A Brief Introduction of Indochina
Indochina refers to the area which is between India and China and is heavily influenced by the two countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. These five counties are closely connected geographically and culturally, sharing the natural resources like the Mekong River and the religious faith such as the Buddhism. But each country also has its own special and attractive historical relics and stunning natural beauties, which will bring you different experiences and feelings.
When is the Best Time to Visit Indochina?
Most areas in Indochina have a tropical monsoon climate, with dry and rainy seasons. From May to October there is too much rain and it's too hot in April, so the best time to visit this area is from November to next March, when there is plenty of sunshine and the temperature is moderate.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Bayon Temple, Cambodia
What are the Highlights of Each Country in Indochina?
Thailand: More than 90% of the Thai people believe in Buddhism, so its capital Bangkok is known as the "Buddhist capital". Here, the pagodas, monasteries and Buddhist statues can be found everywhere, which is one highlight of Thailand.
In addition, when people think of Thailand, they will think of beaches, sea and islands. Therefore, the leisure time at the seaside, like the Phuket Island, is another highlight. You will have a great vacation and totally relax yourself here.
Vietnam: Halong Bay, which is known as one of the world's new seven wonders of nature, is the highlight of Vietnam. Due to the effect of the karst landform, it's said there are more than 3,000 mountains and islands. The most common way to tour Halong Bay is to take a sightseeing cruise with one night stay onboard. During the whole journey, you will not only enjoy the picturesque scenery, but disembark to visit karst caves, islands and villages.
What's more, the Cai Rang floating market on the Mekong River is another highlight of Vietnam. The hard-working people, the coming and going boats, the constant sound of bargaining will show you the realest picture of the local market. On many boats stands a long bamboo pole, hung with a variety of products, which is the boatman's "billboard". You can tell from it what the boatman sells.
Cambodia: Angkor Wat Complex, which refers to the ancient ruins of Angkor, is the highlight in Cambodia. It was once the capital of the ancient Khmer Kingdom (400 - 1431), with many palaces and temples built during the Angkor period. The following are some representative ones.
Angkor Wat, the largest surviving Hindu temple in the world, is known as one of the three wonders of the Southeast Asia. Famous for its magnificent architecture and exquisite reliefs, it is the peak of Khmer classical architecture art. It is now displayed on the Cambodian flag and is the national symbol of the country. Besides, the sunrise here is also very famous, known as one of the most beautiful sunrise wonders in the world, which should not be missed.
Bayon Temple, the quintessence of Angkor Thom, was built in the late 12th century. Here you can not only enjoy the colorful and vivid reliefs, but find the famous "Khmer smile".
Ta Prohm Temple is one of the largest and most artistic monuments in Angkor. What makes it unique is the surrounded huge trees, which are intertwined tightly with the temples. The movie Tomb Raider was filmed here, adding to the mystery of this place.
Banteay Srei is one of the most unique architectures in Angkor, which is famous for its brilliant colors and exquisite reliefs. You can see the reliefs on almost all its walls and pillars, among which the graceful posture of the fairy Absaro is particularly attractive.
In addition, the floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake is also worth a visit. It is home to thousands of Vietnamese, many of whom fled the Vietnam Civil War, without registered residence. They live in floating houses and live by fishing. If lucky, you could see the children sitting in a basin, heading to the destination.
Laos: Luang Prabang is Laos' Buddhist center. After coming to Luang Prabang, in addition to visiting the beautiful temples and stupas, you should also experience the most distinctive local culture of alms giving. For many Laotians, the alms giving is the most important part of their life. At around five o'clock in the morning, the devotees will sit on the streets with their prepared food and the monks will pass barefoot in front of every devotee and receive their offerings. After receiving food, the monks will sometimes recite a sutra in return, thanking the devotees for their kindness. There are some vendors who specialize in alms giving. You can buy some food from them and experience this activity.
Myanmar: The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, built in 585 BC, is known as one of the three wonders of Southeast Asia, together with Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur Pagoda in Indonesia. With its splendid architecture and sacred legends, it is Myanmar's Buddhist shrine as well as national symbol.
Bagan is one of the three major Buddhist sites in Asia, with more than four million pagodas and monasteries. The pagodas here are of various shapes, like square, round, polygon and the colors are also very rich, such as khaki, reddish-brown, pure white, and gold. These diverse pagodas carry more than 200 years of Bagan history.
The Mahagandayon Monastery in Mandalay is the largest one in Myanmar, which is like a monk's university, with nearly 2,000 students. Every morning at 10 a.m., visitors will come here to see the grand scene of thousands of monks lining up for lunch from local devotees.
U Bein Bridge, with a length of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet), is a landmark of Myanmar. The most precious thing about the bridge is that it is made entirely of teak wood. Teak is Myanmar's national tree as well as one of the most precious trees in the world, with good anticorrosion and mothproof effect, which is why this wooden bridge has existed for over 170 years. The sunset over Uben Bridge is very beautiful and many lovers like to come here to enjoy the beauty and romance, thus this bridge is also called "Love Bridge".