1300 55 45 01 (AUS)  0800 895 145 (NZ)

Christmas and New Year Escape Dec 2017 - Jan 2018: Vietnam and Cambodia (14 Days)

Price A$4,442


Destination

Ho Chi Minh CityMy ThoSa DecXã Vĩnh XươngPhnom PenhKâmpóng TrâlachChnok TruSiem Reap


Category
Group Tours

Duration
14 days 13 nights
Tour Details

Vietnam and Cambodia 19 December 2017 - 1 January 2018: AU$4,399 plus airfares

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Solos Christmas and New Year Escape

Only 14 spots available - book your place now!

Like to get away at Christmas and New Year but don’t have a travel buddy? Then how about a 14 day solos only tour of Vietnam and Cambodia including an 8 day Mekong River cruise on board the beautiful Toum Tiou II Riverboat. Our adventure starts in Ho Chi Minh City and includes day tours to the Mekong Delta and Cu Chi Tunnels before stepping aboard our privately chartered river boat to slowly meander your way to Siem Reap in Cambodia. 

On this eight-day river cruise, you’ll hop aboard bikes, tuk tuks or local boats to get around and see rice paddies, monasteries and local businesses. The magic of the Mekong aside, river cruising gives you a view unlike any other, with visits to the Cai Be floating market, the fishing port of Kampong Chhnang and stilt villages like Chnok Tru, where you’ll learn about fish farming, pottery, and sugar palm production before wandering through the local markets. You’ll enjoy a special Christmas lunch on board too. 

You’ll disembark from the boat in Siem Reap and over the next few days have fully guided tours of the famous local temples including the iconic Angkor Wat. Your tour is topped off with a special New Year’s Eve traditional dinner and show in Siem Reap. 

All up 14 days of adventure, celebration and new friends. And at a great price. 

Day 1: Arrive in Ho Chi Minh

Upon arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to the hotel. Tonight there will be a tour briefing with your guide and a welcome dinner.

Accommodation: Roseland Point Hotel (formerly Silverland Boutique Hotel); deluxe room or similar with ensuite.

Meals : Dinner
Day 2: Ho Chi Minh - Mekong Delta full day tour

The Mekong Delta is the southernmost region of Vietnam. It is often referred to as the rice bowl of Vietnam as it produces three harvests per year. The fertile Mekong Delta is also famous for its tropical fruit and flowers. The Delta area marks the end of a 4,500km journey made by the Mekong River after having travelled through six countries.

Traditional transportation in the Delta is by boat along a vast network of canals and channels. Boating along these canals and visiting the floating markets always proves to be a fascinating and rewarding experience for all visitors.

The tour starts with a drive through the Mekong Delta to Cai Be floating market; from here we’ll board our river boat for a cruise along the endless waterways of the mighty Mekong. We visit a Bonsai Garden and the handicraft village to see how bricks and pottery items are made. The visit also allows you to discover how candy and pop rice are made. One of your stops will be to a small restaurant serving local delicacies. We’ll then return to Vinh Long town where we are transferred to Ho Chi Minh City arriving around 5.30pm. Evening at leisure.

Accommodation: Roseland Point Hotel (formerly Silverland Boutique Hotel); deluxe room or similar with ensuite.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3: Ho Chi Minh - Cu Chi Tunnels half day tour

Begin our journey to the Cu Chi Tunnels by departing at around 8am from our hotel and travel through the countryside which was once a stronghold of the Viet Cong. The cramped tunnels were central to many of the war’s strategic operations, including the famous 1968 Tet Offensive, and they didn’t escape damage. American B52 bombers dropped hundreds of bombs leaving huge tell-tale craters behind.

The tunnels served not only as living quarters, but as supply routes and hospitals for thousands of guerilla fighters. Many died there from malaria and other diseases, and a few were also born or married. Today they are viewed as a testament to the Vietnamese people’s resilience. An incredible place.

