Motorbikes In Ho Chi Minh City

HO CHI MINH CITY TO SINGAPORE (44 days) South East Asia Highlights

Small Group Adventure

South East Asia Highlights

Countries Visited: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam

Discover some of South East Asia's most dynamic and modern cities to tropical rainforests and isolated, unspoilt beaches this local transport trip takes in many iconic highlights, while also uncovering some unknown gems well off the backpacker trail.

Route Map

HO CHI MINH CITY TO SINGAPORE (44 days) South East Asia Highlights
Click map to enlarge

Highlights

  • Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam's fast and frenetic capital
  • Visit the floating markets on the Mekong Delta
  • Enjoy the vibrant bustling city of Phnom Penh - with museums, temples, palaces and markets to be explored
  • Picturesque boat journey from Battambang to Siem Reap up the Tonle Sap Lake passing through floating villages
  • A guided tour around the spectacular archaeological site of Angkor Wat
  • Enjoy a week relaxing on the tropical beaches of Ko Samui or Ko Pha-ngan
  • Hike through Gunung Leuser National Park in search of the majestic orangutan
  • Take in the sites, of the colonial town of Georgetown and enjoy fantastic food
  • Malaysia's showpiece island, with unspoilt beaches - Pula Perhenthian Besar
  • Explore Malaysia's modern capital, boasting an impressive skyline including the Petronas Towers

Includes

  • Accommodation - simple hostels/hotels (except 'Beach Week' in Thailand)
  • War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City - Entrance fee
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh - Entrance fee and guided tour
  • Killing Fields, Phnom Penh - Entrance fee and guided tour
  • Angkor Wat, Siem Reap (1 Day Pass) - Entrance fee and guided tour
  • Boat trip from Battambang to Siem Reap including Tonle Sap Lake
  • Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace, Bangkok - Entrance fee
  • Jungle trek including visit to orangutan feeding station and inner tube river trip, Sumatra
  • Perhentian Islands - Entrance fee and speed boat trip
  • Singapore Sling at Raffles, Singapore
  • Meals - approx. 20%
  • All local transport (excluding Penang - Medan return flights)
  • Services of Oasis Tour Leader

Excludes

  • Visas
  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information
  • Penang - Medan Return Flights
  • Airport Taxes & Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals - approx. 80%
  • International Flights
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Trip Itinerary

Our South East Asia adventure begins in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) also known as Saigon. This city pulsates 24/7, as countless motorbikes swarm through its crowded streets with plenty to keep us occupied for a couple of days. We will visit the War Remnants Museum and you will also have time to visit Reunification Palace, or take a day trip to the nearby Cu Chi Tunnels, where the Vietcong dug out an underground network of supply lines during the war. Also, not far from HCMC you can visit the Cao Dai Temple, a unique religious sect that fuses many different elements with colourful and memorable services that visitors are welcome to observe. There are also day trips available to the Mekong Delta, to see where this mighty river finally ends its long journey into the sea. Fortunately for us, this is not the end of our Asian adventure!

HCMC is often a tiring and relentless experience with so much to do and its unremitting pace, so it’s a good thing that next up we have the more laid-back feel of Cambodia. A country with a tragic past, as the horrors of the Khmer Rouge are still within living memory, most visitors are amazed and inspired at the positivism and endeavour of the people who live in this stunning country, which is also home to one of the greatest ancient wonders to be found anywhere in the world: Angkor Wat.

First off though, we spend three nights in Phnom Penh, a city on the rise. Along with the splendour of Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, there are more sombre reminders of Pol Pot’s brutal regime at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high school that was turned into a prison that has now been preserved and now serves as a chilling monument to a dark period, and also a respectful memorial to those who lost their lives. On the edge of town it is also possible to visit the Killing Fields, a similarly harrowing but valuable experience.

But this is in the past, and the local people in Phnom Penh have put it all behind them and live life at a frantic pace. With neon signs mixed in with many tastefully restored French Colonial buildings, it’s a great city to just wander around and enjoy fine cuisine and buzzing nightlife.

From Phnom Penh we stop for a couple of nights in Battambang, a city on the bank of the Sangkae River. This city has some more great temples and Buddhist shrines to explore, and the infamous ‘Bamboo Railway’, a truly unique and hair-raising experience!

We leave Battambang by boat, cruising along the Tonle Sap lake upriver to Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat. This iconic abandoned temple, which adorns the national flag of Cambodia, is said to be the world’s largest religious monument. But there is far more to the whole site, known collectively as the Temples of Angkor, and away from the most famous site there are countless ruins to explore, many of which have been slowly reclaimed by the surrounding jungle and it doesn’t take too much effort to find yourself completely away from the crowds. We include entry for one day to the whole site, which can be explored either by tuk-tuk with a hired driver/guide for the day, or by yourself on bicycle, as it is only a short distance from Siem Reap itself.

