THROUGH THE GOLDEN LANDS

12 DAY(S) TOP SELLING TOURS

Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Korat – Buriram – Pakse – Khong Island – Sra’aem – Angkor temples – Siem Reap

See Thailand, Laos and Cambodia from the different aspect as we across the three countries through the border gates

Highlights

  • Visiting magnificent Buddhist temples, colorful hill tribe villages, and exotic hideaways to capture the adventure and essence of timeless Thailand.
  • Wandering through the enchanting Laos, with its traditional architecture, urban cultures and remarkable landscape.
  • Getting off the beaten track through the jungle to visit the forgotten temples as we cross the border between Laos and Cambodia.
  • Exploring the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor with its splendid beauty.

Itinerary in Brief

  • Day 1 – Day 2
    Visit Bangkok and all its highlights temples.
  • Day 3 – Day 5
    Head to the border to Laos, with visits to the colorful hill tribe villages, and exotic hideaways en route.
  • Day 6 – Day 7
    Uncover the mighty 4000 Islands area of Laos, with the chance to spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins.
  • Day 8 – Day 9
    Travel off the beaten track through the jungle to visit the forgotten temples of Cambodia as we head to Siem Reap.
  • Day 10 – Day 12
    Contemplate the marvelous Angkor temples and enjoy a brief visit of Siem Reap.
THROUGH THE GOLDEN LANDS

Inclusion

  • English-speaking tour guides
  • Land transportation by air-con vehicles
  • Accommodation based on Twin-shared room with breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (no drinks)
  • Boat trips and admissions as mentioned in the program
  • Drinking water during the touring day (2 bottles/person/day)

Exclusion

  • Airfare (international and domestic) and airport tax
  • Visa services (Visa approval letter/Visa stamp fee/ Visa fast track)
  • Early check-in/late check-out/ room upgrade surcharge
  • Other meals, Drinks, and personal expenses (phone call, laundry, tipping etc.)
  • Any services not mentioned in the program
  • Optional Tours.

On arrival, pickup by our local guide at the airport and transfer to check in hotel. Standard check in time is 14h00, early check in upon availability. This afternoon, we take the boat trip to visit Royal Barge National Museum, on display are just eight of the over 50 barges that make up formal processions. That may seem like a lot, but during the Ayutthaya period, when the river was the main way of transportation, royal barges apparently numbered in the thousands. We then visit Wat Arun, perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. Coffee break in front of Wat Arun then transfer by boat back to our hotel.  Overnight in Bangkok.
 

After breakfast, we transfer by boat to visit The Royal Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha. The Grand Palace adjoins Wat Phra Kaew in a common compound. Despite the proximity of the two, there's a distinct contrast in style between the very Thai Wat Phra Kaew and the more European inspired designs of the Grand Palace (the roof being the exception). We then visit Wat Po, the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok, as well as the largest single Buddha image or the Reclining Buddha (Phra Buddhasaiyas), also known as Wat Phra Chetuphon or The Temple of the Reclining Buddha. The temple is also known as the birthplace of traditional Thai massage Reclining Buddha. Continue visit Wat Saket, popularly known as the Golden Mount or ‘Phu Khao Thong’, a low hill crowned with a gleaming gold chedi. Return to the hotel after the visit and relax for the rest of the day. Overnight in Bangkok.
 

After breakfast and check out hotel, we drive to Ayutthaya, first visit Bang Pa In palace, built during the Ayuthaya era. The palace is beautifully decorated in both traditional Chinese and European style. See the beautiful Aisawanthipaya- Art Pavillion, the unique Chinese-style hall with a vast collection of Thai, Chinese, and European artifacts, as well as many other outstanding monuments. Short visit of the Japanese Village before we get to Ayutthaya. Proceed for Ayuthaya city tour, including Wat Mahathat , Wat Phra Ram, Wat Phra Si Sanphet, then have a short stop at Chai Wattanaram and Wat Naphramen. After the visit, transfer to Korat. On arrival, check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Khorat. 
 

After breakfast and check out hotel, we visit Phimai National Museum. The museum houses collections of archaeological artifacts especially those found in the lower part of the region and has exhibits on the past cultural prosperity of the Northeast. We then visit Phimai historical park is the largest of all Khmer temples in Thailand, the rectangular complex measures over 1,000 meters long by almost 600 meters wide. It contains some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture in Thailand. Head to Sai Ngam for a photo stop then continue visit Prasat Phanom Rung and Muang Tam are located in Buriram. Prasaat Phanom Rung is one of the most significant Khmer monuments in Thailand. It was built in the 10th-13th century A.D. Phanom Rung was a Hindu Saivite (Shiva) monastery. Travel to Buriram afterwards. On arrival, check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Buriram.
 

After breakfast and check out hotel, we travel to the border to Laos. On the way, have a short stop at Wat Sa Kamphaeng Yai in Si Saket. Cross the border and meet our Lao guide, then transfer to Pakse. On the way, we visit Wat Phou, a site of ancient religious significance in one of the most spectacular regions of Laos. Continue to Pakse after the visit. On arrival, check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Pakse.
 

An optional early start will give us the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. 
We then return to the hotel for breakfast and a short rest before check out the hotel. We transfer to visit the Bolaven Plateau area. The Bolevean Plateau is known for its cooler temperature being located high above the Mekong Valley. The place offers many sites for visitors to check out, including waterfalls, coffee and tea plantations, and ethnic villages, banana junction. Here we visit Phaxuam cliff, Tad Fane waterfall, Tad Yuang waterfall and then transfer to Khong Island. Overnight in Khong Island.
 

