Siem Reap - Your Adventure Begins!
Today’s the first day of your epic adventure across Cambodia and Vietnam and your Tru welcome day! Give us a ‘Hell yeah!’ We kick things off in the gateway to Siem Reap, famous for Angkor Wat, rice wine (Sraa) and the party hotspot of pub street! You can take advantage of your free airport pick up, or meet us at our hotel where you’ll join the rest of the family, along with your Travel Ninja. (Side note: Don’t worry, our Travel Ninjas aren’t real Ninjas. It’s just a name we made up to make us sound edgy.) You’ll have the day to chill, before joining your group for the welcome speech and heading out for a meal near the legendary Pub Street. You heard us right. PUB. STREET. A place of bonkers bars, weird and wonderful food. If you fancy it, sink a drink or two - there’s no better way to get to know your Tru fam than via the medium of slurred, drunken jibber-jabber. (Non-drunken jibber-jabber also accepted.)
Rural Cambodia & Sunset BBQ's
Today we set off for our first Tru Exclusive. An experience you won’t get anywhere else than on your very own TruTravels tour! Hop in a tuk tuk and drive through the bustling streets of Siem Riep to today’s cultural experience. Step into the shoes of a local Mango/Rice farmer and learn what it takes to harvest everyone’s favourite tropical fruit (if in season). One of the best ways to experience a country is meet the locals so we make sure to take the time to understand their way of life. Afterwards we head to our guide's local home for a sunset BBQ. Watch the sun go down surrounded by the laughter of your new TruFam and the magical rural atmosphere. We head back to the city and grab some shut eye. We’ve got an early start tomorrow we’d advise you to get some kip and sleep off today’s mangover (that’s ‘mango hangover’ for any newbs).
Cambodia rural experience, sunset bbq
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
Rise and shine people. You won’t forget today in a hurry. It’s your final day in Siem Reap, and you’re off to visit the world’s biggest religious monument. Say (Angkor) waaaat? Yup, you heard us right. We’re off to Angkor Wat, a vast 500 acre site built in the image of Mount Meru, the crib of the Hindu gods. Now, we don’t like to jinx it by saying this’ll be one of the most amazing experiences of your life but...well...this will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. We’ll arrive at the UNESCO Heritage site just in time for sunrise. Get your cameras at the ready. After all, if you don’t put it on the ‘gram, did you even go? #DefinitelyNoFilterNeeded. Angkor Wat is jaw dropping but with a golden orange sunrise behind it? Unforgettable. Afterwards the afternoon is yours to explore Siem Reap, call loved ones to chew their ears off about your day, or take a much needed nap before our last night out on Pub Street. Chant after us: PUB STREET! PUB STREET! PUB ST- no? OK, maybe later.
Sunrise tour of Angkor Wat
Next Stop - Phnom Penh
Wave goodbye to Siem Reap and head towards Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. After last night’s antics, you’ll probably need some sleep, so lie back and relax as we make our way by mini bus. We’ll stop off in the countryside for a spot of lunch before we get checked into our Phnom Penh accommodation and freshen up, ready to head out for an evening stroll and spider-less dinner at a riverside restaurant. Post-grub, get your bargain on at the night market or skip that and head straight to the bars in an attempt to get rid of that lingering tarantula taste.
Learning Cambodia-s History Khmer Killing Fields & S21
If there’s one place every person should visit at some point in their life, it’s the Killing Fields, the location of a haunting Cambodian genocide that took the lives of millions, and the S21 Prison, where the Khmer Rouge held 17,000, very few of which survived. Its devastating effects can still be felt today. Your visit here won’t be easy. Nor pleasant. And it’s a story that will stay with you. But it’s a huge part of Cambodia’s recent history that shaped their modern culture, making it something anyone visiting should take the time to learn about. After our humbling visit, we’ll head back for dinner. It’s been an emotional day, so feel free to spend the rest of your evening in whatever way you like. Talk to your Tru buds, take a stroll. There’s no right way to feel after such an eye opening experience. You do you.
Arcadia Water Park Fun!
It’s day 6 and do you know what that means? Slipping and sliding! We’re off to the riverside town of Kampot, surrounded by stunning mountain views and picturesque scenery, where we’ll stop off at Arcadia Waterpark, a place of lush greenery, cool waters, slushy cocktails, rope swings and pontoons. The perfect place to let your hair down, and spend some quality time with your TruFamily. Because who doesn’t love a chilled afternoon? Y’know, like having a chilled sunbathe on the bank with a cold beer. Or a chilled meander in a kayak. Or a chilled paddle in the cool river. Or a chilled go on the ‘The Blob’, a giant inflatable that flings you into the air, before you splash into the water, Like we said. A chilled day!
