15-Day Thailand & The Temple of Angkor

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Tour type

Tour Level:

Tour Comfort:

Tour Period: 15 Days

tour highlights

  • Cruise down Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River for a look at life along the canals
  • Explore the region around the infamous River Kwai
  • Get up close and personal with magnificent elephants during an ethical experience feeding and bathing the giants at Elephant World
  • Discover Thailand’s ancient Kingdom of Ayutthaya complete with boat tours and stops at some of the region’s most picturesque temples
  • Step back in time in Sukhothai cycling through the historical park’s scenic ruins
  • Soak up the colourful culture of the northern Lanna Kingdom in Chiang Mai
  • Take a tuk tuk tour Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh
  • Marvel at the wonder that is Angkor Wat – an experience of a lifetime!

tour details

Uncover the secrets of the ancient kingdoms of Thailand and Cambodia. This handcrafted journey offers a range of rich experiences – from visiting brilliantly decorated temples scattered throughout the bustling city of Bangkok to a homestay with local villagers in the lush countryside near Sukhothai, exploring Cambodia’s capital to travelling through rural Siem Reap. You won’t be able to help but fall in the love with the sweet natured elephants at Elephant World once you have had the opportunity to feed, pet, bathe and care for them! Enjoy delicious smells and complex flavours of local cuisine in Chiang Mai, known for its extraordinary restaurants and street markets. In Phnom Penh, learn about the dark history of the Khmer rule with the opportunity to visit the famous Killing Fields of Choeung Ek and how the country continues to rebuild itself. Of course, a trip to Southeast Asia would not be complete without seeing the sunset over the sprawling ancient kingdom of Angkor Wat, nestled in the overgrown jungle of Cambodia.

Arrive at the Bangkok Airport where a private air conditioned minivan (2-12 passengers, 6 passengers per van) or coach (13-16 passengers) with a guide will be waiting to provide transportation to the hotel.

Accommodation at hotel in Bangkok.
Historically known as the ‘Venice of the East’ due to its extensive network of canals, it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to explore Bangkok is by boat. Begin your journey with a cruise along the Chao Phraya River – the city's lifeblood – and the canals of Thonburi, revealing sites not often found in the built-up, modern inner city of Bangkok. Also experience a glimpse of the serene and simple lifestyle of local riverbank dwellers. En route, stop at Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), one of the most attractive temples in Thailand. Disembark the boat at Chang Pier for a short walk to the Grand Palace. The Grand Palace was the seat not only of the king and his court, but also, the entire government administration. With architecture blending Thai with European designs, the palace is brilliantly coloured and gilded with intricate detail, making the overall effect dazzling. Within the grounds stand various palaces used for different occasions, including the Funeral Palace, Reception Palace, Throne Hall, Coronation Hall and the Royal Guest House. The majority of halls and palaces can be viewed from outside only, but the exteriors are captivating enough to please. Don’t miss the most famous building on the palace grounds, Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand. Construction of Wat Phra Kaew began in 1785 when King Rama I moved the capital of Thailand from Thonburi to Bangkok. Unlike other Thai temples, it does not contain living quarters for monks; instead, only richly decorated holy buildings, statues and pagodas exist. The main temple building is the central ubosoth (prayer room) in which the Emerald Buddha resides. Green in colour, the Buddha is carved from a single piece of jade. Though only 17 inches tall, it is the most revered object in Thailand.
Note: The entire Grand Palace is closed during special royal ceremonies and during visits from the Heads of State. Other buildings (such as the Throne Hall and Coronation Hall) are always closed on Saturday and Sunday, public holidays, during special ceremonies and on Buddhist Holidays. A calendar for visiting the Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha can be viewed on the web - site of the Bureau of the Royal Household.
In the afternoon, after an exciting introduction to Thailand, return to the hotel for an evening at your leisure.

Accommodation at hotel in Bangkok

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Have breakfast at the hotel then depart to the picturesque Kanchanaburi. Visit Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, followed by a stop at the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, an interactive museum, information and research facility. The fully air conditioned centre offers visitors an educational and moving experience. Enjoy lunch at local restaurant then board a longtail boat on the Kwai River, passing through unspoiled mountainous jungle scenery. After checking in at the resort, take another boat ride to visit to the nearby ethnic Mon Tribal Village, then return to the resort for dinner, followed by an sensational 45-minute Mon dance performance.

