If you’re in need of the ultimate travel TLC, then be ready to fall in love with Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Our itinerary of these three South East Asian countries will leave you feeling enriched and relaxed in equal measures. Explore the most famous temples and cultural monuments, while staying at the finest hotels and resorts available.
– 3 nights at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
– Flight to World Heritage City, Luang Prabang
– Luang Prabang – city highlight tours
– Mekong River Cruise, Pak Ou Buddha Caves, and Sunset cruise
– Stay at Rosewood Luang Prabang
– Flight to Siem Reap, Cambodia
– Visit Angkor Thom, Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre, and Angkor Wat
– Phnom Penh. Visit Royal Palace, the National Museum, Toul Sleng and Cheung Ek
– Transfer to Shinta Mani Wild, A Private Nature Sanctuary
– End the trip with five days at Song Saa Private Island
After arriving on the first day, spend days two and three at your leisure, exploring the culturally dynamic city of Bangkok.
Stay at the legendary Mandarin Oriental, where travellers have arrived from the Chao Phraya River for more than 146 years. A haven of calm on the banks of the river, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok has a wealth of world-class dining options and excellent spa & wellness facilities.
Surrounded by thickly forested mountains and situated at the confluence of the Khan and Mekong Rivers, Luang Prabang has a tranquil, old world charm rarely found in Asia today. This fascinating town was the capital of the Lane Xang (million elephants) Kingdom until the mid-sixteenth century. In colonial times it served as a provincial headquarters of the north. The legacy of the European presence here – well preserved French architecture and careful street planning – has blended delightfully with more than 30 gilded Buddhist temples to create a town rich in atmosphere and history. Luang Prabang is perhaps the best-preserved traditional city in South East Asia.
In 1995 UNESCO voted Luang Prabang as a World Heritage City.
Start the day early with one of the most memorable sights of Luang Prabang – the Tak Bat. At dawn hundreds of saffron robed monks move silently through the streets to collect alms (offerings of food). Your guide will explain the background behind this ritual which is still very much a part of everyday life in Laos. Take a stroll with your local guide through the colourful, open-air fresh early Morning Market. Tasted a unique local authentic Lao Coffee at Pasaneyom Coffee Shop and return to hotel.
Mid-morning, discover some of the priceless monuments around the old city. Enjoy morning tour around Luang Prabang, visit Luang Prabang’s National Museum, formerly the Royal Palace. Visit Wat Mano a monk school, where you will have the opportunity to meet with a young monks learning about Buddhism and Laos histories. Visit My Library to talk to ambitious young people from poor surrounding areas come to Luang Prabang to further their education. Visit Wat Xieng Thong – often said to be Luang Prabang’s most beautiful. Climb its 350 steps Phou Sii hill stands right in the centre of this small city to enjoy commanding views for many miles in each direction.
A traditional lunch at Belmond La Résidence Phou Vao.
Afternoon is at leisure or continues to exploring around Luang Prabang and visit Kuang Sii Waterfalls.
Rosewood Luang Prabang
Visit famous Pak Ou Buddha cave. These caves have been home to many thousands of Buddha images that have been placed here by local people since 16th century.
Enjoy traditional Lao style lunch before taking a private Mekong Riverboat down the stream to Luang Prabang passing through stunning mountains scenery and traditional villages dotting long the riverbank if time and energy permit pay a visit to small iconic riverside Ban Thin Hong weaving and fishing village, where you have an opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about rural Lao life and handicrafts. A great photo opportunity and experience for those looking for a deeper insight into Lao Culture. You are welcomed in the village with the special, traditional Laotian Baci ceremony. ‘Baci’ plays an important role even today to welcome or farewell, bring good luck and ward of bad spirits for any major event in the life of local people.
After exploring the village enjoy a relaxation on a river cruise descend of the Mekong River for to Luang Prabang with unique Lao refreshments and canapés will be served on board and a choice of soft drinks & champagne/sparkling wine included.
Return to Luang Prabang along the way enjoy a romantic sunset cruise.
Rosewood Luang Prabang
Siem Reap, a resort town in northwestern Cambodia, is the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–15th centuries.
Once a residence for guests of King Sihanouk, Amansara is a masterpiece of 1960’s New Khmer architecture just ten minutes from the entrance to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Unesco World Heritage Site. Set in spiritual Siem Reap, Amansara’s manicured gardens, a tranquil spa, curvilinear pool and canopy of mature trees add to tangible tranquillity that inspired its name – ‘heavenly peace’.
