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Highlights of Cambodia & Thailand

(14 Days - Departs Daily on a Private Basis)

Siem Reap, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Krabi

 

A two week tour of Cambodia & Thailand that combines the jungle temple exploration and the sights of Bangkok, a river cruise, island cycling and sometime beside an idyllic beach. Start in Siem Reap visit the ruined temples of Angkor head to Bangkok from where you cruise upstream to the ancient capital of Ayutthaya and the charming Thai city of Chiang Mai. Fly down to Krabi where you will enjoy the blissed out peace and tranquillity of the one of our absolute favourite beach resorts.

 

** All our tours are Exclusive Private Tours, so you will not be put together with other guests **

 

 

Day 1: Welcome to Siem Reap

Fly to Siem Reap, CAMBODIA                                                           

 

Welcome to Cambodia. Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, obtain your Cambodia visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire.

 

Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 4 nights in Siem Reap

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Shinta Mani Resort, Viroth’s Boutique Hotel, Pavillon d’Orient Boutique

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Belmond La Residence d’Angkor, Victoria Angkor Resort

 

Day 2: Siem Reap

Meals Provided:  Breakfast

 

These temples were built from the 9th to 12th centuries by a Khmer empire that controlled not only Cambodia but large parts of what are now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam as well. With their grandeur of scale and extraordinary delicacy in detail, the temples rank among humankind's most supreme artistic expressions. Spend the early morning visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century). See the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, visit Bayon temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), Baphuon (recently re-opened after years of restoration), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, and the Terrace of the Leper King.

 

In the late afternoon and sunset hours, explore 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 symbolize Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Sunset at Angkor Wat.

 

After dusk, you'll be returned to your hotel with the evening free to relax or explore independently.

 

Day 3: Siem Reap

Meals Provided:  Breakfast

 

Today, meet your personal guide and driver. Rise early to travel to Ta Phrom. Built in 1186, Ta Phrom was dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII. Its atmospheric dark gray sandstone towers and courtyards exude an aura of reverence and mystery. Unlike most of the other inner temples of Angkor, Ta Phrom has been left to the elements and looks very much as it must have when "discovered" by Henri Mouhot in the 1860s. Navigating through its narrow passages, immense kapok trees and jungle-covered ruins is an unparalleled experience and one of the highlights of Angkor. Next, you’ll visit Preah Khan or 'Sacred Sword', built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. Sister temple to Ta Prohm, the cruciform corridors here are impressive and there are some wonderful carvings adorning the walls, including the spectacular hall of dancers. Look out for the curious two-storey structure that is almost Grecian in inspiration. This is one of the few temples originally dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism. The original eastern entrance was for Mahayana Buddhists, while the other cardinal points represented the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Next, to Banteay Kdei This temple was the first great Buddhist monastery in Cambodia, constructed by Jayavarman VII during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its system of galleries and vestibules that were added after the construction of the main towers makes it look like a cloister. It was built in sandstone, which has deteriorated quite badly. However, there remain some very beautiful lintels and pediments. Although it is in a ruinous state. You’ll then visit Ta Keo King Suryavarman I commissioned this temple in the 10th Century, but it was never completed so has no elaborate decoration like its contemporaries. It is a pyramid on 5 levels and is dedicated to Shiva. Some scholars contend this was due to an inauspicious lightning strike during construction. Others have suggested the high quality sandstone was simply too hard to carve in detail.

 

Later this afternoon, journey north to visit Banteay Srei. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women', thanks to the intricate detail here, considered too fine for the hands of a man. Originally believed to date from the latter part of the Angkor period, inscriptions at the site suggest it was built by a Brahman in 967. However, some architectural historians have suggested that the inscriptions may date from an earlier structure on this site and the temple is in fact later, marking a high-water mark in Khmer sculpture. Stop at a local village to visit families who are producing palm sugar. Make a short stop at the Land Mine Museum, a rather humble look at the land mine problem, past and present, in Cambodia. You'll then continue to visit Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved. Two concentric walls enclose the ensemble.

 

This evening, walk up Phnom Bakheng for a sunset view of Angkor Wat and the surrounding areas. This view provides a wonderful overview of the entire area. (Please note that this site becomes very crowded at sunset, so you may choose to walk up to Pre Rep instead.) 

