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Things to Do in the Indochina Itinerary

Indochia is the area of ancient culture, especially the culture of Buddhism. However, in addition, each country has its own distinct beauty. Visiting each city of the Indochina itinerary, you will have a unique experience. Please find out what is it in the following article.

Start the Indochina itinerary in Luang Prabang – Laos

Owning special cultural features, temples with the special architecture, and delicious food, Laos is a destination that many people choose for their journey of discovery. Luang Prabang welcomes you to Indochina itinerary. Its name means “city of the Golden Buddha Phra Bang”. It’s called the must-come place to visit in Laos that attracts millions of tourists per year. In Luang Prabang, there are so many things for you to explore, such as:

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Visit Royal Palace Museum, where you can see a range of interesting artifacts
Have an excursion on the Mekong River, where you can admire a peaceful and poetic scenery of the countryside
Visit Ban Xanghai village, where local rice wine is made.
Reach Pak Ou Caves – two famous caves in the limestone cliff, where you can see myriad Buddha images.
Admire magnificent Wat Xiengthong –  one of the most important pagodas of Lao and remains a significant monument to the spirit of royalty, religion, and traditional architecture.
Visit the Traditional Art and Ethnology Center to learn about the cultures of Laos’ ethnic group.
Stop at Wat Prabath – a peaceful place to admire the sunset, the last beauty of the day.
Visit Night Market, where you can see many types of handmade textiles and buy some souvenirs.

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Walk around the temporary morning market. Just set on the ground, the local people come here to barter their day’s catch from rice, fish, meat, chicken or vegetable.
Visit Wat Visoun, the oldest temple in Luang Prabang was once home to the Prabang Buddhas. It has dating back to 1513 during the reign of King Wisunarat (Visoun).
Take a rest at Kuang Si waterfalls, the most famous falls in Luang Prabang, about 29 kilometers (18 mi) south of city.
Visit the Bear Rescue Center, where dozens of animals are rescued from illegal traffickers and hunters.

The next destinations in Vietnam

Hanoi

After experience the beautiful nature and featured culture of Laos, let’s continue the Indochina Itinerary by visiting Hanoi – the 1000-years capital of Vietnam that own many relics such as Ho Guom, The Huc Bridge, Quan Su Pagoda, West Lake, 36 streets… It is not only famous for beautiful landscapes but also known by the famous dishes of Ha Thanh people. Coming here, don’t ignore:

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Visit The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, which displays the stamp of 54 ethnic groups of Vietnam.
Take a look at the Temple of Jade Mountain that is dedicated to the King Tran Hung Dao. It sits on a small island in the northern part of Hoan Kiem Lake.
Enjoy the Water Puppet show – a traditional show of Vietnamese people in the theater.
Take a tour by Cyclo around the old quarter and experience the local life of Hanoi.

2. Ha Long Bay

Halong Bay is a tourist destination you should go once in a lifetime. The beautiful landscape is created in a very natural way. In the Indochina itinerary, you can experience some interesting activities such as:

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Enjoy a sumptuous lunch on the boat while cruising into the magnificent Halong Bay, admiring its thousands of extraordinarily shaped limestone islands that are considered as the heaven on the Earth.
Discover Lờm Bò area – an outstanding masterpiece of Mother Nature in Ha Long Bay.
Explore Mê Cung Cave – one of the most beautiful caves here. In addition, don’t forget to climb up to see the breathtaking panoramic view of the Halong Bay from above.
Admire the sunset – the best moments of the day from LaFairy Sails.
Experience a memorable dinner on the deck under the light of thousands of stars in the middle of the Bay, savor delicious dishes. Then, you can join squid fishing.
Visit Titov Island and swimming in the emerald water. After that, hike up to the top of the island to take the panoramic view of Ha Long.

