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Air & Land
Land Only

Gems of Southeast Asia

Package Includes

  • Small groups of 10-18 travelers guaranteed
  • International flights LAX-Phnom Penh, Hanoi-LAX
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • Intra-flights Siem Reap-Bangkok, Bangkok-Luang Prabang & Luang Prabang-Hanoi
  • 13 nights in First Class accommodations that evoke the local character
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers and sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned vehicles
  • 32 meals: 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches & 9 dinners (including a home hosted dinner, and welcome & farewell dinners)
  • Bottled water during sightseeing excursions. Bottled water, coffee, and tea with all meals. Beer and wine included with dinner
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size of 10-18 travelers, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
  • Gain insight into Cambodia’s rich culture during a private talk
  • Marvel at the artistry of an apsara dancer
  • Join the locals for morning exercise in Bangkok’s Lumpini Park
  • Accept wishes of good fortune during an authentic baci ceremony in Laos
  • Offer alms to orange-robed monks in the early morning streets of Luang Prabang
  • Receive warm greetings from Vietnamese hosts as we’re welcomed into their home for dinner
  • Wonder at the delicate beauty of Roi Nuoc water puppetry

This is an active trip. Our small group covers a lot of ground each day, and we spend 3-4 hours on our feet during tours. The pace is moderate, with 3 two-night stays, 1 three-night stays, and 1 four-night stay. Some of our tours require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep steps or slopes. We have several early mornings. This tour is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking or who have heart conditions.

DAY 1, Thursday - Depart the USA
Depart the USA for Cambodia. Your overnight flight includes meals, drinks, and in-flight entertainment for the journey

