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Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under Dates & Prices tab)
This departure: Grade 1
Depart London Heathrow on an overnight flight to Bangkok.
Upon arrival at Bangkok we transfer to our hotel for 2 nights’ accommodation. We will have some sightseeing in Bangkok in the afternoon before dinner.
We have a full day of sightseeing including the splendid Grand Palace complex and the Royal Temple of the Emerald Buddha where varied styles of Thai architecture are delicately woven together. We also see the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, one of Bangkok’s oldest and largest temples. In the afternoon we take a longtail boat on the canals of Bangkok’s surprisingly rural western suburbs. Enjoy the natural scenery and observe the daily lives of the people who live along the canals and you'll also get to visit the biggest flower market in the city.
Morning transfer to the airport for our flight to Chiang Rai. Upon arrival, we will visit the Golden Triangle area where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet as well as spending time at the white temple of Wat Rong Khun and the beautiful landscaped botanical gardens at the Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park.
In the morning, we take the ferry across the river to Laos at Houixay. After the immigration formalities, we start our cruise by slow boat along the Mekong River to Pak Beng, which takes approximately 5 hours. There are occasional stops at local hill tribe villages and a picnic lunch (included) is served on board. We also visit a Kamu village along the river en route.
After breakfast we cruise to Luang Prabang, enjoying the beautiful views and peaceful ambience along the way. We will make a stop at Pak Ou Buddha Caves overlooking the confluence of the Mekong & Ou Rivers, home to many thousands of Buddha images since the 16th century. We arrive at Luang Prabang in time for dinner.
Today we visit a bear rescue sanctuary where the staff will explain how the bears were rescued and you'll get the chance to see them at work and play from the viewing platform. We'll also take in the Kuang Si Waterfall where you can take a swim or just relax in the natural surroundings. In the afternoon we'll take an electric car to the centre of Luang Prabang for a 4 hour walking tour of the city taking in the National Museum and many other must see sites.
We have a leisurely drive along the mountain roads to Phonsavanh (237km). The journey is one of the most scenic routes with forested mountains, lush valleys and karst formations around every corner. A highlight is the stop at the megalithic landscape of the Plain of Jars.
We'll spend the morning at the local MAG (Mines Advisory Group) office where the charity workers will talk to you about how they are helping locals that have been affected by land mines. We then continue our journey by road to Vang Vieng (223km) arriving in time for dinner.
We continue south to Vientiane the capital of Laos (157km). On arrival we'll spend some time sightseeing including Pha That Luang, Ho Pha Keo and the monumental arch of Patuxai.
We fly to Phnom Penh and transfer to the city centre by road. We'll have a 3 hour 'tuk tuk' safari where you'll step away from the tourist trail into the old market. Here you'll be able to browse the food stalls and try local snacks, fruit and the more unusual delicacies - if you dare! There'll also be a stop at a rooftop cocktail bar and at the illuminated Independence Monument for a photo stop.
Morning sightseeing today focuses on the art and culture of Phnom Penh. We'll visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, the Champey Academy of Arts and National Museum. The afternoon visit is more sobering - Toul Sleng (Genocide Museum) and the Killing Fields.
Transfer by coach to Siem Reap (314km). Our route takes us past scenic rice fields and there will be an en route stop at Skuon, renowned for its spider merchants!
A full day exploring of the temple complex of Angkor Wat. We'll be there until the sun sets for some amazing views from the Angkorian temples.
We travel out of Siem Reap for an excursion to Kampong Kleang, on the edge of Tonle Sap Lake where we'll have a boat trip and a 2hr walk of the farming community of Kompheim Village.
We take a morning flight to Bangkok and transfer to our hotel. Your afternoon is at your leisure before dinner.
Depart Bangkok for our flight home.