• Indochina Experiences

    Indochina Experiences

    Indochina is one of the last secrets of Asia, a delicate flower unfurling its exquisite petals to the world after many years of hibernation. As with all ‘indus experiences’ a selection of carefully created tours showcase the best of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, allowing the visitor time to take in each country and culture. All are quite perfect destinations - holidays alive with discovery, culture and new adventures in distant lands. Each has been designed to allow travellers to absorb the flavour and gain an understanding of some of the world’s most beautiful and enigmatic countries – waiting to be discovered and savoured.
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Grand Tour of Indochina

  • Itinerary
  • Cost
  • Experiences
  • Highlights
Hanoi Halong Bay cruise Hue Hoi An My Son Ho Chi Minh City Cu Chi Tunnels Mekong Boat ride Phnom Penh Siem Reap Angkor Wat Temples Tonle Sap Lake Luang Prabang Pak Ou Caves Elephant and Bamboo Raft rides Hanoi

Day 1. To Hanoi
Midday departure from London Gatwick on direct Vietnam Airlines flight to Hanoi or from London Heathrow with Thai Airways flight to Hanoi via Bangkok.

Day 2. Hanoi
Morning arrival in Hanoi. Met and transferred to the hotel. Two nights Hotel de l'Opera Hanoi.

Day 3. Hanoi City Tour
After breakfast guided tour of Hanoi visiting the Ho Chi Minh Quarter, including the Mausoleum, Ho Chi Minh’s house and the One Pillar Pagoda. Continue to the Temple of Literature then see the infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison.

Day 4. To Halong Bay - Cruise
An early start to Halong Bay. Considered Vietnam’s greatest treasure, with its spectacular natural scenery, Halong Bay boasts over 3,000 islands soaring out of the sea. Explore its caves and cool down or swim in one of the many secluded bays. Overnight onboard the Paradise Cruise.

Day 5. To Hue via Hanoi
After brunch disembark and transfer to Hanoi airport for late afternoon flight to Hue. Two nights at Pilgrims Village Hotel.

Day 6. Hue - Guided tour
Guided tour of Hue including a boat trip on the Perfume River to see some of the famous sights in Hue - the Thien Mu Pagoda and Minh Mang’s Tomb. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit Tu Duc’s Tomb and the Imperial Citadel.

Day 7. To Hoi AnAfter breakfast depart for Hoi An. The coastal drive from Hue to Hoi An is considered the most beautiful drive in Central Vietnam passing through a unique combination of rural, mountainous and coastal settings. Three nights at the Fusion Maia.

Day 8. Hoi An excursion
In the morning, visit the unique trading town Hoi An. Virtually cut off by destroyed rail lines and a silted river, it’s a vignette of an era past with old trading houses in Japanese, French, Chinese and Indian style. See the exceptional Japanese covered bridge and a Chinese communal house.

Day 9. My Son tour
After early breakfast tour to My Son ruins – the mini Angkor Wat of Vietnam. After a fairly smooth start the road becomes quite rickety, cross a bamboo ‘Monkey’ bridge and transfer to a jeep, then walk the last 500m to the main site. There are over 70 classic Cham monuments at My Son, dating from the 7th – 13th C. Set against the backdrop of the Cat's Tooth Mountain, they remained relatively intact until 1968 when B52 bombers destroyed most of the towers during the Vietnam War.

Day 10. To Ho Chi Minh City – Saigon - City visit
Morning flight to Ho Chi Minh City. Later visit the former Presidential Palace (now preserved as a museum) and see the underground communications bunkers, the headquarters for the Saigon Government during the American War. Continue to the History Museum, housing an excellent display tracing the origins of the indigenous Vietnamese. Visit Notre Dame, an impressive neo-Romanesque Cathedral in the centre of city, the 'wedding cake' styled Hotel D' Ville and see the former US Embassy. Three nights at the Majestic Hotel.

Day 11. Cu Chi excursion
After breakfast drive to the fascinating Cu Chi tunnel networks, established as a means of waging guerrilla warfare against superior French, then later American firepower. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 12. Mekong Delta Day Trip - Cai Be Floating Market
Early this morning depart Saigon by road and journey into the Mekong Delta. Embark on a traditional wooden boat, stylishly fitted out with bamboo chairs and lounging cushions. Tour the colourful floating market of Cai Be, afterwards tour a historic Mandarin house dating from the 19th C. Finally visit an untouched area of the Mekong Delta, where life continues, largely undisturbed; as it has for generations.

