Vietnam is a country on the move. The American-Vietnamese War ended more than forty years ago and, whilst not forgotten, it no longer defines today's Vietnamese, who are young, optimistic and dynamic; ready to welcome the world. Whether hiking through rice terraces in the north, cruising through magical Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta, relaxing on Phu Quoc's palm-lined beaches or sipping coffee on a colonial boulevard, you'll be enchanted from your first to final moment in Vietnam.
Cambodia is the Southeast Asia of countless postcards. Far less developed than neighbouring Vietnam or Thailand, this is a land of orange-robed monks, hidden Khmer temples, lush rice paddies and coconut curries served on banana leaves. Whilst the temples of Angkor are undoubtedly Cambodia's biggest draw, the country has so much more to offer besides these ancient ruins. Take a boat ride to the floating villages of Tonlé Sap Lake; explore opulent palaces and colonial heritage in capital Phnom Penh; relax on idyllic and untouched islands in the south; and walk alongside elephants and gibbons on a jungle trek in remote Mondulkiri Province.
It's impossible not to fall in love with Laos. The soothing pace of life and serenity of devoutly Buddhist people is a seductive force; you'll wonder why no-one told you about Laos before. Although roughly the size of the UK, Laos has a population of just 6.8 million people; nature dominates the scenery here - from vast limestone mountains emerging from jungle mists to huge rivers criss-crossing the land. Dotted between, you'll find coffee plantations, golden temples and unhurried villages where saffron-robed monks receive morning alms from their neighbours.
Though just a short flight from the throng of modern Bangkok, arriving in Myanmar (Burma) is akin to travelling back in time to Southeast Asia in the 1980s, when international influence started gaining a foothold. A sense of the mysterious and exotic is still pervasive, and beyond the cities there's a dramatic variety of topography; semi-desert plains in Bagan, snow-capped Himalayan peaks in Kachin state, and idyllic beaches that stretch from Bangladesh in the northwest to the untouched Myeik Archipelago in the far south.