The ultimate introduction to Southeast Asia
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 InsideAsia classic cultural journey!
Recommended Classic Cultural Journeys Experiences
Classic Cultural Journeys itineraries
This north-to-south itinerary showcases the best of Vietnam in a short nine-day tour.
Immerse yourself in Cambodian culture by taking a trip through the Kingdom of Wonder whilst enjoying some unique cultural experiences along the way.
Classic Cultural Journeys accommodation across Indochina
Caravelle Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
The elegant Caravelle Saigon occupies one of the prime spots in central Ho Chi Minh City immediately adjacent to the Opera House, and from the upper floors, overlooking the colonial highlights of the People's Committee Building and Notre Dame Cathedral. The original wing of the hotel, built in 1959, was home to a number of reporters during the Vietnam War, with the new tower being added in 1998. The hotel offers a range of excellent dining options, an outdoor pool, Spa, the famous Saigon Saigon Bar, and spacious, comfortable guest rooms. The recently additions of the Cafe de L'Opera, Tapas Kitchen and Vietnam's fist Champagne corner make this one of Ho Chi Minh City's finest and most celebrated hotels. The Caravelle Saigon is located in the perfect spot to make the most of the fantastic range of restaurants and bars nearby.
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa (Siem Reap)
A fantastically located luxury option, with beautiful views of the manicured Royal Gardens
The delightful colonial-style Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa sits in one of Siem Reap's finest location, overlooking the Royal Gardens and just a short walk from the markets, restaurants and cafes in the centre of town. The property is constructed around a large, attractive pool, with two spacious restaurants serving both French and Cambodian cuisine opening out onto the leafy central courtyard. Rooms are spacious and attractively furnished, many with small private balconies overlooking the pool. For its combination of style, service and location the Victoria is one of the best in Siem Reap.
Sofitel Legend Metropole (Hanoi)
The iconic Metropole, located in the centre of Hanoi close to the Opera House and Hoan Kiem Lake, ranks amongst Vietnam's finest and most distinguished colonial hotels. The hotel is a historic landmark in its own right, having played host to visiting dignitaries and celebrities for more than a century. The original wing of the building dates back to 1901, with glamorous, high ceilinged rooms decorated in dark woods and subtle Vietnamese touches. The modern Opera Wing is a tasteful addition, echoing the style and character of the original wing. The hotel has an attractive central pool and bar, and a range of excellent restaurants.
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.
Phum Biatang Resort (Siem Reap)
Phum Baitang is a beautiful property exceptional in its design which replicates a traditional Cambodian village.
The luxury resort which opened in September 2015 features 45 traditionally designed stilted villas. Located a short drive from the centre of Siem Reap is set within eight hectares of lush gardens and paddy fields ensuring for a truly peaceful and memorable experience. The spacious wooden villas, with either private terrace or pool, are dotted about the compound. They are finished to a very high standard, inspired by traditional Cambodian design. The resort features a large salt water pool with bar and restaurant overlooking the paddy fields. There is also a beautiful spa designed to look like an ancient Khmer temple with a wide variety of treatments as well as saunas, a steam room and traditional outdoor Japanese bath. A separate bar designed to look like a traditional rural home has amazing sunset views over the rice fields.
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.