Day 13. To Phnom Penh – The Killing Fields
Morning transfer to the airport to board flight to Phnom Penh. In the afternoon visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and Cheung Ek. During the Pol Pot regime, Toul Sleng, formerly a high school was converted to a detention centre known as S21. After interrogation and often torture, prisoners were transferred to the ‘Killing Fields’ where they were often tortured again and brutally killed. Two nights at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal.

Day 14. Phnom Penh - cultural visits
Visit the Royal Palace: a number of structures within a pagoda-style compound. It was built in 1866 by King Norodo. The Silver Pagoda, was named after its amazing 5,000 plus silver tiles. Also see the small 17th C. iconic ‘Emerald Buddha’. The National Museum has the world’s largest collection of Khmer art sculptures; the most notable is the legendary statue of the ‘Leper King.’

Day 15. To Siem Reap - Angkor Thom tour
After breakfast fly to Siem Reap. Afternoon visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom – the last capital of the great Khmer Empire. Visit the sprawling Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the enchanting Bayon with its enigmatic faces. Three nights at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’ Angkor.

Day 16. Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm and Tonle Sap Lake

Morning visit Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm. Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor Temples, Banteay Srei is considered the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Ta Prohm, still partially lost to the jungle, is one of the most popular attractions of Angkor. Afternoon boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia.

Day 17. Siem Reap - Angkor Wat tour
This morning visit Angkor Wat, arguably the largest religious building in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the pyramid of Cheops. Conceived by Suryavarman II, and generally believed to be his funeral Temple, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. Unlike all the other Khmer Temples it faces west, and was inspired by 12th C. Hinduism architecture. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Occupied, continuously, by Buddhist monks it’s still well preserved. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Each tells a story - the most
celebrated of these is the mystical Churning of the Sea of Milk, located on the east wing.

Day 18. To Luang Prabang - Afternoon sightseeing
After breakfast fly to Luang Prabang. Afternoon sightseeing tour of Luang Prabang including the Haw Kham Royal Palace Museum and the Wat Xieng Thong Temple. Three nights at the Maison Souvannaphoum.

Day 19. Morning Alms giving, River cruise, Pak Ou caves
At dawn witness the daily morning alms giving as hundreds of monks, of all ages, file silently by collecting gifts of food from devotees. After breakfast, take a cruise down the jungle fringed river, visiting colourful local villages and the Pak Ou Caves filled with hundreds of Buddha statues.

Day 20. Day Walking excursion with Elephant and Raft rides
Walk in the footsteps of French explorer Dr. P. Neiss, who once surveyed the local tribes around Luang Prabang. This ‘safari’ starts at the Elephant village for an overview of the work going on - talk with the Veterinarian and feed the elephants. Later take an elephant ride to a delightful waterfall and stop for a traditional Lao lunch. After a short 1.5km trek to the Nam Khan River board a delightful bamboo raft for a fun trip to the landing jetty.

Day 21. To London via Bangkok or Hanoi
Morning flight to Bangkok or Hanoi with onward connection with Thai Airways or Vietnam Airlines back to London.

The Cost From

Per Person on a Double/ Twin share basis                      £4,175.00

Single room supplement                                                  £1,665.00


Cost Includes:

  • International & internal flights in economy class.

  • Accommodation in a double/twin sharing room with en-suite facilities.

  • Daily breakfast throughout. Full board on Halong Bay Cruise. Lunch at local restaurant on Day 12 & Picnic lunch on Day 20

  • Services of English speaking guide during sightseeing.

  • Transfers as per the itinerary by air-conditioned vehicles.

  • Excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary.

  • Full ATOL Bonding.


Cost does not include:

  • Visa Fee.

  • Any optional Excursions.

  • Any expenses of a personal nature.

  • Travel Insurance.


Hidden Treasures of Indochina
In leading museums and conservations departments privately meet leading art experts and archaeologists. Visit the store rooms to see a plethora of treasures.

