The Telegraph reviews a cultural tour through Laos and Cambodia
Neil Murray, a writer from The Telegraph, has recently taken a tour with Voyages Jules Verne to Laos and Cambodia to explore the delights of south-east Asia. The tour stopped off at attractions in both countries, including the impressive Angkor Wat, waterfalls, a floating village, cruises on the Mekong River, night markets, and the Killing Fields under the guidance of professional tour experts.
The neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia are becoming increasingly popular travel destinations in South East Asia. Neil Murray, a writer from Telegraph, recently took a tour to the two nations with Voyages Jules Verne.
The tour offers a journey of discovery into the history and heritage of both destinations, and there are plenty of attractions to visit along the way, including the famous Angkor Wat temples, the vibrant night markets, cruises on the Mekong River, and a tour of the Killing Fields.
In his article, Murray writes:
“You certainly do discover Laos and Cambodia, with four stops in Laos, three in Cambodia and various excursions. Temples feature prominently, of course, but there’s a tremendous variety of other activities and attractions throughout to keep the most demanding of visitors happy.”
Accommodation during the tour is varied, and includes stays at the French colonial-style Ansara hotel in Vientiane, the Sanctuary in Luang Prabang, Tara Angkor in Siem Reap, and the Classy Hotel in Battambang which, according to Murray, has “great views from its rooftop bar”. Along the way, travellers will taste the flavours of South East Asia and western cuisine at various restaurants and cafes. Buffet breakfasts are included ay most of the hotels, and some of the dinners come with traditional dancing for entertainment.
Due to the variety of locations during the tour, there are multiple tour guides from Asian Trails who are friendly and enthusiastic, and their local knowledge is excellent. Transport during the tour included flights via Vietnam Airlines’ Dreamliners and Airbuses, snake-boat trips on the Mekong; bike rides around Phnom Penh, and “an exhilarating, if bone-rattling, ride on Cambodia’s Bamboo Train”, according to Murray.
With prices for the Voyages Jules Verne tour starting from £2,695 per person, the trip is packed full of activities and excursions and Murray scored it an 8/10 for value for money.
Cambodia is a country that is home to ancient sites and spectacular temples. The capital Siem Reap is the gateway to the world-famous UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park and its 12th-century ruins, and the city has bustling markets where brave tourists can sample a range of deep-fried insects and buy handcrafted souvenirs.
The neighbouring nation of Laos is also steeped in history and culture. The Mekong River criss-crosses its way through the country, and along the banks, holidaymakers can visit the markets such as the nightly Riverside Market in the capital Vientiane. Travellers can discover the history of the temples including Vat Phou, Pha That Luang, and Wat Si Saket, or visit areas of natural beauty including the Nam Ngum Lake or the waterfalls at the Bolaven Plateau.
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