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Indochina Adventure (Extended version)

This 16 day tour takes you from Luang Prabang, the remote ancient mountain capital of Laos, to Cambodia's bustling Phnom Penh, and the fabulous temples of Angkor

16 day Laos and Cambodia tour

Our fascinating, 2 week Laos and Cambodia tour, Indochina Adventure, takes you through the heart of Southeast Asia. Beginning in northern Laos in the ancient capital, now World Heritage Site, of Luang Prabang, we’ll explore the beautiful temples and colonial architecture of what is acknowledged to be the region’s best preserved town, before crossing spectacular mountains to the remote and mysterious Plain of Jars. Our journey continues to the contrasting, contemporary capitals of laid-back Vientiane overlooking the Mekong River, and bustling, vibrant Phnom Penh. From there, we’ll travel overland through picturesque countryside to the enigmatic and dramatic jungle-clad temples of Angkor.

An unforgettable tour of some of the best known, plus rarely visited sites Indochina has to offer -.A wide variety of stunning Asian landscapes, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, ancient ruins, vibrant contemporary street life and local markets, plenty of friendly locals, and lashings of wonderful Southeast Asian cuisine (tarantulas not compulsory!).

 

Cambodia

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

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Day 1 - Luang Prabang - arrival and Mekong boat cruise

Arrival in Luang Prabang.  Time to relax before an afternoon boat trip up the picturesque Mekong River. Visit the village of Ban Muang Keo for a short trek to reach the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, crammed with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues of various shapes and sizes left by pilgrims. Return to Luang Prabang for sunset at Phu Si Hill and a chance to sample some local specialities in a riverside restaurant.

Extra nights in Luang Prabang prior to your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Boat,  Meals: D, 

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Day 2 - Luang Prabang - city walking tour

Luang Prabang, nestled in the mountains and long isolated from the outside world.  We’ll discover this World Heritage Site’s fabulous temples, French colonial architecture and taste Lao delicacies (and the famous Lao beer…) in riverside cafes. Morning walking tour of the town including the National Museum and former King’s palace, Wat Xiengthong, Phu Si Hill Temple and the Fine Arts School to see how traditional Lao arts and handicrafts are being preserved. The afternoon is at leisure to allow you to wander the quiet, picturesque lanes or check out the hill-tribe handicraft market?

Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 3 - Luang Prabang - into the countryside

Day trip through the surrounding hills to visit the spectacular Kuang Si Waterfalls and to discover the fascinating, traditional village and rural life of some of the local peoples.

Overnight: Luang Prabang Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

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Day 4 - Plain of Jars - over the Central Highlands to Phonsavan

Early departure for a drive along scenic mountain roads to Phonsavan Town in Xieng Khouang province – location of the famous and mysterious Plain of Jars. Stops on the way include Khmu and Hmong villages and a hidden cave temple that served as an army hospital during the Vietnam War – a reminder that this region played a major part in the conflict. Late afternoon arrival in Phonsavan and atmospheric dusk visit to one of the famous jar sites.

Overnight: Phonsavan Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 5 - Plain of Jars - morning tour and afternoon transfer to Vientiane

Morning visit to the Mines Advisory Group to learn about the work they do in clearing land mines and unexploded ordnance in the area. We then drive out to the picturesque Jar Site 2, and begin our one hour trek along the ridge to the impressive, hill-top Jar Site 3. Lunch in Phonsavan before a flight to the Lao capital of Vientiane, and time perhaps to stretch our legs with a stroll along the Mekong waterfront for sundowners in a riverbank cafe?

Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Plane, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 6 - Vientiane - tour of some of the City's sights

Tour of some of the city’s fascinating sites including Si Saket Temple with its 1,000 Buddha images, the bustling morning market, Vientiane’s most famous monument – the That Luang, as well as the unusual Buddha Park. A less cheerful, but highly informative stop will also be made at the excellent COPE Visitors Centre. This was established to highlight a major problem local people face daily in the form of unexploded ordnance due to bombing campaigns during the Vietnam War era.

