Yeah, we like to juggle fancy codenames for our trips, so we christened our 2006/07 winter outing TINDO — which is short for Thailand/INDOchina. The plan was to spend roughly four months (mid-November to March) in the region. We'd start in Bangkok and then do a nice, big loop, first to Cambodia (Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh) and then via Vietnam (Saigon, Hue, Hanoi) to Laos (Savannakhet, Vientiane, Luang Prabang) and finally the north of Thailand (Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and down the mountain ranges of the Burmese border).
Well, that's exactly what we did. Overall, it was a great trip, although we have to say that the region is quite a bit tamer than what we have seen in the years before… the paths down there are definitely of the beaten variety:-) Having said that, we found Angkor Wat and northern Vietnam to be super-duper highlights (as well as the delicious food across the whole region). Laos, on the other hand, was a great disappointment. Everybody and his dog had told us before we would LOVE it but life in Laos is just too slow-paced and apathetic for our tastes (it probably didn't help that we had over four weeks of super-hectic Vietnam in our bags: rarely have we seen two neighbouring countries where the pace of life is so different).
We loved Cambodia and the heart-warming friendliness of the people there: of the four countries we visited this was the most unspoilt. Thailand was also very enjoyable; we especially savoured the food on the night markets: even today we sometimes day-dream about the culinary feasts we enjoyed there.
And of course, we did send our now customary email impressions during the trip: there are two pages with the English and French texts, respectively. See these for more details about what we saw, what we liked and disliked.
$updated from: TINDO 2007.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:23 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$