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Angkor Adventure

Stand in awe of the architectural achievement of Angkor Wat and contemplate the horrors of the Killing Fields at Phnom Penh. This nine-day trip is ideal for the traveler who is short on time but wants to soak up the colors, culture and history of this incredible region. Its natural beauty, coupled with its tumultuous history, make Cambodia truly a fascinating destination. You will also visit the Mekong Delta and Bustling Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam as well as amazing Bangkok in Thailand.


Itinerary

July 16 : Ho Chi Minh City

Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City at any time.

July 17 : Mekong Delta Day Trip (B)

Enjoy a boat cruise through the floating towns of the Mekong Delta and a visit to traditional candy factories.

July 18 to July 19: Phnom Penh (2B)

Travel day, with border crossing from Vietnam to Cambodia on Day 3. Guided tour of Tuol Sleng Prison and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields). Cyclo ride through Phnom Penh. Option to visit the Royal Palace or National Museum, or visit the Central Market.

July 20 to July 22: Siem Reap/Angkor Wat (3B)

Guided tour of Angkor Wat temple complex. Optional visit to Tonle Sap floating village and Angkor National Museum. Enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food either at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project or in a local home in villages outside the city.

July 23 : Bangkok (B)

Border crossing into Thailand. Travel back to the bustling metropolis of Bangkok.

July 24 : Bangkok

Depart Bangkok at anytime

Detailed Itinerary

July 16 : Ho Chi Minh City

Travelers will be arriving at all times today so there are no activities arranged. Please try to arrive by 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet your tour leader and the other group members. You have the day free to relax and adjust to the frenetic pace and humid heat of Saigon.

We overnight two nights in Ho Chi Minh City. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel is well located near the Benh Than Market, backpackers area, war remnant museum and within walking distance to all the French colonial buildings. Free-Wifi and a computer are available in the lobby.

Please Note: This a short itinerary, which means the ratio of transportation time to activities is more skewed towards transport than most of our trips. You will see some amazing things, but you will spend a good deal of time getting there. We highly recommend spending more time in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok so you can get more bang for your buck.

July 17 : Mekong Delta Day Trip (B)

Today we travel to where the mighty Mekong River approaches and empties into the South China Sea. We board a small boat and navigate through the narrow canals, witnessing local lifestyle, floating vendors and small industrial boats. You will notice that many of the Vietnamese boats have eyes painted on the front to ward off evil spirits and to help guide the boat and crew safely back to land. We disembark our boat to visit the cottage industries for which the area is famous, such as delicious and chewy coconut candy, rice cakes, Vietnamese popcorn and pottery production. Don't miss the chance to try the unique regional 'elephant fish' at a local restaurant during our lunch break.

After a day of touring this unique region, we return to Ho Chi Minh City in time for dinner.

Approx travel time:
Round trip to Mekong Delta today is approx 4 hours.

July 18 to July 19: Phnom Penh (2B)

On the day 3, we cross in to Cambodia by public bus. The drive to the border takes about 2 hours. After processing all border formalities, we continue on by bus to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, arriving mid-afternoon.

After years of civil strife and political turmoil Cambodia is open for visitors. Late afternoon we take a short Cyclo ride around the city.

With our local guide on day 4, we witness the dark side of Cambodian history with visits to Choeng Ek, the site of the infamous Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng prison, the notorious Khmer Rouge prison where thousands of Cambodians perished. Afterwards, participants have the opportunity to continue sight seeing on your own.You can explore the cities many sights: the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, and the National Museum. There is time to visit the huge Russian Market packed with souvenirs and all the necessities of daily life. Late afternoon is a great time to visit Wat Phnom where the sanctuary for which the city is named once stood. It is a Buddhist shrine, although a Taoist goddess and numerous monkeys also reside here, and one of the pleasure spots for residents of the city. A drink in one of the many riverside café’s watching the sunset is a fitting finale to the day.

We overnight two nights in Phnom Penh. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free-Wifi and a computer are available at the lobby.

Approx travel time:
Public bus Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh: 6 hours including a short lunch at the local restaurant and border crossing

July 20 to July 22: Siem Reap/Angkor Wat (3B)

After a private bus trip through the Cambodian countryside we arrive in Siem Reap, explore Angkor, the former capital of the Khmer kingdom and one of the wonders of the archeological world. Rediscovered at the end of the 19th century by French explorers this vast ruined city is becoming one of the most popular sites in Southeast Asia. Over 2 days, with our professional local guide, visit some of the highlights of this ancient capital, like Sunrise at the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon within the walled city of Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, also known as the 'Tomb Raider' temple.