Return to Ho Chi Minh City around 2pm. The afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish.

This evening get set for a culinary adventure in downtown Saigon, away from the tourist areas and into the heart of the city, where the locals eat. These small pop up restaurants are a nightly feature that all but disappear during the day. It’s a great opportunity to try all those weird and wonderful foods you see but just aren’t sure what they are. Pull up a stool and taste a selection of different types of Vietnamese favourites from tasty banh mi baguettes, noodle dishes and flamed grilled barbecue skewers, maybe even rice paper pizza! End the night with dessert from one of Saigon’s best little places for sweet soup. This is a fun night out where you will discover the people and the culture of Vietnam through its food! 

Accommodation: Roseland Point Hotel (formerly Silverland Boutique Hotel); deluxe room or similar with ensuite.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Ho Chi Minh - My Tho

Today you will be transferred to the port and board our home for the next 7 nights the Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat. Your own cabin of course! You’ll set sail in the afternoon towards My Tho. Once on board you’ll meet your Tour Director who will be with you throughout the cruise. You can then relax, settle in and get to know the crew as the journey begins. 

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Dinner
Day 5: My Tho - Sa Dec

Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda with a short tour of My Tho town en route. Take local boats to Thoi Son Island to see a coconut product manufacturer, taste some local fruit and honey and meet traditional musicians. Continue on to Cai Be and enjoy a visit to the floating market. Opt to cycle the small paths through local communities on the island and visit a rice popping cottage industry. Continue by local boat to Vinh Long to meet the vessel. Embark on the evening sail to Sa Dec. 

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Sa Dec - Xa Vinh Xuong

Visit the Kien An Cung Pagoda in Sa Dec and stroll through the market along the river. View the old colonial houses by the delta. Enjoy breakfast and lunch on board as you cruise the Mekong. Arrive at Chau Doc and visit Sam Mountain for sunset. Gaze out over the rice paddies or relax in a hammock. Visit some stunning temples and pagodas along the way. Opt for dinner in town. 

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7: Xa Vinh Xuong - Phnom Penh

We celebrate Christmas over a special lunch on board as we cross the border into Cambodia and continue on to Phnom Penh. Feast on sumptuous local delights and exercise your vocal chords singing Christmas tunes if you’re game.

Then enjoy an evening in the capital city Phnom Penh starting with a cyclo tour to see the city from a new perspective. Opt to finish up at the Foreign Correspondents Club for Happy Hour overlooking the river or dinner in town.

During the border crossing all passengers must stay on board and the formalities are done on the riverboat. The ship will usually stay at the border for a 2-3 hours whilst all the formalities are completed. Depending on the time spent at the border, the itinerary for the afternoon may vary, although this process is usually quite simple delays can happen.

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8: Phnom Penh

Visit the sobering S21 Museum and the Killing Fields with a local guide. Enjoy an included lunch at Friends, a social enterprise. Opt to visit sights like the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, or the Russian Market with free time.

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9: Phnom Penh - Kampong Tralach

Wander through the town of Koh Chen on an island in the river. Visit silver and copper workshops and meet a Khmer Rouge survivor eager to tell his story. Continue to Kampong Tralach and visit the local vihara (Buddhist monastery) and Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda. Opt to cycle or ride in a tuk tuk or buffalo cart, through the village and past rice paddies to reach the monastery.

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Kampong Tralach - Chnok Tru

Sail on to Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap River. Learn more about fish farming, pottery and sugar palm production in the area. Wander through the local market then opt to cycle to visit the local industries. Enjoy lunch on the boat en route to Chnok Tru. Hop in a local boat to visit one of the largest floating villages on the river. Enjoy an evening cocktail and the Captain’s farewell dinner. 

When water levels are too low (possible from mid December to mid August) it may not be possible to visit the floating village at Chnok Tru. Alternatively, the group will visit a floating village at Kampong Chhnang and anchor near Koh Chen. 

