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Indochina Tours


Laos Cambodia Explorer

Duration:     10 days - 9 nights
Departure:   Daily
Start From:  Chiang Rai, Thailand
Destinations: (Fly from Bangkok) Chiang Rai, Chiang Khong, Houei Say - Pakbeng - Pak Ou cave - Luang Prabang - Vang Vieng - Vientiane - Phnom Penh - Angkor Wat - Siem Reap (back to Bangkok)

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BRIEF ITINERARY:

Day 1: Arrive Chiang Rai from Bangkok – Overnight in Chiang Khong
Day 2: Chiang Khong – Houei Say – Cruise to Bakbeng (B/D)
Day 3: Pakbeng – Pak Ou cave – Luang Prabang (B/L/D)
Day 4: Luang Prabang – City Tour – Khoangsi Waterfall (B/D)
Day 5: Luang Prabang – Drive to Vang Vieng (B/D)
Day 6: Vang Vieng – Vientiane (B/D)
Day 7: Vientiane – Fly to Phnom Penh (B/D)
Day 8: Phnom Penh – Fly to Siem Reap – Angkor Thom (B/D)
Day 9: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat (B/D)
Day 10: Siem Reap – Back to Bangkok
 

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DETAIL ITINERARY:


Day 1: Arrive Chiang Rai – Overnight in Chiang Khong
Upon your arrival at Chiang Rai airport, you will be met by our driver who will transfer to your hotel in Chiang Khong, the border town with Laos by the Mekong River (travel distance: ~73km).
If time permitted, take an orientation leisure walking around this small laid back but charming town by your selves. Tonight we suggest you the “Easy Cafι” restaurant for your own dinner. You will stay overnight at hotel in Chiang Khong tonight.

Day 2: Chiang Khong – Houei Say – Cruise to Bakbeng (B/D)
You may want to wake up early to go to the local morning market to see what the local have and how they exchange goods.
After breakfast you check out the hotel and take the drive to the immigration to get the exit stamps for Thailand. After passing through immigration, you cross the Mekong River to HoueiSay in Laos where your Lao guide will be waiting for you at the immigration point. After completing border formalities, you board a ready traditional boat for the trip down the Mekong River. Serene, timeless Laos is one of Asia's most unvisited, unchanged countries. This once-powerful kingdom known as Lane Xang (Million Elephants) was founded in the 14th century with the help of the Khmers, and it went on to become one of the largest kingdoms in Southeast Asia until its demise in the late 19th century. Bisected and bordered by the Mekong River, omnipresent symbol of Indochina, Laos today is an amalgam of cultural influences; Theravada Buddhism, animism, France, and the socialist ideal. It is a peaceful place, and the legendary hospitality, resilience and friendliness of the Lao people is much in evidence. Laos is Old Asia preserved. As your journey downriver you will stop at some tribal minority villages such as the Hmong, Yao and Khmu. Upon arrival in Pakbeng, we visit local market; experience daily lifestyle of colorful hill tribe traders exchanges their goods. Overnight in Pakbeng.

Day 3: Pakbeng – Pak Ou cave – Luang Prabang (B/L/D)
Breakfast, as you sail downriver as a second leg, you will pass areas of un-spoilt forest with little villages along the riverbanks and perhaps the odd elephant or two with his mahout. You visit a fishing village and a rice winemaking village and perhaps even taste some of the infamous beverage known as Lao Rice wine. You also visit the Pak-Ou caves, where thousands of Buddha statues are stored. You arrive in Luang Prabang around sunset and transfer to your hotel. This charming city of UNESCO world heritage site, The Luang Prabang is a small, dream-like town on the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers, in a beautiful mountain setting. From 1353 until 1545 it was the capital of Lane Xang before power was transferred to Vientiane. Despite the move Luang Prabang remained the seat of monarchical power and when the kingdom broke up in 1694, one of the deceased king's grandsons established a rival kingdom to those in Vientiane and Champassak. Though weakened, the Luang Prabang royalty endured until 1975, when after the reign of 63 kings it was formally dissolved. You spend the day exploring the temples and sites in what is called one of the last Shangri-La’s of Southeast Asia. You will visit Wat Xiang Thong, the most important Buddhist monastery in the country. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang

