Highlights of Indochina
by James McMillan
I was recently fortunate enough to escort a group of lucky agents on a whirlwind visit through Indochina. We ventured to three unique countries over ten days, and had an absolute blast!
As we found ourselves entering what is easily one of the most beautiful and mysterious countries in Asia, Cambodia’s first impression is always that of wonder and excitement, mystery and intrigue. This was the first visit for many of the agents and Cambodia did not disappoint.
Angkor Wat is the world’s largest sacred temple and was built during the Khmer Empire (12th Century). We had the opportunity to explore these amazing temples and witness the excitement of first time travellers (we were just as
excited) as they walked through the gates at Angkor Wat. We watched the sunrise over the temples and then spent the day exploring the site, made famous by Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider.
After the mystical Temples of Angkor, we take a short flight to Luang Prabang, Laos. We shopped up a storm at the local night markets and all practiced our bartering skills. Some were definitely better than others, but we all came away with local hand crafted presents for family back home. As with most markets in Asia, it is always expected to have a good-natured barter with the locals, which certainly adds to the experience!
The biggest highlight for me though, as it is for many, is witnessing the most sacred Lao tradition – the Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony. In the early morning, a procession of monks walked through the streets taking donations of food for their daily meals. The ceremony is peaceful and spiritual and gives you an insight into this ancient Lao tradition.
Finally, we flew to Vietnam. We cruised on the serene Halong Bay, explored the bustling capital Hanoi (watching out for all the mopeds), then flew to Saigon as the last top on our whirlwind tour. In Saigon, we ventured underground and crawled our way through the Cu Chi tunnels. It is also worth a special mention, the food of Vietnam is delicious and fresh, we ate plenty of salads and summer rolls, washed down with at least four Vietnamese coffee’s each day. Yum!
Although this is just a snippet of our adventure through Indochina, these three countries really do leave a lasting impression. They are prefect paired together on a shorter 2-week trip or make it a longer adventure and head further off the beaten track.
Wendy Wu Tours can take you there with ease. Everything from flights to accommodation, even arranging the visas, make it a hassle free. These three destinations are well worth the visit and at the top of my favourites list.