Colourful Capitals of Thailand, Laos & Cambodia
Delve into the fascinating lands of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand on this exciting 13 day tour that combines the three destinations on one jam-packed itinerary.
Discover the cultural heartbeat of Southeast Asia. Explore the capitals, both modern and ancient of these exotic countries and uncover lands steeped in history and brimming with tradition. See fading facades from once mighty empires, glittering skyscrapers of modern capitals and the hidden gems that lie in between.
Beginning in Bangkok, the gateway to Asia, your sightseeing starts almost immediately taking in its temples, markets, nightlife and more before you head on to Laos. Embark on tours that offer valuable insights into this incredible country allowing you to immerse yourself in its culture and learn much about its past. Then on to Cambidia where you’ll venture through the capital Phnom Penh, home to the Grand Palace and then on to Siem Reap with its iconic temples. Last stop is Bangkok where travellers revel in the excitement of this bustling city, be in awe of its sights, sounds and experiences.
- Economy class international and domestic flights
- Accommodation & breakfast throughout
- Meals as detailed
- Local English speaking private guides throughout
- Airline departure taxes
PriceFrom $4,516.56 per person based on 2 people sharing*
Best time to go
We recommend travelling outside of the monsoon season which falls between May and October, however if you wish to take the scenic boat journey from Siem Reap to Battambang then travel between July and December.
- Explore Bangkok at your own leisure
- Incredible sightseeing tours in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
- Spend some time on the beaches of Sihanoukville
- Visit Angkor Wat at sunrise
Day 1: UK Departure
Depart on your overnight flight to Bangkok from London Heathrow.
Day 2: Bangkok
Welcome to Bangkok! Upon arrival at Bangkok Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel and the remainder of today is at your leisure to relax and enjoy.
Accommodation: Lebua at State Tower
Day 3: Bangkok
After breakfast at your hotel, meet with your guide and head out for a full day of sightseeing in the City of Angels using exclusively public means of transportation.
Walk to the nearest BTS Station and get on the Skytrain for a short ride to the terminal station of Saphan Taksin on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Continue by public boat to Tha Thien pier where you disembark to visit Wat Pho the home of Thai massage and the reclining Buddha. Continue to visit the Grand Palace. The Royal Grand Palace is a prominent national landmark and the most revered royal monument. The mysterious Emerald Buddha, the most revered Buddha effigy in Thailand is located here. It is required that you wear appropriate clothes at this site. Garments can also be rented on location.
Take a Tuk Tuk to Soi Ban Batra in the afternoon. There is a family of crafters famed for the art of making monk’s alms bowls. Afterward you will board a "boat bus" for a journey along the historical Saen Saeb canal. Following that there is a trip to Jim Thompson’s House Museum, which showcases the history of the famous and mysterious American silk merchant.
The day concludes with some retail therapy in Bangkok's vast shopping malls.
Accommodation: Lebua at State Tower [Breakfast]
Day 4: Bangkok - Luang Prabang
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and assist with your transfer to the airport for your flight to Luang Prabang. Upon arrival at Luang Prabang airport, your guide will be waiting to greet you and transfer you to your hotel.
This evening you will have a brief introduction to Luang Prabang. Climb the stairs of Mount Phousi and watch the sun set over the city and surrounding hills. Walk down the other side and explore the hill tribe evening market. Proceed to l’Elephant, one of the finest restaurants in Luang Prabang, for dinner before being driven back to your hotel.
Accommodation: Satri House [Half board]
Day 5: Luang Prabang
Rise early for a very special experience at dawn watching the monks collecting alms. As the sun begins to rise, long lines of orange robed monks leave their pagodas and walk barefoot down the streets collecting offerings from Luang Prabang residents. It is a beautiful, serene ceremony that highlights the spirituality of the Laos people. After the ceremony. return to the hotel for breakfast.
Transfer by vehicle to the Historical Old Town of central Luang Prabang where your tour begins at the fresh market. Accompanied by your guide, walk through the rows of stalls looking at what is on sale. The locals come here every day to shop for vegetables, fruits and other exotic specialties and delicacies. The market is adjacent to the National Museum, your next stop. Once the Royal Palace of Laos, the National Museum is filled with art, artifacts, and jewels and a visit examines the history and rich culture of the country.
