Laos & Cambodia Rural Landscapes

  • Journey through the traditional towns and villages and rural landscapes of Laos and Cambodia
  • Go on an elephant back ride into the teak forest; hike a  trail that crosses bamboo bridges, past waterfalls, and fantastic limestone formations; raft down Nam Khan River; and take a quad bike into the forest to reach a nearly forgotten temple
  • Visit organic farms and rice fields in the heart of Cambodia and learn about local agriculture and farming methods
  • Explore two remarkable Laotian  cities – the relaxed capital of Vientiane and temple-rich Luang Prabang
  • Discover Cambodia’s staggering and stunning 12th century site of Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of Khmer architecture that was once thought of as merely myth

 

 

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COUNTRIES VISITED

Cambodia & Laos

STARTING AT..

Price starts at $350 Land per person, per day, double occupancy.

TOUR LENGTH

12

Tour Highlights/Full Description

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  • Journey through the traditional towns and villages and rural landscapes of Laos and Cambodia
  • Go on an elephant back ride into the teak forest; hike a  trail that crosses bamboo bridges, past waterfalls, and fantastic limestone formations; raft down Nam Khan River; and take a quad bike into the forest to reach a nearly forgotten temple
  • Visit organic farms and rice fields in the heart of Cambodia and learn about local agriculture and farming methods
  • Explore two remarkable Laotian  cities – the relaxed capital of Vientiane and temple-rich Luang Prabang
  • Discover Cambodia’s staggering and stunning 12th century site of Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of Khmer architecture that was once thought of as merely myth

Day 1: Luang Prabang, Laos

Today on arrival in Luang Prabang, you clear customs and proceed to the exit where you are met by your Big Five representative and transferred to your hotel to relax before dinner. This evening, you board the Nava Mekong for a dinner cruise. The boat is both traditional and modern, and is perfect for a leisure cruise on the famed Mekong River. Enjoy watching rural life and peaceful sceneries on the banks of the river as the sun sets over the Mekong. The boat moors along the bank opposite the town during dinner, which includes a selection of typical Lao dishes. Enjoy the live band and traditional Lao dances performed by artists from nearby villages. Return to the historical center of town, and return to your hotel. 3 Nagas Hotel – Superior Room (D) 

Day 2: Luang Prabang

Inside the Heart io Elephants Full Day ( Join in Tour)

This morning you wo;; be picked up at your hotel by a private Minivan and private guide at 8:40 AM and you will leave Luang Prabang for the nearby village of Xieng Lom Village for your joining in Madalao Elephant Camp.  Upon arrival you are invited to have coffee or tea as your guide for the day provides an in-depth introduction to elephant behavior and the way we should interact with them.  After 2 hours crossing through a beautiful stretch of traditional Lao gardens you will arrive at the jungle covered Huay Nok stream.  You and your elephant will companions will continue walking past a lovely stretch of rice fields and enter a patch of forest where you can rest, relax, and eat. Lunch will be served in traditional Lao fashion, eating on bamboo mats on the forest floor.  You will visit the Tad Kuang Song Waterfall spend time meditating and admiring the private beauty of this rarely seen natural treasure. After this, the mahout’s will show how they communicate and listen to their elephants. You can take what you have learned from the mahouts and guides throughout the day and spend quiet, uninterrupted time with the elephants While the elephants take their time to eat their lunch, you have the chance to visit a small Khmu village and experience one of the many different ethnic groups living in Laos. The Khmu have a different language and religious beliefs than other Lao people. They will offer you a warm welcome and will proudly offer to sell you their traditional handmade crafts.  After the elephants have eaten and are full (for a moment at least), you and the mahouts will walk with them to their nighttime feeding grounds. Take time for a long goodbye and know that the connection you have built is not only felt by you, but by your new friends as well.  After the elephant have eaten and are full (for the moment at least), you and the mahouts will walk with them top their nighttime feeding grounds. Take time for long goodbye and know that the connection you have built is not only felt by you, but by your new friends as well.  We will then drive you back to town, Arrive at approximately 4:00PM 3 Nagas Hotel – Superior Room (B,L) 

Day 3: Luang Prabang

This morning, you explore an organic vegetable farm and rice fields. You learn about the land from the farmers and craftsmen of Ban Phong Van. They also demonstrate the 13 steps for growing, harvesting and cooking sticky rice, “Kau Niau”. You finish by sampling some rice-based specialties. Later this afternoon, discover Luang Prabang. which has some 30 temples. The National Museum, formerly the royal palace, is a modest but graceful building that combines traditional Lao and French beaux-arts motifs. This turn-of-the-century royal residence has been preserved as it was when the royal family lived here. It provides unique insights into the history of Laos. The Hor Phrabang is the front corner room of the palace that opens to the outside, and contains a collection of the palace’s most prized art, including the Phrabang, a Buddha cast of an alloy of gold, silver and bronze, which was brought here in 1353 from Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (closed on Mondays), with exhibits of unique ethnic clothing, household objects, religious artefacts and handicrafts from various ethnic groups. Learn about their lifestyles, beliefs, and traditions. The Wat Xieng Thong was built in 1560 on the banks of the Mekong River. This beautiful monastery shows typical Lao-art style with old religious artifacts and some ancient masterpieces of Lao art. 3 Nagas Hotel – Superior Room (B)

