Vietnam & Cambodia with Ferrell Alvarez
One Departure Only | February 21 - 28, 2021
Heart & Soul of Asia
Savor all sides of the world’s most delicious destinations with a celebrated chef at your side
February 21 - 28, 2021
One departure only with Ferrell Alvarez—and likely to sell out!
8 days, 7 nights
Best of Ho Chi Minh City, Mekong Delta, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh
Thousands of mopeds snake around as you cling to the back of yours. The markets overflow with foods you’ve never seen or tasted and Ho Chi Minh City lights illuminate the night sky. Next, you’re in the remote Mekong Delta edging through canals and catching a fresh lunch. A world away, you’re immersed in the culture of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge as a star chef helps cook up a delicious meal. Now you’re gazing across Angkor Wat from a hilltop perch watching the sun dip below the horizon, hardly able to believe that just a week ago, you were on a moped, tearing up the streets.
Your southeast Asia traveling companion is chef Ferrell Alvarez, whose award-winning restaurants are lighting up Tampa’s food scene. Eat at any one of them and you’ll see Ferrell lives for street food. Heavily influenced by southeast Asian cuisine, he’s ready to get hands-on and try everything for the first time right along with you.
Join us on this adventure if your stomach is as big as your curiosity. Learn the meaning and tradition behind every bite, at bustling markets, tranquil local restaurants, with freshly caught delicacies. Experience Vietnamese and Cambodian culture from kinetic nightlife to royal history to enchanting holy temples. You’ll never forget it.
Savor the world’s best street foods at local markets and by tuk-tuk and motorbike
With locals ready to show and share their culture, heritage, art and cuisines
Stunning architecture, French Colonial palaces, frenetic cities and meditative temples
Ageless traditions by meeting a royal princess and visiting local Mekong Delta homes
3 Reasons to Travel with Ferrell Alvarez
If you’ve dined in Tampa, you’ve likely heard of chef Ferrell Alvarez—one of the headliners of the city's culinary renaissance. Whether at Rooster & the Till (James Beard Award nominated and voted Tampa's Best Restaurant two years running) or over shuffleboard at his gamified foodie hangout, Nebraska Mini Mart, it's clear his creative vision blends flavorful fun and playful sincerity. Vietnam and Cambodia with Ferrell will be a full-on adventure anchored in some of his favorite culinary influences.
Making Tampa Happen
Ferrell's all about a good concept. His Gallito Taqueria is a waterfront taqueria in a shipping container, with a spacious beer garden. Nebraska Mini Mart is a converted convenience store with ping pong tables, shuffleboard and summery finger foods.
A Humble Host
As Ferrell breathes new foodie life into Tampa neighborhoods, he believes a restaurant is nothing without the people who work and dine there. It’s the reason why Rooster & the Till is consistently named Tampa's best restaurant.
Ferrell's three restaurant ping-pong across flavors, ranging from southeast Asian to Indian, street tacos and curried scallops to crème fraîche panna cotta and piña colada ice cream, served in decidedly Southern small-plates.
Day by Day
We'll dive deeply into Ho Chi Minh City's street food and culture, explore the Mekong Delta and the temples of Angkor, revel in Siem Reap’s food scene and Phnom Penh’s nightlife.
Day 1 | February 21
Welcome to Vietnam! We start early in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), meeting up with Ferrell and our fellow adventurers to hit the morning markets, when locals hawk the freshest fruit and vegetables. Ho Chi Minh City’s streets are always a wonder to watch, as the cavalcade of motorbikes whirs past. We’ll take it in while stopping at sidewalk vendors to sample the world’s best street food. Then we’ll visit some of the city’s French Colonial architectural icons, and the spot where the Vietnam War—locally, the ‘American War’—ended at Reunification Palace.
The city is at its best after the sun sets, so brace yourself for a seriously energized and unforgettable evening. We’ll head out on the backs of scooters and zoom through narrow alleys, stopping to dine with locals on sidewalks as we sip cold beer and down platters of fresh crab, snails and other street food specialties.
