A grand tour of Indochina is a great way to discover the unique sights of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. If you book a 10-14 day highlights tour of Indochina via a Vietnam travel agent, they will take on the responsibility of the organisational palaver of how to get around and where to stay. Plus, this type of tour can include an excellent guide that knows the interesting facts and insider low-down on the sights and attractions.
Here are some of the highlights of the different region of Indochina:
A cruise among the limestone karsts of Halong Bay is truly magnificent in rain or shine. The emerald waters and tiny islets are best appreciated on an overnight trip. Halong Bay is approx 165 km from Hanoi and easily reached within four hours by bus or taxi. A short day-trip on Halong Bay is fine, but staying on a traditional junk boat overnight makes a truly memorable experience and worth the extra expense.
A visit to Hoi An is perfect for tourists interesting in a tailored outfit. There are plenty of high-quality tailor shops in the local area that can rustle up a striking suit or dress in as little as 24 hours. Simply describe what is wanted or take a photo and the tailor will take your personal measurements and have an appropriate outfit ready in no time. For the travellers that get excited tasting the local cuisine, why not try a cooking class that is easily found in Hoi An, as well as plenty of other places throughout Vietnam.
Sapa is located in the northwest of Vietnam and surrounded by spectacular mountainous countryside that is the complete contrast to the vibrancy of the capital Hanoi. The local area is host to several of Vietnam’s hill tribe minorities, rice fields, lush mountain ranges, and breathtaking views. Trekking is a popular activity in the region with the local hill tribe people making up the majority of the guides. Single or multi-day treks are easily organized by a local Vietnam travel agency, which can even include staying overnight in an authentic homestay.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Phu Quoc Island gives tourists a perfect opportunity to soak up the sun with beachgoers able to enjoy the tropical waters and white sands. This is the largest of all the Vietnamese islands with popular holiday activities including fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling and jet-skiing. Other attractions on the island include the early-morning Duong Dong Market, bubbling streams, waterfalls, lush forest covered hills and mountains.
A visit to Phnom Penh is certain to appeal to the travellers on the tour to Cambodia and Vietnam that want to learn more about the sad and amazing history of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge rule. Places of interest include the notorious “killing fields” at Choeung Ek and detention centres like Tuol Sleng. These places are well worth a visit and clearly display the testament of human endurance. A guided tour of the region is the best option. Many of the guides are local and have in-depth knowledge of the region for the most fascinating travel experience. Both places are easily visited in a single day tour with the help of a tuk tuk to get around.
A must-see attraction on the Cambodia tour is of course Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. A stay in Siem Riep makes a perfect base for sunrise tour that takes in the full beauty of the ancient temples. A one to three-day pass gives enough time to explore the most popular temples, such as Bayon, Banteay Srei, Baphuon, and Thommanon. The easiest way to explore the most popular sites in the Angkor Wat archaeological park is to hire a tuk-tuk for the day and walk between the different temples. In the evening, Siem Reap is great for relaxing or enjoying the music and the street food scene. Amazing food is available for as little as $1.
A journey to the south of Cambodia makes it possible to relax on the idyllic beaches with fantastic scenery and great restaurants. Sihanoukville is a perfect destination to get a break from temple sightseeing or busy cities like Phnom Penh. Hiring a bike for the day gives easy access to the peaceful Otres Beach which is not only perfect for sunbathing and relaxing massages, but some interesting things to eat.
One of the best times to visit Luang Prabang is at the time of the Laos New Year. This is a period of great fun with water fights, flour throwing and street parades galore. But, Luang Prabang is still a worthwhile destination no matter the time of year. It is a great base for day trips such as a boat excursion to explore the Kuang Si waterfalls. Climb to the top the waterfall to get the spectacular views of the local surroundings. A walk to the local night market in the evening is certain to appeal with plenty to see and buy, including its street BBQ food that costs as little as $3.
Luang Prabang also makes a useful stop off point for travellers on the Indochina holiday wishing to explore the Nam Ou River to see the local scenery and riverside villages of Muang Ngoi and Nong Kiaow. The preferred trip is to Muang Ngoi with its fantastic scenery, low-cost accommodation, food and friendly locals.
Vang Vieng is a small town located about 150 km north of the capital city, Vientiane. This is a region of dreamlike landscape with scenic cliffs and limestone mountain peaks. It also has the Nam Song (Song River) passing through the town. Hire a scooter of bicycle for the day and visit the network of caves and waterfalls in the nearby area. Water sports like tubing and kayaking are popular activities, while rock climbing is a pastime that is gaining interest. For the more cultural trip, there are a few small Hmong villages and ancient monasteries to visit.
A major highlight of Laos is the beautiful scenery which is best appreciated by hiring a scooter and travelling to Pakse to explore the Bolaven Plateau. A two or three-day tour of the region on the Indochina travel packages gives the option to see several stunning waterfalls and small villages. One of the best falls is Tad Lo waterfall which is great at sunset. A tour of this region is certain to give amazing scenery at every turn.