On Location in South East Asia
November 2017 | By Susan Milne | 5 minute read |
Trails of Indochina is a pioneer and leader in Destination Management and luxury travel within South East Asia. We are proud to have this company as our On Location partner for the region. Marketing Communications Manager, Danielle Dranoff, stopped by to share the latest on travel to these fascinating countries.
Q: In which countries do you offer Destination Management services?
Our core destinations include Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. In addition, we also offer service in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, and Singapore.
Q: What makes these countries special for travelers?
Each of these countries has its own distinct charm with diverse scenery, cuisine, culture and history to be explored.
Vietnam is known for its colorful and flavorful fare and many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which scatter from the limestone karsts of Halong Bay in the country’s north to the ancient town Hoi An, or the imperial town of Hue’s monuments and nearby My Son Sanctuary in country’s center.
Thailand is best known for its white sand beaches with turquoise waters in the south and lush green northern jungles, giving way to various outdoor activities travellers can enjoy. Visitors can’t miss the Angkor Temples complex when visiting Cambodia or the timeless town of Luang Prabang for those who travel to Laos.
Additionally, Myanmar is a hidden gem waiting to be explored after having been closed off from the world for many years.
Q: Tell us about the unique Tailored Experiences you offer.
We are extremely proud of our exclusive access to a range of local experts and experiences including:
- Dinner hosted at the 1960’s home of the former US Ambassador to South Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge.
- Exclusive access to a range of unique personalities and experts in the fields of art, wellness, culture, history and gastronomy.
- Behind the scenes access to galleries and museums.
- Interactions with local monks and nuns at temples throughout Southeast Asia.
- Culinary classes with local chefs and food tours with food bloggers and experts.
- Homestay experiences and overnight stays at monasteries.
Q: What do you recommend for those seeking adventure while in Asia?
Trails of Indochina offers a wide range of activities for those seeking adventure in each destination that we operate including kayaking, trekking, cycling and rock climbing. We recommend the following:
- Trekking in the north of Vietnam through the terraced rice fields of Sapa
- Cycling through Vietnam’s countryside of Hanoi, off the beaten path in Laos near Luang Prabang, around the lake and mountains of of Inle Lake in Myanmar, and to the Angkor Temples of Cambodia
- Rock climbing in Chiang Mai and Krabi
- Kayaking on the Mekong River in Luang Prabang, in Thailand’s Angthong National Park, or through a floating village outside Siem Reap
Q: Are there opportunities to volunteer while there?
We have a selection of philanthropic activities across the destinations we serve. Clients can participate in building a home for rural villagers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and Inle Lake, Myanmar. These ongoing projects aim to help provide adequate housing to underprivileged locals. As well, travellers can make donations to local social enterprises and support the causes through cooking classes, dining and dedicating their time to improve facilities. We also have a range of philanthropy activities including donating a clean water well, a traditional Sampan boat, or a cow or water buffalo.
Q: For those with only two-week’s vacation who want to see more than one country, what itinerary would you recommend?
It is very common for clients to combine several destinations to maximize a two-week vacation. At Trails of Indochina, we are able to customize any itinerary to ensure clients are getting to see the top destinations on their interest list. For two weeks, we have a couple of destination combinations we recommend. First, a Vietnam and Thailand package:
2-Week Vietnam and Thailand package: Visiting the two most popular countries in Southeast Asia, the journey could start in Vietnam’s north spending two nights in Hanoi, an overnight cruise on Halong Bay and two nights in Hoi An, before flying to Bangkok, Thailand. Three nights will be spent exploring Bangkok before journeying to Thailand’s lush north, Chiang Mai. The journey will end in Koh Samui where four nights are spent island hopping and relaxing on the pristine beaches.
Q: Tell us about the culinary themed options that are available.
As Southeast Asia is a melting pot of culinary fare, we offer a wide range of culinary themed experiences including the following.
- Street food tours with local food expert and with food blogger
- Cooking class experiences ranging from a Vietnamese cooking class at the former residence of the US Ambassador’s to South Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City, a Laotian cooking class with a published Lao cookbook author, and additional classes throughout our destinations with famous professional chefs
- Evening food tour by Vespa, Jeep or tuk tuk.
- Home hosted dinners by a family of musicians, at the home of a former Vietnamese princess and more.
Q: What would you consider the most romantic destination for honeymooners?
Our top two romantic destinations for honeymooners are Krabi, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia. Spa treatments, romantic meals in locales ranging from lush rice paddies to a private sunset dinner on the beach, island hopping, cycling through local villages and even a sunrise hike up a volcano combine relaxation and soft adventure for couples looking to experience both each other and the destination.
Q: What are your personal favorite highlights of these countries?
These are the highlights I love most:
- The trek through the Mu Cang Chai terraced rice field in Yen Bai, Vietnam
- The Yi Peng festival where thousands of lanterns are released into the night sky in Chiang Mai, Thailand
- The quadbike tour through the countryside to catch the sunset in Siem Reap, Cambodia
- The view from the hot air balloons over thousands of ancient temples that remain standing in Bagan, Myanmar.
- The swim at the cascading Kuang Si Waterfall with turquoise water in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Wine-tasting in the Barossa Valley, swimming with the whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, and heli-hiking over glaciers in New Zealand? Yes please!