Cambodia, Laos, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Discover the charm of Southeast Asia on this custom tailored bed and breakfast tour that will take you through the majesty of Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Within the untamed jungle of Thailand’s north you will witness where elephants grace the land; you can ride the Mekong River to experience the local life of villagers within the breathtaking landscapes of Laos. Journey through the remarkable temple complexes of Angkor Wat, and come see the elegance of history and the stunning traditions that...
Chiang Mai – Jungle Luxuriousness
Welcome to Chiang Mai, the largest city of northern Thailand with a small-town feel. The jungle washes around the city like a screen, giving you the tremendous luxury of seclusion amongst the canopy. From the airport you will be transferred to your fabulous bed and breakfast where the comfort is in the quality and modernity of the accommodation. Within the lush jungle is the grand room and stunning pool, giving you a taste of the journey to come. The trickle of the pool is inviting; the scent of fresh baked bread is divine. Mountains rise and fall in the distance and you are ready for your holiday in Southeast Asia to begin.
Chiang Mai – Unparalleled Flavor
The delicate combination of flavors in Thai cuisine has caused chefs and diners to smile with anticipation and tear a little when the food is finished. Today you will venture out into the local flair with a culinary guide who will show you the way to the bright variety of Thai cuisine, teaching you the secrets to spectacular dishes along the way. Venture into the local market of Chiang Mai where the aroma of fresh produce, coriander and mango, carrots and bird’s eye chilies, line the aisles. After you have marketed you will follow your guide into the kitchen where you will be taught the keys to concocting your very own superior Thai flavors before dining on your creations. Enjoy the subtle creaminess of green curry and the slight tang of tom yum soup. Delight in the flaky crunch of spring rolls and the rich peanut sauce of chicken satay. Each flavor, like each moment in Thailand, is savored, remembered, and celebrated.
Chiang Mai – Along the Forested Hills
Above the canopy but hidden within the brush, high on the mountain of Doi Suthep, is the most important temple in Chiang Mai. The legend says that a white elephant chose the temple’s location when it died while carrying a very important statue of Buddha. You are greeted first by the Naga staircase, where dragons guard the first steps, their tails rising with the mountain until reaching the top after 300 steps. The tiles shine pink and white beneath the colorful dragon tails and gilded pillars. The golden spire decorates the center of the temple and the mountaintop. Its supporting walls crate an enclave decorated with astounding historical murals and shrines, including one that houses a white elephant statue; the elephant now guards the pagoda, welcoming visitors and pilgrims alike.
In the evening you will return to the city where you will partake in the fabulous Khantoke Show. The show is a grand representation of Thai culture, where the history and traditions of the country are displayed in the clothing and movement of the dancers. While you enjoy the sensational tastes of Thailand, from the red curry to the crispy fried chicken, you will watch the tantalizing ballet of the sword dance, where the rush of the blade is mixed with the precise movement of the body, turning the weapon into an instrument of beauty and elegance. The glowing costumes imitate temples and palaces, while the graceful movements imitate nature, creating balance and showing great restraint.
Luang Prabang – Travel North to Laos
Today you will venture outside of the borders of Thailand, flying over its northern border to the beautiful country of Laos and the lovely city of Luang Prabang. The city is known for its serene parade of monks in the early morning, their shining orange robes imitating the coming sunlight. People line up along the sidewalk waiting for the parade of monks, ready to give alms, pay their respects, and be blessed by the quiet, holy marching men of the city. The city itself is quiet and looks more like a village set within the sprawling splendor of the country’s greenery. Arrive at your hotel, a luxurious spot that looks over the Mekong River, where the French colonial history can be seen in the architecture’s arches, the wave of umbrellas, and the charming balconies that watch over the rushing water and swaying trees.