While on this trip we will visit the amazing New Hope School, which is supported by a non-profit organization that G Adventures set up to help give back to the communities they visit. Trips departing on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays will enjoy a meal in a nearby village at the Planeterra-supported New Hope project. Trips departing on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays will visit a local home in a nearby village for a traditional meal. With so many travellers coming through these areas, alternating experiences helps to allow both small businesses to flourish. Both experiences are truly unique and memorable.

We spend three nights in the Siem Reap. Our hotel is located away from the noisy area of city center but still within a walking distance or a short tuk tuk ride to town area. Swimming pool inside the hotel should keep you relaxed away from the heat of Siem Reap. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. Free-Wifi and a computer are available in the lobby.

Enjoy a traditional meal of Khmer food in a local home. Wander the village, teach English to the local kids and savour some authentic cuisine.

Approx travel time:
Private bus Phnom Penh to Siem Reap: 6 hours

July 23 : Bangkok (B)

A long day's ride on a private bus takes us from the countryside of Cambodia to the modern kingdom of Thailand. It is a scenic drive through a very rurual part of Cambodia. The border crossing formalities can take up to 2 hours. Once we reach the Thailand side we continue on with the drive to Bangkok.

We have time to check-in to our centrally located hotel and head out for an evening meal and time to take in the local nightlife.

We spend this evening in Bangkok. Our hotel is located in Chinatown, next to the central train station and MRT (Subway), and is only a short taxi ride from Khao San Road and the central shopping area of Siam Square, MBK, Siam Paragon, etc. All rooms are double or twin share with air conditioning and en suite bathroom. The hotel has a small pool and wifi is available at extra cost.

Approx travel time:
Private bus Siem Reap to Cambodian border: 2.5 hours
Private minivans Thai border to Bangkok: 4 hours

July 24 : Bangkok

You are free to depart at any time today. Please note check out time is 12pm midday.

GEEO will give you a discount for booking more than one program in the same summer! Book two or more GEEO programs and receive 10% off on the lesser value program (up to 3 programs). For more details please click here.

Our three different Southeast Asia programs can be combined together if you wish to see more of this amazing region. Our earliest trip is Bangkok to Hanoi which is a program that focuses on Laos. It ends just in time to start our Vietnam program which starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City. Our Angkor Adventure trip then starts in Ho Chi Minh city. Vietnam and Angkor actually overlap with each other on purpose because they both go to the Mekong Delta. Don’t worry; you can book both trips without having to cover the same ground twice. The Angkor Adventure mostly focuses on Cambodia and ends in Bangkok, Thailand.

If there is a part of the world that you would like to see that we aren't offering this summer, let us know. We may be able to help you arrange such a trip or we will consider offering it as GEEO program next summer.

Stuff You Need to Know

Terms and Conditions

It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.

Trip Notes

This a short itinerary, which means the ratio of transportation time to activities is more skewed towards transport than most of our trips. You will see some amazing things, but you will spend a good deal of time getting there. We highly recommend spending more time in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok so you can get more bang for your buck.

Service Level

Standard:

Step out of the normal tourist mind-set and truly experience the world. Most nights will have you staying in a simple yet clean twin-share hotel or lodge rooms with private facilities, complete with running water and electricity. Occasionally you may have a multi-share night at rustic local guesthouses, with communal bathrooms and the sporadic cold shower. Transportation will be a combination of public transport, private buses and some private vehicles.

Physical Grading

2:

Light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.

Minimum/Maximum Group Size

This program is guaranteed to run and will have a maximum of 15 participants.

Group Leader Description

All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure's group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.

While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Packing List

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a large multi-day backpack, plus a small daypack, like a messenger bag or purse, or better yet, something like this. There are lots of different backpacks out there, but in general you want a bag that has a capacity of around 50 to 80 cubic liters. For an example click here. (Please email jesse@geeo.org if that link does not work)

You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs. Luggage space on public transport is limited so again, smaller is better.

