Camping Tour in Indochina
It is impossible to get closer to any land than by camping and to reach some places, it can be the only choice. Especially to visit the natural beauty of much of Indochina, camping is the ideal accommodation choice. Get away from the crowds and the city streets and explore the countryside to see life being lived as it has for millennia.
Despite its troubled history and recent poverty, Indochina has an excellent record of preservation of its natural assets and there are many National Parks and Designated Protection Zones most of which offer camping, providing visitors with an environmentally friendly choice of travel.
For example, Vietnam’s Bach Ma National Park was first protected in 1937, and was established as a national park in 1986. The park is a spectacular mix of granite mountains, rivers and waterfalls. The park is also a protected home to a variety of bird species including some very rare examples. Visitors are welcome to camp here and explore the jungle trails to see the natural beauty of the forests. The park is in central Vietnam, near the city of Hué, the ancient imperial capital of Vietnam.
Alternatively, in the North of Vietnam, on the border with China, lies Mount Fansipan. The area around the mountain, Vietnam’s highest, is home to many of Vietnam’s minority peoples and it is possible to visit their villages and even share a meal. The area also shows the influence of the French on Vietnam with many French style buildings in Sapa, the town which was a French military outpost.
Halong, in north-western Vietnam, is probably the most beautiful part of the whole of Indochina. Thousands of islands and limestone pillars rise from a perfect turquoise sea creating a magical scene. It is possible to camp here and explore the villages of the local fishermen and visit their stilt houses – and, of course, eat the delicious seafood which they catch! Quan Lan Bay is but one of the recommended camping sites in Halong.
Cambodia’s top attraction is the unforgettable Angkor Historical Park in Siem Reap. It is possible to park here, but the more adventurous may also like to explore some of the ancient temple ruins from the same historical period and earlier which are scattered across the whole of Cambodia. For many of these, there is no other way to go than by camping, but this gives access to typical Khmer villages and rural life that few tourists are able to see.
Laos, too, has a number of National Parks and protected areas which are open to camping. One such is Nam Ha Protected Area. Here you can explore the mountains and forests and learn about the local flora and fauna. This is an area which serves as home to the Khamu minority among others and, with these hospitable people as hosts, you can gather wild herbs and vegetables and cook a traditional meal over an open fire. Tad Leuk, near Vientiane is another area worth exploring – centred on a waterfall, the surrounding area is ideal for nature lovers. Nature trails have been laid out and there is a Visitor Information Centre explaining all the animals and vegetation to be found in the park.
Thailand has 76 National Parks and almost all allow camping. In the north, near Chiang Mai, is Doi Inthanon National Park. This park is ideal for exploring on foot and gives spectacular views of the mountain area. Again there is a visitors’ centre near the entrance which gives information about the park and its flora and fauna. It also gives the park rules which are strictly enforced – no picking the wild orchids, for example.
Further south, Thailand’s famous, beautiful islands are perfect for camping. The choice is almost endless and depends on each visitor’s preference – a totally empty island with no facilities or fully serviced camping? These and everything in between are available.
These are just a few of the many possibilities for camping in Indochina – a spellbinding area of outstanding beauty.
Here is an itineraly maybe useful for your trip to Vietnam:
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