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Halong Bay, VietnamAngkor Wat, Siem Reap, CambodiaNam Ming River, LaosMekong River, CambodiaMekong River, CambodiaHalong Bay, VietnamLuang Prabang, LaosBayon Temple, Siem Reap, CambodiaLuang Prabang, LaosWat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, LaosHalong Bay, VietnamTa Prohm Temple, Siem Reap, CambodiaHalong Bay, Vietnam
Stephen Suzuki: Halong Bay with ship
Eric Southwick: Halong Bay
Olaf Malver: Mekong River, Nam Ming River, Luang Prabang
Hutch Brown: Luang Prabang
 
Learn More 13 Days / From $5,995 (800) 543-8917 for Availability Share

Paddling the Pearls of Indochina

From Ha Long Bay to the Mekong River, Discover Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia by Kayak
Few regions on earth can match the natural and cultural wonders of old Indochina. Discover it on this unique itinerary, a National Geographic Adventure Trip of the Year award winner that brings together our favorite Southeast Asia paddling destinations into a single diverse trip. We begin in the lagoons, caves and islets of Vietnam's Ha Long Bay. Moving on to Laos, explore entrancing Luang Prabang, then ride elephants in the Xe Pian Wetlands. A 4-day paddle down the Mekong River, home to rare Irrawaddy dolphins, takes us into Cambodia. The finale? One of the world's most stunning cultural treasures, the fabulous temples and ruins of Angkor Wat. 

Trip Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in Southeast Asia via tropical sea kayaking, flatwater river paddling, an elephant ride and rugged overland travel
  • Sail among the limestone islands of Ha Long Bay on a classic junk and paddle the Mekong River, camping outside traditional villages
  • Tour historic Hanoi and explore the cultural treasures and temples of Luang Prabang and Angkor Wat

National Geographic Adventure Called This a “Trip of the Year”—Discover Why You’ll Call It the “Trip of a Lifetime”!
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.”

  1. 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? 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 
  8. 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!
Reading List
Longitude Books has created a custom comprehensive listing of the Paddling & Exploring the Pearls of Indochina travel books for this trip.

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