Overnight: Vientiane Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 7 - Phnom Penh - morning flight and afternoon introductory walking tour

Morning flight to Phnom Penh and check-in to a small, comfortable downtown hotel close to the historic riverbank quarter. Time to relax before stretching your legs with an introductory walking tour, taking in the historic French Quarter, Wat Phnom and the lively waterfront area as well as giving you a first-hand feel for the bustling street-life.  Finishing perhaps with sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club?

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Plane, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 8 - Phnom Penh - city tour

Day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city.  The infamous Killing Fields and the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng help to explain the country’s recent tragic history.  The picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda will provide plenty of photo opportunities, whilst the Russian Market offers some ‘retail therapy’ and a chance for a local style lunch.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 9 - Siem Reap - up-country to Siem Reap

Travel through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the provincial town of Siem Reap in Western Cambodia – our base for the next few days while we visit the nearby Angkor Temples. Stops on the way include the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon (tasting not compulsory), a rarely visited but well preserved 10th century temple and lunch by a scenic lake. A dusk visit to the atmospheric ruins of Banteay Kdei Temple completes our day.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 10 - Siem Reap - dawn at Angkor Wat

Angkor – an unforgettable two-day tour of this fabulous site – its vast jungle clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat, followed by a comprehensive morning tour of the temple itself. Late morning return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and for some lunch, siesta or relaxation. Afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom: Leper King Terrace, Preah Palilay, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon and last but not least, (we’ll wait until the crowds have gone), the dramatic Bayon Temple with its famous faces.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 11 - Siem Reap - jungle temples

We’ll begin with a forest hike up Bahkeng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bahkeng Temple before moving on to the huge jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Dense jungle, enormous roots and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites.  After a break in Siem Reap Town, the afternoon programme continues with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote and rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. A visit to Ta Prom – the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ Temple – continues our jungle theme and concludes our day’s visit.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 12 - Siem Reap - Beng Melea and afternoon at leisure

Morning trip to one of the more remote and less visited temple sites, the truly spectacular Beng Melea. A huge partially ruined temple complex, overgrown by jungle, lying to the west of Siem Reap, this is one of the most impressive Angkor monuments. Return to Siem Reap with an afternoon at leisure to relax by the pool, visit the National Museum, explore the markets or even take a Khmer cookery lesson?

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

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Day 13 - Sangkar River - by boat to Battambang

Spectacular boat journey across the Tonle Sap Lake, past the flooded forest and Prek Toal bird sanctuary and on down the Sangkar River and its floating stilt-house fishing villages to the town of Battambang. Stop off on the way to visit the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project. Time of arrival will depend upon water levels.

If water levels are too low during the dry season, part or all of today's trip may be by road.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Boat,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 14 - Battambang - village and cottage industries tour

Morning ride through the paddy-fields on Battambang’s famous ‘bamboo train’, followed by some free time to explore the friendly provincial town, or just chill-out in one of the many coffee shops. After lunch we’ll visit the surrounding villages and their traditional cottage industries and handicrafts, either by bicycle, or tuk-tuk for the less energetic.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Bike, Walk, Tuk Tuk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 15 - Battambang to Phnom Penh - return to the capital

Travelling east, our first stop will be the lively and colourful local market in Pursat Town for a chance to stretch our legs, check out the weird and wonderful produce on display, meet the friendly locals plus of course plenty of photo opportunities. Moving on, we’ll stop at the fascinating river port town of Kompong Chnang where half the town is actually floating on the Tonle Sap River, and explore the bustling river front area before continuing to our days final destination – Phnom Penh.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, D, 

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Day 16 - Phnom Penh - morning at leisure and end of tour

Morning at leisure in Phnom Penh; relax by the pool or some last minute shopping and departure.at your convenience

Extra nights in Phnom Penh after your tour are available on request.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Overnight: Departure Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Cambodia, Angkor

