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Indochina Discovery (14 days)

The perfect introduction to the fascinating countries of Cambodia and Laos!

Day 1: Phnom Penh (L)
Arriving at Phnom Penh airport, our Phnom Penh guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Afterwards, we take a city tour of Phnom Penh, including the Royal Place, the Silver Pagoda, the Raung Damrei Museum, the National Museum of Fine Arts and the Independence monument.

Day 2: Phnom Penh (B/L)
A visit to Toul Sleng Museum of Genocide plus a trip to see the world famous Killing Fields. (These trips are included, but optional). After lunch ar a local restaurant, we visit the Central and Russian markets (or at leisure to enjoy the hotel facilites.)

Day 3: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap (B/L/D)
Transfer to airport for your flight to Siem Reap, where our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After lunch at a local restaurant, we take a boat trip & on Tonlesap Lake to enjoy the views and visit the beautiful Phnom Krom temple by the lakeside. Evening dinner will be at a local restaurant with traditional Cambodian dance performance on stage.

Day 4: Siem Reap (B/L)
The antiquites of Angkor are on the agenda today, starting at the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), then the Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King and Thommanon, Chau Say Tevoda, and Ta Keo. After lunch at a local restaurant we visit the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple which is embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and then visit the 7th world heritage, Angkor Wat, a unique and stunning blend of spirituality and symmetry, an enduring example of man's devotion to his Gods. It is the largest and undoubtedly the most breath taking of the monuments of Angkor and it is widely believed that it is the largest religious structure in the world. (If you prefer we can visit Angkor Wat very early to enjoy this magnificent heritage site before many visitors have arrived, or we can visit Angkor Wat after lunch as shown.)

Day 5: Siem Reap - Phnom Kulen - Siem Reap (B/L)
This morning we drive to Phnom Kulen where the 'River of 1000 Lingas' features thousands of symbols carved into the sandstone rocks under the water. We also visit the Rock temple, with its large reclining Buddha, and take a picnic lunch by the waterfall. On the return trip, we visit the oldest temple in Angkor, the 10th century Banteay Srei. This temple has the best engravings among all the ruins and was used in the film 'Lara Croft Tomb Raider'. Visit Sras Srong, remodeled in the 12th century as part of Jayavarman VII’s massive building campaign and Banteay Kdei temple, sprawling, a largely unrestored, monastic complex in much the same style as Ta Prohm. It was originally constructed over the site of an earlier temple, and functioned as a Buddhist monastery under Jayavarman VII.

Day 6: Siem Reap (B/L)
This morning visit the West Mebon which is situated on a small island in the heart of West Baray. Take a long-tailed boat ride to the island and visit the temple. After lunch at local restaurant we will explore the grand circle: Preah Khan temple, built by the King Jayavarman VII and, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors. Ta Som temple, East Mebon, is a large temple-mountain-like ruin, rising three levels and crowned by five towers. Jayavarman IV, a usurper to the throne, moved the capital from Angkor to Kh Ke in 928AD. Sixteen years later Rajendravarman II returned the capital to Angkor and shortly thereafter constructed East Mebon on an island in the middle of the now dry Eastern Bary. The temple is dedicated to Shiva in honor of the king’s parents. Then move to the major Pre Rup temple, built by Rajendravarman II in late 10th century.

Day 7: Siem Reap - Pakse - Si Phan Don (B/L/D)
Transfer to airport for your flight to Pakse. Our Laos representative will be at the airport to welcome you and transfer to the boat landing for a leisurely trip to the former royal capital of Champasak, our base for exploring the ruins 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. After an enjoyable visit to the ruins of Wat Phu and some nearby temples such as Nang Sia and Thao Tao we make our way to Khong Island and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight in Khong Island.

Day 8: Si Phan Don (4000 Islands) (B/L/D)
Heading out of town 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 Don ”. 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". The next stop of our trip is Ban Na Kasang, a very pleasant village where we can see the different local lifestyle. After the river trip we travel by roads southwards to explore the Lao-Cambodia border at Weukham and the impressive sight of Khone Phapheng, which boasts Southeast Asia’s largest water falls. Dinner and overnight in Khone Island at the Sala Phae Floating guesthouse on the river.

Day 9: Si Phan Don - Pakse (B/L/D)
After breakfast we set off on our journey towards Tadlo, which is a great way to discover the real southern Laos as 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. Dinner and overnight in Pakse.