Suggested Checklist

•Clothes for temples – long pants or sarongs
•Insect repellent
•Small Flashlight
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•USD cash (small denominations preferred, see personal spending money and FAQ)
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket or umbrella
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for hot weather (We recommend packing 8 or 9 days of outfits so you only have to do laundry once)
•Comfortable walking shoes (You will be walking a lot)
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (Your hotels will have soap and shampoo)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Camera
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Checklist

•Travel pillow (This one is great)
•Dramamine
•Money belt
•Water bottle
•Phone/Tablet for internet (Most hotels have WiFi)
•Chargers for electronics as well converters/adaptors if needed (See FAQ)
•Light fleece top (Just for the flight)
•Packing cubes (These are awesome)
•Flip-flops/Sandals
•Ear Plugs (These are a life-saver if you have a snoring roommate)
•Snacks (Packing a few granola bars is a good idea. You can buy snacks when you get there too, so don't go crazy here.)
•Ziplock bags for wet clothing
•Washcloth (Most hotels don’t have them and some people like having a washcloth)
•Reading/writing material
•Cover for backpack or plastic bags to keep clothes dry
•Hand Sanitizer/Baby wipes
•Phrase books

Document Checklist

•Passport (with photocopies)
•2 Passport size Photos for Cambodia (You will need another 2 for Vietnam if you get the visa on arrival)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•Credit and/or debit card (see personal spending money)
•G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
•Any entry visas, additional passport photos or vaccination certificates required (Check our FAQ to see if you need them)
•GEEO Classroom action plans for your group (This is sent 10-30 days before departure)

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your group leader where the nearest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring your own non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Single Travellers

We believe single travelers should not have to pay more to travel so our trips are designed for shared accommodation. Single travelers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Most of our trips have the option for a "My Own Room" which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself.

Money

Spending Money

Every traveler is different and therefore spending requirements will vary. Some travelers may drink more than others while other travelers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Cambodia uses US dollars. We recommend bringing plenty of US $1 bills as well as $5's, $10's and $20's.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com It has been changing frequently in the past year. We also recommend the use of cash and travelers checks in USD currency. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Whilst travelers cheques have security advantages, they can be difficult to change. Visa and MasterCards are useful for cash advances. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency. Please note that if carrying US Dollars, they should be in good condition (ie- not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently (after the year 2001).

Medical Forms

GEEO travel programs bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, at minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travelers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage. Travelers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travelers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our tour leaders work hard to ensure that all our travelers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings above for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at: www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

Optional Activities

Please note: All optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance which activities you would like to sign up for. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.

Ho Chi Minh City

Cyclo tour- USD 4
War Crimes museum- USD 1
The Reunification Palace - USD 2
Saigon Water Park- USD 4

Phnom Penh

National Museum- USD3
The Silver Pagoda- USD6.25

Siem Reap

Tonle Sap Lake Tour - USD5-15
Countryside dinner- $8

Bangkok

Grand palace - USD11
Jim Thompson’s House - USD3.5
National Museum - USD1.5
Royal Barge Museum- USD1.5
Wat Po - USD2
Klong(Canal) Tour - Approx $10-30 dependent on numbers
Thai massage – USD10 per hour

Costs

Please keep in mind this trip is designed to give you the freedom to do whatever interests you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and keep in mind these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. Very few meals are included on this trip, giving you the opportunity to eat on your own budget. The prices below are in US dollars and are rough estimates so you can budget your trip.

Tour Company Fee

$1049 USD

Non-Educator Fee

$100 USD (Educators do not have to pay this fee)

Optional Activities

$150 USD, See optional activities tab to get a better idea of your budget.

International Airfare from USA

Roughly $1000-$2000 USD, See our FAQ for flight advice.

Insurance

$28- $200 USD
Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers for both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing an all inclusive plan that covers cancellation/interruption insurance as well.
See our FAQ for advice on Travel Insurance.

Tipping

We recommend $32 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $25 USD to tip local guides and drivers.

Meals Not Listed in the Itinerary

Allow $150-$250 for meals not included.

Laundry, Drinks, Phone Calls, etc.

(Make sure you budget for these types of expenses)

Airport and Departure Taxes

Departure Tax is included in all International and Domestic tickets.

Vaccines

(You will need to see your doctor to see if you need any vaccinations)

Visa

Americans need to get a visa, or sign up for a Visa on arrival (See FAQ section of our website) before they depart for Vietnam. The cost for Americans ranges depending on what service you use but we have a link in our FAQ for a service that will cost a total of $65 USD. (Check with your local embassy if you are not American.)

The Cambodian visa can be purchased at the border easily. Please bring 2 passport photos with you and the visa should cost $25-$35 USD. Sometimes you need the passport photos, sometimes you don't. You should have them just in case.

(Check with your local embassy if you are not American.)

Souvenirs

$0-????

FAQ

What should be my expectations for this GEEO program?

Before you decide on traveling with GEEO it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. To summarize, our programs are quite adventurous.

• We use basic, no frills accommodation. The purpose of the accommodation is to provide a safe place for you to sleep. Sometimes you will be pleasantly surprised, but do not expect luxury.