Day 2 | February 22
After an adventurous urban day, we dive into rural Vietnam. Southwest of Ho Chi Minh City are the spidery tributaries of the mighty Mekong, where the bulk of the country’s produce and rice comes from. We start in Ben Tre, witness how coconut shells are turned into charcoal, then cross the river for a row-boat ride up tight canals—palms pressing over the waters—and a visit at a local home to experience life in the Mekong. Lunch is an unforgettable experience, catching fish and shrimp by hand, then learning to cook them with a local chef!
After our time in the countryside, it’s back to the city for a night venturing into chic back alley restaurants, and rooftop bars for cocktails as the city that won’t stop blinks its lights back to us.
Day 3 | February 23
Next stop, Cambodia! After breakfast, we pack and take a quick flight to Phnom Penh and check into the iconic Raffles Le Royal. Then it’s a deep dive into traditional Cambodian life, starting with a dance. We’ll join a workshop, where we learn a few classical and folk dance moves and work up our appetites for an epic welcome dinner on the banks of the Mekong River. Chef Nak, one of Cambodia’s leading chefs, is at the forefront of keeping traditional practices and recipes alive. Ferrell will collaborate with Chef Nak in a cooking demonstration featuring local and regional delicacies. We’ll sip on cocktails while enjoying our beautiful surroundings—it’s the perfect kick-off for our Cambodia journey.
Day 4 | February 24
Today, we’ll explore the roots of the Cambodian capital, beginning with a leafy, leisurely stroll after breakfast. We’ll see grand French colonial buildings, then climb the steps of a 14th-century pagoda, Wat Phnom, atop the city’s lone hill. Afterwards we visit the Royal Palace, the unofficial residence of the king, and pop into the ornate Throne Hall topped by a 59-foot tower. Next door is the aptly named Silver Pagoda, boasting a floor filled with five tons of gleaming silver.
Our royal theme continues back at our hotel, where we meet Princess Sita Norodom, who’ll chat about its long royal connection and the community projects she’s engaged in. The Phnom Penh’s evening is yours to explore. And you’ll see its spire-topped temples and monuments truly shine at night! Have a dusk walk along the Mekong River promenade, or take a tuk-tuk taxi to bar hop in the atmospheric alleys off Street 51.
Day 5 | February 25
Today we head to Siem Reap on a road trip with some unforgettable stops. Have cameras ready for Skuon, where we walk through a village market of fruits, crispy rice-flour snacks and, its claim to fame, fried spiders! Villagers farm a diminutive form of tarantula here, then fry them with garlic into a regional delicacy you can try—if you dare!
After a stop for a local lunch, we continue on a walk across the historic Kampong Kdei, a 900-year-old bridge that, incredibly, was used as a highway crossing for traffic until 2006. It’s a true stand-out of Khmer architecture, built of corbel arches with nine-headed Naga spirits watching from both sides. After a rest in our luxury resort in Siem Reap, we move into tuk-tuk taxis for a wild night of street food and cold beer, led by a local expert. Welcome to the Khmer heartland!
Day 6 | February 26
We begin this epic day early, with a morning mist hanging in the air. Before 5am, we’re up to witness the ancient sunrise tradition of alms-givings, then receive a blessing from chanting monks. Afterwards it’s full-on adventure. We start amidst the jungle ruins of Ta Prohm, the “Tomb Raider” temple, where thick, twisting spung tree roots snake down crumbling walls as monkeys rise to the day in the trees above us. Then we venture over the moats to traipse through Angkor Thom, the ancient walled capital of the Khmer empire, and finish by inspecting the smiling faces of the bas-reliefs adorning the expansive temple of Bayon. Lunch is at celebrity chef Luu Meng’s Malis. His food is unforgettable, a modern renaissance of traditional Cambodian cooking.
Back at the hotel, we have a bit of time to ponder what we’ve seen, and to relax. Or swim. Or visit the spa, or shop, before spending the evening on your own exploring Siem Reap’s top-flight food scene.