Luang Prabang – Laotian Wonder
The morning sun rises over the surrounding mountains where the gentle glow of the day brings more than just breakfast. After your delicious start you will venture out on a guided tour of the city where so much of the traditions and Laotian culture have persisted throughout the centuries. Step onto a longboat that will take you along the expanse of the Mekong River. The water is gentle and the air cool as you float down the river arriving at the intimidating Pak Ou Caves. One of the most revered holy sites in Laos, the caves date back millennia, where thousands of Buddha icons decorate the shrine. Many of the figures are made from wood, sitting beneath the sagging rock face, 50 feet above the river. The caves are scented with limestone and incense, giving a soft but welcomed fragrance to the damp air. Stalactites dip like spikes from the ceiling as the gilded shapes of Buddha glisten within the cavernous space.
Luang Prabang – Hmong Traditions Abound
The traditional lives of villagers have been unobstructed for centuries, hidden within the trees with no way of exploitation from outside influences within the landlocked country. Your guide will meet you at your hotel ready to take you through the sensational culture maintained within the jungle mountains of Laos. The morning air is a welcome cold beneath the canopy as you climb the hillsides in search of the first village. The landscape is quiet with little more than the patter of your feet on the ground. Suddenly the path clears, the trees open and you have arrived at a Hmong Village on the outskirts of Luang Prabang. The culture is widely different with Hmong who continue to practice an animist religion; however, their lives continue to be lived in traditional houses raised on stilts that allows for the home to rise with the slopes and keep the rains from flooding through the door. The roofs are made of bound sticks while the mats and awnings are woven grass. In certain areas you can see the agricultural terraces rising up the mountainside like a lush, textured pyramid. The beauty of the day isn’t just in the nature but within the kindness and charm of tradition and a particular way of life.
Siem Reap – Over Mountains and Under Jungles to Cambodia
The quiet majesty of Luang Prabang and Laos will never be far from your thoughts as you make your way from the north into Siem Reap, a city surrounded by jungle and adjacent to the magnificence of a once-proud empire. You will be met at the airport by a private transfer who will take you to your sensational accommodation. The luxurious hotel is situated within a gorgeous remnant of Cambodia’s French colonization, where the immaculate white façade is a taste of what each room has in store. The vibrant trees stretch and cover the surrounding area giving a touch of seclusion to the hotel, the pool, and the luxuries within.
Siem Reap – Towers Rise at Angkor Wat
Today you will arrive within the marvelous history contained within the confines of the famous Angkor Wat. The temple stands over a pond and reflects its grandeur in the water where lilies sprout and bloom. The sandstone has grown dark over the years but the majesty of the temple continues to shine bright. The towers rise over 200 feet above the ground in concentric tiers; the entire complex was built between the 9th and 13th century. The interior and exterior walls of Angkor Wat are adorned with exceptional bas-relief carvings that tell the story of warriors and gods, a history of the people bursting from the walls in intricate design. The sensational fragrance of incense fills the structure, but the complex is so large that you feel surrounded by emptiness, just you and the temple, the rising towers and the jutting stones, where the faces that stare back at you hold the sly smiles of gods.
Siem Reap – A Sunrise Best
The morning begins with a remarkable breakfast within the beauty of the hotel. The early rise brings you awake before dawn, the vague lights of the city are the only glow of the streets. The morning air is cold, a comfortable change from the afternoon heat. You arrive at the base of Angkor Wat once again with the temple silhouetted by the darkness. You look to see its reflection in the pond below but can only see an unclear outline of lilies. Orange robes glow in the distance as monks make their way from the tree line like ethereal beings, slowly parading into the foreground. When the sun starts to rise you can see the sensational shimmer of the towers, the stretch of golden coloration ridding the world of darkness.
Later in the day you will come to the temple Banteay Srey, where the incredible sandstone offers an earthy color to the structure. The temple was first constructed in the 10th century focusing on the central image of Shaivite Linga, while now the name of the temple refers to the intricate carvings and the small dimensions of the architecture, giving the structure the name “Citadel of Beauty.” You can see a mixture of antiquity and innovation within the frame, where the pediments are large but the entryways are thin. Along the eastern pediment you can see Indra on a causeway over 130 feet that connects the monumental tower with another enclosure. There is a never ending sense of delight within the designs of the walls that lash out like tiger claws wanting to be seen within the melee of intricacies, including the god of love shooting an arrow at Shiva.
