Two weeks to take on Thailand, Laos and Cambodia - lucky you! An artwork of relaxation, culture, culinary delights and life changing experiences, this trip is an eye opener and a heart pounder. See Buddhist temples, visit night markets & use enough modes of transport to keep things well above interesting.
Welcome to Bangkok fellow globe roamers, where glorious days of Asia exploration lie ahead of us. After checking into ourhotel you may wish to do some DIY exploring, grab a massage or just lie by the pool soaking up those sweet Thai rays. Later the group will join forces to hear what's in store for the trip, then the night is yours. Maybe take to the streets for some authentic pad thai and eye-popping nightlife, or jump in a tuk-tuk and hit the buzzy Patpong Night Market, with its neon lights and vibrant street life. It's not called the Asian Adventure for nothing!
We'll start the day early, with so much to see there's no time to waste. We'll take a Locally Guided tour of Wat Arun temples, sitting by the side of the Chao Phraya River. The temple is one of the symbols of Thailand, with its golden temples gleaming in the sunshine giving us a peep into Thailand's Royal past. We'll follow this up with a tour of the klongs (canals) and some fish feeding, as well as watching locals go about their day and living life along the river. Just listing today's sites gives us the butterflies, and we'll take it all in with our Local Guide leading the charge. Armed with more Local knowledge than we know what to do with, get ready for ME Time. From shopping, grabbing a massage to indulding in delicious local eats, this afternoon is gearing up to be brilliant. Bangkok, you've been a dream, but the show must go on! Fast becoming a must-visit in this part of the world, we make tracks to our next destination, the sleepy town of Kanchanaburi to really get local. We jump straight into the way of life here, visiting sites including learning about the darker times past at the WWII Cemetery and the famed Bridge on the River Kwai, with our guide giving us all the info we need on this riverside spot steeped in history. There's nothing like getting some local transport to keep things intersting, so we'll pop into a boat along the River Kwai where we'll reach our home for the night, the The Jungle Raft Hotel, Kanchanaburi. Rooms lit by candle light are what you'll be greeted with, followed by a delicious included dinner of local specialties at dusk. You can even jump in the river directly from your room. Amazing! Because of course here at Contiki we like to keep things a bit special. Tonight as we watch the sunset over the landscape we'll no doubt be toasting our first full day on the trip and contemplating just how good life is.
We’ll start our day with a visit to the breathtaking Erawan Falls, one of the most famous National Parks of Thailand, made up from seven levels of stunning waterfalls. Take a quick dip in the emerald green ponds, dive into the clear waters & get that FOMO Insta shot before we head off to our next stop Ayutthaya. We’ll make a stop in the UNESCO listed city of Ayutthaya, once the capital of Kingdom of Siam before being destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th Century. We’ll grab bikes & cycle past luscious rice paddies, colourful temples & quaint villages. Ride past ornate temples, towering spires, and beautiful palaces. Later, we board our overnight train to Chiang Mai.
Fuel up on breakfast this morning as we'll be heading out for our included bike tour of Ayutthaya with the crew. We love getting up on two wheels, and you'll soon realise why it's one of our favourite ways to get around. Cycling past pretty villages, rice paddies and temples, you'll see there's no better way of exploring this UNESCO listed city and its surrounds, which was once the capital of the Kingdom of Siam. The city ruins now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, with the tall towers (prangs) standing as beautiful ruins that dot the landscapes, giving a glimpse into the glorious past of this once thriving metropolis. After freshening up at the hotel and perhaps a little more exploring, it's all aboard the overnight train to Chiang Mai, where tomorrow will be a full day of exploring.
Good morning travellers. We pull into Thailand's northern capital bright and early, and the city is yours to make the most of YOU style - maybe that means roaming the old quarter or the city's heart on foot, maybe it means little more than a Thai massage or lazing back by the hotel pool. Tonight, why not explore the buzzy night markets that make Chiang Mai so legendary, just ask your Trip Manager for some tips on where to head and what to do.
After some city vibes, it's time to get a little bit rural. A solid dose of culture is approaching our horizons, so a scenic drive through lush rolling hills and local towns is just what we need. Rolling into Pai (pronounced 'bye') this morning, prepare to be wowed by this picturesque mountain town. The rest of the day is yours to explore the town your way. Head out on foot, or even by bike and explore this traveller paradise with it's little streets that pack some punch, no doubt stopping for some freshly squeezed juices and coconut shakes to keep things fresh. This afternoon, why not pick up some Muay Thai skills from an expert, then head out to experience Pai by night - a quintessential traveller's experience to rival that of its big sister Khao San Road in Bangkok.