Accommodation: Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat in your own cabin

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Chnok Tru - Siem Reap

Set sail for Siem Reap in early morning. On arrival you will be met by your Cambodian guide and transferred to the hotel in Siem Reap. Balance of day at leisure. Your hotel is a few steps from the local market and many fantastic restaurants. 

Please note that when water levels are too low it may not be possible to sail to the port in Siem Reap. Alternatively, we will transfer from Koh Chen to Siem Reap by bus. 

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel. Deluxe room with ensuite. 

Day 12: Siem Reap half day cooking class

This half day tour brings you to one Siem Reap’s best-known cooking schools, for a hands-on culinary extravaganza. Begin the class with a short trip to a nearby market, where vendors sell fragrant herbs, spices and exotic vegetables. After purchasing your ingredients head to the cooking class where an expert chef will explain the basics of Khmer cuisine. After a few hours of whipping up dishes like spring rolls and traditional Khmer amok, sit down to sample your creations over lunch. Balance of day at leisure. 

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel. Deluxe room with ensuite.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 13: Siem Reap - Angkor Thom - Angkor Wat

After breakfast, we drive to the South Gate of Angkor Thom to begin our exploration of the centerpiece of this ancient city, the Bayon. The Bayon encloses 54 towers decorated with more than 200 enigmatic, smiling stone faces. The morning tour also visits the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of Leper Kings, as well as the famous Ta Prohm Temple. 

Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed lunch in Siem Reap before heading to the famous Angkor Wat - best preserved of all the Angkor temples. We explore this huge architectural wonder at leisure before visiting either Phnom Bakheng or Pre Rup temple to watch the sunset. On return to Siem Reap the group will head out for a special dinner and show to celebrate New Year’s Eve. 

Accommodation: Steung Siem Reap Hotel. Deluxe room with ensuite.

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14: Depart Siem Reap

Welcome to 2018. Sadly our journey is at an end. Morning at leisure, until you are transferred to the airport for your flight home or onto further adventures. 

Meals : Breakfast

A great bunch of people and I can't believe how we all had such a fabulous rapport filled with much humour! This also carried over to the new additions to our trip who we connected with in Vietnam.Gillian was absolutely gorgeous & a real asset to your company. She ensured that everyone was safe & happy in what they all chose to do if they didn't wish to keep to the scheduled activities.Buffalo Tours should also be commended in their choice of guides as Lakhi in Vietnam was a gem, as was Sankha in Cambodia, both very caring, knowledgeable & efficient, not to mention a great sense of humour. Lakhi also managed to retrieve my Hermes perfume that I had purchased duty free in Sydney, which I left in the Hotel in Ho Chi Minh. He had it delivered to my hotel in Hanoi! I had only sprayed it twice ... so I was very very happy!I actually got sick in Hoi An and spent a day/night in my room, couldn't get my head off the pillow. I think just heat & perhaps something I ate. Lakhi & Gillian made sure I had plenty of water, dry biscuits & lemonade so that I could make the cycle tour & get better quick ... I did! Would love to travel again with Twos a Crowd.

Louise, Sydney


It was a wonderful experience visiting Cambodia and Vietnam and gave me a better understanding of these countries. I had a great time with new friends, we had a good bunch and Leonie was the perfect host.

Eric, Queensland


A memorable trip of a lifetime, a wish fulfilled.  A fascinating cultural country steeped in history which I found totally enthralling. Two’s a Crowd service was smooth and seamless

Pam, Melbourne


Being my first tour and a senior member, I admit I was apprehensive but I need not have worried. It was great and I was very well looked after.  Can’t wait to go to Kenya with Two’s a Crowd.

Maureen, Melbourne


Ken was very professional and sincere in dealing with our group and he and the tour guides,  looked after the needs of every individual. Overall I really enjoyed my holiday with a great tour Director and a nice group of solo travellers.

