A history tour of Vietnam and Cambodia.
- + 5
Asia13 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.)
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.
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!)
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!
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.
The brutal humidity especially in Siem Reap and Phu Quoc.
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.