This is the best combined tour program of Laos & Cambodia in 12 days/ 11 nights. Taking this trip, you will visit the most interesting travel destinations in Cambodia and Laos.
Highlights: Luang Prabang – Pakou Cave – Khouang Si waterfall - Xieng Khouang –Vientiane – Pakse – Khong island - Pakse – Siemreap – Phnompenh.
Day 1: Luang Prabang Arrival (/D)
On arrival at the airport at Luang Prabang airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. The royal capital of the former Lane Xang Kingdom, Luang Prabang with it gleaming temple roofs, colonial architecture and stunning mountain backdrop· retains an unique charm rarely found in all Asia. Here is plenty to see, some of which are the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, the shrine of Wat Aham and Wat Mai with five tiered roofs. We include these sights in a half day guided tour which ends with a climb to Phousi Hill for a beautiful sunset view· of the town and the Mekong River. There· are 329 steps leading us on zigzag way past various temples to the sacred, gilded stupa of Wat Phousi at the summit. Overnight· Villa Santi Hotel (Superior room) or similar.
Day 2: Luang Prabang – Pakou – Luang Prabang (B/L/)
Today, we visit Luang Prabang with the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan River. The temple structures are decorated in various ways with gilded stuccoes as well as doorways and the main sim has a marvellous 'tree life' mosaic pattern on an outer wall. Upon leaving this sight we visit the national museum at the former Royal Palace. This interesting structure displays a lovely collection of treasures and artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. We embark on a boat for a leisurely trip on the Mekong River, stopping en route at Ban Xang Hai to visit the distillation of local rice wine. Upon leaving this village we wave our wave through the stunning mountain landscape to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. They are crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes, all brought there by devout villagers. After the river trip we drive towards Ban Phanom and visit the hand weaving. Overnight at Villa Santi hotel (superior room).
Day 3: Luang Prabang – Xieng Khouang (B/L/)
The former Royal Palace has been turned into a national museum, which displays a lovely collection of the artefacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture dating from the days of the early kings right through the last sovereign. Upon leaving the town we drive out to Xieng Khouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973. These back roads are a great way to explore the real Laos. We see very few other travellers, mostly rural dwellers who are just as interested in finding out about our lives as we are of theirs. The drive is very long , but we can can make many stops at our pleasure, to stretch our legs and take some wonderful photographs. On arrival we explore the province's old capital of Muang Khun and the nearby villages. Overnight in Xieng Khouang.
Day 4: Xieng Khouang – Vientiane (B/L/)
The “Plan of Jars” is an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. These huge jars are supposedly over 2,000 years old, but most of archaeologists are still mystified about their purpose. We have time today exploring the site and some nearby villages. They are populated by the Hmong hill tribe people who are very poor but have an interesting local culture and a colorful history. we set off on our journey to Vang Vieng. This small and tranquil village is rapidly developped with the advent of tourist, but the beautiful scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops unchanged for century. You are then transferred to airport for flight to Vientiane QV 402 @ 14h40-16h20. Arrival transfer to our hotel. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 5: Vientiane City Tour (B/L/)
The full day tour of Vientiane begins with a visit to Wat Sisaket, the oldest temple still standing in Vientiane. This amazing structure features remarkable frescoes and Buddha statues. The following sight is the former royal temple of Haw Pha Kaew, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. We also visit the imposing Patouxai Monument well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe before continuing to the great sacred structure and symbol of Laos, That Luang Stupa. Heading out of town we see the Buddha Park, a blend of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures created by mystical monk on a parkland located by the Mekong River and the impressive Friendship Bridge which links Laos and Thailand. A perfect way to round off the day is to watch the spectacular sunset over the Mekong River from one of riverside bars. Overnight in Vientiane.
Day 6: Vientiane – Pakse – Khong Island (B/L/)
The journey southwards begins as we board our morning flight to Pakse (QV 301 @ 07h30-08h45). On arrival we are greeted and transferred to the boat landing for a leisurely trip to the former royal capital of Champasak, our base for exploring the ruin of Wat Phu. This impressive site is well known as the most important Hindu sanctuary of the Khmer Empire between 9th and 13th century. The festival of this site is yearly held during the full moon in February and attracts numerous pilgrims from all over southern Laos. Arriving Khong Island. we embark on a long tail boat for venturing into the widest reach of the Mekong River from where thousands of islets jut out in dry season, giving this area a lovely name” Si Phan Done ”. Along the way we will anchor at the peaceful island of Ban Khone for a visit to the many relics of French colonial period and the marvelous rushing Liphi falls also called the " Corridor of the Devil". Overnight in Khong Island.
Day 7: Khong island – Tatlo - Pakse (B/L/)
The next destination of our trip is Tatlo. We drive past many lush plantations, hills, forests and villages. The deep contrast of lush vegetation and red surface of basaltic soil is incredible all along the way. On arrival at Tatlo we visit the spectacular waterfall of Xeset and the nearby villages, home of the Kato, Alack and Nge hilltribe groups. These ethnic minorities still retain their age old cultural traditions and are recognisably distinct from each other by their dress. We continue our journey through Paksong and Boloven Plateau. A part of our pleasure of travelling in this region is to observe the beautiful countryside and meet local people. Overnight at Champa Residence (Superior room) or similar.
Day 8: Pakse – Siemreap (B/L/)
Breakfast and transfer to airport for the flight QV512, 0810/0900 to Siem Reap. On arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. The town of Siem Reap is our base for visiting the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which was l the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire from 802 AD to 1350 AD. After checking into hotel, we drive to the archeological area to visit the Roluos Group of temples including Lo Lei, Preah Ko, Bakong. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Siem Reap - Angkor Wat (B/L/)
Today, we continue exploring the wondrous ancient ruins with the South Gate of Angkor Thom, which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the largest as well as the most complete temple of Angkor Wat. Afternoon visit the temple of Ta Prohm, with enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers embracing themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man's creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature is an incredible sight. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 10: Angkor Wat Temples (B/L/)
Heading out of the town, we visit some outlying sights including the Preah Dark village, the intricately carved and well preserved temple of Banteay Srei, the River of 1000 Lingas, locally named Kbal Spean and the Banteay Samre Temple, with its impressive relieves depicting scenes of Vishunu as well as Krishna legends. The remainder of the day is free for your own exploration of the town and strolling around the shopping area. This afternoon before we walk up to Phnom Bakheng Hill for the sunset watching. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 11: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh (B/L/)
Transfer to airport for the flight to Phnom Penh. The capital city of Phnom Penh was once considered the loveliest city of Indochina. Despite its recent turbulent history, it still maintains considerable charm. A half day city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are now home to the royal family and are therefore very close to the public. At the northern area of the palace grounds is Silver Pagoda, which is the most sacred temple in the country. We visit both structures as well as the National Museum, with an excellent collection of actefacts illustrating the splendor of Khmer history. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 12:Phom Penh - Bangkok (B/)
Transfer to airport for the flight to Bangkok (PG 901 @ 09h35-10h30) for departure flight home or onward traveling.