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Inside Vietnam and Cambodia extension VNC

Visiting: Vietnam
Trip Duration 20 Days
 

Reviews for Inside Vietnam and Cambodia extension

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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We have the following different versions of the Inside Vietnam and Cambodia extension trip available at present.

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Inside Vietnam and Cambodia extension reviews verified by reevooReevoo

36 reviews

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Inside Vietnam and Cambodia extensionScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 36 reviews
(8 out of 10)

Simon

Salcombe
Vietnam and Cambodia. A trip almost of 2 quite different halves.

Our tour Leader 'Vinnie' was nothing short of remarkable. Nothing was too much effort and he constantly thought ahead.His mastery of english was amazing! i cannot imagine ever getting a better or nicer guide. A full on itinerary. If you want a relaxing holiday then don't do this tour. The hotels in some cases could have been better but overall there was nothing major to complain about. The restaurants recommended were first rate and as a group we all thoroughly enjoyed each others company.

On all the trips the buses were to a good standard and it seemed that even our days off and our optional tours , especially the cookery in Hoang was tried and tested. Definitely also do the bike tours and the boat tours. The overnight train tour was an experience in itself just for saying you did it. It all adds to the overall immersion and completeness . The knowledge and experience in relating to the war made a fascinating background to the culture of this unsettled country.

As we moved into Cambodia, then things changed a bit. As lovely and accommodating as our leader 'Sitar" was, he clearly did not have either the full experience of Vinnie, and his English was sometimes difficult to understand. Certainly you found yourself checking out from some of his seemingly complicated explanations of culture and history

The Killing fields and Genocide museum were sobering . They seemed to almost lack a deserved feel of respect for so many souls but the scale of the atrocity beggars belief and the Jail ultimately was far more moving and quite shocking. Be prepared for some truly grizzly and appaling pictures.!

As we moved through Cambodia the quality of the transport was way poorer than that in Vietnam and it made long hot trips much more arduous. It was a full on schedule and the heat and humidity took its toll on us. Floating fishing villages were fascinating and you realise the poverty. Also be prepared to accept that the country and the rivers resemble dustbins and sewers. There is rubbish everywhere. Its a hot sticky country.

The temples ultimately did not disappoint and this is really where Sitar shined. Clearly he was on home territory and ultimately Ankor Wat, as mobbed as it is by tourists, delivered a stunning experience, including photos devoid of people. Only possible because he knew his way round so well and where to get the best photo call. We attended a couple of optional first rate evening shows and again the restaurant recommendations proved good.

The whole holiday proved a mixture of emotion with the War and the Atrocities and you really saw all aspects of this poor country and learnt about its political and historical and ethnic mix. Well worth the money
Confirmed traveller: 11 February 2017
Published on: 14 February 2017
(9 out of 10)

Vivien

Bristol
Loved this trip. We had 3 tour guides plus additional people who had specialist knowledge. They were all very articulate, very well organised, very knowledgeable and good with the group. It was great to see the diverse variety of cultures and lifestyles and understand first hand the impact of the political tensions I had heard about when a child. Very moving. The trip is very comprehensive and I couldn't have wished for more.
Confirmed traveller: 04 January 2017
Published on: 09 January 2017
(9 out of 10)

Kevin

Bristol
Overall a great way to see what Vietnam and Cambodia has to offer steeped in history, culture and world heritage with the added bonus of relaxing at a home stay on the Mekong well recommended.
Confirmed traveller: 31 December 2016
Published on: 01 January 2017
(8 out of 10)

David

Taunton
Leaders were good but in Cambodia much better and far more informative and proactive. He went out of his way to provide additional opportunities. Slightly concerned that no first aid knowledge was evident from the Vietnam guide when a member fell and sustained relatively minor injuries, when walking with group.

Tour was particularly good when local guides were provided with more detailed understanding and knowledge.

Pluses included transport, which was very good, the introductory walks on arrival at a new destination (Vietnam) and, also, the amount of free time available. The home-stay was amazing and was an absolute highlight for location, accommodation, food and welcome. All group members wished it could have been longer (2 night options in one or more locations - one in Vietnam and another in Cambodia - could be considered by Explore).

However, after guide effectively sorted the original passport (with some money inside!)at checkpoint when leaving Vietnam, there was absolutely no advice given when crossing section from Vietnam to Cambodia. A man arrived on a bike requesting us to follow him, while another wanted to complete your visa application and take our passports to office stating that the the cost was $35 each (seemed to be at least $5 each more than official price). Think this is an Explore problem. Guides need to be better briefed.
Confirmed traveller: 17 December 2016
Published on: 29 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Peter

Billingham
we visited Halong bay on the Wednesday unfortunately we were unable to go out into the bay because of a typhoon moving in. However I was chatting to a chap at breakfast on the Monday in a different tour group who was also due to visit Halong bay on the Wednesday, but his tour group or leader had changed the day to the Monday because of the typhoon. I am not sure who's responsibility it is to make this decision, but this should have been done for our group. Halong was one of the major reasons of our, and indeed most of the groups visit. so as you can imagine everyone of us was extremely disappointed.so in light of this the marks above could be changed.
Confirmed traveller: 05 November 2016
Published on: 14 November 2016
(9 out of 10)

Alan

Mytchett
Great tour and our tour leader's in both Vietnam and Cambodia were excellent.
Confirmed traveller: 23 April 2016
Published on: 02 May 2016
(10 out of 10)