Continue your tour of Luang Prabang by visiting some of the city’s most important temples. Start at Wat Visoun, where you will see the famous Watermelon Stupa, shaped like the fruit from which it takes its name. This temple was destroyed in 1887 by the invading Black Flags from China. It was restored in 1930 by Buddhist monks and local people. You will also visit Wat Aham where you will see the altar of the 2 guardian spirits of Luang Prabang.
Enjoy lunch in town at Tamarind restaurant where you will have a chance to sample unusual local specialties not available back home.
Head to Ock Pop Tok in the afternoon to dsicover teh history, manufacturing methods and cultural significance of textiles in Laos.
Take a break at Le Patio Café, located inside the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Center (TAEC) and sip a local brew of coffee. Take a tour of TAEC after the coffee break. A museum dedicated to exploring the rich diversity of ethnic minorities in Laos. Traditional costumes, tools and artifacts are on display alongside in depth descriptions and written histories. It is a great opportunity to gain insight in to the people of Laos.
Accommodation: Satri House [Half board]
Day 6: Luang Prabang & Pak Ou
This morning venture to Luang Prabang’s peninsula where the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers merge. The beautiful Wat Xieng Thong is located here and a visit to the temple unveils golden gates, ornaments and colorful murals. You will then board a traditional wooden boat, Nava Mekong, for a relaxing cruise on the mighty Mekong River. Enjoy stunning mountain scenery and witness the simple rural lifestyles which rely on the river as you make your way upstream.
Located upstream from Luang Prabang, Pak Ou Caves, locally called Tam Ting, contains thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues crammed into two caves carved out of a towering limestone cliff. The statues range in size from a few centimeters tall to the size of a human, and there are sweeping views from the mouth of the cave over the Mekong and Nam Ou rivers. The caves are also a destination for local pilgrimages, especially during the Laos New Year period of Pii Mai.
The boat continues cruising in the vicinity of the caves and will moor during lunch time at the foot of beautiful limestone cliffs. A selection of typical Laos dishes will be served onboard before you cruise back downstream.
The remainder of the day is at your leisure for additional sightseeing or relaxing in this charming city.
Accommodation: Satri House [Half board]
Day 7: Luang Prabang - Vientiane
Morning at leisure in Luang Prabang. Your guide and private car will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight to Vientiane.
Upon arrival in Vientiane your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel by private car.
In the afternoon you will visit COPE, an association working to help landmine victims. A visit to the center takes an in depth look at the history of the American/Vietnam war and the lasting impact of unexploded ordinances (UXO) in the area and the efforts underway to clear them. Before sunset, enjoy a stroll along the Mekong River banks and stop, if you wish, to enjoy a cold drink at one of the many riverside food stalls.
Accommodation: Settha Palace [Breakfast]
Day 8: Vientiane
Start this morning with a visit to That Luang, the holiest site in Laos. Constructed by King Setthethirat in the 16th century, the temple's towering golden spire often beautifully catches the sun. Enjoy a panoramic view over the city as you climb the stairs to the top of Patuxai, Vientiane’s own “Arc de Triomphe”.
Continue down Lane Xang Avenue to the serene Wat Sisaket, the only temple left intact after the Siamese (Thai) invasion in 1828. It is one of the most beautiful temples in the capital and its breezy teak covered hallways are filled with thousands of miniature Buddha statues. Afterward continue on to the nearby Wat Phra Keo, used as a religious museum there is on display a collection of both Laos and Khmer works of art.
Enjoy lunch at Kualao before being transferred to your hotel. The afternoon is free for you to enjoy shopping, more sightseeing or a spa treatment.
For your last evening in Laos, there is a unique opportunity to experience one of the country's oldest traditions, The Baci. A mix of Animist and Buddhist beliefs, the purpose of the Baci is to call back escaped spirits to the body. This is something that is very important before major events such as weddings, births, travel, welcoming friends and farewells.