  • Understand and appreciate the history of the war years in Vietnam with a history tour of Saigon. Experience an intimate tour of its iconic locations and structures
  • Experience a cookery demonstration with one of Vietnam's finest chefs to learn more about the delights of Vietnamese cuisine. This can be arranged in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An or Saigon
  • Meet one of the survivors of S-21 Prison to understand more about Democratic Kampuchea. This can include a personal tour of Tuol Sleng Museum.
  • Witness the beauty and complexity of Lao classical dance by attending a performance in the theatre of the former Royal Palace in Luang Prabang

Meet our Scholars and Trip Leaders

Leaders Banners


SarahShawS A R A H   S H A W

Tour lecturer Sarah Shaw is a Faculty Member at the Oriental Institute at Oxford University, and an Honorary Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies. One of her key research interests is Indian and Asian influences on British nineteenthcentury writers, of whom Kipling is surely the most famous. Throughout the tour she will give a series of short lectures about Kipling and his work, as well as carefully chosen poetry and short story readings.


VibhaJoshiParkinD R . V I B H A   J O S H I   P A R K I N

Dr Vibha Joshi Parkin is  professorial Research Fellow at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Tuebingen University and Research Associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford from where she also obtained her doctorate. Working with the Nagas since 1 985, Dr Vibha Joshi Parkin has conducted extensive fieldwork on their religion and material cultures and will impart her intimate knowledge of the tribes. Her research interests focus on two inter-related themes, traditional religion, conversion to Christianity, healers and  healing practices and ethnographic museum collections, history of colonial collecting (especially textiles), cultural history of the Naga peoples and their self-presentation. She is the author of research monograph, A Matter of Belief: Christian Conversion and Healing in North East India (Berghahn, 2012), co-author of, The Land of the Nagas (Mapin, 2004), co-curator of the international exhibition on the Naga at the Basel Museum of World Cultures  and co-editor of the book, Naga: A Forgotten Mountain Region Rediscovered (2008).She has authored several articles based on her research among Naga in edited books and journals.



David Tolley is a Visiting Artist at The Ruskin School of Art where he specialises in Photography and Film. He has exhibited in Germany, Australia, Greece (Athens), USA (New York), and the U.K. (London and Oxford), and will be showing work in Poland (Warsaw) and Germany (Berlin) in 2016. He studied English Language & Literature at the University of Oxford (1997).



Heather Kelly

H E A T H E R   K E L L Y

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK's Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this. 

Read my blog

John Macgillivray1

J O H N    M A C G I L L I V R A Y

Currently I am a part time science tutor at the Open University with over 20 years experience of teaching undergraduate, general science modules. This has including a senior tutor role at OU Residential Schools, leading geology/ecology field trips and similar independently led field trips. I have previously worked in the UK Meteorological Office and National Engineering Laboratory (UK). I hold a first class honours degree in Earth science and a degree equivalent in Physics. Recently I have carried out published research work with Professor Ray MacDonald (Lancaster University/ University of Warsaw) and Professor B. Bagiński (University of Warsaw) on the Tertiary dyke systems of Southern Scotland and NE England, adding to previous jointly published research work I have carried out.


 Bobs PictureR O B E R T (BOB)   C O O K

Retired as a Warrant Officer from the British Army after 34 years. His family has a long almost unbroken line of military service dating back alhmost 170 years.

Since retirement from the army Bob has operated a busy Bed & Breakfast in York, U.K. together with his wife. Amongst other interests, Bob is the volunteer curator of the 2nd Infantry Division Kohima Museum Trust also located in York. It was in this role that Bob first visited the battlefields of Kohima in 2008 and has since been back another 8 times leading military and civilian groups to explain and explore the many different aspects of what is probably the most important unknown battle of WW2. During his visits to Kohima, Bob’s knowledge and understanding of the Battle has steadily increased as has his liking for the friendly Naga Hill people of Nagaland in North East India.

In addition to being the curator, Bob is also a Trustee of the Kohima Educational Trust which aims to repay the debt of gratitude owed by the British veterans to the Naga Hill people for their unstinting aid and assistance against the Japanese Imperial Army. One of the ways of repaying this debt of gratitude is by sponsoring the education of the Naga children aged 14 – 16.

Bob is also the deputy chairman of the Burma Campaign Society which aims to improve and enhance the reconciliation between Japan and the U.K. In this role he has also visited Japan in company with a British army veteran of the battle to visit and pay respects to Japanese veterans of the Burma campaign and to visit the grave of Lieutenant General Kotoku Sato who commanded the 31st Japanese Division at Kohima.

