Misty mountains and waterfalls, stunning temples and glorious beaches make South East Asia an endlessly rewarding region. Discover the unique character and vibrant cultures of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on this delightful Indochina introduction. Wander Luang Prabang’s nightly bazaars as otherworldly chants waft from nearby temples. Motor through the darkness of pre-dawn to see sunrise over Angkor Wat. Explore the atmospheric backstreets and pristine beaches of Hoi An. This cultural odyssey is packed full of unforgettable moments.
Mystical Luang Prabang
Your Indochina adventure begins in the ancient royal capital of Luang Prabang, which is recognised as a UNESCO heritage site due to its cultural importance. After meeting your guide, you’ll visit some of the old quarter’s sacred temples and learn about Laos’ unique heritage at the National Museum. Then cruise up the mighty Mekong River to the Pak Ou Caves, where you’ll be greeted by the sight of thousands of Buddha statues. Spend a day hiking and cycling past the rice paddies and teakwood forests of the surrounding countryside, where you’ll meet local villagers to gain insight into their way of life. During your stay, you’ll also have the opportunity to wake early and witness, or participate in, the offering of alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks.
The Temples of Angkor Wat
Fly south to the Cambodian city of Siem Reap, where the ancient temples of Angkor await. Rise early for a magical champagne sunrise over Angkor Wat, as the grand temple’s reflection glistens in the waters of the moat below. You’ll then explore the intricately-carved temples and shrines, from the captivating stone faces of Angkor Thom to the ruins of jungle-clad Ta Prohm, travelling by custom-fitted tuk-tuk to avoid the crowds. Enjoy a boat trip out on nearby Tonle Sap Lake, the world’s richest freshwater fishing ground, to visit the floating village of Kampong Khleang.
Vietnam is your next stop. A land of jungles, astonishing natural beauty and deserted beaches, it’s a country both wonderfully exotic and endlessly fascinating. You’ll start by flying to Hanoi for a few days exploring its tree-lined French boulevards, scenic lakes and ochre coloured buildings. Taste local specialities like pan fried Banh Goi, a Vietnamese empanada filled with rice, pork and noodles on an expert-guided street food tour.
Forbidden City to White Sands
Then fly south to the former imperial city of Hue for a couple of nights beside the Perfume River. Wander the palaces and pavilions of the Forbidden City, from where Nguyen Emperors once ruled Vietnam, before taking a leisurely boat ride to see local life along the riverbanks. You’ll then journey down the coast to the ancient harbour town of Hoi An for a four-night stay. Take your pick from walking tours of the old town, exploring the countryside on guided bike rides or simply relaxing on beautiful white sand beaches.
Ho Chi Minh City
A final flight south brings you to Ho Chi Minh City to round off your trip. Roam underground villages on a visit to the Cu Chi tunnel complex, where you’ll gain a powerful insight into the Vietnam war years. Then head out to explore the city like a local on a guided vespa tour. Visit the colourful flower market and traditional medicine stores, then stop at a local cafe to watch the world go by while sampling authentic street food.