Accommodation at resort

Meals included:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
This morning, check out and drive to Elephant World. Also in the Kanchanaburi province, Elephant World is a the non-profit organization that functions as a “retirement home” to elephants who have been worked for humans either in the logging industry, entertaining tourists at camps and circuses or begging in the streets of the big cities. The foundation not only cares for old and sick elephants, but also attempts to rescue young elephants before they enter a life of mistreatment. The loving employees at Elephant World care for these creatures by preparing food, feeding them and washing them. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty and join the staff in their daily tasks with the elephants! Every day is different depending on the needs of the animals, however general activities include: feeding the elephants, planting/gathering crops, preparing special food for the older elephants, even enjoy swimming and bath time with the elephants! After spending the day caring for and playing with these amazing animals, continue to the hotel in Ayutthaya to relax for the night.

Accommodation at hotel

Meals included:
Breakfast
Lunch
Begin your first morning in Ayutthaya exploring the ancient capital and taking in the romantic atmosphere via river cruise. Find precious artistic and cultural treasures preserved in their beauty for later generations to admire with ample time to discover these magnificent sites along the river and observe the daily activities of the people living along the riverbanks. Visit the area’s most picturesque sites including:
• The Phet Fortress
• Wat Phananchoeng
• Wat Putthaisawan
• St. Joseph Catholic Church
• Wat Chai Watthanaram
• The Memorial Stupa of Queen Suriyothai
After the adventure back in time, enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

Accommodation at hotel

Meals included:
Breakfast
Lunch on cruise
After breakfast and checking out from the hotel, drive to Phitsanulok and Sukhothai for even more history and culture of ancient Siam.
While passing through Phitsanulok, visit Wat Maha That to see the highly revered Buddha statue, Phra Buddha Jinaraj. Afterward, proceed to Sukhothai, Thailand’s second major capital after Ayutthaya, to the Sukhothai Historical Park to visit the iconic temple ruins of Wat Mahathad, Wat Si Sawai, Wat Sa Si and Wat Sri Chum with its sky-high Buddha statue. Take time exploring the impressive park packed with ruins by bicycle followed by lunch at a local restaurant.

Accommodation at Resort

Meals included:
Breakfast
Lunch
Check out of the hotel in Sukhothai and proceed to Natonchan Village, located in Sri Satchanalai district.
Experience village life through a unique homestay experience during which you’ll receive a special wristband during a welcoming ceremony from the village elders and have the opportunity to dine with your host. Also learn about the fermented mud cloth process, and activity developed through the cooperation of the village women as a means to increase their income using their knowledge of the ancient wisdom of weaving to demonstrate the procedure.

Accommodation at Na Ton Chan Homestay

Basic accommodation at a homestay (private room with electric standing fan, mattress on floor, mosquito netting on either window or over the mattress; shared bathroom facilities with shower and western style toilet)

Meals included:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Join your host family early in the morning to take part in the age old tradition of giving alms to the monks then continue to Chiang Mai via Lampang. On the way, visit Wat Phra Thad Lampang Luang, housing the country’s only Emerald Buddha other than the one at Wat Phra Keo in Bangkok, and make a short stop at the colourful Tung Kwian Market, where handicrafts, fruit, vegetables, live animals and the famous Lampang ceramics are on sale. After shopping, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to Chiang Mai.
Begin your Chiang Mai experience with a visit to Wat Doi Suthep, the region’s most important temple tucked away in the mountains at 3,280 feet. Built in 1383 by King Gue-Na, the outstanding monastery is reached by a staircase with 290 steps and flanked by a naga balustrade on either side. In the centre is a large chedi (spired pagoda), which contains partial relics of Lord Buddha. Drive down the mountain passing by the city’s biggest local market, Wororot Market, before going to two more important temples: Wat Chedi Luang and Wat Phra Singh.

