Ben Briggs rather likes a far flung destination, however he is the first to admit that Asia is far more accessible these days and there is no need to be daunted about travelling there.
His recent trip took in Vietnam and Cambodia and you can listen to the radio interview on it by clicking the sound file at the end of this article.
Vietnam is the more developed of these two countries with well-known hotel chains in the cities, although local hotels are equally as good. Food here is very healthy, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s not as spicy as you might imagine.
Hanoi is a smaller city than Saigon, with an authentic old quarter where there’s hustle, bustle and trading on all the streets. Like all Vietnam, it’s really safe, Ben said he felt totally comfortable wandering around at any time. His top tip is to take an address card from your hotel, so should the need arise, taxis can get you back!
The stand-out sights from his visit are Hanoi and Ha Long Bay, which is home to miles of spectacular limestone coastal cliffs. Ben recommends spending a night on board a boat in the bay to experience an extraordinary sunset and sunrise in this unique setting. Hanoi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a heavy French influence in the architecture and lifestyle, as well as exceptional food.
Ben certainly found it inspiring: its people particularly. Most families have a story to tell with regard to the war and the atrocities, with fathers and grandfathers having suffered, so very much still in living memory.
He reckons you could travel around the country for a week or two, absorbing the culture and the Buddhist lifestyle. The south particularly is underdeveloped, with beaches that are similar to those in Thailand or the Maldives.
The highlight here for Ben was Angkor Wat at Siem Reap. Indeed, it was so wonderful that he felt he was almost living in a guidebook! He got there at 4am to watch the sunrise, where monks were drifting around in bright orange robes creating a mystical atmosphere.
What he found in both countries was a really warm welcome from local people and exceptional hospitality.
Silver Facts: To find out more about trips to Vietnam and Cambodia, go to www.wendywutours.co.uk.
Listen to Silver Travel Radio
Ben Briggs talks to the Silver Travel Show about his exciting adventures in Vietnam and Cambodia.
If the soundplayer does not display properly, please click here to listen