Day 10: Pakse - Vientiane (B/L/D)
Transfer to airport for your flight to Vientiane, our guide will be at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to your hotel. After lunch in a local restaurant our city tour includes Wat Hoprakeo, built in 1566 by King Setthathirat to house the Emerald Buddha, Wat Sisaket, the only temple in Vientiane that survived the destruction of the city by the Siamese (Thai) in 1828; ThatLuang Stupa Museum shrine (great Sacred Stupa - the most important national monument in Vientiane) and the Pratuxay Monument. Finally see the sunset at Mekong riverside. Dinner at local restaurant.

Day 11: Vientiane - Luang Prabang (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for the flight to Luang Prabang, where our local guide will meet you and transfer you to your hotel. Today's city tour of the former Royal capital, Luang Prabang, includes a visit to Wat Visoun, the site of the impressive Thad Makmo stupa and Phou Sii hill which stands right in the centre of the small city, where you can climb its 350 steps to enjoy commanding views over the Mekong. Wat Phu Sii sits atop the mountain, alongside the skeletons of Indochina war anti-aircraft guns. Then we continue, visiting Wat Mai (1796) with its five-tiered roof, and Wat Xieng Thong which is considered to characterize the uniqueness of Luang Prabang's local style, its several roofs sweeping low to the ground. We see also the impressive "tree of life" mosaic here. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts semi-erotic episodes from the Ramayana. Later we visit the National Museum, which was once the king's palace. Displayed inside is a collection of personal artifacts of the former royal family. Dinner at a local restaurant and evening walk of the night market.

Day 12: Luang Prabang (B/L)
After breakfast, we board a cruise heading upstream on the Mekong River, giving a panoramic view of the tranquil countryside. Our first stop is the village of Ban Muangkeo where we start a short trek (45 mins) to reach the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, two linked caves crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. En route, we stop at the village of Ban Xanghai, where the local speciality rice wine is produced. On the way, we also visit Ban Xangkhong, Ban Xienglek and Ban Nong Xai, small villages well known for silk weaving and for Saa (jute) Papermaking. Once back in Luang Prabang city we visit a traditional silversmith's workshop.

Day 13: Luang Prabang - Plain of Jars (B/L/D)
If you like, we can take you into the centre of Luang Prabang at 5:30 in the morning to watch local people give food and rice to the hundreds of monks who line the street. You can also give rice to the monks - your guide will provide sticky rice. (Optional - a very early start!) Afterwards a stroll though the morning market before returning to your hotel for breakfast. Today we travel by road to Xiengkhouang, which was devastated by American bombing between 1964 and 1973 during the Indochina War. The journey takes us through beautiful rugged mountain scenery passing many hill tribe villages. En route, we stop at Sala Phoukhoun, located on the top of a hill, then a Hmong village at Ban Phouvieng, Ban Nongthang, Muangsuy and Thampra. Upon arrival in Phonsavanh by late afternoon we transfer to our mountain lodge hotel. Dinner at Lodge.

Day 14: Plain of Jars - Vientiane (B)
After breakfast, we head out of town to visit the "Plain of Jars", an impressive archaeological site where hundreds of large stone jars are littered all over the plateau. Each of the mysterious jars is thought to have been made more than 2000 to 2500 years ago. If time permits, we will visit the local central market, observing the daily lifestyle and colorful traders before we catch the flight to Vientiane. to connect with your departure flight to UK. (An additional overnight stay may sometimes be necessary to take the return flight the following morning.)

Please note that, whilst every effort will be made to carry out the programme shown above, small changes may sometimes be necessary.

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Please note that this itinerary is our suggestion only- all our tours are custom made to your requirements!

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Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
Royal Palace, Phnom Penh
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Wat Phu
Wat Phu
Si Phan Don - 4000 islands
Si Phan Don - 4000 islands
Li Phi Falls
Li Phi Falls
Victory Arch, Vientiane
Victory Arch, Vientiane
That Luang Monastery
That Luang Monastery
The Mekong at Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang
Plain of Jars
Plain of Jars
Your quoted price will normally include:
International flights
Meals as shown in the programme (B/L/D)
Transfers, tours with English speaking guide.
All entrance fees and boat fees.
Service charges, rooms tax and handling fee.
Domestic flights.
Departure taxes (Laos)

Your tour price will not include:
Visa fees
Airport departure taxes (Cambodia) Drinks with provided meals
Tips, personal expenses and other services which are not mentioned in the program.