13 DAY(S) TOP SELLING TOURS
Luang Prabang – Pakse – Khong island – Sra Em – Siem Reap
13 DAY(S) TOP SELLING TOURS
Luang Prabang – Pakse – Khong island – Sra Em – Siem Reap
Off-the-beaten tracks to track incredible heritages of Laos and Cambodia in a special, more adventurous way. Tour focuses on local experience beside world heritage, all season opearation.
DAY 1 - DAY 2: Luang Prabang, inner city, Kuang Si Waterfalls in the suburb.
DAY 3 - DAY 4: From Pak Ou cave to Pakse, Tadlo, then to Bolaven Plateau.
DAY 5 - DAY 6: Pakse – Wat Phu temple with Khmer design – Khong islands.
DAY 7 - DAY 8: Long day from Khong islands to Preah Vihear – Sra Em – Koh Ker – Beng Mealea temple – Siem Reap
DAY 9 - DAY 10: Siem Reap – Kbal Spean – Banteay Srei temple.
DAY 11 - DAY 13: Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and other shrines and temples near Siem Reap.
Welcome to Luang Prabang!
We will be greeted by our professional Guide in Laos. If time available, let's climb up more than 300 steps of Mount Phousi for an enjoyable exploration of the sacred, gilded Phousi stupa, as well as the beautiful sunset view over the city and river. Get down to enjoy a short visit at the Night Market, where we can find lovely collections of handmade textiles made by the hill tribes.
Have a delicious Laos dinner at local restaurant to refresh. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
After breakfast, let’s start our visits at the National Museum, located inside the former Royal Palace, which displays a lovely collection of artifacts reflecting the richness of Lao culture, from the early kings to the last sovereign. Go on to Wat Visoun, the holiest temple of the city, which was entirely rebuilt in 1887 after some war conflicts, with a cute water melon-shaped stupa. Next door to Wat Visoun is Wat Aham temple, which was first built in the 1500s. If time permits, visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center, where we can learn about local hill tribes in Laos.
After lunch with spicy Laos foods, we will drive to Kuang Si Waterfalls, with stop en route to visit villages of Laotian minority groups: Ban Ouay Village, Ban Ou village and Ban Thapene. Upon arrival, take a short hike through the park toward the waterfalls and pass by the Asian Bear Rescue Center. It's our time now to enjoy cool feelings from the water and mist of the ponds located on different terraces of the Waterfalls, swim or relax in the natural ponds. Later afternoon back to Luang Prabang for a rest. Overnight in Luang Prabang.
An early wake up (appx 05.00-06.00am) will give us a fantastic opportunity to see the first monks in their daily morning ritual, which is called Alms-giving, where the Theravade monks wandering around streets to receive sincere offerings from the Buddhists. Though normal in Laos, this ritual is dissappearing in many South East Asian countries. After breakfast, we will drop by a morning market, where diverse commodities can be met, including dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings. Visit the magnificent Wat Xiengthong, a cluster of several temples, with roofs sweeping low to the ground, which represents classical Luang Prabang architecture. We then board a boat upstream the Mekong River, enjoying a great view of the tranquil countryside, as well as an interesting visit to the mysterious of Pak Ou Caves, where two stone chambers (Tham Ting and Tham Phoum) link and accommodate thousands of small Buddha statues, offerred by pilgrims. Along the way, we will make a stop at Ban Xang Hai village where rice wine is distilled. Return to Luang Prabang in the afternoon with another visit to Ban Xang Khong, a village well known for silk hand-weaving and traditional Saa paper-making, en route.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Breakfast at hotel. Free until transfer to the airport for a short flight to Pakse.
Our Tourguide will greet us at the airport then head to Saravanh province with a stop at Tateng Village. We will have a chance hereby to observe the locals making tea and coffee - and certainly have a cup before exploring the culture and the way of life on the way to Boloven Plateau, the best area for industrial tree plantation in Laos.
Upon arrival at Tad Lo Waterfall, we will pay a visit to villages of Alak, Nge, Katu ethnic minority groups. Meetings with the locals may be the focus of any trip to Southern Laos - making our experience on the way the highlight, which enriches our voyage and makes it different from others.
Return to the town late afternoon. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Pakse.
After breakfast, we'll leave Pakse and transfer by land to Champasak, visit the ruins of Wat Phu Complex, one of Southeast Asia's most dramatically situated temples. Explore these intriguing Khmer ruins, which are perched at Mount Phu Kao. Wat Phu is one of the Laos' UNESCO Heritage sites, recognized since 2001, an archeological zone of Khmer civilization, dating back to the 9th century, event before the illustrious Angkor Wat. A festival is held here during the full moon of lunar February and attracts pilgrims from all over Laos. Lunch at local restaurant between visits. Continue our way to "4,000 Islands" region of Khong Island, a popular place for river swimming and relaxation against "no-sea" condition of Laos. At leisure in the rest of the day. Overnight in Don Khong Island.
Today we will explore the Khong Island by ''tuktuk', then take a boat to visit smaller islands by riverway until reached Done Khone Island and Done Det Island. If we are lucky, during one of our boat trips, we may meet the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins, a species of big fresh water dolphins that we may not expect to see at rivers. Visit the former locomotive station and impressive Lippi falls in the west of Don Khone, close to the Cambodian border. Its original name, Tad Somphamit, means “trap spirit” and the locals revere these falls as they believe they act as a trap for bad spirits; back to Khong Island to relax and have some sunbath or swimming. Lunch at local restaurant between visits. Overnight in Khong Island.
