On this tour we visit the historically intertwined countries of Vietnam and Cambodia, taking in bustling metropolis cities, ancient kingdoms, world heritage sites, and the spectacular beauty of Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta.
With its fascinating history, terraced rice fields, floating markets, French-influenced food, and scenic waterways, Vietnam has so much to offer the traveller. Vietnam is a long, narrow nation on the eastern edge of the peninsula known as Indochina. As a communist country, Vietnam has no official religion, but people are free to worship if they want to, and many follow what's called the "Three Teachings" of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Vietnam’s neighbours include China to the north and Laos and Cambodia to the west. A 1600 km long coastline stretches along the east, with the mountains of the Annam Cordillera dominating most of the western side of the country. Two of Vietnam's largest rivers, the Mekong in the south and the Red in the north, end at the South China Sea in huge swampy plains called deltas. These regions are home to much of the country's population and provide fertile ground to grow rice and crops. On this journey, we will cruise the serene waters of both the delta and UNESCO World Heritage-listed Halong Bay in northeast Vietnam, which consists of more than 1,600 islands and inlets.
The Kingdom of Cambodia is about twice the size of Tasmania and has a population of over 14 million, 95% of whom are Buddhists. From the 9th to the 15th century, the country was the centre of the Khmer Empire. It became a French protectorate in 1863 and then part of French Indochina a few years later. The decades following their independence in 1953 were nothing short of turbulent and bloody. Between 1969 and 1973 some half a million civilians and soldiers were killed by the “secret” American carpet bombing. Fanatical dictator Pol Pot ruled from 1975 until 1978 and it’s estimated that one-fifth of the country’s population perished during this period from government-related activity. Today, Cambodia is a private enterprise economy with foreign investment and tourism imperative to the nation. The capital Phnom Penh is by far the largest city with a population of over 2 million. Physically, the country is picturesque with fertile valleys, the mighty Mekong River and the Tonle Sap freshwater lake as core sightseeing must-sees. Of course, Cambodia’s main tourist attraction is the stunning Angkor Wat.
||12 October 2024|
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