Laos & Cambodia Overland Tour 13 Days
Type of tour: Private tour
Duration: 13 Days 12 Nights
Route: Houei Xay - Pakbeng - Luang Prabang - Vientiane - Pakse - Khong Island - Veunkham - Stung Treng - Kratie - Kompong Cham - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
Overview: This trip is carefully is designed for those who are keen to explore the most interesting places of Laos & Cambodia. The trip starts with embark on a traditional wooden boat to cruise down the Mekong River to Pakbeng.
( 13 Days 12 Nights )
What make this tour so special:
- Pakbeng & Luang Prabang exploring
- Visit the National Museum (former King’s Palace)
- Khong Island exploring
- Vat Phu Temple visiting
- Museums and historic sights
- Markets and Lao life style
- Day 1: Houei Xay - Pakbeng
- Day 2: Pakbeng - Luang Prabang
- Day 3: Luang Prabang
- Day 4: Luang Prabang - Vientiane
- Day 5: Vientiane - Pakse - Khong Island
- Day 6: Khong Island
- Day 7: Khong Island - Veunkham - Stung Treng
- Day 8: Stung Treng - Kratie
- Day 9: Kratie - Kompong Cham - Phnom Penh
- Day 10: Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
- Day 11: Siem Reap
- Day 12: Siem Reap
- Day 13: Siem Reap
Meet upon arrival at Houei Xay immigration checkpoint and transfer to the boat pier.
Embark on a traditional wooden boat to cruise down the Mekong River, “Mother of Waters”. The mighty river has maintained its untamed character with rapids and pristine forests along each bank. Stops at Yao, Thai Lu and Hmong minority villages.Lunch on board.
Arrival in Pakbeng in the afternoon. This rustic town-village sits on a steep hillside and offers spectacular views over the Mekong River. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 02 : Pakbeng - Luang Prabang
Breakfast at the hotel.
Continue the cruise towards Luang Prabang. En route, stop at Pak Ou and visit the sacred caves which house over a thousand Buddha statues. Lunch on board.
Arrival in Luang Prabang, transfer and check-in at the hotel. The crown jewel of Laos and former Lanexang, Luang Prabang, is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in Southeast Asia. Magical and charming, it has preserved its long-standing reputation as a stronghold of Lao culture with its splendid natural scenery and sense of timelessness. In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City. If time permits, visit Vat Xieng Thong upon arrival. The sim of the temple represents the classic Luang Prabang temple architecture with roofs that sweep low to the ground. In the compound stand several small chapels housing bronze Buddha image which was displayed in Paris in 1911. Near the East gate stands the Royal funeral chapel. Inside are an impressive 12 meters high funeral chariot and various funeral urns of each royal family member. The gilt panel on the exterior of the chapel depicts a semi-erotic episode from Ramayana. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03 : Luang Prabang
Breakfast at the hotel.Visit the National Museum (former King’s Palace) displaying a collection of personal artifacts of the Royal Family. Continue to visit Vat Mai, built in 1796, famous for the five – tiered roof of its wooden sim. Then stroll through the lively Central Market where the ethnic minorities of the surroundings come daily. Lunch at local restaurant.
Visit Vat Visoun, the site of an impressive stupa, That Makmo, stylistically more Srilankalese than Lao. Then walk to the nearby Vat Aham, which is one of the city’s major tutelary shrines, dedicated to Deveta Luang (spirit) Pu Gneu Ya Gneu (ancestors). Climb Phousi Hill for an outstanding overview of the city. Sunset at Vat Prabaht Tai located along the Mekong River. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04 : Luang Prabang - Vientiane
Breakfast at the hotel.Transfer to the airport for Lao Airlines flight to Vientiane. Meet upon arrival at Vientiane Wattay airport, transfer and check-in at the hotel. Vientiane’s major attractions are the serene Buddhist monasteries that dominate the center of town. The city has kept its timeless charm with tree-lined avenues, brightly painted temples and quaint French architecture. Lunch at local restaurant.
Visit Vat Sisaket, the oldest original temple in Vientiane. Built in 1818, Vat Sisaket is the sole survivor of an invasion in 1828. All other temples in the city have undergone extensive restoration. Vat Sisaket features remarkable frescoes and 6,840 Buddha images. Nearby is Ho Phra Keo, once the royal temple of Lao monarchy. Built in 1565, Ho Phra Keo has been used as a museum since 1970 and contains some of the finest Buddhist sculptures and artifacts in the country. Special displays include antique brass drums and palm leaf manuscripts. The main structure originally housed the famous Emerald Buddha that now resides in Bangkok’s Wat Phra Keo. One of the most photographed images of Vientiane is Patousay, the victory gate also known as Anousavari. Constructed in 1958, its architecture is inspired by the Arc of Triumph in Paris. Another famous Vientiane’s landmark is the That Luang Stupa. King Sethtathirat built this great sacred stupa, considered as the national symbol, in 1566. Its central structure is 45 meters tall and echoes the curving lines of an elongated lotus. The original stupa was said to contain relics of Lord Buddha. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05 : Vientiane - Pakse - Khong Island
Breakfast at the hotel.Transfer to the airport for Lao Airlines flight to Pakse. Meet upon arrival at Pakse airport and transfer to the boat pier. Embark on a long-tail riverboat for a cruise down the Mekong River towards Khong Island.