The fact that Angkor Wat is so nearby gives Siem Reap the feel of a busy tourist town. This has obvious pitfalls, but also means it is a great place to enjoy a night out and bump into travellers from all over the world going in each and every direction.

A full day’s drive and border crossing brings us to Bangkok, the vast and steamy capital of Thailand, known as the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles’. Bangkok has plenty to keep us occupied, from glitzy shopping malls full of western brands to ancient palaces and monuments to the revered royal family. We include entry into the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. We spend three nights here so there is time explore the many canals on a Khlong Tour, visit one of the weekend Floating Markets, or take a stroll down the world famous Khao San Road, the start and end point to many travellers’ journeys through South East Asia.You also have the option to visit the small town of Kanchanaburi, which is known for the Bridge on the River Kwai. Built by Allied prisoners of war during the Second World War the bridge was immortalised in the film of the same name. It is possible to view and cross the bridge, and the nearby Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and the war cemeteries are also well worth visiting.After our time in Bangkok we head to Surit Thani, from where we begin our beach week on one of Thailand’s famous tropical islands!

From Surit Thani we board one of the many ferries to take the short trip across to either Ko Pha-ngan or Ko Samui. These islands are famous, or perhaps infamous, for their Full Moon Parties and lively backpacker scene, but they are also home to some world-class scuba diving, quiet and idyllic white beaches with warm, inviting turquoise waters and it is easy to escape the crowds for some serious downtime!

The Thailand beach week is not included in the trip price, and you are free to make your own arrangements for your accommodation for this time, choosing where you’d like to stay and what you want to do! Return boats to and from the islands are included.

After some time out we all meet up again for the return trip to Surit Thani with an overnight stop in Hat Yai before entering Malaysia. This former British colony has an exotic blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European influences, which are reflected in the people, architecture and, perhaps most of all, its food!  Our first stop is Penang, where we spend a couple of nights and will have free time to explore.

Leaving Malaysia we take a short flight to Medan, just across the Strait of Melacca on Sumatra, in Indonesia where you can explore the Grand Mosque or palace, or just sit back and soak in the city’s coruscating atmosphere (flights are not included and can be booked during the trip). 

It is Sumatra’s lush jungles, one of the richest ecosystems in the world, steaming and at times rumbling volcanoes and blue crater lakes which make this part of the world fascinating and so different from everything else experienced on the expedition to date.

As we head into the interior of the world’s sixth largest island our destination is Lake Danau Toba, home of the Batak people. The lake covers an area of 1707 sq km and we head for the island in the middle of the lake called Pulau Samosir which is almost the same size as Singapore. The island offers many different options but the best way to experience it is to head off on a bike or motorbikes and explore the countryside, from swimming to trekking, to trying your hand at Indonesian cooking in one of the culinary schools and just enjoying the stunning scenery. The cool air, highland setting, with steep, pine-covered slopes, descending into the lake's deep blue water is great place to kick back and relax. The island's unique and fascinating Batak heritage, is evident in the clusters of sopo (tribal houses) with roofs that curve upwards, like buffalo horns, white-washed churches that dot the landscape, and ancient stones and monuments

For a bit of local flavour, visit a toddy shop and try a glass of 'tuak' (palm wine). The Batak people are known throughout Indonesia for their love of singing and playing music, and tuak is just the thing to get you fired up to join the singalong!

The wildlife in all this area is abundant but our next destination’s big attraction is the orangutan feeding station at Bukit Lawang. Deep in the Sumatran jungle, these feeding stations have been created to support the indigenous orangutans as much of the normal habitat has been removed for agriculture or palm oil plantations. By creating these feeding stations, the orangutans do not have to compete with the locals by raiding their fields. We visit the feeding station and there is also the opportunity to trek through the jungle and hope to spot these incredible creatures in their natural environment.

The Gunung Leuser National Park and surrounding area has plenty else to offer, from exploring the ‘bat cave’, day or overnight guided hikes in the national park on the search for wild orangutans and the many other primates and larger mammals in the park. The chance to float back down to the starting point on an inner tube is a great way to finish your trek!

Returning from Indonesia to Malaysia, we have time to explore the town of Georgetown on the island of Penang. Formerly the Malayan base for the historic East India Company, it’s a great spot to take a wander amongst the crumbling colonial buildings and check out the impressive street art. The other great thing is the food: Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand all had their fantastic cuisine to offer, and Malaysia offers another different twist with influences from India strongly evident in Georgetown.

Departing Penang we cross the Malaysian peninsula to another tropical paradise, this time the famous island of Pulau Perhenthian; one of Malaysia’s showpiece islands, it is refreshingly undeveloped and is a prime spot for snorkelling or diving. Imagine going for a snorkel just off the shore and seeing turtles and sharks! Getting to the islands is also an exciting speed boat road across the bay.