• The same goes for transportation. We use a mix of transportation that gets our guests from location to location safely. Sometimes you will have full days and nights of transportation as our trips tend to cover a lot of ground. The transportation will often be an adventure in itself.

• This a short itinerary, which means the ratio of transportation time to activities is more skewed towards transport than most of our trips. You will see some amazing things, but you will spend a good deal of time getting there. We highly recommend spending more time in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok so you can get more bang for your buck.

• You must be able to easily carry or roll your luggage, so do not over-pack. We recommend using a large backpack along with a smaller daypack, which is typically the most comfortable way to carry your possessions.

• Many of our programs occur in locations where it is very hot during the day. Please make sure you have thoroughly read the itinerary and can handle the group activities, which sometime include day hikes with your daypacks.

• We recommend always carrying snacks with you because sometimes meals can be far apart.

• Please make sure you understand the role of your tour leader on this trip as they are not the traditional “guide” you may be expecting. While our trips are educational, they aren’t study/lecture trips. We want you to learn through exploring and much of your experience will be based on how active you choose to be in acquiring knowledge and interacting with locals.

• We try to set up a school visit on this program, but sometimes they fall through due to complications. Please understand it is not a guaranteed part of the program.

Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!

Do I need a Passport? Do I need a visa?

All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport that will not expire within 6 months of trip departure. If you have a U.S. passport, but it has expired, or will expire within 6 months of trip departure, click here for information on how to get it renewed. If you have never been issued a passport or have lost your passport, please click here. Processing time for US Passports is 4-6 weeks so please start this process immediately.

The Cambodian visa can be purchased at the border easily. Please bring 2 passport photos with you and the visa should cost $25-$35 USD. Sometimes you need the passport photos, sometimes you don't. You should have them just in case.

For Thailand, Americans do not need a visa for stays of less than 30 days. (Check with your local embassy if you are not American.)

Americans need a visa for travel in Vietnam. There are two ways to get a visa: Traditionally through your local embassy/visa service company where you have the visa in your passport before you depart or instead "a visa on arrival". To be clear the "a visa on arrival" option requires you to go through the application trip before your trip. It also costs less than the traditional visa process.

You can google search "Vietnam visa pre-arranged" or "Vietnam visa on arrival" to find out more. GEEO cannot vouch for any particular company but we have had past participants recommend www.myvietnamvisa.com. The price on their website is currently a $19.99 service fee for a "approval letter". You would then bring this approval letter, 2 passport photos and a filled out Vietnam visa form which can be pre-printed in advance. You would give these documents to the customs official at the Ho Chi Minh airport along with $45 USD for the visa. For more information on this process please follow this link to Tripadvisor.

Please visit this website to get instructions on the traditional process through the Vietnamese embassy:
http://vietnamembassy-usa.org/services/visa-application-process.

They say processing time is 5 days, but I recommend applying for the visa 60 day prior to departure to be safe. I honestly think the Vietnamese embassy's website is confusing and found the "Visa on arrival" services less expensive and easier to understand.

If on any forms they ask for the local operators contact details, please use this information:

Wide Eyed Tours
Add: No 48, Lane 76, Yen Phu street , Tay Ho Dis, Hanoi , Vietnam
Tel: 84 4 39262241. Ext 301
Fax: 84 4 3926 2369

G Adventures has told me you do not have to enter a Visa Approval/Reference Number because you you will be in Vietnam for less than 3 months.

Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.

Who travels with GEEO?

GEEO participants are mostly made up of American K-12 teachers. Each group tends to have a good mix of educators in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's. About half of our participants are coming alone and do not know anyone in the group prior to the trip. We group single travelers of the same gender together as roommates, unless a participant prefers to pay an additional fee for their own room. If we have an odd amount of one gender we will rotate the single room for free among the participants.

GEEO trips are open to all Kindergarten to University teachers, school staff, school administrators, and soon-to-be teachers pursuing their teaching certificate. Our programs are also open to retired educators. Non-American educators are welcome on our trips.

Participants in our programs are permitted to bring friends or family members on their trip. You must be at least 18 years old to participate and of adequate fitness level for your chosen trip.

Is it OK if I am traveling alone? Do I have to have a roommate?

Half of the people that travel with us are traveling by themselves so please don’t worry if you have no one who wants to join you on our trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy, in other words, two people to a room. If you do not have someone that you are traveling with that you would like to room with GEEO will find you a roommate of the same gender. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. If you want to room alone, there is a "My Own Room" fee of $499 USD.