 

Day 4: Siem Reap

Meals Provided:  Breakfast

 

This morning you will be met at your hotel at 8.00am and travel to the lost temple of Beng Mealea, the titanic of temples, a slumbering giant lost for centuries in the forests of Cambodia. It is the most accessible of Angkor’s lost temples, a mirror image of Angkor Wat, but utterly consumed by the voracious appetite of nature. Constructed by Suryavarman II (1113-1150), the builder of Angkor Wat, the forest has run riot here and it is hard to get a sense of the monument’s shape amid the daunting ruins. Here it is possible to enjoy an Indiana Jones experience clambering about the vast ruin. For those who want a more gentle adventure, there is also a sturdy wooden walkway running right into the heart of the temple. It is also possible to visit a nearby Angkor-era quarry from where stone was cut to build these massive monuments.

 

We then head into the bush to the remote Angkor capital of Koh Ker is an Angkorian site in northern Cambodia 70 miles northeast of Siem Reap; it was briefly the capital of the Khmer empire between 928 and 944 under king Jayavarman IV and his son Hasavarman II. After the Khmer empire had been established in the Angkor area (Roluos), Jayavarman IV moved the capital in 928 to Koh Ker. Here a vast number of temples were built under his reign, until his successor returned to the Angkor area about twenty years later. The Koh Ker site is dominated by Prasat Thom, a 30-meter-tall temple-mountain raising high above the plain and the surrounding forest. Great views await the visitor at the end of an adventurous climb. The area was only recently de-mined and the road improved. This makes Koh Ker very attractive for anyone who would like to experience what Angkor must has been like half a century ago. Picnic lunch at Koh Ker.

 

After exploring Koh Ker through the afternoon, begin the drive back to Siem Reap arriving this evening for a well-deserved opportunity to freshen up and good night's rest.

 

Day 5: Siem Reap – Bangkok

Meals Provided:  Breakfast

 

For a further glimpse into local life, this morning, depart Siem Reap for a tour of the surrounding countryside and take an ox-cart ride through the villages and the rice fields. At the end of your ride, have a fresh coconut drink with the family and do not hesitate to talk with the local people to get to know more about their lives. Then driver to boat pier and board a wooden boat for a ride on Tonle Sap often called the Great Lake. We will float by schools, markets and police stations all built within the lake and observe the typical local activities. We’ll visit a floating house to interact with a local family before returning to town. Next, visit Les Artisans dAngkor - Chantiers Ecoles, this centre is working with young artisans; the team creates, produce and market a unique collection of ornamental sculpture, lacquer ware, silk weaving and silk painting. The company promotes fair, sustainable development in order to provide benefits to the rural communities.

 

After leisurely afternoon, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Bangkok, Thailand.

 

Fly Siem Reap to Bangkok on Bangkok Airways PG914, departing 15:35, arriving 16:30

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Thailand. Upon arrival in Bangkok, obtain your Thailand visa (please refer to your Special Program Note), and then clear Immigration and Customs.  After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to the lovely boutique hotel. Bangkok Thailand’s capital city, known to Thais as “Krung Thep” (the City of Angels) is one of the world’s most exciting cities. It holds the essence of the Thai spirit, and is very much the heart of the country. Without doubt, this fast-growing metropolis of roughly 10 million people has something to offer to everyone. Its lively collection of nightlife venues, markets, shops, restaurants, magnificent “wats” (temples), museums, palaces and parks will assure that you never get bored. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Bangkok

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: Ariyasom Villa, Riva Surya Bangkok, Chatrium Hotel Riverside

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: The Peninsula Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The Siam Hotel

 

Day 6: The Klongs & Bangkok’s breathtaking Buddha’s and more

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Begin your full day tour of this city visiting three impressive temples. First drive through the morning flower markets to explore real Thai lifestyle. Visit Wat Traimit with its invaluable Golden Buddha (5 ½ tons of solid gold); Wat Pho, the largest temple in Bangkok, with the colossal Reclining Buddha and the Chedis of the Kings.

View the enormous Buddha covered in gold leaf and lying majestically on its side. Next, continue to the city's most important landmark, the Grand Palace, which is one of the most beautiful examples of ancient Siamese architecture and has been the residence of the Kings of Thailand for over two centuries. Here you will see palaces which were used for different occasions: the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House and Wat Phra Kaew, containing the most revered Buddha image in the country, the Emerald Buddha, made from one solid piece of translucent green jade.