After three nights of relaxed tropical bliss, we drag ourselves off the beach and it’s time to head to the big city again as we reach Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and one of South East Asia’s most important economic centres. This sprawling city is typical of Malaysia, with a variety of neighbourhoods and districts, each representing the many cultures that have given Malaysia its distinctive character while also giving a nod to the direction of this emerging country. There is the colonial area around Merdeka Square, the chaos of Little India or Chinatown with its famous Jalan Petaling, where you can barter for all kinds of varied goods and trinkets, or the modern and dynamic area around the Golden Triangle, home to the iconic Petronas Towers (best viewed at night when they are lit up). For the best views of the city, KL Tower is only a short walk away.

After two nights in Kuala Lumpur we continue south to Melaka, our penultimate stop on the trip. This city’s history as a strategic trading post lends it a unique blend of Malay, Portuguese, Dutch and British flavours and influences. Take a boat trip on the Malacca River, explore the museums, temples and churches, climb the hill to St John’s Fort or take a trip out to the Melaka Zoo, considered to be the best in all of Malaysia.

And so, in a flash, you will be arriving into Singapore, our final stop on this epic journey. The city has plenty to offer, from a world-class zoo, to endless shopping malls, and a national passion for food that is hard to match! Known as the ‘Lion City’ it is one of Asia's most affluent and vibrant, and a great place to spend a couple of days exploring. It’s also a great place to celebrate the end of our epic journey across Asia, and so in the spirit of overlanding this epic route we head to the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel and raise a toast with a Singapore Sling and relive all the experiences that you have shared since your trip began.


Trip Joining Point: Thruong Thinh Hotel - Ho Chi Minh City

Start Time Day 1: 18:00

Address: 224 Ly Tu Trong, Phuong Ben Thanh, Ho Chi Minh City

Telephone: +84 8 38245830

Website: www.booking.com

Email: truongthinhhotel224@gmail.com

 

All prices listed are approximate and subject to limited availability. 

Room Type

Price

Description

Twin/Double en-suite

US$25.00

Per Room

Triple en-suite

US$35.00

Per Room

 

The trip starts from the Asian Hotel at approximately 8am on the morning of Day 1 of your trip.

Truong Thinh Hotel is conveniently placed just a 5-minute walk from the popular Ben Thanh Market. Modern rooms are equipped with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi access. It also houses a restaurant. District 1 is a great choice for travellers interested in museums, nightlife and shopping.

PRE-TRIP ACCOMMODATION:

Please book this direct with Thruong Thinh Hotel. Accommodation costs for any additional nights are payable direct to the Thruong Thinh Hotel in VND (Vietnamese Dong).

AIRPORT TRANSFERS:

Airport Transfer Costs: Approximately $50 USD

If you would like to arrange an airport transfer please contact Thruong Thinh Hotel directly, Prices quoted are per vehicle. If you have not arranged an airport transfer there are many taxi's available outside the airport. A taxi is approximately $40USD.

We recommend to change some currency into Vietnamese Dong in the airport at a bureau de change or there are ATM's - hostel rates can be low.

Day 1 of your trip is an arrivals day, there will be a pre-departure meeting in the starting hotel this evening, usually around 6:00pm. There will be a notice in reception advising the exact time and here your crew will explain how the day to day running of the trip works. Your Tour Leader will collect your Local Payment money as well as a photocopy of your passport information pageinsurance policy details with policy number and confirmation that the duration will cover you for the entire trip and a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. It is essential that you attend this meeting - please let the UK office or your tour leader know if you are unable to do so.

Post-trip accommodation can be arranged with your tour leader during the trip or directly with the hotel on arrival. The return airport transfer can be arranged through your hotel / hostel and is not included, it is at your own expense. We regret these services cannot be arranged via the Oasis office before departure.

Day 1 in your departure city, is an arrivals day. For your convenience we would advise that you arrive at the latest, on the afternoon of this day. You may wish to allow some extra time to explore your arrival city.

We recommend allowing an extra day post trip before booking a return flight, just in case of any unexpected delays.

There are many online flight search engines such as www.skyscanner.net or www.ebookers.co.ukflights can also be booked direct with airline websites or through travel agencies. Please inform us of your flight details through your online account, as airport transfers can be arranged for various trips.

One way ticket: If you intend to travel on a one way ticket to meet up with one of our trips, without possessing an onward flight ticket - we recommend that you  have a copy of your payment confirmation/receipt (that you will be sent at time of your balance payment) available at immigration to assist easy entry.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your trip finishes. This is a general requirement for all of the countries we travel to on our trips.

If you have dual nationality you can only use one passport for the entire trip. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Please bring 2 photocopies of your passport details to give to your tour leader.

As a guideline, you will need at least 1 blank page per country in your passport after you have obtained the relevant visa’s before your trip commences.

The information below is to be used only as a guide and may change without prior notice. It is advisable to contact the relevant embassy in plenty of time before the trip departs to check the current visa requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Most of the countries we travel through in South East Asia require a visa.  All, with the exception of China, can be obtained en-route, for most nationalities. Your China visa needs to be obtained before travelling, and a Letter of Invitation (LOI) is required, which we include in the trip price.