4. Hue

Thinking of Hue, people often think of the stunning palace, the ancient beauty of a royal age. They want to travel to Hue once to see the vivid evidence of the last feudal dynasty. Not only that, the relaxed gentle nature and slow life here also make many travelers love. Visiting Hue, you can:

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Take a leisurely boat trip along the Perfume River and visit Thien Mu Pagoda – a famous landmark of Vietnam.
Visit the tombs of Nguyen emperors in a valley to explore their unique architecture and understand more about the royal life.
Visiting Forbidden Purple City and Imperial Citadel that was created in the 19th century for the Emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty
Go to Dong Ba market to know about the life of local peoples here.
Visit Hue National School (‘’Quốc học Huế’’) – one of the oldest high school in Vietnam
Taste the diverse gastronomy in Hue with the cheap price such as “Bun Bo Hue”, “Banh Beo”, “Che Hue”

5. Hoi An

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Leaving Hue, Hoi An welcomes you in your  Indochina itinerary with river town, crammed with historic homes, tiny museums, cafes, and bustling silk and fish markets. This UNESCO-designated World Heritage site has many exciting things for you to explore.
Admire wonderful scenery on the way from Hue to Hoi An: Hai Van pass, Lang Co beach, Marble mountain.
Visit Japanese Covered bridge, an invaluable property and officially be the symbol of Hoi An.
Visit wonderful Fukian Hall, representing the Chinese architecture in the heart of Hoi An.
Walking around Hoi An town to feel the peaceful air of this city.
Enjoy local street food here such as the bread Hoi An, Banh Xeo…
Take a visit to Red Bridge Cooking School and join the cooking class of Hoi An’s and Vietnam’s well-known dishes.

6. Ho Chi Minh City

Dubbed as the “Pearl of the Far East”, Ho Chi Minh City has long been a cultural, economic and political center of Vietnam. Traveling to Saigon – Ho Chi Minh City more than 300 years old, you can meet the high-rise buildings located close to the sanctuary, amusement park, crowded shopping center, but also lack ancient villas Glass, traditional markets that have existed for hundreds of years.

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Visit the Reunification Palace,  the famous historical witness which passed through the two fierce wars against the French and American colonials.
Visit the Central Post Office, one of the oldest buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. It attracts tourists by its typical French colonial characteristics from interior to exterior decoration.
Take a look at the Notre Dame Cathedral, which is considered the symbol of this exciting city.
Go to Ben Thanh Market: being a bustling market and a social center, Ben Thanh Market is a must-see sight of Ho Chi Minh City.

7. My Tho

Following, you will leave the hustle Saigon and be heading to My Tho, the closet delta town to Ho Chi Minh city. This city is located in the Mekong Delta region of South Vietnam, where the boat rides on the river are so popular with tourists.

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Visit Vinh Trang Pagoda, the most beautiful and ancient pagoda in Mekong Delta.

visit fruit orchards  and enjoy fruits, take a scenic cruise, listen to the traditional music performance, “Cai Luong” by local people
Admire Thao Nguyen orchid flower gardens and have a great chance to while tasting tea – honey bees
Head to the fishing villages around Phoenix Island to find out how the Red Tilapia is fed
Stop at Ankhanh Canal & Mrs. Ut Phím’s house and taste the coconut candy – special products of Ben Tre province.

Discover Siem Reap in Cambodia

Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia. It is a popular resort town and a gateway to the Angkor region. Nowadays, this city becomes a popular tourist destination. You can easily find a large number of hotels, restaurants, resorts, and businesses here.

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Visit the largest as well as the complete temple of Angkor Wat. Visit the largest temple of Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece covers an area of about 210 hectares and dating in the 12th century.
Come to the fortified city of Angkor Thom.
See Ta Prohm, undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor. Unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been left to be swallowed by the jungle
Continue to Psar Chars or the  “Old Market”, one of the city’s lively open markets, where everything is for sale!
Visit Wat Bo, a large temple founded in the 18th century. This temple is respected by local people. The Wat Bo’s Vihear contains unique Reamker murals that are thought to date back to the late 19th century.
Visit biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonlé Sap, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the river.
Take a local boat and visit the charming village of Chong Khneas located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap.

Your Indochina itinerary is coming to the end. During the journey, do not forget to take photos and buy specialties, souvenirs to commemorate this memorable trip.

The post Things to Do in the Indochina Itinerary appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

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Where to eat in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon)?

Ho Chi Minh City is famous for the fantastic restaurant system serving a combination of French, Chinese, and local Vietnamese cuisine. It has made Vietnamese food famed around the world, and brings visitors the best feeling. When you tend to travel South Vietnam, you have a question about where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)? In this article, Travel Sense Asia offers several popular restaurants for you in order to get the unforgettable trip to Vietnam. With its many street food vendors and restaurants, the city has dishes with a pleasant ambiance, stunning views, and diligent service.