Just a few of the many highlights

From Laos' World Heritage Luang Prabang, through the mountains to the mysterious Plain of Jars, and on via Vientiane to Cambodia's vibrant Phnom Penh and the fabulous temples of Angkor

  • Explore the ancient temples, colonial architecture, narrow lanes and bustling markets of UNESCO World Heritage Luang Prabang
  • Travel by boat to the spectacular cave temples at Pak Ou on the banks of the Mekong River
  • Take a boat journey up the spectacular Sangkar River to discover the unique floating villages and spectacular bird-life
  • Tour of Phnom Penh - fast recovering from it's tragic history to regain it's place as one of Indochina's most attractive and fun cities
  • Experience dawn at Angkor Wat - watch the sunrise over the silhouette of this iconic building
  • ..and last but not least, sample the sumptuous, varied and contrasting local cuisines of Laos and Cambodia

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK)

  • 24 October 17 2,450 GBP
  • 22 November 17 2,450 GBP
  • 18 December 17 2,650 GBP
  • 26 December 17 2,650 GBP
  • 16 January 18 2,450 GBP
  • 7 February 18 2,450 GBP
  • 8 March 18 2,450 GBP
  • 3 April 18 2,450 GBP
  • 30 April 18 2,450 GBP
  • 26 May 18 2,450 GBP
  • 22 June 18 2,450 GBP
  • 19 July 18 2,550 GBP
  • 14 August 18 2,550 GBP
  • 13 September 18 2,450 GBP
  • 8 October 18 2,450 GBP
  • 31 October 18 2,450 GBP
  • 25 November 18 2,450 GBP
  • 21 December 18 2,650 GBP

Land Departures

  • 25 October 17 1,550 GBP
  • 23 November 17 1,550 GBP
  • 19 December 17 1,550 GBP
  • 27 December 17 1,550 GBP
  • 17 January 18 1,550 GBP
  • 8 February 18 1,550 GBP
  • 9 March 18 1,550 GBP
  • 4 April 18 1,550 GBP
  • 1 May 18 1,550 GBP
  • 27 May 18 1,550 GBP
  • 23 June 18 1,550 GBP
  • 20 July 18 1,550 GBP
  • 15 August 18 1,550 GBP
  • 14 September 18 1,550 GBP
  • 9 October 18 1,550 GBP
  • 1 November 18 1,550 GBP
  • 26 November 18 1,550 GBP
  • 22 December 18 1,550 GBP

Guaranteed Limited Places Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Luang Prabang

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

Villa Langka, Phnom Penh view

  • Lush garden setting with pool
  • Very convenient central but quiet location
  • Helpful, friendly and efficient staff

Villa Chitdara, Luang Prabang view

  • 'French colonial' chic at Luang Prabang's Villa Chitdara
  • Friendly staff, a relaxed atmosphere and central location
  • Great spot for exploring the old World Heritage town

Sengtawan Riverside Hotel, Vientiane view

  • Central but quiet location in Vientiane
  • Scenic riverside setting overlooking the Mekong
  • Great rooftop bar and restaurant

Hilary’s Boutique Hotel, Phnom Penh view

  • Central but peaceful location in bustling Phnom Penh
  • Small, family run hotel
  • Garden setting, pool and in-house cafe/bar/restaurant

City River Hotel, Siem Reap view

  • City River is out first choice in Cambodia's Siem Reap.
  • Rooftop pool; spa, riverside location, super friendly staff
  • Only a 5 minute walk from the bustling Old Market district

King Fy Hotel, Battambang view

  • Central riverside location in Battambang Town
  • Great roof-top 'Sky Bar' for sundowners
  • Suoer friendly staff, comfortable rooms, cracking breakfast

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Laos: A 30 day visa is available upon your arrival at Luang Prabang (Approx. $35).

Cambodia: No visa in advance is required. A 30 day visa is issued on arrival at Phnom Penh airport ($30 plus passport photo). E-visa is available at this link.

Further info: more details and photos of ‘Indochina Adventure‘ here and suggested reading and viewing on Cambodia at this link or our Lao reading and viewing list here.

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