Visas must be paid for in USD cash ONLY.

Country 

 British 

   Aust  

 NZ 

 S.African 

USA

 Canadian 

China

£150

 £150 

  £150  

£150

  £150  

£150

Laos

£20

£20

£20

£20

£20

£20

Vietnam

Free

£60

£60

£60

£60

£60

Cambodia

£25

£25

£25

£25

£25

£25

 Thailand 

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Malaysia

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

 Indonesia

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

  Singapore 

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free

Free


For more information on other nationalities & visas checkout www.projectvisa.com

Cambodia

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Africa and most EU countries will require a visa for Cambodia. You can obtain this visa at the border on arrival. Approximate cost $35 USD.

You will need to bring 1 recent colour passport photos with a white background along with you to apply for the visa.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Indonesia

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Africa and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Indonesia.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Malaysia

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Africa and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Malaysia.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Singapore

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Africa and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Singapore.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Thailand

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, South Africa and most EU countries will not require a visa to enter Thailand.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Vietnam

Passport Holders from Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and Canada will require a visa to enter Vietnam. The visa will need to be arranged whilst on the trip in Laos. Your tour leader will provide details and help with the process. Approximate cost $75 USD.

British and some EU countries will not require a visa for a stay of up to 15 days.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

If you are starting your trip in Vietnam please check the entry requirements prior to travel as this will need to be organised in advance of arrival. 

It is possible that you may require some vaccinations for your trip, depending on the areas that you are visiting. As we are not medically trained, we are unable to give detailed advice on vaccination requirements, so please use the information below as a guide only. We have worked closely with Nomad Travel Clinics for many years and they offer Oasis travellers a 10% discount on vaccinations, anti- malarial drugs, first aid items, clothing and equipment, just enter discount code OASIS1000 at www.nomadtravel.co.uk. Alternatively you can check out the fit for travel website for more travel health information or consult a reputable travel clinic or your GP for information and advice. We suggest that you allow at least 8 weeks to get all your vaccinations.

Yellow Fever - Being vaccinated against Yellow Fever and having a valid certificate and a photocopy is deemed compulsory in many countries we visit, especially at certain borders and are needed if you are entering from an infected country. You can view a list of countries requiring a certificate through the World Health organisation http://www.who.int/ith/ITH_country_list.pdf

Rabies - Vaccinations are regularly recommended for some of the countries that we travel through - especially if time and money are not a deterrent.

Malaria - In some of the areas we visit there is a risk of contracting Malaria. You must be aware that whatever malaria prophylactics you are taking, they only offer partial protection. They must be coupled with your own physical efforts against being bitten - which is the best prevention. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes come out at sunset so from this time you should wear long sleeves and trousers. Exposed skin, especially ankles, should have insect repellent containing 'Deet' applied to them. Your crew will advise on where the worst affected areas are on the trip. There are a number of prophylactic malaria treatments on the market & requirements change.  It is also wise to take a sample of whichever prophylactic you choose, a few weeks before you leave.  This way you may determine early on if you have any adverse reactions so you can change the regimen if necessary. Please consult a reputable travel clinic or GP for advice. For more information visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk or www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk

Altitude sickness - This is caused by thin air (due to lack of oxygen) and can affect anyone arriving at high altitude (above 3000mtrs). The symptoms are headaches, dizziness, shortage of breath and possibly nausea. To avoid this or alleviate the symptoms make a point to acclimatize by arriving into a  high altitude destination a few days early and make sure you do not over exert yourself, rest for a few hours, avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, large meals and drink plenty of water.

As we are travelling mostly by land (as opposed to flying into a high altitude location) we should acclimatise gradually, and so avoid 'soroche', mountain sickness.

Dengue - Unlike the malaria mosquito, which bites at night, the dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day. Some areas we travel to do have occasional outbreaks & it is therefore advised that you take care not to be bitten during the day as well as at night. There is no vaccine available.

Health - To join our trips you should be in good general health. Your medical insurance company must be told if you have any pre-existing medical condition / allergy or if you are on any regular medication, otherwise you may not be covered under your policies for these. Our crew will need to know of any medication or conditions you may have. For general health advice log onto www.nathnac.org/travel/

It is a compulsory requirement that you have adequate travel insurance before you join any Oasis Trip & at the very least are insured for all necessary medical & repatriation costs incurred.

You will be asked to provide the following details in My Oasis Account if you have not already done so: travel insurance name, insurance policy number & insurance emergency telephone number. You will also be required to give a copy of your policy with this information to your tour leader on arrival with confirmation that the policy duration is sufficient to cover you for the entire duration of your trip.  It is also wise to leave a copy of your insurance policy with a friend or relative for safe keeping.

