trip
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2
Adventure touring
Activities
  • 12 days adventure touring
Accommodation
  • 12 nights hotel
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 8 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

SPECIAL OFFER

13 Days$2260USD

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COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: LCF

Trip highlights


  • Marvel at one of the great wonders of the ancient world, Angkor Wat
  • Discover the beauty of UNESCO World Heritage listed Luang Prabang
  • Visit the Elephant Conservation Center & encounter elephants in their natural habitat
  • Enjoy the slow pace of life on the Mekong riverine archipelago, 4000 Islands
  • Hike on Phnom Kulen, the most sacred mountain in Cambodia
  • Cruise the Mekong River in search of the elusive Irrawaddy Dolphins
  • Experience the centuries old tradition of morning alms in Luang Prabang
  • Kayak through a floating village on the mighty Tonle Sap Lake
  • Learn about the local culture and try the local cuisine

A carefully crafted blend of family adventure activity, comfortable child friendly accommodation with select moments for downtime to simply enjoy your surroundings, this is truly family travel at its finest. Our adventure begins in the magical town of Luang Prabang, Northern Laos, where you and your family step back in time to a place where every morning hundreds of saffron-clad monks file out from the monasteries to collect alms from the devout residents. You’ll explore the ancient temples and monasteries of this former royal capital, take a boat trip on the mighty Mekong River to the mystical Pak Ou Caves and hike though lush forests, around rice paddies to marvel at the turquoise pools of Khuang Si Waterfall. Overnight at the The Elephant Conservation Center, a 530 hectare natural elephant habitat home to 29 Asian elephants. The centre, unlike most elephant camps, was set up purely for the protection of this magnificent species and aims to return elephants to the wild. This is truly an experience not to be missed. Then fly south to Pakse - explore the ancient Angkorian ruins of Wat Phu before continuing on to the 4,000 Islands and the largest island, Don Khong. Immerse yourselves in the relaxed lifestyle of this sleepy riverine archipelago and discover it’s most shy residents, the endangered Mekong Irrawaddy dolphin. Next, fly to the lively town of Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to Angkor Wat. Explore the ancient passageways of Angkor Wat temple, marvel at the enigmatic giant stone faces of Bayon, uncover mysterious ruins deep in the jungle on Kulen Mountain, kayak through floating villages and be enthralled by the energetic performers at Phare, the Cambodian Circus.


Sabaidee. Welcome to Luang Prabang, the cultural capital of Laos. You and your family will be met upon arrival by your expert English speaking guide and driver and transferred to your boutique hotel located in the old quarter. Depending on your arrival time, you will have free time to explore Luang Prabang, perhaps the best preserved traditional city in South East Asia. The afternoon is at leisure until the group meets in the hotel lobby this evening to journey out and enjoy a welcome dinner together. Overnight: Sala Prabang Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, we begin our sightseeing with a visit to Wat Xieng Thong - the largest and most splendid temple of the royal city of Luang Prabang. Built on the Mekong River bank in 1560 under the reign of King Setthathirat (1548 – 1571), the temple is best known for its impressive Tree of Life mural depicting the Buddhist story. We then embark on a traditional longboat and cruise upstream along the mighty Mekong River to visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves, with their thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues left by pilgrims. The trip offers a breathtaking view of the tranquil countryside as we make our way to visit the Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of wooden Buddhist figures take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana). You will return to our hotel in Luang Prabang by vehicle for a lunch break (own expense) and some time to relax and refresh. This afternoon we venture out again and make our way to Wat Visoun or Wisunalat, built in 1513, it is the oldest and perhaps the most beautiful temple of Luang Prabang. The temple strikes visitors with its huge stupa, called That Makmo, which dominates the temple compound. Because of its odd shape, this stupa is commonly known as the watermelon (Makmo) stupa instead of its official name That Pathum (Lotus Stupa). The National Museum (closed on Tuesdays), housed in the former Royal Palace, showcases many treasures of Laos’ royal past and features the Prabang, the sacred Buddha image for which Luang Prabang was named. Rising 150m in the centre of town, Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure on the Luang Prabang skyline. The hill is a popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set. From the summit you enjoy spectacular 360-degree views across the city and its many temples, and over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance. The Night Market here is a great place for wandering, offering a lovely variety of handmade textiles crafted by local and hill-tribe people, along with street food, knickknacks and friendly banter. Note: The cruise is ~2hrs and the return drive to Luang Prabang is ~1hr. Overnight: Sala Prabang Hotel or similar

