Planning a fun and enjoyable adventure to Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) is made that much easier with a little knowledge of this region of SE Asia.
Let's take a look a few of the most important things that are worth considering:
When to go and weather
The three countries that make up Indochina have unique and different climate and weather patterns. In order to identify a good travel period, you want to consider the most interesting places to visit and things to do. Once this is known, you can start to plan a trip that is favourable for the preferred itinerary.
The weather and climate in Vietnam will vary with the region of the country you are visiting. In the north, which includes the capital city, Hanoi, the weather is typically hot in the summer and can get quite chilly in the winter. The climate in the south is more tropical with a dry and wet season with both relatively hot. Additionally, for the central regions the climate can vary and has a different wet season. An ideal time to experience the most favourable weather is between February and April – although this country can be visited at any time of the year with something always available to see.
Laos is landlocked with no coastline to entice the sun worshippers, but is still great for excitement and exploration. The dry (October to April) and wet season (May to September) in Laos is mostly consistent throughout the country.
Travel in the dry season (November to April) is a great time to be in Laos. At this time the temperature is favourable and the rain is kept to a minimum. However, if travelling in the lowlands, the Indochina travel that takes place between November and January can be very appealing. The temperature during the day will be comfortable while the landscape of the countryside will be green and lush after the wet season.
Cambodia has a quite simple weather system that is split between a dry (October to late-April) and wet season (May to September). While on a tour of Cambodia you aren't likely to see much difference in the climate when travelling from region to region.
The period November to March makes up the peak travel season in Cambodia when the temperature is at its best and there is little rain. The climate is easily compared to some of the warmer parts of the Mediterranean and it is best to book early to get the best accommodation.
Any well planned Indochina tour will include plenty of fascinating places to visit, including:
Hanoi is the Vietnam's capital city and a wonderful place to start the Vietnam travel for first-time visitors. It is a great destination to get a feel and appreciation of the local culture. One thing that must be tried is the street food which is great to taste throughout the country because it will vary from region to region. A few of the travel highlights include the Old Quarter, the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, the Temple of Literature, Hoan Kiem Lake, and the Ethnology Museum.
Ho Chi Minh City
A visit to Ho Chi Minh City on the Indochina travel packages gives access to the country's most modern city. There is always something going on and the modern parts still perfectly complement a lot of the traditions, such as the ancient temples. Additionally, this is a great city for street food with many of the finest choices found close to the Ben Thanh Market.
A great day trip from Ho Chi Minh City includes visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels, which were once used by the Viet Cong at the time of the Vietnam War. Certain areas of the tunnels have been opened to let visitors crawl through which can give a great insight into a fascinating part of Vietnam's history.
After arriving in Cambodia, a must-visit destination is likely to include the busy capital city of Phnom Penh. This city has plenty to see and do from its peaceful temples to stunning night views and riverside shops.
The major attraction for visiting Cambodia is Angkor Wat which is the highlight of the temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park. The total area of the site is in the region of 240 sq miles and is rich in stunning structures and temples. To fully appreciate the archaeological magnificence it is worth spending several days exploring the most popular temples.
Luang Prabang is an ancient town to visit on arrival in Laos and one of the country's recognised World Heritage sites. This past royal capital still has plenty of temples to see and explore for visitors. Also, this city is still a traditional place of Buddhist teaching and great for those travellers interested in spiritual contemplation.
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, which doesn't have the looming skyscrapers, but has the appearance of a very large village. However, it is still easy to explore by bicycle or foot. This city has a relaxed and leisurely pace of life.
How to get around
The best way to travel to or between the countries or over long distances is by air. However, after arriving in a country like Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos it can benefit to travel overland to get a full appreciation of the people, sites and landscape.
Any of these countries have several international airports to make it really easy to visit for a fun and exciting holiday.
Visitors to any of the countries that make up Indochina will require an entry visa and a passport that has at least 6 months remaining. The most convenient and cost-effective option is likely to be the visa-on-arrival, which is a practical option for those travelling by air. Additionally, there are certain countries that have a visa exemption for a short period, so it is worth checking to see if this applies to your personal circumstances.
Ready to go?
On any Indochina travel package there is plenty to see and do across this beautiful and fascinating part of SE Asia. With so many places to see you want to carefully plan the itinerary to make sure to include the top sites for the most memorable experience.
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