Traveling is meant not only to create memories, but to foster an understanding of how truly connected we are to our big, beautiful world. We chatted with Ker & Downey clients Ken and Carol Kabel of Cincinnati, Ohio, to learn more about their life-changing journey on a family trip to Southeast Asia.

When was your trip?

December 2010 to January 2011

Where did you go?

Luang Prabang in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia’s Siem Reap.

Who did you travel with?

Our two college-age daughters.

Family Trip to Southeast Asia - Custom Family Travel - Ker & Downey-Vietnam-Travel-Countryside

Where was your favorite place to stay?

In Luang Prabang we loved Belmond La Residence Phou Vao. It was the perfect introduction to Southeast Asia. The rooms, grounds, and view were beautiful, and the staff and service were terrific. We had a magical and memorable New Year’s celebration at the hotel too.

Family Trip to Southeast Asia - Custom F

What was the best part of your family trip?

There were many, many highlights. Cruising on Ha Long Bay, giving alms to the monks in Luang Prabang at dawn, biking to the elephant sanctuary, cruising the Mekong River in Laos and Vietnam, getting tailor-made clothing in Hoi An, walking through the spectacular temples in Siem Reap, and navigating traffic in Ho Chi Minh City were experiences to never forget!

What most surprised you on your journey?

Vietnam was a much more modern country than some of us had expected. Ken was worried how we would be received as Americans because of the Vietnam War. It turns out that the Vietnamese were extraordinarily gracious hosts who genuinely seemed to like us. We felt very welcomed.

The peacefulness of Luang Prabang captivated us and we hope to return there. We also loved the food on our trip. We tasted fruits and vegetables that were new to us and we ate Pho almost every day.

What lasting impression did you leave with?

We greatly admire the sense of family and commitment to each other that we saw everywhere we went. For instance, it is very common for three generations to live in the same house or next door to each other. Families are connected throughout their lives in a way that enriches them all. Here in America we tend to live in so many different places, often apart from our families, and we came to admire their culture.

Family Trip to Southeast Asia - Custom Family Travel - Ker & Downey-Hoi-An

We want to hear from you!

Traveled with Ker & Downey? We would love to learn about how your Ker & Downey trip changed you. Contact your designer to share your story with us and perhaps be featured on a future post.