We believe that your safety and holiday enjoyment are very important. It is a mistake to think that "it will never happen to me". It is also very important that you are covered for all the activities that you may wish to undertake while on our trip. It is extremely important that you check the full extent of your cover related to 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance. In the event of you needing medical treatment you want to know that you have the best cover available to you. Your policy should include adequate Medical Emergency and Repatriation cover as well as Cancellation, Baggage and Personal Liability cover. You need to be aware of EXACTLY what activities your policy covers you for. Please note that skiing is not usually covered in most insurance policies. 

We offer tailor made Overland Adventure Travel Insurance that covers most of the adventure and sporting activities on our trips.

For further information on the insurance we offer, the activities covered and costs, check out the Travel Insurance section of our website. You can purchase our insurance by logging into My Oasis Account and click 'Buy Insurance' or through the following link.

Local Payment (LP)

LP is part of your overall trip payment and is the most cost effective and practical way to get hard currency to Asia to pay for a variety of your day-to-day local costs which cannot be pre-paid from the UK. It is a guaranteed amount, set before your trip departs, and unlike 'group kitty' systems we will not ask you to contribute more once the trip is underway.

Please note: Your LP is payable to your Tour Leader on the morning of departure in US$ Dollars CASH ONLY. Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and we will therefore be unable to accept them either. Please do not bring all of your Local Payment in US$100 notes and also make sure that they are post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB.

How to bring your currency?

It is best to bring your money in a combination of cash US dollars and debit/credit cards. Euros, British Pounds and other currencies can be exchanged, but tend to attract a less favourable rate than US dollars. ATMs are present in most towns and cities we visit and are generally reliable, though there will be times when it is not possible to get any money out for a few days at a time when in more remote areas. Besides memorising your PIN, it is also important to be aware of your daily withdrawal limit and bank withdrawal costs.

Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and shops. Please ensure your notes are dated post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB. Scottish pounds are also not accepted.

Spending Money

From past trips and traveller feedback £180 to £250 per week should cover costs such as meals out (on average 20% are supplied), soft and alcoholic drinks and beers, email and communications, small souvenirs and other general spending. Personal spending habits and budgets differ greatly from person to person. Budget on optional activities and visa costs separately (see visa section above and optional excursions page) and allow extra for your Local Payment contribution.

Changing money

Change your money only at banks, hotels, airports or forex bureaus. It is illegal to change money on the street, as these people will normally be opportunistic thieves or undercover police. Your Tour Leader will advise you where and when you can change money and with what means. It is also a good idea to have a small CASH emergency fund, to allow for the unexpected.

Credit and Debit Cards

If using credit or debit cards Visa is best; Mastercard and American Express have limited access through parts of Asia. Please note that usually you will be given local currency and NOT US$ or £GB. We recommend that you inform your bank that you will be using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked. 

Pre-Paid Travel Currency Cards

These cards are similar to normal Credit and Debit cards but they can be pre loaded with cash before you travel with a set amount allowing you to withdraw this cash using the card at normal ATMs. It is a more secure way to access cash on your trip, but again do not rely on these as your sole means of funds on a trip - (please refer to the ATM section). Several banks and companies now offer these cards, but be sure to look into the rates for withdrawing cash when making your decision. Pre-paid cards that use Visa are preferable to Mastercard, which can be difficult to use.

Tipping 

Is often expected and relied upon. It is more than a reward for services well done, but, as wages are extremely low, it is an accepted means of supplementing an income. If you would like to leave a tip for any activity/individual, you could organize this as a group and give a tip at the end. A recommended amount for restaurants is usually 10% of your total bill and similar for activities. Some countries also add an extra Government tax on restaurant bills.

Because it can be difficult to know what to tip, and because it has such importance in some areas both economically and culturally, there may be times and activities for which your Tour Leader will make it clear what level of tipping is 'customary/expected'. They may also be quite enthusiastic or assertive in encouraging you to take account of these suggestions. This is motivated by the knowledge of how important tipping can be, and the offence or confusion that can be caused when local people are tipped poorly. In the end, tipping remains at the discretion of the individual, but our crew will continue to advise on normal or average rates, and we would ask you to carefully consider the economic or personal impact of being seen as 'under tipping'. We know that many who travel with us are on a tight budget, but ask you to consider that those we work with locally may also face financial hardship, and also work very hard to try to give you unrivalled service/ experiences.

In the past we have been asked by travellers about tipping your Oasis Crew. If you choose to do this, it would be budgeted separately from the above. Our guys work very hard at making your trip a great travel experience. Working overseas can often be challenging and they are pretty much on call for you 24 hours a day, so it's appreciated as a thank you for hard work and good service, but of course not mandatory. Our suggestion is to budget around US$1 a day.

The climate in South East Asia is tropical, with high temperatures and generally quite humid year-round with rainfall is common, especially in the afternoon. The rainy season lasts roughly from May to October, but even during this time of year the rains usually take the form of short, heavy showers.