Day 7 | February 27
Today starts big. We meet one of the Kimsan twins—local culinary legends of Embassy Restaurant—for a tour of the Old Market to learn about quintessential Cambodian ingredients. We’ll then use our new knowledge in a hands-on cooking course of traditional Khmer dishes—skills you can use back home!
After a break to stock up on last-minute souvenirs, we regroup for the big one: sunset at the namesake Angkor Wat temple. The first look at this vast complex is the world’s largest religious monument. We’ll have time to truly soak up the atmosphere, then get the best view from a hilltop perch as the dipping sun turns everything a soft golden hue. No ruin you ever see again will quite compare.
Back in Siem Reap, we’ll meet for a grand farewell dinner, where we take our time as we savor the best of Cambodian cooking and toast our journey: the people we’ve met, the food we’ve tried, and the bonds made with Ferrell and each other!
Day 8 | February 28
Alas, our time in southeast Asia is over. We’ll have a last breakfast, pack up our things and head to the airport. Till next time!
Myst Dong KhoiHo Chi Minh City
Think “Myst” as in mystery. It’s full-blown luxury in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City's historic center. Tropical plants sprout from the windows of its Cubist-style tower set along a wide curve of the river. You enter an industrial lobby, benefitting from iron beams reclaimed for the old shipyards. The Asian-themed restaurant is by a rooftop lap pool, with more city views. The artful, cozy rooms have all the comforts you'd expect.
Raffles Hotel Le RoyalPhnom Penh
This Art Deco masterpiece of Phnom Penh grants you access into different times. It’s been the capital’s 'grand dame' since it opened in 1929. The setting is perfect—a lush, tree-lined boulevard a short way from temples, museums and the riverfront promenade. Rooms are luxurious, with marble bathrooms and some with balconies. Relaxation comes easy at Le Royal—at the spa, the courtyard pool, at the iconic Elephant Bar for afternoon tea.
Shinta ManiSiem Reap
Our Siem Reap base gives the best of both worlds. It’s a contemporary chic resort, filled with artful decors and lush looks out to the tropical gardens and pool. Every room brims in comfort, with modern Khmer artworks and a balcony to sit with a drink. And the hotel is amidst the walkable French Quarter, meaning immediate access to markets, shops and cafes of Siem Reap. Best is the resort’s mindfulness to its community. It contributes to several local social projects, including clinics and a village school.
Book Vietnam & Cambodia with Ferrell Alvarez
That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.
What does the price include?
Seven nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; internal flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh; fees associated with Cambodian visa; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.
What does the price not include?
International roundtrip airfare; fees associated with Vietnamese visa; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.
Where does this trip start and end?
Our adventure begins at 8am on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at the Myst Dong Khoi Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The closest airport is the Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN). We recommend arriving on or before February 20 to ensure you’re at our starting point on time.
Our adventure ends on Sunday, February 28, 2021 in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The closest airport is the Siem Reap International Airport (REP). Your flight home can be scheduled to depart at any time on the last day.
What travel documents are needed?
U.S. citizens are required to obtain a visa before traveling into Vietnam. It is your responsibility to obtain this required travel document; please visit the Vietnam International Travel Information page on travel.state.gov for step-by-step instructions. Additionally a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining beyond the date of your arrival is required. For citizens of other countries, please check with your local Vietnamese embassy or consulate for information and requirements.
Guests also need a visa to enter Cambodia, which will be organized and paid for by Modern Adventure. Each guest is required to bring an extra passport photo in order to obtain a Cambodia travel visa.
Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?
For solo travelers, there is a $900 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. If you would like us to pair you with a roommate, that option may be available upon checkout—these spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Who is going on this trip?
Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.
Who is leading this trip?
This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.
What is the cancellation policy?
You may cancel on or before October 24, 2020 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel between October 25 and December 22, there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after December 23 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (See our Terms and Conditions for full details).
We’re at your service.
Speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.
Text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018