Will I be eating on my own? With the group? Why aren't all meals included?

Eating is a big part of traveling. Traveling with GEEO you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is affordable. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your group leader will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Included breakfasts will usually be Asian style consisting of noodles or congee (rice porridge) or bread and eggs.
Vegetarians will be able to find a range of different foods, although in some areas the choice maybe limited. While trekking in remote regions food is included, plentiful and made of fresh local ingredients. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

What is group travel like?

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of traveling in a group. Your fellow travelers will probably come from all across the US and beyond and are likely to be of a variety of ages too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travelers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Where do I meet the group? What happens when I arrive at the airport?

Our groups meet at the hotel we use for the first night of the trip. Your tour leader will leave a note for you at the hotel's front desk with the introductory meeting time and location.

When arriving at Tan Son Nhat Intl Airport in Saigon you can get a metered taxi from just outside of the arrivals hall. The taxis are lined up outside in an orderly queue and the fare is roughly 100,000 dong (approx 7 USD) to get to your starting point hotel. DO NOT GO WITH TAXI TOUTS AS THEY WILL TRY TO RIP YOU OFF. The airport is only 7km from the downtown District 1 so taking taxis is easy and cheap if the meter is on.

Unfortunately there have been cases in Vietnam of people misrepresenting themselves as G Adventures representatives at both Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh airports.
We recommend that you do not take advantage of any offers of "help" at the airport, and rather just organize a meter taxi for yourself to our Starting Point Hotel.

If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls. Please check carefully once you exit the baggage hall as there seem to be hundreds of people waiting outside in the arrival area. Please check that your driver knows your name and the hotel you are going to. If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes, call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.

Why are some activities included in the price of the trip and others are not?

We have found paying locally for activities allows our participants to save money. Not every activity is appealing to everyone and we don't want you to pay for services you might not use. Perhaps you feel sick one day and would prefer to rest. This allows you to decide on the spot what you want to do each day with your free time and at the same time control your budget.

Is it possible to get references for GEEO?

Over 800 educators have traveled with GEEO since we ran our first programs in 2008. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the quality and value of the life changing experiences that we provide.

To read comments from past travelers, please feel free to visit a website that reviews non profit organizations called Great Non-profits. Please click here for those reviews.

Please contact us if you would like to communicate with some of our former participants for a reference.

How long have we been running this program?

GEEO was founded in 2007 and our inaugural trips were run to Peru and India in the summer of 2008. We started running this Angkor program in 2013, but we did run a Cambodia/Thailand program in 2012 year that covers the same ground. G Adventures, who actually handle the logistics of the trip have been running trips to South East Asia for many years so you can have faith that your trip will be safe and well run.

Is the itinerary exactly as described on this website?

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

How much money in US cash should I bring? Should I exchange local currency in advance?

This is entirely up to you, but we think it is critical for you to bring along $200 USD in cash for emergencies. This is what GEEO's Executive Director Jesse does in regards to money while traveling:

"I do not exchange any money before traveling to a country but instead bring somewhere between $300-500 US in cash. I go to a bank before I leave the US and take out the cash there rather than an ATM. I make sure each bill is in great condition with no rips or tears. I like to have mostly 20's, but in some countries you are better off with 50's and 100's. In some countries it is also good to have about 20 singles for when you have no small bills in local currency. I divide this money between a money belt and my main backpack and my daypack.

I also bring an ATM card and a credit card. Before I leave the country I call the bank and credit card companies to let them know I am traveling abroad so they don't think the foreign transactions are fraudulent and cancel my cards when I am most reliant on them. Having a second bank account and bank card is pretty handy so that just in case one card doesn't work at an ATM or is lost, you always have a back up account. It's also important to check with your credit card to see if there is an international transaction fee. Some cards charge up to 4% extra for any transactions made out of the US. My Capital One visa card doesn't have any international transaction fee. I just use this card for traveling so if it gets stolen and I have to cancel it I won't have to worry about recurring automated payments. I like to split up my cards between my money belt, wallet and one emergency one hidden in my main bag.

When I arrive at the airport I make sure to go to an ATM before leaving the airport and typically take out the equivalent of $150 USD in the local currency. I find that ATMs give the best exchange rate so throughout the trip I will use the ATM card to draw out my spending cash. I will ask our tour leader for an estimate on how much I will need if I am close to leaving a country so this way I do not draw out too much money.

I try not to use the US cash I brought with me so that I can use it in an emergency. Typically I will come back to the US with most of that US cash unspent. On a recent trip I lost my ATM card and was able to get cash by paying for our group dinners with my credit card and having people pay me their share in local currency. I NEVER take cash advances on my credit card as they charge you an arm and a leg.

