Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Ancient temples swallowed by the jungle, rice paddies, local markets, stunning beaches, fiery cuisine, smoking incense at the feet of a golden Buddha, and the friendliest locals around.

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Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby antheafromaust » Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:26 am

hey!
never travelled any where does anyone have anyone have any advice at all relating to the Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring trip?
thanks.
but also, is any one going to said trip on the 29 of jan 2013?

anthea.
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby mgf90 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:35 pm

Buy a lonely planet guidebook! I haven't been on a tour before, but I've backpacked and flash packed through india, japan and Europe - I'm booked in your same tour in early Jan but I seriously advise you go and have a read of a lonely planet!!! They're lifesavers when it comes to real travel advice on the ground and in prep!!! :)
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby britgirl31 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:08 pm

Hi Anthea,

I have just got home from the Vietnam part of the trip. I read the Lonely Planet and left it at home and was so glad I did. Read it before you travel to gain ideas about what you want to see but as the tour is quite fast paced you will not have chance to do everything in the tour book and things change so fast, a lonely planet guide is quickly out of date and nothing can prepare you for that first sight of HCMC. Your CEO will not always "take you to places" but will organise options and guide you on local info.

The one mistake I made was listen to others regarding clothing, it's a very hot country and everywhere I went people were wearing western "holiday" clothes. Obviously take appropriate clothes for temples and religious sites and warm clothes for the sleeper trains are a must, esp. a hoodie but wear what you normally would. I managed with a roller bag and I didn't succumb to a backpack and was pleased I did, but that's a personal choice.

You go out for a meal with the group each evening and I was unprepared clothes wise for this, but buy as you go and laundry is so cheap.

Be prepared to travel a lot as you have a long distance to cover, the members of the group who started in Bangkok said the travel in Cambodia was by bus and felt further but they had a more cultural experience in Cambodia than Vietnam. The hotels were of a mixed standard, some excellent, some bearable, but not fantastic, our CEO always chose great restaurants and there was little sickness within our group. Other than Hoi An I felt that the time in each place was just right.

Overall I loved it and am planning my next trip as we speak. Join the group as much as possible, but also don't be afraid to do your own thing, I spent a great afternoon by ducking an option and had a fantastic time at a great luxury hotel on an amazing beach, it's your holiday, the onus is on you to make your holiday great. (whilst been considerate to others though).

Any questions inbox me and I will try to answer.

p.s. when in Nha Trang, choose the beach party and persuade everyone on your trip to join. We had the perfect bonding day and the best food and drink my 12 day trip. Vietnamese Rum rocks.
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby missjobee » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:43 am

Hi Britgirl,

Fellow brit here :)

I am off on the roam Vietnam, Laos & Thailand in a few weeks I am so excited!

What were your favourite bits of the tour? Thanks for the beach party tip I'll be sure to try and get the rest of the group onboard!

What are the best clothes to take I see you mention that above, obviously stuff to cover up in the temples but what did you wear or wish you wore day to day?

I just want to make sure I dont miss anything so if there is any other stuff you are like you MUST do that!! Then I will!

Did you get any clothes made in Hoi An? I've read lots about it and am thinking if I do to just ship some stuff some, if so where did you go?

Thanks, Jo :)
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby azhar » Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:56 pm

Hi :D !

I have just booked my trip for the 24th Jan and was just wondering if anyone else is also going, and for anyone who has been if they have any key tips!?

Thanks
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby banner-boy » Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:22 pm

Hey!

I'm doing this tour starting on Feb 16th so the advice above by britgirl31 is very useful, thanks! :)

Few questions though:

(1) How did you find the food on the trip - any food poisining/diarrohea? Did people in the group generally stick together for non G-Adventures meals or were people going off doing their own thing?

(2) Did you find you had to lug your rucksack/suitcase around a lot during the trip?

(3) Did you find you were walking/treking/hiking significant distances? It's just as a pasty white Irish guy, I'm not sure how I'd handle 40 + degrees in Vietnam for hours on end haha!

Thanks again!
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby britgirl31 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:25 pm

Hi All,

I hope you all have a really great time on your trip. I haven't been on for ages but I'll try and answer all your questions.

missjobee - not sure if you have already set off but you will have a ball.

