Vietnam & Cambodia Gay Cruise

Ancient Ruins, a Luxurious Gay Cruise and Scintillating Saigon Await.

DESCRIPTION

Kick off the new year with us in Siem Reap, the perfect basecamp from which we’ll spend a few days exploring the temples of Angkor. Then we’ll board a 7-night gay cruise where we’ll be lavished with Cambodian hospitality and cuisine, and outlandish entertainment with Miss Conception. As we make our way down the Mekong River in an authentic Cambodian riverboat we’ll visit small and remote villages renowned for their crafts, along with the capital city of Phnom Penh. Once we cross into Vietnam the adventure wraps up with two nights in Saigon, which teems with ten million residents and eight million bikes. This is the most all-inclusive adventure we offer, with all meals, drinks with dinner, and onboard beer/spirits covered in the trip price.

QUICK FACTS

Duration: 13 Days/12 Nights
Starts In: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ends In: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam
Group Size: Min 20, Max 46
Deposit: $750 USD
Physical Rating: 2/5
Accommodation: 4-Star Hotel (2 nights), 5-Star Hotel (3 nights), Luxury River Cruise (7 nts)
Cabin Types: Main Deck ($4850)/Upper Deck ($5650)

DEPARTURES & PRICES:

Jan. 1, 2020 to Jan. 13, 2020 - 4850.00 USD

HIGHLIGHTS

• Sunrise at Angkor Wat – the ultimate taste of Cambodia and a bucket list essential
• Decadent seven-night gay river cruise
• Three on-board performances by fabulous Female Delusionist Extraordinaire, Miss Conception
• Circus show featuring impassioned performances by local artists
• Sensational restaurants that celebrate local cuisine
• Sobering visits to the Killing Fields, Cu Chi Tunnels and other noted war sites

Joom reab sour – welcome to Cambodia! Siem Reap is a fast-growing resort town and the gateway to the Angkor temple complex. Our trip kicks off at 6PM with a group meeting, dinner and drinks. Tonight’s restaurant celebrates traditional Khmer fare in a lavish venue. If you’re surviving the jet lag why not join us after dinner for drinks at a local gay bar?

Today is devoted to temple-hopping. We begin with iconic Angkor Wat, where bas-relief carvings and ancient architecture offer excellent photography fodder. After lunch we’ll ride a remork (motorized rickshaw) to Angkor Thom, famous for 50 gothic towers and 200 faces carved into the stone. Our day ends with a relaxing evening back at our luxurious accommodations. We'll enjoy an exquisite dinner at the hotel restaurant highlighting authentic Khmer cuisine.

The sun rising over Angkor Wat is one of the most amazing sights in the world (the brutally early wake-up call will be worth it). After we return to the hotel for breakfast we’ll carry on to Banteay Srei, a sandstone temple devoted to Hindu god Shiva. We’ll also visit Ta Prohm, crumbling and consumed by the jungle, and best known as the location where Tomb Raider was filmed. Lunch will be served at the hotel, then we’ll have the afternoon to kick back by the pool. Our day ends with dinner in a rustic wooden house and a trip to the circus Organized by the not-for-profit Phare Ponleu Selpak School, the show features young performing artists from disadvantaged backgrounds who bring modern art to life.

After breakfast we’ll transfer to Kampong Cham to board the beautiful RV Mekong Pandaw, with a simple boxed lunch served en route. Enjoy cocktails on the Sunset Deck, followed by a safety briefing and our first dinner aboard.

This morning we’ll visit Wat Hanchey, an important centre of worship during the Chenla period. The site is located on a hill above the Mekong River and features some of the region's best views. Afterwards, we'll enjoy lunch aboard our cruise ship as we sail to Kampong Cham. From here we'll travel by bus to the OBT Chiro Village to spend some time in the local school, meeting the children and teachers. To wrap up our busy day, we'll bus to Wat Nokor Bachey, a notable temple made completely from Black Sandstone. Our guide will indulge us in the many tales surrounding this temple before we head back to the ship for dinner.

Continuing downstream we’ll visit Koh Oknha Tey, or ‘Silk Island’. With a long history of silk-weaving in the area, we’ll study the entire production process right back to the silkworms themselves. At the end of the tour you’ll have a chance to shop (the scarves are popular souvenirs), and you’ll also see a demo of the ancient martial art known as Bokator.

