: R27500
Wander upwards through northern Thailand with street eats by tuk tuk, a Chao Phraya river cruise & overnight trains. Then Laos to give monks their alms, the Golden Triangle & a Mekong river cruise. Venture downwards to Vang Vieng for rapids & cave exploring, Vientiane for a temple/monument scramble, then Siem Reap for Bayon’s stoney faces & Phnom Penh’s walkable waterfront.

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Starting fromR27 500
Package ValiditySet departure dates JUL 2016 - MAR 2017
Duration14 days
DestinationThailand, Laos & Cambodia
Starts inBangkok
Ends inPhnom Penh
Age GroupThis is a group tour for ages 18 - 38 years

{tab Description}

- Internal flights from Vientiane - Siem Reap
- 12 nights hotel accommodation
- 1 night accommodation aboard an overnight train
- 13 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 2 dinners
- Touring by air-conditioned coach
- Assistance of a tour guide & driver
- Touring & sightseeing of all sites as per itinerary


{tab Day 1}

Bangkok, Thailand

Your epic Indochina trek is all in front of you. First off the bat: free time to explore like a Bangkokian (it's a word). Fill up on culture at one of the 100+ museums, immerse yourself in a new religion at one of the royal temples, & get your food & shopping fix from one of the 100,000 street vendors to last you until tonight, where you get to eat for 4 hours at the street eats by tuk tuk experience. All. the. food.

Included today: Street eats by tuk tuk

Meals: Dinner.

{tab Day 2} 

Bangkok to Chiang Mai

Kick off your Bangkok rush hour with a full day visiting some of it's most iconic sights. Tick off ALL the transport today & make your way around via car, boat, skytrain & tuk tuk. Visit Jim Thompson's house - the Thai silk businessman & designer who helped revive Thailand's silk industry from total extinction before he disappeared in the Malaysian jungle in 1974. Then boat along the Chao Phraya River & stop at the Grand Palace (once home to the Emerald Buddha), & take a tuk tuk to the grand buddhist temple Wat Pho to grab a foot massage. Lunch at a local restaurant. Tonight overnight train it to the capital of the north, Chiang Mai.

Included today: Skytrain to Thaksin pier, Chao Phraya River boat cruise, Bangkok City tour, foot massage & overnight train to Chiang Mai

Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 3}

Chiang Mai

This morning start by picking apart Chiang Mai's old city by trishaw (human-powered tricycle). It's a temple-monument salad as you stop at Wat Chedi Luang - a 14th century Buddhist temple constructed to house the remains of King Saen Muang Ma's father, then the murals & lacquer work of Wat Puak Tam temple & its artisan brass making village, followed by the Three Kings Monument of the men who planned the city's layout. Finish off with a local market & the leafy, laid back Wat Gate quarter.

Included today: Half day city tour by Trishaw

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 4} 

Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai

On your way out of Chiang Mai stop at Wat Rong Khun, aka the White Temple. This afternoon you're off to the Golden Triangle (the border where Laos, Burma & Thailand meet), former hub of the opium trade. Hike up to look out over the junction of the Mekong & Ruak Rivers, & a better view of the Triangle. Then it's on to Mae Sai, the northernmost trading border. Pick up exotic curios & jewellery at the markets, watch merchants sell their goods or go hang with the giant scorpion.

Included today: White temple of Wat Rong Khun

Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 5}

Chiang Rai to Pak Beng, Laos

Today it's all about friendship. Cross the Chiang Khong border at the Friendship Bridge (there are 4 connecting Thailand & Laos) & the Huay Xai Border into Laos. Then it's straight into the Mekong river cruise to use up all of your camera's SD cards on the scenery before stopping to make friends with locals at a small village on your way to Pak Beng.

Included today: Mekong river boat cruise

Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner.

{tab Day 6}

Pak Beng to Luang Prabang

This morning treat yourself to the markets where locals from surrounding villages sell fruit & trade their goods. Stop for a tipple at the whiskey village, where locals have craftily transformed sticky rice into Lao Lao whiskey, enjoyed in many a Laotian village. Next stop is the Pak Ou Caves at the mouth of the Nam Ou River. The caves are filled to the brim with buddhist statues left by well wishers as offerings in return for good luck. This afternoon arrive in Luang Prabang. Get in early & check out the (literally) hundreds of monuments & temples & feel at peace.