After breakfast, we explore Khong island by Tuk Tuk. We then take the boat to visit the small islands until we reach Done Khone Island and Done Det Island. From here, take a short boat trip that will give us the chance to spot the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins. We then visit the impressive Lippi falls on the west of Don Khone, very close to the Cambodian border. Their original name, Tad Somphamit, means “trap spirit” and the locals revere these falls as they believe they act as a trap for bad spirits. Return to Khong Island after the visit and relax for the rest of the day. Overnight in Khong Island.
 

After breakfast and check out hotel, we transfer to visit Khone Pha Peng waterfall – Southeast Asia's biggest waterfall, where the tranquil Mekong River give way to the seething, rapid surges as it fans out into the delta. The waterfalls are split into a series of channels and falls by the numerous islands that break up the 10 km span of the river. we transfer to the border and cross the border to Laos. Pickup by our local guide and driver and transfer to Sra’aem. On arrival, check in hotel and relax. This afternoon, we transfer to visit Preah Vihear, the Temple Mountain, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva built in the beginning of the 10th century. The temple had further works added to it by the following three kings. The temple today is still a Hindu site, but Buddhist Monks pray at the temple to the Gods. The temple area consists of three stories surrounded by two galleries. Your guide will lead you through the temple area explaining the sites ancient and recent history. The temple was declared a Word Heritage UNESCO site in 2008. Overnight in Sra’aem. 

After breakfast and check out hotel, we transfer to visit Koh Ker – the capital of the Angkorian empire from AD 928 to AD 944. We visit Prasat Thom, a seven-storey step pyramid, more Mayan than Khmer, with commanding views over the surrounding forest, nearby Prasat Krahom or Red Temple and other temples including Prasat Pram, Prasat Balang, Prasat Krachap, Prasat Damrei Krap, the five towers of Prasat Ling, each enclosing a giant Lingas or fertility symbol, the biggest and best found in situ anywhere in Cambodia. Continue to visit the lost temple of Beng Mealea, the titanic of temples, a slumbering giant lost for centuries in the forests of Cambodia. It is the most accessible of Angkor’s lost temples, a mirror image of Angkor Wat, but utterly consumed by the voracious appetite of nature. Constructed by Suryavarman II in the 12th century, the builder of Angkor Wat, the forest has run riot here and it is hard to get a sense of the monument’s shape amid the daunting ruins. Leaving Beng Mealea, we transfer to Siem Reap. On arrival, check in hotel and relax. Overnight in Siem Reap.
 

After breakfast, we explore South Gate of Angkor Thom known as Big Angkor, 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire, The famous Bayon Temple was an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion for over a century. Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive, two and a half meter tall, 300 meter long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and gradual that spans the heart of Angkor Thom in front of Baphuon - huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas - impressive rite and sandstone pyramid. Terrace of the Leper King is at the north end of the Terrace of the Elephants, a double terrace wall with deeply carved nag as, demons and other mythological beings. Last visit Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty! Giant trees have grown here for centuries! Lunch at local restaurant. This afternoon we visit Angkor Wat temple, the Cambodia's ancient temple is one of the wonders of the oriental world. Masterpieces of decorative details as well as of architectural style, its awe-inspiring ruins survive as testament to the spectacular achievements of Southeast Asia's greatest civilization. It is a replica of the universe according to the Hindu mythology. It is composed by the Mount Meru, surrounded by the continents and the oceans. Its extraordinary bas-reliefs, describe some Khmer epics and myths. Angkor Wat's five famous towers rise into the sky, a geometrical arrangement of numerous galleries, adorned with beliefs and the stone images of celestial Apsara dancers, as well as portals, chambers and courtyards.
This evening, we enjoy buffet dinner at a local restaurant with Apsara dance show – a taste of classical Khmer culture. Overnight in Seam Reap.
 

After breakfast, we visit Wat Thmei (Killing Field) contains a unique glass-walled stupa containing the bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge. Some of the bones were recovered from a nearby well while others are the remains of soldiers who died on a nearby battlefield. Continue to visit the "Les Artisans d'Angkor – Chantiers Ecole" the Finest Authentic Khmer Arts and Crafts. Lunch at local restaurant. This afternoon we visit Floating Villages, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Take a ride in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest in Asia. Here we will see plenty of examples of the Khmer way of life on the Tonle Sap. Then visit Wat Bo, a highly respected pagoda founded in the 18th century, contains very unique wall paintings of the Reamker (Ramayana) that are said to be from late 19th century. We continue to one of the city’s lively open markets, Psar Chars, also called the “Old Market”, where anything and everything is for sale. Overnight in Seam Reap.
 

After breakfast, at leisure until check out hotel (standard check out time 12h00) and transfer to the airport for our onward flight. On the way if time permits, we visit Puok, the real and original place of the Artisans d’Angkor silk, where we see the full process of silk producing, from the silk worms munch on the Mulberry leaves to spin their cocoons which used to make silk warp. We of course will see the weaving work and purchase the high quality silk products as a beautiful Cambodia souvenir. Continue to Siem Reap Airport for our departure flight. 
 

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THROUGH THE GOLDEN LANDS

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