Region Overviews: Asia Travel Guide: Overview
Comprised of 48 countries and nearly 60 percent of the world’s population, Asia boasts a dizzying assortment of natural wonders, rich history and cultural feats.
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Bike through a land of intriguing contrasts: exotic silks and down-to-earth rice farmers. Raw jungles and floating markets. Bustling cities and ancient temples. Mornings observing monks' rituals unchanged for centuries, evenings spent enjoying modern comforts on the river. Let the Mekong be your guide to this mysterious part of Southeast Asia.
THIS ITINERARY: 9 days, 8 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Premiere Hotels & Ship
Start Luang Prabang, Laos / End Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Behold the charms of Luang Prabang, a World Heritage site | Cycle to quiet neighboring villages and visit a colorful artisan market | Float down the Mekong on a misty morning to three-tiered Kuang Si Falls | Visit impressive 16th-century Wat Xieng Thong, a former royal temple considered one of the most important Buddhist sites in Laos.
Surrounded by lush mountains, this elegant French colonial hotel invites you to unwind at its open-air spa and in its infinity pool overlooking the jungle. (pool, spa)
Observe local Buddhists giving alms to monks who walk through the streets in morning procession | Tour a local market where you can taste the regional flavors | Fly to Cambodia, then discover Angkor as you pedal among iconic stone monuments | Receive a water blessing from a monk—a traditional ritual to bring good luck and happiness that's been performed since ancient times | Explore richly decorated temples like Bayon and Ta Prohm.
Described by Andrew Harper as a "stylish and beautifully restored landmark resort-hotel surrounded by a 15-acre park, less than five miles from Angkor Wat." (pool, spa)
Greet the sunrise over Angkor Wat—a magical experience | Pedal past spectacular temple ruins illuminated by the soft light of morning | Travel by air from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, known for its French colonial architecture, lively cafés and colorful markets.
With a distinguished blend of Khmer, art deco and French colonial architecture, this iconic hotel has offered unmatched luxury since 1929. Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Board our luxury river ship to start our Mekong River cruise | Float across the Cambodian border into vibrant Vietnam | Cruise to Tan Chau, where we hop on bikes for a riverside spin | Enjoy the views as you sail along the Mekong | Witness the buzz of activity on the busy docks of Sa Dec | Savor a final ride along the Mekong as it widens into a vast delta | Journey to Ho Chi Minh City.
Blending the very best of old-world Europe and Indochina in its sophisticated décor, superb cuisine and top-notch service, this ship exudes bygone elegance. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: Mostly flat with a mix of country roads, rough pavement, gravel sections, dirt and small village paths.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
For three nights, the Heritage Line ship is your floating luxury hotel, taking you into a remote region rarely explored by bicycle! We've limited our Backroads group size to 26, but just like any hotel, we'll be sharing the ship with other guests. These 52-passenger ships are custom-designed with a variety of inviting common spaces so you'll have plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing with other guests. All dinners are prepared by the ship's classically trained chefs and are served on board in the ship's dining rooms.
Our daily itinerary while cruising on the Mekong is based on scheduled sailing times and as a result some days have more opportunities for exploring on land while other days have more sailing time. Every river has its own unique temperament and for centuries water levels have shifted due to rain, temperature and agriculture. Should any unforeseen change due to low or high water happen during your river cruise, we will work closely with Heritage Line's captain and staff, who are very experienced in going with the flow. Depending on the situation, our leaders may adjust the rides and activities as necessary.
In contrast to our land-based hotels, which have similar room categories, the Heritage Line ships offer a range of stateroom categories. Since the ship has only 26 cabins, making it the perfect size for visiting small shoreline communities, few suites are available.
Your journey through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos will probably be unlike any other travel experience. The people you'll meet and places you'll visit will likely stay with you for a very long time. As wonderfully fulfilling as travel is in this region, it's not always easy. These are developing countries and even something as simple as crossing the road can be a challenge, especially in larger cities like Phnom Penh. In the countryside, many of our routes have little traffic, but are remote enough that they also lack some of the usual roadside comforts, like bathrooms or cafés serving cold drinks. Our itineraries and Trip Leaders remove as many obstacles and inconveniences as possible, making your next extraordinary encounter always within reach. Of course, we can't remove haze and noise from the air, or replace a poorly maintained road. But if you can be flexible and approach the region with an open mind, you'll enjoy your trip to the fullest! Due to the varied road conditions on our routes, we have specially fitted our bikes to maximize your comfort and control. All Backroads bikes on this trip come with upright handlebars, as the terrain includes some rough roads with dirt and sand sections. Upright handlebars are safer and more comfortable over these mixed-surface roads.
On this trip we occasionally travel by plane to reach the exclusive hotels and activities this destination has to offer. We'll be flying commercially with Bassaka Air aboard a narrow-body jet that seats 236 passengers and with Laos Airlines aboard turboprop plane that seats 72 passengers.