9 Days 8 Nights
Buddhism reigns in this part of Indochina and on this itinerary, guests will be escorted to secret homes, chant with monks, unearth the secrets of Buddishm bewteen two UNESCO Heritage listed towns of Luang Prabang and Siem Reap. Listen to monks meditate whilst discovering the local tastes and cultural sites in a unique and different way ~ away from the crowds.
Itinerary in details
Day 1: A Warm Welcome to Luang Prabang (-/-/D)
Sabaidee! Your tour guide and driver will welcome you at Luang Prabang International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city. The dinner today will be hosted at a friendly local family in Lao traditional way.
This evening we will witness a Baci Ceremony at a local house. Mrs. Sy – our host who is on her late 50s living at Ban Phonpheng – just some minutes driving from the ancient town. Though English is not understandable, Mrs. Sy has been making impression to most tourists celebrating the Baci at her house because of her hospitality and friendly smile. The Baci Ceremony - or “Calling of the soul” is an integral part of the Lao culture and the Baci is a very important activity before or during major life events such as weddings, births, travels, welcoming of friends, the return of someone to the family and so on. We will help in the preparation of the flower trays and have the honor of receiving blessings from the locals. After that, enjoy meal with families before being back to your hotel.
Day 2: Luang Prabang Highlights with Pak Ou cave full day (B/L/-)
After breakfast, you first visit to the National Museum. Housed in the former Royal Palace, uninhabited since the royal family was deposed in 1975, the museum showcases many treasures of Laos' royal past and allows visitors to glimpse the private and public quarters of Lao royalty. Also, displayed here is the Prabang, the sacred Buddha image for which Luang Prabang was named and come on to nearby Wat Mai, a temple renowned for its golden bas-relief. After that, you will visit the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre, showing you more about Laos’ Ethnic group especially, minorities around the country. And last visit for morning is the Wat Xieng Thong – Luang Prabang's largest and most splendid temple, is best known for its impressive Tree of Life mural depicting the Buddhist story.
Enjoy your lunch at local restaurant. After lunch, we will cruise on the Mekong River to Pak Ou Caves. Located 25 km upriver from Luang Prabang right on the river bank at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Ou Rivers, Pak Ou Caves are a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site with many statues and statuettes of the Buddha in the traditional Luang Prabang style. You will go by boat to Pak Ou Caves, enjoy splendid natural scenery along the way and observing local fishermen and daily activities along the river. Pak Ou Caves, locally called Tam Ting, are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of wooden Buddhist figures take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, and rain and reclining (nirvana). On return, stop at the villages of Ban Xangkhong where handmade Saa paper making and hand-weaving textiles.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 3: Practice Religion Like a Laotian (B/L/-)
Start your day with an early departure from your hotel and drive to the boat pier. Cruise across the Mekong River to reach Ban Xieng Mene, start your day the Laos way, while you wait for the monks from the local pagoda to arrive. Practice the alms giving ceremony with the locals and receive blessings from the chanting monks. Continue this morning’s walk through lush green gardens, where you can enjoy listening to birds singing and appreciate the pureness of a Lao morning as you stroll to Wat Long Khoun. On the way, you may get your heart pumping as you climb up 123 steps to Wat Chomphet, where you will be rewarded with stunning scenic views of Phousi Mountain and the city of Luang Prabang. Get on boat at Wat Long Khun to follow the current of Mekong River to Morning market.
Try a local noodle soup for breakfast before joining with the guide and local host lady in a market tour. We will pick all ingredients needed for our upcoming cookery session. Today, we will not take part in a regular tourist-oriented cooking class. We will instead drive a little outside Luang Prabang center to a small village where you will join your hands to cook some major dishes. You will experience how typical Laos dishes such as Laap Laos, Orlam soup and papaya salad are cooked. The food is then brought to a local temple to offer for the monks’ lunch, and as part of this ritual, your name will be asked for a blessing chant. We will wait for our turn for lunch – up to your preference (always after the monks finish). Later, join in an open talk about Buddhism in Laos with monks. We will also have the chance to have further exchange with the community before returning to Luang Prabang for a light lunch with the left food you will have cooked.
The rest of the day is at leisure, you may take a rest at your charming hotel or freely stroll around the peaceful streets of Luang Prabang. You might want to visit a nearby pagoda at 6.00pm to listen to daily chanting season of the monks.
