DESTINATIONS

    Vietnam

    Modern day Vietnam is a feast for the senses and the sights, tastes, smells and sounds you will experience during a visit to Vietnam will bring you a profound feeling of peace, optimism and exuberance. It’s amazing to think that back in 1969 Danang airport was the busiest ‘single runway’ airport in the world. This extraordinary fact highlights the awful scale of one of the 20th century’s most notorious wars. However, today the country’s 3,444 kilometre coastline boasts some of the world’s most luxurious resorts. Danang, along with a handful of other locations, has a gleaming new airport. It enables visitors to discover a dynamic land rich in culture with some of the freshest and tastiest food anywhere in the world. From the latticed mountains in the North, the dramatic rivers and caves in the Centre and the pristine beaches and tropical islands in the South, Vietnam’s natural landscape has something for anyone wanting to find a revitalizing escape. In the ancient streets of Hanoi and the jostling alleyways of Ho Chi Minh City – or Saigon as it used to be called – restaurants, art galleries, museums and elegant boutiques sit alongside stylish street side cafés and contemporary bars. Vietnam’s heritage and vibrant culture are finding new life as the country once again enjoys peace and an emerging prosperity. That is why now more than ever before its exceptionally friendly and youthful people are keen to welcome visitors and tourists alike and share with them the best that this proud nation has to offer.

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    Laos

    Landlocked and to some extent ‘culture-locked’, Laos possesses both Southeast Asia’s most pristine environment and possibly its most culturally intact heritage. More than any other destination a visit to Laos provides the visitor with a sense of going back to a more relaxed time where the urgency of modern life is wonderfully absent. Even in the capital Vientiane, life ambles along only a little faster than the languid Mekong river flows by the city’s charming riverfront. In the historic royal city of Luang Prabang – a Unesco World Heritage site – hundreds of monks in saffron robes glide between centuries old temples unperturbed by the growing number of visitors gazing on in silence at a scene they thought only existed in films. Luxurious boutique hotels in Luang Prabang serve exquisite food in historically preserved settings, drawing on French and local culinary traditions. Beyond the cities visitors can discover the haunting Plain of Jars and the majestic Four Thousand Islands (Si Phan Don) where the Mekong river expands and its waters gather pace.

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    Cambodia

    The magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex never disappoints. The enduring beauty of the ancient architecture, the remarkable statues and startling depictions on temple friezes of life as it was lived during the Khmer Empire, which flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, are truly one of the highlights of any trip to Indochina. However as Cambodia emerges from the tragedy of its recent history, there’s more to experience in this once little visited country outside the undeniable charms of Siem Reap. The largest lake in all South East Asia – Ton Le Sap – is home to picturesque villages on stilts and beautiful mangrove forests. At Kratie on the banks of the Mekong River, with a bit of luck, you can spot the rare Mekong River Dolphins. As well as being home to many harrowing museums and centres testifying to the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, Phnom Penh is also rapidly transforming into a fashionable modern metropolis. Restaurants, hotels, bars and boutiques are springing up across the city show casing a dynamic, modern Khmer urban culture. Not far away along the south coast the quiet beach towns of Kep and Kampot contrast with the larger city-by-the-beach buzz of Sihanoukville. Near the unspoiled Cardamom Mountains to the West lies Koh Kong boasting luxurious, floating eco resorts, small, uninhabited islands and some of the best beaches in the region. After decades of turmoil Cambodia is finally coming into its own and there’s never been a better time to make a trip to Cambodia.

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    myanmar - saffron travel

    Myanmar

    Often described as a ‘golden land’ Myanmar is situated at the crossroads of the great civilisations of India and China and looks out onto the vast Indian Ocean next to Thailand

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