The ultimate introduction to Indochina
For many first-time visitors to the region, the challenge is to combine all the celebrated must-see destinations without feeling like you're following the bog-standard tourist trail. Our aim with this collection of classic journeys is to allow you to experience the highlights of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in a manner that is more personal, and that combines the popular sights with insightful cultural experiences. Enjoy the best of all worlds on an IVT classic cultural journey!
Recommended Classic Cultural Journeys Experiences
Classic Cultural Journeys itineraries
Scenic splendour, dramatic remnants of ancient empires and thriving modern cultures await on our exploration of the highlights of Laos and Cambodia
This architecturally themed tour of Vietnam & Laos showcases the tremendous variety of traditional & French colonial architecture.
Classic Cultural Journeys accommodation across Indochina
Bhaya Classic Cruise (Halong Bay)
The Bhaya Cruise provides high quality accommodation on the beautiful waters of Halong Bay.
As with many of the boats, the Bhaya offers both one and two night cruising options, with the first day itinerary being the same in both cases. Boarding takes place at around midday, with a seafood lunch immediately following an initial welcome and safety briefing. The boat sets sail through the sublime scenery of the Bai Tu Bay during lunch, and reaches the shore excursion destination mid-afternoon. The itinerary may vary depending on season and weather conditions, but a regular stop is at the remarkable Van Vieng fishing village, a floating community resident in a sheltered bay in the midst of the limestone karst peaks. You will transfer from the main boat to small sampans, and be rowed through the village to the spectacular cave mouth through which the locals access the sea. On return to the boat time is at leisure to swim or sit back and enjoy the wonderful setting. Evening meal is at 7.30, after which you can try your hand at squid fishing if the mood takes you.
Salana Boutique Hotel (Vientiane)
Explore the heart of downtown Vientiane from this stylish and comfortable central hotel
The Salana Boutique Hotel is a lovely hotel in the heart of downtown Vientiane. Rooms are very contemporary with stylish bathrooms, modern furniture, yet beautiful Lao fabrics, as well as traditional lamps and furnishings blended in. The hotel has excellent facilities including a lovely spa, boutique shop and a cosy lounge/library/bar room on the top floor – the perfect spot for sipping a cocktail and watching city life unfold on the street below. The ground floor is also excellent and serves some of Vientiane's very best coffee.
The Dalat Palace Hotel (Dalat)
The Dalat Palace Hotel is one of Vietnam's landmark colonial hotels offering the very best of French elegance and style, with charming Vietnamese service. The hotel is in a lovely, serene location overlooking Dalat's Xuan Huong Lake. Each guest room is beautifully decorated with Edwardian furniture and art deco flourishes. We particularly liked the roll-top baths and balcony views. The hotel has a large restaurant serving French cuisine. There are free transfers to the Dalat Palace Golf Club; equipment hire can be arranged on theday so you can enjoy the 18 hole course.
La Siesta Trendy (Hanoi)
The new stylish hotel is an ideal base for exploring the Old Quarter.
La Siesta Trendy is the most recent property of the Elegance Hotel group, located to the west of the old town. Contemporary in design and stylishly modern in character, this hotel is a welcome addition.
La Siesta Trendy boasts clean, well presented and spacious rooms from Cozy Deluxe rooms, Trendy suites, to the Grand La Siesta Balcony suites. The hotel features an on-site spa and a fantastic restaurant with panoramic views of the city to enjoy during breakfast! This hotel makes a great base to explore all Hanoi has to offer, or get away from the chaos of the city and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
Almanity Hoi An (Hoi An)
Relax and unwind at this spa themed hotel, with daily relaxation and massage sessions included
The Almanity provides a relaxing retreat that goes hand-in-hand with Hoi An's laid-back atmosphere. Included in your stay is a daily "spa journey" at the My Chi Spa, which will include a combination of steam/sauna, massage treatments, and movement practice – all designed to appeal to spa treatment connoisseurs and first timers alike. There are also introductory yoga sessions each morning to complement the spa journeys.
The Almanity prides itself on introducing local culture to its guests, so the breakfast menu combines local delicacies purchased at Hoi An's market with the hotel's own menu. In the evening, the restaurant takes you on a culinary journey across the world with Vietnamese, French, Japanese and grill kitchens. The light and airy guest rooms are simply designed, with dark woods and tiled floors providing touches of local tradition. Rooms come with either a bath tub or a shower so be sure to put in a request for your preference in advance. Although not the most central of Hoi An's hotels, the old quarter is just a 15-minute walk away or a very short taxi journey.