Laos

Thailand, Laos & Cambodia

If you’re keen to tick off some of South East Asia’s highlights within a two-week holiday, our Thailand, Laos & Cambodia trip is ideal. Starting in Bangkok and finishing in Siem Reap (in Cambodia), you will have time to explore Thailand’s capital as well as taking a bike ride through the countryside in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. Crossing into Laos you will take the slow boat down the Mekong to the picturesque riverside town of Luang Prabang. Finish up with a visit to the extraordinary Angkor Temples and enjoy some R and R by the pool.

Highlights

  Explore lively Bangkok
  Bike ride in Chiang Rai
  Slow boat down the Mekong
  Night markets in Luang Prabang
  Spend the day with elephants
  Explore the Angkor Temples

15 days from £2,000 pp

Plus international flights from £850

A two-week holiday combining Laos with Thailand and Cambodia usually starts from £8,000 plus flights, for a family of four, depending on type of accommodation.

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Thailand, Laos & Cambodia day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Bangkok
When you arrive in Bangkok you will be met at the airport by a Stubborn Mule representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax.


Day 2 Bangkok
A full day to explore Bangkok with a guide, by tuk tuk and boat. First stop is the impressive Grand Palace, where an English governess once tutored a young prince and may have influenced his powerful father (remember the film?!). Pay your respects at the elaborate Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Kaew, the most revered shrine in the Kingdom. You will also visit Wat Pho and if you are feeling a little creaky after the long flight, perhaps enjoy a massage one of Bangkok’s registered Thai massage practitioners who are headquartered here.

After lunch at a local restaurant take a water taxi across the river to visit Wat Arun and from here board a ‘longtail boat’, essentially a long wooden boat with an outboard engine. Spend the afternoon navigating the maze of waterways and canals of this more hidden part of Bangkok, a far cry from the hectic centre.


Day 3 Bangkok
There are lots of options today. If this is a Saturday or Sunday, we could arrange a visit to the famous Chatuchak weekend market, an incredible array of stalls where the children can hone their haggling skills whilst browsing for souvenirs and fake designer goods.

Alternatively families with older children might like to take an afternoon bike tour, exploring Chinatown’s narrow alleyways, markets, and backstreets. You’ll pass by shophouses selling everything from Buddhist amulets to recycled truck engines and locals worshiping at hidden temples. Families with younger children might alternatively like to indulge the kids with a day at the Siam Waterpark.


Day 4 Bangkok – Chiang Rai
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Chiang Rai.

The afternoon is free for you to relax by the pool at your hotel. In the late afternoon perhaps head to Chiang Rai’s famous night market and flit from stall to stall sampling local delicacies.


Day 5 Chiang Rai
Today take a short trip in a pick-up truck into the countryside for a bike ride. Your route follows quiet roads through small villages and through rice fields, fruit orchards and rubber plantations, following the Lao River downstream. This is a lovely ride which offers a glimpse of rural Thailand. Along the way you will also stop at the amazing White Temple (Wat Rong Khun).

We can arrange an alternative activity for families with younger children.

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Day 6 Chiang Rai – Pakbeng
Start early this morning for a transfer to the Laos border. After crossing into Laos you will board a small traditional boat to start cruising down the Mekong. The views along the way are beautiful as you pass through picturesque scenery of rolling hills, paddy fields and small villages.

You will spend the night in a small lodge near the banks of the Mekong. Perhaps take a walk through a nearby village this afternoon.


Day 7 Pakbeng – Luang Prabang
Continue either by boat or by vehicle to Luang Prabang, stopping en route at Pak Ou caves with its thousands of Buddha images.

In the evening perhaps visit the lively night market that stretches along the main street of Luang Prabang.


Day 8 Luang Prabang
Today you will enjoy a city tour of Luang Prabang, one of South East Asia’s loveliest cities and the ancient capital of Laos. Visit the Royal Palace Museum, which gives a great overview of local history and is also home to a number of beautiful temples. From here take a quiet walk through the back streets to a beautiful heritage house where you can stop for an iced tea in the gardens. Later visit two of Luang Prabang’s most beautiful temples before returning to your hotel for some time to relax.

In the late afternoon your guide will meet you again for a walking tour of the town as dusk settles. The children will enjoy challenging the guide to a game of ‘petanque’ (boules), which is very popular amongst the locals.


Day 9 Luang Prabang
After breakfast, head to an elephant sanctuary in the countryside outside Luang Prabang. You will spend the morning here learning about the elephants and spending time helping to bathe them in the river. This is always an absolute highlight for the children, as is the chance to then walk with the elephants through the rice paddies and creeks.

After a delicious local lunch, return to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon. This evening perhaps take a wander along the riverfront and stop for dinner in one of the many restaurants overlooking the water.


Day 10 Luang Prabang
Great fun this morning, as you make your way into the countryside to a community run enterprise where the villagers will show you in a very hands on manner how rice is grown. Depending on the time of year, you may find yourselves knee deep in mud, ploughing the paddy fields with the village water buffalo!

Later continue to beautiful Kuang Si waterfalls where you will enjoy a picnic lunch and can cool off with a refreshing swim in the turquoise pool or walk along the forest trails.


Day 11 Luang Prabang – Siem Reap
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for a flight to Siem Reap in Cambodia.

Siem Reap is the gateway city to the extraordinary Temples of Angkor. There are hundreds of different temples, each of which is in a different stage of preservation. Some are immaculately restored (at least in parts) whilst others are still very much part of the jungle, with tree roots growing through the walls. Your guide will take you to the temples this afternoon for a sunset visit.


Day 12 Siem Reap
A full day to explore the Angkor Temples by bike or tuk tuk with a guide. You will start at the magnificent ‘South Gate’ of Angkor Thom, famed for the colossal human faces carved from stone and flanking the route. From here you will see all of the main temples including Bayon, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace and Angkor Wat itself. Although there is masses to see, you can take the day at your own pace and when the children have had enough, you can head back to the hotel pool.


Day 13 Siem Reap
One further day to explore the Angkor Temple by yourselves. Make sure that you visit Ta Prohm, one of the most picturesque temples, covered in sprawling tree roots and lianas.

When you have had your fill of temple-hopping, Siem Reap is a very pleasant town with fantastic restaurants and shops as well as foot massage parlours where you can dip your weary feet in a fish tank and tiny fish will nibble off the dead skin!

There are plenty of other activities that we can include if of interest, such as cookery classes, ziplines through the jungle, quad bikes and so on. These can either be arranged in advance or you could arrange them locally on arrival.

In the evening perhaps visit the local circus, where performers will give a demonstration of traditional Khmer acrobatic and dance skills.


Day 14 Siem Reap
This morning visit a stilt village built over the vast waters of Tonle Sap. This huge   freshwater lake is home to traditional fishing communities. It is a world heritage site and is best explored by a small wooden boat, which enables you to sail amongst the stilt houses and through the flooded mangrove forest.

Later head to Beng Melea Temple, an enormous ruin the size of Angkor Wat but still completely part of the jungle. This is real Indiana Jones stuff and you will follow wooden walkways over giant lianas that grow through the temple walls, and through thick undergrowth to dilapidated carvings.


Day 15 Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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