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Taking you inside the sights and stories of two of Asia's most fascinating nations, you'll also step beyond museums and monuments, like Angkor Wat, to visit places and people off the tourist trail.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like… tasting the true flavors of Asia as you rustle up Khmer classics in your cookery class in Siem Reap, stop off for a home-cooked Lao dinner with a local family near Luang Prabang, and visit the home of ‘lao lao' whisky, Ban Muang Keo village.
Board your overnight flight to Asia (not included).
Your included City Tour with a Local Specialist begins with a visit to Wat Phnom to discover the legend of Lady Penh. Next head to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, two of the most striking buildings in the capital and considered some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture. Continue with a visit to the National Museum, which houses a collection of Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history. In the afternoon learn more about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years starting with a visit to Tuol Sleng, which was formerly a high school, then a notorious security prison and is now a museum depicting the terrifying reign of the Khmer Rouge. Next head to Cheung Ek Killing Fields, a memorial built to commemorate the 17,000 victims who died under the reign of the Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. Spend the evening at leisure.
This morning visit the famous and spectacular religious monument of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A Khmer scholar will be your Local Specialist and will bring to life the various stories depicted in the reliefs and murals of the elaborately carved hallways of Angkor Wat. Later on, your choice of activities is a visit to the National Museum for an in-depth insight into the history of Cambodia, or a visit to a silk farm to learn about traditional silk making techniques. Return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or join an Optional Experience.
Start the day with a visit to two other UNESCO listed sites: Angkor Thom with its centerpiece, the Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm, which was featured in the film ‘Tomb Raider'. The magnificent tree roots have merged with the temple remains over the years, giving it the feeling of a forgotten city. See the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King would welcome back his victorious army. Return to Siem Reap for a cooking class, a Cultural Experience. First visit the market to learn about cooking customs, ingredients and food superstitions before continuing to a local restaurant to learn how to prepare and cook various Khmer specialties under the guidance of the chef. After the class enjoy your creations with a dinner of your personally prepared food.
This morning visit Banteay Srei Temple, the red sandstone temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, whose delicate carvings of the 10th century have been remarkably well preserved. Return to the hotel and after a short break, drive through the countryside to Kompheim village. It is a typical Khmer village surrounded by rice fields with a pagoda and village school. Learn about the HUSK NGO Program, which works with communities to help improve the lives of the local families. Spend the evening relaxing or take part in an Optional experience.
This morning enjoy a walking tour around the ancient town of Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an outstanding example of the fusion of Lao and colonial architecture. Visit the Royal Palace Museum and the so-called ‘Temple of the Golden City,' Wat Xiengthong, before heading to the riverside for a relaxing cruise in a long-tail boat up the Mekong River to the mysterious Pak Ou Caves. Pass by typical Laotian villages and wooden canoes bobbing by the shore attached to bamboo poles. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before exploring the caves which house thousands of Buddha images ranging from mere centimetres to two meters in height. Cruise back to town making a stop en route at Ban Muang Keo village for a Cultural Insight. The village is famous for producing ‘lao-lao', (Laotian whisky) as well as its thriving weaving industry.
For the early risers, wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks. Next watch the town come to life during a visit to the bustling morning market, followed by a climb up the steps of Mount Phousi to admire the wonderful views of the Mekong and Khan rivers, as well as the surrounding mountain ranges, before returning to the hotel for breakfast. Alternatively, enjoy a leisurely start to the day before joining your fellow travelers for a visit to the Friends Visitor Center to learn about the work done at the Friends Lao Hospital for Children, a local non-profit community project. Return to the hotel for a leisurely afternoon or choose to take part in an Optional Experience. This evening travel to a nearby village for a Be My Guest dining experience with a local family in their home and learn all about their lifestyle while enjoying a meal of local specialties.
This morning drive south to one of Luang Prabang's most picturesque sights, the Kuang Si Waterfall. Stop en route at Phou Si market to observe locals trading in fresh produce and at the Ock Pop Tok Weaving Center for a demonstration of their work. On arrival see the bears at the Asian Bear Rescue Center before taking a leisurely walk through the national park towards the main fall, a 60 meter (200 ft) cascade. The water collects in numerous turquoise blue pools as it flows downstream and is a spectacular sight. Later return to the hotel for an afternoon at leisure or join in an Optional Experience. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Lao-inspired Farewell Dinner.
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
10 nights' accommodations, 10 buffet breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||AvailabilityPrice|
|27 Jun 17||8 Jul 17||$2,950$2,822pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27|
|10 Oct 17||21 Oct 17||$3,095$2,960pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27||
$3,095 $2,960 pp
|24 Oct 17||4 Nov 17||$3,095$2,960pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27|
|28 Nov 17||9 Dec 17||$3,095$2,960pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27||
$3,095 $2,960 pp
|19 Dec 17||30 Dec 17||$3,275$3,131pp||Early PaymentPay by Apr 27|
Solo Travelers: These dates offer a discounted single supplement rate.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $850.
Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.
All inter-trip air related charges in economy class for Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and Siem Reap to Luang Prabang are included in the Land Only price shown based on accurate airfare as of June 14, 2016. At the time you purchase your trip the inter-trip air prices may be higher.
Visas are generally required for Cambodia and Laos, please call for details.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
Special Discounts: At times we offer discounted departures. These discounts are valid for new bookings only and are not combinable with any other discounts other than our Past Traveler Discount and $100 AARP Member Discount. Other restrictions may apply, please call for details
U.S. citizens traveling to Vietnam and Cambodia must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. Travelers visiting Vietnam and Cambodia will also need an entry visa. We will send you application forms to complete to obtain your visa prior to departure. Visa costs and entry requirements can change at any time. Please visit travel.state.gov to learn more.
The currency in Vietnam is the Dong and in Cambodia is the Riel. We recommend bringing a few cards on your trip as well as some cash. You can obtain cash in the local currency at ATMs. In Cambodia you can pay with US dollars but change will be given in Riel. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local food, and Southeast Asia is known for its delicious cuisines. On your trip you’ll discover lightly prepared dishes including noodles, rice, vegetables, and seafood flavored with a variety of herbs and spices.
We suggest bringing comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that can be layered for your trip. Sturdy walking shoes are important for sightseeing excursions; a hat, lightweight jacket, and shawl or scarf might also come in handy. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
Tipping in Vietnam and Cambodia is not required or expected, but always appreciated. It is appropriate to leave some coins or round up your bill at bars and restaurants.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend the equivalent of $4 per person/per day for your driver and $6 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is the equivalent of 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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