Cambodia and Thailand tour featuring small group size, expert guides, gourmet dining, luxury hotels, school and village visits.
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap/Angkor Wat – Bangkok – Hua Hin
This fantastic Cambodia and Thailand vacation package combines spectacular historical monuments with a relaxing beach resort stay. Highlights include the magnificent Angkor Wat, quaint villages and 3 nights at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa located on a beautiful beach of golden sand.
- Small group (20 max)
- Expert guides.
- Authentic local cuisine.
- Gratuities for local guides and drivers included.
- No forced shopping stops.
- Unlimited supply of bottled water.
- Free Wi-Fi in every hotel.
- Village visit in Siem Reap.
- 3 nights at a 5-star beach resort.
Nights per location:
- Phnom Penh: 3
- Siem Reap: 3
- Bangkok: 3
- Hua Hin: 3
Meal Code: B = breakfast / L = lunch / D = dinner
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Day 1/Fri: Departing Home City
Your Cambodia and Thailand journey begins with your transpacific flight departing from a city of your choice. You’ll lose a day upon crossing the International Date Line.
Day 2/Sat: Arrival in Phnom Penh
Welcome to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. Meet your guide on arrival and transfer to the hotel.
Day 3/Sun: Phnom Penh (B/L/D)
Located at the confluence of three rivers (Tonlé Sap, Mekong and Bassac), Phnom Penh is the wealthiest and most populous (1.6 million) city in Cambodia. The Phnom Penh metropolitan area is home to about 2.2 million of Cambodia’s entire population of 15.5 million.
Phnom Penh first became the capital of Cambodia after Ponhea Yat, king of the Khmer Empire, moved the capital from Angkor Thom after it was captured and destroyed by Siam (Thailand) a few years earlier. Phnom Penh remained the royal capital for 73 years—from 1432 to 1505 before it was abandoned for 360 years (1505 – 1865) by subsequent kings due to internal fighting between the royal pretenders. Later kings moved the capital several times and established their royal capitals at various locations in Tuol Basan (Srey Santhor), Pursat, Longvek, Lavear Em and Udong. It was not until 1866, under the reign of King Norodom I (1860–1904), the eldest son of King Ang Duong, who ruled on behalf of Siam, that Phnom Penh became the permanent seat of government and capital of Cambodia again.
Beginning in 1870, the French colonialists built this riverside village into a city with hotels, hospitals, schools, prisons, barracks, banks, public works offices, telegraph offices, law courts and so on. In 1872, the first glimpse of a modern city took shape when the colonial administration employed the services of a French contractor Le Faucheur to construct the first 300 concrete houses for sale and rental to the Chinese traders. By the 1920s, Phnom Penh was known as the Pearl of Asia, and over the next four decades the city continued to experience rapid growth with the building of railways to Sihanoukville and Pochentong International Airport (now Phnom Penh International Airport).
During the Vietnam War, Cambodia was used as a base by the Viet Cong’s North Vietnamese Army. Thousands of refugees from across the country flooded the capital to escape the fighting between the various factions, thus increasing the population of Phnom Penh to reportedly 3 million. The Khmer Rouge captured the city on April 17, 1975 and started to forcibly evacuate the entire city soon after. All of its residents, including the wealthy and educated, were forced into the countryside to do manual labour so that they could become “new people” according to the Khmer Rouge. Tuol Sleng High School was turned into a prison camp known as S-21, where people were detained and tortured. Pol Pot sought a return to an agrarian economy and therefore killed many people perceived as lazy or political enemies. The Khmer Rouge was driven out of Phnom Penh by the Vietnamese in 1979, and people began to return to the city. Vietnam is historically a state with which Cambodia has had many conflicts, therefore this liberation was and is viewed with mixed feelings by the Cambodians. A period of reconstruction began, spurred by the continuing stability of government, new foreign investment and international aid.
Our sightseeing today includes the Royal Palace Complex and the National Museum.
Day 4/Mon: Phnom Penh (B/L)
Today we visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Killing Fields.These sites may be too much for the visitor to stomach but they embody an important period in the country’s history no matter how repugnant that period is in our common memory.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is on the same site of the high school turned prison known as S-21. Inside, Khmer Rouge’s torture devices and photos of their victims are on display. If you have read about Tuol Sleng and feel the gruesome scenes may be too disturbing, you may instead opt for a walk through the neighbourhood outside the former high school.
Choeung Ek (The Killing Fields) is 15 kilometers from the city centre. It was one of the mass grave sites of the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Day 5/Tue: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (B/L/D)
The morning flight to Siem Reap takes 40 minutes. After a light lunch, we visit the Angkor National Museum and Angkor Wat.
The archaeological museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artifacts, also to provide information and education about art and culture of Khmer civilization, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire’s Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century. Most of the artifacts are discovered in and around the Angkor archaeological sites nearby. Opened on November 12, 2007, the Angkor National Museum covers the golden era of the Khmer Empire in eight galleries. The museum visit at the beginning of the stay in Siem Reap is designed to better prepare tour participants for what to see next.
Angkor Wat, the modern name for the temple complex, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer. Angkor, meaning “city” or “capital city”, is a vernacular form of the word nokor, which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara. Wat is the Khmer word for “temple grounds”. Angkor Wat was a Hindu temple complex that was later used for Buddhism. It is the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture and has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early Dravidian architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall of 3.6 kilometres long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.
Day 6/Wed: Siem Reap (B/L)
Visit Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm in the morning and have the afternoon at leisure after lunch.
Angkor Thom (literally: great city) was established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII as the capital of the Khmer Empire. It covers an area of 9km² and includes several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. One inscription found in the city refers to Jayavarman as the groom and the city as his bride. Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman’s state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north.
