Wonderful Laos and Cambodia tour
A tour that will make you explore the mysterious temples and stunning scenery of Cambodia and Laos in 10 days. From floating villages to the imposing ancient temples, up to the mysterious Buddha caves, this journey brings you to discover the wonders of these two enchanting lands.Read more
Explore the capital Vientiane visiting the main attractions such as the ancient Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, who once hosted the famous Emerald Buddha. On the way to holy That Luang Stupa you'll have the chance to take some photos of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is famous in Vientiane as Arch of Triumph.
We then visit the rest of Vientiane on foot, including Wat Ong Tue, Wat Inpeng and Wat Haisok. We walk trhough the main commercial area down to the central market of Vientiane in Talad So and Talad Kouadin where several products are sold: fresh food, consumer goods, souvenirs, fabrics, gold, silver and antiquities. We will return to Mekong Riverside in the late afternoon to see the sunset. Overnight in Vientiane.
We continue to Vang Vieng. A striking way to start the day is a walk to the lively central market. The limestone cliffs and valleys surrounding the tourist complex of Vang Vieng host numerous caves. The most famous in Vang Vieng is the Tham Jang cave, which was used in the early 19th century in defense against Chinese invaders. We also cross the Ban Huai Ngai River, to reach a pleasant village where we can get tp know the different lifestyles of local people.
(The drive today is about four to five hours, including stops along the way). Overnight in Vang Vieng.
We visit Phonsavanh's central market to look at the different tribes of the hill, we will see people shuffling and exchanging merchandise. We leave this small town in the direction of Luang Prabang and, on the way, we stop to see the images of the Buddha at Thampra, a site over 200 years old; along the way we will observe several villages in the hills, inhabited by ethnic minority tribes, the Hmong, kind people who will welcome you to their villages.
After a photographic stop, we continue uphill, enjoying the beautiful natural scenery of the mountains, the forest and the surrounding landscape. After a tea or coffee break at the Phoukhoun Hall, where the Vientiane-Xiengkhouang-Luang Prabang boundaries meet in the T-Junction, the trip will take us to the mountainous regions, approaching Luang Prabang. We go up to the top of Mount Phousi for a pleasant exploration of the golden sacred stupa and to admire the beautiful view of the sunset over the city and the Mekong River. From there, we explore the night market, where you can find a great selection of handmade textiles from the surrounding hills tribe and Luang Prabang local population.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
We embark on a boat for a pleasant trip on the Mekong River, stopping on the way to Ban Xang Hai to see the production and to taste the local rice wine. When leaving this village you will pass through the beautiful mountain landscape and the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. These two linked caves are filled with thousands of gold-plated Buddha statues brought here by devout village dwellers.
At the end of the boat excursion we proceed to Ban Phanom, a small village known for hand weaving. We will join the locals to experience rice cultivation. You will see and get tp know the texture of bamboo, use gardening tools and even meet blacksmiths. You will be involved in manual rice planting alongside with our farmers. After this experience you continue to the top of the Kuang Xi waterfall, and if you feel adventurous, you can ask your guide to take you out of the trail, to the hidden pools. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast, we visit the National Museum (closed on Tuesdays). In the former royal palace there is a beautiful collection of artefacts that reflect the richness of the Lao culture dating back to the time of the first kings until the last sovereign. The National Museum and the Central Market are not to be missed.
We visit the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun and Wat Aham's Wat Mai Wat. We continue visiting Luang Prabang with the temple of Wat Xieng Thong, a magnificent masterpiece of architecture, nestling between the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. Temple structures are decorated in various ways with golden stuccoes, including the main door that has a wonderful tree of life, mosaic on the exterior wall. Transfer to Luang Prabang airport for the flight to Siem Reap. Transfer to city center and accommodation in hotel. Free day to rest or to make a first discovery of the city.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
We go further into the rural landscape heading to the small but beautiful temple of Banteay Srei. This temple is largely built in pink sandstone, a tough stone that can be more finely carved and survives better at the weary of time. This is the opportunity to take beautiful photographs of clear and detailed sculptures. Visit Banteay Samre: Its pink sandstone walls are decorated with sculptures and bas-reliefs, which are among the most interesting that Angkor offers.
We travel back in time to one of the first capitals in the Angkor area, Hariharilaya, now known as Roluos. We begin with a visit to the brick temple of Lolei, originally placed on an island, at the center of the Indraataka baray (reservoir). We continue for Preah Ko (sacred cow), so called in honor of Shiva, Nandin. Finally, we visit Bakong, the first of the temples mountains, which later became the signature of King Khmer. It is a giant pyramid with cardinal points marked by giant elephants. For those interested, we can offer a short break to the small country village of Roluos, a world far from Siem Reap.