Pepper Plantations & Cooking Class
Today we’re off to a local pepper plantation where we’ll learn everything you need to know about farming the famous Kampot peppers. Will it be fun? You pepper believe it will be! Tell you what, you’ll soon realise you know absolutely nothing about peppers. After that intensive lesson, it’s time to use your newfound pepper knowledge to cook a delicious, traditional Khmer meal, learning from the best in a traditional Cambodian cooking class. Will you be able to get a job as the head chef of a Michelin star restaurant now? Probably not. But you’ve got a tasty, Cambodian meal in your repertoire that’ll blow anyone’s socks off back home. In the evening, we'll make our way in and out of the quaint streets lined by faded blue and green wood shutters, making your way down to the waterside for a dinner overlooking the river. Will it be anywhere near as good as the meal you cooked earlier? We all know the answer to that question.
Pepper Plantations & Cooking Class
Paradise is Calling - Koh Rong Samloem!
Imagine this. You’re on a boat, the sun glistening off crystal waters, the cool breeze dancing through your hair. You look up. Your breath catches in your throat as you’re greeted by immaculate, white sands, quaint beach huts and boats bobbing lazily in the bay. You squint. There’s barely a soul for miles bar the occasional friendly local, and the trees that line the beach sway gently as though welcoming you to this secluded paradise. Dreamy, right? Well, no need to imagine it because that’s you. Today. Check in and spend the afternoon relaxing in hammocks over the ocean, jump on a paddleboard or rent a kayak, get your ass on the famous sea swings for that perfect Insta shot, or lay back on the idyllic beaches, cocktail in hand, watching the sun set over this tranquil island. They say you haven’t seen beauty ‘til you’ve seen this place, and they ain’t (Koh) Rong.
Hammocks, snorkeling, relaxation
Koh Rong - Long Tail Boat Ride
Aaaaaahhhhhhh. Today’s all about getting your chill on. Have a lie in, stroll along the warm sands, seek out a tasty local breakfast from a local vendor. No matter what you fancy doing, this time’s all yours. Island hop along the emerald waters Cambodia style in a traditional longtail boat (an absolute bargain at $10), soak up the rays, top up your tan, and have a pop at a traditional way of fishing. Snorkel over the vibrant coral and check out the various marine life that call the warm waters home. Then join the rest of us on a secluded beach for a delicious BBQ lunch. After you’ve eaten, head back to the island, chill, have a few cold beers, cut a few shapes, burst into song and dance and perform every song on your spotify playlist for your Tru pals. Whatever you fancy. This is your final day on this incredible island, so savour every. Last. Minute.
From Koh Rong To Phnom Penh
Today we bid farwell to paradise and the beauty that is Koh Rong Samleom! It's been an incredible few days of crystal clear waters and golden sandy beaches but it's time to head back to the city for one last BIG night out! We travel by boat and bus and check into our a hotel in Phnom Penh. We'lll have a few hours to chill before we get dressed and head out for the big finale! One last TruFam dinner together! We grab some food and see where the night takes us!
Boat and bus from Koh Rong to Phnom Penh
Goodbye Cambodia - Hello Vietnam!
It’s time to say your goodbyes to Cambodia as the next part of your adventure awaits! What an incredible 11 days it’s been but Vietnam is calling! You’ll travel across the border from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh and have some time to relax. This trip is made up of our 11 day Cambodia Explorer and 13 Day Vietnam Explorer so some of your TruFam may be joining for you for both parts. In the evening, you’ll head out to meet those joining just for Vietnam and explore the bustling Ho Chi Minh City!
Travel from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh Walking Tour & War Museum
It’s your first full day in one of the world’s most beautiful and hospitable countries. We start in the iconic and historic city formerly known as Saigon. In spite of the universal welcoming vibes and chirpy nature of the locals, Vietnam’s troubled past is well documented and after taking a walking tour of some of Ho Chi Minh’s most notable spots. It’s time to be astonished at what happened here 50 years ago in the Ho Chi Minh War Museum, which sees half a million visitors a year. Learn the history of the Vietnamese war which spanned over 20 years and still impacts many lives today. We take a walk and view the incredible Independence Palace before continuing on to the cathedral and post office. We finish up by heading to the local food market to try some of the best food around, the local cuisine! Afterwards we’ll freshen up for dinner, drinks and getting to know your TruFam in the busy city of Ho Chi Minh!