I also never use travelers checks, but have heard good things about AAA ATM cards that you can load up with money instead of using travelers checks."

Where can we get a list of hotels for this trip?

Other than the first hotel, our partner G Adventures does not provide hotel lists for any of their trips.

The reason for this is sometimes hotels change at the last minute. G Adventures does not want to give out incorrect information because in an emergency that can only cause more issues. Instead we give you 24-hour emergency phone numbers where you and your family can reach staff in the country that you are traveling to or in Canada at G Adventure's headquarters. This way at anytime your loved ones can call the emergency contact who can immediately put them in touch with your tour leader no matter how plans have changed.

Is there any safety advice we should know about?

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while traveling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travelers' checks, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while traveling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When traveling on a group trip, please note that your tour leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your tour leader will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your tour leader will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is G Adventure's policy not to allow our tour leaders to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

What are the emergency contact numbers for this trip?

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) and then the G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

If you are experiencing complications with your Ho Chi Minh City AIRPORT TRANSFER that was booked through G Adventures please call: +84 91 204 0262

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574

After hours emergency number (SE Asia Manager)
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074

G Adventures Local Representative (Vietnam)
Ms.Nhung
Emergency number: +84 91 204 0262

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

If I wanted to extend my stay in the region, is there any other tour you would recommend?

GEEO will give you a discount for booking more than one program in the same summer! Book two or more GEEO programs and receive 10% off on the lesser value program (up to 3 programs). For more details please click here.

Our three different Southeast Asia programs can be combined together if you wish to see more of this amazing region. Our earliest trip is Bangkok to Hanoi which is a program that focuses on Laos. It ends just in time to start our Vietnam program which starts in Hanoi and ends in Ho Chi Minh City. Our Angkor Adventure trip then starts in Ho Chi Minh city. Vietnam and Angkor actually overlap with each other on purpose because they both go to the Mekong Delta. Don’t worry; you can book both trips without having to cover the same ground twice. The Angkor Adventure mostly focuses on Cambodia and ends in Bangkok, Thailand.

If there is a part of the world that you would like to see that we aren't offering this summer, let us know. We may be able to help you arrange such a trip or we will consider offering it as GEEO program next summer.

What cities/airports should I book my flight in and out of?

Your trip begins in Ho Chi Minh City and ends in Bangkok. Please double check our itinerary for the date on which you must arrive in Ho Chi Minh City by and the earliest time you can depart Bangkok.

Where can I purchase flights?

We recommend using www.kayak.com to see what is out there in terms of flights. G Adventures also has a wonderful air department, which can be reached at 1-800-708-7761.

You may also want to take a look at the prices at www.flyforgood.com or call 1-877-359-4466 to speak to a person. They get humanitarian rates from airlines and GEEO is registered with Fly for Good as a non-profit. If you purchase a humanitarian rate flight, you will need a supporting document from GEEO. Please request this from us after you purchase the tickets. Note that humanitarian rates are not available for all flights to GEEO destinations, and are sometimes higher than tickets found on on kayak, travelocity, orbitz, etc. Often the layovers are long and sometimes impossible to navigate. Look very carefully at the offer before purchasing your ticket.

When should I purchase my flights?

This program is now confirmed to run. Feel free to purchase your flights whenever you like.

The prices for flights go up and down throughout the year so you never know when you will be able to get the best price, but on aggregate, we believe the best time to purchase a flight is about 60 days before departure. Please read this article to understand why.

Where can I purchase travel insurance?

One of the least expensive options is the "International Volunteer Card." They have a $28 card (Single-Trip Travel Protection) that includes the amount of travel medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance you need for our trip, plus other trip insurance benefits.

To sign up for the card you can follow this link:

http://www.volunteercard.com/geeo.html.

We recommend purchasing cancellation insurance too, which the IVC offers as an additional option.

Another option is www.insuremytrip.com. They offer different options from many different companies. You can also get your insurance directly through G Adventures if you wish.

Please note it is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000USD.


Can GEEO book extra hotel nights for me?

You may want to stay longer in Ho Chi Minh City or Bangkok so feel free to arrive a few days early or depart a few days later. We can book your extra hotel nights for you if you wish. Just send us a request by email with dates you would like at least 30 days before departure.

What should I expect in terms of school visits?

GEEO tries to include anywhere from 1 to 3 school visits per program; however these visits are never a guaranteed part of our programming. School visits can be very tricky.

