Indochina Explorer 2018

Bill Peach Journeys will take you on an incredible odyssey through Cambodia and Laos to discover their rich tapestry of picturesque villages, palaces and ancient temples. You will visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and the city of Luang Prabang enjoying extraordinary cultural experiences throughout. The hotel accommodation is exquisite and only adds to the entire touring experience including Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, the Ansara Hotel Vientiane, Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel and Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh.

The gentle lifestyle of the village people, the chanting of the monks, you will marvel at a culture untouched by the pressures of western civilisation. You will also tour to Vientiane and Phnom Penh. Embark on an Indochina adventure in style creating memories to last a lifetime. Enrich your cultural knowledge and discover the charm and history that awaits. Perhaps you would also like to add to your trip with a pre or post tour extension recommended by our Reservations team.

Highlights

  • Stay 10 nights in refined and luxurious hotels including Belmond La Residence Phou Vao, the Ansara Hotel Vientiane, Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel and Raffles Hotel Le Royal Phnom Penh
  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat in Siem Reap to explore Asia’s most magnificent archaelogical ruins including Angkor Tom & Bayon Temple
  • Tour the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Luang Prabang to discover its charms
  • Explore the historic cities of Vientiane, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh
  • All touring, transfers and internal flights included
  • All meals included throughout
  • Services of a Journey Director and English speaking local guides for the entire journey
Day
1

Arrive Luang Prabang

Upon arrival in Laos, transfer to our luxurious hotel La Residence Phou Vao which is nestled in the mountains and overlooks this remarkable world heritage town. A superb hotel that reflects the cultural charm of the area. Enjoy a special welcome dinner this evening with your fellow travellers.

Overnight: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao or similar
Day
2

Luang Prabang

Located at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan (Khan River), UNESCO-protected Luang Prabang is a beautiful mix of ancient gilded temples, saffron-clad monks, faded Indochinese villas and peaceful river scenery. Take a tour exploring some of the highlights of this incredibly picturesque town. Start with a visit to the Royal Palace, which is now a National Museum housing precious artefacts that belonged to the Royal Family.

Incredible sights await as we explore some of Luang Prabang’s famed temples including Wat Visoun, Luang Prabang’s oldest temple. Notice its unusually shaped stupa designed to look like a lotus flower but referred to by locals as “the watermelon stupa”. We also visit Wat That Luang, traditionally the cremation site for Lao royalty. After lunch we explore one of Luang Prabang’s most picturesque sights, the cascading Kuang Si Waterfall with electric turquoise waters before returning to the hotel.

Overnight: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao or similar
Day
3

Luang Prabang

Today we explore the Luang Prabang countryside and enjoy a long-tail boat cruise upstream on the Mekong River. Observe the rugged limestone formations along its banks, as well as the abundance of green forest and fishing villages on the way. Explore the Tham Ting and Tham Phoum Caves, better known as the Pak Ou Caves, home to thousands of miniature Buddha images in different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining.

Continue by boat to the small fishing village of Ban Pak Ou where lunch is served before returning to Luang Prabang. Back in town, pay a visit to the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the many ethnic groups existing in Laos both today and in the past.

Overnight: Belmond La Residence Phou Vao or similar
Day
4

Luang Prabang - Vientiane

The morning alms round (called “Tak Bat” in Lao) is a living Buddhist tradition for the people of Luang Prabang and dates back generations. Wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to a procession of hundreds of saffron-robed monks, truly a spiritual occasion! After the almsgiving, watch the town come to life before returning to your hotel in time for breakfast.

Early afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight to Vientiane. Upon arrival, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure after checking in to our luxury hotel. Serene and restful yet located right in the centre of the capital, the Ansara Hotel is just a short stroll away from the legendary Mekong River and most major tourist attractions.

Overnight: Ansara Hotel or similar
Day
5

Vientiane

A world apart from other frantic Asian capitals, Vientiane retains a quiet and pleasant aura. Visit some of the city’s most notable temples or ‘wats’, including Wat Sisaket, famous for its cloister wall housing thousands of tiny Buddha images, Wat Phra Keo, now a museum adorned with carved wooden features; and the popular Wat Si Muang with its painted scenes from the life of the Buddha. We also visit That Luang, a large gold-covered Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane, generally regarded as the most important national monument in Laos.

In the afternoon, visit the weaving home-studio of Mrs. Carol Cassidy, an American expert in textiles who came to Vientiane as part of a United Nations project to promote traditional weaving. So impressed by the quality and diversity of weaving throughout Laos, she set up the Lao Textiles Studio.

Overnight: Ansara Hotel or similar
Day
6

Vientiane - Siem Reap

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Upon arrival, we transfer to our exquisite hotel for the next three nights. Set across from the Royal Palace, the Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel is a landmark hotel rich in Cambodian history and full of original treasures. With over 15 acres of beautifully landscaped French gardens, the hotel is a peaceful oasis to retreat to after exploring the temples in the UNESCO World Heritage site only 10 minutes away.

