(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.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
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.
During this tour you will visit 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. It is considered by many to be a living example of classical Siamese Court, being the former residence of the kings of Thailand. Wat Po 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 subjects such as literature, warfare, archaeology, astronomy, geology, and 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 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 Wat Arun - the “Temple of Dawn”. 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 will find a vast selection of flowers, especially orchids and tropical flowers and see how the merchants create very special flower garlands.
Photography is permitted in the Royal Palace Grounds and in the compounds of the Emerald Buddha Temple, but not inside the buildings. Please dress respectfully (no bare shoulders, knees or strapless-heel shoes) when visiting the Grand Palace and temple complex. Shoes must be removed before entering the temple buildings as a matter of respect. The Palace may be closed without prior notice during Royal ceremonies and officials or head of state visit.
Fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
The 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.
This morning’s tour will 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 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 monk’s 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 seeing the monks pray in the early morning.
This amazing sightseeing tour takes you 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. The highlight of this tour includes 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; 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 all of Chiang Mai.
The two ancient cities of Lampang and Lamphun are located in the southern Chiang Mai region. They offer a different experience for visitors 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. It was founded in 1993 under Royal Patronage, and 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, Laos via Bangkok.
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 from Luang Prabang 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 from Siem Reap to Bangkok, Thailand.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
Denise Abadi ,
June 21, 2013
"We have just returned from our trip to Malaysia and wanted you to know how much we enjoyed the itinerary you put together for us. Our guides were personable and very knowledgeable about the various places we visited. We were amazed by the sights, sounds and friendliness of the people we encountered. Needless to say, it was a most memorable trip and one of the
highlights of our traveling careers!
July 11, 2013
"Sunita, my wife and I had a wonderful time in China. The hotels were superb. Our guides were excellent. They spoke good English, were knowledgeable, and flexible. It was a wonderful trip. We particularly enjoyed the Yangtze River cruise. We will certainly consider your firm for international travel in the future."
Debbie Selden ,
June 14, 2013
"We had a great time and our guide in Bejing was fantastic! Thanks much for all your help."
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