Anne, Melbourne


I have had the opportunity to experience things I would never had done by myself.  Solo travellers is a fantastic concept and use of social media has been a great way to share and keep in touch with friends and family

Judi, Adelaide


I had just the best time! Thank you so much for putting the whole trip together for me and my thanks to Frances as well for sorting out the inevitable queries that popped up along the way. I'm glad I didn't rush in and go on the earlier trip because the group I went with were terrific travelling companions and I can't say enough about Lauryn—she was just superb! I've heard other people who'd been on group tours say that their experience had been spoiled a bit by the tour leader's not being involved enough, or being too intrusive, but Lauryn has that innate ability to be "just right". At all times she was available if needed and even suggested activities that we could do with her on our free time, purely voluntary of course, up to the individual, but it's there if you want. As I said to one of the others, with her amazing personality she made us all feel as though we'd known her forever and that we were one big happy family on the road trip of a lifetime. She also possesses that quiet determination to ensure all is well, nothing particularly noticeable, but you know it's there and that she's on top of things, and when you're far from home that's very comforting.

Vietnam was a real eye-opener for me in many ways—the cities the traffic the countryside the food the lovely people the history and it was all made so interesting by Loc our guide. Good English, an engaging personality, a thorough knowledge of the history of his country and an obvious pride in the way Vietnam had recovered from the latest of its many tragic wars, his constant good humour, and his attention to the safety and wellbeing of us all made him the perfect guide. I'm very thankful you recommended airport transfers at the beginning and end of my stay. What a stress saver! Our hotels were located in interesting parts of the cities we stayed in and were very comfortable and the buses we used were all clean and comfortable as well. No problems with any of the drivers although I was happy to leave the driving to them with some of the chaotic traffic around us! My thanks to you again for guiding me through the many pitfalls I would have encountered otherwise. You made the whole exercise considerably less daunting. I wish you  all the best for what life may bring you. Cheers for now.

Don, Brisbane


I was a first time solo traveller and Vietnam/Cambodia was perfect for me to put a toe in the water. I felt completely at ease from start to finish. Everything was so smooth and I loved having my own room. I'll be back!. Many thanks.

Rob, Essendon


It was very refreshing not to have to organise anything. I had a wonderful time. I've included a few suggestions at the bottom of the email, these are just small things and are far outweighed by the positives of the trip. I couldn't begin to list all of the positives! Lauryn (Tour Host) and Loc (Guide) were excellent and it was a great bunch of travellers. Both of the cyclo rides were highlights for me as was Halong Bay and so many other experiences.

Janet, Melbourne

Vietnam

Roseland Point Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City: Centrally located in central Saigon, Roseland Point Hotel is located just opposite the Bitexco Financial Tower and is a 5-minute walk from Ben Thanh Market. Roseland Point Hotel is 700 m from Independence Palace, Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral. Rooms are air-conditioned and are equipped with free WiFi, a cable TV, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities.

Cruise vessel: Toum Tiou II

Launched in 2009 and updated in 2011 our Mekong explorer, the RV “Toum Tiou II” is a superb boutique style vessel exuding both charm and world class comfort and service! With only 14 cabins, the TT II features all outside facing, teak enhanced cabins with private bathrooms, adjustable beds and big picture windows, a panoramic restaurant/salon and a superb sun deck offering incomparable close up views of life along the Mekong. Add to this unlimited water, coffee and tea, all shore excursions, lectures, folk performances and a smiling young crew ready to cater to your every wish – it is truly an incomparable colonial experience you will remember for a lifetime! Internet available. Non-smoking except exteriors.

Cambodia

Steung Siem Reap Hotel (3 star): Located in the French Quarter; Psah Chas (Old Market) retaining her true colonial French characteristics, wooden louvre french-windows, doors and wooden floors complete with wrought iron balconies. The interiors whilst youthfully modern, bright airy and cheerful retain some semblance of her 1930's art-decor characteristics with a hint Khmer flavour. Walking distance to eveything!