Click here to view Bob Cook’s interview with Kohima Museum, York’s Curator


Dannys Picture

D R    D A N N Y    C L A R K-L O W E S

Is a geologist, educated at Cambridge and London universities, who has given industry training courses on geology at locations throughout the world, as well as publishing scientific papers and books. He is also a mountaineer who has climbed in the Swiss Alps and in the Himalaya. He will lead this tour to Nepal which will look at aspects of the geology and geography of the spectacular Himalaya, and will help participants achieve an understanding of how mountain belts and their associated rock types are created through plate movements.



J O A N   P O L L O C K

I am a botanist by training, with a PhD in plant physiology and a broader interest in plant ecology. In recent years my focus has been on teaching rather than research and I have taught interdisciplinary science with the UK's Open University, as well as whole organism biology at Durham University. Teaching at both universities has included running field trips on which students learned about assessing biodiversity, the impact of environmental factors on plant growth and processes such as succession. I am really keen to encourage people to look at how organisms interact with their environment, particularly at a time when we can see that environment changing. I would like to do this in Kasmir and Ladakh by looking at how the vegetation changes with factors such as altitude and rainfall and also at how primary succession allows the colonisation of bare ground. The Himalayas, with their natural beauty and the fact that so many British garden plants have their origins here, make an ideal location for this.


NaturePhotography TourLeaders Baines R I C H A R D    B A I N E S – ORNITHOLOGIST / ECOLOGIST

Richard is an experienced ornithologist/ecologist who has been studying and working as a Nature Guide and in Wildlife Conservation for 30 years. From recording UK migrant birds as a volunteer for Flamborough Bird Observatory to monitoring Siberian migrants in China; he has become highly experienced in bird identification and ecology. He was born in North Yorkshire and lived here for most of his life. He has worked extensively with the North York Moors National Park (NYMNP) including a project in 2014 surveying a large area of open moorland for breeding waders such as Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria). He has travelled extensively especially in Asia, recently spending 3 months birding in Thailand. He returned from Gujarat in December 2015 with a great passion for Indian birds and of course the food! He is currently studying part time for his MSc in Environmental Conservation. Richard is very keen on always increasing his knowledge on the ecology of birds and other wildlife. His greatest asset is his knowledge and enthusiasm, he loves passing on his experience of wildlife to a wide range of ages and abilities.


NaturePhotography TourLeaders Race


Steve is an award-winning wildlife photographer based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. He has been a keen naturalist and birder for over 30 years, lived on the Yorkshire Coast all of his life and believes there is no better place for variety of habitats and amazing wildlife. Inspired by the natural world around him Steve captures incredible wildlife images. In 2013 he was “Commended” in the “Wildlife Photographe¬¬r of the Year Awards” and “British Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards” in which in 2015 he was “Highly Commended”. His work has been published in national and regional media and magazines, leaflets, websites and publications. Steve has also been featured on BBC Countryfile, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and regional television programmes. He also runs regular exhibitions, workshops, and delivers talks and lectures. Steve has worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as Education Officer at Bempton Cliffs, East Yorkshire and taken part in numerous projects for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, National Trust and other conservation organisations.


Pravin DangeraP R A V I N    D A N G E R A

Born in the textile cradle of India, Gujarat, Pravin has been an expert guide to travellers in India since 1996. A speaker of several languages and trained by Gujarat Tourism, his expertise lies in textile and village tours. His long standing experience as a textile tours escort has enabled him to develop close relations with local craft and village communities in Gujarat. He has led textile lovers from the UK, USA, Australia and several other countries across textile hubs in India.


Mike scott

M I K E   S C O T T

I grew up in a Royal Navy family, first in the Far East, and then near Portsmouth. Having considered, and rejected, following my parents into the Navy I took a degree at Brunel University where I developed my love of History. I also learned that I loved teaching and great passion in education – outdoor learning. I have long believed that it is important to bring History to life in the original environment. My career in education finally led me to a school where I was responsible for co–ordination of all co-curricular activities. However, life in that environment means you miss out on many things. Hence, I chose to leave and did so at just the right time. A range of opportunities presented themselves. I very proudly received my Guild of Battlefield Guides badge in February 2009. I am happy to be one of a grand company of brothers, with a wealth of experience. Being a Badged Guide amongst this group of men and women is a unique honor and a privilege.

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