1. Duong’s restaurant

Owner of Duong’s restaurants is awarded in the top 3 Masterchef Vietnam. If you want to have experience in the almost Vietnamese foods, Duong’s restaurants are the best places for you. This restaurant system offers both of traditional foods like Vietnamese noodle, the Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodle, Fried Spring roll… and French Fusion dishes.

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The view through the window front showed a clean space, clear design, not too stylish. A look into the card on the street convinced me to have a try. And what a pleasant surprise. Very friendly staff, explaining each served course. A tasty greeting from the kitchen. Nice glass of Australian white wine, sparkling water. Pea soup with Salmon and medium rare tuna steak with mashed potatoes, vegetables, and Chutney.

Additionally, you completely join in the cooking classes, the chef will show you how to cook any Vietnam dishes. It is very interesting.

Address: 27 Dong Du, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

2. The Refinery Bar and Restaurant

The Refinery Bar and Restaurant are currently one of the most popular establishments in Ho Chi Minh thanks to colonial fixtures, interesting cocktails and a bistro type menu of mostly French-style favorites. But the main reason for coming here is because it is such a pleasant space. It is built with floral floor tiles, high ceilings and rows of wine and liquor displayed behind the bar. It is used to operate in the courtyard, and it’s also how the bar inherited its name.

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The menu offers the menu of wines, pasta dishes, and European salads. The Refinery has a secret to make the perfect wine list by the mix a decent range of cocktails, the mojito being a particularly well-balanced mix of boozy rum with biting lime.

Address: 74 Hai Ba Trung, District 1

3. Cuc Gach Quan

Cuc Gach Quan has become so popular that it’s expanded its original premises and opened another space directly across the road as well. Cuc Gach Quan completely adopts the good ambiance, authentic and comprehensive Vietnamese food, non-intrusive service and all wrapped up in a historical building. The architecture and interior of a restaurant are designed to the traditional Vietnamese houses. The menu offers a wide range of national dishes. Thus, you are free to choose any foods you want in order to experience Vietnamese cuisine. If you want to know the various foods, you can ask the staffs who have a knowledge and good service. All the growth may have diminished the charm a tad but the food and atmosphere are still very good.

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Cuc Gach Quan is the brainchild of an architect turned foodie. And equal attention looks to have been expended on the menu and the retro decor. The emphasis is on fresh ingredients and Vietnamese flavors and the vibe is warm and homely. Prices are reasonable, despite its celebrity status. Staff are friendly and helpful too.

Address: 10 Dang Tat, Ward Tan Dinh, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

4. Quan An Ngon

Quan An Ngon is a place – where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) which is the housed in a renovated Vietnamese mansion with a tree-lined garden. This restaurant is designed with Chinese style. You are often delighted with the classically styled interior. If you are looking to try many casual Vietnamese such as spring rolls, black pepper crab, noodle soup, so on in a friendly environment then this is an excellent option.

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Chefs are busy cooking foods and blending fruit smoothies in the decor features. The menu is very easy to understand by English and Vietnamese descriptions and most have an accompanying picture. Following almost recommendations, Quan An Ngon is popular with locals as well as tourists by giving it a sense of authenticity. This restaurant has the team of staffs who speak English fluently and they will often recommend dishes with a simple explanation. The most special thing in Quan An Ngon is that you can enjoy all the delicious foods of Vietnam country in one sitting. In southeast Vietnam, there are mud snails in coconut milk, and spring rolls stuffed with shrimp, basil and spring onion. You will feel light and fresh, perfect. In central Vietnam, the menu offers many Hue and Hoian style noodles. Finally, in Northern Vietnam, it has beef noodle soup and crispy pastries filled with minced shrimp.

Address: 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, District 1

5. Ben Thanh market

Where to eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)? Ben Thanh Market is one of the best places to enjoy the foods. Tourists to the market not only purchase goods or souvenirs but also have a chance to find particular images and characteristics shown in the daily activities of the inhabitants in the city. For long years, Ben Thanh Market is known as the retail market owning the largest scale. Here, you not only enjoy the traditional foods, but also you can find buy the souvenirs such as delicious food, all kinds of seasonal fruits, clothing, appliances, and others… Thus, Ben Thanh Market deserves one of the important markets in Ho Chi Minh City; it is attracting the enormous number of both domestic and foreign tourists.

