Beach and Culture in Indochina

Though it no longer exists, Indochina still brings about an air of cultural mystery. This 16 day itinerary takes you through Thailand, Cambodia and Laos where you will witness the history of ancient empires, European colonization and subsequent decolonization.

Culture and beach make for an unforgettable holiday, which is what you will experience during your trip through Indochina.

Day 1: Arrival into Chiang Rai

Upon arrival in Chiang Rai, you will be met by a representative who will escort you to your hotel. Once you arrive at your hotel, the rest of the day will be at leisure. The hotel has an infinity pool, full spa, and full gym.

Stay: Anantara Golden Triangle

Day 2: Elephant & Mahout Training Excursion, Chiang Rai

Today after breakfast you will be taken to the Elephant Camp. The Elephant & Mahout training course will consist of learning how to drive an elephant, trekking through the area on the elephant, as well as bathing your elephant.

Once back at the hotel you can unwind at the spa before dining at one of the three restaurants in the hotel.

Stay: Anantara Golden Triangle

Day 3: Day at leisure in Chiang Rai

Today you will be able to do one of the following options: an Anantara spa treatment, a Three County Tour, or a Thai cooking class.

Stay: Anantara Golden Triangle

Day 4: From Chiang Rai to Huay Xai to Pakbeng

This morning you will be transferred to Chiang Khong (Thailand’s border with Laos). Once over the border and in Huay Xai (Lao’s border with Thailand), you will be escorted to your private local slow boat. Over the next two days you will cruise along the Mekong River from Huay Xia to Luang Prabang, with an over-night stop in Pakbeng.

You will stop before lunch to see authentic hill tribe settlements before continuing on to Pakbeng. Depending on the water current, you may reach Pakbeng in time to see the sunset from your hotel.

Stay: The Pakbeng Lodge

Day 5: From Pakbeng to Luang Prabang

Today you will continue your river cruise to Luang Prabang. You will be able to enjoy breakfast at your hotel; if you are up early enough you can visit the local morning market before boarding at 8:30am.

First stop on your voyage, Ban Baw Village, here you will be able to see how the traditional rice alcohol is made. Further down the river you can see the Pak Ou caves. These two caves are filled with many thousands of gold-lacquered Buddha statues of all sizes. You last stop before reaching Luang Prabang will be at Ban Xang Hai which is famous for its potent rice whiskey, as well as other handmade crafts.

After arriving at the Luang Prabang pier you will be transferred to your hotel.

Stay: Satri House

Day 6: Sightseeing Excursion, Luang Prabang

Today you will embark on your tour of Luang Prabang. This tour will begin at the former Royal Palace, now the National Museum. Built in 1904, the former royal residence now exhibits historical pieces. You will continue on foot to Wat Mai, the largest and most richly decorated Wat of Luang Prabang. You will then visit Wat Sene, which is known for its golden exterior. You will wind up the morning tour at Wat Xieng Thong, which is considered to be Luang Prabang’s most historically significant Wat.

Start off the afternoon at the Kuangsi Waterfalls. This beautiful three tiered waterfall is surrounded by nature and is a wonderful place to take a walk and cool down in. You will then visit the village of Ban Tha Pan to grasp a better understanding of the Kamu life. Next, continue to the Lao Loum village of Ban Ou, Laos’ majority ethnic group.  Following this you will visit Ban Na Ouane which is home to the Hmong people; this village has a history with the CIA during the 1960’s.

On your way back to the hotel you can climb the 328 steps of Mount Phousi to enjoy an incredible panoramic view of the surrounding area. You can also visit the evening hill tribe market before returning.

Stay: Satri House

Day 7: Day at leisure in Luang Prabang

Today is to be spent however you desire. You can further explore the area of Luang Prabang, or you can relax at the hotel. You can also take a private tour of Luang Prabang, enjoy a traditional Lao massage, take a boat trip down the Mekong River, or enjoy the flight of the Gibbon experience.

Stay: Satri House

Day 8: From Luang Prabang to Siem Reap

After breakfast you will be taken to the airport where you will catch your flight to Siem Reap. After arriving in Siem Reap you will be met by a representative who will escort you to your hotel.

Once you are checking in, take a sunset tour of Angkor Wat. The Wat is not as crowded at this time of day and you can truly experience its beauty.

