Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

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Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby puttyland » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:55 pm

Hi all - My boyfriend and I are going on Indochina Encompassed for the month of October. What are the best optional activities on this trip? There are a few places that have a lot of choices. How to choose? Any must-dos? Anything to avoid or not bother with?

Also:
Better to do the elephant experience in Luang Prabang or Chiang Mai?
Better to do the ziplining in Bangkok or Luang Prabang?
Where are the best places to rent bikes and tour around?
Best places for massages?
Best cooking classes?

Thanks!

Patty
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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby molly1958 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:14 am

Hello
What date do you leave on the Indochina Encompassed trip?
We are going on Oct 19th.

Looking forward to it.
Hope you get a response to your questions - I would be interested in the answers as well.
Amy
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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby puttyland » Thu Jul 11, 2013 5:26 am

We start Sept. 30 - ours is posted in the Departure Lounge already. Have a great trip!
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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby nikimarcotte » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:09 pm

I did indochina discovery, so not sure how the itinerary differs. did the elephant ride at luang prabang was good, we got to go down into a river on them....also the kuang si falls are beautiful by luang prabang and the market of course. do you go to Vang Vieng? we kayaked the river in the morning and then rented bikes and headed out to some caves..we ran out of time so only saw a couple. we did tiger kingdom from chiang mai. you can always decide along the way depending on reviews for each from your guide and what lets you fit in the most things you want to do.
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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby mojowp » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:36 pm

Hi,

Best cooking class...Bangkok....Silom Cooking School
http://www.bangkokthaicooking.com/

This was organized for 9:00 am on Day 1 of the tour before the group meeting, so you have to be sure to be there and ready to get yourself there on your own.
It's the journey, not the destination.

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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby sojourn » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:14 pm

I went on the Indochina encompassed trip last Nov/ Dec. It was the Best Trip Ever!! I'll list the optional activities that I did.
Chiang Mai - The only place where my group took a cooking class. It was hands on. You choose from a list of what you want to cook and they'll show you. We also went to Tiger Kingdom in Chiang Mai, where we went into the enclosures and took photos and touched the tigers. There's different packages of the size of tiger(s) you want photos with - baby, small, med, large, xlarge. I didn't really want to do this one, but that's what all the others wanted. In the end I was glad I did this one. Where else am I able to touch a real life tiger without it attacking me? These tigers are born into human contact, so it wasn't scary at all. Elephant riding and bamboo rafting were also offered as an optional activity.
Luang Prabang, Laos - elephant riding, elephant bathing, ziplining. Got a massage in LP at the Red Cross Massage. It helps support the locals.
Vang Vieng, Laos - kayaking and tubing into a cave with a bbq lunch for 100,000 kip = $12USD.
Hue, Vietnam - toured the city into the countryside on the back of a motorbike with vegetarian lunch at a temple cooked by the nuns. Each person had their own personal driver. 100,000 dong = $5 USD.
Hoi An, Vietnam - you can rent bicycles here and ride to the beach and countryside with rice paddies. We bicycled into the countryside village and farms. We got to ride a water buffalo into a field of water. They have lots of tailor shops here where you can get suits, dress shirts, dresses and other clothing custom-made in about 24 hours. They can also copy handbags/purses and shoes. Bring magazine pages, photos, website addresses if you want anything made. There's also many spas here where you can get a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure. We had dinner at a local family's house. It was a wonderful experience! I had home cooking with many dishes and steamed rice. Its better than going to a restaurant where you can only try one dish. A cooking class was also offered here.
Siem Reap, Cambodia - Tonle Sap Lake where we passed by houses on stilts and floating villages. Also took a boat ride onto the lake. We also had dinner at a local family's house here. The man of the family also taught English to some local kids in his spare time, but we didn't converse with any cuz it was a holiday when we went.

Hope this list helps and I wish you a safe and awesome trip!
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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby puttyland » Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Thank you Sojourn! Very helpful. I think I'll do the tigers in Chiang Mai and elephants in Luang Prabang. I'm still debating whether we should add on the "culinary theme pack" which has the 3 cooking classes in 3 countries for $100. My boyfriend is a chef, and we both like to learn about the cuisines, so might be worth it...but then there are so many other things to do that I wouldn't want to miss out on something that I couldn't do anywhere else! I hear the rappelling into the cave temple is pretty cool too. Arggggh...what to choose...
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Re: Indochina - Best Optional Activities?

Postby mojowp » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:15 pm

Hi,

Wow Sojourn! That is a very great list!

I just want to add one update. In Vang Vieng, Laos, G Adventures no longer arranges the tubing because of the number of deaths that have happened while tubing recently (I think a whack of drunk people died while tubing on more than one occassion). You can still book it on your own, but our guide explained that the company would not recommend activities that were not generally safe for their travellers (and I agree with that decision!).
It's the journey, not the destination.

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