Meals:  B

A highly recommended optional early start which gives you the opportunity to witness and even participate in the captivating centuries old tradition of the alms giving ceremony, Tak Bat. Before first light, hundreds of saffron-clad monks file out from the old town’s 35 temples to collect their daily alms from local residents. For those who are up early, we will return to our hotel for breakfast before heading out to Ban Long Lao, a Hmong minority village. Here we can wander around to learn more about life in this rural lowland Lao and Hmong community. The beginning of the trek leads for about half an hour through paddy fields before entering dense mixed growth jungle with a remarkable diversity of tree species. After 3 hours hiking through the forest we’ll reach our destination. First, we stop by the Free the Bears Sanctuary, a rehabilitation center for Asiatic Black bears -also known as Moon bears- confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade before continuing on through the forest to see the stunning Khuang Si Waterfall. A 60m cascade feeds into multi-tiered turquoise pools set in a beautiful lush forest setting. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the pools or choose to walk up the trails to the upper section. Please note: The alms giving ceremony this morning is a daily religious event not a show for tourists. Therefore, please be respectful - dress conservatively, turn camera flashes off and carefully follow the instructions of your guide. Hike: ~8km, ~3.5hrs, Drive: ~2hrs Overnight: Sala Prabang Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

The Elephant Conservation Center was opened to the public in 2010 and are now proudly protecting 530 hectares of elephant habitat and 29 elephants while employing 65 members of staff, 95% of them Laotian. The aim of the ECC is not to keep the animals in captivity, but instead, after forming close-knit social groups, the ultimate goal is to reintroduce them to a safe and protected natural forest where they can contribute to the increase of the wild population. The ECC, unlike most elephant camps in Laos was set up purely for the protection of this magnificent species, not as a tourism venture. Therefore, here you cannot ride the elephants and they certainly will not be performing any tricks. Instead, you will learn about the species and conservation efforts, and have the opportunity to just watch them in their natural habitat. After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and travel to the natural habitat of the Asian Elephant, in Sayaboury province, south west of Luang Prabang. Approximately 2 and half hours later, you will arrive at the Nam Tien Lake lake, dotted with islands and surrounded by lush tropical forest. Here, you will board a boat for the short 15min journey across the lake to reach the secluded Elephant Conservation Center. Upon arrival, you will welcomed into your simple bungalow accommodation before tucking into lunch a local lunch at the center's simple restaurant. You are going to visit the only hospital dedicated to elephants in Laos. A vet will talk to you about their work here and will show around. Then, you will have a further opportunity to see, observe and learn about the mysterious pachyderm at the museum and at the mahout school. Elephant Bath: Elephants are surprisingly good swimmers and love water. You will witness the unique bond between the mahout and his elephant. You will be welcomed to join the mahouts for a walk in the forest to take the elephants back to their nightly resting place. Our afternoon concludes with a boat trip on the lake to watch the sunset over the islands while enjoying a fresh drink and snacks. Before dinner, you will have some time to visit the elephant museum, swim or simply relax on the lake shore. Drive: ~2.5hrs and 15min boat journey Overnight: Elephant Conservation Center

Meals:  B,L,D

Start the morning with breakfast served in the restaurant. After breakfast, you will go for a walk with the guide and mahouts through the forest to visit the elephant nursery. It is located deep inside the forest where the baby elephants are learning how to sustain themselves, closely watched by mum. You will receive information about the reproduction program set up by the NGO ElefantAsia while watching them play. Then you will be able to spend some intimate time at the yard with Mae Khamon, Mae Bounnam, Mae Dok and Phu Thongkhoon, the four resident elephants. Elephants have a delicate diet, and under professional guidance, you will play and feed them. We head back to the Center for lunch before leaving the ECC and returning to Luang Prabang with unique memories of this majestic elephant experience. We will arrive in Luang Prabang by late afternoon and the remainder of the day is at your leisure. Drive: ~2.5hrs Overnight: Sala Prabang Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

Our day begins with a morning flight to Pakse and then we travel by road to the ancient temple complex of Wat Phou. Located on an escarpment overlooking the Mekong River, Wat Phu reflects the Hindu culture of the pre-Buddhist Khmer society that constructed it. The summit, Phu Kao, immediately commands attention because of its shape, identified in ancient times with the linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva, from which originated its ancient name, Lingaparvata, and its reputation as a sacred hill. The permanent spring at the foot of the cliffs is probably one of the main reasons the ancient rulers of the area established a sanctuary to Shiva at this spot. After lunch we will continue to the 4,000 Islands region. Here, the Mekong can reach up to 14km wide during the rainy season and it is dotted with thousands of islands of various sizes. Don Khong is the largest of the Mekong Islands at 16km long and 8km wide, and the site of Muang Khong, a small former French settlement. Enjoy some free time to explore this quaint island and its villages by bicycle or foot. Drive: ~3hrs (Pakse airport - Wat Phou & Don Khong Island) Overnight: Pon Arena Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast, we will board a long trail boat sailing to the widest reach of the Mekong River where during the dry season the waters recede and leave behind thousands of islets, giving this area a lovely name” Si Phan Done” then you reach to Khone Island area where you will see an array of relics from the French colonial era and retrace the old colonial past, including old French architecture buildings and the remnants of the first Lao railway with its locomotive and from here we cycling to visit Liphi Waterfall, "the Devil’s Corridor". Once we've had a short rest here we continue cycling on to Ban Hang Khone. Once we arrive, we will take a small long boat and cruise on the Mekong River to see one of the world's rarest mammal species, the Irrawaddy Dolphins. Let's spend some time here for watching the dolphins then we cycling back to Khone Islands where we cruise upstream on the Mekong back to Don Khong by late afternoon. Cruise: ~4hrs round trip and 30mins cycling on flat terrain Overnight: Pon Arena Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