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Here’s the lady vendor preparing the bowl of bún thịt nướng. Bún thịt nướng is a cold rice-vermicelli noodle dish topped with grilled pork, fresh herbs, and vegetables, then drizzled with fish sauce. Rolled in bite-sized pieces, these are great to munch on with beer. You will enjoy the place as it not only adopt the demand for foods but also the reasonable price. Like in Singapore or Penang, the street food vendors are more and more attracting clients for decades. It ensures that you will love the best and most authentic places. Ben Thanh Street Food Market is nice, but it caters to tourists.

You will know the difference between authentic and touristy examples of Vietnamese food. Or you won’t mind it as much. This market food is pleasant and comfortable. You can easily spend a few hours there just drinking beers and whiling away the time. You wouldn’t think of doing that sitting on those tiny plastic stools by the sidewalk.

Address: Le Loi, Ham Nghi, Tran Hung Dao Avenues

6. Camargue

Another restaurant is designed to the French style within the courtyard of an old colonial-era opium factory in downtown Saigon. For distance, the villa-style Camargue Saigon is equipped with many goods such as exposed beams, beautiful theme, tiled flooring, interior, candles, and a private dining room. This restaurant ensures that the staff team is very professional to adapt all questions from clients which are perfect for an intimate evening with loved ones.

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The chef of Camargue restaurant is Mickael Le Calvez who is French. Thus, this restaurant offers standout dishes such as sea bass and squid served with sweet chard, roast lamb with polenta enriched, chateaubriand with foie gras, and crispy pork leg marinated in a slight spice and caramelized artichoke. Trying to provide the perfect menu, Camargue Saigon always updates more dishes to keep things interesting. One more interesting of this restaurant is enjoying the meal at the terrace upstairs with an excellent wine. Because of the many attractive things in here, it’s worth noting that the price range here is higher compared to most international restaurants in Saigon. One recommendation for you is to order before at least 24 hours due to the popularity of this fashionable restaurant.

Address: 74/7D Hai Ba Trung, District 1

7. Hoa Tuc restaurant

Hoa Tuc means opium flower in Vietnamese – reflecting the history of its setting in a former French colonial opium factory. It’s one of the nicest restaurant spaces in Saigon with a large outdoor garden and a deco-style interior.

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Its name means ‘poppy’ in Vietnamese; an apt name for a restaurant housed in an old opium factory! This excellent location, just steps from the Park Hyatt, features a tucked-away courtyard with greenery surrounding. Great high-end cuisine in a nice casual setting. Sit inside for air-conditioned comfort or outside for an almost European vibe with big fans and lots of chitter-chatter from the four restaurants in the same courtyard. My favorite dish is the green mango salad with crispy soft-shelled crab & crushed cashews.

Since opening in 2008, Hoa Tuc’s become a favorite with expats and travelers – for good reason. The Vietnamese menu, served with a contemporary twist, is good and the staff are friendly and helpful.

Address: 74/7 Hai Ba Trung, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

8. Propaganda Bistro

Only steps away from the Independence Palace, Propaganda Bistro embodies modern Vietnam. Almost local people come here for cocktails in the evening, and brunch on weekends. The restaurant is decorated in colorful war-era propaganda art, with the slogans altered to sentiments about healthy eating and lifestyle. The food here is just as fresh and colorful as the décor. Go for the fresh spring roll with tempura prawn & avocado, and the bun thit nuong – (vermicelli noodle bowl with grilled pork, herbs, vegetables, and fried spring roll).

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If you want to get a sense of Vietnam’s street food traditions minus the street – plastic stools, traffic fumes and the like, Saigon’s Propaganda will be a good choice. It’s right by some of the city’s big hitting tourist attractions like Notre Dame Cathedral and the Reunification Palace too.

From the people behind successful Saigon eateries like Hoa Tuc, Au Parc, and Blanchy St, Propaganda has a relaxed cafe vibe, friendly staff and a great outlook over one of Saigon’s few downtown green spaces. It’s located in a row of picturesque shophouses.

Popular Vietnamese dishes like bun thit nuong, banh mi bread rolls and a long list of others are lovingly served. Local purists might insist that these dishes always taste better on the street. But even if that’s true, as a visitor you’re not likely to notice. This is a nice space to spend some time – but it gets busy.

Address: 21 Han Thuyen, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

The post Where to eat in Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon)? appeared first on Travel Sense Asia.

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