Day 4: Luang Prabang – City Tour – Khoangsi Waterfall (B/D)
We are exploring Wat Visoun, Wat Khili and Wat Mai. Later, visit the former Royal Palace, now a National Museum where you will find ornate, gilded and brocaded reception rooms, as well as Buddha and Atacular artifacts including the Prabang, a large holy image, which was given in the 14th century by the Khmers to King Fa Ngum. At sunset climb the nearby temple-topped hill of Phousi where you'll catch a lovely view out over the town and the river. We excursion out the town to experience local lifestyle of Luang Prabang Villages and most beautiful waterfall in Luang Prabang. On the way, visit Phosi Market, where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Laos is also known for its traditional handicrafts, and continues visit local village of Lao ethnic minority groups at Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene and the weaving village of Ban Phanom. Time permitting you may also wish to drive to the beautiful Khouangsi Waterfall where you can splash around in the pools or walk along the forest paths. Return to Luang Prabang city by late afternoon and visit Street Night Market, where you can find the lovely collection and handmade textile by local and hill tribe people surrounding Luang Prabang. Overnight at hotel in Luang Prabang.

Day 5: Luang Prabang – Drive to Vang Vieng (B/D)
Breakfast, we are strolling around and visit the Silver smith’s and the Central Market are not to be missed.
Morning we depart Luang Prabang and start our drive journey to Vang Viang. The road conditions are very poor; however the unequalled scenery with a mixture of steep terraced fields and hill tribe villages make for an interesting journey. Today ends with a spectacular view of the sunset over the Nam Song River. Overnight in Vang Vieng.

Day 6: Vang Vieng – Vientiane (B/D)
After breakfast, we cross the Nam Song River, then enjoy a short trek through the breathtaking mountain landscape to Tam None cave and some hill villages.
Then we head out of the town, we travel by roads to Vientiane 150Km with stopover at the archeological site of Vang Xang dating back from the 11th century. On arrival at Vientiane, take a city tour acquaints us with the major sights of the capital, we visit the sacred the oldest Wat Sisaket with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat PraKeo previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image. On the way to the famous and sacred structure of That Luang stupa, we stop to take some pictures of the imposing Patouxai which is well known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triomphe. Overnight in Vientiane.

Day 7: Vientiane – Fly to Phnom Penh (B/D)

After breakfast, take the transfer to airport for the morning flight departing Vientiane at 10.20am to Vientiane. Arrive in Phnom Penh at 11.50am, meet the local guide and driver at the airport for the transfer to the hotel in the city centre.
Afternoon, take a guided tour of Phnom Pehn where you will visit the historical sites of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, Tuol Sleng, the Independent and Victory monuments, Wat phnom. The trip will end with a visit to the Cambodia Living Arts where you will experience the musical and dance performance of the lost Khmer traditional dance. A trip to the Russian market is an additional option, if time permits. Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.

Day 8: Phnom Penh – Fly to Siem Reap – Angkor Thom (B/D)
Depart Phnom Penh to Siem Reap on a morning flight.
Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to the hotel. In the morning, transfer to the archaeological site. Visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara).
Afternoon, visit Preah Khan, built by the King Jayavarman VII and, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, the temple of Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Neak Pean, a fountain (built in the middle of a pool and representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), the temple of Ta Som, as well as the unique brick sculptures of Prasat Kravan. Sunset at Pre Rup. Dinner at local restaurant and overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.

Day 9: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat (B/D)
In the morning, visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat's five towers symbolize Meru's five peaks - the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond.
Afternoon, visit Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful temples in the area. Ta Prohm has been left relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Visit also Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon. Dinner at local restaurant and overnight at hotel in Siem Reap.

Day 10: Siem Reap – Back to Bangkok (B)
Have the farewell breakfast in the hotel.
Morning depart Siem Reap on a high quality bus to Bangkok (465km~9 hour drive). The bus trip will take around 9 hour by border crossing.
If you want to stay more time in Siem Reap today, it is recommended to take a short flight in late afternoon back to Bangkok.

Include:
Accommodation with daily breakfast bases on twin/doubling sharing room.
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner)
Tour transportation by private vehicle with A/C
All airport pickups including at Chiang Rai airport
Bus ticket: Siem Reap > Bangkok
2 Domestic flights: Vientiane > Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh > Siem Reap (Y Class)
Boat trips in and excursions as mentioned in the programs
Local English speaking tour guides
All entrance fees and permits where applicable

Exclude:
Meals that not mentioned in the program
Travel insurance
Laos & Cambodia visas
Flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok (optional)
Other international flight and departure tax
Tipping, drinks and other personal expenses
 

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