(Bangkok, Chiang Mai)
Float on the serene tides of the mighty Mekong River as the gentle lap of waves play their timeless tune on the hull of your traditional wooden boat.
Think of centuries past as you climb out of your boat and into the striking cliff-face caves of Pak Ou that rise from the river and ponder the many Buddha images that have been left here since the caves were discovered in the early 14th century. The spirituality of this ancient place hangs thick in the humid caves, but this luxury expedition through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia has plenty more to offer. Stand in awe at the dazzling Wat Phra Keo temple and it’ Emerald Buddha in Thailand; tour the ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun that date back as far as A.D. 700; learn to care for elephants at a jungle sanctuary in Chiang Mai; and marvel at the grandeur of Cambodia’s 900-year-old Angkor Wat temple complex from the air.
This five-star tour redefines luxury with a premium accommodation collection that showcases some of the finest hotels in the world. From old-world glamour in the heart of bustling Bangkok to refined elegance on the edge of pristine rainforest, these properties will exceed even your wildest expectations. The focus is also firmly on experience and you’ll engage with the culture of this mysterious corner of the world through one-on-one interaction with monks, local rice wine tasting, traditional massages, jungle treks with elephants, traditional Khmer dance shows, and an incredible helicopter flight over Angkor Wat.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
A private vehicle with English-speaking guide and driver will transfer you between the airport and your hotel. The driving time is roughly 45 minutes.
The Mandarin Oriental was founded in 1876 on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. The hotel is regarded as one of the world’s most luxurious hotels and has accommodated royalty, dignitaries and distinguished travelers for more than a century. The Mandarin offers lavish rooms and suites, exquisite restaurants and bars, and one of the most beautiful spas in the world. It is rich in history and is filled with the stories of celebrated guests who have made this hotel an essential stop on their world travels. Enjoy genuine teak and traditional Thai silks in the elegant rooms with clear views of the River and take advantage of a personal butler that is available at all times to cater to your every need.
A visit to the Royal Grand Palace - the nation’s landmark and most praised royal monument in Thailand, with the enclosed and dazzling Wat Phra Keo with its revered Emerald Buddha, the Golden Chedi, the Pantheon of the Chakri Kings and the Eight Coloured Towers is a must. It is considered by many to be a living example of classical Siamese Court, being the former residence of the kings of Thailand. Wat Pho is also regarded as the first centre of public education and is sometimes called ‘Thailand’s first university’. Mural paintings, inscriptions, and statues found in the temple served to educate people on varied subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, meditation and is considered to be the home of Thai traditional massage. Here, you will enjoy a 30-minute Thai massage as an excellent break after a morning sightseeing. Experience an afternoon trip along the bustling Chao Phya River and the quiet Klongs (canals) in a long tail boat enjoy scenes of life by water. You'll be introduced to a serene, more traditional way of living, away from the high-rise and modern buildings of Bangkok City Centre, as you gently pass Thonburi residential areas. A stop will be made at the “Temple of Dawn” (officially named Wat Arun). Finally, a visit to the Flower and vegetable market will round off the day. Located close to the Chao Phraya River, this part of Bangkok brings you to a rural piece of Bangkok where you'll find a vast selection of all kinds of flowers, especially orchids and tropical flowers and see how the merchants create very special flower garlands. The end of this Bangkok day ends at the Golden Mountain. Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Bangkok Air.
You will be greeted at the airport by an English speaking guide and transferred by private car between the airport and your hotel.
The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is spread over 60 acres of untouched landscape in the beautiful Thai province of Chiang Mai. The hotel is nestled between rice paddies and thick jungle. Each of the suites and villas have been decorated and furnished with distinct Lanna style, making this one of the most desirable hotels in Northern Thailand. Enjoy a variety of marvellous culinary settings inspired by the history of Lanna and cuisine that has gained both an international and highly valued local reputation. Contained within the hotel are facilities for beauty therapy and wellness treatments, as well as a cultural museum detailing the history of the Lanna kingdom. The Dheva Spa is the pinnacle of relaxation, while the Kids’ Club will keep youngsters entertained.