We visit the market in the small town of Roluos before going out to the countryside to visit a farm to get to know the cultivation techniques that bring the earth's products to our table. Overnight in a hotel in Siem Reap.
After meeting the guide, we move to Angkor Thom to visit the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. After the occupation of Angkor by the Chams 1177-1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress in the heart of his empire, built to give the impression that the enemy was immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman upon arrival at the gates of the city. The visit begins with the Bayon Temple. At the exact center of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the most famous of Cambodia's creative and genius genius.
Its 54 towers are all carved with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion), and some of them have a vague resemblance to the king himself. These colossal heads look down from every part of the temple, expressing power and control with a pity of compassion, just the mix needed to keep control over a vast empire.
We continue to visit the Terrace of the Leper King. This carved deck was the real crematory and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king, is now believed to be Yama, the god of death. We continue along the Elephant Terrace, originally used as a stage for the king to supervise parades, performances and traditional sports. At the southern end is the Baphuon, once one of the most beautiful Angkor temples, dating to the 1st, 19th century Uditayavarman kingdom. Following a massive refurbishment made by the French, it is now possible to visit it.
We visit Ta Prohm, which has become famous for the movie "Tomb Raider". The Ta Prohm was abandoned to the weather, a reminder that as the empires rose and decayed, the power of the tumultuous nature was marching along the temple, fearless of the dramas of human history. Discovered by French explorer Henri Mouhout in 1860, the roots of the tentacular trees here are slowly strangling the surviving stones, because man first conquers nature to create, but then nature recaptures man to destroy what he has created.
The tour continues to the Mother of all temples, Angkor Wat, which is believed to be the largest religious building in the world. This temple is the perfect blend of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength for all Khmers. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is the most famous temple in Angkor. We venture into Angkor Wat to admire its magnificence, where the mysteries of the bas-relief reveal the stories of Hindu mythology and the fervor of the Khmer Empire. Enjoy an hour's foot massage and walk along the busy road where you can find plenty of pubs for drinks or shopping at the Angkor Night Market. Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast leave Siem Reap for the Tonle Sap, along the eastern side of the lake. Arrive at Kampong Phluk, the "flooded forest". Only accessible during high water, you can visit it by boat. Nearby there is a fishing village where you can also learn the traditional methods of fishing, used for generations. Road trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (without a guide). Upon arrival in Phnom Penh we check in at the hotel and have free time available for the rest of the evening. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Visit to the Royal Palace built in 1866 by predecessors of King Norodom, the most striking feature of the Khmer-style Palace is its beautiful color. Next to the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha Temple), where there is a large display of Buddha statues that have been decorated and made of diamonds, emeralds, gold and silver. Continue with a visit to the National Museum. The characteristic red building with a beautiful Khmer architecture, built in 1917, contains more than 5000 art objects in sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood and others. Visit the Monument to Independence, which was built in 1954 in memory of the liberation of the French colonists.
The rest of the afternoon will be dedicated to a visit to the infamous prison of Tuol Sleng (Genocide Museum) for a knowledge of the painful years of the Khmer Rouge period. We continue to visit Wat Phnom, a Buddhist temple located in the city center of Phnom Penh. It was built in 1373 and is located 27 meters from the ground. It is the highest religious structure in the city.
We will stop at the Central Market, in the heart of Phnom Penh. The Khmer name of the market is Phsar Thmei, which translates into a "new market". The central market was built in 1937 during the French colonial period, Art Deco style, and is painted with brilliant ocher.
Evening cyclo tour, to see the city. This relaxing tour gives us a different perspective of the streets and monuments of the city. Another occasion to take photos is during the sunset cruise on the Mekong and Tonle Sap River (1 hour), located in "four arms" where the Mekong River meets the Tonle Sap before dividing into branch branches. The city of Phnom Penh offers an ideal location to discover the mighty Mekong on a well-restored wooden boat for a day cruise, to enjoy uncontaminated landscapes along the river and to visit the traditional villages with their old pagodas on islands. Overnight in hotel in Phnom Penh.
Free time until airport transfer. The room is available until noon.
| 11 days | No flight
Laos: Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Pakse, Champasak, Don Khong
| | 7 days | No flight
Thailand: Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang, Phonsavanh, Sam Neua, Hanoi, Halong
| 10 days | No flight
Laos: Luang Prabang, Hanoi, Halong, Danang, Ho Chi Minh City, Cai Be