Thailand, Laos and Cambodia Multi – Country Itinerary

13 Days 12 Nights

Itinerary Overview

This is a 12 – night itinerary that covers three countries allowing a great introduction for seeing the sites, meeting people, enjoying a cook demo, visiting markets and being immersed into the culture.

Day 1 Arrive Bangkok

After going through immigration, meet your guide and transfer to your hotel.

VIP Fast Track is an option you may want to consider to avoid long lines at immigration.

Hotel: The Siam Bangkok Hotel
Day 2 Bangkok

Start the day with a visit to Wat Pho to listen to the morning chants of the monks. Afterwards explore the temple’s complex with its colossal Reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings.

Take a ride on a tuk – tuk around Sanam Luang to visit the Grand Palace, one of the most beautiful samples of an ancient Siamese court. It used to be the residence of the Kings of Thailand. Here you will see palaces which were used for different occasions: The Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House and the beautiful Emerald BuddhaTemple.

Lunch is at a local riverside restaurant

Continue by long-tail boat to explore Thonburi, the western part of Bangkok, situated on the side of the Chao Phya River. Its many canals had originally given Bangkok the name “Venice of the East.” Passing by boat along the canals gives you a first – hand impression of the scenic life along Bangkok’s waterways. Also visit the Royal Barges and the Temple of Dawn.

Hotel: The Siam Bangkok Hotel
Day 3 Bangkok

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Visit the center of Bangkok around the Royal Grand Palace. You will be brought back about 220 years to Bangkok during the reign of King Rama IV where the first road was cut. Drive and walk through the 3 roads: Charoen Krung, Bamrungmuang and Fueng Nakorn. This area is full of history. First stop is at Wat Sraked (Golden Mt.) for a panoramic view of the old Bangkok city.

Afterwards, continue by tuk – tuk (Samlor) to visit Baan Bart, the original Khmer community and nowadays well-known for the alms-bowl or Baat making. Walk further to visit Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing.

After lunch at a local restaurant, return to the hotel.

Meet your guide at the hotel lobby for an exciting Bangkok by night tour by tuk – tuk. Explore bustling Chinatown, a popular tourist attraction and food haven. Continue the journey to Pakklong Talaad, the biggest wholesale and retail fresh flower market in Bangkok followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

After dinner, continue around the Ratanakosin area with the fantastic views of “The Must-See” attractions in Bangkok: Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, The Golden Mount, Wat Ratchanaddaram, The Democracy Monument, The City Pillar Shrine, The Grand Palace, Wat Pho, National Theater and Santi Chaiprakarn Park.

Hotel: The Siam Bangkok Hotel
Day 4 Bangkok – Chiang Mai

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Transfer to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport for a mid-morning flight to Chiang Mai.

Upon arrival at Chiang Mai Airport, you will meet your guide followed by half day excursion to the most sacred temple of Chiang Mai, Doi Suthep. Perched atop a forested mountain with sweeping views of the city below, this most sacred of Chiang Mai’s temple (3,280 ft.) houses a wealth of Buddha images, murals and Buddhist arts. Climb the 306 step Naga staircase to reach the temple with the opportunity to make a monk blessing before returning to the hotel.

Hotel: Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort
Day 5 Chiang Mai

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Your culinary adventure will not be complete without a cooking course in Chiang Mai. Cook in a friendly environment with lots of fun at Pantawan Cooking School. The cooking course starts with a visit to the local market, an introduction to Thai ingredients and actual cooking. The course has been designed as a half-day course with four mouth-watering northern Thai dishes, i.e. Abb Pla (grilled fish with herbs in banana leaves), Nam Prig Ong (northern style chilli dip with minced pork and cherry tomatoes), Lab Muang Kai (northern Thai spicy chicken salad with herbs) and Khao Soi Gai (Chiang Mai curry noodle with chicken). The lesson has a warm and easy-going atmosphere of Thai hospitality in a beautiful modern wooden house set in a relaxing garden and an organic farm.

After having lunch, return to your hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Hotel: Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort
Day 6 Chiang Mai

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Enjoy a full day visit to Elephant Nature Park, a natural home and sanctuary for elephants, buffalos, dogs, cats, birds and many other rescued animals. Observe elephants bathing, feeding time, healthy lunch, transport and more.