Explore Cambodia's capital by tricycle taxis known as cyclos. We’ll visit the Silver Pagoda, the National Museum, and the Royal Palace. Our drivers come from The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh, a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to the drivers of these unique cabs. In the afternoon we’ll pay a humbling visit the Killing Fields along with the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng – or S21 detention centre. Our cruise will overnight in the city, giving us a chance to experience the colourful gay nightlife.

As we make our way to (and through) the Vietnam border, you can enjoy an optional tour of the working ship or take a fruit-carving class. This afternoon, explore the bucolic canal system of Tan Chau, then visit a Taoist temple where the monks will read our fortunes. You’ll also help farmers tend their fields in Xi Lois, then visit a fish farm where you can help release their stock into the Mekong River.

Explore this island, known for beautiful landscapes and handicrafts, by tuk-tuk. Experience basket production, a 100-year old Catholic Church, and woodworking artisans. Then we’ll take a coach trip to visit Gao Giong, a bird sanctuary where egrets and others gather by the thousands across the Duong Tharp Muoi, or ‘Plain of Reeds’.

After breakfast our ship will moor off Cho Lach island. Here you can discover pot making and enjoy other glimpses of delta lifey. Then we’ll cruise downstream to the provincial capital of Ben Tre. From here we’ll board sampans, flat-bottomed wooden boats, to ride through mangroves and bamboo groves to the fruit orchards. Here the artisans will share tea, fruit and honey products with us. On our return journey we’ll travel by horse-cart through the lush countryside.

The cruise is over, but our trip is not! This morning we transfer to Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon), with a stop at the Cu Chi Tunnels en route. This extensive underground network, dug by the Viet Minh and Viet Cong, contained hospitals, accommodations and schools during the war. We’ll then check-in to our lavish riverside hotel and freshen up for dinner at KOTO (a fantastic restaurant that trains underprivileged youth). The rest of the evening is free to relax.

“Saigon” is full of chaotic thrills where ancient and modern worlds mingle. We’ll visit Thien Hau Temple, dedicated to the goddess of seafarers. We’ll delve into Chinatown and the dazzling markets. Lunch will be a classic Vietnamese ‘pho’ noodle soup, before we head for the Reunification Palace, War museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, General Post office and Opera House. After that one last ambitious afternoon, we’ll celebrate with a Farewell Dinner at one of the city’s finest restaurants.

There are no activities planned today until your complimentary departure transfer. Safe travels home, or why not keep the adventure alive with our Hanoi Tour Extension.

• Arrival & departure transfers to/from Out Adventures’ joining/finishing point hotel
• Group leader from beginning to end of tour 
• All meals
• Angkor Temple Tours


• 7-night Luxury River Cruise 
• Phare Circus
• Ho Chi Minh City Tour
• Gratuities for hotel porters, drivers, ship crew and guides


• International airfare
• Other activities, meals and extra costs at hotels not mentioned
• Incidental gratuities (more info will come in trip documents)


• Items of a personal nature
• Visa fees
• Travel insurance is mandatory for all travellers. Visit www.outadventures.com/insurance for more details.

Out Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever's on the itinerary - from fireside camping to five-star decadence - our goal is to make the experience magical. We're also committed to supporting the communities we visit by hiring local guides, staying at locally-owned accommodations when possible, and celebrating local cuisine. It all adds up to a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.

CAMBODIA VISA: Visas can be organized either in advance or on arrival. Check with your embassy or consulate, and allow about three weeks for processing. It's also possible to obtain your Cambodian visa on arrival at the airport or border crossing for about $25 US (cost subject to change). There may be exceptions, and all visas are the traveller's responsibility.

VIETNAM VISA: Visas must be arranged in advance through your local Vietnamese embassy or consulate. This trip does not qualify for a visa on arrival, as we enter Vietnam while on the river cruise, and not at a major port or airport. All visas are the traveller's responsibility, and you can reference the entry date of 08JAN2020.

CULTURE SHOCK: When visiting Vietnam and Cambodia you'll see both good and bad. Poverty is widespread, but the friendly locals make up for it. Since English speakers can be hard to find, arm yourself with a phrase book and a sense of humour!

LOCAL LGBT SCENE: Vietnam and Cambodia aren't gay hotspots, but's there's an impressive amount of nightlife in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap. From hole-in-the-wall drag bars, to cafes, to some of the best lady-boy cabarets we've seen, you certainly won't be at a loss for things to do after a day of temple hopping.

WEATHER: December and January are the best months to travel to this region. Rain is rare and the humidity less oppressive. Travel with a light sweater and jacket, but keep summer essentials handy: midday temperatures can eclipse 30°C/85°F.