Pai, it's been real, but we've got more to see and do, and new lands to uncover. Chiang Mai It’s back to Chiang Mai today, because 1 day in this city is just never enough. Tonight, dabbling in the art of Thai cooking will be one activity that most of us can't resist. Cooking Class.
It's goodbye Thailand, and with Laos on the cards today spirits will be at an all time high. After our included flight, we'll arrive late afternoon, timed perfectly to watch the sunset at a riverside bar, and contemplate just how good life is.
This morning early risers will be rewarded with Buddhist rituals kissed by the sun's morning rays. Later we'll get things a little more active with a bike tour around the alluring city that pops in to the TreadRight supported Ock Pop Tock Centre for Artisans will complete your morning. Later, then a swim under the 60-metre cascades of Kuang Si Falls could provide your daily nature fix, but most of the day is yours to visit palaces & temples & watch local life by the river, or choose to explore any way that suits.
This morning we take an overland journey to a lively tourist hub filled with opportunities for adventure. It makes leaving the charming town of Luang Prabang a little easier. Known for its dramatic limestone karsts & world food flair, Vang Vieng will keep you busy for the next two nights. Explore the local rivers and caves or sit in a pizza joint surrounded by like minded travellers, watching the sun set over the mountains.
Today is yours to conquer Vang Vieng. Stuck for ideas? Grab a pushbike and allow yourself to get a little lost, stopping at swimming holes and weaving through limestone caves, watching life unfold in the pretty countryside of Laos. For those keen to keep things active, you could head to some local caves for some kayaking and exploring another side of Vang Vieng. After all that exercise, a Chang or two will be on the cards, so tonight, ask your Trip Manager for the best place to head for a sunset beverage, this riverside setting is the stuff dreams are made of, and tonight will be a night to never forget.
Today you should wake up feeling satisfied with your Vang Vieng explorations, and ready to peel back the layers of another Laos hotspot. Vientiane Welcome to the capital of Vientiane. If you’re expecting a bustling Asian capital, prepare to be surprised; the vibe in this quaint Mekong town is strictly chilled and as the French inspired capital, it's a perfect place to explore. View the city's very own 'Arc de Triomphe' and take in the city sights. Apart from seeing the beauty of Pha That Luang stupa & the artistic talent of Patuxai, we’ll use our time here to visit the COPE centre, a local charity that provide prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation services to those who have lost their limbs as a result of unexploded land mines. Our visit here will also provide an insight into Laos’ troubled history, and is a great chance for us to lend a helping hand to the Laotian community.
Vientaine This morning we cross the border sky high, flying out of Laos as we make for the capital of Cambodia. Phnom Penh Although it's easy to find reminders of Cambodia's dark past in the city of Phnom Penh, it is also a place brightened by shy smiles and pretty tree-lined streets. We'll learn about the horrific Khmer Rouge rule by visiting the mass graves of the ‘Killing Fields’ & the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum with our Local Guide. With knowledge in hand, we'll lighten the mood by paying a visit to the Tree Alliance restaurant, where disadvantaged and former street children are trained up in hospitality skills. And wow, do they do it well; their frozen shakes and mouth-watering menu never fail to impress. Later tonight, the night is yours to explore as you please.
Phnom Penh Another included flight takes us out of Cambodia's capital this morning, landing us in the heartland of an ancient masterpiece and what is still the largest religious monument in the world. - Included flight to Siem Reap Siem Reap You could relax poolside this afternoon, before seeing what's going on by night! There are plenty of things you could spice up your night with, like local night markets though probably best to reserve your energy for our early morning visit to an Eighth Wonder of the World and something we know you've all been waiting for.
Prepare to be moved to the core this morning as we journey to Angkor Wat through dawn's hours in preparation for sunrise. Nothing can quite describe the feeling of watching the day's first rays touch this ancient spiritual site, it's pretty much magic. After a siesta and pool hangs to break up the day back at our hotel, we journey back to the temples to explore Angkor Thom and the Tomb Raider temple of Ta Prohm, which is slowly being swallowed by the jungle. With no early rise on tomorrow's agenda, we can let loose on the city's famous Pub Street and the buzzing local night markets.
We came, we saw, we did it all! After one final delicious Asian breakfast together it's finally time to say goodbye (sob). Team, it's been epic.
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Trip Name: Asian Adventure (Until Mar 2018)
Duration: 16 Days
From Price: $2,035
Supplier Tour ID: ASADD/163503
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