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
Experience the glorious and contrasting cultural and scenic highlights of Indochina on our two-week journey through Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.
This itinerary provides an introduction to Vietnam's French colonial heritage, from beautiful Victorian-era hotels to lush, green hill stations.
Classic Cultural Journeys accommodation across Indochina
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.
Little Hoi An Central Boutique & Spa (Hoi An)
Perfectly located the Little Hoi An Central Boutique with its friendly staff and atmosphere is a great choice for discovering Hoi An.
Little Hoi An Central Boutique Hotel & Spa is located in a quiet area on the edge of Hoi An old town, just a 10 minute walk from the Japanese Covered Bridge. Housed in a colonial-style building this hotel is modern and comfortable with notable traditional oriental designs and touches adding a homely feel. The spacious rooms, many with baloneys, large outdoor pool and friendly staff will make your stay as relaxing as possible. Guests can make use of the hotels free bicycles and bus shuttle service to their own stretch of private beach, just four kilometres away.
My Dream Boutique Resort (Luang Prabang)
My Dream Resort is a leafy oasis situated a 10 minute cycle from the old town in Luang Prabang. This wonderful retreat is set in a lush green garden with lovely views across the Khan River. The hotel offers a number of bicycles guests can borrow free of charge and during the winter months, between November and May, there is a bamboo bridge to walk across taking you from one side of the river to the next. There is also a lovely onsite swimming pool and an open aired restaurant offering a selection of western and more authentic Lao dishes.
Sofitel Saigon Plaza (Ho Chi Minh City)
A luxurious and contemporary base for exploration in this modern city
The Sofitel Plaza is a wonderful, modern 5* hotel in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City on the historical Le Duan Boulevard and close to all the key sights including the Botanical Gardens and History Museum. The hotel has a huge range of facilities including a rooftop swimming pool, spa and numerous restaurants.
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.
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.