Best Of Thailand & Cambodia
DAY 1 Bangkok
Welcome to Bangkok! At the airport terminal keep your eyes open for the Travel Talk sign, as we pick you up from the airport and take you to our Bangkok hotel. Gather round in the hotel lobby at 6:30pm as we meet both the other tour members and the guide. Listen up for a fast and informal meeting with the leader including registration and a short brief about the adventures ahead and information about Thailand. After the meeting, you can join the optional group dinner.
DAY 2 Bangkok City Tour
Today explore the city! We will start by visiting the beautiful 24-hour flower market. Here restaurants, hotels and florists come to buy their daily stock of fresh locally grown flowers. Its then on to the famous Wat Pho with its massive golden reclining Buddha. Wat Pho is also known as the Home of Thai Massage, as the training centre here is world renowned for its levels of excellence. We then take a local tuk tuk, for an exhilarating transfer to the Grand Palace. The Palace is the royal and religious heart of the country, with the revered Jade Buddha taking pride of place and next to the Palace is the royal and religious heart of the Royal Coronation Rooms. We then take a break to enjoy lunch before boarding a private long tail boat which takes you on a ride through the many klongs (canals) that cover the city. The rapid transformation from vibrant city to relaxing suburbia with gilded temples, stilted house, giant basking monitor lizards and old men fishing from the walkways is remarkable. During your hour long exploration, you will have time to feed some of the giant catfish that live in the water here before disembarking near to the famous backpacker district of Khao San Road. This is where many expeditions around the region start and finish, and the area is imbued with an atmosphere of adventure with its mixture of street bars, market stalls, music and travellers.
DAY 3 Bangkok, Kanchanaburi
This morning we set off for Kanchanaburi, home of the famous bridge on the river Kwai. Our first stop is at the bridge itself, where we learn about its history. We then visit the Allied War Cemetery before boarding a train for a 90-minute ride on the 'Death Railway'. This section of track was dug out and laid by allied POWs and locals as forced labour under the Japanese Imperial Army. We then disembark for lunch. Afterwards you will pay a visit to Hellfire Pass, which has an excellent visitors’ centre that gives details on how the workers dug the railway cutting with their bare hands. We take time to visit the cutting itself before driving to a nearby pier and taking a long tail boat to our hotel for the night. Your room is in a floating raft on the Kwai River, facilities are simple (no electricity) however the setting and experience are both breath-taking.
DAY 4 Kanchanaburi
Today is free for you to relax and enjoy the facilities at your resort at leisure. There is kayaking, rafting, swimming as well as trekking in the local villages. Or if you prefer, you can just relax in your hammock next to the river and read a book!
DAY 5Kanchanaburi, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai
After breakfast, we then drive for 3 hours to the ancient capital of Ayuthaya. We pass countryside and small towns before arriving and taking a break for lunch. Afterwards we get to visit some of the key sites in this ancient capital taking time to visit the impressive ruined temples of Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. It’s then on to a local restaurant for a dinner at your own leisure before we board our train northwards to Chiang Mai.
DAY 6 Chiang Mai
This morning you are met at the train station and are taken to your hotel. After lunch we visit foothills of the impressive Doi Suthep Temple and then have to switch to local vehicles for the journey up the mountain. The temple on the summit stands like a sentinel over the valley below, and monks chanting adds to the sense of atmosphere. The site has been a place of worship since the 14th Century, and is one of the most sacred sites for Thais. This evening we set off an orientation tour of the Chiang Mai Night market. All kinds of wonders can be found on sale, from hand painted umbrellas to intricately carved soaps; freshly cooked street food to linens made by the hill tribe communities.
DAY 7 Chiang Mai, Bangkok
Today is free for you to relax and enjoy the many options available in Chiang Mai. From zip lining to cycling, cooking to spa treatments there is something for everyone. In the late afternoon you meet up with your guide and return to the train station for your journey south.
DAY 8 Bangkok
Today once we arrive into Bangkok, you are transferred to our Bangkok hotel. In the afternoon you are free to explore Bangkok. This evening we will explore the famous nightlife of Bangkok with its lively bars, street food and party atmosphere.
DAY 9 Bangkok, Siem Reap
We set off in the morning for the border of Thailand and Cambodia, stopping for lunch before crossing into the home of the Ancient Khmers. We drive through rice fields, and sugar palm, arriving in the town of Siem Reap in the afternoon. Perhaps a quick massage to ease away the aches of the day or simply relax around the hotel pool before setting off into town to explore the famous 'Pub Street' with its energetic night life.
DAY 10 Siem Reap, Angkor Wat
After an early breakfast we head straight to Ta Prohm. It is often referred to as the “Jungle” or “Tomb Raider” temple due to the number of huge ancient trees whose roots have wrapped themselves around the towers and doorways. We continue to the lesser-known Ta Nei temple, hidden away in the jungle. We then enter the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom at the Victory gate. We then are able to walk around 1km on the top of the wall to the “Gate of Death” and afterwards visit the sights of Angkor Thom including the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. We then return to the hotel for lunch and a respite from the heat. In the afternoon we drive out to Banteay Srey Temple which has the most intricate of carvings carved into pink sandstone and is simply beautiful! We finish the day watching the sun melt into the rice fields from the crematorium temple Pre Rup.
DAY 11 Siem Reap, Phnom Penh
After checking out from the hotel we leave Siem Reap for Phnom Penh. We make our first stop at Spean Praptos, one of the longest bridges from the Angkorian period and has survived remarkably well! From here the road is lined with local homes and surrounded by rice fields so there is plenty of local life to along the way. We'll make a stop for a lunch along the way before arriving at Skoun, a transport hub where many travellers stop to pick up a tasty 8-legged snack, as deep-fried tarantulas are the specialty here. We then continue to the capital where we check into our hotel and set off to explore the vibrant nightlife scene.
DAY 12 Phnom Penh City Tour
This morning we take a look at the ugly side of this wonderful county’s recent past. The genocidal Khmer Rouge brought the country and its people to their knees in the 1970’s. We visit S21, a former high school that was used as a torture and interrogation centre. Of the 17,000 people who passed through its gates, only 7 survived to tell the tale. We then continue to Cheung Ek, also known as the Killing Fields, to try and make sense of the madness. After an intense morning it’s time to return to the city. This afternoon we visit the Royal Palace. This is the everyday residence of King Sihamoni and is one of the most striking structures in the city. We continue on foot to the National Museum, home to the finest collection of Angkorian sculpture anywhere on the planet. We are shown around by a local specialist who will introduce us to the Gods whose worship left the world the legacy of Angkor. The evening is free for you to explore.
DAY 13 Phnom Penh
Our trip will end after we say goodbye to our new friends over breakfast, and check-out of the hotel in Phnom Penh at 11:00am. Before your flight we bus you back to the airport and bid you safe travels.
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