Kylie Brumwell from Kennedy & Turner Travel Associates recalls an amazing family holiday she recently took through Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Bintan Island.
Siem Reap is a must! I recommend at least 5 nights to truly appreciate Angkor Wat and soak in the beauty of the surrounding temples. It truly is a magnificent sight, on par with Petra and Machu Picchu for me.
From there we visited Luang Prabang and admired the atmosphere of the old town and its many temples. We stayed in a gorgeous, restored colonial mansion in the heart of the old town called Villa Santi.
We were lucky enough to be silent witnesses to the morning alms procession. This occurs all over Asia but it is was especially moving to see in Luang Prabang because there are so many monasteries concentrated in such a small area. Being a silent witness is the key - travellers really shouldn't get too close or take part.
If you're already in the vicinity, it's worth also travelling to just outside of Luang Prabang to Shangri Lao Elephant village, which can be booked with Travel Indochina. We stayed overnight in one of their so-called 'tents'. Mind you, it included a beautiful, luxurious four-poster bed and a claw-foot bath tub which overlooked the river. We spent a few hours with the elephants and it was so wonderful, they are such special creatures and it was nice to see they are well looked after by the camp. I would rate this as one of the best days of my life.
From there it was on to Singapore, such a vibrant, ever-changing destination. I loved the Gardens by the Bay. Anyone who says Singapore is expensive hasn't explored all of the wonderful hawker stalls in Chinatown!
If you're looking for a relaxing stop over after Singapore, spend a couple of days at Bintan Island. It can be accessed by ferry and is a gorgeous, isolated paradise, offering you a chance to 'stop and drop' and reflect on your holiday so far.
Are you considering a trip to Cambodia & Laos? You can really visit these places all year round. We went in October, at the end of the rainy season and got lucky as it hardly rained at all, and also meant we got to miss the peak season of crowds from from November to March.
To find out more travel tips from Kylie, phone her directly on 0423 248 074.