Review of: Cambodia and Vietnam on a Shoestring – G Adventures

At G Adventures, we encourage you to step off the beaten path, embrace the unexpected and immerse yourself in the extraordinary. Our award-winning trips embrace authentic accommodation and local transportation to bring you face to face with the world’s most fascinating cultures, customs and awe-inspiring wildlife.

 I booked onto a G Adventures tours as I had been recommended it by a number of friends and I loved the motto and beliefs of the company.  My expectations for the tour was the it would be organised and we would be taken to each destination, but we would also get a lot of freedom, especially when arriving and visiting our destinations. I thought that we would arrive to the destination, maybe sometimes given an orientation walk, or given a map, then suggested places to visit and the key attractions to visit, and told how to make the most of our time. I thought it would feel like a tour but with a lot more freedom, whilst being surrounded by likeminded people where I would make friends for life.

I decided to do a G Adventures tour because I had never been to Asia before an didn’t know what to expect. As a female traveller going with a young tour company seemed like the best way to experience a place, and get the most out of the destination, whilst feeling safe and not having the opportunity to be put in danger. In addition I wanted to make friends and be able to travel with some great people.

However, my experience of a G Adventures tour was not fully as I expected. Firstly our tour guide did not really let us have much freedom and it was frowned upon if we didn’t want to take part in the OPTIONAL activities. Additionally, it was also frowned upon if we wanted to do our own thing for dinner and find our own places to eat. We wanted to do our own thing because our tour guide took us to tacky, touristy restaurants for dinner where we were surrounded by tourists. We wanted an authentic experience and to eat local food like the locals. By the time I reached Vietnam we had plucked up the courage to tell our tour guide that we wanted to eat alone (which we didn’t feel went down very well, but oh well, it was our holiday at the end of the day and we had paid for the trip!), and we hardly joined our tour guide for dinner.

In addition our tour guide seemed to like the sound of his own voice and treated us as if we were on the classic tour not the YOLO tour, sometimes he wouldn’t even let us cross the road on our own! There were times when he needed to be quiet and not constantly talk at us, in addition when another guide was with us for particular tours it was as if it was a competition for the G Adventures guide and he wanted to look as if he knew more about the particular destination than the official tour guide. We found this to be very embarrassing and just wanted to tell the G Adventures guide to shut up

Lastly, it felt like the trip was all for our G Adventures tour guides gain, we went to restaurants where he knew people, so he could catch up with his friends, or where he could eat for free. You could tell the tour guide was focussed on his commission which is not what the tour should’ve been about, particularly as he tended to lie about certain things to get us to book onto activities or tell us false information about where we were eating.

 I have always wanted to visit South East Asia and when I found this tour decided it was ideal for me, especially as visiting Angkor Wat is on my bucket list as was Halong Bay. I wanted to experience a totally new culture, and taste amazing food whilst meeting great new people. I wanted to learn a lot about the places I was visiting and wanted to also live like a local and experience life first hand. I wanted an honest and real experience of both Cambodia and Vietnam. I do not believe that the G Adventures tour fully let me experience the culture of country I was visiting.

 Despite this, I think that tours are a great way to travel the world and an excellent way to meet like-minded people. I always felt safe on the tour and liked the fact we were taken to places and everything was organised. In addition the hotels we stayed in were incredible, and I couldn’t fault them at all. I think the whole trip was excellent value for money, the hotels were spot on and we had lots of meals included. . I did meet some amazing people on the tour and certainly made friends for life, it was definitely the people I was with that made the trip so memorable and so fun. In addition I absolutely loved visiting Cambodia and Vietnam, they were amazing countries and I sure did make memories that will last a lifetime. I ate some delicious food, and visited incredible places; Angkor Wat, quad biking across rice paddies to watch the sunset,  Boat trip and snorkelling in Sihanoukville, the tailors in Hoi An, motorbike tour in Hue and Halong Bay.

 I will definitely book another G Adventures tour as I cannot judge the company by our unfortunate experience with the tour guide (I think I was just unlucky, but believe it’s best to be completely honest) and my friends still rave about how good the tours and in particular the tour guides are. I am already looking at a G Adventures tour in South America!

You can read all the posts about all the different locations here:

Siem Reap
Phnom Penh
Sihanoukville
Vegan Café Sihanoukville
Cao Tao Home Stay
Saigon
Nha Trang
Hoi An
Cookery School Hoi An
Hue
Halong Bay

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5 thoughts on “Review of: Cambodia and Vietnam on a Shoestring – G Adventures

  1. Hi there,
    I was just wondering roughly how much spending money did you budget for this tour? I know Asia is fairly cheap but I have no idea how much to take.
    Also any activities you recommend or suggest I avoid?

    Thanks
    Lana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You will need about $200 for the extra activities!
      Then food out there is so cheap so you won’t need much more for food!
      Would avoid doing the Cambodia tour in pnohm penn and do it in your own by taking a tuc tuc and paying the $3 entrance to the prison and $3 entrance to the killing fields

      Also the tour to the floating villages I wouldn’t recommend and maybe not the bicycle tour in Hoi an

      You must do the motorbike tour in hue and the quad biking in Siem reap!

      Make sure you do your research before hand and see what is cheaper to do, by paying to do with g adventures or do on your own!!

      Like

    1. You have to use both! Usually I paid in dollars and received the change in riel! Most places accepted both tho, so you’ll be fine going with dollars and then saving your riel change for tips or to pay to use the toilet! Hope this helps!

      Like

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