Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia
$4,595 + Airfare + $600 Intra Trip Flights
Jul 12 – Jul 28
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Ko Samet, Bangkok
|Optional group flight there:||
Los Angeles to Hanoi, Vietnam
|Optional group flight back:||
Bangkok, Thailand to Los Angeles
Southeast Asia leaves a lasting impression on all who visit – Join us as we explore the best of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, from their sprawling cities to their perfect beaches. Along the way we’ll take in the best sights and sounds that these ancient cultures have to offer as well as some well-earned beach time. Explore the best of Vietnam exploring the sights and sounds of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, transport yourself back in time to the Vietnam War as you wander the somber exhibits, then cruise, swim and venture through caves in the spectacular bioluminescent water in one of the new 7 Wonders of the World, UNESCO World Heritage site Halong Bay!
Head to Cambodia and explore the famous temple complex, Angkor Wat, before uncovering the country’s dark past with the Khmer Rouge. Spend a few days on the idyllic island of Ko Samet, snorkeling through vibrant reefs, relaxing on postcard beaches, getting awesome massages and eating delicious Thai cuisine. Finally end your Southeast Asia adventure in the bustling metropolis of Bangkok where you’ll be enchanted by the low hum of praying Monks, feast on delicious street food and marvel at the golden temples and palaces.
On this program you will:
- Treat your tastebuds to a culinary odyssey through the incredible Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian cuisines
- Be enthralled by a mesmerizing Water Puppet Performance, an art form dating back to the 11th Century
- Swim in the bioluminescent water of Ha Long Bay, one of the 7 new wonders of the world
- Tour important sites of the Vietnam War including the War Remnants Museum, the extensive labyrinth of Cu Chi Tunnels, and the infamous Hanoi Hilton
- Experience the bustling rivers of the Mekong Delta and witness its inhabitants’ traditional ways of life
- Get a glimpse into the gripping history of the Khmer Rouge as you visit Tuol Sleng Prison and the killing fields of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh
- Channel your inner tomb raider as you adventure through the impressive temples of Angkor Wat
- Relax on picture perfect white sand beaches on idyllic islands
- Uncover incredible underwater worlds as you snorkel and scuba dive* in the pristine waters of the Gulf of Thailand
- Learn to haggle along Khao San Rd, in the legendary floating markets of Bangkok and the bustling stalls of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
DAY 1: DEPART LOS ANGELES (FOR THOSE WHO OPT TO TAKE THE GROUP FLIGHT)
Your incredible adventure begins as soon as you pull away from the runway on your way to Vietnam!
DAYS 2 – 5: Hanoi & Ha Long Bay, VIETNAM
Arrive in Vietnam and immerse yourself in the moving recent history of this beautiful country. Gain insight into the Vietnam War as we visit the notorious Hanoi Hilton, a North Vietnamese military prison that was used to house and torture American POWs, and the Military Museum that boasts an impressive plethora of vehicles and weapons used by both sides during the conflict. In the city meander through Colonial Hanoi soaking in the amazing French architecture, fill your suitcase with exotic and novel souvenirs at the markets and witness a mesmerising Water Puppet Performance that showcases scenes of rural Vietnamese folklore accompanied by a traditional orchestra, an art form dating back to the 11th Century.
Transfer to nearby Ha Long Bay, where you’ll lap up a couple of days cruising on the UNESCO World Heritage site in the South China Sea, famous for its otherworldly peaks and bioluminescent water! In 2012 Halong Bay was officially named as one of the Seven New Wonders of the Natural World.
DAYS 5-7: HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM
Heading South to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) we’ll explore the confronting nature of war as we wander the somber exhibits of the War Remnants Museum before checking out the warren-like Cu Chi Viet Cong tunnels, an infamous underground highway which allowed the Viet Cong to launch numerous devastating sneak attacks on the American GI’s around HCMC. Soak in the atmosphere of the Mekong Delta as you visit Long, Lan Qui and Phuong Island, enjoying traditional vietnamese folk music. By night you’ll live like a local sipping delicious Vietnamese coffee and whizzing around the colonial streets on your humble cyclo.
DAYS 7-9: PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
Journey to Cambodia and the capital Phnom Penh, which was once known as The Pearl of Asia, due to the beautiful French colonial architecture still on display in the city. After the devastating effects of the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975-79, the city has been recovering steadily and is now one of the most fascinating in South East Asia. The poignant, haunting memorials of Tuol Sleng Museum and Choeung Ek are a must for any visitor.
