Indochina tour, 16 days

Description of Indochina tour, 16 days

One of the great pleasures of a tour that combines all three of the Indochina nations is the remarkable contrasts of culture, cuisine, scenery and atmosphere that unfold as your journey progresses. The histories of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos have intertwined over many centuries, but each retains a distinct character and identity: it is this combination of neighbourly similarity and cultural difference that makes this such an unforgettable tour.

We commence our journey in the Pearl of the Orient, Phnom Penh, the elegant colonial capital of Cambodia, and travel clockwise through the region exploring the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site at Angkor before flying on to Luang Prabang in Laos. After experiencing the unique atmosphere of the town and exploring the minority cultures and beautiful scenery of northern Laos, we continue to Vietnam's capital Hanoi, an exciting and energising contrast to the laid-back lifestyles of Laos and Cambodia.

An overnight cruise on the celebrated waters of Halong Bay feels a world away from the bustle of the city streets and shows a different aspect of Vietnamese life. We move on from here to the ancient port of Hoi An; once amongst the largest in Asia, the town welcomed traders and absorbed influences from across the globe, and remains today one of Asia's most appealing destinations.

Every departure of Indochina Encompassed is timed to coincide with the Hoi An Lantern Festival, giving you the chance to join in the festivities and generally enjoy the old-fashioned atmosphere as the town switches off its electric lights, closes its streets to traffic and returns to yesteryear.

Our final destination is the economic powerhouse of modern Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City. Still known as Saigon to the locals, this was the final place to fall to the North Vietnamese in 1975, and many sites of interest in and around the city provide a fascinating and often unfamiliar perspective on this infamous period.

Travel Team

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Check dates

2020: 5 Nov

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

On a trip covering such a fantastic range of destinations and experiences as our Indochina Encompassed tour its vital that all our local partners share our commitment to minimising the environmental impact of our presence. We make sure that wherever we go certain simple steps are taken all idling vehicles are turned off, waste is carefully collected and disposed of appropriately and the most environmentally-friendly, practical mode of transport is selected.

We encourage our suppliers to make proactive changes to their practices to improve environmental standards, and are delighted that the Bai Tho cruise company who we have selected for your cruise through Halong Bay has recently switched to bio-diesel throughout its fleet. The spectacular scenery of Halong Bay is a magnet for visitors and the number of cruise boats has increased significantly in recent years, so selecting an operator who mitigates their impact on the environment is an important step forward.

The Impacts of this Trip

In all our tours the small group size allows us to use the cosier, locally owned and run accommodation options not available to the big group tours. Providing benefit to both the local community and our clients we think is the only way to travel. One of our favourite such properties is featured on our Indochina Encompassed tour the delightful Nong Kiau Riverside Resort.

The settlement of Nong Khiaw, a few hours north of Luang Prabang up the Nam Ou River is blessed with some of the most attractive natural scenery in Northern Laos. The stilted bamboo bungalows of the Riverside Resort, owned and run by Nit and Eskil, look out over the river to the spectacular jungle-clad limestone mountains beyond. All bungalows have big balconies that provide a glorious setting from which to enjoy the view of the river and mountains. Its pretty basic up here in the remote north, but we think a night without air conditioning is a small price to pay for truly unique local experience


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