Weather

The North of Vietnam is generally cooler than other South East Asian regions in the same longitude. It experiences two main distinct seasons. In winter months, the weather gets colder and colder from November to March and considerably warmer in April (a leap into summer).  This is also time to observe much cloud and frequent drizzle. In the summer (from May to October), the whole region is quite hot. The Central Vietnam with two sub-regions, coastal lowlands and central highlands, can be seen as an in-between climatic area of the North and the South. The coastal strip is usually dry and hotter than the rest in the summer, as the Truong Son Mountains do not allow it to enjoy most rainfall of south-western monsoon (from April to October). Unprotected coasts in their turn, however, make it wet and colder than the rest in winter-monsoon season (from November to March). Also, storms and typhoons strike this area more frequently than the northern coasts in summer months (from July to November). The South of Vietnam, merely 8 degrees north of the Equator, is typical of humid tropical climate which is excellent for growing rice. The region’s temperatures experience little variations in a year (around 27-32°C/80-90°F). There are two main seasons: the rainy and the dry. During the rainy/monsoon season (from May to November), downpours are expected to happen nearly every afternoon, resulting in occasional street flooding in and around Saigon. In the dry season, it is hot from late February to April then slightly cooler when first downpours come. Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon) enjoys rather equitable tropical climate with high humidity all year round. December to March is said to be the most pleasant time to hit this region’s center.

Money

Vietnam’s currency is dong issued by State Bank of Vietnam. Abbreviated form: “VND” before the amount or “d” after the amount. Small denominations include VND 200; 500; 1000; 2000; 5000 in both coin and paper notes though coin is more popular. Bigger denominations include VND 10,000; 20,000; 50,000; 100,000; 200,000; 500,000 in both polymer and normal paper notes.

Generally, all major currencies can be converted into dong without any hassle but American dollar is normally much more preferred. It is wise to cash your traveler cheques into US dollar in Vietcombank or other major local banks before jumping into anywhere. You may be charged 0.5 to 2% commission for this, still much lower than in black market.

Also, it is important to make sure that any note you take do not have any tear or look too worn, as it is possible to pass them to no one again.
It is strongly recommended that you do not equip yourself with lots of cash, neither dollar nor dong. In Vietnam now, it is much easier for you to access your money almost everywhere and any time in Hanoi, Saigon or other major cities through an extensive ATM network. It is, therefore, important to check whether your credit card company has any ATM access in Vietnam in advance.

Electricity

In Vietnam the standard voltage is 220 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type A (Japan) / C (Europe)  and G (UK).

Visas

Visas on arrival at Vietnam international airport. Two's a Crowd can provide more information on the process and required documentation and costs.

 

Let us handle your travel arrangements

Two's a Crowd is a full service travel business. We are happy to provide very competitive quotes on all international airfares from your nearest capital city. 

Tour inclusions:

  • Accommodation at above selected hotels (or similar) in single room with daily breakfast
  • All transfers as mentioned by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Sole use cabin on board Toum Tiou 2 Riverboat – chartered exclusively by Two’s a Crowd
  • All airport transfers with English speaking guide
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • All entrance fees as detailed in itinerary
  • English speaking tour guide throughout stay in Vietnam and Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • English speaking Tour Director on-board Toum Tiou 2
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance underwritten by CHI Travel Insurance (part of Allianz). Additional premium may be payable if over 60 years, have an existing medical condition or wish to extend your travelling dates. Refer to CHI PDS for more information on policy terms and conditions

Tour exclusions:

  • International flights (the friendly Two’s a Crowd staff can assist with quotes and airfare bookings)
  • Visas - these can be obtained on arrival into Vietnam and Cambodia. The Two’s a Crowd team will provide the necessary documentation. Fees are payable at the time of entry into the countries
  • Services and meals if not mentioned in itinerary
  • All drinks, including water, soft drink and alcohol on all excursions
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature

Prices are correct as at 5 October 2016 and are subject to change until paid in full. 

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