Travel through Cambodia and Laos to discover a new way of life

Immerse yourself in the cultures of Cambodia and Laos on a 12-day tour through these beautiful countries. Explore the incredible Angkor complex, experience rural life with a local family, admire the French-style architecture of Phnom Penh and pay your respects with a visit to the Killing Fields. Then head to Laos and tour the breathtaking scenery around Vang Vieng before finishing up in the atmospheric city of Luang Prabang.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Finish
Luang Prabang, Laos
Destinations
Cambodia, Laos
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
TKSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Combining two great countries in a two-week trip, you'll discover the best of both worlds, from Cambodia's incredible Khmer temples to Laos' relaxed riverside beauty.

  • Angkor Wat. Need we say more? As well as a guided tour, you’ll also have a pass to cover your whole time in Siem Reap so you can explore this incredible temple complex as much and as often as you like.

  • Discover the temple ruins at Sambor Prei Kuk and enjoy a village homestay to experience everyday life in rural Cambodia.

  • Get familiar with Khmer cuisine - here’s a sample of what’s in store for your tastebuds: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodian-food-guide/

  • https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodia-eating-spiders/

  • Have expert advice on hand the whole way with an experienced local leader to help you get the best out of your time in Cambodia, like Channa: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/channa-intrepid-leader-cambodia/

  • By flying from Phnom Penh to Vientiane, you'll cut down on travel time and spend more time exploring destinations

  • Discover the splendour of Vang Vieng's limestone landscapes. Your cycling and hiking excursion takes you to a stunning hidden waterfall via an ethnic tribal village

Is this trip right for you?

  • Laos is less developed than many other South-East Asian countries. The roads can be bumpy and delays are common. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful country!

  • There are some long days of travel, especially the journey to Luang Prabang. The mountain scenery on this journey is incredible, but if you're prone to motion sickness, some travel medication may be a good idea.

  • We stay in a homestay on this trip which most travellers find a fascinating and insightful experience. Read more about what it is like here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/cambodia-homestay-experience/

  • There's a mixture of included activities and free time on this trip. Sometimes you'll be guided by knowledgeable locals; at other times, you'll have the freedom and flexibility to make your own discoveries.

  • The stories and history shared at the Killing Fields and S21 are confronting and many travellers will find them upsetting. This is an important part of Cambodia’s recent history that we feel is important for travellers to know. If you would prefer not to join these activities your leader can recommend some optional alternatives. Some further information on visiting the Killing Fields can be found here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-k...

  • At times our accommodation may not have continuous hot water. Most travellers don’t find this a problem however, and are often keen to cool down from the heat with a refreshing cold shower!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2018 itinerary
Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time during the day as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please check with the hotel reception for where and when it will take place, or check the reception notice boards. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat, but it's not without its own charms. Perhaps start by hitting the local markets to try some delicious street food.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive at the hotel by early evening, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Today you'll visit the world-famous Angkor complex with your guide. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres; this is the biggest religious monument in the world. However, the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap, so you'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the mind-blowing archaeological sites of Angkor Wat (the astounding main attraction), the Bayon (a marvel of many sculpted decorations) and Ta Prohm (the eerily beautiful temples covered in jungle).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - One day Angkor ticket
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in Siem Reap today. If you feel like some adventure, you can take the optional Angkor zip-line course, which gives you a bird's eye view of the rainforest, plus an adrenaline rush! Other options here include a visit to the sobering Landmine Museum – it's located a little further afield but is well worth the journey. In the evening you might want to see Phare the Cambodian Circus. Coming from vulnerable households, the performers have gained international recognition through their art practice. Like a Cambodian Cirque Du Soleil, modern Khmer tales mix theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, and contortion.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Tonle Sap Lake Boat Trip - USD15
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-Out - USD52
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Zipline - USD129
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Phare, the Cambodian Circus ticket - USD18
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private bus to Sambor Prei Kuk and your homestay (approximately 3.5 hours). You will embark on a tour of the village with your local guide. The guide will introduce you to the way of life of the local people, your homestay facilities and your hosts for tonight. Facilities are simple at your homestay, but this is a fantastic opportunity to experience everyday life in rural Cambodia. The temple ruins at Sambor Prei Kuk just nearby are some of the oldest in the country (dating back to the 6th century) and are well worth a visit (this is optional). In the evening, relax and unwind as you enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner with your host family.

