The lands of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia—once collectively known as Indochina—are where Indian and Chinese heritage, a French colonial legacy, Cham temples and spicy cuisine, emerald mountains and azure seas intersect. And where differences meet, adventure is sure to happen. Natural Habitat Expeditions is the only
company that offers a kayaking expedition—with a healthy side of cultural encounters—through these three Southeast Asian “pearls.”
- Travel with the Most Experienced Sea-Kayaking Operator in Indochina
More than two decades ago we pioneered guided sea-kayaking trips in Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay—even before local outfitters got into the business. We have the longest history of paddling these waters, so why would you trust your kayaking adventure to anyone else?
- Explore a Wealth of Natural & Cultural Riches
To many, Southeast Asia may be best known for its cultural treasures. But nature reigns here, too: Laos is home to some 1,200 wildlife species! While paddling the Mekong River, you’ll look for one of the most rare: the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. Elsewhere, we explore tropical forests and rural hinterlands that others miss entirely—because no tour company immerses you in nature the way we do! Yet we don’t skip cultural highlights, either. Few archaeological sites on the planet can compete with the grandeur and scale of Cambodia’s storied Angkor Wat. Here, more than 1,000 stone temples and palaces dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries lie among the forests and rice fields, many of them half-buried beneath a lush tangle of jungle vines. And that's one of the cultural wonders you'll encounter on this multifaceted adventure.
- Varied and Distinctive Accommodations Reveal Local Cultures
Most tour companies operating in Southeast Asia use standardized hotels, rarely getting you out of the cities. We, on the other hand, provide a truly authentic local experience. After getting refreshed on arrival in a contemporary new hotel in the heart of Hanoi, we sleep aboard a comfortably appointed classic Vietnamese junk while cruising Ha Long Bay. Nature surrounds us at a serene and environmentally conscious ecolodge in the “Emerald Triangle” at the crossroads of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. Then, as we paddle the Mekong River, we are immersed in rural village life as we camp nearby in spacious, walk-in dome tents. There’s no better way to experience the real Indochina than by accessing traditional places that few other tourists ever see.
- Your Guide Is One of the World’s Most Accomplished Kayakers
At your side for the entire adventure is Expedition Leader Mick O’Shea, one of the world’s premier paddlers and adventurers with unparalleled experience in Southeast Asia. Mick made the very first kayak descent of the Mekong River from its source on the Tibetan Plateau to its mouth on the China Sea—and he did it solo! His feat has never been repeated. Mick is just one example of our outstanding NHA Expedition Leaders, who receive additional training and resources provided by WWF’s top scientists. See Expedition Leader bios with traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- A Small Group Assures You of One-on-One Time with Your Trip Leader
Because this tour is limited to approximately 12 adventurers, you can be confident that you’ll have ample time to get to know our extraordinary guide Mick on a personal level. Share stories, thoughts and reflections during energetic endeavors during the day, and relax together meals in the evenings. And, we have support from local kayaking guides, too, to assure your every comfort.
- We Guarantee You’ll Be Talking About This Adventure for Years to Come!
Natural Habitat Adventures guarantees that we will meet or surpass the expectations you have for your trip as detailed in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious promise made by any adventure travel company. Read our exclusive Quality & Value Guarantee.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can travel with us knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100 percent carbon-offset. Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company and in industry leader in sustainable travel practices.
- Natural Habitat Adventures Is World Wildlife Fund’s Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of the Paddling & Exploring the Pearls of Indochina travel books
for this trip.