Stay: FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel

Day 9: Exploring the Temples of Angkor, Siem Reap

You will start today with a visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the very last capital of the Great Khmer Empire in the late twelfth century. After exploring the ruins of this great city you will journey to the heart of Angkor Thom to visit the Bayon Temple. The Bayon Temple is meant to represent the joining of Heaven and Earth. Your last temple today will be Ta Prohm, a Khmer temple built around the same time as Angkor Thom. Largely untouched by man, these ruins have been claimed by nature and are covered in trees and vines. While exploring the stone reliefs, you may recognize the temple from the Lara Croft movie ‘Tomb Raider’.

At sunset you will be able to relax on your private Angkor gondola paddle boat. As the sun sets you can enjoy cocktails, champagne, canapés, or soft drinks while cruising around Angkor Thom’s ancient moat. In the evening, enjoy the Cambodian Circus, Phare. The Phare Ponleu Selpak troupe will perform one of two shows that use traditional and modern acts to portray Cambodian lifestyle and society.

Stay: FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel

Day 10: Beng Mealea and Tong Sap Excursion, Siem Reap

In the morning, you will be transferred to Beng Mealea, a contemporary of Angkor Wat and shares much of the same floor plan. This temple, however, is still ‘lost’ to the jungle. Here the jungle has an even stronger grip on the ruins than at Ta Prohm, as there is no restorative work done to this ruin. This is one of the few ruins that you have to climb around to explore the area. You will truly feel like an explorer of a lost world.

Continuing the day’s journey, you will head to the shores of Tonlé Sap Lake. Along the way you will stop a school in a rural village and have the opportunity to teach local children an English song; you will then move to the village’s pagoda where you will be blessed with luck and good travels by the monk. As you reach the shores of Tonlé Sap Lake, you will pass through the village of Kampong Phluck. This village is unique as it is built entirely on stilts! While exploring Tonlé Sap Lake you will be able to witness a village that floats on the lakes surface. This entirely floating village even includes hospitals, basketball courts, and every other aspect of village life. You can also visit the local crocodile farm.

Stay: FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel

Day 11: From Siem Reap to Phuket

After checking out, you will be taken to the airport to catch you flight to Phuket. Once you have arrived in the Phuket airport, you will be met by a representative who will transfer you to your hotel.

Stay: The Surin, Phuket

Day 12 to 15: Day at leisure in Phuket

The following days are to be spent however you desire. You can play tennis on the floodlit tennis courts, enjoy water sports, scuba dive or take PADI diving courses, enjoy the spa, relax with yoga and meditation on the beach.

You can also enjoy the following external activities: whitewater rafting, golf, cave canoeing, limestone adventures, cooking classes, trips to national parks, Elephant treks and visiting exquisite Buddhist temples

Stay: The Surin, Phuket

Day 16: Departure

After breakfast you will be taken to the airport so you can catch your flight home.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival into Chiang Rai Anantara Golden Triangle
Day 2: Elephant & Mahout Training Excursion, Chiang Rai Anantara Golden Triangle
Day 3: Day at leisure in Chiang Rai Anantara Golden Triangle
Day 4: From Chiang Rai to Huay Xai to Pakbeng
Day 5: From Pakbeng to Luang Prabang Satri House
Day 6: Sightseeing Excursion, Luang Prabang Satri House
Day 7: Day at leisure in Luang Prabang Satri House
Day 8: From Luang Prabang to Siem Reap FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel
Day 9: Exploring the Temples of Angkor, Siem Reap FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel
Day 10: Beng Mealea and Tong Sap Excursion, Siem Reap FCC Angkor Boutique Hotel
Day 11: From Siem Reap to Phuket The Surin, Phuket
Day 12 to 15: Day at leisure in Phuket The Surin, Phuket
Day 16: Departure

Inclusions

Included

  • Overnight accommodation includes daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers and transportation on tour.
  • Sightseeing with Local English speaking guides
  • Entrance fees
  • Meals as specified (meals only, no drinks/water).
  • Airfares from Luang Praband to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Phuket (Economy class with airport tax).
  • Cold towels and water on sightseeing days.
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • Visa and airport taxes
  • International flights
  • Hotel early check in/ late check-out
  • Overweight luggage
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (please note that this is requried for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)

Map

Chiang Rai Pakbeng Luang Prabang Siem Reap Phuket

From USD 8,735 per person based on two persons travelling

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultants. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant.