Come celebrate our 20th anniversary with a trip that encompasses the absolute best of the region, the incredible half-dozen World Heritage sites. This tour adds two World Heritage destinations and outdoor activities to our popular World Heritage Vietnam trip, including bicycling among the magnificent Khmer ruins in Angkor, and cycling, trekking and boating, in and around tranquil Luang Prabang, featuring some of Southeast Asia's most beautiful scenery.
Plan your trip around unique and a worthwhile World Heritage sites of Indochina, and you not miss much. The areas outside Hanoi, and in and around Hue and Hoi An also offer some of Vietnam's most pleasant bicycling. Since 1994, almost all of our much-imitated Vietnam cycling trips have focused on these exceptional places that combine Vietnam's cultural highlights and captivating cycling. Beginning in Hanoi, exploring the karst wonderland of Halong Bay by kayak based on a lovely junk, with cycling in Hue, the rustic ancient capital, and finally, Hoi An, a picturesque small port town that is everyone's favorite stop in Vietnam. If you have longer, consider our Indochina World Heritage tour which adds additional time for cycling in the ruins of Angkor and in sublime river valleys of Luang Prabang, Laos.
Day 1 & 2 Halong Bay kayaking
Day 3 Hue
Day 4 Hue to Hoi An
Day 5 & 6 Hoi An
Day 7 & 8 A N G K O R
Day 9 & 10 Luang Prabang
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"Everyone on the tour agreed this trip was the most incredible travel experience they have ever had. And it simply wouldn't have been the same without VeloAsia."
Beginning in Hanoi, the graceful, tree-lined boulevards of the capital city i recall the days when it was the French capital of Indochine, yet it is where a statue of Lenin makes its last stand, where writer and guest VeloAsia guide Michael Buckley observes "though it's the Vietnam War that lingers with those who know Vietnam through film, television, and personal experience, it's the French presence that strikes those who actually visit. There are stately French-built mansions and tree-shaded boulevards in Hanoi, art galleries in Hanoi selling works heavily influenced by French styles, cafés serving French bread and drip filter coffee, and French villas dotting the hills of Dalat. The origin of some customs are French, but the interpretation is purely Vietnamese. The people still move at bicycle pace. On the streets, schoolgirls in graceful white ao dais pedal by, and women with conical hats sit on top of loads of produce, being wheeled around in bicycle-powered contraptions."
On Halong Bay, we'll explore the stunning geographic highlight of Indochina, gliding across the placid water by kayak, enabling up-close access to the hundreds of towering karst peaks into hidden lagoons where no boat can go. On one of the finest boats on the bay, we'll dine on delicious fresh seafood as well an assortment of northern specialties, culinary delights VeloAsia is known for.
In Hue and Hoi An too, we will encounter the legacy of French rule in the elegant colonial architecture and hotels, study the ancient Chinese influence on customs and food as well as the profound effect of the American period on Vietnamese culture, for better or worse. Hue was, after all, the only urban city to see combat during the Vietnam War. The ancient traditions, foreign influences and dynamic society make all three of these central coast cities fascinating destinations and also offer some of Vietnam's finest bicycle touring.
Bicycling along the coastal region near Hue will reveal a pastoral countryside where vast stretches of rice paddies meet a jungle foliage that is a hundred shades of green. In addition to stunning landscapes, bicycling will provide access to Vietnam's greatest treasure - its people. Their warm greetings and smiles come naturally and their optimism and enduring spirit are inspiring. The Vietnamese are happy to have visitors again, especially Americans, who are now a novelty, yet historically familiar.
After Vietnam, visiting the most astonishing ruins in Asia, the temples of the Khmer empire at Angkor. Our biking excursion will visit the most grand of the 70 discovered ruins spread over 200 square kilometers. The primary temple, Angkor Wat, itself is a half mile-wide — the greatest Buddhist monument ever constructed, but there are many astounding structures of equal impact in the surrounding area. This density of ruins is unparalleled anywhere else in the world, with the exception of the Nile Valley.
At trip's end, savoring the tranquility of Northern Laos' temple-cty, Luang Prabang. The timeless city offers old-world culture, tranquil landscapes, majestic architecture, fabulous cuisine, and luxurious resorts. Here, our outdoor activities include biking and trekking in the bucolic Nam Ou River Valley, passing through and visiting, informally, a local village, farm, temple, and school during our ride to enjoy a glimpse into Lao lifestyles.
Freshly cooked meals and restful nights in charming colonial-era hotels will restore tired legs. Swimming, snorkeling, and exploration by foot round out our itinerary. The experience of a lifetime? Many of our past travelers have said so.
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