A family holiday that combines the friendly warmth of Vietnam with the excitement of Cambodia is certain to create a truly memorable experience. This trip takes in the full highlights of the region from beautiful rice paddies, bustling cities, historic sites and pristine beaches.
On arriving in Vietnam you will get to experience lively cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City before having the opportunity to relax on an overnight boat trip on the magnificent Halong Bay, while also exploring the historic sites in the central regions.
After making the transfer to Cambodia, most travellers will look forward to seeing the Angkor temples, but there is plenty more to see in the country. For instance, a stay in a homestay is a charming experience that makes it possible to appreciate local life.
As you start your family holiday of Vietnam and Cambodia, the things to see and experience include friendly locals, delicious meals, sunset boat rides, cyclo tours, water puppet shows, temple visits and cooking lessons.
Hanoi is Vietnam's charming capital city. A delightful way to explore the city is taking a cyclo tour of the Old Quarter. An afternoon tour through the chaotic streets gives plenty of sights to see and places to stop for a bite to eat. Other attractions include the stunning Ngoc Son Temple, which is well located at the centre of Hoan Kiem Lake and the Museum of Ethnology.
Beyond exploring the main attractions, there are plenty of off-the-beaten track tours that can be taken in Hanoi. A relaxing bike tour through the back streets gives a perfect opportunity to see a completely different side to the city with many old temples and house. Also, an organised tour can include stopping at a traditional family house and taking an active part in preparing lunch.
The magnificent Halong Bay is easy to reach for travellers based in Hanoi on the Indochina holiday. The journey time by road is in the region of 3-4 hours. There are even places to stop en route, such as the Yen Duc Village, which is a great place to enjoy a local lunch.
Halong Bay is best experienced on an overnight cruise on board a traditional junk-style boat. The actual bay is a spectacular sight with its thousands of limestone karsts that rise from the emerald waters. Many of the cruise itineraries include time to get involved with activities like swimming and kayaking. Also, a row boat excursion to a local fishing village is great to learn more about local life.
Hue is the first of the major cities to visit in central Vietnam and easily reached by train for a very scenic trip or simply to fly for the fastest option. One of the first places to visit is the Imperial Citadel, which was the residence to the Nguyen Dynasty for the duration of their rule which lasted from 1802 to 1945. A wonderful way to explore this part of the country is by boat with a trip along the Perfume River. A slow cruise up the river makes it possible to see many of the local rural villages, as well as popular attractions like the Dong Ba market and the beautiful Thien Mu pagoda. Also, a bicycle tour gives the option to explore the local countryside and also the beautiful Tombs of the Emperors.
Hoi An is situated further south on the tour itinerary and is easily reached by travelling along a very scenic coastal road. This city was once a thriving port for the merchant community, but has still retained plenty of its charm with old buildings that line the quaint narrow streets that include plenty of boutiques, cafes and tailors. Many of the streets are lit in the evenings by traditional Chinese lanterns. It is a great place to buy souvenirs for family and friends at home. Also, Hoi An is well-known for its tailors who can quickly create the custom-made outfit for a relatively inexpensive price. For a more relaxing time, there is a wonderful white sandy beach located a short distance from town.
The most popular tourist destination in Cambodia is very much likely to be Siem Reap, which is seen as the gateway to the temples of Angkor. This is certain to be a real highlight of the Cambodia family tour. There is plenty to see at the Angkor Archaeological Park with literally hundreds of temples to explore. While Angkor Wat is the most famous and largest, it is far from being the only one. The temples can range from those that are remote and mostly over-run by jungle to those that have been fabulously restored and preserved.
One of the best ways to explore the park is with a local English-speaking guide and a bike. A bicycle tour will make it easy to travel between many of the closely located temples. A guide is useful for not only saying the best times to visit the different temples to miss the worst of the crowds, but also to give a knowledgeable overview of the different temples.
Beng Melea Temple is quite a distance from Angkor Wat, but still worth the effort to explore with the help of a jeep and driver. This temple is much the same size as Angkor Wat, but still hidden within the jungle, which can give the more authentic experience of exploring through thick undergrowth. Also, there is Ta Prohm, which is covered with sprawling lianas and tree roots, but is still one of the most striking temples in the park.
For the tourists on the Indochina tour packages that what a short break from the temple-hopping, there are plenty of things to see in the town of Siem Reap such as its many shops, restaurants and foot massage parlours. Other activities in the region include riding the quad bikes, zip lining through the jungle and cooking classes.