Any tour that takes in the very best of Vietnam and Cambodia is certain to include the heart and soul of Indochina. Many tours start in the north of Vietnam, which gives easy access to the historic capital of Hanoi and the majestic Halong Bay with its dramatic karst scenery. Great cities to visit on the journey south include Hoi An and Hue before arriving in the colourful and lively city of Ho Chi Minh City. After transferring to Cambodia, a well-planned tour will instantly expose you to the fascinating culture and history in the busy streets of Phnom Penh, which is certain to follow with a trip to the mesmerising temples of Angkor.
Combining the wonderful highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia makes it a lot easier to see and appreciate this magical part of SE Asia. Let's take a look at the few of the most popular places to feature on a well-planned itinerary:
Vietnam's capital city is a great place to start the Indochina tour packages. There is plenty to see and do. A simple way to get introduced to Hanoi is to book a city tour with an expert local guide. This can include visits to the Hoa Lo Prison museum, a traditional tea house, and the Temple of Literature. The Hoan Kiem Lake is a wonderful place to relax after a long day of sightseeing. Alternatively, a more leisurely experience is to wander around the Old Quarter on your own at a slow pace to really appreciate this historic part of the city and see its French-colonial architecture.
Halong Bay is only a four hour journey by minibus from Hanoi. It is a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site that gives spectacular natural views out into the Gulf of Tonkin. The actual bay has nearly 1,600 limestone islands rising from the emerald waters with plenty of grottos and sandy coves that have been formed by years of erosion. Book an overnight boat cruise to really appreciate what the bay has to offer which can include exploring the island caves by kayak or swimming in the waters during the warmer months.
Most of the junk-style boats are well fitted out with private facilities, air-conditioning, and twin share cabins. Plus, guests will have access to a bar and dining room area for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Hue is Vietnam's former imperial capital, which dates to the past rule of the Nguyen emperors which came to an end in 1945. There are plenty of treasures to explore for those on thefamily tours in Vietnam interested in learning more about the city's history. The Hue Imperial Citadel complex is certain to be a place of interest for many. Also, there is the Dong Ba Market, which is a lively and bustling place that is great for tasting a few of the local dishes.
A tour of the city and its local surroundings are easily achieved with a ride on the rear of a motorbike or a boat cruise along the Perfume River.
Hoi An is one of the countries many UNESCO World Heritage Sites that is beautifully preserved and appreciated for not only its history, but also for the many tailor shops. Discover the many shops with traditional cloth lanterns, ceramics and paintings, as well as the town's local market. A restaurant on the riverside is a great place to enjoy the delicious regional food. Also, there are plenty of opportunities to join a cooking class to learn the basics of the cuisine.
Ho Chi Minh City
This is the country's capital of culture and commerce. Ho Chi Minh City has plenty of fascinating history to learn about and a great way to see the top attractions is on a sightseeing bus tour. A few of the stops include the War Remnants Museum, the Opera House, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace.
One of the many nearby places of interest that can be visited on a day trip from Ho Chi Minh City is the Mekong Delta. There are plenty of opportunities to see how local factories operate, such as those producing coconut candies. Plus, a trip around a local village is possible on a bike or a tuk-tuk tour. Additionally, this region has several food specialities to taste.
Other worthwhile day trips include the Cu Chi tunnels which played a significant role throughout the Vietnam War.
A road trip to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh City takes about 6 to 7 hours and passes through a very rural and scenic region. A city tour can take in plenty of fascinating sites on the Indochina tour, including the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek Memorial. Also, for a brighter view of the past, there is the Silver Pagoda and Royal Palace to visit.
For travellers with only a short time in the city, a cyclo tour is a great option to get the highlights, such as the Royal Palace, Mekong river front, Wat Phnom and central market.
Siem Reap is likely to be one of the most anticipated destinations to visit on the Cambodia holiday because it gives access to the world-famous Angkor Wat. Many of the temples date to the 9th century and vary in architectural style. The best option to travel the vast temple complex is to hire a local guide who can give guidance on the best times to visit the temples to minimize issues with crowds. Also, there are spectacular opportunities to take the photos at sunrise and sunset. Even though the ruins cover an area of nearly 160 sq km, most of the highlights (Ta Prohm, Bayon, Angkor Wat, etc.) are relatively close to Siem Reap.
Battambang is the next place on the travel itinerary and is about 6 hours from the capital city by road. This is a charming riverside town with plenty of preserved colonial-era architecture, friendly Khmer people and French elegance. It is a great place to visit for a relaxing time or even to learn to cook local dishes by signing up for a cooking class.
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