Indochina is a name to describe the area between China and India, effectively the extreme South East of Asia which is known now as Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Indochina is an amazing place with a great diversity of history and culture as well as landscapes and cuisine which is now becoming a wonderful destination for travelers around the world. There are so many things to do and see when you are traveling in Indochina. Here are top 10 things you should think about if you are going to plan a holiday in Indochina area
1. Cruising Halong bay, Vietnam
When in Vietnam, make sure you take a Halong bay cruise. But why everyone tell you that? Well, just because Halong bay is a must-see place on earth, one of the best sights in this world. Let’s imagine you are leaving all your worries behind and enter a huge maze of 2,000 limestone cliffs rise vertically from calm water, the view is breath taking. Taking a cruise will allow you to experience the beauty and tranquility. Moreover, the activities you do while cruising will impress you most - you'll get to swim, you'll get to go caving, you may get to kayak or go to visit a fishing village…so relaxing and so colorful. Truly this is a cruise that is not to be missed in a Indochina tour.
2. Visit Floating Markets on Mekong Delta, Vietnam
To see the real Vietnam, go to the floating markets in the Mekong Delta Region, which are the best places to know how people in Vietnam live their lives. Farmers from the region row their boats to the floating markets to sell what they have such as fruits and vegetables. All big boats have a pole hanging with what they sell. In this way, people on small boats know what's on offer from a distance. Smart and interesting, isn't it? On the journey to the floating markets, you can drop by some islands to visit the local workshops and tropical fruits garden, listen to local girls singing local songs or sample delicious home-cooked cuisine in a local family.
3. Eco Tour in Hoi An, Vietnam
Tourists especially love the eco tour in Hoi An - and certainly you'll love it too. Sit in a round-shaped bamboo basket boat (Many had never seen this kind of boat before, how about you?), let the boatman take you through tranquil waters, get close to the nature, and learn how to cast fishing net from local fishermen. How funny it can be?
4. Crawl through Cu Chi Tunnel, Vietnam
The Cu Chi Tunnel is an immense network of underground tunnel and was once used by Viet Cong soldiers as a hiding spot during the Vietnam War. If you are in Ho Chi Minh City missing the Cu Chi tunnels would be a tragedy. If you're small and agile enough, try to "crawl" through various lengths of the tunnel and take a picture. And you'll know how smart the Vietnamese are!
5. Sign up for an Cooking Class in Hoi An, Vietnam
Sampling Vietnamese cuisine is exciting enough, not to mention to cook it hands-on under the guidance of a local chef! In Hoi An, cooking class is very popular and it's totally worth it! First, you'll have a guided tour to the markets where the guides talked about the different produces and where they come from. Then comes to the learning session and you get to see different cooking processes and how they prepare the food. Finally it's time to cook on your own. And you'll get recipes and do enough to be able to recreate delicious food at home yourself.
6. Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai
Here, you will not see elephant ride or elephant show, what you will see is love and respect for animals. It’s where rescued elephants, dogs, cats and many other animals live peacefully and happily. You can choose to be a volunteer in the park, staying for a week, to feed, bath and take care of the elephants everyday. Through close time spending with them, you will find these giant animals that people used to hold in awe are actually as sweet and nice as angels. If staying for a week is not feasible, then only one day's time spending with these free roaming elephants and other rescued animals is also sure to bring you an incredible experience.
7. Snorkeling around Thai Islands
Don't miss the chance to go snorkeling when you're in Thailand. With so many islands and pristine waters, Thailand is a perfect place to go snorkeling. Almost every beach and island has some good spots to snorkel. All you have to do is put your head in the water and enjoy the wonderful underwater world. But always be aware of the surroundings when snorkeling.
8. Watch the Alms-giving Ceremony, Luang Prabang, Laos
An unforgettable experience – see one of the most sacred Lao traditions, the Buddhist Alms-giving Ceremony when you're in Luang Prabang. Every morning as sun rises, around 200 Buddhist monks depart from various temples to gather their daily meal. The procession begins on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to the side streets.
Tip: The procession is quite lengthy and therefore is not for small kids and those who cannot sit quietly for more than a few minutes. If you want to give offerings, arrive early as it's considered very offensive to disrupt the ceremony once it has commenced.
9. Balloon Ride over Bagan, Myanmar
A balloon ride isn't rare, but how about a ride over a landscape dotted with thousands of golden temples - fantastic! Bagan is an unusual place in Myanmar. Originally there were over 10,000 temples but only 3,000 survived and remain intact. The balloon trips have been running in Bagan for over 10 years. The balloons are big enough to give you a sense of safety. The pilots are very experienced and responsible. It is really breathtaking to see the stupa-filled landscape beneath you. Go for it unless you're extremely scared of height!
Tip: The balloon trips only operate from roughly October 20th to March 20th and may get cancelled because of high winds or other weather conditions. The whole ride lasts one hour.
10. Tuk Tuk Ride in Seam Reap, Cambodia
Tuk Tuk is a popular and cheap means of transportation in Indochina region. In Seam Reap, it is a great way to tour around the Angkor Wat. But for tourists, it's more of an experience than just a way to get around.
Tip: It's better to do this in the morning if you're there in summer when temperature is very high and the sun is scorching. After all, there is no air-conditioning on tuk tuk.
By: Nadova Tours