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
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.