Magnificent temples, vibrant cities and bustling markets charm travellers on an Indochina holiday that passes through Vietnam and Cambodia. The exploration of ancient cities, temples and pagodas are easily combined with tropical islands to create a truly memorable journey in this part of Southeast Asia.
Discover the authentic charm of Vietnam and the diversity of Cambodia in just two weeks -
Rich in character, Hanoi is Vietnam’s capital city and a great starting point on a multi-country tour of this part of the world. Fruit stalls spill onto shady boulevards, food vendors serve up delicious bowls of pho and motorbikes zip through the streets.
A unique way to get an introduction to Hanoi is to visit the atmospheric Old Quarter and explore the many stores and enjoy the street food scene.
Bai Tu Long Bay
Bai Tu Long Bay is every much as stunning as neighbouring Halong Bay with its turquoise bay peppered with tropical outcrops, but with the lower tourist traffic. A trip to this beautiful region is just 4 hours from the capital city. A cruise in a traditional junk boat makes it possible to drift between limestone peaks and laze on the secluded beaches. An overnight stay on a traditional junk boat organized by a local Vietnam travel agent is the best experience and lets the travellers sleep out on the bay for the night.
A short stay in Danang gives access to Vietnam’s third largest city and is within a short distance of both Hue (3-hours north) and Hoi An (30-minutes south). This creates a great destination for travellers looking for a short break from the high tourist areas. However, it still has a few worthwhile attractions, such as the Museum of Cham, My Khe beach, and Marble and Monkey mountains. Danang is a great place to taste the local and authentic cuisine which includes plenty of fresh seafood at very affordable prices. Also, a cruise on the Han River is a great experience while in the city.
Hoi An is one of Vietnam’s most atmospheric towns with twinkling lanterns in the evening and ability to meet local tailors. This ancient city is crammed with charm with its riverside restaurants, artist studios and Chinese shop houses. The local food is scrumptious and the pace of life is slow. Hoi An is a great destination to see on the Vietnam and Cambodia tours with its timeless atmosphere.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City’s lifestyle and architecture have taken a lot of Chinese and American influence, while still able to maintain the traditional Vietnamese traits.
A comfortable stay in a hotel near the central market gives easy access to the wide range of attractions throughout the city. There are plenty of places of culture and interest in the city, including the Reunification Palace, Vietnam History Museum, Revolutionary Museum and Ho Chi Minh Museum. A night tour is a great way to appreciate the city with the ability to sip on Vietnamese coffee, listen to live music and taste the traditional snacks.
Ho Chi Minh City is one of the finest places in Vietnam for family entertainment with the Dai Nam, Suoi Tien and Dam Sen amusement parks. Other worthwhile sights include the Ben Thanh market, Notre Dame church and city post-office. For grown up entertainment, this city has a colourful nightlife with plenty of bars and teahouses that host live performance of both international and Vietnamese artists. Ho Chi Minh city is the gateway to explore fascinating Mekong delta in Vietnam.
The Mekong Delta is a magnificent water world and carpeted with endless greens with swamplands, paddy fields and orchards available for the traveller to tour. The travel distance to reach the Mekong Delta is in the region of 2.5 hours from Ho Chi Minh City.
Drift along the Mekong Delta to reach Cambodia and appreciate the riotous floating markets and riverbank villages that are seen en route. While drifting on the water, it is possible to see how the locals go about daily delta life. A speedboat journey to Cambodia can help to speed up the travel time.
On arrival at the Cambodia border it is necessary to first apply for a visa before arriving in the in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
Explore the city of Phnom Penh to really appreciate its history and energy. Phnom Penh is rich in character with its tangy aromas, motorbikes, monks and a colourful riot of sights and sounds. This part of the Indochina travel makes it possible to learn about past atrocities by visiting the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng. Other sights in the local area include the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace that sparkle in the sunshine.
A six hour bus ride from the capital leads to Siem Reap, which is a very popular and busy tourist destination for its ability to act as a base for the amazing Angkor temples.
A guided tour with a friendly local is the best way to explore the overgrown jungle temples of Angkor which are listed among the man-made wonders of the world. The local guide can give the most knowledgeable facts and stories about the temples throughout the park, but there will also be time to independently clamber between the jungle temples.
The endlessly fascinating temples at this UNESCO World Heritage Site are counted as Cambodia’s most significant archaeological sites and well worth the entrance fee for a 1-3 day tour. There are plenty of temples to explore and even many ways to actually seem them – simply approach from a different direction or arrive at a different time.
The most spectacular of the temples is Angkor Wat with its moat and an outer wall that runs for a total distance 3.6 km. Other popular temples that attract the most tourist attention include Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom. But there are many other obscure temples that are hidden down jungle paths and well worth exploring. An early start is best to avoid the majority of the crowds.
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