• In many of the countries we visit, schools will be closed for vacation over the summer. In that case we try to arrange an informal meeting with local teachers or a visit to a summer school.

• Some of our shorter programs are so packed with activities and places to see that we feel a school visit would mean the group would have to miss out on something important. In that case a school visit may not be scheduled.

• Many times we spend hours setting up a visit only for the school to cancel on us at the last minute.

• Often arranging school visits is easier if done in person with short notice. Your tour leader will try to schedule ad hoc school visits for your group when possible.

• Each school visit is different. We aim for you to get a tour of the school, sit in on a class and have a Q and A session with some of the staff.

• If we do schedule a school visit it is important that the entire group attend. In the past we have offended schools that were expecting ten visiting educators and only three came.

• Over time we try to establish long term relationships with schools so we can have more predictable, immersive visits that are rewarding for both our guests and the schools themselves.

Should I bring school supplies with me to donate to a school?

You can if you wish. Please keep in mind it is important for you to pack light for your trip and school supplies can take up a lot of space. Sometimes school visits are at the end of the trip so you may be carrying the supplies for the entire trip. Sometimes we aren't able to arrange a school visit at all so you would then have to figure out a way to give them out yourself.

Our advice is to bring little if any supplies with you and instead buy supplies locally when your tour leader tells you a school visit is planned. They can help the group pool money and purchase supplies such as books, athletic equipment, pencils and paper. This will allow you to give an appropriate gift, save room in your pack and also help the local economy. We encourage you to establish relationships with the schools that we visit. In the past some of our participants have run fundraisers for needy schools and have mailed supplies to the schools.

What vaccinations do I need for this trip?

We legally cannot give you any medical advice. It is very important to consult your doctor or a travel clinic about which vaccinations you will need for your trip. GEEO recommends contacting Passport Health, (http://www.passporthealthusa.com/) who have travel clinics throughout the US. Please take this seriously!

Is there clothing that is considered inappropriate that I should not bring?

In Asia the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing try to pick loose, lightweight, long clothing that will keep you cool in the usually hot and humid climate of Asian summers. In predominately Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim countries we ask that you dress respectfully and avoid very short shorts/skirts and singlets/tanktops when visiting temples or mosques or other holy sites.

Do I need plugs and current converters for my electronic devices?

There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.

Thailand, Laos and Vietnam use a combination of both American and European outlets, The type A and type C plugs. In all three countries the voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an "Input" line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, "Input: 100 - 240V" means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can't handle the different voltage, you'll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.

Is the water safe to drink?

Unless your tour leader tells you differently, only bottled water should be drunk, and this is readily available for purchase. Fruit and vegetables should be peeled, washed in boiled water and in the case of the latter, well cooked. Meat and fish should also be fresh, well-cooked and hot, to avoid possible infection.

Is there Internet access? Should I bring a computer? Mobile phone?

There are Internet cafes in most of the places we visit and most of the hotels also have computers that can be used as well as wifi. Expect to be able to check your email every two to three days. You can also bring along your mobile phone if you choose. Make sure you check with your phone company before you leave to find out the rates for calling back to the US and if they have any special international plans that are worth taking advantage of. International roaming rates can be extremely high, so you don’t want to be surprised. You can bring a laptop/netbook/tablet computer if you wish, but remember, GEEO and G Adventures are not responsible for the damage or theft of you valued items.

What is the weather like?

In parts of Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand the wet season runs from around May to October. The wet season is characterized by a downpour for a few hours each day rather than all-day torrential downpours. The advantages of this season are somewhat lower temperatures, cleaner air and smaller crowds.

Do you have advice on tipping?

It is customary in Asia to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is expected - though not compulsory - and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. You may do this individually, or your tour leader will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $1-$2 USD per person per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your tour leader for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

What is expected from me from an educational stand point?

Please take a look at the "Sharing your Adventure section of our website by clicking here.

Is there advice that past participants would like to pass onto you?

Quotes from past participants:

"I think it is already in there, but emphasize the need for small bills ($1, $5, $10). I brought plenty with me, but many of my tour group members struggled to get change."

"$2 bills are considered lucky, it is nice to pay or tip with them when possible"

"Be prepared for lots of time on the road. The stops on this trip are amazing, but you will have to be patient."

What happens if GEEO doesn't reach the minimum number of participants needed for this trip?

Typically we reach the minimum number for our groups in the month of April. If we do not have the minimum number of participants needed we will re-price the trip for the amount of people signed up, adding on a surcharge. It will be up to each individual whether they still wish to travel with the group at the new rate. If they choose to withdraw from the program at that time they will be issued a full refund. If need be we will cancel a trip and issue the entire group a full refund. It is important that you do not book your flights before a group is confirmed! It is pretty rare for us to have to cancel trips.

