Ancient Kingdoms

On OAT's Ancient Kingdoms: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, we were immersed in the vibrant cultures that have emerged in the wakes of lost empires. Traveling the Indochina peninsula through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, we connected with locals who shared their homes, markets, and schools with us. We slipped into daily life for A Day in the Life of a Laotian village, where we met young schoolchildren and Hmong villagers. We experienced the quiet tranquility of the early morning alms-giving ceremony with local monks.

Bangkok and Ayutthaya

Golden Chedis
Golden Chedis

Bangkok is the capital of Thailand and a regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and has emerged as a center for the arts, fashion, and entertainment. The city is known for its street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts.

Luang Prabang

Bamboo Bridge
Bamboo Bridge

Luang Prabang, Laos, was listed by UNESCO in 1995 for unique and "remarkably" well preserved architectural, religious and cultural heritage, a blend of the rural and urban developments over several centuries, including the French colonial influences during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Vientiane

Pha That Luang
Pha That Luang

Vientiane became the capital in 1563 due to fears of a Burmese invasion but was later looted then razed to the ground in 1827 by the Siamese (Thai). It's famous as the home of the most significant national monument in Laos: That Luang, which is a symbol of Laos and an icon of Buddhism in Laos.

Phnom Penh

Royal Palace
Royal Palace

Phnom Penh. the capital of Cambodia, once known as the "Pearl of Asia," was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s. Founded in 1434, the city is noted for its historical architecture and attractions. The main tourist attractions are the Royal Palace with the Silver Pagoda and Wat Pho with an enormous reclining Buddha.

Rural Cambodia

Raw Cashews
Raw Cashews

We drove by bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap through Cambodian countryside. There were several interesting stops along the way.

Siem Reap

Wat Thom
Wat Thom

Siem Reap, Cambodia, has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and around the Old Market. Today it has a large number of hotels, resorts, restaurants and businesses because of its proximity to the Angkor City temples, the most popular tourist attraction in Cambodia.

Ho Chi Minh City

Scooters
Scooters

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, or holds a vivid image in our memory. Under the name Saigon, it was the capital of French Indochina from 1887 to 1902 and again from 1945 to 1954. Saigon would later become the capital of South Vietnam from 1955 until its fall in 1975.

Red Dragon Junk

Red Dragon Junk
Red Dragon Junk

Ha Long Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay are famous attractions in north Vietnam. These waters contain hundreds of small limestone islands that create a beautiful setting for cruises.

Hanoi

Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, was an American mystery during the twentieth century. Now it welcomes all visitors to see what has been accomplished under their flavor of communism.