Day 4: Luang Prabang / Vientiane

This morning at 11:50AM you will be picked up from your hotel with your guide, then transfer to the Airport for your flight to Vientane.  Fly Luang Prabang – Vientiane

Upon arrival process in to the arrival area to meet your guide, then transfer to That Luang Stupa, it is in the center of the city of Vientiane, it is generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos and a national. The formal royal temple, then transfer back to your hotel for overnight.  Ansara Hotel – Savvy Room – (B) 

Day 5: Vientiane

Today you are going on an orchid trek! Early this morning, travel to the village of Ban hatkhay, where your local guide transfers you by vehicle to Say Pha along a path that leads to the rice fields before arriving in Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area. The trek starts at orchid Pha Say, which has impressive views of the jungle. You walk along trails to discover different forest types such as semi-deciduous jungles and bamboo. You are accompanied by two guides and an expert on orchids, who help you identify the abundance of orchids, which is places seem to be everywhere, including covering rocks. You also learn about medicinal plants and other plant families such as cane, gingers, and the dipterocarps. Later, enjoy a picnic lunch in the bed of a dry river. In the afternoon, end your trek with a swim in Tad Say Waterfall before returning to the village, where you are transferred back to your hotel in Vientiane. Salana Boutique Hotel  – Superior Room (B) 

Day 6: Vientiane / Pakse / Siem Reap, Cambodia

Today you are transferred from Vientiane to Siem Reap via Pakse. On arrival in Siem Reap you are met and transferred to your hotel. This evening, you enjoy Cambodia’s version of Cirque de Solei, an incredible hour of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatics, athleticism and juggling, all beautifully choreographed and performed in narratives about Cambodian life and society. Then savor a culinary treat when you dine at Chef Joannès Rivière’s modern Khmer food at Cuisine Wat Damnak. Then sip a rose and lemongrass martini at Shanghai-inspired Miss Wong’s or join the fun 24-hour Tuk Tuk Cocktail Bar.  Heritage Suites Siem Reap – Bungalow Suite (B,D)

Day 7: Siem Reap

Today you explore one of Southeast Asia’s most important enduring cultural symbols – the temple complex at Angkor Wat, the crowning jewel of Khmer architecture. Angkor is the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. You cross the vast moat along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. Enter the main building, ascend up through a series of galleries and courtyards before reaching the central sanctuary, with its beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls runs the longest continuous bas-relief in the world. It narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially magnificent as you watch the play of light and shadows on the stones. The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, once spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. This temple is one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, with its galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs. Ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle. Visit Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared, and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when the first European explorers stumbled upon this site. Savor sunset over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkor temple. Heritage Suites Siem Reap – Bungalow Suite (B)  

Day 8: Siem Reap

Today, you set out on an adventure by quad bike to the secluded Banteay Ampeul Temple. Passing through villages and along country roads, you begin to get a sense of rural life. Head off the beaten track into the forest to reach a temple that few tourists every as the trail is impassable for anything but quad bikes. Enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch at the temple before returning to your hotel. Heritage Suites Siem Reap – Bungalow Suite (B,L)

Day 9: Siem Reap / Phnom Penh / Kep
Today you fly to Phnom Penh, where you are met and driven to Kep. On arrival you  check into your hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure. Knai Bang Chatt – Garden View Room (B,L)

Day 10: Kep

The countryside surrounding the city of Kep is incredibly scenic and dotted with traditional Khmer villages, and seasonal rice paddies, which form the heart of rural Cambodia. Traveling along the coastal roads via tuk-tuk or motorbike, your guide leads you to the village of Chamcar Bei, home to the Hand in Hand Cambodia project, where you can visit with students at the community school and the Women’s Handicraft and Development Association. Villagers make traditional looms, woven kramas, coconut jewelry, and funky junk products made from recycled plastic. You visit the salt fields and make a stop at the vibrant and colorful Keo Krosang Pagoda. You also visit a working organic pepper farm, with various fruit and vegetable plantations in the heart of Cambodia’s famous pepper region. Knai Bang Chatt – Garden View Room (B)

Day 11: Kep

Today you are free to do as you like – take a cooking class, go sailing or fishing, enjoy a yoga class or have a relaxing massage. You set your own pace or do nothing at all. Knai Bang Chatt – Garden View Room (B) 

Day 12: Kep / Phnom Penh / Depart

Today you have a private transfer from your hotel to the Phnom Penh airport in time to connect your onward flight home. (B)

Land price, per person, double occupancyFrom US$350 per person per day

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