Take a tour to visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom. We begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King. This intricately carved platform was the royal crematorium and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king is now believed to be Yama, the god of death.
At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman 1 in the 11th century. We continue our exploration of Angkor’s impressive temple and city ruins, the temple of Ta Prohm; this is the only temple that was left to the jungle and largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” of Angkor in the late 1800’s by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles. It is one of the largest temples at Angkor, dedicated in 1186. Historians have noted its mystical charm.
In the morning, drive to Banteay Srei; the citadel of women – a tiny, enchanting temple, which is one of the jewels in this remarkable city. This is the most Indian of all the temples in Angkor and in the words of H.W. Ponder, is a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest. Stop in a village and visit a family that produces the sugar palm.
Continue to visit Banteay Samre is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia located east of the East Baray. Built under Suryavarman II and Yasovarman II in the early 12th century, it is a Hindu temple in the Angkor Wat style. Named after the Samré, an ancient people of Indochina, the temple uses the same materials as the Banteay Srei.
In the afternoon, visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylised on the modern Cambodian flag. Conceived by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. It is generally believed to have been a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks and is well preserved. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Each tells a story. The most celebrated of these is the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is located on the east wing. In it the Naga serpent, is twisted by demons and gods to spurt out the elixir of life…
We finish by experiencing sunset over the rice fields from the royal crematorium of Pre Rup, a classic view of the Cambodian countryside before return back to hotel.
Rosewood Phnom Penh presents an ultra-luxury experience at the heart of the Cambodian capital. Soaring 188 meters above the heart of Phnom Penh, the hotel occupies the top 14 floors of Vattanac Capital Tower, the city’s most iconic modern structure and a symbol of the new Cambodia, with unobstructed views of the fabled Mekong River.
Rosewood Phnom Penh Hotel
In the morning, visit the Royal Palace, which was built in 1866 by King Norodom. The Palace is actually a number of structures within a pagoda-style compound. Silver Pagoda located within the Royal Palace compound, the Silver Pagoda is so names because of its floor, which is made up of 5,000 silver tiles. The treasures are a solid gold Buddha encrusted with 9, 584 diamonds and weighing 90kilos and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha.
Next visit the National Museum, which houses Khmer art especially sculptures, from different periods of Cambodian history, 19th century dance costumes, royal barges and palanquins.
In the afternoon visit Toul Sleng is now known as the Genocide Museum, although formerly used by the Pol Pot Regime as the detention and torture center for “cadres”of that regime, it is a moving example of the difficulties faced by all in Cambodia between 1975 & 1979.
You will continue to visit Cheung Ek, a profoundly moving but depressing experience. During the Khmer Rouge years, thousands of Cambodians were tortured and imprisoned in Toul Sleng. They were then moved to the extermination camps at Choeng Ek where they were bludgeoned to death. They were buried in mass graves and today over 8,000 skulls are displayed behind the glass of a memorial stupa, erected in 1988 to honour those who died.
Rosewood Phnom Penh Hotel
SUV transfer to Shinta Mani Wild.
Kirirom, Bokor, and Cardamom are three of Cambodia’s oldest and most important parks, which together make up one of the greatest wilderness areas of South East Asia.
A wild coast of pristine estuaries gives way to a mountain range covered in rainforest that is one of the few remaining habitats in Cambodia for wild elephants, bears, gibbons, tigers and numerous other species. This sparsely populated frontier is also home to Shinta Mani Wild – The Bensley Collection – A Private Nature Sanctuary in Cambodia for wild elephants, bears, gibbons, tigers and numerous other species.
Private boat transfer to Song Saa.
Song Saa Private Island is an ethical, carefree paradise. An intimate escape in a far-flung archipelago.
Crafted with love, inspired by our surroundings, Song Saa Private Island offers luxury, serenity and a deep connection with the environment.
Created with sustainability in mind, Song Saa Private Island reflects the beauty of the Cambodian coastline. It’s a place that breathes in time with nature, built from local materials, by local hands, and infused with local art and soul. An evolved tropical getaway with a pristine private beach, spacious wooden villas, heavenly spa sanctuaries and a preserved coral reef, Song Saa Private Island lets you detach from the world and tune into simple luxuries.
On the morning of your departure, a private helicopter charter will take you to Phnom Penh International Airport (Approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes) for your international departure.