REQUIRED VACCINATIONS: Based on the entry requirements, there are no vaccinations needed for entry. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic. Out Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

ELECTRICITY: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type A/C/G sockets. Visit http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/cambodia/ and http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/vietnam/ for more information.

CONNECTIVITY: All of our hotels will have Wi-Fi access. The ship has Wi-Fi when in Phnom Penh, in public areas (albeit slow). If you require connectivity, we recommend purchasing an international data plan or local SIM card (with an unlocked device). Even with a SIM card or roaming plan, coverage may be weak.

Built in Rangoon in 2002, the RV Mekong Pandaw was designed specifically for the Mekong. The MP as she is affectionately known is a spacious ship with wide promenades, a large dining hall and more public space per passenger than any known ship on the Mekong. In 2012 she was refitted to include a small spa, gym, library lounge and office. She is quite justifiably the most splendid ship on the Mekong and the envy of anything that floats by.

 

Shinta Mani Resort
Junction of Oum Khun and 14th Street, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Phone: +855 63 761 998

The five-star Shinta Mani represents the epitome of contemporary Southeast Asian charm. Fully renovated in 2015, the colonial architecture celebrates a bygone era of luxury.

Standard check-in time is between 2PM and 3PM. We are unable to arrange early check ins, however you are able to store your luggage and explore the central area near the hotel while you wait. If you would like a guaranteed early check-in, you will need to reserve a pre-tour night of accommodation.

Liberty Central Saigon Riverside
17 Ton Duc Thang St., Dist. 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Phone: +84 8 38 27 17 17

For everybody's peace of mind, medical travel insurance is required on all Out Adventures tours. At a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, with a minimum medical coverage of US $50,000.

For more details, visit www.outadventures.com/insurance.

This tour will be led by several Local Guides, Out Adventures Co-Founder Robert Sharp, & Female Delusionist “Extra-Ordinaire” Miss Conception. Here are a few words from your hosts:

Robert Sharp
Robert Sharp

Owner | Out Adventures

Hello!

I’m thrilled to be hosting our sophmore Vietnam & Cambodia River Cruise!

First of all, Cambodia is home to some of the friendliest, most humble people in the world. They've come so far since the mass genocide of the Khmer Rouge, and they have strong initiatives to empower and educate the youth affected by the nation’s violent history. Since I’m such a believer in their efforts, I want to share some of them with you. That’s why, among other things, we’ll dine at a hospitality training restaurant in Siem Reap, and visit the Phare Circus, where performers use theatre, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian Stories.

In Vietnam, we visit a similar hospitality training restaurant amidst other fabulous meals (and incredible sightseeing). Ho Chi Minh City is a juxtaposed metropolis, where ancient temples share the skyline with modern towers, and where the best meal can be a simple pho noodle bowl – my tastebuds are tingling just thinking about it!

As for our Mekong River cruise? There will be plenty of time to relax, read (try Saigon, by Anthony Grey), and explore Vietnam and Cambodia from the river’s rare vantage point.

-Robert

Robert Sharp
Miss Conception

Female Delusionist "Extra-Ordinaire"

Darlings,

Now that Robert has introduced himself, let me liven things up a bit (love you, Robert!). This will be my second schlep through Southeast Asia, and I’m so friggin excited to be heading back!

For those of you who don’t know me (GASP), I’m Female Delusionist Extraordinaire Miss Conception, a fierce figure with seventeen years of saucy swagger behind me. I love to travel the world, entertaining lovelies like you. I’ve been the opening act for Leslie Jordan (of Will and Grace) and Lorna Loft (gay icon Judy Garland’s daughter), and I’ve even performed with Courtney Act (from RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Tony-Award winners Ann Hampton Callaway and Levi Kreis.

On this trip, you’ll experience my crazy personality, plenty of charm, and my infectious laugh. You’ll also get to meet my alter-ego Kevin…he’s a great guy with a bubbly personality to liven up your meals, excursions, and maybe even your cabin (wink wink). All that plus a couple of knock-your-socks-off shows and even an interactive game show!

Get ready to commence fabulousness!

Smooch!
-Miss C, a.k.a., Kevin

Out Adventures are a great way to meet people from around the world and all walks of life. Bear in mind that everybody's there for a good time, so mutual respect will go a long way. Please be on time for any meet ups, empathetic to the needs of others, and ready to roll with whatever the adventure brings.

Although we can't tell you who your fellow travellers will be for privacy reasons, we can tell you many great friendships began with an Out Adventure. And just because we're a gay tour operator doesn't mean we're exclusive: friends and family are always welcome to join the fun.