Notes: We stay in the one room in multishare accommodation. Depending on the group size, we may use two homestays that are located close to each other. The will be a thin mattress on the floor, with pillow provided and mosquito net. The bathroom facilities will be shared and will often consist of a squat style toilet and a washing area. The washing area may be a shower or it could be Asia style with a bucket shower. This is when there will be a large bucket of water with a small scoop that you use to poor water over yourself. Towels will be provided for you to use for washing. For passengers wanting a little more comfort we recommend bringing your own towel and extra pillow.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kampong Thom - Sambor Prei Kuk Temple - USD3
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast, leave the village and travel to Phnom Penh in a private minibus (approximately 4 hours). Cambodia's capital is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-influenced architecture. This afternoon, enjoy some free time for optional activities. Perhaps explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a local hill. A great way to see the city's key landmarks is a cyclo tour, which generally covers the central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, Independence Monument and Royal Palace. The National Museum, housed in a beautiful traditional building, is a great place to see some excellent Khmer craftmanship. If you're in the mood for shopping, stop in at the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market), or travel out to Psar Tuol Tom Pong (Russian Market) for the best range of local souvenirs.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will learn about Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre. Afterwards, head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng. In the afternoon there will be some free time for optional activities. You might like to simply stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic. Then it's time for your flight to Vientiane (approximately 1.5 hours). Possibly Asia's most laid-back capital, Vientiane is a city where daily affairs are conducted at a relaxed pace. It also has an excellent, diverse food scene.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a guided walk around town this morning. Pay a visit to Wat Si Saket, a Buddhist temple believed to be the oldest still standing in Vientiane. You'll also see Victory Gate (Patuxai), otherwise known as the 'Vertical Runway' (as the US funds that were used to construct it were actually meant for airport upgrades). Climb up to the seventh storey for a nice view over Vientiane. Also stop in at COPE, an Intrepid Foundation-sponsored organisation that rehabilitates children who have been injured by unexploded ordnance. This is an excellent cause and a chance to learn more about Laos' devastating war history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Victory Gate (Patuxai)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make the journey by public bus to Vang Vieng (approximately 3.5 hours). En route, take in scenes of small village life at various points along the hilly highway. When you arrive, you'll be greeted by stunning limestone karst scenery. These surrounding landscapes are the reason this town is known for its outdoor adventure culture. There are many fascinating caves to explore, some of which you can go swimming in. The classic Vang Vieng activity is to float down the lovely Nam Song on an old inflatable tractor tube. Hiking and cycling are all great ways to see the surrounding country.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Set out on a bicycle today for an adventure further afield (around 15 kilometres). Along the way you'll stop in at a Khmu or Hmong village. The Khmu and Hmong are some of the most populous ethnic peoples in Laos and the majority of them live in the north of the country.

Between May and January we head east out of the city for around 7 kilometres, then take a short trek (approximately 20 minutes) to the breathtaking Keng Yui waterfall. This is a great chance to relax and cool off with a refreshing swim.

Between February and April, or if it’s too wet, we will take an alternative route. Ride for around 7 kilometres to the west of the city, across the river with stops in a local village and at Tham Chang Cave.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vang Vieng - Cycling tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you will journey by private bus, winding your way through the beautiful mountains to Luang Prabang (approximately 8 hours). The scenery is especially amazing on this leg of the journey – a reward for enduring the windy roads! When you arrive, stretch your legs and take a walk to acquaint yourself with this exotic city. It's located at the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers. Luang Prabang's French colonial architecture, ornate Buddhist temples, unique markets and riverside ambience make for quite a combination. It's easy to get around on foot or by bicycle, which are cheap to hire.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a guided tour around the Traditional Art & Ethnology Centre, a local non-profit museum dedicated to preserving Laos' many ethnic tribal cultures. You will also head out of town to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls, where pale turquoise waters cascade over limestone formations. The lovely pool at the base of the falls is perfect for an afternoon swim. For those who are more active, it is possible to leave early and trek to the waterfall (there will be an additional cost for the transport, village fee and local guide). If the timing's right, you might catch feeding time at the Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Centre. The centre has been set up to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of Asiatic bears who have been rescued from trafficking.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre
Optional Activities
  • Luang Prabang - Mt Phousi entry fee - USD2
  • Luang Prabang - Pak Ou Caves - USD2
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
There are no activities planned for today, and you are free to depart the accommodation any time this morning.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Public bus, Plane, Tuk-Tuk, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Guesthouse (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Siem Reap - One day Angkor ticket
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
  • Vientiane - Wat Sri Saket
  • Vientiane - COPE visit
  • Vientiane - Victory Gate (Patuxai)
  • Vang Vieng - Cycling tour
  • Luang Prabang - Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • Luang Prabang - Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. Please note the single supplement excludes day 4 (homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation.
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.
3. This trip includes a flight. Checked luggage allowance is a maximum 20kg, with up to 7kg carry on luggage. Any excess luggage charges will need to be paid directly to the airline at check-in.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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