Tour Phnom Penh & learn more about the astonishing history of Cambodia
Explore rural Cambodia and life on Tonl Sap Lake
Discover breathtaking temples
Experience the natural charm of Laos
Immerse yourself in Laotian tradition and ritual
|Tour Provider||Bunnik Tours|
|Number of Days||
1 to 20
|07 Apr 2018||19 Apr 2018||Guaranteed Departure||AUD $4,385|
Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Welcome to Cambodia and its capital, Phnom Penh, on the banks of the Tonl Sap and Mekong Rivers. This beautiful city was once known as the 'Pearl of Asia'. Despite being tarnished by war, the city still boasts great charm by way of its traditional architecture and glistening spires of its palaces and temples. As well, its history is simply captivating. The rest of the day is free for you to enjoy at leisure.
Special Experience: Today we explore bustling Phnom Penh by cyclo as we travel along the scenic Tonl Sap River and take in the chaos and energy of this fascinating city. Tour highlights include the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, home to a comprehensive collection of Khmer art.
Tonight we'll enjoy a group welcome dinner. [B,D]
Today we visit the poignant Killing Fields, a stark reminder of the Pol Pot regime. We visit Tuol Sleng, the former high school and site of the notorious Security Prison 21, converted by the Khmer Rouge during their rise to power where an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned. This visit is very moving and can also be quite confronting for some as it has now become the Cambodia Genocide Museum. [B]
We fly to Siem Reap, home to the amazing UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world and the national symbol of Cambodia. The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat impresses visitors both with its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. We enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls runs the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. This afternoon we explore the site before witnessing an incredible sunset from the upper terraces. [B,D]
Special Experience: Tonight we'll travel by tuk tuk to the New Hope restaurant for dinner. This restaurant was established with the aim of teaching unemployed and uneducated Khmers valuable cooking and hospitality skills. All proceeds from our meal tonight will go directly towards funding the New Hope School Education Programme.
Special Experience: Today we take part in a cooking class in rural Cambodia. We meet a local family in the countryside and learn about their food customs and beliefs, explore their garden and see the typical ingredients of local home cooking.
Later we'll cruise Tonl Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. During the monsoon season the lake swells to four times its normal size, so it is important for the locals that live on the banks and surrounds to build their houses on stilts. We'll observe life on the lake and see the colourful floating villages. [B,L]
Our day is spent in Angkor, visiting the ancient fortified city of Angkor Thom and Ta Keo, built by Jayavarman V who ruled from 968 to 1001. We'll also see the amazing ruins of Ta Prohm, the temple of Preah Khan and the Buddhist temple of Banteay Kdei. Our sightseeing concludes at Banteay Srei, considered to be the jewel of Khmer art. Tonight we'll enjoy a group dinner to farewell Cambodia. [B,D]
We fly to Luang Prabang, the former capital of the Kingdom of Laos. Largely undiscovered by westerners, Laos has survived many occupations and is still shrouded in mystery. The town of Luang Prabang is enchanting, filled with historic temples and colonial style buildings. In 1995 the entire town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. [B]
Early this morning we watch the silent ritual of Tak Bat, the giving of alms to the monks. The monks make their way from the local monasteries, walking one by one with the oldest at the front of the line, carrying their alms bowls around their necks. We'll then take a city sightseeing tour, including the temple of Wat Visoun, the temple-lined Main Street, and the National Museum, housed in the former Royal Palace. [B,D]
Special Experience: This evening we join the locals to experience the tastes and traditions of Laos during a game of p tanque and a typical Laotian dinner.
We travel to beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls, multi-tiered falls that tumble over limestone formations into turquoise pools. Enjoy some time at leisure to swim or explore the lush environment before we visit some local villages known for their traditional hand-woven cottons and silks. We'll end the day with a late-afternoon cruise along the Mekong to enjoy the sunset. [B]
We fly to Vientiane, the charming French colonial capital of Laos, characterised by its wide, tree-lined boulevards and glimmering golden temples and monuments. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. [B]
Today we'll explore the city. Highlights of our tour include the golden stupa of Pha That Luang, the former royal temple of Ho Pha Keo, and the Patuxai arch, a monumental arch inspired by the French Arc de Triomphe. The afternoon is at leisure before our group farewell dinner tonight. [B,L,D]
Note: For departures prior to 15 April 2017, today is free to explore at leisure and the city tour is Day-10.
Today we begin our journey home. [B]