In 2014 my wife and I planned our trip to Myanmar using Indochina Pioneering. We really appreciated their efficiency, their superb knowledge of the sites to visit and the polite customer service of all the guides/drivers we had.
Earlier this year we decided to repeat the experience, visiting Cambodia and Vietnam with a group of 6 friends. Our trip planner was Mrs. Kata Tran who expertly assisted and advised us in all preparations.
Our journey has been a surprising combination of spiritual, traditional and cultural experiences.
In Cambodia, the monumental temple of Angkor Wat has been worth the trip.
The marvellous temples of Roluos, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom and Bayonand, surrounded by silent paddy fields and sugar palm trees, will stay in our hearts forever. Among our best memories are the friendly Cambodian people, the romantic atmosphere the Asian nights and the simply delicious local cuisine.
In Vietnam, we fell in love with Hanoi – walking through the old city, the exciting masses of motorbikes, the street food, the French quartier and the spontaneous cheerfulness of the locals, from the elderly who survived the war to the new booming generation.
Spending the night on a confortable vessel at the Halong Bay, with its 1969 islands, has been magical. After an animated evening, we fell asleep surrounded by starts and woke up surrounded by boats of fishermen starting their day.
Unmissable is the city of Hoi An with its market stalls everywhere, followed by a cycling tour around the Traque village, a cooking lesson at Kumquat held by Ho Xuan Thonk (Mr. Victor), and a visit to a lantern handcraft site and local dances.
Then we went to Ho Chi Min, and we visited the tunnels of Cu Chi, which are the network of tunnels used during the Indochina war.
We also visited the old and new Saigon palaces, the Ho Thy Ky Flower market and the funeral home, and the Qui Top market, which is one of the largest in Asia. After this we went to see the War Remnant museum with the Reunification palace, the cathedral and the general post office.
To end our trip we went to Three Towers, “the rice bowl”, at the center of the delta of Mekong, on a motorboat to look at the rice and vegetable fields.
This journey would not have been as memorable without the expertise and kindness of our guides Keo, Sunny, Nam and Lee. Very much appreciated has been the well-organized support of the lovely Kata, whom we definitely recommend.
We are looking forward to the next adventure together!