Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand
Tauck's 16-day Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam travel adventure encompasses the best of Southeast Asia as you explore the legendary cities of Hanoi, Hué, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. Discover golden Buddhas, ancient kingdoms, inspiring temples and lush landscapes, and experience the unique cultures and traditions of this fascinating area of the world for yourself... from a water puppet performance to ornate pagodas and soaring temple spires to gilded palaces and bamboo stilt houses. Explore Chiang Mai and cruise on the klongs of Bangkok. Discover poignant reminders of war in Vietnam like the Cu Chi Tunnels and notorious Hoa Lo Prison, and see the legacy of peace as you visit a kindergarten in Da Nang. Experience the grandeur and archaeological significance of UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Angkor, Hoi An and Hué, and stay at the finest city hotels and word-class resorts.
Bangkok is chief port capital of Thailand and one of the most important cities in Southeast Asia. It is the epitome of the country's kaleidoscopic blend of old and new. It is an expression of Thai respect for tradition coupled with their vibrant involvement with modern progress. Rama I built the walled Grand Palace, which contains Temple of the Emerald Buddha. During the 19th century, Bangkok was known as the Venice of the East because of its many canals, which served as streets and commercial thoroughfares. Houses perched along the banks of the remaining canals are still common sight. Some of Bangkok’s most distinctive features are the approximately 400 Buddhist temples, known as wats. Bangkok is Thailand's economic center. Other sights to see include Temples, monuments, museums, Vimarnmekh Mansion, and Jim Thompson’s House.
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is often referred to as Vietnam’s jewel and the Pearl of the Orient. Located in south Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is the country’s largest city, with more than six million people and over one million motorbikes. Under the current regime the city is once more being rebuilt. Whole blocks are disappearing, being replaced by concrete, steel and glass structures. Central Saigon, which is still the official name for the city center, shows evidence of the French colonial city, with wide, tree-lined boulevards, sidewalk cafés and elegant French architecture. The city is divided into two sections: Saigon, the municipal and historical district, and Cholon (Chinatown), where the entrepreneurial talent and private funds are concentrated. Cholon appears to be the most populated and in general the most vigorous part of Ho Chi Minh City. It is well worth a visit for its bustle and activity and its pagodas, which are reputed to be the finest in the whole city.
Chiang Mai is a city built on the roots of a traditional heritage that dig deep into the soil of time. It's a city with a beautiful cultural personality of its own. In addition, it's been blessed with much majestic beauty in nature. The people themselves are an unforgettable part of Chiang Mai. Handicrafts of silk, silver and wood are timeless souvenirs for visitors from all over the globe.
Da Nang is on the threshold of becoming a major destination for tourists from Europe, Australia and the United States, thanks to some unique attractions, spectacular scenery and the friendliness of the locals. The French influence is evident in Da Nang's provincial character which dates back to the 19th century, with later history wrought by war. It was here on the coast that the first U.S. combat troops landed on March 8, 1965. As the war progressed, Da Nang’s runway was expanded to become the largest in all of Southeast Asia. Da Nang fell to the Viet Cong in March 1975; this signified South Vietnam's defeat in the war. Among the city's numerous attractions is the much-touted Cham Museum, housing close to 300 Cham sculptures. Here history lovers get a glimpse into a very powerful era of Vietnam's past. Da Nang, however, may be most familiar to Americans who watched the movie Good Morning Vietnam and the popular television series China Beach - which immortalized a popular R&R GI resort of the Vietnam War.
Hanoi is a city with a history that dates back to the 7th century. In 1954 Hanoi was declared the capital of the Democratic Republic of North Vietnam, and in 1976, following the Vietnam War, it became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This political history has made Hanoi one of the country's most fascinating cities to explore. The most renowned of all the monuments is the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. It is dedicated to Vietnam's most well-respected President, who in 1945, led his country to independence. Other highlights include the Museum of History, containing ancient artifacts from Cambodia, Thailand, Japan and China, the 11th century One Pillar Pagoda and legendary Sword Lake.
The small provincial capital of Siem Reap stretches along the Siem Reap river – surrounded by rice paddies and serving as the gateway to centuries-old temple ruins of the Khmer Empire. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Angkor Archaeological Park contains numerous temple ruins including Bayon, Banteay Srey and legendary Angkor Wat. Those visiting the site stay in Siem Reap. Experience some local flavor, attend a dance performance, or shop in some local craft shops. Angkor Wat’s artistic and archaeological significance rivals the Pyramids in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru and the Taj Mahal in India. Unspoiled by over-development, many areas of the area are possible to explore away from crowds. Its three-tiered massive pyramid is crowned by five beehive-like towers on the ground. It is the centerpiece of any visit to temples in Angkor. This amazing structure is thought to be dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu.
Hue is at the heart of central Vietnam. The landscape – with its misty Perfume River and pagodas – has long been a source of poetry and paintings. Always an important cultural, intellectual and historical city, Hue remains one of Vietnam’s main attractions.
Hoi An is an ancient port town that was designated an UNESCO World Heritage site. It is one of the rare places in Vietnam to discover genuine Vietnamese architecture. Walk through the Old Quarter and get a glimpse of a medieval Vietnam that no longer exists in the other areas of the country. Visit the Phuc Kien Pagoda, the 400-year-old Japanese Covered Bridge and the colorful bazaar
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