Continue to Makphet Restaurant for a delicious dinner of modern Laos cuisines. Makphet is a charity run restaurant that supports street children by providing them training and a job at the vocational restaurant. The food served is delicious, made from fresh ingredients and prepared in a kitchen which meets the highest international standards of hygiene.
Accommodation: Settha Palace [Full board]
Day 9: Vientiane - Phnom Penh
Your guide will meet you at your hotel for your private car transfer to the airport for the onward flight to Phnom Penh.
Upon arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel right in the heart of the city. Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its turbulent recent history, it still retains a colonial charm since much of its original architecture remains in tact. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and the Tonlé Sap. Wide tree lined boulevards and many colonial era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the charm of the city where Asian traditions meet Western customs in a fascinating way. Relax and unwind after your flight as you will have some time at leisure.
In the early evening enjoy an atmospheric sunset river cruise and watch how Phnom Penh’s popular riverfront comes to life.
Accommodation: Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra [Breakfast]
Day 10: Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, depart on a city tour in a typical cyclo. First on today's itinerary is Wat Phnom which is situated near the northern boundary of the city. The original temple was built in 1372 by a rich Khmer lady named Penh, who found a collection of statues of the Buddha washed up on the river banks and decided to house them on a nearby hill ("Phnom"). The site contains some good examples of Khmer architecture and statues.
Head to the National Museum which was designed by George Groslier and the Ecole des Arts Cambodgiens. The museum was built in traditional Khmer style in 1917 and was inaugurated in 1920 by King Sisowath. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer archaeological, religious, and artistic artifacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. In addition, the roof space is home to a large bat colony!
Continue on foot to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and was the last palace built during the French colonial period. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5,000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
Your afternoon is at leisure however additional, optional sightseeing can be arranged.
Accommodation: Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra [Breakfast]
Day 11: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, the gateway to the majestic temples of Angkor. Your guide will meet you and accompany you while you check into your hotel.
After a lunch break, depart by local ‘Remork’ (similar to the Thai tuk tuk) on a very special sightseeing tour of the famous temples of Angkor. Start with a to visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. Continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.
Conclude the day with a sunset visit to the iconic Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolising Mount Meru, home of the gods. The divine residence of Vishnu, the King himself was to reside here after his death. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well known for the over 2.000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken some thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is depicted on Cambodia's national flag symbolising the soul of the Khmer people.
Accommodation: Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort [Breakfast]
Day 12: Siem Reap - Bangkok
Rise early this morning for a sunrise visit to the illustrious Ta Prohm built in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found, overgrown by jungle trees and vines. Many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground an early visit means there are few people around and being there while the jungle is waking up around you is an incredible experience.
After breakfast back at the hotel, head out to Beng Mealea. This temple is tucked away deep in the Cambodian jungle. During the drive there, you will get a glimpse of the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Along the way your English speaking guide will explain a bit of the history of the region, pointing out significant sights. This temple is often missed out on by the crowds but offers excellent opportunities to take pictures and is regarded to as one of the most adventurous temple viewings in Cambodia.
Next stop will be Koh Ker, an area only recently opened to tourists. Here you will see various temples from the 10th century including the massive Prasat Thom. Enjoy a delicious packed lunch picnic at the temples.
Optional helicopter flight:
Fly from Siem Reap directly to Beng Mealea and Koh Ker. You will have an incredible view of Angkor Wat as you view the entire temple complex from the air. This is the best way to grasp the sheer enormity of the former Khmer empire. Flying time is approximately 60 minutes plus about 3 hours visiting the two temples.
Note: This option will incur additional charges not included in the itinerary price.
Drive back to Siem Reap after the visit and transfer to the airport for your evening flight to Bangkok.
Upon arrival in Bangkok you will be transferred to your hotel for an evening at your leisure.
Accommodation: Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport [Half board]
Day 13: Departure
This morning is free for last minute shopping or sightseeing before transferring to the airport for your overnight flight to London Heathrow.
Visas, other meals were not mentioned in the programme, drinks, overweight luggage, personal expenses, travel insurance, tips & gratuities
These itineraries are samples itineraries for previous clients. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at email@example.com to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.
* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season