Ta Prohm is the modern name of the temple built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara. Located approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray, it was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings has made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.
Day 7/Thu: Siem Reap (B/L)
After breakfast, we drive 25km to Banteay Srei (Citadel of Women), a 10th-century temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale but the stone carvings are magnificent. On the way back to the hotel, we stop by a village and a school in it to gain a deeper insight into the local rural life.
Day 8/Fri: Siem Reap – Bangkok (B/L)
Our morning flight to Bangkok takes 50 minutes.
Located in Chao Phraya River delta, Bangkok is the capital and the most populous city of Thailand, with a population of 8 million within the city proper or nearly 13% of the country’s total. The city is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon.
Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of Siam’s (as Thailand used to be known) modernization during the later 19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West. The city was the centre stage of Thailand’s political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule and underwent numerous coups and uprisings. The city grew rapidly during the 1960s through the 1980s.
The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok. The city is now a major regional force in finance and business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, and is emerging as a regional centre for the arts, fashion and entertainment. The city is known for its vibrant street life and cultural landmarks, as well as its notorious red-light districts. The historic Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world’s top tourist destinations.
Bangkok’s rapid growth amidst little urban planning and regulation has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure systems. Limited roads, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have resulted in chronic and crippling traffic congestion. This in turn caused severe air pollution in the 1990s. The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve this major problem. Four rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
We begin our afternoon sightseeing at Wat Arun – a Buddhist temple that is among the best known of Thailand’s landmarks..The temple derives its name from the Hindu god Aruna, often personified as the radiations of the rising sun.
We then enjoy a relaxing cruise aboard a long tail boat that plies Chao Phraya River and the canals of Thonburi. This is a perfect way to watch the skyline of Bangkok and to observe the local life.
Day 9/Sat: Bangkok (B/L/D)
Our morning sightseeing begins at the royal Grand Palace. Established in 1782, the palace was dramatically expanded throughout successive reigns. The king and his royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The present monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), resides at Chitralada Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events.
We then proceed to the National Museum, which is the largest museum in Southeast Asia and features exhibits of Thai art and history.
After lunch we spend the rest of the day exploring on our own.
Day 10/Sun: Bangkok – Hua Hin (B/L)
This morning we drive 200km (3 hours) to Hua Hin, a lovely beach resort town located on the Gulf of Thailand and to the southwest of Bangkok. Afternoon sightseeing takes in the nicely preserved historical Train Station and Klai Kangwon Palace – the late king Bhumibol Adulyadej’s primary summer residence.
First night of your 3-night stay at 5-star Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa situated right on a golden sand beach.
Day 11/Mon: Hua Hin (B)
Second day in Hua Hin.
No service is included besides hotel room and breakfast.
Across the street from the hotel you’ll find lots of restaurants and cafes offering quality Asian and Western cuisines. Don’t forget to visit the popular night market while Hua Hin.
Day 12/Tue: Hua Hin (B)
Third day in Hua Hin.
No service is included besides hotel room and breakfast.
Day 13/Wed: Hua Hin – Bangkok (B)
Return to Bangkok by private transfer and spend the night at 4-star Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport.
If you wish to explore Bangkok on your own, you may want to ride to the city centre by Airport Rail Link costing only $2 one way. Otherwise, you can try to get around by taxi, which is fairly cheap.
Day 14/Thu: Bangkok – Home City (B)
Your memorable Cambodia and Thailand tour ends this morning. Walk through the enclosed walkway connecting the hotel to the airport terminal to board return home flight. The hotel also offer free shuttle service to and from the airport terminals.
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|Phnom Penh||3||La Rose Suites||luxury|
|Siem Reap||3||Victoria Angkor Resort||luxury|
|Bangkok||2 – 1st stay||Sofitel Sukhumvit||luxury|
|Hua Hin||3||Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa||luxury|
|Bangkok||1 – 2nd stay||Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport||first class/4-star|
Dates & Prices
Contact us for 2019 departure dates and prices.
|What the tour price includes:
||What the tour price excludes:
When dealing with Laurus Travel, you don’t need to worry about hidden charges because there are none!
See Terms & Conditions for more information.
A passport with at least two (2) blank visa pages and six (6) months validity at the end of the tour is required.
You’ll need one photo of passport type (2×2 inches) for this trip but please bring two (2), just in case.
Cambodia Tourist Visa on Arrival – US$35
No letter of invitation is needed. Just bring US$35 cash and a photo of passport type.
Thailand Tourist Visa
Visa is not required of nationals from Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and a host of other Western countries if the stay is within 30 days.
Health & Immunization for Your Cambodia and Thailand Trip
You are not required of any inoculation certificate to enter any of the above countries. However, we do suggest you visit your family physician or a travel medicine clinic to determine what precautions you should take. We recommend inoculation shots for hepatitis A and suggest that you check out advice provided by the US CDC and Health Canada.
Tap water is not safe to drink. Ask for bottled or boiled water when eating in restaurants. When buying bottled water from street vendors, especially at tourist sites, make sure the cap is properly sealed because some vendors may be selling tap water in recycled bottles.
Try to avoid uncooked food. Even the food you eat is clean, you may still experience stomach upsets or diarrhea due to ingredients your stomach is not used to.
Always carry a roll of toilet paper and a bottle of hand sanitizer containing more than 60% of alcohol, no matter where you go.
Cambodia: Cambodian Riel (KHR)
Thailand: Thai Baht (THB)
Major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the above countries and can be used for major purchases. U.S. dollars are widely accepted in Cambodia and Laos. Merchants in Thailand generally decline any currency other than their own. The US dollar bills you bring in must be in near mint condition. Any stain or marking or missing corner would result in rejection by the local banks and currency dealers.
You do not need to get any local currency prior to arrival.