7 days – Laos and Cambodia tours – World Heritage Trip : Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival Luang Prabang
After transfer to Luang prabang hotel with private guide. The rest of the day is free and easy at leisure on your own.A place where time stands still is one way to describe the charms of this historic capital of ancient temples. Languid and lovelyLuang Prabang is the most popular destination in Laos, a compact, atmospheric town that can be enjoyed at leisure on foot.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, there are more than 30 historic temples hidden among the backstreets of town, as well as the Royal Palace Museum. Popular activities include rising early taking part in the Tak Bat or alms offering to the monks. Beyond town, adventures await, including waterfalls, elephant camps, kayaking and cycling. Luang Prabang is now plugged into Laos and the rest of the region, with flight links to nearby Bangkok, Hanoi and Siem Reap.
Overnight at Luang Prabang
Day 2 Luang Prabang temple and palace (B, L)
After breakfast, transfer from hotel to explore Luang Prabang by bicycle. Then visit Wat Visoun, the oldest and one of the most beautiful temples of Luang Prabang. It was built in 1520 by King Visounnarat. The first thing to strike the visitor is the enormous That Makmo, which in on the temple compound. Because of its odd shape, this stupa is known as the ‘watermelon stupa’. This lotus – stupa, dating back to 1503, has more of a Sinhalese style. And visit Wat Xieng Thong the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang. It was founded by King Setthathirat in 1560 and the walls of the monastery have been decorated with mosaics in 1950. These mosaics don’t show us the usual scenes of Buddha’s life, but they depict the daily life of the average man. Just like the Royal Palace, this temple is close to the Mekong River. In 1880, the Triptaka library was added to the complex. The drum tower was built in 1961. On one side of the Sim there are several stupas and small rooms containing old Buddha images.
After that visit the Royal Palace Museum, The Royal Palace Museum of Luang Prabang is set back off the main street of Sisavang Wong, directly across from Phu Si Hill. Its tall, swaying palm trees and elegant rooftop dominate the skyline. It’s a beautiful museum to visit, especially if you’re trying to avoid the heat of the day and glean information about local history. ( Close The Former Royal Palace closes every Tuesday )Then go to Phousi Mountain overlooking the city of Luang Prabang, where situated in the centre of Luang Prabangs. To climb up the mountain can be hard but it is definitely worth the trip. There is a formidable view from the top of the mountain where you can see “The Royal Palace”, and the surrounding rivers and villages. Time permitting; take a ride around the outskirts of town.
Overnight at Luang Prabang
Day 3: Luang Prabang (B, L)
After breakfast, pick up from hotel and transfer to taking a traditional wooden boat upstream to visit the famous cave of Pak Ou. “These caves contain thousands of Buddha images and are of great religious importance to the Theravada Buddhists in Laos. These caves were converted into Buddhist temples in the 15th century and are used as a site for old Buddha images that can no longer be venerated in a temple, either because they are damaged or the temple they were displayed in has been destroyed”.Along the way, make a short stop at Ban Xanghai, where you can observe the traditional process of manufacturing local rice alcohol and enjoy the taste of the local rice wine.
Lunch will be served on the terrace facing the Nam Ou River.Continue your trip to visit in the afternoon at Kuang Si waterfall, located 30km south of Luang Prabang, the many tiered waterfalls have scooped out small basins of turquoise color. A short trek and swim around the falls is recommended. On the way you will stopover to visit Ban Tha Pen the Hmong village.
Overnight at Luang Prabang
Day 4: Luang Prabang – Siem Reap (B)
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. This tradition is very unique in Laos, being the only Buddhist nation still preserving the procession. You will visit the morning Phosi Market where you will see such diverse offerings as dried buffalo skin, local tea and saltpeter among the chickens, vegetables and hill-tribe weavings.
The rest of the day is free and easy at leisure on your own until time to transfer to the airport for departure flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap. Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to the hotel (rooms may not ready until the afternoon and sightseeing depend on your arrival time)Evening, enjoy dinner with Absara dance a good entertaiment for your dinner (your own account)
Overnight at Siem Reap
Day 5: Siem Reap – Angkor tour (B, L)
Breakfast at hotel.In the morning, visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolize Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond.
Lunch at restaurant.Visit the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Sunset at Angkor Wat. Dinner at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.Enjoy a 10 minute ride in a tethered Hot Air Balloon to admire the stunning view of the hidden temples. This is not private and on your day of touring you may choose the morning (6AM) time slot or go between 3pm and 4pm.
Overnight at Siem Reap
Day 6: Siem Reap – Kbal Spean – Siemreap (B, L)
An early bird special:(IF it is good to visit)Transfer to the archaeological site for the sunrise from the Phnom Bakheng, one of two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat Or sunrise at Srah Srang.Return to the hotel for breakfast. Take ride for 1 hour from Siem reap to uncrowned street to start your excursion to Kbal Spean, also known as the river of Thouasn lingas. Kbal Spean is pilgrimage place of ancient Kmers (ancient Cambodia people). The around area is set in the forested mountain.
You walk about 45 minutes uphill through the woods to see impressive carvings of phalluses – the symbol of the God Vishanu’s supreme essence – on the riverbed. Under the small steam is dotted with thousand of sculpted stone lingas on pedestals. The best time to visit is between September and December when the river and the waterfall have more water.Then, transfer to Banteay Srei temple (10th c), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art.In the afternoon, you continue your temple visits to Preah Khan. Built by the King Jayavarman VII, Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder hugging corridors.
Unlike Ta Prohm, however, the temple of Prea Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), Ta Som and 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 example remarkably well preserved. Two concentric walls enclose the ensemble. Overnight at Siem Reap
Day 7: Siem Reap Departure (B)
Today you will visit a school near Wat Bo that serves homeless children in the Siem Reap area. Meet the teachers and spend some time with the children. Please note that your tour cost includes only a vehicle, driver and guide. A small donation is expected and should be made directly to the school.Enjoy traditional Cambodian food in a local restaurant (your own account)You will be picked up by a private vehicle and driven to a local horse ranch. A guide will take you on a horseback journey to places that are otherwise unreachable, through local countryside villages, scenic rice fields and tourist-free temple ruins. An authentic taste of the real Khmer lifestyle viewed from horseback, and a welcome break from other tourists.Then, transfer to airport.