A private vehicle will pick you up from your hotel and take you on one of the most unique experiences in Thailand, a visit to a Buddhist temple to offer alms to the Buddhist monks. Each morning before dawn (pick-up from your hotel is at 06:00 hrs), the monks put on their distinctive saffron robes and quietly pad in their bare feet along the streets, carrying alms bowls and receiving boiled rice and condiments from the citizens of Thailand In return people receive the monks’ blessings. You can participate in this very special Thai custom by personally presenting alms; a brief exploration at the Sri Soda temple may be made as well, religious festivals permitting, including see the monks pray in the early morning.
This amazing sightseeing tour takes guests around the famous city for an up-close and personal look at some of its most notable temples, as well as stops at its old city walls, gates and moat, and the local market and Tapae Gate. Highlight of this trip include Wat Chiang Man, the city’s oldest temple and famed for a Chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresses; Wat Phrasing home of the beautiful Lai Kham chapel with its exquisite woodcarving and northern style murals; Wat Chedi Luang and its enormous Pagoda (which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545); and Wat Suan Dok, which dates back to the 14th century when it served as the pleasure gardens to the Thai monarchy. Nowadays it houses several white Chedi’s, containing the ashes of Chiang Mai’s former Royal family. The last temple also houses one of the most famous Monk Schools in the whole of Chiang Mai.
The two ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun are located in the Chiang Mai region, South of Chiang Mai. They offer a different experience for the visitor and are in total contrast to the beaches and sea resorts of the South. One of the interesting highlights of this tour is a visit to the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC). TECC, founded in 1993 under Royal Patronage, cares for more than 50 Asian elephants in a beautiful forest with a relaxed non-commercial feel. Here you will learn how to care for an elephant and experience a one-hour jungle ride on top one of these majestic beasts. After a delicious local lunch, the tour heads back towards Chiang Mai, stopping at Lamphun. Steeped in a history that dates back to A.D. 700, Lamphun is famous for several ancient and revered temples. Among them is Wat Prathat Hariphunchai, built in A.D. 1044 at the site of the ruins of the Royal Palace, and Wat Jamathevi, named after a 7th century queen and founder of Lampoon. Her ashes are interred in the main stupa of the Wat. The trip concludes with a fascinating ride along the old Lampoon-Chiang Mai Road.
Fly from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang via Bangkok.
Airport transfer with private guide, driver and vehicle.
Take a traditional wooden boat upstream to visit the famous caves of Pak Ou. The caves are perched on the sheer face of the cliff, offering impressive and stunning views of the Mekong and surrounding mountains. Inside the cave, there are more than one hundred Buddha images which have been attracting local people since the early 14th century when the cave was discovered. On the way, a short stop at Ban Xanghai, enjoy the taste of the local rice wine. Distilling rice wine and weaving are important economic activities for the majority of people in the village.
Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang stands upon a UNESCO site in the former royal capital of Laos. Once a Governor’s mansion, a garrison and briefly a jail, the century old structure has been restored to luxury. Today, 23 spacious Suites await, each with a walled rear garden and a terrace overlooking a sun-kissed courtyard; some with their own expansive and very private swimming pools. Hotel de la Paix Luang Prabang is utterly unique; a boutique resort that is a World Heritage treasure, a colonial moment preserved in amber, and a showcase of contemporary design. It’s the jewel in the town that time forgot.
Explore Luang Prabang by minivan. Visit the former royal temples, Wat Visun (where one can see the biggest statue), and Wat Xieng Thong (the most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang with its mosaic decoration and former royal carriage). Visit the Museum (former king’s palace), then climb up Mt Phousi for a beautiful view overlooking the city of Luang Prabang. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, visit Photisak silver shop, and Minority Art Centre, learn to know different types of minority groups in Laos, their ways of living, and their survival.
Fly one way from Luang Prabang, Laos to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Transfer between the airport and your hotel by private vehicle with an English-speaking guide.