Afterwards, depart the Elephant Nature Park for a city and temples tour in Chaing Mai. Visit Wat Laam Chang, Wat Chiang Man, Wat Phra Singh, Ta Pae Gate, Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phantao. End the day with a visit to Warorod local market.

Hotel: Na Nirand Romantic Boutique Resort
Day 7 Chiang Mai, Thailand – Luang Prabang, Laos

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Transfer to Chiang Mai Airport for the mid – afternoon flight to Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This beautiful city was the royal capital and seat of the government for the Kingdom of Laos until the revolution of 1975. The main part of the city consists of four main roads crisscrossing a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong River.

You will meet a local guide at the airport exit and will be transferred to your hotel. You have the option of VIP services upon arrival to help you through immigration.

This evening after sunset, you will be invited to take part in the Baci ceremony. This is one of the most important ceremonies for Laotian people.

Baci is a specific ceremony in Laos which has been practiced for hundreds of years. The term commonly used is “sou khuan” which means “spirit enhancing or spirit calling”. The ceremony involves the tying of white cotton strings around a person’s wrists and the prayer saying or well-wishing for the person that the ceremony is intended for. The Baci ceremony is held on many different occasions or events throughout the year. It can be held any day of the week though it has to be on a good day in the lunar calendar. These good days are known to elders, senior monks or ex-monks. The ceremony can be held for both sad times and happy times.

Hotel: Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel
Day 8 Luang Prabang - Pak Ou – Luang Prabang

Breakfast is at the hotel.

You will be picked up from your hotel and embark on a traditional boat to cruise upstream on the Mekong River for 2 hours to visit the sacred Buddha caves.

Visit Tham Ting and Tham Phoum caves, both of which are filled with thousands of Buddha images and statues which have been deposited over the centuries by pilgrims.

Lunch is at a local restaurant

After visiting the caves, cruise upstream 10 minutes and arrive at the village of Ban Muang Keo, where you can enjoy a glimpse of the daily life of the villagers. This village is also known for its distilled whisky making and scarf weaving.

On the way back, continue cruising downstream to the town where you will climb Phousi hill’s 300 plus steps for a spectacular view of the city and its surroundings. A small 200-year-old stupa or temple sits atop the summit. Take a walk around the area or shop at the Hmong market.

Hotel: Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel
Day 9 Luang Prabang –- Kuang Si Waterfalls – Luang Prabang

Rise early to observe the solemn morning ritual of monks walking through the streets to collect alms. Tak Bat, or almsgiving, is a must-see experience for travelers to Luang Prabang.

After pick up from your hotel in Luang Prabang, transfer to a street where a single-file line of silent, saffron-clad Buddhist monks walk with their alms bowls each morning. Luang Prabang’s many monastic communities are sustained by the local Buddhists who place sticky rice in the monks’ bowls during the daily ritual. Take the opportunity to make a rice offering with the help of your guide or simply watch in awe as dozens of monks emerge to stroll past laypeople offering flowers and incense in reverence for this sacred observance.

After the monks pass through, visit a market that pops up each morning near Luang Prabang’s main thoroughfare. Brush elbows with the locals buying fruits, vegetables, meat and spices from vendors who display an enticing array of products. If you would like, try regional snacks like dried buffalo skin and rice-flour chips. Return to your hotel.

Alternatively, depart early for a magical dawn journey along the Mekong. Enjoy the breath-taking landscape while witnessing the daily activities along the rivers’ edge as the local people prepare for the days. Arrive at Ban Don Kao and be greeted by your host in her Mekong Riverside property. A short walk will take you to witness the very special daily ritual of locals in Laos, morning Alms giving or ‘Tak Bat’. This is an integral part of the Buddhist traditions in Laos. The giving earning merit, or ‘bun’, towards their next life improves their existence the next time on earth. Enjoy breakfast with your host overlooking the Mekong whilst watching the sun rise before returning by boat to Luang Prabang.

Return to the hotel for breakfast.

Visit the Royal Palace Museum housing the most important treasures of Laos. Built in 1904, this palace museum offers a glimpse into the world of Laotian kings and their families. Continue on foot to Wat Mai with its interior and exterior that are extensively adorned with black and red lacquer decoration and gold leaf. The temple, also known as Wat Mai, meaning “new temple”was founded around 1780 by King Anurat of the Luang Prabang Kingdom. Then, proceed to Wat Xieng Thong, known as the Golden City Temple. This 16th-century complex was built near the meeting of Luang Prabang’s two rivers, at the end of the peninsula. Adorned in ornate colored glass, this temple is considered to be the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang and is important as a religious and national symbol. It was here that Laotian kings were crowned.

