Khiri Travel has unveiled two new overland tours in Laos and Vietnam that promise to take guests into Joseph Conrad’s literary “Heart of Darkness”.
While Conrad’s own journey was undertaken in the Congo, his book inspired the Vietnam War movie “Apocalypse Now”. And Khiri has now unveiled two new tours that use “backroad border crossings” to take travellers overland from Laos to Vietnam, along routes seldom used by tourists.
An eight-day trip explores the Lao countryside before crossing into Vietnam at the Nam Can border and heading on to Hanoi.
And the extended 11-day trip follows a similar route but includes visits to Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area and Xam Neua, home to Laos’ revolution-era caves. The trip uses the Na Meo border crossing before ending in Hanoi.
“Joseph Conrad called it a journey into the ‘heart of darkness’. I see it more as a heritage trip through Indochina’s mountains of light and hope,” said Jack Bartholomew, Khiri’s regional director of Indochina. “Travelling the backroads through the mountains is the best way to admire the beauty and the breath-taking landscapes.”
Both journeys traverse the mountainous landscapes that played an important role in the Indochinese wars in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, and visit areas that rarely receive organised tour groups. Key attractions along the way include the mysterious Plain of Jars, a Nam Nern night safari, a hidden cave city at Viengxay in Laos, and remote mountain villages in Vietnam.
Khiri says both trips are suitable for couples, groups and families, but warned that the routes offer a “limited choice” of accommodation. The company says it has taken extra care to select eco-lodges and good quality accommodation where possible.