DAY 2, Friday - Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Arrive in Phnom Penh on the banks of the fabled Mekong River and one of the loveliest cities built by the French in Indochina. This capital of Cambodia is a fascinating mix of glittering temples and graceful colonial buildings. There’ll be time to rest after your journey, and later today you may join your fellow travelers for a welcome briefing and dinner
Overnight: Hotel Cambodiana, Phnom Penh
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Saturday - Phnom Penh
We begin our explorations at the Royal Palace complex, a compound of Khmer-style structures with gilded spires. These ornate buildings have served as the royal residence of the kings of Cambodia since the 1860s. Next, we visit the National Museum, itself a work of Khmer architectural glory and home to 14,000 historical items, including brilliant Khmer art, ceramics, and archaeological finds. We end our tour at the sobering site of the Killing Fields. A memorial here helps visitors and locals remember those who lost their lives to the vicious Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. Later, we meet a local cultural historian for a discussion about the country’s heritage and its welcoming, resilient people
Overnight: Hotel Cambodiana, Phnom Penh
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Sunday - Phnom Penh/Siem Reap
Today we see Cambodia up close during our drive to Siem Reap. Though our ride is long, it provides a perfect opportunity to witness how rural Cambodians tend to the lush, green countryside. We pass by rice paddy fields and are likely to see oxen working the land. We stop for lunch for authentic cuisine, and arrive in Siem Reap in the afternoon. This evening with dinner, enjoy a performance by apsaras – alluring, “supernatural” females of Cambodian lore. Their superb dancing has been known to mesmerize and transfix
Overnight: Prince D'Angkor Hotel & Spa, Siem Reap
Meals:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Monday - Angkor Wat
After breakfast, we uncover the mysteries of what is perhaps the world’s grandest temple complex and ancient city, Angkor Wat. Since the 12th century, it has stood as a center of Hindu, then Buddhist worship. It stands as a supreme example of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. We’ll also visit Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer empire. So beloved was this city to King Jayavarman that an inscription within its walls exhorts him as the groom and Angkor Thom as his bride. We’ll also see the Terrace of Elephants from which the king viewed his troops, and Ta Prohm, once a Buddhist monastery and today overgrown with jungle
Overnight: Prince D'Angkor Hotel & Spa, Siem Reap
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Tuesday - Siem Reap/Bangkok, Thailand
Today we delve more deeply into the daily life of Siem Reap, beginning with an exciting ox cart ride. Later, we embark on a cruise along the waters of Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. We’ll learn about the importance of these waters to Cambodia and the Mekong ecosystem and about the floating schools that seek to bring education closer to Vietnam’s underprivileged children. We conclude our Cambodia explorations at Les Artisant d’Angkor, a school for training in local handicrafts such as silk, wood carving, and lacquer. Afterward, we fly to Bangkok, Thailand’s bustling capital
Overnight: Aloft Hotel, Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Wednesday - Bangkok
We awake in the bustling Thai capital of Bangkok this morning. Early risers can join locals for tai chi or other exercise in Lumpini Park. After breakfast, we have the morning to explore the glittering centerpiece of the city: the Grand Palace, a sprawling complex of temples, halls, and pavilions built around immaculate lawns and gardens. Its main attraction is Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and its small Buddha statue believed to have been created in India in 43 BC. By contrast, we’ll later see the Golden Buddha, a colossal reclining figure of 49 feet. Later, we stop at a charming flower market to learn about the local floral trade. Tonight, we enjoy Thai entertainment with dinner
Overnight: Aloft Hotel, Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Thursday - Bangkok/Ayutthaya
Board a boat on the Chao Phraya River this morning to Ayutthaya, once the grand capital of Old Siam. The city was founded in 1350 and held its reign as capital for 400 years. We have ample time to explore its preserved ruins, including the impressive Wat Chaiwatthanaram, built in 1630 in the Khmer style of the day
Overnight: Aloft Hotel, Bangkok
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Friday - Bangkok/Luang Prabang, Laos
Fly to Luang Prabang today. We begin our discovery of this UNESCO World Heritage Site on the revered hillside of Phou Si. Several Buddhist shrines on wooded slopes command our attention, as do sweeping views of the Mekong River. Later, we visit the Royal Palace Museum to learn about the monarchy that once ruled the country, and Wat Xieng Thong, one of Laos’ important monasteries. We’ll also participate in a baci, a ceremony that predates the arrival of Buddhism, and have many good fortunes wished upon us!
Overnight: Le Palais Juliana, Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10, Saturday - Luang Prabang
Luang Prabang seems untouched by the modern day. Early this morning, we take part in an ancient ritual: begin at a local market to shop for fruits and perhaps rice; then stroll through hushed streets and offer these alms to a meditative parade of orange-robed monks. Later, embark a Mekong cruise to the Pak Ou Caves. From these cavernous altars, hundreds of Buddha images overlook the river. We continue to a local village that makes its own rice wine from their abundant crop. During our visit, we’ll chat with residents and sample some of their elixir. Our tour concludes at a paper-making and silk-weaving factory, where we’ll see how these local goods are created
Overnight: Le Palais Juliana, Luang Prabang
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Sunday - Luang Prabang/Hanoi, Vietnam
Begin today at an elephant camp, where mahouts – or trainers – form a close bond with their pachyderms. We’ll have a thrilling opportunity to ride atop a gentle giant! Then, we stop to visit the Hmong and Khmu hill tribes. Ancestors of these peaceful people migrated here in the 18th century, and we’ll hear some of their stories and admire their customary clothing and headdresses over tea. Later today, we fly to Hanoi, Vietnam
Overnight: Conifer Boutique Hotel, Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12, Monday - Hanoi
Vietnam’s capital is a stunning mix of temples, pagodas, French colonial buildings, and natural beauty. We’ll see the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the president’s house; admire the European architecture of the Presidential Palace; and visit the One Pillar Pagoda, a revered Buddhist temple. For lunch, we enjoy a traditional Pho noodle soup, a traditional Vietnamese meal. Your afternoon is free, and later this evening, we’ll be the dinner guests of a local family in their home. This offers us a rare opportunity to talk with Hanoi citizens about their daily lives
Overnight: Conifer Boutique Hotel, Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Tuesday - Hanoi
Today we journey to Halong Bay, a stunning natural wonder of more than 1,600 islands. Here, we embark a traditional junk for an exciting five-hour cruise among hulking limestone karsts that rise from the waters. We drop anchor to explore Surprise Cave – one of the bay’s largest grottoes
Overnight: Conifer Boutique Hotel, Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14, Wednesday - Hanoi
The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem Lake, retains the original street layout and architecture of Old Hanoi. We explore its ancient warrens today by cyclo-rickshaw, stopping at one of the city’s Tube Houses – a tall dwelling with narrow frontage – to see firsthand how residents once lived here. Continue to Lang Ong, where ancient eastern medicines are still traded. After browsing the Old Quarter’s market, where exotic scents beckon, we attend a private cooking class and dine on the results for lunch. Tonight, a Roi Nuoc water puppet show enchants us before our festive farewell dinner at the prestigious Press Club, a short walk from our hotel
Overnight: Conifer Boutique Hotel, Hanoi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15, Thursday - Depart for the USA
Transfer to the airport for your flight
Meals: Breakfast

    Book your Optional Tours before you travel and see more, save time, save money, and protect your investment. Tours purchased while traveling may cost an extra 10% or even more! Tours often sell out - avoid disappointment! Save your cash - many countries do not accept credit cards. Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure.

    Book your Optional Tours before you travel and see more, save time, save money, and protect your investment. Tours purchased while traveling may cost an extra 10% or even more! Tours often sell out - avoid disappointment! Save your cash - many countries do not accept credit cards. Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure.

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    *Not Included:
    Prices do not include Cambodia visa fees, Vietnam visa fees, Laos visa fees and gratuities for guides/tour managers. Land only prices do not include arrival/departure transfer, but does include intra flights.

    Entry Requirements:
    Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.

    This trip is also available with the following variations: