Vietnam is a land of contrasts, with stunning landscapes, bustling cities, stunning beaches and quiet villages providing a diverse range of experiences. Hanoi in the north (Vietnam’s capital) features quiet lakes, historic temples and tree lined streets with French colonial architecture. Nearby, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Halong Bay has over 3,000 limestone karsts and is best seen by cruising the tranquil waters, while the Sapa Highlands (easily accessible by train from Hanoi) offers breathtaking scenery and fascinating ethnic minority communities.
Central Vietnam has some of South East Asia’s most beautiful coastline, with towns such as charming Hoi An, Nha Trang and Danang popular for beach breaks. Historic Hue, the former capital, features emperors' tombs and the old citadel to explore. In the south, busy Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) is a cultural melting pot and one of Asia’s most vibrant and exciting cities, as well as the gateway to the Mekong Delta. Vibrant, diverse, welcoming and fascinating, Vietnam has something for every traveller.
Cambodia is a fascinating country of contrasts. Marvel at the wonders of the past – the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat and its tree-covered ancient ruins. Nearby, enjoy the busy markets, bars and restaurants of Siem Reap and take the chance to sample Cambodian cuisine – a highlight of any trip to Cambodia! At Tuol Sleng and the infamous Killing Fields experience a sobering reminder of the legacy the Khmer Rouge regime has left the country. Explore charming fishing villages, beautiful beaches, tranquil hill stations and the vibrant capital city of Phnom Penh, or cruise past floating villages on the vast Tonle Sap lake. This beautiful destination has something for everyone.
Laos is Southeast Asia’s most unspoiled destination, with less development and fewer people than neighbouring Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand. The UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang is a must for any visitor, with its vibrant night market, many monasteries, and morning procession of saffron-robed monks through the town streets. Vientiane, the capital, is a charming city with traces of the French influences found all through Laos, including the Patuxai, reminiscent of the Arc de Triomphe. Other highlights include the Plain of Jars, Pakse in the south and Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands). With friendly locals, stunning scenery and architecture, amazing food and fascinating culture, more travellers are discovering Laos every year – visit now for a taste of Asia as it used to be.
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Images courtesy of GO Holidays.