Successively occupied by China, Russia, France, Japan, and the United States, Vietnam has had its share of foreign interference. But today, with war on the back burner, the Vietnamese are focused on rocketing into the future. In this new era of confident self-determination the atmosphere is one of palpable optimism, despite frequent reminders of Vietnam's war-torn history. Fortunately for the traveller, Vietnam's traditional charms have not yet been eclipsed. Although noisy motorbikes continue to replace bicycles at an alarming rate, the former Communist stronghold of Hanoi has maintains its narrow-laned charm, while the melting, limestone pinnacles of Halong Bay are as otherworldly as ever. From the ancient neighbourhoods of Hoi An to the vast Mekong Delta, the country offers an astonishing variety of scenery. Whether your fascination is wartime relics or beaches and rice paddies, see Vietnam now, because every year it seems Vietnam reinvents itself.
From the vibrant cityscape of Bangkok to Halong Bay's magnificent limestone karsts, this trip encompasses the highlights of Indochina. Marvel at the majestic granite peak of Doi Suthep, explore a traditional Hmong village and savour noodles in Chiang Mai. Shop for souvenirs in Ho Chi Minh City and join the locals sipping coffee at a lakeside café in Hanoi. With hotels, transport and a number of included activities arranged by our CEOs, this adventure offers up the perfect combination of must-see highlights and free time.
Highlights: Exploring the canals of Bangkok, floating down the mighty Mekong, visiting majestic caves and stunning limestone karsts, sailing a junk through Halong Bay, shopping in Hoi An, squeezing through the Cu Chi tunnels.
Indochina Cycle (AVIC)
Many visitors to South East Asia spend much of their time rushing around clogged city streets—break free and see the region from a bicycle seat on this 12-day trip. You'll roll past the temples of stunning Angkor Wat, cruise around Phnom Penh and ride between the jungle, mangrove forests and beaches of Ream National Park. It's perfect for pedal pushers of all levels looking to explore less well-known regions at a leisurely pace. Consider this an introduction to the joys of South East Asia and cycling.
Highlights: Cycling around the ruins of the Khmer Empire at Angkor Wat, keeping an eye out for rare bird life in Ream National Park, biking out along the Mekong River to a village homestay.
Vietnam Family Adventure (AVVF)
Gifted with a staggering abundance of flavourful food, fascinating culture, untouched nature and disarmingly friendly people, Vietnam has more than earned its rep as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. This fun-focused family trip packs as much of the good stuff into 12 days as humanly possible—including cruising Halong Bay, exploring the Imperial Citadel, museum visits and even a boat trip to a floating market—yet still offers more than enough time to relax. Don’t forget to pack your smile; you’ll be needing it often here.
Highlights: Exploring Hanoi by cyclo, cruising the peaks in Halong Bay, shopping and relaxing in Hoi An, meeting local families in the Mekong Delta, discovering bustling Ho Chi Minh City