7th November - Fly from Heathrow to Hanoi via Kuala Lumpur (arriving 8th November)   Geoff Brock & Bruce Gamble



Vietnam and Cambodia
including a cruise on the Mekong

7th - 29th November 2017

This was a different sort of holiday to those of the last few years. We had long wanted to visit Vietnam and Cambodia. The more we read, the more it became obvious that a land-based tour, combined with a river cruise, might be the best way to see and experience the highlights of both countries.


We contacted Audley, a travel company we had last used more than twelve years ago when we went on a small group tour of Japan, for their advice. Within a day or two, they had proposed a tailor-made itinerary, taking into account what we had said we wanted to see and do. They added in much more though, based on their knowledge of the region. We couldn't have planned it better ourselves.

The map shows our route. We flew from London to Hanoi via Kuala Lumpur. After a three night stay, we went by road to Halong Bay for an overnight cruise, before returning to Hanoi for a flight to Da Nang. We stayed in Hoi An for three nights and a further two nights in Hue, from where we flew to Ho Chi Minh City. Two nights later, we embarked on a cruise for seven nights, which took us over the border into Cambodia. Finally, we had a fairly long road journey to Siem Reap, where we stayed for our last three nights before flying home, once again via Kuala Lumpur.
The photos on these pages give some idea of what we experienced; the amazing sights, the vibrant colours and the friendly people. Of course, photos and videos don't tell the whole story. It was hot... very hot... but not intolerable, thanks to good air-conditioning everywhere we stayed. Being alone with a series of guides and drivers most of the time meant that we couldn’t “rest our eyes” occasionally, as we might have done at the back of a coach with thirty or so fellow travellers! We felt obliged to show interest all the time, which wasn’t that hard really, especially when we could tell the guides honestly if we wanted to change things slightly. They, in turn, listened to us and sometimes tweaked the schedule to show us more of what we showed particular interest in, at the same time throwing in a few surprises, of the delightful kind, along the way. If we ever decide to do an in-depth visit to a country or region again, we'll definitely do it this way, although we did feel like we needed another holiday to recover from it when we got back!
Almost time to go... a mid-morning departure from Heathrow on Malaysian Airlines.
Yes, it was early, but we wanted champagne!
It was going to be a long journey to Hanoi, after all.
©Geoff Brock and Bruce Gamble