 

After lunch at a Thai restaurant near the Chao Phraya River, embark on a water excursion on the river and its canals. Board a long-tailed boat to explore the klongs (canals) of Bangkok’s Thonburi, in the west of Bangkok, situated on the right side of the Chao Phraya River. Its many canals had originally given Bangkok the name "Venice of the East." Passing along the canals in the boat gives you a first-hand impression of the scenic life along Bangkok‘s waterways. You will also visit the majestic Royal Barges and Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn, one of the most attractive temples in Thailand) and Santa Cruz Church before returning to your hotel.

 

Day 7: Bangkok – Ayutthaya – Bangkok

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00am and drive to Ayutthaya.  Among the "must see" attractions in Thailand is a visit to Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand situated 76 kilometers north of Bangkok. The Thai capital for 417 years, Ayutthaya is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions. Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in the city, which was founded in 1350 by King U-Thong. 33 kings of 5 dynasties ruled the kingdom until it was destroyed by the Burmese in 1767. During this day trip you will visit the principal sights: Wat Sri Sanphet - this important and outstanding monastery was used as a residential palace in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. Next, visit Wat Mahathad with its iconic Buddha head entwined in the roots of a tree is among the most photographed sites in Ayutthaya. Built during the 14th century, the temple was an important venue for Royal ceremonies and later destroyed during the Burmese invasion in 1767, who also vandalized many Buddha images by cutting off their heads. Wat Yai Chaimongkhol: The chedi at this monastery is among the largest in Ayutthaya and was built by King Naresuan (1590-1605). There are many Buddha images and a beautiful garden behind this chedi. We’ll have a chance to walk around the local market, browsing snacks and handcrafts. For a different side local life, we’ll stop at the Elephant Camp to visit with Thailand’s national animal. This afternoon enjoy lunch at typical Restaurant, included with the tour, and our excursion concludes with a boat trip to Bang-Pa-In, the former Royal Summer Residence, which represents a fine example of Thai architecture. As we coast, we’ll see villagers going about their daily routines at temples, schools, markets, and even churches and mosques near the river banks. Return transfer back to hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

 

Day 8: Bangkok to Chiang Mai "Rose of the North"

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Chiang Mai.

 

Fly Bangkok to Chiang Mai on Thai Airways TG106, departing 10:30, arriving 11:40

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Chiang Mai. Upon arrival at Chiang Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely boutique hotel. Thailand’s second city and capital of the north, Chiang Mai has a great cultural heritage and is a charming place to spend a few days learning the art of Thai cooking, browsing through colourful markets or relaxing by the river after a trek. The city has a tradition for making handicrafts and the expertise here makes it a good place to pick up silk, silver, lacquer and wooden souvenirs. Chiang Mai is also famous as a religious centre and there are a number of interesting wats to visit as you wander around the city’s streets. Outside Chiang Mai lies a region of mountains, valleys and rivers where the hill tribes live and the city has long been a base from which to go trekking or start an exploration of the beautiful north of the country.

 

After getting settled, you'll head out with your guide and spend the afternoon explore the local fresh market and visit four of the most important temples: Wat Phra Singh. This 14th century Lanna style temple has been one of Chiang Mai's most important sanctuaries. Opposite is Wat Prasat, one of the oldest unreconstructed temples in the city, and after looking around here you will visit Wat Chedi Luang which is one of Chiang Mai's most famous, and ancient, temples and houses a stupa that dates back to the 15th century. From here head to the city walls on to one of the most beautiful viewpoints for sunset – Wat Suan Dok where the ashes of former kings of Chiang Mai and the Royal Family are kept. Here at this fourteenth century temple you will witness evening prayer as the monks and local people come together at the end of the day.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Chiang Mai

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: U Chiang Mai, Tamarind Village, Ping Nakara Boutique Hotel

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort, 137 Pillars House, The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai

 

Day 9: Elephant owner for a day. Makes unforgettable stay.

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

 

After an early breakfast you will drive out to Patara Elephant Farm where you will ‘own' and elephant for a day. On arrival at the farm you will register and get changed into your training outfit. You will then be trained in the ways of elephant handling, elephant farm management and the farm's breeding program. The training includes: hiking to find elephants in the bush; learning about approaching elephants; observing elephant temperament and an introduction to each of the farm elephants. You will also learn about the morning feed and daily health care for elephants. Later you will unchain and walk your elephant to the river. Learn about elephant skin care and bath your elephant in the river. You will be instructed on how to get on the elephant neck, sitting on the elephant, basic riding skills and spoken commands. Practice getting on and off your new friend. After the training you will attempt bare-back riding. Practice on an easy ride within the farm and a short trip to visit local temple. During the morning you will also learn about elephant in Buddhism and the beliefs that Thais have about elephants. Mid-morning set off on a long uphill trip to visit a waterfall where you will have a picnic lunch and bathe in the water with your elephant. Later ride your elephant back to the farm for the evening feed. At the end of the day bid your elephant farewell and then set off back to your hotel. Please note this tour will be shared with other participants.