DAYS 9-11: SIEM REAP & ANGKOR WAT, CAMBODIA
Catch a short flight North to Siem Reap, to explore Angkor Wat, a 12th century Khmer temple that was swallowed by the jungle for centuries. This supremely beautiful temple complex is the largest of its kind and is a must-see for any traveller to Southeast Asia.
DAYS 11-14: KO SAMET, THAILAND
Swap the hustle and bustle for tranquility, white sand beaches, exotic coral and crystal clear waters of beautiful Ko Samet. Spend a day island hopping to some of the best beaches and swimming spots dotted around this picturesque island, snorkelling or scuba diving* amongst a plethora of amazing marine life. See beautiful sunsets over the water and enjoy delicious a Thai BBQ right on the beach.
DAYS 14-16: BANGKOK, THAILAND
We finish In Bangkok, where ancient temples sit next to soaring skyscrapers and the low hum of praying Monks enchants locals and travelers alike. You’ll haggle for exotic souvenirs on Khao San Rd and at the famous floating markets, learn the path to Enlightenment in iconic temples such as Wat Arun and finally feast on delicious street food; aromatic Thai curry and the super sweet mango sticky rice! Cap off an incredible three-country voyage with one final delicious dinner in Hanoi with the whole group, to celebrate the journey of a lifetime.
DAY 17: GROUP FLIGHT BACK TO THE USA
WHAT KIND OF TEEN TYPICALLY PARTICIPATES IN THIS PROGRAM?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN?
This program is only for students who are currently in 9th through 12th grade and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Hanoi we stay at luxuriously appointed four star hotel in the Old Quarter close to all the main sights. In Ho Chi Minh we stay at a three star hotel right in the heart of the city. In Phnom Penh we stay at a wonderful right on the river downtown. In Siem Reap we stay at a fantastically located hotel with a rooftop pool to wind down after a day exploring the temples of Angkor Wat. In Koh Samet we stay at a laid-back boutique resort right on the water. In Bangkok we stay in a modern hotel in close proximity to the main attractions and best parts of the city.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a program.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
WHAT DO STUDENTS LIKE MOST ABOUT THIS PROGRAM?
Students love the wide variety of adventures that they experience on this whirlwind adventure. From investigating the temples of Angkor Wat to swimming in the bioluminescent waters of Ha Long Bay and cruising to unspoilt beaches and reefs in the Gulf of Thailand, this program leaves students with a lifetime of amazing memories!
What is unique about this program?
This program combines all the best parts of three fascinating Southeast Asian countries, giving you an insider pass to step through the history pages as you explore their poignant, often compelling pasts. The itinerary balances this perfectly with the the gems and adventures travelers love.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts, lunches and dinners, chaperones and guides, program-related activities and admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the program fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Programs may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
This program can be connected to programs in Asia, Africa, Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand. At the end of the Thailand program, your counselor will escort you to the airport and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Vietnamese cuisine, considered on one the healthiest in the world. Fresh flavors, aromatic herbs and distinctive flavors are what set this cuisine apart, with favorites like a steaming bowl of freshly made Pho or some succulent, crispy spring rolls.
Khmer cuisine the food of Cambodia draws upon Chinese and French influences, contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures. You’ll fall in love with the exotic variety of tastebud tantalising meals, including the traveler’s favorite Amok trey or a Cambodian BBQ cooked on the table right in front of your eyes!
Finally finish the program with some famous Thai cuisine, bursting full of flavor, aromatic smells and vivid color, with lots of attention paid to balance, detail and variety. You’ll savor the best Pad Thai of your life and that’s just to start. Take your pick from hundreds of incredible dishes featuring mouth-watering combinations of rice, noodles, seafood, meats and fresh vegetables. What will your new favorite be?
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. At our accommodations, students will have a good amount of free time to enjoy the facilities but will not be able to leave the grounds without one of our staff members. Our time in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Siem Reap, and Bangkok will be fairly regimented to maximize the activities we can enjoy during our time, however there will be some free time to go shopping and explore established parts of Ko Samet, Angkor Wat, and Ha Long Bay. Additionally, a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time that they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/. After you register, we will provide you with a list of vaccinations you should consider discussing with your child’s family doctor.
What kind of Visa do you need for this program?
Any US citizen that enters Thailand does not require a visa. Instead you will automatically receive a 30-day stay in the country. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!