City or Town : Laos
State : Luang Prabang
Country : Laos
Postcode : +856
Day1 Luang Prabang - Arrival ( Clients own ticket )
Arrive at the LuangPrabang airport . Welcome to the spiritual capital of Laos. Your private car and driver will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for check-in. Luang Prabang is a sleepy town, which has kept its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture, with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. Set in a luminous tropical mountain range and located just 397km from Vientiane, Luang Prabang is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed town, which still retains its original enchanting character. It was also the royal residence of the last king, King Sisavan Vatthana, and is perhaps the best preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia.
You will transfer to Baci ceremonies are an integral part of Lao culture. Held to celebrate a special event, marriage, a homecoming, or a departure, it is based on an ancient belief that the human being is a union of 32 organs and the “kwan” (or soul) watches over each of them. The Baci ceremony re-aligns the Kwan and the body. A village elder will wrap a white cotton thread around your wrist while chanting an invocation to strengthen the power of the blessing. In Laos, white is the color of peace, good fortune and warmth. Enjoy the authentic experience in a unique setting and feel refreshed and enlightened by taking part in this ancient practice. (Approx. 1 hour) . dinner and Overnight in LuangPrabang at Satri house or similar category .
Day2 Luang Prabang City tour ( B/L)
Breakfast at hotel, take a sightseeing tour of the sacred city of temples, of which nearly fifty still remain in the town and surrounding areas. visit the National Museum, the former Royal Palace which houses the collection of valuables including the famous Prabang Buddha statue, gifts received from foreign dignitaries…etc…; Visit Wat Visoun, the 16th century temple served as a small museum for religious artifacts; Wat Aham, the early 19th century temple, whose two guardian figures at the foot of the steps which represent two characters from the Ramayana - Hanuman, the Monkey God and a fierce Yaksa; drive outskirts of town to visit Ban Xangkhong, the well-known village for its wood papers and also Lao
silk weavings with natural dyes . in afternoon . we continue to visit Wat Xiengthong, the 16th century temple, which more than any temples in Luang Prabang, epitomizes all the elegance and grace of Luang Prabang architecture, then climbing up Phousi Hill, the 328 steps leads to the summit of Phousi Hill that dominates the sky-line of Luang Prabang overlooking the finest panoramic view in the whole Luang Prabang after then explore the Night Market, where you can find a lovely selection of handmade textiles made by the local and hilltribe people surrounding Luang Prabang and Overnight in Luang Prabang .
Day3 Luang Prabang - Pakou Caves ( B/L)
After breakfast, embark on a two hour cruise in a long-tail boat on the Mekong River and visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. En route, typical Laotian villages are barely visible behind thick foliage. Wooden canoes bobbing by the shore attached to bamboo poles can be seen everywhere while floats mark the location of nets and fish traps and observe local weavers and whisky distillers honoring their timeworn traditional crafts Arrive at Pak Ou and explore the sanctuaries which consist of two large caves. Both repositories house thousands of Buddha images, which range from mere centimeters to two meters in height. Enjoy your lunch at local restaurant (Manivanh restaurant) After lunch, returning to Luang Prabang by car and continued Drive for Ban Phanom, which lies hidden along the Khan River. Here is where the women weave while men fish on the river. This is a good chance to experience the real Laos rural lifestyle. Return to Luang Prabang late afternoon and enjoy your day free at leisure .
Day4 Luang Prabang - Kuangsi Waterfalls (B/L)
You have the option to wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks – an awe-inspiring sight. Please tell your guide a day in advance if you wish to make an offering so he/she can prepare some food for you to hand over to the monks. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos. Watch the town come to life in the morning then return to the hotel for breakfast. (If you do not wish to make an offering, please keep an appropriate distance and observe the ritual in silence. Dress appropriately – shoulders, chest and legs should be covered).
Return to hotel for having breakfast then depart for a one hour drive south to one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the Kuang Si waterfall. Stop en route at Phosy market where you can observe the locals trading in fresh produce. On arrival, take a leisurely hike through the national park towards the Kuang Si waterfall. For the more adventurous, continue to the top of the main waterfall where you may choose to swim in a large pool. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the tranquil surroundings of the park before you transfer back to your hotel by private vehicle. It is recommended to wear proper walking attire if trekking to the top of the waterfall.
Day5 Luang Prabang - Chaing Mai by flight (B/D)
After your breakfast, free at leisure until your private car and driver will meet you at your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight by QV635 @135/1450 ( Daily flight ). Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, you will be transferred to your hotel. In the evening, enjoy typical Thai cuisine at a charming restaurant nestled on the bank of the Ping River. After the dinner, participants will light akhomloy and launch it in the cool night following the local belief that misfortune will be floated away.
Overnight in Chiang Mai at The Rim resort or similar category .