The less you take the less you have to pack, wash and lug home; you can always pick up extras along the way. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much gear. Clothes washing or laundry facilities will be available at least once a week. The climate in South East Asia is tropical, so pack for hot and humid conditions, with frequent, short heavy showers.

Make sure that you bring your gear in a traditional soft sided 70 - 90L rucksack or holdall - suitcases are not suitable. Remember baggage is limited to 20kg per person plus one day bag.


Equipment

Toiletries - Most available to buy on trip

  • Sleeping Bag liner
  • Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items
  • Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT rigid suitcase)
  • Water bottle - for personal use - we recommend Water-to-Go (see below Responsible Travel)
  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser
  • Sun block 35 + after sun, hat & sun glasses
  • Tampons (can buy in most places)
  • Contraception

Clothes

Personal Effects

  • One pair of trainers or boots
  • Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs
  • Underwear/socks
  • T shirts/shirts
  • Shorts/swimwear
  • Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings
  • Skirt or dress
  • Sweat shirt/jumper
  • Waterproof jacket/poncho
  • Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/memory card
  • Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)
  • Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)
  • Money belt
  • Personal stereo
  • Towel &/or sarong

What to wear - Keeping your arms, shoulders and legs covered will go a long way to prevent causing offence and hassle to yourself, especially when visiting religious sites. Avoid wearing tight or revealing clothing, but generally on some beaches you can wear what you like. Attitudes in most places we visit are fairly liberal, especially in larger towns and cities, and the locals are used to seeing Western tourists, but we do ask you respect their cultures and show some sensitivity where appropriate.

 

Recommended Medical Kit List
  • Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream &  tablets
  • Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer
  • Eye-drops/bath
  • Anti-diarrhoea treatment
  • A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)
  • Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc
  • Insect repellent containing Deet

  • Re-hydration sachets/vitamin tablets
  • Assorted plasters
  • 1 Course of malaria treatment
  • Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery
  • Malaria Tablets - see Vaccinations & Health section

It is your responsibility to carry your kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.

Cameras (incl. Digital & Video Cameras) - An easy to use 'point and press' will get you some good photos. For memorable shots, it may be worthwhile investing in an SLR camera, but be sure to get some practice in before the trip! Most towns and cities have internet cafes where you can download onto CD/internet sites - but don't rely on it.

Photography - Be aware of your surroundings when taking photographs and filming. Some locations will be sensitive or have local laws banning photography. For example it is usually forbidden to use cameras at borders or around government buildings, military installations, bridges and airports or to take photos of local officials. If you do take photos or film where it is not permitted you may find yourself being questioned by irate officials who may decide to confiscate your camera or instruct you to delete all the images/footage on your device. If in doubt ask for permission, or if there is no-one to ask use some common sense.

Drones - As the use of drones becomes more common, countries throughout the world are gradually updating their laws and restrictions on usage. The specific regulations will vary from one country to another, so do check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for the latest information. As with cameras, use your common sense if you do use a drone and avoid operation in sensitive areas. If you plan to bring a drone on your trip with us please contact us first to ensure there will be a suitable place to store it while on your trip.

Electrical charging & power supply - It may be difficult to find a power source for charging at times, so a spare battery is a must. Log onto www.whatplug.net for information regarding the different electrical plugs and voltage used in each country.

The internet and WiFi are readily available in almost every town and city you will visit; most hotels and hostels will have free WiFi as will many bars and cafes.  Do bear in mind that the connections can be unreliable and will not always be as fast as you are used to at home.  If a lot of people try to use the internet at the same time the speed will be slower still, especially if trying to make Skype calls or upload photos/videos.  During periods of the trip where we are camping, internet will be less common.

Some travellers choose to take an unlocked mobile phone with them and buy local SIM cards in each country, allowing them to use mobile data.  If you particularly want or need regular internet access this may be a good option. Telephone calls can be expensive usually £1 to £5 for a three minute call.

Online Diaries - A great variety of free "travel blogs" are now available online, they are a good way of keeping relatives and friend up to date with what you are doing and a good place to upload photos, collecting messages as well as keeping a record for yourself.

Before you go

  • Remove unnecessary packaging before you go - waste disposal facilities are often stretched or non existent in the places we visit. To avoid unnecessary pollution of local water supplies take environmentally friendly toiletries with you.
  • Why not invest in a wind-up or solar-powered torch or media player before you travel or at least rechargeable batteries.
  • Learn some of the local language and read up on the local history/culture before you go. You'll get so much more out of your trip.
  • Why not pack some pens/pencils exercise books in your rucksack and they can be donated to a local school or project while you're away. You can also purchase these items cheaply, locally which will help local businesses.
  • Take a sturdy water bottle with you from home that you can re-use throughout your trip. We carry large quantities of purified water with us on our Expedition vehicles and it is much better for the environment if you drink this, rather than purchase bottled water along the way. (It also saves you money).
  • Water-to-Go: Oasis Overland have partnered with Water-to-Go to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles consumed during a trip. Water-to-Go is a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. Click here and enter the code OASIS15 to purchase your Water-to-Go products at 15% discount. Water-to-Go will then donate a further 15% to Oasis Overland Charity projects.
 