Overnight: Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor or similar
Day
7

Siem Reap

Today we visit Ta Prohm, a Buddhist temple considered one of Angkor’s jewels followed by a visit to Ta Keo. Continue to Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of nine square kilometres which was once the ancient capital of the Khmer Kingdom. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger than any city in Europe at the time. The centre piece is Bayon Temple crowned with 216 giant, smiling faces of King Jayavarman VII. Also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, which houses almost perfectly preserved carvings.

Later this afternoon, visit Angkor Wat. Surrounded by a 190 metre wide moat, 1.5 kilometres by 1.3 kilometres, it is claimed to be the largest religious building in the world. The temple, which took 30 years to construct and used the labours of 300,000 workers, was built as the earthly representation of the universe with its central tower symbolising Mt Meru which Hindus believe, is at the centre of the Universe. Enjoy a sunset to remember!

Overnight: Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor or similar
Day
8

Siem Reap

Board a private local boat this morning and set out on a Tonle Sap Lake (the Great Lake of Cambodia) adventure to discover floating villages and some unique wildlife in this UNESCO designated biosphere reserve. Learn how communities live and work on the lake; see the floating schools, markets, and police stations, among other structures and observe their daily lives. Afternoon at leisure.

Overnight: Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor or similar
Day
9

Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Phnom Penh. Located on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. After the Khmer Rouge regime, the city was sadly left a shadow of its former self. Now, due to a strong, young dynamism, the city is once again a vibrant, growing capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, two of the most striking buildings in the capital are considered as some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture. At the Silver Pagoda, notice the small green crystal Buddha (the “Emerald Buddha”) and a life-sized solid-gold Buddha, which weighs 90kg (198lb) and is adorned with 2,086 diamonds.

Overnight: Raffles Hotel Le Royal or similar
Day
10

Phnom Penh

Today we visit the National Museum, designed in Khmer style by a French archaeologist and painter in 1917. The museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, making it one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art, including sculptural, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects. Enjoy lunch at Friends the Restaurant, a leading social enterprise and training restaurant serving up tasty, creative Khmer cuisine.

In the afternoon, learn more about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years with a visit to Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21 during the Khmer Rouge era and now a genocide museum. While a sombre reminder of the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime, this visit will also provide an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation. Return to your hotel in time to prepare for our special farewell dinner.

Overnight: Raffles Hotel Le Royal or similar
Day
11

Phnom Penh

After a leisurely breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home taking with you memories of an unforgettable Indochina exploration with new friends.

Dates & Prices

Tour Code Days Departs Returns Price $AUD  
CL1800 11 1st February 2018 11th February 2018 $10,595

Flights from your home port to Luang Prabang and from Phnom Penh home are not included in the journey price. Should you require these international flights, we can provide a competitive quote on airfares and pre and post tour accommodation, at the commencement and conclusion of your journey.

About Luxury World Journeys
Our worldwide collection of journeys are operated by a select number of preferred travel partners who we have chosen because of their expertise within speci c regions and who combine the same style and superior level of service that has become synonymous with Bill Peach Journeys. Each of the worldwide journeys have a Bill Peach Journeys stamp of quality.

Fully Inclusive
When you travel on a Bill Peach Luxury World Journey everything is included.  This means not only does your holiday include accommodation, dining and all excursions but every one of these elements is the  nest in its class.  Throughout the journey you will have a Journey Director on hand to look a er each detail.

Mode of Transport
Boutique luxury river cruiser & coach travel. The Belmond Orcaella, is a beautiful way to sail the Ayeyarwady River. The cabins and suites on-board, all feature floor to ceiling sliding glass doors with juliet balconies opening onto the river. The Belmond Orcaella is a traditional Ayeyarwady flotilla ship built by local craftsman. Experienced, local staff offer guests the warmest of Burmese welcomes and provide travellers with a spirit of adventure and cultural curiosity the opportunity to experience Myanmar’s most remote and enchanting waterways.
The interiors reflect the local surroundings with works of art by Burmese artists. On-board, a swimming pool and fitness area is available, as well as an observation deck, boutique and doctor. Both Asian and European food is available on-board.

International Flights
Flights from your home port to Luang Prabang and from Phnom Penh home are not included in the journey price. Should you require these international flights, we can provide a competitive quote on airfares and pre and post tour accommodation, at the commencement and conclusion of your journey.

Level of fitness required: Active
This journey is more challenging and designed for the more active traveller who is looking to venture off the beaten path. To fully participate in all activities the traveller must be able to walk up to 2km on even surfaces unaided, travel by open four-wheel drive vehicles along ungraded roads, walk up steps unassisted and board boats from water tenders.
Given the locations, only limited medical supplies are available in areas visited, therefore, all required medications will need to be brought from home by you..

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to cover you against such things as personal illness or accident, cancellation, loss of baggage etc. Please make sure you carry a copy of your Travel Insurance policy with you at all times.