Laos and Cambodia - The Khmer Empire
£2,995 excl. flight
- UNESCO listed Luang Prabang
- Phnom Penh’s treasures and secrets
- The extraordinary temple complex of Angkor
This cultural journey begins in tranquil Laos, exploring the charming former royal capital Luang Prabang with its blend of traditional Buddhist temples and French colonial architecture. You then head south for a visit to Laos’ most significant Khmer site, Wat Phu. Travel on to Cambodia, for an extended exploration of Angkor, the spiritual home of the Cambodian people. Your final visit on this rewarding and exhilarating trip is to Cambodia’s bustling capital, Phnom Penh, a chaotic hub so often overlooked by tourists, but with much to offer, from the Mekong river to the stunning royal palace.
Day 1 London/ Luang Prabang (Laos) – Overnight flight.
Day 2 Luang Prabang – Arrive in UNESCO protected Luang Prabang, ancient capital of the ‘Land of a Million Elephants’ and renowned for its beautifully preserved architecture.
Day 3 Luang Prabang – Full day of city sightseeing visiting many of the city’s most impressive temples including Wat Mai, Wat Visoun and Wat Xieng Thong, as well as the National Museum. Enjoy a baci welcome ceremony this evening.
Day 4 Luang Prabang / Pakse – Fly south to Pakse and visit the Angkorian Temple of Wat Phu, a relic of the great Khmer Empire. Having explored the site you then transfer to your hotel in Champasak.
Day 5 Mekong River - Drive to Ban Nakasang and board a private local boat for a short ride to Done Khone Island. Explore the island and take in the beautiful Liphi Waterfall. En route back to the mainland visit the spectacular Khone Phapheng Falls, one of the largest and most powerful waterfalls in Southeast Asia.
Day 6 Pakse / Siem Reap (Cambodia) / Angkor – Late morning flight to Siem Reap. In the afternoon take the Sanday drive around the temples of Angkor to give you a brief introduction to this vast site and visit the striking redbrick temple of Prasat Kravan.
Day 7 Angkor – Explore the fascinating Rolous group of temples, some of the earliest permanent Khmer structures dating from the late 9th century. In the afternoon explore Banteay Srei, the petite pink temple and Banteay Samre, built by King Suryavarman II, the genius behind Angkor Wat.
Day 8 Angkor – In the morning you will make your first visit to Angkor Wat, part of the Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Hindu temple complex in the world. In the afternoon you will explore the temples conserved by your tour lecturer John Sanday during his time working at the site.
Day 9 Angkor - This morning visit the immense walled city of Angkor Thom, the last and most enduring city of the Khmer Empire, and the Bayon, its state temple. Later visit the ruins of Ta Prohm, this beautifully photogenic section of the site are engulfed by the surrounding jungle and trees.
Day 10 Angkor – Early morning departure to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat. You will then have time to explore this magnificent temple further. In the afternoon you will visit a number of the less visited sites including the 12th century Prasat Tanei, a little known architectural masterpiece, Prasat Pre Rup and Prasat east.
Day 11 Siem Reap / Phnom Penh – Fly to Phnom Penh and after a leisurely lunch you will visit the National Museum, which houses one of the largest collections of Khmer art
Day 12 Phnom Penh – Morning visit the Royal Palace and Tuol Sleng, the Khmer Rouge's interrogation centre. If time allows you will travel outside the city to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek memorial stupa. Your afternoon will be at leisure.
Day 13 Phnom Penh / London – Morning transfer to the airport for your flight home.
John Sanday OBE
John Sanday OBE, FSA is an architect and specialist in historic monuments and
sites. John started his career in Asia working for UNESCO in Kathmandu after which he went on to work in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. After spending 3 years with the Getty Foundation in California (1988 -91) John returned to Asia to establish conservation training programmes in Angkor.
In 2004 John was awarded an OBE for his contribution to heritage conservation in Nepal and Cambodia. John is presently Global Heritage Fund’s (GHF) Asia Regional Director.
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30 March – 11 April 2015