Day6 Chaing Mai (B)
Travel to a local herb garden located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, where you will take a leisurely stroll around the grounds. Then board a long-tail boat and enjoy a 30-minute cruise on the rural Mae Ping River. Along the river banks, you will see traditional wooden houses and luxury modern residences. Arrive at the boat landing and walk to Waroros fresh food market, where you can experience the local Northern Thai way of life. From the market, you take a trishaw ride along Tapae Road, past the city walls and along Ratchadamnern Road to WatPhra Singh, release fish or turtle for your special merit making. On our signature city and temples tour, you will first explore ancient Chiang Mai, including its old city walls, gates, moat and markets. After visiting WatSuanDok, where the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family are interred, you continue to WatPhra That DoiSuthep, the temple on the mountain, and the most sacred in Northern Thailand. Your experienced guide will explain the story of the temple, the white elephant and lead you around its impressive chedi and show its beautiful murals. In the late afternoon, the tourist masses have already left the temple grounds and dusk will give a very special atmosphere. After your private blessing ceremony, witness the magical evening chanting of the monks. The tour ends with the spectacularly romantic evening view over Chiang Mai with its millions of glittering lights and Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day7 Chaing Mai (B/L)
Drive north through the hilly, forested area on the outskirts of Chiang Mai to the Chiang Dao young elephants training camp for an elephant ride and a gentle bamboo raft journey down the Ping River. After lunch at a scenic local restaurant, drive further into Chiang Dao where you visit Palaung, Akha and Lisu tribal villages. Living separately from lowland Thais, the tribal mountain people retain a different culture and way of life, unique to every ethnic group and Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day8 Chaing Mai - Yangon (B)
This morning is free for last minute shopping or sightseeing before transferring to the airport for your departure flight to Yangon . Upon arrival at 15.00 (Flight W9 9608; 14.30-15.00), you will be greeted by our guide who will accompany you and transfer to the hotel. Yangon, formerly known as Rangoon, is a relatively quiet and charming city. Its impressive colonial and spiritual heritage makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Southeast Asia. On your way into townvisitto Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the local legend states that the original structure was built 2500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas and your guide will show you around the massive complex, explaining why this temple is so revered. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point. Continue to your hotel for check in. Overnight in Yangon at Inya Lake Hotel or Similar category .
Day9 Yangon - Bagan (B/L)
After early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for the flight to Bagan. one of Bagan’s most famous legends as you follow in the tracks of King Anawrahta and his precious white elephant. The tale states that the King was given a replica of Lord Buddha’s tooth and he placed this on the sacred elephant’s back and set him free. The elephant stopped at four places around Bagan and later the King built stupas at each of these locations. Thus the local Burmese believe that by visiting all four of these places in one day your wish will be fulfilled. Your Legendary Tour begins in the morning, with our guide and driver greeting you at the hotel. A stop will first be made at Shwezigon Pagoda. Although this is one of Bagan’s most famous sites, few people realize the legend behind its creation. The centre piece of Shwezigon is its large golden bell-shaped pagoda situated upon three terraces. The lower-most terrace once featured wood carvings of nat spirits but these are now housed in a small hall within the temple grounds. Continue on to Tu Yin Taung, a hilltop stupa in the eastern part of the main Archeological Park. As you approach the temple you will be greeted by 500 monk statues which line the road. The stupa’s elevated location offers fabulous views of the surrounding plains, a unique perspective of Bagan and its surroundings. The next stop is LawkaNandar which is in New Bagan next to the Irrawaddy River. LawkaNandar is a bulbous stupa with a cylindrical bell and three octagonal terraces as a base. The temple still functions as a place of everyday worship as it is home to a Buddha relic. We’ll make a stop at Nanduwan Restaurant for lunch before continuing on our Legendary Tour. This afternoon we drive to the jetty where a private boat is waiting to transfer us across the river to TantKyiTaung, the last temple on our tour. From the boat, as you cruise across the Irrawaddy, you can see views of the temples in the distance. We travel by jeep (approximately 15 minutes) through the countryside to TantKyiTaung. This temple is unique in Bagan as it is thought that many centuries ago, Buddha stopped on the hill where the temple now stands. On the return drive to the jetty we can stop in TantKyi village for a short walk around. Then it is time to return to Bagan, first crossing the river by boat and then continuing to an elevated temple to watch the sunset over the plans and return to your hotel for evening day free at leisure and overnight in Bagan .
Day10 Bagan - Yangon (B)
This morning after breakfast continue your spiritual tour of Baganwith a visit to Ananda Temple, one of the most revered temples in Bagan and which is quiet in the morning, before all the tour buses arrive.
