the equivalent of 10 dollars in Riel, to pay for moto-taxis, tuk tuks, or for small purchases in markets.

Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you’ll be traveling overseas.

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the app XE.

Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100USD.

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in your hotel room.

Don’t leave valuables unattended.

US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.

Weather

The South of Vietnam and Cambodia are influenced by a tropical climate, and temperatures experience little variations in a year.

There are two main seasons: rainy or green season and dry season. During the rainy season from late May to November, downpours are expected to happen nearly every afternoon. In the dry season, it is hot from late November to April and slightly cooler when first downpours come.

Months of May - November

  • Average high is 85°F to 95°F
  • Average low is 75°F to 80°F

Months of December - April

  • Average high is 87°F to 99°F
  • Average low is 77°F to 82°F

cultural information

Vietnam

Vietnamese people are free of religion though one will see the influence of Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity.  What is the most important to Vietnamese people is their ancestry. Most houses will have an ancestor altar where each day they will burn incense and make offerings to the deceased.

The ao dai, a fitted, full-length dress worn over black or white loose-fitting trousers,  is considered the national dress and is mostly worn by women these days.  An ao dai is split all the way from the waist down, contouring the pants.  It is symbolic of the true beauty of the Vietnamese woman.    

Cambodia

Cambodian people do not shake hands. They greet one another with a sampeah, or pressing one’s palms together about chest level and slighty bowing one’s head.

Cambodia has had a tough past so be mindful when speaking about their history concerning the wars.  Mostly every Cambodian has lost a family member or a friend to the violence. However, you will come across many Cambodians who will share their story if given the proper setting.

When visiting Cambodia do not buy from children or give them money for food.  You will find many children begging on the streets, especially in the bigger cities.  Though it seems like you are doing a good deed by purchasing their items, you are actually encouraging children to not go to school.  Travelers who want to support marginalized populations and youth should research organizations that support education and make a donation.

‍Key Phrases in Vietnamese

Hello--Xin chao!

Thank you--Cam on!

Goodbye--Tam Biet!

How are you--Ban co khoe khong?

Key Phrases in Cambodian

Hello--Sour Sdey

Welcome--Som sva kom

Goodbye--Lea hery

How are you--Ter nak sok sabay te?

Optional Activities

The activities below will be paid in Vietnamese Dong or Cambodia Riel. All amounts are approximate prices in US dollars.

Ho Chi Minh City
  • Visit Ben Thanh Market: Free
  • Visit of Chinatown: Free
  • Discover Cho Lon: Free
  • A O Show: ~ $30 USD
    "A O" is the name given to a new kind of art performance, commonly known as the "new circus" across the globe.

Vung Liem
  • Fishing: ~$5 USD
  • Palm Leaf Weaving: ~$5 USD
Battambang
  • Ride the Famous Bamboo Train: ~ $5 USD
  • Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO Workshop: ~ $10 USD
Siem Reap
  • Rehash Trash: ~ $8-$30 USD
  • Sunrise in Angkor Wat: ~$15 USD
  • Phare Cambodian Circus: ~ $20 USD

While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

Staying longer or arriving early?

Hotel recommendations in Ho Chi Minh

Hotel recommendations in Siem Reap

Still need to book your flight?

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