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Vietnam Explorer + Cambodia Extension VEC

Visiting: Vietnam
Trip Duration 27 Days

Reviews for Vietnam Explorer + Cambodia Extension

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

Trip notes

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We have the following different versions of the Vietnam Explorer + Cambodia Extension trip available at present.

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Vietnam Explorer + Cambodia Extension reviews verified by reevooReevoo

7 reviews

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Vietnam Explorer + Cambodia ExtensionScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 7 reviews
(9 out of 10)


A great holiday, but some things we got wrong. Cloths in particular. It was very hot (Nov-Dec) with air con only in hotel bedrooms. Half a case of long trousers and long-sleeved shirts were never used. For temples you only need a pair of trousers that cover the knees and shirts that cover the shoulders. Note that for one temple a shawl was not okay as previously two girls had gone in wearing shawls and taken them off to take selfies. Now shawls were unacceptable.
You will only use Dong in Vietnam, and its best to take sterling to exchange. Just as easy as dollars and avoids the double exchange loss. In Cambodia you only use dollars. They won't accept torn notes or ones with writing on, nor for some reason any $2 notes.
We sent off to the Vietnam embassy in London for our visas (after printing form from web) and it came back in 3 days. For Cambodia you need one passport photo and get the visa at the border. Cost $32 - $30 for the visa and $2 bribe (to "expedite" processing!).
I found a posting on the web from a guy who had lived there for 2and half years. He had never known anyone get malaria but a couple of people had got Dengue fever, which is nasty. So you don't need malaria tablets but should take mosquito repellent. I never saw a mosquito the whole time. Although Deet is best, it is corrosive and attacks watch straps and camera bodies. Despite washing my hands meticulously. Next time I will try Citronella.
A couple of people needed Imodium and one lady in another group got a stomach bug and needed antibiotics. That said, the food is excellent. We ate street food (where our guide recommended) and had no problems.
Sun tan cream 30+ is essential. When swimming I used an old painting shirt and threw it away before coming home.
Take some soap. Most hotels only gave you a sliver, or none at all.
Carry toilet paper all the time. The toilets leave something to be desired.
Take a big memory card. I used over 16 GB.
The sleeper train was great fun. You share a four berth cabin (possibly with strangers) and get a duvet and sheet. Take a sleeping bag liner.
Carry a small umbrella everywhere. It can rain suddenly and very hard.
Try taking black and white pics at Angor.
The hired snorkel equipment was rubbish. Take your own if you are serious. Although it was only a tiny spot. You don't need flippers.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 10 December 2016
Published on: 20 December 2016
(10 out of 10)


We visited so many places it's hard to pick out a favourite but I loved the cruise in Halong Bay, including my first ever attempt at sea kayaking, and the trip to Lak Lake. Hoi An was delightful and a welcome opportunity to wander along some traffic free streets and so vibrant and pretty in the evening. The sleeper train was an 'experience' but we didn't need the sleeping bag liner as detailed in the Explore details. The boat on the Mekong Delta was described as 'simple' but far better than we expected with towels provided so I needn't have packed that either! The food on both this boat and the one in Halong Bay was out of this world. Most of the hotels were excellent although the air conditioning in the Silver River Hotel was far from adequate and we had to ask for a fan. We also became aware that most of the other guests were single middle aged men who were accompanied by young Cambodian girls and there was a man who appeared regularly who we deduced was a 'pimp'! Otherwise this hotel was fine, the staff helpful and the food good. I didn't need half the clothes I took and they stayed in the suitcase for the entire trip - laundry was easy and cheap. The weather was very very hot in our final week in Cambodia which made visited all the temples a bit of an effort and some were far better than others - did we really need to visit them all? The only place I didn't enjoy was Na Trang - a bit like a hot version of Blackpool with a lot of Russian tourists! Although our guide did take us to an excellent Barbecue Restaurant here which I wouldn't have wanted to have missed. Both our guides in Vietnam and Cambodia were excellent and knowledgeable but I have to give special thanks to Chinh, our guide in Vietnam, who put up with us for 3 weeks!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 16 April 2016
Published on: 21 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


Hucknall Notts
Very busy very organised and well managed on the whole this trip had so many great moments. Particularly like the junk on Halong Bay and Hoi An and in Cambodia, Siem Reap. Above all the local people and little incidental moments were the real highlights. Recommend highly Mai Li and the war remnants museum in Vietnam and the places relating to the Kmer Rouge atrocities for history and putting life into perspective. Tip: mind the drivers on the roads!!!!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 16 April 2016
Published on: 18 April 2016
(10 out of 10)


Tiverton, Devon
This trip exceeded my expectations in many ways .. Vietnam highlights include the Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta boat trips which were fantastic yet totally different. The stay at the bungalows in the Central Highlands culminating in a elephant ride across the lake was magical. The contrasts between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city were fascinating and you 'will' eventually master the traffic! The people of Vietnam are so friendly, visiting markets and even homes in rural areas was a great experience. The tour has great variety wonderfully brought to life by Binh the tour leader whose knowledge and confidence were inspirational. The Cambodian week was quite different still varied with two big features, most found the Killing Fields very emotional and then later were blown away by the temples at Angkor Wat especially the 'Tombraiders' temple with trees wrestling with ancient temple buildings.
I would totally recommend this trip, adventurers will not be disappointed.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 05 December 2015
Published on: 22 December 2015
(9 out of 10)


Andorra,La Massana
Hanoi was a great vibrant city,wish we had had more time there,Hoi An was also a really nice experience,the whole place felt good,although a little too touristy,Nha Trang was probably the least enjoyable spot,a bit like a nasty beach resort full of Russians.
The difference between the 2 week and 3 week trips was traveling inland ,and it was a lot of traveling and felt a bit like a time filler,although the elephant ride was fun and seeing the countryside was nice!the mosquitoes were`nt!
If you are into food like I am I would advise doing some research on places to eat and try and do your own thing,the restaurants we were recommended were ok, but I felt I did better on my own,and it is quite safe at night .The hotels were adequate for the price that you pay, some better than others, but overall good enough.
The over night train journey was my least enjoyable part of the trip,as I like my privacy,and the dorm accommodation on the boat in Halong Bay was not terribly comfortable. It is not included in the itinerary but I would highly recommend doing a street food tour,you will need about 3 spare hours and about $45-$60 for the guide and all the food.
Cambodia was amazing but the extension was really too short to appreciate all that this beautiful country has to offer ,there were many things I wanted to do but there was not enough time,I will certainly go back,but as an introduction to the country it was a roller coaster of emotions from the recent gruesome history to the stunning ancient history.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 20 November 2015
Published on: 30 November 2015
(5 out of 10)


Halong Bay and HoYan. A lot of 'brain washing' on the Vietnam leg and even extreme care and pro biotics no guarantee against upset tummy. Overall probably too long in that area.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 14 November 2015
Published on: 22 November 2015

Thank you for your feedback, Denise. We’re sorry that your time in Vietnam was so disappointing and that you felt brainwashed. Our Explore Leaders work hard to provide a good insight for the areas they cover, and we make a point of asking them to make sure the information is appropriate for the audience. We haven’t received any similar complaints, but we’ll certainly monitor the feedback we receive.

(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

The cruise around Halong bay was fabulous. The tour was well thought out. The only down was the 7 hour wait at Kuala Lumpur on the return journey. Hoi An was wonderful.He was flexible in his approach. I found him helpful and he sorted out a few minor problems we had efficiently. He was pleasant and humorous.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 15 April 2015
Published on: 07 November 2015