After a busy week, enjoy a whole day soaking in the slow pace of life down Don Khong Island in Laos' 4000 Islands riverine archipelago. Relax and take advantage of the hotel pool overlooking the mighty Mekong River and partake in the various activities on offer. Overnight: Pon Arena Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

After breakfast at your hotel you transfer to Pakse Airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Sua s’dei. Welcome to Cambodia. You will be greeted by your Cambodian guide and driver (please look for the World Expeditions welcome sign as you exit the arrivals hall). You will be driven to your hotel in Siem Reap. Siem Reap is the gateway to the world famous Temples of Angkor and a lively and fun town has grown here. We will head out this evening to enjoy dinner at a wonderful restaurant which provides disadvantaged local youths with the opportunity to train in the hospitality industry. Great food, combined with great service and the feel good factor. Drive: ~2.5hrs (Don Khong Island - Pakse Airport), ~15mins Siem Reap Airport - hotel) Overnight: Treasure Oasis Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,D

Today will be day to explore the world famous Angkorian temples near Siem Reap. We highly recommend an early start to beat the crowds and take advantage of the cool morning air. You and your family will visit the very best and most interesting temples such as Ta Prohm, the walled city of Angkor Thom with the enigmatic Bayon at its centre and of course Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument. The day's touring will be divided into morning and afternoon sessions, with time to have lunch and relax back at the hotel pool during the midday heat. Note: To enter the Angkorian temples, visitors are required to wear appropriate clothes. Shorts must cover the knees and sleeveless tops are strictly not permitted. Drive: ~30mins one way to/from Angkor Archaeological Park Overnight: Treasure Oasis Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

The Kulen Mountain range rises from the plains 50km north of Siem Reap. It is considered by Khmers to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and is therefore a popular place of pilgrimage during weekends and festivals. Recent lidar surveys have revealed that there was once an entire ancient city atop the mountain but this has long been lost to the jungle. However, a few remnants remain such as the River of 1000 Lingas, carved into the riverbed to bestow fertility to the waters flowing into the rice fields in the plains below. A hike through the jungle past remote villages reveals life sized stone elephants standing serenely at Srah Damrei. We'll also visit the small wat which houses Cambodia's largest reclining Buddha before heading to the 20m high Kulen Waterfall where we can enjoy a refreshing dip before returning to town Hike: ~11km Drive: ~1.5hrs each way Overnight: Treasure Oasis Hotel or similar

Meals:  B,L

This morning after breakfast we transfer out from Siem Reap towards the vast wetlands on the edge of Asia's largest freshwater lake, the Tonle Sap. The lake's size and depth increases with the annual monsoon rains by as much as six times and local people have found ingenious ways to live with the ever changing water world. Whilst most visitors head directly south to the crowded stilted villages, we will take you south-west to the quiet floating village of Mechrey. Once we reach the end of the road, we board a traditional local boat on which we cruise down toward the village. Close to the village, our specialist guide will provide a safety briefing before we slip into the water aboard our kayaks. Glide through the waterways which make up the streets of the floating village and witness the lives of the locals who rely on this diverse ecosystem for their living. Explore the surrounding flooded forests and mangroves before venturing out to the edges of the great lake, which in fact resembles a sea. We'll head back to Siem Reap around lunchtime and the afternoon is free time at leisure. In the evening, you will be collected at 19:30 to go for the best night out in Siem Reap, to the famous Phare, The Cambodian Circus. More than just a circus, Phare performers use theatre, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm and talent. Kayaking: ~2hrs Drive: ~1hr return Overnight: Treasure Oasis Hotel or similar Note: please note that during the dry season (late March through April/ June) kayaking may not be possible. A boat trip may be provided instead.

Meals:  B,D

The day is free at your leisure until your transfer to the Siem Reap International Airport for your departure flight, where the trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 14 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 1 dinner
  • Internal flights, Luang Prabang to Pakse, Pakse to Siem Reap
  • Airport transfers (day 1 & 13 only)
  • Comfortable hotels & basic accommodation at elephant sanctuary
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Private air conditioned vehicles
  • Daily drinking water, cold towels and snacks
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in itinerary
  • Medical kit

  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Visa fees: Laos and Cambodia
  • Personal travel insurance (compulsory)
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Any optional tours, sightseeing and entry fees not listed in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs and laundry

Accommodation


Departure dates

Departs every Sunday year round

Notes

Note:
prices valid up to 31/12/2018. For trips departing after this date, the price will likely increase subject to local inflationary pressures on operational costs.

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Total Priceper person from

Adult$2260USD

Child$1500USD** See below for further details.

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Laos & Cambodia Family Adventure trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Videos

Laos Family Adventure - a child's perspective | World Expeditions

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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The local guide sharing stories during the exploration of the Angkorian ruins | Lachlan Gardiner
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