Land of Laobodia
The highlights tour. See the best of the best in Bangkok, haggle and feast in Chiang Mai, chill on a private slow boat up the Mekong, fall in love with Luang Prabang, explore some rad caves, kayak and hang ten in Vang Vieng and Vientiane, rock and roll in Phnom Penh and explore the temples Angkor Tomb Raider style in Siem Reap.
Time for a game of ‘Spot the best Chinglish menu item’. Look out for: Braised dork, Upland forest trees pork ribs author, Bean salad with disabilities, Pork with fresh garbage, Slippery pig red paper fish chives*
*yes these are actual menu items we’ve seen
Day 1-2 - Bangkok - overnight train
If you want to be formal you can refer to Bangkok by its traditional name: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. We're sure nobody will mind if you want to keep things casual.
- Arrive in Bangkok and get to grips with this awesome city
- Visit some of Bangkok’s most famous sights, including the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha
- Enjoy the rest of the day to further explore the city
- Shop for bargains, eat in exotic restaurants and perhaps hit some bars or nightclubs
- Catch overnight sleeper train to Chiang Mai
Day 3 - Chiang Mai
Test your haggling skills at the Night Bazaar and see who can buy the cheapest DVD. Loser buys the khao soi.
- Spend a free day exploring the northern city of Chiang Mai, with over 120 temples in the centre alone
- Set off on an excursion to the top of Doi Suthep, with fantastic views over the city
- Perhaps get a traditional Thai massage or even partake in a cooking class
- Why not visit the Night Bazaar a great chance to practice those bargaining skills
Day 4-5 - Huay Xai - Mekong River - Pakbeng
Cruise the Mekong on a slow boat, from one sleepy village to the next. You can’t miss the colourfully dressed Hmong hill women who come down from the mountains each day.
- Take a small boat across the Mekong River to Huay Xai, the first stop in Laos
- Enjoy time to wander around this small place and perhaps ascend the Naga stairs to Wat Jom Khao Manilat
- Perhaps visit a nearby minority village, where they make rice whiskey, noodles and handicrafts
- Board a slow boat for a trip down the Mekong River
- Arrive in the late afternoon at Pakbeng; a colourful village situated at the junction of the Mekong River and the smaller Beng River
Day 6-8 - Luang Prabang
Sounds like the name of an Italian fashion designer. In fact, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for temples and caves.
- Continue on the private slow boat, stopping to stretch your legs and explore the Pak Ou Caves, which contain hundreds of Buddha statues
- Arrive in Luang Prabang in the evening and wander the streets of ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’
- Trek to the beautiful Kuang Si Falls
Day 9-11 - Vang Vieng - Vientiane
Wow, two villages starting with 'V'. Lots of free time to explore caves, kayak on the Nam Song River or just wander aimlessly.
- Transfer to a local fan cooled bus and head toward the village of Vang Vieng, located on a bend in the Nam Song River
- Cross the river to explore the huge caves that line the West Bank
- Enjoy plenty of time to make your own discoveries or partake in an optional kayaking day trip along the Nam Song
- Continue to the Lao capital, located on the banks of the Mekong River
- Arrive in Vientiane and explore this small and laid-back capital on bicycle or on foot
- Set off on a walking orientation tour takes you to the oldest remaining temple in Vientiane, Wat Si Saket
- During free time, further explore Vientiane’s other historical sites, including Haw Pha Kaew
Day 12-13 - Phnom Penh
Heaps to do here: Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Prison, Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and Wat Phnom. Toast the end of your trip with a cocktail at the Foreign Correspondents' Club.
- Take a cyclo sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh
- Join a bus to visit the Royal Palace and reminders of the Khmer Rouge atrocities - the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
- Visit the Central Market, located in an old French colonial building - a good place to look for clothing or sarongs
- Enjoy the rest of the day exploring Phnom Penh city
- Perhaps stop by the temple of Wat Phnom, the National Museum and the French Quarter
- Enjoy a home-cooked meal in a family's home
Day 14-17 - Siem Reap - Angkor
Clear some space on your memory card, because everything at Angkor is photo-worthy. Our picks are the faces of Bayon and meeting the monks at Angkor Wat.
Travel by public bus to Siem Reap. Walk around town on an orientation of Siem Reap and enjoy some local snacks
- Take an informative day-long tour of the Angkor complex, visiting the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and, of course, Angkor Wat
- Optional visit to the rose-coloured Banteay Srei Temple
- Perhaps visit Banteay Srei, located about 30 kilometres north of Siem Reap - considered to be the best preserved of all of Cambodia’s temples
- Optional trip with into the countryside to discover facets of rural life with a local site guide
- Optional boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake, passing floating fishing villages
- Optional flight of the gibbon zip line adventure
- Kick back in Siem Reap and just wander around the town, visiting its market, shops and restaurants
The tour ends today after breakfastBreakfast
What to Know
• Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour.
• Guided day tour of the Angkor complex including the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Elephant Terrace, Baphoun, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm and Angkor Wat.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Bangkok, Vientiane and Phnom Penh.
• Slow boat trip down the Mekong River with a night in a simple hostel in Pakbeng and a visit to the Buddha statues at Pak Ou Caves.
• Trek to Kuang Si Falls and exploration of Vang Vieng caves.
• Dinner at a local family's home in Cambodia.
• Free time to explore Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Huay Xai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
• Local flight from Vientiane to Phnom Penh.
• Overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 02 Aug 2014 - 18 Aug 2014 Fully Booked US $2,030 On Sale Sale: US $1,827 Closed 04 Oct 2014 - 20 Oct 2014 Available US $2,030 Book Now 15 Nov 2014 - 01 Dec 2014 Available US $2,030 Book Now 06 Dec 2014 - 22 Dec 2014 Available US $2,030 Book Now 27 Dec 2014 - 12 Jan 2015 Available US $2,030 Book Now 03 Jan 2015 - 19 Jan 2015 Available US $2,030 Book Now 24 Jan 2015 - 09 Feb 2015 Available US $2,030 Book Now 14 Feb 2015 - 02 Mar 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 07 Mar 2015 - 23 Mar 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 04 Apr 2015 - 20 Apr 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 09 May 2015 - 25 May 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 30 May 2015 - 15 Jun 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 20 Jun 2015 - 06 Jul 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 11 Jul 2015 - 27 Jul 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 01 Aug 2015 - 17 Aug 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 22 Aug 2015 - 07 Sep 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 12 Sep 2015 - 28 Sep 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 17 Oct 2015 - 02 Nov 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 14 Nov 2015 - 30 Nov 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now 05 Dec 2015 - 21 Dec 2015 Available US $1,970 Book Now
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Land of Laobodia
Mark - Australia, 10 Apr, 2013
An absolutely excellent tour, although a poor first couple of days. Highlights: elephant riding, temples, caves, bike riding and kayaking in Laos, Angkor Wat and Siem Reap in Cambodia, great guides. Low light: 18 hour overnight train ride to Chang Mai a day after arriving in Bangkok. 4/5 Stars
Land of Laobodia
Jacqueline - Australia, 1 May, 2013
I have done a number of Geckos trips now and this would be one of my highlights. There were only 5 of us during the Thailand and Laos component and this was an ideal number. The group expanded to 10 in Cambodia, and unfortunately, there were 1 or 2 passengers who needed a lesson in cultural awareness and sensitivity. This however, is not an issue Geckos can control, and it didn't affect my enjoyment of the experience, it was just an embarrassment to me as they were of the same nationality as myself. I felt like apologizing for their behavior.