Sunday 4th of October 2020 until Saturday 27th of March 2021
Stories of Southeast Asia - 11 Days / 10 Nights - from $3299* per person (with Back-Roads Touring).
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.
Our Southeast Asian discovery will begin amidst the hustle and bustle of Thailand’s capital: Bangkok. After meeting our airport transfer and checking into our boutique accommodation in the heart of Bangkok, we’ll meet the group for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
After a leisurely morning at the hotel, we’ll kick things off with an afternoon long-tailed boat journey along Bangkok’s scenic khlongs. We’ll stop in at Khlong Bang Luang Artist Village before continuing down the Chao Phraya River to visit the magnificent temple of Wat Arun. Later, we’ll enjoy a thrilling tuk-tuk ride through the city’s lively streets - stopping along the way to visit bustling night markets, and sample local delicacies. Finally, we’ll take some time to explore one of Bangkok’s most famous landmarks: Wat Pho, which will be beautifully illuminated after dark.
After one more breakfast at our hotel in Bangkok, we’ll make tracks to Chiang Rai - where we’ll check into our authentic accommodation and drop off our bags. And then? The afternoon will be yours. Tonight, we’ll regroup for a delicious dinner overlooking the peaceful Mae Kok River.
This morning we’ll 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. We’ll enjoy lunch on the riverbank before learning about the region’s 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.
After bidding farewell to Chiang Khong, we’ll board a traditional river boat for an awe-inspiring cruise through the mighty Mekong Delta. We’ll soak up the peaceful atmosphere as we cruise the Mekong’s languid waters - taking in mile after mile of stunning scenery as we make our way to Pak Beng. Before lunch, we’ll 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.
We’ll 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, we’ll 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, we’ll 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 that’s famous for housing an incredible 2,500 Buddhist statues! Then: after a busy day, we’ll conclude our cruise in Luang Prabang, the former royal capital of Laos.
We’ll 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, we’ll learn of the regional importance of bamboo - and try our hands at weaving a Lue-style dream catcher. Then: We’ll 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. We’ll 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.
After one final breakfast in Laos, we’ll make tracks for the airport and continue to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, we’ll gather for an included dinner at our authentic resort-style hotel set amongst lush tropical gardens.
Today, we’ll go behind the scenes at Angkor Wat with one the site’s lead conservation experts - learning the little-known secrets behind how these spectacular religious structures were designed and carved as we go. We’ll 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 we’ll 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, we’ll have the chance to savour a cocktail or two.
Small fishing villages, mangrove forests and Khmer communities are on the agenda today. This morning, we’ll take a drive to the edge of Tonlé 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 lake’s mangrove forests, be sure to keep an eye out for a variety of birds and wildlife - especially crab-eating macaques! Next, we’ll 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: we’ll take a guided tour of the small village of Chansar before participating in fishing, farming or animal husbandry activities with the local residents. We’ll round off our day with a stop at a Buddhist temple - where we might even receive a blessing from the monks.
After breakfast, we’ll conclude our journey and say our goodbyes.
Departs: Selected departures from 04 Oct 20 to 27 Mar 21.
Conditions: * It is our policy to present the cost of our flights & holidays inclusive of all airport and government charges. Please accept however that these charges are not within our control, therefore we reserve the right to pass on any increase. Travel agent professional service fees where charged, will be additional to the advertised prices.