Today you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred along with your private guide to visit the Banteay Srey and Banteay Samre temples which are 40 km from the city. Banteay Srey is a 10th century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. The walls are densely covered with some of the most beautiful, deep and intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple. Next visit Banteay Samre. Built around the same time as Angkor Wat its towers and balustrades bear strong resemblance to Angkor and are still in excellent condition today. After the tour concludes you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Heritage Suite Hotel (5*) guests will stay in a sumptuous colonial villa where bamboos, lotuses and white water lilies exhale the perfumes of meditation. This sophisticated boutique retreat is nestled in tropical gardens within what is called the village, a few paces from the peaceful Siem Reap River. Some suites are up to 150 sq. m with private Jacuzzi - bath time is a memorable experience in an oversized bathtub with a view of the gardens. A “temple” of rest in one of the world’s most stunning archaeological sites. The hotel is only 6 kilometers from the renowned Angkor temples and 15 minutes from Siem Reap international airport. It takes a gratifying 4 minutes tuk tuk ride to reach the Old Market, the new fascinating National Museum and lively Pub Street. The architecture, the beautifully spacious suites, the unequalled kindness and efficiency of the staff and its culinary delights make Heritage unique as a luxurious sanctuary.
You will be picked up at the hotel by your tour guide and transferred to the Military Apron, Siem Reap International Airport. This flight will show you the enormous scale of the world-famous heritage site, Angkor Wat. Fly alongside the magnificent Angkor Wat temple and appreciate the spectacular expanse the grand moat encloses. See a completely different perspective of Angkor Wat and marvel at the size and design of a structure built some 900 years ago. A must see for any visitor to Angkor Wat. Afterwards, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Meet your private guide at your hotel and set off for a day of memorable Cambodian sightseeing. Visit the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the Bayon temple complex, as well as Takeo and Ta Prohm temples. Travel from the South Gate of Angkor Thom to Bayon temple by elephant.The walled and moated city of Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. It was built to protect against invaders in the 12th century. The Bayon is a state temple, erected in the center of the city. In the afternoon enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Continue with a visit to Angkor Wat temple complex and watch the sunset from Phnom Bakheng. Afterwards you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Fly one way from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Cambodia for the most up to date visa information.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport and visa are required for both US and Canadian. The Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that visas can be issued upon arrival in Laos to U.S. and Canadian citizens with two passport-size photographs and approximately $35 at designated ports of entry. Foreign tourists are generally admitted to Laos for 30 days. Visas can also be prearranged for a processing fee of approximately US$60 and generally takes 15 working days to process.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Laos for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/laos.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Vientiane. Government: People’s Republic since 1975. Gained independence from France in 1953. Language: The official language is Lao, however, many tribal languages are also spoken. French, Vietnamese and some English are spoken. Religion: The majority of the Lao people are Buddhists. The Laos-Lum (Valley Laos) people follow the Hinayana (Theravada) form of Buddhism. The religions of the Laos-Theung (Laos of the mountain tops) range from traditional Confucianism to animism and Christianity. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Telephone: Country code +856. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with a few international mobile phone companies. Check with your service provider. Coverage is sporadic and mainly, though not exclusively, situated around Vientiane. Internet: Internet cafes are located in the major towns and are becoming increasingly common in places frequented by backpackers.
VISA/PASSPORTU.S. and Canadian citizens staying for fewer than 30 days do not require a visa, but must possess a valid passport and may be asked to show an onward/return ticket.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Thailand for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are not widespread and poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/thailand.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Bangkok. Government: Constitutional monarchy. Language: Thai is the official language. English is widely spoken, especially in establishments catering for tourists. Religion: The vast majority adhere to Buddhism (Theravada form), 5% are Muslim and there are Christian and Hindu minorities. Time: GMT + 7. Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +66. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with many international mobile phone companies. There is good coverage, especially around main towns. Internet: There are plenty of Internet cafes, some even found in remote areas visited by tourists.
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