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:
Owner | Out Adventures
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.
Female Delusionist "Extra-Ordinaire"
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!
-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.
- 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.
- Luggage lock
- Personal Wipes
- Guidebook/Phrase book/Reading material
- Protection for your devices from water
- Travel-size towel
- Walking shoes
- 'Nice' shoes for dinners
- 'Nice' pants for dinners
- Short-sleeved shirts
- Long-sleeved shirts
- 'Nice' shirts for dinners
- Waterproof jacket/poncho
- Small Umbrella
- Refillable water bottle(s)
- 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