City Orientation & visit war museum
Exploring The Cu Chi Tunnels
Rise and shine TruTraveller we’ve got a big day ahead! Wear some comfortable shoes as today we’re heading to the Cu Chi Tunnels. Built in the late 1940’s and spreading over nearly 250km, the Cu Chi Tunnels were used for a number of reasons including housing troops, transporting communications and supplies and even laying booby traps before returning to safety inside the tunnels. Don’t be fooled, although the operations of these tunnels sound seamless, some tunnels were so small they were around 80cm wide and 80cm high, meaning for the average human almost impossible to get through. We’ll experience the tunnels up close and personal and explore some of the underground hiding holes. This experience is one not to be missed and gives a real insight into the struggle and challenges of life only 70ish years ago. Early afternoon we’ll head back and grab some lunch before having a relaxing afternoon. In the evening we’ll head to the airport and head to our next destination - Hoi An!
Hoi An Lantern Making & Tailors
Today we wake up in the scenic town of Hoi An. A magical place in Vietnam known for it’s beauty and fun fact is also a World Heritage Site! Hoi An is probably most famous for the Vietnamese lanterns that give the town a surreal, tranquil glow each night. You want one don’t you? Let’s go one better and teach you how to make one! Choose your silk, and learn from the locals on how to turn one of these iconic lanterns into your own one. Don’t worry if you’re shit at arts and crafts, you can always leave the lantern in the dark to hide your shame. Another famous activity in Hoi An is the ability to have clothes made, styled, designed and created exactly how you want them. We visit a local tailors where we’ll see how they create incredible clothing and designs. They'll also gift us a one of a kind reusable and sustainable TruTravels tote bag made from the cut off fabrics. An amazing life long gift from the TruFam and perfect for onward adventures. Afterwards we head to Thinhs, an amazing local coffee shop owned by a Tru friend Tinh who grows his own coffee beans and has some of the best Vietnamese coffee in the country! (In our opinion ;)). We’ll learn the process of developing and roasting the beans before trying our very own coffee! The rest of the afternoon is free to explore as we please!
Exploring Stunning Hoi An
Today is a free day so snooze as long as you like. Walk alongside the calm river and take in the relaxing ambience of this quieter part of Vietnam or perhaps head to the famous Ba Na Hills, Golden Bridge. It’s an Instagram favourite! With winding roads and small bridges, it’s easy to see why Hoi An is a favourite among travellers so get out and explore! May we suggest a local beach club for sunset cocktails? Go on, you know you want too!
Basket Boats & Bike Rides
Today, we’d give a fun level of 10000/10 and we’re not just saying that. First off we’re taking a morning bike ride through the local countryside and village before arriving at our destination for the afternoon! We’re going to Coconut Woods, which despite the name is actually on 7 hectares (don’t ask us what a hectare is, it might be some sort of squirrel) of water. Ever heard of a basket boat? Well you’re about to have your first experience of one and you are going to laugh yourself senseless on one of these mad cap traditional Vietnamese vessels that have been used to crab fish for centuries. We’ll glide through stunning surroundings before slipping, sliding and splashing a little too much as we show how basket boats are best used. It might not be as relaxing as you’re envisioning but it's sure to get the blood pumping. You’ll work up an appetite and get you nice and hungry for a culinary experience and a half before we stop for some delicious food with the local family. This evening will be our last in Hoi An (until you come visit again) so let’s make it a big one with dinner and drinks on the boardwalk.
Hai Van Pass in Open Top Jeeps
Don’t let the name fool you, we're doing the legendary Hai Van Pass, made famous by Top Gear in open top war jeeps not a van, yeah! Leaving Hoi An will be emotional but once we get out on the open road you’ll see some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in Vietnam on the way to the city of Hue. We’ll stop on the way for some snaps, some lunch and maybe even a cheeky dip in the tropical waters before reaching the idyllic Hue. Pack a swimsuit! Today is spent, wind in hair, music blasting and driving along this world famous epic route. A once in a lifetime activity ya feel? We’ll arrive late in the afternoon and it’s hotel check-in and chill! Later in the day we’ll be heading out to explore Hue’s nightlife where we’re all about the local beers, the rice wine and dancing the night away. Good food and delicious drinks pending.
