Our adventure began at the fantastic Abbotts Travel showcase event at Chigwell Golf Club, which introduced us to the wonders of Indochina.
Our friends Mark and Jan were lucky enough to win two free flights in the prize draw.
They did not have to ask us twice to join them and within a few days we were booked through Abbotts Travel on a trip to Cambodia and Vietnam.
Landing in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was the perfect start to the trip. The hotel was lovely, the people were extremely friendly and the food was great. Our excitement peaked when we were able to travel around the town at night by TukTuk. A visit to Pub Street is a must.
Our guide, Lucky, spoke perfect English and showed us around local temples, including the famous Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, with exemplary knowledge. The temples were absolutely breathtaking and our initial dread of being picked up at 7am dissipated as soon as we arrived.
Another highlight of Siem Reap was a visit to the Tonlé Sap lake to experience how the boat people live.
Next stop was Hoi An in Vietnam. The old town by the river offered a host of bars and restaurants as well as plenty of local shops and indoor food markets.
The whole place came alive at night, with thousands of multi coloured lanterns offering a sight to behold. The lantern making class we attended with our guide highlighted some hidden talents for some of us.
After spending six nights in Hoi An it was time to head to our final destination, Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Again this destination offered so much to see and do, from the old town where you must try the street food, to the Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, which was quite a surreal experience.
Our tour guide Jimmy’s knowledge was endless, giving us a great insight to life in this mad city. There are only 7 million mopeds to avoid and no traffic lights or pedestrian crossings. It’s just advised you walk slowly and never step back!
While in Hanoi we made the trip up to Halong Bay, spending one night on a luxury ‘Indochina Sails’ junk. The staff, food and accommodation were incredible and Halong is everything you imagine it to be from the pictures.
An early morning Tai Chi session on the roof deck was also a great start to the day.
We did not know what to expect from this experience but we had a fantastic trip and we will definitely return to explore more of Vietnam and Cambodia.
Ray & Trudy Andes + Mark & Jan Lucy