What happens if it becomes unsafe to travel on this trip?

Your safety is our utmost priority and we will cancel a trip if we do not feel our participants will be safe. If GEEO or G Adventures cancels your trip we will issue a full refund of any payments you have made including the deposit. If YOU decide to cancel your trip you will have to abide by the rules of our terms and conditions.

What is the relationship between G Adventures and GEEO? Who is running this trip?

GEEO is an independent non-profit organization that helps teachers travel. GEEO negotiates with tour companies to get great deals for teachers. GEEO customizes these trips for teachers. GEEO provides educational materials to teachers before and after the trip to help bring the participating teacher's experience into the classroom. GEEO markets these programs to convince teachers to explore the world. For more about GEEO, please see our mission statement.

G Adventures is a tour company that GEEO has partnered with to run our trips. For over 20 years G Adventures has been sending hundreds of thousands of people abroad and today they are the largest adventure travel company in the world. They design the trips, provide expert tour leaders, ground logistics and work hard to make sure you have an excellent experience.

Is there any advice for finding funding for this program?

The first thing we recommend you do is speak to your school's principal and/or professional development coordinator. They may know of grants that your school district or state offers. Often schools reimburse teachers for professional development expenses. You can also try contacting your school's PTA or professional organizations that you belong to.

We also recommend applying for a Fund for Teachers grant, www.fundforteachers.org. These grants can be used on GEEO trips. Please note that they are only offered to teachers in a limited number of pre-selected school districts around the country.

What is the GEEO book club and which books have been selected for this program?

GEEO's book club is a way for you and your fellow participants to learn through literature about the places you will be traveling. For each trip we have selected four books, two fiction and two non-fiction. It is completely up to you whether you choose to read them as the GEEO book club is not required for our participants. We hope you will enjoy the books we have selected and they will enhance your experience. We welcome feedback on our selections so we can develop and improve the list for the following summer.

For your convenience we have a hot-linked each of the selected books to amazon.com. If you purchase this book through the link, Amazon will share some of the proceeds from the sale with GEEO, helping to fund our operations. You should hopefully be able to find most of our selections through your library system as well.

For this program we have selected the following books:

Fiction:

The King’s Last Song by Geoff Ryman, first published in 2007

Thailand fiction TBD

Non-Fiction:

When Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly Hayslip
When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him

For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

CAMBODIA

The Stones Cry Out: A Cambodian Childhood, 1975-1980 by Molyda Szymusiak
A Song for Cambodia by Michelle Lord (Children’s book), first published in 2008
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, by Loung Ung, first published in 2006
The Stone Goddess by Mingfo Ho (YA book), first published in 2003
Lightning on the Sun (Robert Bingham)
The Disappeared, by Kim Echlin, first published in 2009

THAILAND
Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap, first published in 2006
Silk Umbrellas by Carolyn Marsden, first published in 2004 (Children’s book)
Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, first published in 1944
Hush! A Thai Lullaby, by Mingfong Ho, first published in 1994 (Children’s book)

Vietnam
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain by Robert Olen Butler
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances FitzGerald
Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow
Catfish and Mandala, A Two Wheeled Voyage through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam, by Andrew X. Pham
The Unwanted, by Kien Nguyen
Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam by Robert Templer
The Ugly American, by William Lederer
Last night I Dreamed of Peace, the Diaries of Dang Thuy Tram by Dang Thuy Tram
The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam by Bao Ninh


Want more adventure? Save money by also booking our Vietnam program through our Multi-Trip Discount.

1049.00 USD

*Based on Double Occupancy, International Airfare not included

Availability: 0

This program is guaranteed to run and will have a maximum of 15 participants.

What's Included

  • Mekong Delta day trip. Cyclo tour (Phnom Penh). Tuol Sleng and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) entrance and guide. Angkor Wat complex entry and guide, including sunrise tour (Siem Reap). Local Khmer dinner in nearby village either at the New Hope school project or with a local family

  • G Adventures Tour Leader, local guides.

  • 8 breakfasts, 1 dinner. (Allow USD150-250 for meals not included.)

  • Local bus, air-con bus, walking, cyclo.

  • Hotels (8 nts).

What's Not Included

  • International air

  • Incidentals

  • Insurance

  • Applicable visas

  • Airport Taxes

  • Tips or gratuities

  • Beverages

  • Meals not mentioned above

  • Optional Tours or optional admissions