Land of Laobodia Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GTLC
Trip valid from : 16/01/2014
Trip valid until : 31/12/2015
Trip length : 17
Trip starts in : Bangkok
Trip ends in : Siem Reap
Maximum group size : maximum 16

highlights

  • Angkor Thom's stone-carved human faces
  • Bangkok's Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha
  • Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Phnom Penh
  • Explore Buddhist temples in Laos
  • Mekong slow boat cruise
  • Huay Xai - old Yunnanese caravan disembarkation point
  • Phnom Penh's history
  • Kuang Si Waterfalls
  • The Buddha images of Tam Ting Cave
  • Tuol Sleng Prison Museum
  • The monks of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Luang Prabang
  • Vang Vieng's river
  • The ethnic tribes of Pakbeng
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Wat
  • Vientiane

Time for a game of ‘Spot the best Chinglish menu item’. Look out for: Braised dork, Upland forest trees pork ribs author, Bean salad with disabilities, Pork with fresh garbage, Slippery pig red paper fish chives**yes these are actual menu items we’ve seen 

itin

Day
1-2

Bangkok - overnight train

If you want to be formal you can refer to Bangkok by its traditional name: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. We're sure nobody will mind if you want to keep things casual.Day 1Arrive in Bangkok and get to grips with this awesome cityDay 2Visit some of Bangkok’s most famous sights, including the Grand Palace and Emerald BuddhaEnjoy the rest of the day to further explore the cityShop for bargains, eat in exotic restaurants and perhaps hit some bars or nightclubsCatch overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai

Day
3

Chiang Mai

Test your haggling skills at the Night Bazaar and see who can buy the cheapest DVD. Loser buys the khao soi.Spend a free day exploring the northern city of Chiang Mai, with over 120 temples in the centre aloneSet off on an excursion to the top of Doi Suthep, with fantastic views over the cityPerhaps get a traditional Thai massage or even partake in a cooking classWhy not visit the Night Bazaar a great chance to practice those bargaining skills

Day
4-5

Huay Xai - Mekong River - Pakbeng

Cruise the Mekong on a slow boat, from one sleepy village to the next. You can’t miss the colourfully dressed Hmong hill women who come down from the mountains each day.Day 4Take a small boat across the Mekong River to Huay Xai, the first stop in LaosEnjoy time to wander around this small place and perhaps ascend the Naga stairs to Wat Jom Khao ManilatPerhaps visit a nearby minority village, where they make rice whiskey, noodles and handicraftsDay 5Board a slow boat for a trip down the Mekong RiverArrive in the late afternoon at Pakbeng; a colourful village situated at the junction of the Mekong River and the smaller Beng River

Day
6-8

Luang Prabang

Sounds like the name of an Italian fashion designer. In fact, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for temples and caves.Continue on the private slow boat, stopping to stretch your legs and explore the Pak Ou Caves, which contain hundreds of Buddha statuesArrive in Luang Prabang in the evening and wander the streets of ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’Trek to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls

Day
9-11

Vang Vieng - Vientiane

Wow, two villages starting with 'V'. Lots of free time to explore caves, kayak on the Nam Song River or just wander aimlessly.Days 9-10Transfer to a local fan cooled bus and head toward the village of Vang Vieng, located on a bend in the Nam Song RiverCross the river to explore the huge caves that line the West BankEnjoy plenty of time to make your own discoveries or partake in an optional kayaking day trip along the Nam SongDay 11Continue to the Lao capital, located on the banks of the Mekong RiverArrive in Vientiane and explore this small and laid-back capital on bicycle or on footSet off on a walking orientation tour takes you to the oldest remaining temple in Vientiane, Wat Si SaketDuring free time, further explore Vientiane’s other historical sites, including Haw Pha Kaew

Day
12-13

Phnom Penh

Heaps to do here: Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Prison, Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Wat Phnom. Toast the end of your trip with a cocktail at the Foreign Correspondents' Club.Take a cyclo sightseeing tour of Phnom PenhJoin a bus to visit the Royal Palace and reminders of the Khmer Rouge atrocities - the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide MuseumVisit the Central Market, located in an old French colonial building - a good place to look for clothing or sarongsEnjoy the rest of the day exploring Phnom Penh cityPerhaps stop by the temple of Wat Phnom, the National Museum and the French QuarterEnjoy a home-cooked meal in a family's home

Day
14-17

Siem Reap - Angkor

Clear some space on your memory card, because everything at Angkor is photo-worthy. Our picks are the faces of Bayon and meeting the monks at Angkor Wat.Day 14Travel by public bus to Siem Reap. Walk around town on an orientation of Siem Reap and enjoy some local snacksDay 15Take an informative day-long tour of the Angkor complex, visiting the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and, of course, Angkor WatDay 16Optional visit to the rose-coloured Banteay Srei TemplePerhaps visit Banteay Srei, located about 30 kilometres north of Siem Reap - considered to be the best preserved of all of Cambodia’s templesOptional trip with into the countryside to discover facets of rural life with a local site guideOptional boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, passing floating fishing villagesOptional flight of the gibbon zip line adventureKick back in Siem Reap and just wander around the town, visiting its market, shops and restaurantsDay 17The tour ends today after breakfast

itin-variation

While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.

trip-grade

RAW

Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Basic

Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures

included

  • Expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour.
  • Guided day tour of the Angkor complex including the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat.
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Bangkok, Vientiane and Phnom Penh.
  • Slow boat trip down the Mekong River with a night in a simple hostel in Pakbeng and a visit to the Buddha statues at Pak Ou Caves.
  • Trek to Kuang Si Falls and exploration of Vang Vieng caves.
  • Dinner at a local family's home in Cambodia.
  • Free time to explore Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Huay Xai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
  • Local flight from Vientiane to Phnom Penh.
  • Overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.

not-included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

meals

4 breakfasts, 1 dinner

single-room-sup

Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.

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