My favourite place was Nha Trang and Hoi an. I'm a beach babe at heart but I loved the cycle trip and riding the buffalo is something I will never again experience. I would recommend that you do all the trips going, but if you really don't want to do something, don't feel guilty. I missed out on the mud baths but I loved my day at the beach by myself instead.

Clothes wise, I bought a lot of clothes especially for this trip such as canvas trousers, shirts etc. that I wouldn't normally wear. I wished I had taken a few more evening clothes and in hindsight my usual holiday clothes of vest tops, shorts and dresses worked. I just didn't take enough, it's easier for boys but mix and match and laundry is really cheap along the way. I was really pleased I only had 14kgs but bought a North face back pack on the trip and also brought an extra bag home with all my purchases. However for the amount of travel and the cold sleeper trains, a hoodie and jeans were essential. On my feet I lived in flip flops the whole way, except for the cycle ride where I used my sandals with a strap but other than that could have lived without them.

Hoi An - I had a skirt made, cheap but not the best. I was going to get a Karen Millen dress for Christmas made but they quoted $85 and TBH in my eyes, I'd rather pay the extra and have the real thing. The girls that had dressed made were really pleased, shop around as some bought dresses in a different shop than the one recommended by our CEO and were just as happy as those who bought in the recommended shop but paid less.. Use your judgement and only pay deposit up front. I found a lady in the market and wished i'd found her on the first day as she was cheaper and I trusted her.

Enjoy your trip.

Banner boy

You will have a fantastic trip. I was a single gal and the group were fantastic, you did what you wanted and generally we all did the same trips or if they were no trips we did things together or split into smaller groups, e.g some people wanted to go to the markets, others went to the historical sights.

There were some people who had upset stomachs but I personally was lucky, and there was nothing major for anyone as all the food places our CEO chose were fine. We all met for dinner every night. Some nights, if people were feeling a bit off/tired they might not attend, so no pressure. If we were in a place over night our CEO would also take us to his "office" AKA a good bar. Sometimes we would be out late, other nights we were in bed by 11pm.

I am a bit of a girly girl and intentionally did not want a backpack. The North Face bag I bought in Hoi An for 200k dong was worth it though for the rest of my trip. I took a roller bag that had a strap but was only 70 litres and my luggage was 14kgs. It was okay for the trip but I did end up buying another bag for my purchases in HCMC for my trip home.

The rest of the group however had backpacks, but I did not suffer in the least having a roller bag for the short walks we did with our luggage, the longest we had with our luggage was on sleeper train journeys and most of that was waiting for the train and dinner before in the station. I was happy and one guy had a 25kg + backpack he was happy. I think it's personal choice. As long as you can carry it and it fits under a sleeper train carriage (a normal suitcase would also fit under the beds) you will be fine, but I didn't see loads of standard suitcases.

I didn't trek anywhere but it was hot in the cities and bars and cafes were a saviour. (and bars actually for a cheeky afternoon beer). On my first day in HCMC before meeting the group I went out all excited in a t-shirt and canvas trousers from mountain warehouse thinking that's how it's done in the traveller world and an hour later I was back in the room having a shower and changing into a vest top and shorts as it was so humid. I travelled in November and once we got to Hanoi it was cold and wet and we all lived in jeans. I think if you are travelling in February this will be similar so you will not be baking the whole trip.

Oh and if you are English, I did the Visa on Arrival and had a fair bit of US $ but I didn't need it and withdrew cash from ATM's along the way, there were loads, just use common sense when choosing one and watch your belonging, I never felt threatened but as in any country there are risks.

Anyway huge post, enjoy all of your trips. I'm now going to choose my next trip - Thailand me thinks.

Happy Travelling.
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby kelseyivey » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:01 pm

Thanks BritGirl31 for all this great information! Did you have any trouble with bugs or mosquitoes?

I will be going on this tour April 26-May 15, 2013. Anyone else?
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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby ballu » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:13 am

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Re: Cambodia & Vietnam on a Shoestring.

Postby mcotts » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:27 pm

Hey everyone, this is really useful information thank you! Just wondering what kind of age group were the people in your group? 20s, 30s or a mix? Is it totally knackering? I'm joining the Vietnam tour straight off my flight from the UK. Is there time to chill? Thanks for your help!
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