Join a tour that takes you to the main sights of Thailand and Cambodia. The trip is in the spirit of culture and provides a good insight into modern Southeast Asia and the richness of variety that characterizes the region. During the trip, you will learn more about the ancient Siamese kingdoms and the Khmer Empire as well as the exciting contemporary history of Thailand and Cambodia. The trip also offers fantastic landscapes and very good food!
Day 1: Travel to Bangkok.
Meals are included on board the long-haul flight.
Day 2: Bangkok
Arrival in Bangkok and transfer to the hotel for check-in. During the evening we gather for a welcome dinner with Thai specialties. Overnight in Bangkok. (Noon.)
Day 3: Bangkok
After breakfast, we start the day with a city tour during which we visit the Royal Palace Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang, which has been the official residence of the Thai kings since the 1780s. The palace area with its beautiful architecture and exciting history is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Thai capital. We then head to the Wat Pho Buddhist temple, which is classified as one of the holiest temples in the country and is widely famous for its 46 meter long statue depicting the Buddha just before he achieves nirvana on his deathbed. We also visit the fragrant and colorful flower market Pak Khlong Talat and travel along central Bangkok’s canals by longtail boat. Overnight in Bangkok. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 4: Bangkok – Damnoen Saduak – River Kwai
In the morning we visit Thailand’s most famous floating market in Damnoen Saduak just outside Bangkok. We continue from here towards the city of Kanchanaburi in western Thailand, not far from the border with Burma. Just outside the city, during World War II, the Japanese army built a railway bridge over the River Kwai with the help of British prisoners of war forced into the tropical climate and inaccessible terrain (the prisoners’ hardships were dramatized in the 1957 hit film Bridge over the River Kwai). During our visit to the area, we learn more about the Japanese railway and bridge projects and visit, among other things, the nearby war cemetery for the many prisoners of war who died during the forced labor. We take a train across the river to the town of Nam Tok from where we continue by bus to “Hellfire Pass”, the section of the original railway line which was most difficult for prisoners of war to complete. During the night we stay in a floating hotel on the river. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
Day 5: Kanchanaburi – Ayutthaya
After enjoying the tranquil setting of the Kwai River in the morning, we travel to the city of Ayutthaya. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 6: Ayutthaya
During the day we explore Ayutthaya Historical Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning ruins from the period when Ayutthaya served as the capital of the Siamese kingdom. Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and was destroyed in 1767 when the city was ravaged by Burmese troops. In the afternoon we return to Bangkok from where we take the night train to Thailand’s second largest city Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Overnight on board the train. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 7: Chiang Mai
In the morning we arrive in Chiang Mai and head to our hotel where we have breakfast and check in. Then a tour with a rickshaw awaits, during which we reclined and can comfortably experience the city’s life. During the trip we also visit the wonderful Buddhist temple Wat Pra Singh dating from the 14th century before returning to the hotel. In the evening we take part in the street life in the city center with its cozy restaurants, bars, cafes and night markets. Overnight in Chiang Mai. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 8: Wat Doi Suthep
In the morning we visit the temple complex Wat Doi Suthep located on a hill just outside Chiang Mai from where you get a fantastic view of the city and surroundings. A colorful and richly decorated promenade with 300 steps leads up to the temple buildings, but there is also an elevator available for those who want to save a little energy. On the way back to Chiang Mai, we stop in Doi Pui Hmong Tribal Village to get an insight into the traditions and culture of the Hmong people. Overnight in Chiang Mai. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 9: Chiang Mai – Chiang Rai
After breakfast, we continue our journey to the city of Chiang Rai to visit the strange temple complex Wat Rong Khun, which was built as late as 1997. The strange architecture of the chalk-white temple is full of Buddhist symbolism, but some murals inside actually depict Western celebrities such as Michael Jackson and fantasy characters such as the superman and the character Neo in the movie Matrix. We continue to the city of Mae Sai on the border with Burma in the so-called Golden Triangle and visit the Golden Triangle Park hall of Opium where we get to know about the historical background to the drug opium and the problems with illegal poppy cultivation in the region. In the afternoon, there is also the opportunity to go on a boat trip on the Khong River for those who so wish (optional). Overnight in Chiang Rai. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 10: Chiang Rai – Siem Reap
In the morning transfer to the airport before the trip to Siem Reap via Bangkok. After arriving in Siem Reap, we visit the magnificent temple complex Banteay Srei built in pink sandstone during the latter half of the 10th century. The temple is famous for its fine reliefs depicting scenes from the Hindu world of gods. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast and dinner.)
Day 11: Ducks Thom – Ta Prohm – Ducks Vat
Today, a full-day excursion to the Ankor area awaits – one of the world’s foremost archaeological sites. We begin with a visit to Ankor Thom, which are the ruins of what was once the largest city in the Khmer Empire. The city was built in the late 12th century and covers more than 900 hectares. Here we visit the main sights, including the Bayon Temple with its more than 200 enigmatic stone faces. We then visit Ta Prohm, originally a Buddhist monastery built in the late 12th century. The ruins have been deliberately preserved without removing too much of the huge banana trees that threaten to devour the buildings. We end the day with a visit to the Ankor area’s largest and most famous temple complex Ankor Vat. The temple area covers almost 200 hectares and in the afternoon we visit the most important buildings and see the best preserved reliefs. During the evening, a dinner with a traditional dance performance awaits. Overnight in Siem Riep. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
Day 12: Rolous – journey home
After breakfast we visit the three smaller temple complexes Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei near the smaller community Rolous just outside Siem Reap. The temple complex is among the oldest in the Ankor area and was probably built in the late ninth century. After lunch transport to the airport before returning home. (Breakfast and lunch.)
Day 13: Homecoming
We arrive at the boarding place.