Vietnamese Cooking Class
Did you know Hue was once the home of Emperors? The remnants of their reign can be seen all over the city, none more so than within the walls of the Imperial City itself. So today we’re immersing ourselves in it all. We head along the perfume river and arrive at a tranquil garden. Sit back and relax as it’s here we’ll be spending the day! Are you ready to cook up a storm? We’ll be learning how to cook the delicious Vietnamese food we’ve been devouring for the past week and have loved so very much. No pressure TruFam. Slice and dice away and enjoy every bite of your hard work culinary masterpiece. It’s been an incredible day so we wave goodbye to Hue and head onto our next destination - Ninh Binh!
The Beauty of Ninh Binh
Ninh Binh is known as the Halong Bay on land and for good reason, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. We arrive and jump aboard small boats and paddle through untouched caves and around small surrounding islands. Look around and you’ll see emerald green forestry and rice paddies galore. Absolutely stunning. Afterwards we’ll head to Tam Coc valley, here you’ll find limestone hills dotted amongst the luscious trees. One of the best nature destinations in all of Vietnam and 1 not on the typical touristy trail. The afternoon is free to chill but if the TruFam are up for it, we can hop on bikes and cycle around, stopping for water breaks and those all important insta shots. If you didn’t take a pic did you even go right? We’ve saved the best till last and around mid afternoon we head to the epic Hang Mua viewpoint, with around 500 steps to the top, you know it’s going to be incredible. After updating our instastory, sending 100 pictures in your WhatsApp chat and really taking in the magic of Vietnam we head back for dinners, beers and an incredible sunset over the mountains!
Halong Bay Sailing
Today we’re going to arguably the most iconic place in Asia - this is Halong Bay and it’s almost certainly been your screensaver at some point in time. A bright green sea, 1,600 limestone islands dotted throughout the bay, this is a labyrinth of genuine paradise and wonder. We leave Ninh Binh early in the morning before travelling to Halong Bay and joining our boat for a night under the stars. Lunch is served to the most breathtaking backdrop imaginable after we’ve boarded and settled in. Today we set sail into paradise, the POA? Kayaking, viewpoints, beaches, the lot! We told you your stay in Halong Bay would stay with you forever. After a day on the water, we head back aboard and learn how to make mouth wateringly tasty spring rolls. The evening is spent watching the sun go down on the open deck, looking up at the stars and sharing a beer or two with your TruFam. Does it get better than this?
1 x Breakfast, 1 x Lunch, 1 x Dinner
Halong Bay Dreaming
Wake up, rub your eyes, no you’re really here. Take in your surroundings before heading onto the open deck for some breakfast and a large coffee. Huge limestone rock formations in amongst teal waters and luscious green forestry surround us. There’s no place in the world like Halong Bay, so sit back, relax and enjoy the 360 degree views. We’ll spend the afternoon relaxing and swimming before we say goodbye and make our way to Vietnam’s capital - Hanoi! The late afternoon is free so head out and explore! In the evening we meet up for dinner, drinks and head out to see Hanoi’s incredible nightlife!
Egg Coffee Demonstration & Hanoi Exploring
It’s been 22 days since this wonderful adventure through Vietnam began and by now you’ll have covered over 1,600km of great times, great laughs and great people. Just because the capital of Hanoi is the last stop of your Vietnam Explorer, these dreamy couple of weeks are anything but finished. Hanoi is chaotic, vibrant and an absolute experience in itself. Time to explore, right? But not before sampling one of Vietnam’s favourite beveragino’s, a traditional egg coffee. Just trust us they’re pretty good. We’ll head for a demonstration on how this delicacy is made. Do they use real eggs? Who knows. The rest of the day is all yours to explore. Whatever side of Hanoi you like, whether that’s the Old Quarter, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s gorgeous Opera House or the countless other mega snappable spots in the city. It’s an incredible day. In the evening we get dressed up for our large BIG night out with the TruFam!
Chilled Check Out
It’s a day for sore heads and emotional goodbyes as we’re at the end of the tour. Fear not though, this may not be the end of your adventure and if not our Travel Ninjas know Southeast Asia like the back of their hand and can advise you on what and where to next. If it is time to depart this part of the world then allow yourself to be sad about it, but promise us you’ll come back for more? It’s a very easy promise to keep in truth. You’re now a lifelong member of the TruFam and by now, you’ll know how big a deal that is. See you soon!