Siem Reap – Tremendous Grouping of Temples
Outside of Siem Reap is a collection of temples known as the Roluos Group. The three temples are Bakgon, Lolei, and Preah Ko; they are close together in distance and extend around an area of almost two miles. Their architecture, decoration, and construction method lend them to the Classic Period of Khmer Art, ranging around the earliest years of Angkor’s existence. Each temple has illustrious square-shaped brick towers raised by pedestals. A monster head adorns the entrance scaring away the demons that were thought to be present on earth while the Hindu god Visnu stands and mounts Garuda, his mythical bird. The columns are mostly octagonal, adorned with intricate, delicate leaves. With the dedication to the architecture while the jungle clamors around the temples, some historians believe that these temples are the most beautiful out of any Angkor structure; you’re sure that no matter how many temples you see they will never lose their prowess and mystique.
Siem Reap – Goodbye to Magnificence
The morning rises softly over the horizon. It is hard to imagine a sunrise without the majesty of Angkor Wat beneath it. After you delight in breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. Your holiday within the charm of large cities and the grace of jungles, where rivers flowed and landscapes were celebrated, has shown you the magnificence of Southeast Asia, in the greenery, the serenity, the flavorful history, and the overall elegance of this world away.
Be sure to browse the Thailand tour reviews to see what travelers experienced while on their vacation and why they continue to rely on Zicasso.
- Delight in the flavors of Thailand with a private cooking lesson
- Visit the majesty of the most sacred temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand atop the summit of Doi Suthep
- Cruise beside the famous riverbanks of the Mekong River
- Trek through the glorious nature, through the jungle brush and hillsides of Laos
- Visit sensational villages located within the Laotian mountains
- Discover the majesty of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples
The charm of Southeast Asia is hidden in the jungles and along the riverbanks on this 12-day excursion that will take you to see the treasures of Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. It is almost as if there is a never ending shimmer along the forest green and rushing water, where cliffs and temples are equally majestic, while palaces remain regal in their opulence, and even in their ruin. From the birth of modern mountain cities to cultures that have remained unchanged for centuries, you will find Southeast Asia fascinating.
Your Thailand vacation begins with your arrival in Chiang Mai, considered to be the capital of the north. The city is surrounded by the lush jungle where the trees outside are as vibrant as the streets inside. Elephants have graced the countryside for millennia becoming ingrained into the civilizations they encountered; in the fringes of the city you will visit one of the many elephant camps that help to keep the sacred animal safe, along with providing the companionship that elephants enjoy. Chiang Mai is considered the culinary capital of Thailand, home to many of the dishes people know, and some that are a delightful surprise; a culinary tour of the day takes you to the local market and into the kitchen where the secrets of Thai cuisine are revealed to you. Visit the summit of Doi Suthep to not only take in the sensational vista of the city and surrounding mountains but to appreciate the opulent temple that offers a plateau to absorb all its wonder.
Arrive in Luang Prabang, Laos where the cityscape seems to be absorbed by the sensational trees, dipping in and out of the streets, as though the city was born of the jungle and not surrounded by it. Board a river cruiser that will take you along the riverbanks of the Mekong where the natural landscape brings magnificent karsts and limestone precipices, creating tremendous awe. Within the Ou Caves you will find, hidden beneath the dripping stonewall, thousands of images of Buddha looking out over the riverside. On the outskirts of Luang Prabang you will visit the marvelous hillside tribes who have lived within the countryside for centuries and continue their traditions, from how they build their homes to how they prepare their meals. Transfer to Siem Reap, Cambodia and come face to face with the remarkable temples of Angkor Wat, discovering the endless splendor of the ancient city and its surrounding religious centers. Your time in Southeast Asia will bring you to the elegance of history, hidden within the landscapes and displayed within the countries’ continued charm.
$2,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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