For a full 20 days, you will experience all the splendour that is Indochina; from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Discover Vietnam's natural beauty with a cruise in Halong Bay in the Gulf of Tonkin, where you will see many of the diverse islands and experience the traditional routines of those people inhabiting remote regions.
Embrace the wonderment as you pass through the mountainous former border of South Vietnam that is referred to as the "Pass of the Ocean Clouds". See sites of religious significance as you travel down the Perfume River on motorboat. The influence of the outside world has left many footprints on this land and a cross-section of its history can be seen with a tour through the army museum in Dien Bien Phu, where fierce battles against French colonial powers took place; a stroll through the Hoi An World Heritage Site of the My Son complex that contains many Hindu relics; a walk through the underground tunnels of Cu Chi near Ho Chi Minh City, where 10, 000 people lived during the war; or just glancing upon the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge along the Thu Bon River.
We head into Cambodia to see many attractions of antiquity, including busy markets in Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh, and Angkor Wat, one of the most famous religious structures in the world.
Seasonality and Weather
Our tours in SE Asia operate during the cooler, drier time of year, Nov-Apr. That said, however, the entire region experiences a warm-hot tropical climate with humidity and a chance of rain showers at any time. Inland regions can experience extreme heat, especially Feb-Apr, when it is also very dry and landscapes are brown. Coastal regions-Central Vietnam, Halong Bay-are cooled by sea breezes. Hanoi & Northern Vietnam can be downright cold and damp, especially late Nov-Jan. Overall you should prepare for warm, sticky weather with the possibility of rain and some chilly nights / mornings in a few locales.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Land transport throughout will be by private air-conditioned bus. Most of the driving days are not long, usually no more than four hours, though Hoi An to Saigon is a full day of travel. Road conditions are generally not good and progress can be slow. Boats are used at various points in the itinerary, and vary from converted trawlers to small riverboats. Internal flights via scheduled regional carriers. The tour is not strenuous though it is busy; you must be steady on your feet and be able to endure some heat and long days. We have numerous walking tours and visit several sites that are LARGE with steps and uneven surfaces. Porters are available at hotels but you must be able to manage with your baggage at airports.
Hotels used on tour are modern, comfortable, well-located, air-conditioned, 3-4 star properties with en suite bath / toilet . Single rooms are limited and possibly smaller than twins. Laundry facilities are available at most hotels for a reasonable price. Safe deposit boxes are available in most hotels either free or for a nominal fee. Most hotel rooms are well equipped and likely include hairdryers and irons, minibar fridge, TV. All are air-conditioned. Most hotels provide complimentary purified drinking water. Some hotels have swimming pools. HUONG HAI JUNK: The Huong Hai junks are unique, 'antique' (replica) accommodations that are scrupulously clean, fully-crewed and comfortable. Our junk/s are large and luxurious boats with private bath, air conditioning and fan, and plenty of deck space.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local drivers, local guides at various locations.
10-21 (plus Tour Leader)