TLC – Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
TLC – Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
11 days / Year Round
Pricing is based on group size and seasonality, please check with us to secure the best pricing.
• Cruise down the legendary Mekong River, watching the lush countryside slide by with its beautiful forests, tiny villages, and magnificent scenery.
• Enjoy privately guided tours of some of the region’s most stunning temples, including Angkor Wat, one of the most superb monuments in the history of humanity.
• Get up close and personal with elephants at the Mekong Elephant Camp, where you’ll watch an elephant bathing show and take an elephant ride through the local villages.
• Watch lines of saffron-robed monks make their way silently through the streets of Luang Prabang, accepting offering from the faithful in the light of the breaking dawn.
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN CHIANG RAI
Our representative will meet you at the airport in Chiang Rai and bring you to your hotel. Use the afternoon to explore the city on your own.
DAY 2: CHIANG RAI – HOUEIXAY – PAKBENG
After breakfast, we’ll cross the Mekong into Laos and meet our Laotian guide. You will board a traditional boat for a day-long cruise, allowing you to discover the mystical Mekong River and its beautiful landscapes. As the main entry to northern Laos and Luang Prabang, it’s a busy route bordered by villages all along the way. We’ll stop in a riverside village, enjoy lunch on board, and arrive at Pakbeng at the end of the afternoon. After you check into the lodge you can take some time to explore the area on foot.
DAY 3: PAKBENG
Spend the morning enjoying the myriad pleasures of the Mekong Elephant Camp. After you watch an elephant-bathing show, you’ll take a two-hour elephant ride through small ethnic villages that are rarely seen by visitors. After lunch at the lodge, you will take a tuk tuk to visit the local market Pakbeng. On the way, you will visit the Xang Keng Khmus, a beautiful village situated on the edge of the forest. On your return trip in the late afternoon, you will also visit the local temple, Wat Chom Si Cheng, which overlooks the Beng River.
DAY 4: PAKBENG – LUANG PRABANG
We’ll cruise down the Mekong to Luang Prabang, passing through some of the area’s most lovely countryside. After lunch on board, we’ll pause to visit the sacred caves of Pak Ou, which shelter hundreds of statuettes of Buddha. The caves offer a splendid view of the Mekong as it joins the Nam Ou. Finally, we’ll check into our hotel at Luang Prabang, the old royal capital and an UNESCO-classified world heritage site.
DAY 5: LUANG PRABANG
Early risers will thrill to the site of the sun rising at the crossroads in town, as monks in saffron robes from Luang Prabang’s many temples walking in long silent processions searching for offerings left to them by the faithful. Respect them, watch them in silence and refrain from disturbing them. We’ll spend a full day touring, Luang Prabang. The city showcases more than 100 temples, considered among most beautiful in Laos. In particular, you’ll discover:
• Vat Xieng Thong, the Temple of the Royal City, which consists of a vast collection of sacred buildings, and is considered one of the jewels of Laotian art and the most beautiful temple of the city.
• Vat May, a capped sanctuary featuring a five-sided roof surmounted by three parasols, built at the end of the 18th century.
• Vat Visoun, the oldest temple of the city. Its wooden windows, inspired by the Khmer temple of Vat Phou, make it unique in this city.
• Vat Aham, located just beside Vat Visoun, is framed by two large Banyan trees.
• Vat Senna is the first monastery whose roof was to be covered with yellow and red tiles. At the end of the afternoon, explore the H’mong Night Market, which operates every day in the main street.
DAY 6: LUANG PRABANG – KHUANG SY – LUANG PRABANG
In the morning, you’ll visit the Royal Palace, which currently houses the National Museum, before heading off to Khuang Sy waterfall. The road is bordered by villages and rice fields. You’ll stop in some of these villages and have a countryside lunch at the waterfall. You can even swim in the waterfall before we return to the hotel.
DAY 7: LUANG PRABANG – SIEM REAP – ROLOUS
After breakfast, we’ll fly to Siem Reap and check into our hotel. In the afternoon, we’ll take a short drive to the Temples of Roluos. We’ll begin our tour with the impressive Bakong, a 9th-century temple, followed by visits to Preah Ko and Lolei. This is an ideal introduction to Angkor Wat, because it provides a full understanding of how the Khmer’s cities were organized. At the hotel, we’ll enjoy dinner and an Apsara dancing performance.
DAY 8: ANGKOR WAT – BANTEAY SREI – TA PROHM
Spend the morning on a personally guided tour of Angkor Wat, one of the most magnificent sites on the planet. This world heritage site, with its soaring towers and extraordinary bas reliefs, was erected in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu.
In the afternoon, we’ll head to Banteay Srei to view one of the jewels of Khmer art. Erected in the 10th century, the small pink sandstone temple known as the Citadel of Women contains some remarkable carved lintels. On our way back, we’ll visit the ancient monastery of Ta Prohm, where immense branches have taken root in the stones. Beyond this vegetation you will find some splendidly sculptured Devatas.
DAY 9: SIEM REAP - BENG MEALEA – ANGKOR THOM
After breakfast, we leave the hotel to visit a temple far from the bustle of Angkor Wat. Situated on the Royal Road, this temple offers a rare vision of what the first explorers would have discovered: sanctuaries invaded and overgrown by vegetation. Though it is less imposing than Angkor Wat, it retains much of its mystery thanks to its isolation. We’ll return to Siem Reap for lunch and then leave by tuk-tuk for Angkor Thom (AKA, The Great City). We’ll see the famous Bayon, dedicated to Buddhism and composed of 54 gigantic towers featuring 216 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara. Then, we’ll visit the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace, which was built in the 12th century and features many beautiful Apsaras.
DAY 10: SIEM REAP AND DEPARTURE
After breakfast, spend the morning at your leisure before we drive you to the airport for your return flight.
• Our guides receive extensive training about topics such as botany and so are able to make our guests aware of interesting flora and fauna. We also encourage our guides to avoid careless off road driving or hiking and we ask that our guests respect the same.
• We provide fair wages, a dedication to training, and a career path for all employees, casual or full time.
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