The swamps of Dac Lac province are located in the mystical region of Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Surrounded by the Krong Ana (mother river) and Krong Bong (father river), the southern Dac Lac swamp in ancient times was a region of savannas, low forests, lakes and marshes, its terrain unstable and vaporous. The region was covered by giant grass, nenuphar water lilies, lotus blossoms, bamboo groves and reeds. It was home to a stunning array of wildlife, including crocodiles, swamp tigers, gaurs, elephant herds, unicorn rhinoceros, giant lizards, pythons and numerous aquatic bird species. Beginning in 1960, the region was drained and converted into rice fields or buildable zones. However, some of the ancient surfaces remain, providing witness to a forgotten primeval time. These areas are miraculously preserved, such as the three natural lakes of Ea Tyn, Ea R’Bine and Ea Boune, whose banks run up against the Chu Pangon and Chu Yi Yang (Spirit Yi Mount) forest on the northwest side of the Nam Kaa mountain range.
In 2017, Secret Indochina surveyed the area around the three lakes and created innovative new experiences such as an exploration of the Ea Tyn lake and its surrounding ancestral forest. This adventure starts at Lak-Lak lake, where you transfer to a path along the southern part of Krong Ana swamp, now dotted with rice fields. Arrive at a Rhade (Edé) hamlet and glean insights into local ethnic culture. Then, begin a five-hour trek to Chu Yi Yang Mount (781m) through deep woods and trails meandering inside thick undergrowth. Continue on to the Chi Yi Yang southern ridge under the sumptuous foliage of frangipanis, banyans and ancient dipterocarpaceas. Listen as your Rhade tracker explains tree varieties, the activities and beliefs of his people, and Vietnam War episodes such as the crash of various USAF fighters in the area. Follow a hunting track to Ea Tyn and embark on small boats known as pirogues to explore the ancient lake before enjoying lunch in a lakeside cabana

Metta Residence is an authentic Cambodian experience that combines inspiring design and elegance with luxurious accommodations, exquisite dining, and a world-class spa. Ideally located in a quiet area near Siem Reap, this brand-new gem offers spacious, tastefully decorated villas and residences with lavish conveniences.
While you enjoy the personal touches of real Khmer hospitality at this retreat, discover the marvels of the region nearby. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, and explore the temples at one of Southeast Asia’s richest archeological sites. Immerse yourself in a Khmer family – the direct descendants of Angkor’s builders – who live in a village split by the former Royal Road (Voie Royale). Explore the aquatic world of the shimmering landscape of Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest natural lake




The present-day Lao People’s Democratic Republic traces its historic and cultural identity to one of Southeast Asia’s largest kingdoms – Lan Xang Hom Khao, also known as the Land of a Million Elephants and the White Parasol. A century ago Laos was a sanctuary for some 40 000 wild elephants, but their numbers have been drastically reduced to 1,000 due to deforestation, poachers seeking ivory, and tourism. Today in Laos a dozen of elephant sanctuaries are committed towards elephant preservation.
The Elephant Conservation Center, supported by the NGO ElefantAsia, was established in Sayaboury as Laos’ first elephant veterinary facility, taking care of animals that have been injured in logging accidents or affected by disease. Visit the center and meet its veterinarians to understand how they are protecting and preserving this mystical giant with clay feet that is on its way to extinction. Engage with the magnificent mammals by feeding them or helping with their daily bath. Visit the nursery, where elephant calves are learning how to sustain themselves under the close watch of their mothers

© Photo credit: Auu Chotiga
To mark the 50th anniversary of the battle of Dak To, Secret Indochina returns to the site of this major Vietnam War battle to remember the soldiers on all sides who fought and died there. The battle of Dak To (Operation MacArthur) was a series of engagements that took place between the Americans, Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), and People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) from November 3 through November 22, 1967 in Kontum province. It was one of a series of offensives known as the Border Battles that were initiated by the PAVN during the second half of 1967. The battle of Dak To began with bloody fights to occupy the surrounding hills (Hills 882, 724, 823, 875), followed by massive North Vietnamese attacks on the airfield and Hill 875. By the end of November, the PAVN were forced to withdraw from the area and retreated back to their Laotian and Cambodian camps. At Dak To, 376 American troops were killed (and missing) in action; 1,441 ARVN soldiers were wounded, 79 killed in action; and 1,644 PAVN troops killed.
For several years, Secret Indochina has been offering classic, educational, adventure or special immersion tours of Vietnam War sites. In addition to Dak To, special programs can be organized around many of the major battles and operations in Indochina, including Cao Bang, Dien Bien Phu, Hill 875, Hill 937, Khe San, Ia Drang, Junction City, Rolling Thunder, and Arc Light. We also offer tours to areas of special operations in Laos, such as Lang Son 719, and to secret landing zones in Long Tien and Tonglek in Central and Southern Laos

© Photo credit: Samuel-B.Alexander
Secret Indochina was established in 2011, following the encounter of two professionals, Tran Quang Hieu and Nicolas Vidal, passionate about authentic travel. Secret Indochina, DMC branch of Amica JSC, strives to lead travellers to outstanding sites, magical places, and little-known ethnic communities



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