Monks in Laos

Undiscovered Southeast Asia Tour

Countries: CambodiaLaos

13 Days | $3,520

Both quiet and small, Laos and Cambodia have often felt the brunt of aggression from their neighbors and negative press from the West, but these two wonderful countries are brimming with beauty, culture and history.

This 14-day tour starts in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where you will learn the sad facts of the Pol Pot Regime, but see the bright future in the Royal Palace and National Museum. A boat ride will get you to the world famous Angkor Wat just outside Siem Reap, the worlds largest religious monument and a testament to the once powerful Khmer Empire.

From there fly to Pakse, Laos and experience the beauty and majesty of the mighty Mekong. In Vientiane visit wats and marvel at the peacefulness of this quiet capital. Luang Prabang, with its French Colonial influence, is a lovely escape on the banks of the Mekong.

Enjoy day trips to waterfalls and caves and take a day to trek into the stunning landscape to visit hill tribe villages. This trip will give you a better understanding of these small countries and will leave you with an appreciation of their perseverance and culture.

Day 1 Phnom Penh – The Killing Fields

Arrive on your flight. Arrive in Phnom Penh where you will be met by an air conditioned car and driver. Transfer to your hotel for check in.

Head to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum where your guide will explain the history of the Khmer Rouge and walk you through the different museum displays. After watching the movie they show every day, head out to the Killing Fields, where a memorial stupa and shallow pits remind visitors of the thousands killed under the Pol Pot Regime.

Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. On the way back stop at a local organization that takes at-risk and orphaned children and provides them with education and dance training, sit in on a traditional dance class and be amazed at the grace and persistence of these students. Return to your hotel and relax before dinner at a riverside restaurant serving traditional Khmer or Western food.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Amanjaya Hotel – Junior Suite Room

Day 2 Phnom Penh – City Tour

This morning take a tour of the Royal Palace, still the royal residence. See the amazing royal collection and the beautiful architecture before heading to the National Museum where a trained museum guide will show you pre-Angkorean pieces, as well as special pieces from the temples.

Enjoy lunch at Friends, a restaurant benefiting at-risk street children. After lunch your guide will take you to central market, reported to be the biggest domed market in the world, and to the famous Russian Market where everything from souvenirs to car parts are on sale. Enjoy a shopping spree or just browse along with the locals out doing their shopping. Enjoy dinner at the FCC on the banks of the Mekong.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Amanjaya Hotel – Junior Suite Room

Day 3 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by Boat

Catch an early morning boat to Siem Reap. In the five hour journey you’ll pass floating villages, flooded forests and interesting bird and shore life. Arrive in Siem Reap around 1pm.

You will be met by a Journeys Within representative and taken to your hotel. Head into town to enjoy a traditional buffet dinner and dance show in the evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel

Day 4 Siem Reap – Angkor Wat

This morning head to Angkor Wat in an air-conditioned car, or if you choose by bike, with your guide. Explore this majestic temple throughout the morning while it is still cool and has fewer tourists.

Return to your hotel for lunch and a nap or refresh with a swim. In the afternoon head to Angkor Thom, the famous walled city and see the many temples within its borders, including the fascinating Bayon temple with its many magnificent faces smiling out. There are several beautiful spots from which to watch the sunset. Discuss with your guide where you would like to be and then relax and enjoy a memorable end to your day at the temples.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel

Day 5 Siem Reap – Banteay Srei & Other Temples

This morning set off with your guide to Banteay Srei, the intricately carved temple just 30 km beyond Angkor Wat. On your way back to town stop at the Land Mine Museum, a rather humble look at the land mine problem, past and present, in Cambodia. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant of your choice.

Later in the afternoon head back to the temples where you will visit Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm, two of the prettiest temples in the complex. Watch the sunset from inside Ta Prohm or from the Angkor Wat promenade.

Enjoy dinner on your balcony or by the pool.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Unique Boutique Hotel

Day 6 Champasak Province – Vat Phou + Khong Island

Upon arrival at the airport you will be met by your guide. Enjoy lunch in the city of Pakse before an hour’s drive through the countryside.  Once you arrive at Ban Muang you will take the local ferry across the Mekong River to Champassak to visit Vat Phou, an impressive pre-Angkorian Khmer temple ruin.  This site represents the easternmost border of the Khmer empire.  This temple was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2002 and is situated on a hillside offering spectacular views of the surrounding plains.

