Days 1 to 8
Luang Prabang to Hanoi
Mention South-East Asia and most people tend to think of Thailand or Malaysia – but it would be such a shame to overlook Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Laos is a glimpse of Old Asia, with a pace of life that goes back 10,000 years and Buddhism everywhere: its mountains, mists and natural beauty, with charming cities like the elegant capital of Vientiane and wonderfully-preserved Luang Prabang: calm and tranquil with saffron-robed monks moving silently between monasteries. Among the oldest is Wat Wisunalat, while most magnificent is Wat Xieng Thong. Here we suggest a stay at the gorgeous Amantaka.
The region's rising star is Cambodia, with beautiful beaches, fascinating Khmer culture and absorbing cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. We love this place (especially the extraordinary Amansara), with its lovely riverside setting and vibrant restaurants and bars.
Most come to see the legendary temples of Angkor; over 11 centuries old, the 100-temple complex is breathtaking, and nothing beats sunrise or sunset there… apart, perhaps, from seeing it from a hot-air balloon.