Accommodation at hotel

Meals included:
Breakfast
Lunch
In the morning, visit the small village of Mae Klang Luang. Located inside the boundaries of Doi Inthanon National Park, this beautiful village heavily relies on community-based tourism (CBT) to provide an income. Villagers also produce and sell crops but, due to their location in the national park, they are unable to expand fields or crop production. Through CBT, the people of Mae Klang Luang have developed new skills, which have improved their quality of life.
The Karen, or “Pa Kaa Ka Yor”, people of Mae Klang Luang migrated from Myanmar in 1787, settling in a fertile valley in the heart of Doi Inthanon National Park. Founding families carved terraces of emerald rice fields into the mountain landscape, making a stunning first impression to visitors in the area. The village lies at an elevation of approximately 1,200 metres above sea level and is surrounded by lush mixed deciduous and hill evergreen forests.
Local guides will explain the many uses of forest products in daily village life such as which wild plants are used as foods, herbal medicines and natural dyes. You’ll also learn about traditional beliefs that divide the forest into areas where crops can and cannot be cultivated, ‘community forests’ which can only be used to gather wild forest products and sacred watersheds that are strictly protected.
After this culturally rich experience, return to the hotel in Chiang Mai.

Accommodation at hotel
Meals included:
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch (picnic lunch or lunch box)
Enjoy an entire day to yourself to experience the lovely city of Chiang Mai known for its unique culture, delicious cuisine, natural beauty and welcoming people.

Accommodation at hotel

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Have breakfast at the hotel then check out and proceed to Chiang Mai Airport. From there, depart to Bangkok and then fly from Bangkok to Phnom Penh.
After checking in at the hotel in Phnom Penh, kick off your stay with a thrilling introductory tour to the city by tuk tuk. First see the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Art, designed in a Khmer style in 1917 by a French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art – notably sculptures – throughout the ages. Also admire the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town. Located within the Royal Palace, stands the Silver Pagoda, named because of its floor made up of 5,000 silver tiles! Treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha weighing 90 kilogrammes and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. End the journey with a visit to the city’s namesake, Wat Phnom. Founded in 1373, the pagoda was built to house Buddhist relics washed ashore by the river.

Accommodation at hotel in Phnom Penh

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Have breakfast at the hotel then drive to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Between 1975 and 1978 approximately 17,000 men, women, children and infants were detained and tortured at the S-21 Prison then transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek. Over 8,000 skulls, arranged by sex and age, are visible behind the clear glass panels of the Memorial Stupa, which was erected in 1988. Then return to Phnom Penh to see the nototrious S-21 Prison, also known as Tuol Sleng Museum. This former school was used as a prison by Pol Pot’s security forces and became the largest centre for detention and torture during the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Detainees who died during torture were buried in mass graves in the prison ground. Room after room the museum displays photographs of men, women and children covering the walls from floor to ceiling; virtually all the people pictured were later killed.
After this sobering historical experience, visit the Russian Market (Psah Tuol Thom Pong). At this lively outdoor market find antiquities, silver and gold jewellery, gems, silk, kramas, stone and wood carvings, T-Shirts, CDs and other souvenirs.
Visit the Independence Monument and Wat Langka, one of Phnom Penh’s five original wats (pagodas). First established as a sanctuary for the Holy Writings and a meeting place for Cambodian and Sri Lankan monks, the wat was named in honour of these meetings. Wat Langka was used as a storehouse by the Khmer Rouge, making it one of the few places escaped total destruction. Now fully renovated, this temple still plays an important place in Cambodian Buddhism. Finish the city tour at the renovated art deco-style Central Market.
In the evening, enjoy a joint Sunset Cruise on the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers taking in the scenery as the sun dips behind the horizon.

Accommodation at hotel in Phnom Penh

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before checking out and departing to Phnom Penh International Airport to fly to Siem Reap. Arrive and check in to the hotel in Siem Reap (rooms may not be ready until the afternoon).
Start exploring the town, home to the Angkor Archaelogical Park by heading to Preah Khan temple, built by King Jayavarman VII. Preah Khan, similar to Ta Prohm, reveals towering enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts continue to maintain and improve this site. Next, visit the village of Kompong Khleang. This permanent community is one of the largest on the Tonle Sap Lake. It is home to over 20,000 people living all in stilt houses and primarily working as fishermen. Enjoy this spectacular place as you board a private boat to visit one of the small islands at the centre of the village to see the market, school and brightly painted pagodas. Continue by boat to see life along the waters of the great Tonle Sap Lake.
Note: During the high water season from August to January the water level rises to within one or two metres of the buildings. During this time of year the village becomes a lively place with floating houses scattered on the lake in the vicinity of Kompong Khleang. The dry season reveals a spectacular site as the stilt houses rise up to ten metres into the sky. The floating houses are on the open lake and can be visited with a scenic boat ride.