Cross the river once more back to Ban Muang and drive along the Mekong River and through the countryside for approximately 100 kilometers until being transferred to Khong Island, part of the river archipelago known as Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands), landing at a jetty near your hotel. Enjoy local fare at one of the nearby restaurants located along the waterfront on Khong Island.

Meals included: Lunch

Overnight at Pon’s Arena Hotel

Day 7 Champasak Province – Don Det and the 4,000 Islands

After breakfast head out for Ban Nakasang where you will catch a long tail boat that will take you through a section of the 4,000 islands.  Have lunch once reaching the fishing village of Don Khon and observe local island life.  Laos is known for its laidback lifestyle and the islands in the south are about as relaxed as it gets.

You will then take a ride through the island stopping to see remnants of Lao’s old French railway before heading to Som Pha Mit (Li Phi) Waterfall, where you might be lucky enough to spot an endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin.  Take the long tail boat back to meet your driver and continue on to see the impressive Khone Phapheng Waterfall, the “Niagara of the East”.  Return to Khong Island in the late afternoon.

Meals included:  Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Pon’s Arena Hotel

Day 8 Vientiane – City Tour

You will be transferred to the airport from your hotel for your flight.

Arrive in Vientiane where you will be met at the airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel to check in. Afterwards hit the town and take a guided city tour including Haw Pha Kaeo, Wat Si Saket, Pha That Luang, and Patuxai. You may choose to be dropped off for lunch in center of town or return to the hotel. In the evening you will be picked up for a traditional dinner including a Lao music and dance performance.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Green Park Boutique Hotel – Classic Room

Day 9 Vientiane to Luang Prabang

Your guide will take you to visit the Khaisone Phomvihan Museum. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant of your choice before heading out to seem the traditional weaving village of Ban Nong Thong and the busy central market.

You will be transferred to Vientiane Airport in time for your onward

flight – Upon arrival in Luang Prabang you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Le Calao Inn – Mekong View Room

Day 10 Luang Prabang – Sunrise to Sunset

Wake-up at sunrise to participate in giving the local monks morning alms. You’ll be accompanied by your guide who can demonstrate the proper method of alms giving and explain this daily Buddhist ceremony. Return to your hotel for breakfast, after which your guide will take you on a tour of the city, including visits to The National Museum, Wat Xieng Thong, Wat Visun and Wat Sen. Enjoy lunch in town at a restaurant of your choice.

After lunch your guide will meet you and you’ll continue your tour, finishing with a hike up Mt. Phou Si in the late afternoon to see a sweeping view of Luang Prabang and watch the sunset.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Le Calao Inn – Mekong View Room

Day 11 Luang Prabang – Day on the Mekong

After breakfast, take a longtail boat crossing to the right bank of the Mekong to visit the pottery village of Ban Han. From here take a thirty minute walk to Wat Long Khoune village to see its local temple. Return to your boat which will stop by a rice wine distilling village on its way upriver. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and cross the river to visit the Pak Ou caves, famous for thousands of miniature statues of the Buddha. Return to Luang Prabang by longtail boat in the late afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Le Calao Inn – Mekong View Room

Day 12 Luang Prabang – Day Trek to Kuangsi Waterfall

You will be met at your hotel and driven to Ban Long Lao, where you’ll visit Hmong and Khmu villages before starting your 3 – 4 hour hike. You will be accompanied by a local guide and trek along mountainous paths through stunning scenery until you reach your final destination, the Kuang Si Waterfall. Here you can enjoy a well deserved swim and lunch before returning to Luang Prabang by minivan.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Le Calao Inn – Mekong View Room

Day 13 Luang Prabang – Departure

Transfer to Luang Prabang airport from your hotel in time for your flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Tour Rate Starting at: $3,520 per person double with $2,125 single supplement

Price includes:

  • Air tickets Bangkok – Phnom Penh / Siem Reap – Pakse – Vientiane – Luang Prabang – Bangkok
  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips
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