Morning pack and depart to the border with Cambodia, on the way we will visit Khone Pha Pheng waterfall – the biggest one in Southeast Asia, where the mighty Mekong tranquil flows give way to 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 10km span of the river. Enter Cambodia at Dong Kalor (land border), then transfer to Preah Vihear. Lunch en route by your own account.
Afternoon we’ll visit Prasat Preah Vihear, which is known as the Temple Mountain, built at the beginning of 10th century as a Hindu temple, dedicated to Shiva. The temple had further works added to it by the other three kings. The temple today is still a Hindu site, but Buddhist Monks also pray at the temple to the God. The temple area consists of three stories surrounded by two galleries. Our guide will lead us thru the area, explaining the sites' ancient and recent history. The temple had been designated as a Word Heritage site by UNESCO in 2008 and witnessed interesting, yet fiercing disputes between countries over its territory.
Dinner at the hotel; overnight in Sra Em.
After breakfast, we’ll head to the remote Angkor capital of Koh Ker. In 10th century, King Jayavarman IV (928-942) felt out with his family, stormed off to the Northwest and established the rival capital of Koh Ker. Although the capital was just for 15 years, Jayavarman IV had left a legacy of 30 major temples and gargantuan sculptures that are on display in the National Museum at Phnom Penh. We’ll visit Prasat Thom, a seven-storey step pyramid, more Mayan than Khmer, with commanding view 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 anywhere in Cambodia.
Continue to the big temple of Beng Mealea, a slumbering giant lost for centuries in the forests. It is the most accessible one amongst Angkor’s lost temples, but utterly consumed by the voracious appetite of nature. Constructed by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, the builder of Angkor Wat, the forest has run riot and it is hard to get a sense of the monument’s shape amid the daunting ruins. After the visit, we continue our way and arrive in Siem Reap for the night. Lunch at local restaurant between visits. Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast at hotel, we will visit Kbal Spean temple, with sculptures of Buddha and Buddhist images in the rock dating back quite long time ago. Originally named ‘’the river of thousand lingas’’, Kbal Spean is a carved riverbed deep in the foothills of a jungle. Lingas are phallic representations of Brahmanism as a symbol of fertility, and hundreds of them are engraved into the rock hereby along with several carvings of gods and animals above the small waterfall. Next place will be Banteay Srei, translated as the “citadel of women’’, with delicate beauty of pink stone carvings. On the way we will visit people making palm sugar before continuing to visit The Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre (BBC), a new tourist attraction of Siem Reap, featuring a live display of Cambodian butterflies. Revenue generated by tourist admissions here is used to support local poverty alleviation and conservation projects. Head to Bakong for a sunset view before returning to our hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, we'll visit Srah Srang, which used to be a royal King's bathing pond, then turn to Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty. Giant trees have grown here for centuries and different from temples at Angkor, Ta Prohm is left natural so that visitors may image how the Angkor complex looked like when they were just found. Lunch at local restaurant with tasty Khmer foods. After a short rest, afternoon we’ll visit Angkor Wat, eventually. The founder of the temple, King Suryavarman II, who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers to dedicate to the Hindu God Vishnu. The plan of the pyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches is an ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. As soon as we visit Angkor Wat, we may understand why no new construction is allowed to be higher than this sacred temple, and enjoying sunrise and sunset here can be a great memory. Back to the hotel in the evening. Overnight in Siem Reap.
At leisure this morning for your own exploration at the hotel.
(Optional visit to Angkor National Museum at your own arrangement. The Museum, during the Golden Era of the Khmer Empire, displays one of great civilizations of its time with original Khmer art, culture and architecture. These great inventions still amaze people of different generations and hold great impact in present Cambodia styles and society.)
The Guide and driver will see us in the afternoon to explore Angkor Thom (aka Angkor citadel), starting from the South Gate, and going inside the 3 sq. km walled and moated royal city. This is also the last capital of the Angkorian Empire, covering inside it the illustrious Bayon Temple with everlasting smiles, a miracle of ancient engraving art on stone. Next will be other incredible temples in very different size and shapes: the Terrace of the Elephants, an impressive, 2.5m tall, 300m long terrace adorned with carved elephants and giants, Baphuon - a huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas - impressive rite and sandstone pyramid. The 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. Take our last turn to Wat Tep Pranam, originally a Buddhist shrine in the 9th century under King Yasovarman I, the king that moved the capital to Angkor. It was expanded over the years with 12th century balustrades, 13th century lions and significant post-Angkorian modifications and additions. Then experiencing the local tradition by listening to the chanting and receive “Blessing” from the Buddhist monks. Dinner at a deluxe restaurant, enjoying Apsara traditional dance of the Khmer nation. Back to hotel for our last night in Cambodia. Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, at our leisure until transfer to the airport for the departure flight.
End of services.
|1||Don Khong||- Pons Arena Hotel
|2||Luang Prabang||- Villa Santi Resort
|3||Pakse||- Champasak Grand Hotel
|4||Siem Reap||- Angkor Paradise
|5||Sra'aem||- Preah Vihear Jaya Hotel
||- Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel
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