Accommodation at hotel in Siem Reap

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
If you are an early bird, wake up for the magnificent sunrise at the temple of Ta Prohm in Angkor Wat. Seeing this mystic temple in the early morning before the crowds arrive will be a highlight of your trip! Ta Prohm is one of the area’s most beautiful temples, as it has remained relatively untouched since it was discovered and still appears much like how it looked to those who first discovered it. After sneaking in some photos before the crowds, return to the hotel for breakfast.
After breakfast, go to the South Gate of Angkor, boasting huge statues depicting the churning of the Ocean of Milk. Next, see the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), Bayon temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara) and Baphuon. In the afternoon, visit Prasat Kravan with its unique brick sculptures and Srah Srang (“The Royal Baths”), undoubtedly used in the past for ritual bathing.
Spend your last evening in Cambodia exploring the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolise Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Experience sunset at the beautiful Angkor Wat.

Accommodation at hotel in Siem Reap

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel
Have breakfast at the hotel before check out and transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for departure flight to your next destination.

Meals included: Breakfast at hotel

includes

  • Accommodation in shared twin room with air - conditioning (AC) and private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Transfers and tours with local guides in private air -conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees, boat fees and / or cyclo fees as mentioned in the programme
  • Drinking water and cold towels available on the vehicles

excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Surcharges for night - time services, especially applied for transfers with arrivals after 23:00 hrs and arrivals or departures before 06:00 hrs.
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Visa fee
  • Early check - in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme

notes

  • Toul Sleng Genocide Museum: Open every day from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. Visitors are not admitted after 4.45 pm.
  • National Museum (Phnom Penh):  Open every day from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm. Visitors are not admitted after 4.45 pm.
  • Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda: Open every day from 8.00 am to 11.00 am (closed to new visitors at 10.45 am) and from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm (closed to new visitors at 4.45 pm), except when His Royal Highness King Preah Borom Moneath Norodom Sihamoni conducts religious ceremonies at the Silver Pagoda or Royal rituals at the Royal Palace, then one of the two or both compounds will be closed. During the Water Festival, open only in the mornings on the first two days and closed for a full day on the third day.
  • For sightseeing tours you should wear cool, comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Sunscreen lotion and a hat are strongly recommended. Although many tourists do wear shorts and sleeveless shirts, please do respect the culture and traditions of Cambodia. Pagodas and the temples are sacred, religious places where knees and shoulders have to be covered. This is also the case for the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh. Visitors who do not abide to these rules of conduct may not be allowed access. Shoes (as well as hats) have to be removed before entering pagodas.
  • Jewelry is generally not up to international standards for design and workmanship and buyers should use caution when purchasing gold and gems, many gems are fake and we recommend not following anybody’s recommendations.
  • Certain parts of the tours on offer are provided by independent third parties, such as airlines, hotels, transport operators and other local suppliers. Diethelm Travel Cambodia is therefore not responsible for any loss, injury or damage caused thereby to the tourists, including those occurring outside of the normal touring programmes. Additional expenses incurred due to delay, accident, natural disaster, political actions and unrest shall be borne by the tourists.
  • We advise that due to frequent flight changes, delays and cancellations by the domestic airlines we cannot fully guarantee that the proposed itinerary can be carried out as planned. Based on our experience, changes of departure times and / or cancellations can occur at very short notice even after confirmation of a flight has been received. In case of schedule changes or flight cancellations we always try everything possible to arrange an alternate programme within the framework of the original quoted costs. However, we reserve the right to charge any cost exceeding the original budget to the tour operator / travel agent or to the participant of a tour after consultation with the agent.
  • Programmes, prices, services and conditions are based on those valid at the time of proposal submission and are subject to change thereafter without advance notice until all services have been paid in full.
  • We strongly advise to leave valuable items (money, passport, credit cards, jewellery, sensitive documents, laptop computer, etc.) in the hotel safe. During excursions and roundtrips, personal belongings, especially money and valuables should NEVER be left on vehicles, even during short breaks. Diethelm Travel Cambodia is not responsible for any loss or theft.
  • Cambodia, being a developing country, is in the process of upgrading its infrastructure. Therefore, driving overland can be cumbersome due to ongoing road construction.

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