Stories of Southeast Asia
|Stories of Southeast Asia
|Asia, South East Asia, Thailand
From Thailand’s bustling capital to the peaceful jungle hills of Laos and the spectacular structures of Angkor Wat, join us on a memory-making adventure that encompasses the vibrant history, fascinating culture and tantalising flavours of Southeast Asia.
Day 1 Bangkok, Thailand
Our Southeast Asian discovery will begin amidst the hustle and bustle of Thailands capital: Bangkok. After meeting our airport transfer and checking into our boutique accommodation in the heart of Bangkok, well meet the group for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2 Bangkok
After a leisurely morning at the hotel, well kick things off with an afternoon long-tailed boat journey along Bangkoks scenic khlongs. Well stop in at Khlong Bang Luang Artist Village before continuing down the Chao Phraya River to visit the magnificent temple of Wat Arun. Later, well enjoy a thrilling tuk-tuk ride through the citys lively streets – stopping along the way to visit bustling night markets, and sample local delicacies. Finally, well take some time to explore one of Bangkoks most famous landmarks: Wat Pho, which will be beautifully illuminated after dark.
Day 3 Bangkok – Chiang Rai
After one more breakfast at our hotel in Bangkok, well make tracks to Chiang Rai – where well check into our authentic accommodation and drop off our bags. And then? The afternoon will be yours. Tonight, well regroup for a delicious dinner overlooking the peaceful Mae Kok River.
Day 4 Chiang Rai – Chiang Khong
This morning well visit the unique white temple of Wat Rong Khun before heading to the scenic Golden Triangle: the point where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meet at the banks of the Mekong River. Once a centre for opium production and trade in Southeast Asia, this region is now a tranquil oasis of rolling hills and tribal villages. Well enjoy lunch on the riverbank before learning about the regions infamous history at the Hall of Opium Museum. After checking in at our panoramic riverside accommodation in Chiang Khong, the evening will be yours to spend at your leisure.
Day 5 Chiang Khong – Huay Xai – Pak Beng, Laos
After bidding farewell to Chiang Khong, well board a traditional river boat for an awe-inspiring cruise through the mighty Mekong Delta. Well soak up the peaceful atmosphere as we cruise the Mekongs languid waters – taking in mile after mile of stunning scenery as we make our way to Pak Beng. Before lunch, well stop in at a traditional village to meet the locals and receive an insight into life on the river. Tonight we’ll rest our heads at charming accommodation set against a backdrop of stunning Laotian jungle views.
Day 6 Pak Beng – Luang Prabang
Well rise early this morning and set off to explore the local market – where villagers gather from surrounding areas to sell fresh fruit and vegetables. After a hearty breakfast on the expansive teak terrace of the lodge, well board our riverboat once again and continue our journey down the Mekong. Why not spend the morning relaxing on a deck chair, enjoying the sights of the passing granite cliffs and sandy shores? Later on, well enjoy lunch aboard the boat before stopping off at the Pak Ou Caves: a complex of rock caves at the mouth of the Nam Ou River thats famous for housing an incredible 2,500 Buddhist statues! Then: after a busy day, well conclude our cruise in Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos.
Day 7 Luang Prabang
Well spend the morning exploring the UNESCO-protected town on an exciting tuk-tuk tour – weaving our way past faded Indochinese villas and gilded temples. After, well learn of the regional importance of bamboo – and try our hands at weaving a Lue-style dream catcher. Then: Well join in on a traditional paper-making demonstration using the bark of the Mulberry tree – an age-old process that creates beautifully thick, rustic paper. Well take a break from the creative process with an authentic Laos lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the traditional Heuanchanh Heritage House. This evening will be yours to enjoy at your own pace.
Day 8 Luang Prabang – Siem Reap, Cambodia
After one final breakfast in Laos, well make tracks for the airport and continue to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, well gather for an included dinner at our authentic resort-style hotel set amongst lush tropical gardens.
Day 9 Siem Reap – Angkor Wat Heritage Tour – Angkor Thom Cruise – Siem Reap
Today, well go behind the scenes at Angkor Wat with one the sites lead conservation experts – learning the little-known secrets behind how these spectacular religious structures were designed and carved as we go. Well then visit the Ta Prohm and Banyon temples, taking the time to admire the historical stories told by the intricate bas-relief carvings on the walls. Later on well board a gondola and enjoy a peaceful sunset cruise along the moat of Angkor Thom. As we sit back and watch the sun go down over the majestic temples of Angkor, well have the chance to savour a cocktail or two.
Day 10 Siem Reap – Kompong Phluk (Tonle Sap) – Chansar – Siem Reap
Small fishing villages, mangrove forests and Khmer communities are on the agenda today. This morning, well take a drive to the edge of Tonl Sap Lake and embark on a cruise to Kampong Phluk – an isolated Khmer fishing community built on six-metre-high wooden stilts. As we continue through the lakes mangrove forests, be sure to keep an eye out for a variety of birds and wildlife – especially crab-eating macaques! Next, well stop in at the home of a Khmer family and watch as they demonstrate the methods used to create a traditional broom using natural materials. Then: well take a guided tour of the small village of Chansar before participating in fishing, farming or animal husbandry activities with the local residents. Well round off our day with a stop at a Buddhist temple – where we might even receive a blessing from the monks.
Day 11 Siem Reap
After breakfast, well conclude our journey and say our goodbyes.