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Trip Report

Two weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia

A history tour of Vietnam and Cambodia.

by KBennettAbout Me:"The world is big and I want to have a look at it before it gets dark" -John Muir read more

AsiaVietnam, Cambodia13 days / April 2012

Highs & Lows

An impromptu dinner with our guide's family  at his childhood home whose father was also was a Viet Cong solider.

Too much time spent on transportation (planes, vans etc.)

Itinerary Overview

This was my first trip to Asia and I wanted to experience the food, culture, and get a mix of city, country and beach. The trip fulfilled all my goals and then some.

  • 3 Nights: Hoàn Kiếm
    City touring and visiting the countryside
  • 2 Nights: Ho Chi Minh City
    Explore the city, and take a tour along the Mekong Delta
  • 3 Nights: Krong Siem Reap
    Visit the temples of Siem Reap
  • 1 Night: Ho Chi Minh City
    Quick stopover
  • 3 Nights: Phú Quốc
    Beach time
  • 1 Night: Ho Chi Minh City

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    We had a few too many layover moments in Saigon (and a 13 hour layover in South Korea). I would have worked better on tightening the schedule.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Be open to different. Hanoi's chaos of people and scooters are intense. The  food hygiene is different than the USA (raw meat for sale displayed on the roadside for example)-none of us got sick though! Also - get a guide. We would not have had the same incredible experience had we not had local guides to give us incredible storytelling and life changing moments (whisky shots with former Viet Cong solider!)

  • Transportation Tips?

    Our guides arranged most of our transportation. In the cities we used cabs-just make sure they turn on the meter so you don't get a surprise rate at the end.

  • Any standout moments?

    An impromptu dinner at the home of a former Viet Cong soldier, being guided in Cambodia from a survivor of the brutal Khmer Rouge, Halong Bay cruise, private beach lunch off of Pho Quoc Island,  conversations with our guides.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    A hotel concierge sent us to an extremely formal restaurant that clearly catered to tourists. We were the only guests in the entire place which was filled with tuxedo waiters. Funny more than anything. Careful what the concierge recommend!

  • Packing tips?

    Bring good walking sandals/shoes and clothing for heat and humidity.  We also pre-treated many of clothes with anti-mosquito repellant (Permethrin which you can buy at REI or Amazon).

  • How was the food?

    Incredible. The best Pho we had was a tiny street vendor in Hanoi.

  • Any surprises?

    The brutal humidity especially in Siem Reap and Phu Quoc.

  • Booking details?

    We used the travel company, Exo Travel to plan and book most of our trip. Highly recommend as the guides they assigned to us were incredible.