Bangkok: Established in 1782 by King Rama I as the capital of Siam and literally means the City of Angels, since then, Bangkok has developed into a huge metropolis that is packed with skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, high tech shopping malls and a modern Int’l airport as well as an endless variety of good restaurants. It is a mixture of old and new, of the East and West and this is apparent wherever you go which offers a wealth of great temples, museums and other historic sights.
Siem Reap: The ruins of the ancient city of Angkor are destined for great things and one of the world’s marvels. The ‘City of Kings’ boasts some of the largest religious monuments ever constructed which is a vast and mysterious complex of hulking laterite and sandstone blocks.
Day 1: Arrive Bangkok
Evening arrival at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, clear through immigration and luggage collection before exiting into the arrival hall where your guide will be waiting to meet you, after transfer by air conditioned vehicle to your hotel for check-in.
Day 2: Bangkok – Explore Bangkok (Breakfast, Lunch)
Today is flexible depending on what was seen after your arrival. We suggest an early start, and by long-tailed boat, headed up the Chao Phraya River past the Temple of Dawn to Pak Khlong Talad, Bangkok’s wholesale flower market. From here you are close enough to the Grand Palace and also Wat Pho (home of the reclining Buddha) to go inside before the big tour busses arrive later in the morning. Another place of interest is Wat Trimitr a temple that houses the world’s largest and heaviest golden Buddha image, but is also a huge complex with schools, clinics, and local exhibits. After lunch, you may like to visit Jim Thompson’s House, the residence of the legendary man who revitalized the Thai silk-weaving industry after the Second World War.
Day 3: Bangkok – Ayuthaya (Breakfast, Lunch)
A full day spent outside Bangkok traveling some sixty miles north to one of the seat of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya who’s Thai kings reigned from 1350 until 1767. Up the Chao Phraya River from Bangkok, this city was once a center for international trade and high culture until it was sacked by the Burmese in the 1700s. It was here that Wat Trimitr’s Golden Buddha was discovered quite by accident in the 1950’s. It has also been a UNESCO site for many years. During the day we will also visit Royal Summer Palace, now a museum, located in Bang Pa In. This palace was constructed in stages since the early 1800s and was used by Siamese kings in the olden days as a retreat.’
Day 4: Bangkok – Siem Reap – Phare Circus (Breakfast)
Pick-up from your hotel, followed by a transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia. On arrival in Siem Reap you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check-in.
Later this evening enjoy a visit to Phare, The Khmer Circus, is a must-see while visiting Siem Reap. Originally from the town of Battambang, the troupe uses classical and modern theater techniques, combined with acrobatics, juggling, contortion, balancing and nice costumes to dazzle visitors. Stories are centered around a fusion of classical and contemporary Cambodian themes, offering a glimpse into the dilemmas, humour, and hopes of the country’s youth. We suggest VIP seating in the front rows to really feel like you are part of the action! Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPSA) or “The Brightness of the Arts” is a non-profit Cambodian association improving the lives of children, young adults, and their families with art schools, educational programs, and social support since 1994. Going to watch the circus is a great way to support the ongoing work of this important NGO.
Day 5: Siem Reap – Explore Angkor Wat (Breakfast, Lunch)
With an early start, today we will try and visit as many choice locations within the complex as possible, taking a lunch stop along the way or returning to town for lunch. You will be accompanied the whole way by your local host and a private vehicle which will give you the maximum amount of flexibility. From the 9th to 15th centuries, Angkor was both the power base of a mighty military and political force, and the heart of a rich and sophisticated civilization. You will see many massive stone monuments, wide majestic causeways, imposing gateways and towers, all in a lush jungle setting. Some Angkor highlights in this morning’s itinerary include Srah Srang, Ta Prohm, Ta Nei or Ta Keo, along with Angkor Wat, where you can explore its many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards, and ponds reflecting the towering temple. Notice how the intricate carvings depict mythological scenes as well as day-to-day life at the time of construction. Then after lunch, this afternoon we’ll explore the “Great City” of Angkor Thom, which was probably more opulent than most European cities in the late 12th century, the Victory and Death Gates, the Terrace of the Leper King, Phimeanakas Temple within the Royal Palace enclosure, Baphuon Temple, and the famous Bayon Temple with its multiple stone faces. After enjoying sunset drinks on the moat of Angkor Thom, you’ll be returned to town for an evening at leisure.
Day 6: Siem Reap – Kulen Elephant Camp & Tonle Sap Lake (Breakfast, Lunch)
This morning get transferred to Kulen Elephant Camp, and join the recently rescued elephants as they lead you on an adventure through the mysterious beauty of the Siem Reap jungle. Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime chance to connect with these magnificent animals while giving the elephants a much-deserved day out in their native Kulen Elephant Forest. A local guide will show you how to communicate with elephants, and once the connection is made, you won’t be able to help but feel compassion for these massive animals. This is a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with creatures that at first glance seem so different from us.
In the afternoon, head along the river through villages and rice fields to explore life on the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. We’ll board a private boat for an intimate look at a fascinating floating village where locals reside right on the lake, relying on it for food, commerce and transport. We’ll either bring a packed lunch or enjoy a home-cooked meal on the elevated wooden verandah of a local house. Afterwards, we will continue our exploration of the village and the surrounding natural environment. We can get cozy and enjoy some drinks and, if it’s late enough in the afternoon, enjoy a magnificent sunset view over the lake.
Day 7: Siem Reap – Bangkok (Breakfast)
Pick-up from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight.
|Bangkok||Rembrandt Hotel||Superior Room|
|Siem Reap||Tara Angkor Hotel||Deluxe Room|
Accommodation as stated
Sightseeing tours and transfers as outlined
Meals as mentioned
English-speaking tour guide
Air-conditioned private vehicles
Services not mentioned
Expenses of a personal nature
Tips and porterage
Domestic flights in Thailand/Cambodia
International flights to/from Thailand/Cambodia