Included today: Pak Ou Caves

Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 7}

Luang Prabang

Get yourself up early to see the monks walk through the city for their daily alms collecting ritual, then head up the 328 steps of Mount Phousi for sunrise & views over the city, it's well worth the burning calves & lost sleep. Reward yourself with fruit & sweets at the morning markets to see how the locals get their food.
Return to the morning markets spot for dinner, as it transforms into a bustling night hub with buffets & plates of food for less than $2 AUD (& due to the French influence, cakes to stuff your boots with). WIN.NING. After you've gotten your fill check out the amazing artwork, lampshades, coffee in stitched purses, puppets & wood carvings galore.
The stall that takes the cake in the midst of the market is "Make bracelets not war" - jewellery that has been recreated from discarded bombshells dropped during the Secret War, an empowering endeavour by the Naphia village delivering a message of peace & helping themselves out of poverty through enterprise. The best part: all the money goes to the Naphia villagers.

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 8}

Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng

Rise to the sound of the temple gong, you'll be used to this by now. Partake in the daily almsgiving of the monks (without cramping their style) by offering sticky rice, bananas & other foods. The ritual is associated with a Buddhist tradition where monks beg for their daily food in order to learn humility - & humility they have. After breakfast descend southwards to Vang Vieng, the riverside town that is a backpacker beacon - probably something to do with its limestone mountains, meandering waterways & bamboo bridges.

Included today: Giving of alms to monks

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 9}

Vang Vieng

A free day for kayaking on the Nam Song River. If you're here in wet season: rapids. If you're here any other time: rock climbing the limestone mountains. Go cave exploring & swim in the deep blue of Tham Phu Kham, or soak yourself calm in former-bunker-now-turned-cave Tham Jang's springs. Or wander off to find ethnic Lao & Kmou villages & have a chat with the locals.

Included today: Free day

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 10}

Vang Vieng to Vientiane

First up: the historical site of Wat Sisaket & former temple Wat Hor Phra Keo housing Laotian art will give you your first culture fix, followed by Patuxay, the Victory Monument - a war monument dedicated to those who fought for France's independence with panoramic views over the city. We've saved the best till last - Pha That Luang, Laos' holiest site & a national symbol.

Included today: Vientiane city tour

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 11}

Vientiane to Siem Reap, Cambodia

Fly downwards to Siem Reap this morning, let your nose pick the perfect lunch spot before an afternoon tour of Angkor, former mega city that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire until the 15th century. Start with the temple of Bayon with its many stone faces & bas-reliefs, the Ta Prohm temple held together by tree roots, then finish with a bang exploring the queen of all monuments Angkor Wat. At more than 5kms long, she's the world's largest religious monument. With her own moat. Stand on top of Pre Rup temple for sunset views over the jungle.

Included today: Flight from Vientiane to Siem Reap & Siem Reap sunset over the Angkor complex

Meals: Breakfast.

{tab Day 12}

Siem Reap

Kick start the day with a visit to the headquarters of a local non-profit that employs village women who specialise in the traditional craft of mat weaving. The mats are sold at the markets & funds are given back to the women. Pretty nifty set-up. Then: hop aboard an ox cart for a ride through the fields to the home of a Khmer family specialising in broom making. Watch them do their thing before giving it a go. A guided walk around the village before lunch will sharpen your appetite, with time to get to know the locals. The warm fuzzy part from today is that the funds from the tour go directly back into the community you are visiting to improve their lives. On the way back to Siem Reap, stop at a Buddhist temple to get blessed by monks. The rest of the day is free for you to spread out in Siem Reap or flop down at the beach.

Included today: Siem Reap community village tour

Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 13}

Siem Reap to Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh awaits this morning. Get cracking with a visit to the Royal Palace overlooking the Tonle Sap river. This afternoon, take part in a sobering visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn about the brutalities of the Khmer Rouge regime. Join the locals at sunset in one of the riverside bars. Dinner is whatever takes your fancy.

Included today: Flight to Phnom Penh & Phnom Penh city tour

Meals: Breakfast & lunch.

{tab Day 14}

 Phnom Penh

Spend the day exploring the French-built capital - venture back to the riverfront for the Silver Pagoda & National Museum, or go straight for the heart to find the art deco Central Market. Done & done? Indulge in an optional activity or two - learn about Cambodia's darkest hour at the killing fields of Choeung Ek, or go for a hands on experience at Silk Island village, who maintain the traditions of hand looming silk. Watch the experts do their thing then give it a whirl. The trip ends in the afternoon, but stay & hang out in a hammock, it's how the locals do it.

Included today: Free day

Meals: Breakfast.


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