Jeremy

Stroud
This was a very intensive tour. Every minute of the day was used to capacity. It exceeded all my expectations and I would not hesitate to recommend it. The accommodation was as expected, the tour leaders were extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Nothing was to much for them. They were patient, humorous, kind and courteous. The tour was well thought out and the choice of restaurants excellent. I look forward to booking my next trip.
Confirmed traveller: 16 April 2016
Published on: 23 April 2016
(6 out of 10)

Susan

Overall we enjoyed the trip however there were some aspects that we would like to mention.
The group was 18 people which exceeded your published details regarding size (14/16)
The tour leader in Vietnam was adequate in that he moved the group from place to place (onto train flight etc) but because the group was so large there was very little opportunity for any individual interaction.
The tour leader in Cambodia was very good and his historical knowledge was excellent.
The hotels in Vietnam were good but not those in Cambodia. The hotel in Phnom Penh was in a Red Light district and frequented by prostitutes. There was no hot water in the hotel in Siem Reap
Confirmed traveller: 16 April 2016
Published on: 22 April 2016
(8 out of 10)

Marie

Taunton
Diem, the Tour Leader in Vietnam was well organised, very well briefed,efficient and involved. The leader in Cambodia, Som was rather laid back, with some organisation
but was well briefed on Temples. We were surprised that the hotel in Siem Riep was
not fully airconditioned in public areas as the weather was/is very hot and humid
(42 degrees). The 'cruise' scheduled for lake tonle sap, was a l;ittle fraught due to the
very low level of the water leading to the lake. The pick-ups and transport were
well organised and everything worked to schedule. One point we would like to
mention. Our surname starts with the letter 'A'. As a result, it appeared that the
hotel rooms allocated to us were always on lower floors, with limited views if any.
We think it would be fairer if a rota basis were used, giving us all an opportunity
of better rooms occasionally.
Confirmed traveller: 19 March 2016
Published on: 24 March 2016
(8 out of 10)

Simone

Glasgow
Vietnam:
The tour happened during Tet (Chinese New Year ) holiday, which was not flagged up by Explore: shops shut, many restaurants closed, more expensive meals, local population on holiday in the same pretty and famous places as group - very crowded. I would not choose this time again.
My judgement of places could therefore be coloured by the crowded experiences:
- Halong Bay, very crowded, building 'Blackpool' attractions along sea front; In few years time it will be spoilt.
- Overnight train: super, very clean and comfortable carriages with duvets!
- Hue very good, also option of mausoleum visit. Biking there not really possible due to climate and lack of maps ( Explore to consider changing trip description).
- Marble mountain - not really worth the effort.
- Danang Cham museum - I would have liked more time (we had 25minutes only).
- Hoi An - nice (very crowded at Tet), food there excellent.
- My Son: thanks to Diem we drove out in the afternoon: peaceful and quiet - good. (Explore to change itinerary)
- HCMCity: very positive experience. Highlight: Presidential Palace, War Remnants Museum, can also thoroughly recommend Museum of Vietnamese History.
- Mekong Delta: homestay very good, good building and facilities, superb food; good exploration/sightseeing of local industries and of locality.
Tour leader Diem: good explanations, good organising skills, big thanks to him also for introducing us to Mie (dish in Danang) and local street food in Hoi An. Good availability of bottled water on bus.
Overall highlight: superb Vietnamese cuisine.

Cambodia:
Much poorer country than Vietnam, lots of rubbish beside highways. People though very gentle.
Phnom Penh: special city guide was so-so, quite tiring as he repeated himself so often. Changed itinerary around (Tuoi Sleng and Choeung Ek pm), resulting in beeing caught in evening rush hour to city. Recommend that Ing, our tour leader should lead the city tour.
National museum very good.
Drive to Siem Reap in very big bus was very comfortable. Stop at Skon (tasting all sorts of fried insects etc.) Village visit at Tonle Sap Lake and floating village cruise very good (not at all touristy).
SiemReap: overall very good tour of Angkor temples. Good explanations by Ing.
I would have liked more time at Banteay Srei (we had only 20 minutes, too short for the long drive, and to appreciate the superb and justly renowned carvings). We did not visit Terrace of the Leper King, Phimeanakas, and Baphuon, no sunset at Angkor Wat - Explore to change trip description.
Would strongly recommend visit to Angkor National Museum, well worth the $12 fee.

Highlights: Seeing Angkor monuments in their architectural development (from Rolous group to decline), Khmer cuisine;
Recommended restaurants in Siem Reap: Marum and Viroth's; restaurants in Phnom Penh: Kaboot, Van's (french cuisine in beautiful colonial building opposite main post office).
Tour leader Ing was very personal and genuine. Great ability to relate in an interesting way historic and economic facts, good explanations at temples. His English and pronunciation is excellent, therefore easily understood.
One issue though: I did not take part in option of sunrise at Angkor Wat. Was asked to leave hotel at 6.45 am, arrived at this time of day at 7.10 am at Angkor (even with hold-up at check point due to Angkor pass being with Ing) but had to wait at destination for over 30 minutes for remainder of group to finish option and proceed with tour. Also Banteay Srei temple visit too short (see above).

For Explore: it may be helpful to future customers considering this tour, to point out that the time spent in Siem Reap is full on with extensive temple visits. If people are not that interested in Angkor as a whole it may be better to choose a different tour offered by Explore.
Confirmed traveller: 27 February 2016
Published on: 09 March 2016