Afterwards we will go to Myinkaba Village and visit Gubyaukgyi Temple which is noted for its beautiful mural paintings on its inner walls and well-preserved plaster carvings on its exterior. Nearby is Manuha Temple and Nan Paya Temple, two smaller temples with nice Buddha statues and stone work. OPTIONAL:Transfer to the Taungbi Monastery where you will participate in a special traditional Buddhist ceremony. Around 10.30 you will partake in an alms procession where, alongside locals, you will donate offerings of food to the monks. Afterwards you will receive a special blessing from the monks to ensure good luck and happiness.Then visit three lesser-known temples that reflect the diversity of influence in Burmese architecture and religion. Pebinyaung Pagoda, which contains relics in its bell-shaped structure, was built after King Anawratha sent a group of monks to Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka) to help regenerate Theravada Buddhism in that country. The conical stupa construction reflects the influence of Ceylon’s architecture on this site. Continue to nearby Bupaya Pagoda, a bulbous structure on the banks of the Irrawaddy which is similar in style to the Tibetan chorte. At its base is an alter to Mondaing, the nat of storms. Finally continue to NathlaungKyaung, Bagan’s greatest Hindu temple. The structure stands as testament to the religious tolerance that prevailed during Bagan’s heyday. Late this afternoon transfer to the airport for your domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. If time allows, stop at Kyauktagyi Pagoda en route to see its 70-metre long reclining Buddha and Overnight in Yangon at Inya lake Hotel or Similar category .
Day11 Yangon - Phnom Penh (B)
This morning transfer to the airport for flight 8M401 to Phnom Penh (08.35 – 12.30 Monday, Wednesday & Saturday only). Upon your arrival in Phonm Penh, you will be welcomed by your local English speaking guide who will assist you with your transfer and check in to your hotel. Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history it still retains a colonial charm as much of its original architecture remains. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and the Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the charm of the city where Asian traditions meet Western customs in a fascinating way and Overnight in Phnom Penh at The Plantation Urban Asia Hotel or Similar category .
Day12 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap (B/L)
After breakfast at the hotel, depart on a city tour in a typical cyclo. First, visit Wat Phnom, which is situated near the northern boundary of the city. The original temple was built in 1372 by a rich Khmer lady named Penh, who found a collection of statues of the Buddha washed up on the river bank and decided to house them on a nearby hill ("Phnom"). The site contains some good examples of Khmer architecture and statues. You will visit the most remarkable sights Phnom Penh has to offer. First, you will head to the National Museum which was designed by George Groslier and the Ecole des Arts Cambodgiens. The museum was built in traditional Khmer style in 1917 and was inaugurated in 1920 by King Sisowath. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer archaeological, religious, and artistic artefacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. Continue on foot to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and was the last palace built during the French colonial period. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is WatPrakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your afternoon flight to Siem Reap (45 min). On arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to the hotel and Overnight in Siem Reap at Shinta Mani Resort or Similar category .
Day13 Siem Reap (B)
Get a first of Angkor at the early temples of the Roluos Group. Roluos is the site of an ancient center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya. It was the first town built by the Angkorian kings in the 8th and 9th century and consists of three main temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko. The surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia – enjoy the natural beauty on a cow cart ride, a fun way to get in touch with rural Cambodia and its friendly people. Your destination is Roluos Pagoda, where Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony for you, wishing you health and a safe journey – a memorable experience! Return to the hotel at midday where there is the chance to relax and Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day14 Siem Reap (B/L)
Early morning, depart on a very special sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat during sunrise. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Meru, home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. Breakfast will be served in front of Angkor Wat at Angkor Café. After continue for an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. The Tonlé Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering an area of around 250,000 hectares in the dry season. Due to a unique phenomenon, when the monsoon begins, the swollen waters of the Mekong River force the Tonle Sap River to reverse its flow northwards, feeding the Great Lake and spreading over the surrounding flood plain. Board a local boat and visit KompongPhluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. Take a break by disembarking for a tasty picnic lunch served in a floating house and enjoy the views as the local community goes about its daily life and Overnight in Siem Reap .
Note : Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead
Day15 Siem Reap (B/D)
Start your day today at Preak Ang Chek and Preak Angchom, two Buddhist shrines in the center of Siem Reap. This is an interesting spiritual place that is frequented by worshippers at all times. You will see Khmer people arriving with alms, lotus flowers, jasmine bracelets and incense sticks that they are using for their prayers. Both places are surrounded by stories of power and indestructibility, and you are welcome to make offerings and embrace the powerful spiritual scenery. Preak Ang Chek and Preak Angchom have also come to some fame because of their fortune teller. You will have a chance to visit him and have your palms read – interesting to know what the future holds for you! Visit Ta Prohm temple, unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. From here it is not far to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient Eastern Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. This evening, a Khmer Welcome Dinner will be served at AHA Restaurant tucked away in SiemReap’s Old Market area and Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day16 Siem Reap - Departure ( Clients own ticket )
This morning, visit the Buddhist monastery WatDamnak and one of the oldest pagodas in the town center. Here, Buddhist monks are celebrating their daily meditation session, which you are welcome to join and experience. Enjoy the rest of this day at leisure to explore Siem Reap at your own pace until transfer to the airport for your departure flight onwards .
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