En route, stop at the former royal capital of Champassak and visit the pre-Angkorian Vat Phu Temple (6th-13th centuries). Vat Phu Temple lies on a hillside and offers spectacular views on the surrounding plains and on the Mekong River. UNESCO listed Vat Phu Temple as a World Heritage site in 2002. Hindu Khmer probably chose the site because of the spring that flows from near the top of the hill. Historians say that Phu Pasak was in fact sacred to the pre-Angkorian Kingdom of Chenla (6th century) and may have been the site of human sacrifices.
Lunch at local restaurant.Continue the cruise down river to enter the scenic Siphandone region (Four Thousand Islands): during the rainy season, the Mekong River reaches a breadth of 14 kms, the river’s widest reach along its 4,350 km journey from the Tibetan Plateau towards the South China Sea; when the river recedes, it leaves behind thousands of islands and islets.
Arrival in Khong Island, transfer and check-in at the hotel. Khong Island, blessed with lush tropical vegetation, serene monasteries and lovely fishing villages, offers a unique opportunity to experience the peaceful Lao way of life. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06 : Khong Island
Breakfast at the hotel.Cruise along the backwaters to explore Siphandone and visit the surrounding islands of Done Ket and Done Som for a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the fishermen. Continue to Done Khone Island. Lunch at local restaurant in Ban Khone.
Visit Done Khone Island and hike along its ancient railway built by the French in 1897 in order to bypass the powerful rapids when transporting goods from Cambodia. Continue to Sumphamith Waterfall. In the dry season, the Irrawaddy Dolphins, one of the world’s rarest large mammal species, congregate at the base of the rapids to hunt the fish that survive in the deep pools. Spend a relaxing hour watching these extremely shy and endangered freshwater dolphins. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07 : Khong Island - Veunkham - Stung Treng
Breakfast at the hotel.Cross the Mekong River by ferry and drive towards the Cambodian border. En route, stop at the magnificent Khone Phapeng Waterfall, the largest cascade along the Mekong River. A fault line caused the cascade, which is 6 km wide at this point, and the astonishing force of the water has cut dramatic gorges through the brittle bedrock. Continue to Veunkham immigration checkpoint (border crossing to Cambodia) and proceed through customs and police formalities (currently, it is not possible to get Cambodian visa at this border; we suggest all travelers to obtain Cambodian visa at their respective country). Welcome by your guide on the Cambodian side and departure by boat to Stung Treng (1 & ½ hours navigation by speed boat). Arrive in Stung Treng, transfer and check-in at the hotel.
Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon, visit Stung Treng, located just 50 kms south of Laos, on the banks of the San River, just off the Mekong. It is a very quiet provincial city, showing us the authentic and remote “face” of Cambodia. Visit the small village of Thala Barivat across the Mekong River. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at local guesthouse.
Day 08 : Stung Treng - Kratie
Breakfast at local restaurant.Early morning, departure by car to Kratie. Arrive in Kratie, a small colonial-style town, transfer and check-in at the hotel. Lunch at local restaurant.
Afternoon, visit Wat Phom Sambok to see the Buddhist monasteries and enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside from the hilltop. Continue to reach the site of the freshwater river dolphins and observe the dolphins until sunset. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 09 : Kratie - Kompong Cham - Phnom Penh
Breakfast at local restaurant.Departure by car to Kompong Cham. On the way to Kompong Cham stop at Chhlong, a small and peaceful village on the Mekong River bank with both Khmer and Colonial architecture. Lunch at local restaurant.
Tour of Kompong Cham to view examples of colonial architecture. On the way to Phnom Penh, visit Wat Nokhor with its ancient temple and modern style pagoda (12th century). Transfer upon arrival in Phnom Penh and check-in at hotel. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 10 : Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
Breakfast at the hotel.Phnom Penh city tour: visit the Independence Monument, and the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art - notably sculptures – from throughout the ages. Visit the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda. Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90 kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. End your morning with the visit of the Phsar Thmei, Central Market.
Transfer to Phnom Penh International Airport and departure by Siem Reap Airways International or similar to Siem Reap. Upon arrival at Siem Reap airport, transfer directly to the hotel and check-in. Dinner and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 11 : Siem Reap
Breakfast at the hotel.In the morning, visit Prasat Kravan with its unique brick sculptures and Ta Prohm. One of the area's most beautiful temples, Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it was abandoned and swallowed by the jungle, looking very much the ways most of the Angkor temples appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them. Visit as well Takeo, Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon.
Visit Preah Khan temple. Built by the King Jayavarman VII, Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulders-hanging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Continue your visits to Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool and representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake and visit the temple of Ta Som as well as Srah Srang ("The Royal Baths"), undoubtedly used in the past for ritual bathing. Dinner at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.
Day 12 : Siem Reap
Breakfast at the hotel.In the morning, visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat.
The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat's five towers symbolize Meru's five peaks - the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond.
Visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), until sunset. Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at the hotel.
Day 13 : Siem Reap - Departure
Breakfast at the hotel.Morning, transfer to Banteay Srei temple (10th c), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art. Visit the floating village of Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Take a traditional wooden boat for a ride on the Tonle Sap Lake, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia.
Note: From February to July, the visit to the Tonle Sap Lake is not possible because of the low water level. The below visits will be provided instead
Tour rates: Rates vary depend on group size, travel time, accommodation level, transportation and other service. Please check with us for the best tour rates
Visa fee - visa to Vietnam
International airfare; airport taxes, Visa, meals not indicated, personal expenses Christmas and New Year's Eve Dinners.
- If you don’t have enough time to complete visa before your departure to Vietnam, we will help you to obtain visa on arrival easily
- As indicated: A/C= Air-conditioning, O/N= Overnight, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
- Itinerary is subject to change depending on flights, road condition and room availability
- Rates are subjected to changed without prior notice.
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