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Welcome to Laos. Upon arrival you will be greeted by your guide and driver at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Late afternoon offers free time, take a walk around this quaint town and take the time to explore the Luang Prabang Night Market, where you can find an array of handmade textiles made by local villagers and the hill tribes of the area. A welcome dinner will be served at a local house accompanied by a traditional Baci ceremony.
Today discover the incredible Pak Ou Caves on a Mekong boat trip. Here, hundreds of tiny gilded statues of Buddha, worshipped for centuries teeter on stone shelves in the cave walls. Visits are also made to the local villages of Ban Xanghai and Ban Muangkeo.
After breakfast explore Luang Prabang by bicycle, a fun and eco-friendly way of exploring the town visiting the temples of Wat Visun, Wat Aham and the beautiful Wat Xieng Thong, famed for its intricate mosaics and painted figurines. Visits to local villages where silk and Saa (Mulberry) Paper are made and from Phou Sy Mountain, witness Luang Prabang's stunning temple tops fade as the sun sets.
This morning we journey to Tamarind Cafe where we will take part in an introductory lesson in cooking real Lao cuisine. We will tuk-tuk to Phou Sy market to buy our ingredients for the cooking class. Our chef teacher will share his knowledge on local ingredients while touring the market before travelling to our lakeside classroom outside of town where we will learn to prepare some local favourites such as khao niauw, oh paedek and laarb kai . Afterwards, we will have the chance to enjoy our creations. Later today we make our way to the famous Khouang Si waterfall, visiting the Bear Sanctuary en-route before we have time for a relaxing swim. Late afternoon we return to Luang Prabang and the airport for our flight to Vientiane.
Today we visit the COPE educational centre, a compelling centre that teaches us about Laos’ Hidden War and the aid that is being given to help civilian victims of conflict. Afterwards we continue on to the unique Buddha Park or Xiang Khouan as it’s known locally, the park is filled with hundreds of Buddhist and Hindu statues creating a peaceful atmosphere. We then visit the Vientiane Orchid Centre which hosts one of the largest orchid collections in the world. Later, take a tuk-tuk tour of Vientiane visiting - Wat Sisaket, one of the oldest temples and home to thousands of miniature Buddha statues, and also visiting the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, That Luang Stupa, Patuxay Monument, known as Vientiane’s own Arc de Triumph.
Today fly to Pakse, the laid back provincial capital of Champasack and drive to the ancient temple of Wat Phou, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Laos. Then enjoy the beautiful lush scenery as you take a boat across the Mekong to Khong Island. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure exploring this sedate and picturesque island and its villages on foot or by bike.
Set sail this morning on a scenic 4000 Islands boat trip, where you may spot the rare Irrawaddy Mekong Dolphin! Later return to Pakse, visiting thundering Khone Phapeng - Southeast Asia’s largest waterfalls en route.
After some free time this morning, we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap and the start of your discovery of Cambodia. Our local team will meet you upon arrival and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of today is free to relax.
Today we visit the Angkor Wat Temple. This architectural master piece was built in the 12th century, took 30 years to complete and represents the Khmer civilization at its grandest. Covering 81 hectares, it is one of the largest religious monuments ever built. Angkor Wat (the biggest Hindu temple in the world and one of the largest religious monuments in the world, was built between the 9th – 13th century. In the early evening climb to Bakheng Hill to enjoy the superb view as the sun sets over Angkor Wat.
Today is spent further exploring the Angkor Wat complex, entering the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Afterwards, we continue to visit Ta Prohm temple, shrouded in jungle and left just it was founded by French explorers in 1850s. This afternoon we set out for a cruise on the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake passing a typical floating village observing the locals in their daily life.
Today travel to Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It lies 20 km due north of the main group of temples and is built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and intricate carvings. Later visit Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern most of which is remarkably well preserved. The Srah Srang a royal bathing Palace, located east of Banteay Kdei is our next destination.It was constructed in the mid-10th century, and modified in the 12th or 13th century, then visit the Banteay Kdei Temple, a massive Buddhist monastery from the latter part of the 12th century and is surrounded by for concentric walls. Later take in Ta Keo, an incomplete temple in the Khleang style built as the state temple of Jayavarman V. Finally we finish with Thommanon Temple, one of a pair of Hindu temples built in the end of the 11th century.
After breakfast we leave Siem Reap and travel to Kompong Thom province. The province is large in size with some 13,814 km2 making it the second biggest province of Cambodia. It is one of the most popular historical and cultural sites to explore due to its pre Angkorian temples. Later visit Sambor Prei Kuk, the most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments in Cambodia.
Today we continue onto Phnom Penh and this afternoon, enjoy a sight seeing tour of the city will take in the Royal Palace, the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts before ending our city tour with a visit to Wat Phnom pagoda and shopping at the Russian market.
After breakfast we travel southwest of Phnom Penh to Choeung Ek. The memorial just outside Phnom Penh was an orchard and a Chinese cemetery prior to 1975. During the Khmer Rouge regime, it became one of the killing fields, the site of the brutal executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of who first suffered through torture and deprivation in Toul Sleng Prison. Choeung Ek is now a group of mass graves and a memorial stupa containing thousands of skulls. This evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the Mekong River and take in the local night life.
Today your South East Asian comes to an end. We will transfer the airport in time for your flights home.