While you're travelling

From experience gained in running trips, we have developed our own practical and manageable environmental policy which all of our crew practice on the trips we operate, and they will share this information with you at the start of your trip. We welcome your input on this, plus any new ideas you may have, to improve our existing procedures. As a guide here's a few tips to bear in mind.

  • Don't waste water. It is a scarce resource in many of the places our trips visit. On all our Ultimate and Overland Expeditions we carry large quantities of purified water with us. We encourage you to refill your own water bottles from this supply, rather than purchase bottled water along the way-much more environmentally friendly and saves you money.
  • Never buy endangered species or endangered habitat products. Apart from the fact of it being illegal it also encourages the trade to continue.
  • Look after and preserve the areas we visit. Be careful about stepping on coral reefs or trekking on undesignated tracks.
  • Buy locally made crafts and products helping to support the local economy.
  • Don't feel when bargaining that you have to get the cheapest price possible just for the sake of it. Pay what the item is worth to you & don't worry about what someone else has paid.
  • Try the local food and drinks - this will help to support local farmers and food sellers. Sitting in a local cafe is also a great way to meet local people.
  • Dispose of litter appropriately on your trip. This includes cigarette butts. Not only does litter look unsightly it can be lethal to wildlife.
  • Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury they might seem to you, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near, (at least 30m) a water source.
  • When game viewing do not encourage your guides to get too close to the wildlife so that their natural behaviour is impeded.
  • Respect local customs, traditions and beliefs of the people in the different regions that you travel through.
  • Do not take photos of people, ritual events or special places unless you have asked first. Dress appropriately according to local codes and show respect around religious festivals.
  • Recycling is almost non-existent in many of the areas and countries we visit - we do the best we can with limited resources & space on our vehicles.
  • For books dedicated to travelling more responsibly & ethically see: www.tourismconcern.org.uk
 
Community Projects - Oasis are active in raising awareness and providing support to a number of projects and local schools where we believe we can make a positive difference. More information on the projects we support.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) offer country-specific advice, regarding not only security but also entry regulations, local laws and customs and health. We strongly recommend all travellers visit the FCO website, or the equivalent in their home country, to familiarise themselves with local conditions and issues in the countries they plan to visit before committing to a trip with us. You can view their website here.

If you have any questions at all about the safety or security of your trip, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to discuss your trip in more detail.

In cities - All major cities have their share of petty crime (just like our cities) and sensible precautions need to be taken.  Wearing expensive looking jewellery or watches and carrying cameras will draw unnecessary attention to you.  Leave valuables such as passports and excess money in your hotel safe (we recommend carrying a copy of your passport details page at all times). You may find a simple money belt is more discreet than a bag. Always be aware of your surroundings and when approached by people you do not know, use your common sense. At night in cities it's best to use a taxi, rather than walking around the streets, single women in particular need to be careful and we would suggest that it is safer to be in a group.

Oasis does not take responsibility for clients' personal items and we advise you to not take items of value that are not essential for the journey.


Oasis Tour Leader

We have one Tour Leader on this tour whose duties are extensive and quite demanding. From organising accommodation, meals, travel arrangements, pre-booking some excursions and guides, to finding the best deals, socializing and making sure all runs as smoothly as possible. Your Tour Leader will have extensive travel experience, and a great deal of knowledge about the areas we visit, but they are not tour guides as such. In most areas we visit there are trained local guides, who offer their services; they have spent many years, and have vast experience at particular sites.

Accommodation

We use a mixture of local hotels/guesthouses and hostels along the way, as well as some lodges, mostly using shared rooms; couples and friends travelling together will be accommodated where possible, but this cannot always be guaranteed. On some occasions it may be possible to ‘upgrade’ to private rooms and your Tour Leader can assist with this.  Because of the nature of the countries we are visiting, the hotels and hostels we use can suffer from the common problems that affect all levels of accommodation in South East Asia: power cuts can occur, hot water can be temperamental and internet access may be very slow, if it is present at all.

Transport

We use a mixture of public buses, trains, private charter buses and boats/ferries on this trip.

Meals

Around 20% of meals are included on the trip, mostly breakfasts. One of the great attractions of South East Asia is its cuisine!  Each country offers its own unique and diverse cuisine, and Western options are generally available too, and we find that most travellers enjoy having the opportunity to go out and try the local food. All budgets are catered for, from cheap meals offered on the street by hawkers through to luxurious international restaurants.