Day 4: Outing day to Kuangsi Waterfall (B/L/-)
Today, let immerse yourself in nature as we leave Luang Prabang behind, head out by vehicle to Ban Long Lao - a village of Hmong. Wander around to learn more about life in this rural lowland Lao and Hmong community. The hike leads you first for about half an hour through paddy fields before entering dense mixed growth jungle with a remarkable diversity of tree species. After a 3 hour hike through the forest, you reach Kuang Si Waterfall, where water tumbles over tiered limestone formations into crystal clear pools ideal for escaping the heat. Between cooling off in the pools, you can explore the lush forest setting around the falls.
At the famous Kuang Si Waterfall, a short walk brings you down to the abrupt waterfall where you will have time for a swim or simply relaxing by the water’s edge. You will also have a chance to visit Free the Bear Project there. A local lunch will be served near the waterfall. We return to Luang Prabang in the late afternoon and pay a visit to a Buddhist monastery. Greeted by a monk and participate in a Theravada Buddhist meditation season to end your day with peacefulness.
Overnight in Luang Prabang.
Day 5: Flight to Siem Reap (B/-/D)
After breakfast, we get on the flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Our Cambodian tour guide and driver will wait at the airport to transfer you back to your hotel. Dinner will be served at a green garden of a Khmer family.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 6: Heritage of Khmer Kingdom (B/L/-)
Head out with your cameras for a day filled with amazing sights and experiences. Explore the amazing temple complex and spend most of the day in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor. Visit to the Ta Prohm, unlike most other Angkor temples, has been left just it was when rediscovered: a photogenic and atmospheric maze of trees growing out of temple ruins amidst jungle surroundings, making it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. Follow by Ta Keo, Thommanom and ancient city of Angkor Thom, surrounded by an 8m high wall. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Continue to Bayon in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur, its exterior gallery walls featuring extensive, superb bas-reliefs, particularly the East and South Galleries.
Explore Angkor Wat, easily the most famous and best-preserved of all temples within the Angkor complex. It is a massive three-tiered structure crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. The centerpiece of any visit to the temples around Siem Reap, Angkor offers many iconic sights for amazing pictures. On the way back to town, we stop to visit one of pagoda to join Buddism course & meet monks who are happy to answer all of your questions. Before ending the session, there will be monks blessing ceremony with tie knots and water blessing as local usually do because they belief to bring good luck.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Note: Appropriate attire when visiting Angkor temples is long pants (covering the knee) and shirts that cover shoulders. Skirts, small shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing are not allowed within temple grounds. Visitors can and are frequently turned away from temples when wearing revealing clothing.
Day 7: Lost Temples in the Jungle (B/L/-)
After breakfast, head to Beng Melea, a sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer. This temple, is largely overrun by vegetation and very lightly touristic, giving it an adventurous, ‘lost temple’ feel. Trees growing from the broken towers and galleries offer some of the best ‘tree in temple’ shots aside from Ta Prohm. In the afternoon, continue to visit Preah Ang Chek, Preah Ang Chorm and Ya Tep. These were said to be two Angkorian Princesses. Inside the shrine are two statues, originally thought to be in Angkor Wat itself. The figures are thought to be around 1,000 years old and were unearthed in the 1950s. The taller one represents Preah Ang Chek, and the shorter Preah Ang Chorm.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 8: Explore the Holy Mountain of Siem Reap (B/L/-)
After an early breakfast, you will be driven to the Kulen Mountain Range, approximately 60km from Siem Reap. Phnom Kulen is considered by Khmers to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia, and is a popular place of pilgrimage during weekends and festivals. On your tour you will see a variety of animals and learn firsthand about efforts to save Cambodia’s wildlife. Start from the River of 1,000 Lingas, You then follow the trail into the natural jungle setting while seeing big rocks, which might be the hidden remains of the Khmer Empire. A small wat at the summit of the mountain houses a large reclining Buddha carved into the very sandstone boulder on which the structure is built. Visit a waterfall and take a refreshing dip in its pool before returning to town and join meditation course for around 1.5 – 2 hours at the Wayist Center.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Departure (B/-/-)
Free at your leisure till get transferred to international airport for your flight.
End of service.
From R16 050.00
From $1125. 00
per person sharing
- Accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast at the below indicated room types (see hotel category list below) (check in and check out around noontime)
- All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles (types of vehicles depending on the number of pax):
- Local ENGLISH speaking guides
o Luang Prabang: 01 guide
o Siem Reap: 01 guide
- Boat trip as program
- All entrance fees as program
- Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program
- 02 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing only
- Government tax and service charge
- Airfares (international and domestic)
- Meals (other than mentioned in the program)
- Early check in or late check out
- Visas to Laos and Cambodia
- Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation
- Mineral water beyond that supplied
- Optional excursions and activities
- Items of a personal nature (Phone calls, laundry, beverages…)
- Peak season surcharges if any
- All not mentioned above