Leave the town and drive about 32 km/45 minutes to the spectacular Kuang Si Waterfall.

Lunch is at Carpe Diem restaurant

After your lunch, take a short walk through the forest and pass by the bear sanctuary that focuses on the Sun bears and Asiatic black bears of South-East Asia and the Sloth bears of India and continue to the waterfall. This the biggest waterfall in the Luang Prabang area with three tiers leading to a 50-meter drop into the spectacular azure pools before flowing downstream. The pools also make great natural swimming pools and are very popular for both tourists and locals.

After enjoying your time at the waterfalls, you will be transferred back to Luang Prabang and Will be dropped off at your hotel.

Hotel: Sofitel Luang Prabang Hotel
Day 10 Luang Prabang – Siem Reap

Breakfast is at the hotel.

You will check out from your hotel and be transferred to the airport for your departure flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, you will be welcomed by your guide who will escort you directly to your hotel for check-in. You have the option of fast track services to make immigration easier.

Hotel: Belmond La Residence d’ Angkor Hotel
Day 11 Siem Reap

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Continue on to Ta Promh temple.

Note: The upper level of Bayon temple is closed for renovation. The ground parts remain open as usual. Guests will still be able to visit Bayon Temple at the lower level as well as all the other temples of Angkor as per the program.

After lunch, visit the Floating Village on Tonlé Sap Lake. High level of water is from mid-July to mid-February. Low level of water is from mid-February to mid-July.

Suggested activities for the evening:

After dark foodie tour by Vespa. To enjoy the real Cambodian food scene in Siem Reap, some exploration is needed because it is not easy to find this for short term visitors. We propose you take a special Vespa ride that leads you out of the main tourist areas and into the real Khmer night life.

Visit Angkor Phare, the famous Circus, in the evening. After successful tours around the world, the famous Phare Cambodian Circus with young and talented artists performs in Siem Reap.

Hotel: Belmond La Residence d’ Angkor Hotel
Day 12 Siem Reap

After breakfast, visit Banteay Samre and Banteay Srei temples.

Note: To visit Banteay Srei temple, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees to show their culture respect as this temple is still considered as a sacrificial site for the Khmer people.

On the way back from Banteay Srei temple, stop in a village for a fresh coconut drink and to observe how Cambodian people prepare the sugar palm and do the rice field (depends on season).

Lunch will be served at the Bong Thom homestay project which supports the local community and is located in a small atmospheric countryside village with a beautiful garden, rice fields and vegetable farm.

Afternoon, discover the magnificent Angkor Wat temple.

Note: To visit the Bakan Tower of Angkor Wat temple, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees to show their respect as this temple is still considered a sacrificial site for the Khmer people. Children under twelve years old are restricted not to climb up the tower. The tower will be closed on the Buddhist Sabbath days, the Buddhist religious days and four days a month in accordance with the Lunar Calendar.

Afterwards, enjoy an Angkor Gondola Cruise. Angkor Gondola is a unique Khmer traditional boat service in Siem Reap. Travel the waterway where history, nature and culture come alive. Ideal at sunset to enjoy a cocktail!

Hotel: Belmond La Residence d’ Angkor Hotel
Day 13 Siem Reap - Departure

Breakfast is at the hotel.

Visit Theam’s Gallery, Les Senteurs D’Angkor and the local market.

Theam’s Gallery: Local artist and designer, Lim Muy Theam, has opened up his striking traditional wooden house nestled amongst tropical gardens to showcase his art, products and private collection of objects like antique musical instruments and Buddha statues. Theam is well regarded for his contribution to reviving local arts and crafts and was the creative director of Artisans Angkor aimed solely at achieving this. His work focuses on producing traditional items with a modern twist whether that is lacquerware, paintings or sculptures and is famed for his small colorful elephant ornaments.

“Les Senteurs d’ Angkor” is a community project allowing Cambodian women a steady income to alleviate their family from the cycle of poverty.

Transfer to Siem Reap International airport for your departure flight.