 

Day 10: Life in the hill tribe villages and scenic Doi Suthep

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 8:00am and taken to the White Hmong tribal village of Khun Chang Kien is located in the vicinity of Doi (=mountain) Suthep. Here you see the Hmong in their colorful costumes selling their wide range of antiques, decorative ornaments and fabrics. The villagers now earn their living by planting vegetables and growing fruit, having replaced their traditional cash crop – the opium poppy. Afterwards you will be driven up a serpentine road to the magnificently situated Wat Doi Suthep. Perched on a forested mountain, this most sacred Chiang Mai temple (3,280ft above sea level) provides a superb view over the city, as well as a wealth of Buddha statues made of jade and bronze as well as some frescos.

 

This afternoon is at your leisure. Relax and enjoy the amenities at your hotel, or explore more of Chiang Mai.

 

Day 11: Chiang Mai – Krabi

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

After leisurely morning, you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight to Krabi.

 

Fly Chiang Mai to Krabi on Bangkok Airways PG222, departing 08:25, arriving 10:25

Economy Class - Issued By Global Travel & Tours

 

Welcome to Krabi. Upon arrival at Krabi Airport. After collecting your baggage, exit the airport to meet outside a local Guide of Global Travel & Tours. He/she will be holding a sign with your names on it. Please note that local guides are not allowed inside the airport.

 

From the airport, you will be privately transferred to your lovely beach resort. Krabi one of the rising stars in Thailand’s tourism industry is unquestionably Krabi. Visitors are falling in love with the picturesque tropical islands, which come in many sizes and shapes, that are located just offshore this southern province. Surrounded by lush vegetation and towering karst formations, Krabi is an ideal place for beach and nature lovers. Major attractions include the Susan Hoi (Shell Cemetery), Noppharat Thara Beach, Phra Nang Beach, and the spectacular islands of Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, famed for their unspoiled beaches surrounded by bright blue waters and coral reefs. Settle in and enjoy the afternoon and evening at your leisure.

 

Accommodation: Stay 3 nights in Krabi

 

First Class 4 Star Hotels: The Tubkaak Boutique Resort, Amari Vogue, Centara Grand Beach Resort

 

Luxury 5 Star Hotels: Rayavadee Resort, Phulay Bay a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

 

Day 12: Krabi 

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Spend the day relaxing by the pool or take a stroll along the beach.

 

Day 13:  Krabi

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

If your adventurous spirit is still running high, take a trip into the nearby Khao Sok National Park for more elephant riding, kayaking and jungle trekking.

 

Day 14: Krabi / Bangkok

Meals Provided: Breakfast

 

Bid farewell to your island paradise today as you will be transferred to the Krabi airport in time for your flight to Bangkok and connect with your onward flight.

 

 

Price guideline:

 

The above tour costs from $2,535*per person, based on 2 people sharing a double or twin room.

 

*Please note this price is subject to change at the time of booking, and depends on the date of travel and the availability of accommodation.

 

 

Our price includes (Private tour): 

• Accommodation base in a shared double or twin room throughout

Daily buffet breakfast at hotel and all hotels taxes and service charges.

Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary.

Travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced, safe driver.

Private sightseeing with local, English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary.

Meals included as indicated as in program: B: breakfast, L: lunch & D: dinner.

• International flight tickets: Siem Reap – Bangkok on Economy Class.

• Domestic flight tickets: Bangkok – Chiang Mai on Economy Class.

• Domestic flight tickets: Chiang Mai – Krabi on Economy Class.

Boat cruise as specified in the programmed.

Entrance fees according the above program.

Local bottled water while sightseeing and transfers.

VAT and all taxes and service charge.

 

The price does not include

International flight tickets and Visas

Any items of purely personal nature such as laundry and telephone calls

Personal, travel and health insurance

Early check in and late check out

Drinks during meals

Meals that are not specified

Gratuities/tipping to tour guide, driver and hotel staff and restaurant’s staff

 

 

All of our itineraries can customized as you wish, add extra days, change a hotel, and see different sights. For information on this or our other tours please email us at: info@globaltravel-asia.com