Vegetarians / Vegans / Coeliacs / Gluten & Lactose intolerance 

Our Tour Leaders will always do their best to cater for any dietary requirement or intolerance whenever possible. However we don’t cater for fussy eaters. It must be remembered that the variety of dishes available may not be the same as available to meat eaters. If there is anything in particular you require in your diet or because of an allergy or would miss from home, it would be best to bring these with you, due to the high cost and scarcity of these specialised and often imported foods.

Remember when eating out in local restaurants & hotels that vegetarianism or food allergies / intolerances, are still not widely known about or understood by many local people. i.e Vegetarians or Vegans will often be offered fish or chicken in error. Most large towns and cities, or areas used to tourists, will often have more choice but please be aware that it will probably not be as varied as you are used to when eating out at home.

A lot of meals in South East Asia are cooked using nut oil. If you are allergic to nuts, it is a good idea to bring with you some small cards with information about your allergy written in the local language. These can be easily sourced and purchased online.


Optional Excursions are paid for on the day and organised during your trip, so you can decide whilst travelling which activity you may want to do. Prices listed are only a guide and may be dependant on fluctuating exchange rates and minimum numbers. Please see below for more details.

 

Thailand

Title From Price
Various Temple and Palace Entrance Fees Bangkok, from US$5
Three day Open Water Scuba Diving Course (diving qualification) US$550
Khlong (Canal) Tour Bangkok (Half Day/Full Day), from US$40
Weekend Floating Markets Day Tour Bangkok US$60

Malaysia

Title From Price
Menara (KL) Tower Entry Fee US$10
Barjaya Times Square Mall and Theme Park, Kuala Lumpur US$10
Petronas Towers Entry - Bridge Highest Access US$20
Barjaya Times Square Mall and Theme Park, Kuala Lumpur US$10
Menara (KL) Tower Entry Fee US$10
Petronas Towers Entry - Bridge Highest Access US$20
Scuba Diving Perhentian Islands, from US$25

Cambodia

Title From Price
Guide for Angkor Wat (additional days) US$40

Vietnam

Title From Price
Reunification Palace Entry Fee HCMC US$2

Indonesia

Title From Price
Bat Cave Tour Bukit Lawang & Tube Hire US$3
Photography Fee at Orang Utan Feeding Station US$5

Singapore

Title From Price
Singapore Flyer US$30
Singapore Zoo Night Safari US$30

We feel that having optional excursions gives a greater degree of flexibility and independence to our group members; independence to decide how much your spending budget can afford; flexibility to decide when and what time of day or with whom to visit a particular site, rather than for example, with the whole group at a pre-ordained time. If you decide not to join a popular excursion, you will have free time to relax or wander off to a market, village or beach, depending on where we are.

You pay for the optional excursions to the local operator, ensuring the money stays with that operator in the local community and this ensures as well, that you are paying the true price for any optional excursions you want to do. This also applies to accommodation costs before and after the trip. Please note that the prices of optional excursions quoted are approximate as local prices can and do change. Please see the relevant trip page for the Optional excursions you can do on that trip and a list of prices.


If you have more time to travel then why not consider XI'AN to SINGAPORE (73 days) Indochina Encompassed

2020

Start Finish Special Events Availability Trip Price Local Payment   
Sun 16 Aug Mon 28 Sep Dates: Sun 16 Aug - Mon 28 Sep
Special Events: Availability: Available Adult Price: £1875 Local Payment: US$390 Book
Fri 04 Dec Sat 16 Jan Dates: Fri 04 Dec - Sat 16 Jan
Special Events: Christmas & New Year Availability: Available Adult Price: £1875 Local Payment: US$390 Book

2021

Start Finish Special Events Availability Trip Price Local Payment   
Sun 15 Aug Mon 27 Sep Dates: Sun 15 Aug - Mon 27 Sep
Special Events: Availability: Available Adult Price: £1875 Local Payment: US$390 Book

Read reviews from previous Oasis Overland travellers.

HO CHI MINH CITY TO SINGAPORE (44 days) South East Asia Highlights

Overall Rating
Review Date
Oct 2019
Reviewed by

Trip leaders, Jamie and Dawson, were totally awesome, attentive to details and always available to assist us. 

I especially loved the Orangutan Trek day and the myriad of other optional excursions that involved nature, like the tropical Spice Garden, the Botanic Gardens, Orchid Gardens and the Perhentian Island snorkeling.  The Samosir Island on Lake Toba was NOT so impressive, but the Bamboo Restaurant was exceptional as are all the eating experiences and options in SE Asia. 

This was my second Oasis trip and I would highly recommend Oasis Overland, especially  if your style of travel is MORE ADVENTURE and LESS LUXURY.  Thank You Oasis, for my unforgettable  journeys of a lifetime.

44 days from £1,875

+ Local payment from US$390

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist
  • Travel Style
    Small Group Adventure
  • Start Location
    Ho Chi Minh City
  • End Location
    Singapore
  • Region
    South East Asia

A deposit of just £400 secures your place; full amount payable if booking within 10 weeks of departure.

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