If you've never travelled on your own, it's an amazing way to get to know yourself while making new friends along the way. We can arrange for you to share a room with people in your age range at no charge, or you can pay a supplement for your own room. And if there's an odd number of solos, we'll rotate a single room on a random basis.

The itinerary is correct at time of publishing. If anything, it will only improve with feedback from prior travellers and our own research. It's best to reference your final trip documents, rather than our website, in case there have been changes that affect your departure.

All meals and drinks are included on this trip. From authentic food served on the ship, to the best restaurants in Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh, you won't head home hungry!

Gratuities are included; however we do recommend tipping for any drinks that are not included, or any services that you purchase above and beyond your packaged tour. We do not recommend tipping guides and staff individually, so please provide any additional tips to your Out Adventures Group Leader, which will be added to the group's gratuities.

CAMBODIA: The local currency is the Cambodian Riel, however USD is widely accepted. We recommend carrying local currency or small USD bills for small purchases, however credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants and hotels.

VIETNAM: The local currency is the Vietnam Dong, however USD is widely accepted in major centres. We recommend carrying local currency or small USD bills for small purchases, however credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants and hotels.

ON THE SHIP: Any additional costs (espresso, spa, laundry, premium liquor) may be paid in cash (USD) or on credit card while on the ship.

NOTE: We recommend carrying approximately $400 USD to be used in case of an emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold. This should be in addition to any spending money.

Most Out Adventures entail carrying your own luggage on occasion. And while you'll never schlep far, things can quickly get costlier than a celebrity breakup if you don't keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb thanks to costly surcharges on domestic flights. You should also bring something smaller for day trips to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you find along the way.

The following packing list is a guideline, not gospel. Our Out Adventure Specialists are happy to answer any specific questions about how much or little to bring.

Travel Documents:

  • Passport/Visas/Flight Itineraries/Travel Insurance
  • Pre-trip packet
  • Credit/ATM card

General Personal Items:

  • Eye mask/ear plugs
  • Smartphone/camera/tablet/charging cords/International travel plug.
  • Daypack
  • Luggage lock
  • Personal Wipes
  • Guidebook/Phrase book/Reading material
  • Protection for your devices from water
  • Travel-size towel

Shoes:

  • Socks
  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • 'Nice' shoes for dinners

Bottoms:

  • Underwear
  • Pants/Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Swimwear
  • 'Nice' pants for dinners

Tops:

  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Sweaters
  • 'Nice' shirts for dinners

Jackets:

  • Waterproof jacket/poncho

Other:

  • Sunglasses/Hat
  • Small Umbrella
  • Refillable water bottle(s)

Health-related Items:

  • Small First aid kit including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, zinc oxide tape and small scissors, blister pads, diarrhea tablets, dioralyte rehydration packs
  • Personal Medication
  • High protection sunscreen/lip balm
  • Insect repellent/bite cream/antihistamine
  • Antibacterial gel/wipes
  • Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste & deodorant

All Out Adventures guests must have a good level of health. All tours, regardless of activity level, involve uneven steps, stairs, walking tours, and you will be required to carry your own luggage from time to time. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate individuals with limited mobility unless they are willing to absorb the cost of a private guide/assistant which varies by country and is only possible on a case by case basis. It is also your responsibility to advise Out Adventures of any pre-existing medical conditions that may increase the risk of you requiring medical attention, or that may affect the normal conduct of the tour and the enjoyment of the tour by other participants.

Below is a breakdown of our Physical Rating guide.

1 - Relaxing

  • Very little or no hiking
  • Light activities such as walking, bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
  • Low altitude
  • Suitable for all fitness levels

2 - Light

  • Light walking and hiking (2 hours or less per day and at low altitude)
  • Light activities such as bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
  • Suitable for most fitness levels

3 - Average

  • Light walking and hiking (3 hours or less per day, rarely at high altitude)
  • Some activities such as biking, paddling or swimming. Active days are mixed with relaxed days
  • Suitable for an average fitness level

4 - Demanding

  • Walking, hiking is a component of the tour (can range from 2 hours to 6 hours per day, at various altitudes)
  • Activities such as biking, paddling or swimming may be mixed in
  • Suitable for a good fitness level

5 - Challenging

  • Walking, hiking, biking, paddling or kayaking are the vast majority of the trip (can range from 2 hours to 8 hours per day, generally at high altitude)
  • Activities will likely happen day after day with limited rest days
  • Suitable for above average fitness level